In today's LA Weekly online I catch up with the one and only Danny Tenaglia, who's scheduled to perform one of his trademark marathon DJ sets Saturday at Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles. It's a Q&A in which I ask, among other things, is push-button DJ software "a good thing ...?"
It is a great thing that this technology exists, but the most important thing is how people use it. Many artists have used the technology to do some amazing things. But if it is being used to just mix without the use of the effects, loops and other capabilities it is not as exciting. It can make mixes sound too sterile at times, as if the human element is gone. If the DJ spends more time looking at a computer screen than facing the crowd it can also be easy to lose the connection with that crowd. I have looked into using Traktor but have yet to make the jump. When I perform I usually use a couple of effects units - and I manipulate various accapelas and sound effects throughout the set. Oftentimes I will make my own edits of tracks in the studio prior to the gigs as well. To be honest I actually enjoy the physical aspect of using CDs. However, I also see the benefit of being able to have most of your music at your fingertips on a hard drive. Traveling without so many CD books would be nice too.