My thoughts on that SYNC button

Being a veteran and learning it the hard way, I experienced the evolution from analog to digital. From using 2 cassette decks to having Electown turntables, without any books to follow or a computer to google and youtube with. Just my older brother and a few friends to guide me with the basics. Struggled to save up and now blessed to have club standard gears.

Deejaying became complicated, and so came the rise of different knobs, buttons, pads etc in our gears. Who said complicating things won’t lead you to a better way? At the same time that everything is evolving, why not include our deejaying style in that evolution? If you’re narrow-minded and will just talk about deejaying in the past, then you’re just telling us how old you are now.

Why was the sync button invented? Pretty simple, 2 reasons, for non-DJ’s use and for DJ’s use. Non-DJ’s meaning they want something iTunes can’t do and they want to be the life of a, uhhm, for a example, children’s party.

For the DJ’s, its a very wide and serious topic.

DJ’s depending on that dreaded sync button all the time but just mixing 2 tracks are not respecting the art of deejaying. They don’t deserve my respect and yours either. That’s basically it and not coz I can do it the hard way or I have this and that and been thru this and that. They have all the time to practice. They should not rush it, they should do it when they think they are ready and if you know one, be of help.

Why do real DJ’s need that button then?

CREATIVITY.

You can dare try to mix 8 different tracks in 8 turntables/CDJ’s. But what are you trying to prove? You’re a superhero DJ? Ok then, do that every gig.

I use Rane Serato Scratch Live and it doesn’t have that button. So am I safe enough from doubts? Or am I missing something?

Scratch Live has this plugin that I use sometimes called The Bridge which is a collaboration between Serato and Ableton Live. Ableton Live syncs multi-tracks for you. Oh shit, I’m using auto-sync then! Thats PRACTICALITY after creativity.

There’s this one thing I always talk about when topics like these come up between co-DJs (most of the time under the influence of alcohol).

There is DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY in deejaying. Its not JUST about beatmatching nowadays.

If you have been deejaying for at least a decade now, props to you! You’re lucky to feel and see music and you once thought CD’s are already digital. If you think you’re still doing the same thing from back then but now with a different format or equipment, that’s also good! No more backaches from lugging your vinyl and CD crates to your gigs.

But a lot of DJ’s including me, embraced deejaying in other different ways coz of 1 reason.

WE GOT BORED.

Its not just about being different. I just got bored and that lead to creativity after continuous research. High five if you know what I mean. Vinyl to CD’s, digital vinyl system and controllers, to live remixing and production. Yeah video mixing too. Whichever path you took, high five to us again. I still play vinyl once in a while though. And carry CD’s in case my laptop crashes.

It can be adding flavor to your already built up standards, like turntablism, controllerism, and other isms you can think of. Even exploring other music or just manipulating what you already have. Having the same music library as other DJ’s should be a challenge for you also to do something different to become different from them as well. Maybe play something first so you’ll be ahead of everyone else? That’s just one but you know what i mean.

Whatever format you choose, or however you mix your music, at the end of the day, its all about having a great time. A guilt-free great time.

To the veterans out there, if newbies are around you, please lead them to the right path. Who knows, you will learn something from them also. The other side of cool of deejaying maybe? And please take note, having years of experience doesn’t make us better than these kids. They are just starting. If you claim to be deejaying for a decade, try to imagine how they are a decade from now. Or maybe even just half of that.

On the last note, I prefer watching a teenager rock an Ableton Live set, a 4 deck set or a traditional 2 deck set but with turntablism elements rather than an analog purist DJ, whose only concern is about not having trainwrecks in his mixes. I respect purists and vinyl collectors, i’m just being honest here and it’s great to see exciting acts.

If you see SYNC in your controller or in your DJ software screen, think twice before using it. You already know when you need it.

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