Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Mixikyr
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Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by Mixikyr » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:41 am

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Last edited by Mixikyr on Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

STRATEGY_510
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by STRATEGY_510 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:29 am

Mixikyr wrote:Just a question, i'm still relatively new to all these. Is it okay for somebody to deliver a live performance like a DJ without a turntable? I always see a CDJ set at least in Ableton DJs performances, why is that? Aside from scratching what use is there for a turntable with Ableton, like if it's electronic music?
For some people, it's easier/better to spontaneously fly a phrase of music into a set manually and spontaneously via TT or CDJ, than it is to spontaneously import something into the Live library and warp, then fly it in.

I'm sure there's a better way to explain some other potential advantages (that don't involve scratchin'), but I'm too tired to think about it much.

STRATEGY

Koston
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by Koston » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:21 pm

Vinyls are favored because they (potentially) deliver better audio quality than regular CDs, especially in lower frequencies which are all-important in electronic music.

That said, you can throw a decent gig with *any* equipment whatsoever as long as you keep your audience entertained with track selections, smooth transitions and educated EQ'ing. Heck, a lot of technoheads would be satisfied if you premixed a set and played it off an ipod and just jump around the DJ booth looking like you're actually doing something intelligent.. :wink:

Trypset
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by Trypset » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:17 pm

Personally I would rather see a DJ carry a crate of wax and spin vinyl...

It sounds better to my ears, it is more of a challenge to be creative, the overall mix sounds better to me b/c of the nature of the two speeds of the records never beng locked 100%....there is the possibility to completely fuck up the mix.....not just talking about hitting the wrong "button" while staring at a computer screen "mixing" different audio sources.

Then of course there is the dubplate culture....its way more fun to me to shop/order/buy/wait on new records coming. Makes me feel like I really own something b/c I can hold it, look at it, and manipulate it.

I started off DJing on Ableton just to save enough money from gigs to get a crate started and some Technics 1200. Without starting an all out war....there are no "Ableton DJ's"....simply performers.

DJ = Disc Jockey

It will cost upwards of $1500 to get a decent initial setup, one that will last. But.....if you are asking in a thread title what you might need a turntable for...then I suggest finding someone who has a setup with records and playing around on it.

There is no instant gratification, you will suck at beatmatching for a little bit, its becomig harder and harder to find quality gigs (in my area at least, many clubs/venues do not have TT or even the space to cart some in.....

So in answer to the question....no, I do not think it is valid to "DJ" with knobs and buttons.
TrypseT
Live 8 Full (not suite), ES-1 MKII, Microkorg, MPC 1000, 2 1200's, Ms. Pinky's, OSX, Edirol FA-101, and a crate 'o' wax

docprosper
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by docprosper » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:38 pm

Ah, this old chestnut. Do what you enjoy, there are no rules. I've spun vinyl for ~10 years, and am transitioning to a fully digital setup. All buttons and knobs, no decks. This is mainly due to the fact that I'm getting more into music (glitch hop, etc.) that is hard/impossible to find on vinyl. These days, when I buy vinyl the first thing I do is import the tracks into Ableton. IMO, with the proper DJ set, you can still have plenty to do with FX, EQ, dummy clips, adding additional layers, etc. that you don't necessarily need to be beatmatching to prove anything to anyone. Just play good tracks and enjoy yourself!
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wentbackward
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by wentbackward » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:20 pm

[Sigh] I still remember patiently smoothing the surface of the platter of my technics 1210 with ultra-fine wet'n'dry. It's probably just nostalgia, but those memories are the best. That gear was wonderful, as was searching through the 2nd hand record shops around north london. I guess it's different now, but it's good to hear turntables are still used. I guess you can only use one to know, then decide if you need it or not.

If the music's good, the crowd won't care, if it's not, regardless of all the gear, they'll still not be happy.

Trypset
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by Trypset » Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:22 pm

I'm waiting for flyers to advertise all vinyl. That will be the day.
TrypseT
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by v00d00ppl » Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:31 pm

Trypset wrote:I'm waiting for flyers to advertise all vinyl. That will be the day.
in San Francisco we usually get flyers like those. I remember Rich Medina coming to town and doing a 3 hour hiphop/soul/house set with all vinyl. Good times

Trypset
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by Trypset » Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:48 pm

strait up. Wish there was more of that around.
TrypseT
Live 8 Full (not suite), ES-1 MKII, Microkorg, MPC 1000, 2 1200's, Ms. Pinky's, OSX, Edirol FA-101, and a crate 'o' wax

Ben_Binary
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by Ben_Binary » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:53 am

CDJ's are also like samplers.

Pioneer CDJ Mk3 is awesome for glitching vocals or looping tones and synth samples.
The platter then gets used for loop manipulation and you can tap the play/hot cue
buttons / move the pitch fader for cool stutter-fx tricks.

If you have a stab sound > hit play while paused and change the pitch slider.
Like playing star wars march with one stab sample.

So its far better than TT's for that but not as cool for scratching.

... or just use them as a 'bridge' between ableton songs... or backup set.

I prefer TT's and vinyl but love a good CDJ
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doghouse
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by doghouse » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:14 pm

Koston wrote:Vinyls are favored because they (potentially) deliver better audio quality than regular CDs, especially in lower frequencies which are all-important in electronic music.
Sorry but this is BS.

Vinyl has trouble with low frequencies, that's why the RIAA equalization curve was developed. To get plenty of low end volume you need wide grooves (which is why 12" singles are preferred over LPs for DJing...shorter play time allows wider grooves). CDs and other digital formats can deliver much more low end...all the way down below human hearing...then vinyl can and with less noise (important at high volume playback like in a club).

