Monday, August 13, 2007

Techno-geekery? Please advise.

NY was amazing. Brooklyn was electric. And I managed to cop the Delicious Vinyl re-issue of Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride in BLUE and YELLOW vinyl! Oh yeeeah. Colored vinyl = ingenious. They should press colored vinyl more often. It makes spinning more exciting. Like tasting the rainbow. Music becomes a veritable manifestation of a Skittles commercial. But I digress…

My vinyl-holism continues to put a dent in my wallet, which always causes me to wonder if I should drop my well-earned paper on the techno-beast known as Serato instead. The topic always lingers in my drunken conversations with other music nerds. To Serato or not to Serato – that is the question. Or maybe the question is – does anyone NOT have Serato these days??

The bottom line is that Serato is a useful tool for DJ’s (I’m talking strictly spinning here, not production). A DJ’s job is to party-rock – simple as that – and it’s obvious that the more music you have, the wider selection you have to do your thang.

But… BUT (yeah, I know you were expecting a “but”), it’s wack when people are impressed just cuz a DJ spins with vinyl, since it’s such an anomaly these days. I remember seeing a flyer for a party where the DJ was only going to spin with vinyl all night, and peeps were like, “That’s tight! We have to check it out!” I’m not one to cling to Golden Era sentimentality, but there’s something more meaningful about the mix when you know that the DJ has spent hours diggin for the song being played, instead of putting together some contrived playlist. I think spinning with vinyl also gets DJs to be creative when mixing songs and introduce people’s ears to artists that might not be on their radar, instead of playing what everyone expects to hear.

So whaddya think?

Don’t even have an iPod to speak of.


Blogger grant said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:43 PM  
Blogger grant said...

sorry. had to edit....

but don't you think serato also allows ppl to experience music that they wouldn't experience otherwise? and allows djs to play music that they wouldn't otherwise be able to find on wax? ultimately...a lot of the pro-mp3 arguments are also pro-serato arguments (giving smaller, indie artists a fairer shake...easier distro, wider access to good music, etc etc etc).

at the same time, im sure that record shops all over the world are feeling the effects of serrato-ization. and while i could care less about the record industry's complaints about their profit margin when it comes to mp3s...it's pretty crappy to see your favorite record shops go out of business.

finally, i think that a good dj is still a good dj. serato doesn't really change the requirements for rockin the house. nor do i think serato is gonna allow a mediocre dj to become a great dj.

when it comes down to it, you still gotta have skillz.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Mista Hippo said...

I agree, you can't fake the skillz even if you have Serato. Not that I spin for people anymore, but I remember back-in-day, wishing for an easier way to carry all my records from house party to house party. And also worrying about some punk stealing one of my "hard-to-find-pride-and-joy" records. And even if there is Serato, Ipods, etc. I will always love to dig for records. It's sad to see rec shops go or even online sites, like sandboxautomatic, no longer selling the vinyl, but there will always be vinyl...you just have to dig.

3:06 PM  
Blogger bruce banner said...

yeah, i agree, i actually think that not only does serato open up the market for indie artists, but for DJs who don't have all the money to shell out for rare, out of print vinyl, or for all the records needed to put on a few decent sets...in the end, i think the only people who are really bitching are snobby hip hop purists and crate digging DJs who are angry that suddenly their collections aren't quite so rare...in the end, you still need skills to rock the party, and that element isn't taken away by serato.

8:10 PM  
Blogger debstar said...

what "skills" are we talking about here? cuz most of the time, when the DJ plays whatever golden age hip hop the crowd wants to hear, everyone will say how great the DJ is. i think serato makes it easier for the DJ to play 3 tribe songs in a row and people will still think the DJ is great, even though it doesn't require much "skill".

3:17 PM  
Blogger grant said...

debz i think you are bitter cuz you got moted.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Mista Hippo said...

skillz - like beat counting, mixing, juggling, and even a little skratchin'. this should even include the flow of your mix and how it develops and who youre spinnin' for, where, for what, etc.
grant, would you like to write for our blog as well? i've never seen this many comments on one of our posts, unless you count the times that banner tries to pick up the ladies and they're callin' him out on harassment. maybe we should give away a serato?

back off my drunken soapbox...and it's only Wed. folks.

11:05 PM  
Blogger debstar said...

gawd why doncha get off his nuts. thanks.

and no i didn't get "moted" (who uses that word past 3rd grade anyway?).

12:24 AM  
Blogger grant said...

haha. thanks for the invite, but i like this blog so far and i'd hate to f*ck it up with bad jokes and weak prose.

besides i'd probably get run off after posting too many links to vanilla ice and mc hammer tracks.

i'll be happy to chip in my .2 via comments every now and then.

geez deb. such haterade.

10:07 AM  
Blogger debstar said...

that's me. haterade all the way.

and anyways, the point that i was trying to make was that sometimes, people think skills = song selection, and that serato makes that easier. does ANYONE even remotely see what i'm tryin to get at?


11:14 AM  
Blogger Fifteen said...

I hear you debstar. I also agree with Grant's argument about making "alternative" hip hop available to the masses, which is crucial nowadays. I hadn't really thought of it that way before. Honestly, as someone who's just recently been gettin into DJing, I feel like a lot of the so-called simple joys of diggin for vinyl is missing form my experience now that there aren't many mom-and-pops around.

slight side-note: I went to the crotona park jams this year in the Bronx and they had a lot of the old school djs doing their thing on stage. but when it came time for Red Alert to do his set, the crowd was left with silence for a while because red's computer crashed and he couldn't get his serrato up. Roc Raida, who was scheduled to perform right after, didn't even get to perform because the show would have gone over time. at least with vinyl you won't have technical malfunctions throwing off an entire show.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Hugh Knight said...

Serato is nice cuz...
1. I'm a sloppy DJ when it comes to putting my records back. I play quick, and I have fucked up some gems because of it.

2. All I need is a small selection of records and a computer bag

3. It opens up the possiblities for mixing with on the fly loops, and stuff for tunes I dont have the instrumentals for.

4. I can play remixes I made without having to press them. Same with tracks by cats I know that haven't pressed them to vinyl.

5. 6 hours gigs=5-6 crates. Fuck that! I dont want to bring a dolly to my gigs.

Serato sucks cuz

1. It crashes if you don't keep your cp up.

2. Uh...thats it.

THe same problem with Serato DJs plagues Vinyl and CD DJs. If you dont use your imagination, your sets are not going to be dope.

Party At 45 RPM

11:09 AM  

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