There are many arguments in the DJ world of what constitutes a REAL DJ or a professional DJ. At the end of the day, music is music as it is sold and bought in many different forms. These arguments in the DJ community are format wars but if you are getting into DJing then there are some differences one should understand with the three different formats – Vinyl, CD and Mp3s.
Firstly, a long time professional DJ who has been playing with vinyl will tell you that mixing on vinyl is hearing, looking and using your hands as mixing with records (not timecode records) requires a lot of skill (all of our Party Night London DJs have been original vinyl DJs before timecode). Our London DJs and other vinyl DJs will tell you that back in the day of how they used to shop daily from one record store to another getting recommendations of other DJs and people who worked in the stores, how they’d flick and admire the artwork on the vinyl sleeves and how they’d spend hours listening to tracks in shops as they could be heard in the shop. But the main thing is… vinyl produces analogue sound and on a full sound system you can definitely notice the huge difference in sound quality, the whole clarity of the song is heard, full treble, mids and bass as the frequencies on the original pressing have been untouched – this is something mp3’s will never be able to perform as most of the times frequencies are cropped. However, eventually vinyl gets worn with the amount of plays are limited (and amount of touching on the grooves and scratching also contribules to this) mp3’s can go on forever – unless if it is deleted or lost.
As downloading is the most modern way and most popular choice of today the reason is mainly because of cost (you can sometime buy upto 1000’s of songs on music subscriptions for the price of one record). They do not take up physical space like vinyl. Our DJs for hire all use their laptop on set as they have to bring decks speakers and lights upon their Serato imagine all of them would need a van every job if they were still DJing on original vinyl pressings.
Vinyls can fail on set and they can skip just like a computer crashing but the amount of time it takes for a computer to restart and to swap a dodgy record is 1/8th of the time. Mp3’s have no actual physical tangibility unlike a great record with the great artwork sleeve. You can sort your mp3 sets within a matter of minutes unlike going through a hoard of vinyls which could take hours. Lose a record and you’ll have to buy another one (if it is rare you may not find it for a long time) lose an mp3 most chances if you back up it’s not lost or if you lose one we’re most certain there will be somewhere you can download that song again.
Our Party Night professional DJs always will say there is no substitute for vinyl. Djing today, they still miss playing on original vinyl in clubs and the sound and the hands on experience – vinyl wins. However, nowadays, most london bars and nightclubs do not have turntables so they would not be able to DJ and play a vinyl set. But, also the today’s climate – so many open format DJs with so many different genres requested on each night, it is vital to have your whole selection on a DJ set in London. This would never happen before with vinyl i.e being able to with your whole selection at your fingertips as most of it would be at home so… mp3’s win.
If you ask us – it’s a tie with the mp3’s whole selection with you at all times (on every set) and vinyl with the truely fantastic untouchable sound. But… searching and hours in the shop shows the love and dedication which genuinely makes a true professional DJ which you just DON’T GET downloading mp3’s from a pool or itunes. So we’ll side with the vinyl!