The improved sound that is thought to be possible with vinyl requires much better turntables, cartridges and playback systems than any DJ setup would ever use. Audiophiles think the Technics 1200 sounds like shit.

For DJing, vinyl is all about the mystique and the physical manipulation. Sound does not enter into it.

Trypset
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by Trypset » Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:34 pm

doghouse wrote:
Koston wrote:Vinyls are favored because they (potentially) deliver better audio quality than regular CDs, especially in lower frequencies which are all-important in electronic music.
Sorry but this is BS.

Vinyl has trouble with low frequencies, that's why the RIAA equalization curve was developed. To get plenty of low end volume you need wide grooves (which is why 12" singles are preferred over LPs for DJing...shorter play time allows wider grooves). CDs and other digital formats can deliver much more low end...all the way down below human hearing...then vinyl can and with less noise (important at high volume playback like in a club).

The improved sound that is thought to be possible with vinyl requires much better turntables, cartridges and playback systems than any DJ setup would ever use. Audiophiles think the Technics 1200 sounds like shit.

For DJing, vinyl is all about the mystique and the physical manipulation. Sound does not enter into it.

BS....LOL.....vinyl over digital all day for me. I challenege a fresh cut dubplate against a fresh burned CD in the club. Standard technics and shure cartridges....gonna leave a burned CD in the dark....in a club, where most of this music is designed to be played.

And as a vinyl DJ.....sound does enter into for me...I choose vinyl. Would love to see some info on this though.
TrypseT
Live 8 Full (not suite), ES-1 MKII, Microkorg, MPC 1000, 2 1200's, Ms. Pinky's, OSX, Edirol FA-101, and a crate 'o' wax

docprosper
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by docprosper » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:07 pm

Regardless of which media (CD or vinyl) has a better sound quality, I think song selection is much more important. Years ago, I spun a house party (with wax) where the sound system was bleeding from being overdriven. Too many people, not enough amp. The amp finally tripped & we had to prop it in a window with a fan to keep it cool. Did the crowd care about the audio quality not being @ 100%? I don't think so, the ceiling below cracked from the dancing :wink:

Also, keep in mind that most of this electronic music comes from DAWs in the first place; if it was created by Ableton to begin with perhaps Live has the right sound quality for playing out? Regardless of what media you use (CD,vinyl,harddisk) your off-board (analog) EQ and mixdown can make ANY media of club quality IMO.

I also think digital mixing can be just as challenging. Look at http://www.aurexmusic.com/masher, a demo for a Launchpad setup. This guy looks pretty busy to me blending between songs and applying effects in the mix, just as busy as one could be beatmatching. I've been beatmatching for a decade now and am convinced that it is a necessary evil (for vinyl), a skill, but not 'art'. I saw Richie Hawkins years ago in a small Berlin club. No decks, no computer, just analog synths, effects, and a keyboard. He made all his music from scratch in real time (and blended them). That arguably takes more skill than mixing vinyl, but he's not slamming vinyl DJing for requiring less skill. Conversely, folks like Carl Cox can beatmatch 8+ turntables. My point being, any media can be made challenging enough to warrant respect, even one that's fully digital.
-Hamish
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lasersounds
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by lasersounds » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:51 pm

Trypset wrote:
doghouse wrote:
Koston wrote:Vinyls are favored because they (potentially) deliver better audio quality than regular CDs, especially in lower frequencies which are all-important in electronic music.
Sorry but this is BS.

Vinyl has trouble with low frequencies, that's why the RIAA equalization curve was developed. To get plenty of low end volume you need wide grooves (which is why 12" singles are preferred over LPs for DJing...shorter play time allows wider grooves). CDs and other digital formats can deliver much more low end...all the way down below human hearing...then vinyl can and with less noise (important at high volume playback like in a club).

The improved sound that is thought to be possible with vinyl requires much better turntables, cartridges and playback systems than any DJ setup would ever use. Audiophiles think the Technics 1200 sounds like shit.

For DJing, vinyl is all about the mystique and the physical manipulation. Sound does not enter into it.

BS....LOL.....vinyl over digital all day for me. I challenege a fresh cut dubplate against a fresh burned CD in the club. Standard technics and shure cartridges....gonna leave a burned CD in the dark....in a club, where most of this music is designed to be played.

And as a vinyl DJ.....sound does enter into for me...I choose vinyl. Would love to see some info on this though.

i was gonna post what the other guy posted, but he did it for me. but yea, bass gets cut alot harder with vinyl than CDs so youre compltely wrong about records having more bass. and for me, my 45s sound so shitty compared to MP3s that i just use serato to spin those.


back to the OP i think you can DJ with a computer and controller, but IMO its really really lame. i started as ableton DJ but now i use 2 techs and serato, and it does everything i want to do,much better than ableton can do. i play out 3-4 times a week and if i had a lame ass ableton DJ setup, i know i wouldnt get certain gigs, you do have to look cool doing what you do, theres a whole lot of people doing more or less the same thing, so its minor things that get you gigs.

Tone Deft
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Re: Would I need a turntable for anything other than scratching?

Post by Tone Deft » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:57 pm

LOL @ anyone saying vinyl sounds better than CD.

they both sound amazing.

I'd add that vinyl has more baggage to it like a good pre-amp, the RIAA curve, number of plays, pops and snats from dust etc. all that aside, both formats can sound amazing.

turntables can be fun because vinyl can be got for cheap and dropping samples from weird records is fun. don't have to scratch, just treat it like a sampler of sorts. oh, then there's Ms Pinky fun, turn your Live set into vinyl samples.

BUT they take up desk space, mixer plus table(s).
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