Do DJs Still Use Turntables
If you were asked about the most recognizable thing in DJing, you would probably think about the turntable. All the ’90s and 20’s kids or even some 2010’s kids would still recall turntables as almost all tv, or movies showcased it. With the oversized sunglasses and sleek moves, DJs with turntables looked cool! However, over the decades, there has been much innovation in the DJing field, and the DJ tools have been reproduced.
Nonetheless, there are still some experienced DJs who are comfortable with turntables. Why is that? One reason can be a lack of awareness about advanced technology. Turntables are generally used for mixing, and experienced DJs found that more convenient than plugging excess cables.
Now the question arises that do DJs still use turntables? We are here to find out.
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Few reasons behind turntable obsolete
Innovation of CDJ
The introduction of the CDJ was one of the most important moments in DJing and music history in general. Before that, DJs either had to buy their vinyl records or the venues used to provide them with those.
The musical catalog was limited when one had to buy the records (physical CDs or vinyl). That is why DJs used to play the same tunes over and over again. Also, the musical versatility depended on how much investment a DJ could do that time.
Technological progress has altered all that. It became much easier to transfer vast volumes of music around, first with a CD and then with a USB and SD card. It has become more convenient with the rise of the internet. Apart from that, websites like Napster made things cheaper for DJs as they no longer need to buy music. Anything can be searched on the internet!
Turntables need a careful maintenance procedure so that it can work accordingly. Stuff like belts and motors could stop working at any time, which could be very expensive to repair. Not to mention the disaster of turning off at any moment during a performance. That means that turntables are not that durable in general.
To smoothly run your best performance with turntables, you need to learn certain skills required to perform better. Calibrating your turntable is the first one. Depending on the turntable you have, it can be either be an effortless thing or a challenging attempt. With turntables, you will have limited features, those you will find in CDJs or Controllers.
The expensiveness and limitation with Vinyl
Turntables are losing popularity for another key issue. Nowadays, getting a vinyl record is challenging. If you are not living near major cities, it’s more difficult for you. Also, vinyl provides a limited musical catalog, and not every record contains the latest music. As mentioned earlier, vinyl is the physical version of a music catalog that can get out of your budget. The typical vinyl album will go from $5 to $10 each, and with that, at most, you only get 2-4 tracks. Also, carrying a vast vinyl volume is not convenient, and there is always a chance of damage.
Why do DJs still use turntable?
If you think about the 90s or early 20s, any aspiring DJ must learn vinyl turntable fundamentals. A DJ had to keep a vinyl track plate set placed above the turntable to get the songs mixed in those times.
Modern turntables have evolved with a breakthrough and steadily replaced the conventional vinyl turntables. Parties and events began to replace complex and costly caring set up with lightweight, portable, budget-friendly, and low caring digital turntables.
DJs are interested in straightforward tools and exploring a new type of song mixing with preferred tones, pitch, and frequency with the emerging technologies. Despite technical developments in DJing, however, some DJs have opted to stick to conventional vinyl turntables.
It can happen for the ingenuity, the love for authentic vinyl scratching, nostalgia, or the reluctance to adapt to the new changes. Some professionals feel that they must preserve the technique and move it to the beginners.
Whatever the reason may be, conventional turntables still holds the vintage and classic status that leads us to our child and teenhood.
What the pros and cons of conventional turntables?
- Sound quality – You may hear from some elderly professional DJs that vinyl sound is much higher than the sounds produced by digital DJ tools. However, it the fact that the sounds of analog recordings are much fuller and warmer.
- Originality – The originality of it creates a natural sound that connects the DJs to the audience.
- Progressive – As you need some specific skills to master vinyl turntables, you can gradually progress with it and develop your preferred tune.
- Style – No matter how advanced a DJ mixer or controller maybe, the cool and swag style of a vinyl turntable is extraordinary.
- Expensive – The set-up and maintenance of a vinyl turntable are expensive. You are going to need a minimum of two turntables with a suitable mixer. You have to collect multiple vinyl records so that you can mix different songs.
- Time-consuming – Setting up the records along with organizing the whole setup, is time-consuming.
- Maintenance – Cleaning your vinyl records along with taking the turntable outdoor, can be painful. Also, to ensure better performances, you have to protect the records from scratch so that the track doesn’t get affected.
- Not portable – A turntable takes up a lot of space, which make it tough to carry.
- Limitations with music – You may not easily get the current tracks in their vinyl versions as soon as they are released. It takes much time to get that.
So, do DJs still use turntable? Yes! Whether for nostalgia or for the sake of holding the tradition, you will still find some professionals mixing songs with turntables. No matter how many sleek technologies we get in the DJing field, we were introduced to DJs with turntables. That is why conventional turntables will always hold a special place in our hearts.
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