Skip to main content

the cheating curve

this post is about dj's.

it has nothing to do with david petraeus or his mistress[es] or any of the other people who are involved in that sordid story because, despite the fact that i love seeing a bunch of republicans make asses of themselves in public, i stand by my original tweet on the matter: unless it's in my ear, i really don't care where the general puts his wiener.

i was mulling this over on the way into work this morning because i had some time, haven't chosen a new book having just loped through stig larsen's "millennium" trilogy [about a hundred years after everyone else in the world, i realise] and because i started playing around with an app on my phone that allows you to play dj with the music you have on hand. it's even set up to look like a little dj station, where you plop your chosen mp3s onto turntables and can spin them together just like they were real [although very, very small]. it's a fun way to pass the time and also, possibly, to come up with ideas for future sets for the caustic lounge or elsewhere.

when i first put this app on my phone, after having it recommended by a phone, i showed it to dom, who reacted as if i'd told him i'd made a phone from the skin of an unattended child at the mall. [read :: badly] because to him, i was coming close to crossing a boundary, as evinced by his first words:

"you're not going to actually dj with that, are you?"

well, no. apart from any other concerns, i don't generally dj in places that would allow me to work from a phone, so it's a non-issue. plus, of course, there's the fact that i haven't figured out a method that allows you to divide the sound outputs between what's playing and what's on cue, so everyone would be listening to me cuing up records all night. [owing to a caprice of the mixing board at cagibi, this occasionally happens anyway, but not very often and no one enjoys it.]

but given the chance, would i?

probably not. because, as it turns out, a bad mix on an app sounds just as much like a dog dragging its ass across your record as a bad mix with vinyl and turntables and i've never been all that good at beat mixing. the app does allow you to play with effects, like a really tricked out dj, which makes things easier, but it still requires some skill.

done properly, it does sound pretty seamless and i have to admit, i would be tempted.

dom is probably purging that app from my phone as i write this.

because both of us have been critical of "laptop" dj's who ensure a smooth flow by allowing a computer program to align beats and merge harmonies. after all, it's not really dj'ing if you're not doing the work- the thinking through and then executing the mix by hand- if the machine is doing all the heavy lifting, right?

while you still have to be good at creating a dynamic flow of music, having a computer to do the mixing for you certainly takes the skill out of the equation. but i don't actually have that skill. i've made decidedly half-assed efforts at acquiring it, but other than the most rudimentary and simple beat mixes, i'm not any good at it. and the fact is that with the dj work i do, i don't really have to be. i'm not spinning the latest electro-blorp to parties of thousands, i'm playing quirky tunes in cafes and local bars. as long as there's not a half-minute silence between each track, people don't notice.

and the fact is that even if i was able to mix extremely well, the venues where i dj don't have the equipment that would allow me to do so, nor is most of what i play available currently on vinyl. so even if i possessed the skill, i'd have to rely on something like a laptop or application to do some of the work just to make up for the fact that most places willing to allow me near their booths aren't able to afford a world-class dj set up any more than i'm able to afford being a world-class dj. given those facts, is it really so bad to use a readily accessible technology to fill in the gap?

 i actually don't know any more. but i'll continue practicing my finger mixing on the bus until i find a new book to occupy my attention.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

so hip it hurts

there aren't too many artists who stand out as being iconically canadian. it's too easy to mistake us for some other people, mostly americans, who are, let's be honest, pretty similar in a lot of ways. [this is the bit where i apologise for avril lavigne, justin bieber and drake.] the guess who/ bachman turner overdrive held sway over an earlier generation, and musicians and those who appreciate technical proficiency will speak of rush like they are gods, but last night the country said goodbye to perhaps the most canadian of canadian bands, the tragically hip.

for those of you not familiar with that name, the hip emerged in the mid-to-late eighties, among a slew of canadian bands [54-40, the northern pikes, the pursuit of happiness, the grapes of wrath] that balanced on the line between mainstream and alternative rock. all of them played accessible guitar-based music with none of the bombast of seventies dinosaurs, but equally with no hint of the drug-fueled anger that w…

shut up

general reaction seems to be that last night's vice presidential debate was close to a draw, with a slight edge going to mike pence [other than among cnn's panel of independent voters, who overwhelmingly chose tim kaine as the winner]. i feel that's an accurate assessment, although it's largely a question of personal preference. pence absolutely projected the stoic, unflappable, unwavering image that many americans [not just republicans, either] seem to like and equate with strength. for my part, i prefer someone who's a little more mercurial, someone who's able to gets excited about ideas and who's able to expand on them, not just repeat talking points.

so, from my point of view, both vice presidential candidates were pretty disappointing. i found that kaine had a fantastic command of facts and history- he knew pence's voting record better than pence knew his and possibly better than pence knew his own. his opening answers were so smoothly delivered i…

mental health mondays :: parabnormal?

for north america and parts of europe, halloween marked the apex of spooky events, where the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its most diaphanous. but if you're a very traditional roman catholic, you'll know that the 31 of october is merely the beginning, and that the entire month that follows is dedicated to remembering and praying for the dead, specifically for those whose souls are trapped in purgatory. if you listen to dante, purgatory isn't especially pleasant. sure, there's the possibility that you'll end up working off your debt to celestial society, but until then, you get to endure things like having your goddamned eyes sewn shut with iron wire. [much like condo developments, it gets better the higher the floor you live on.]

however, the more common view of purgatory among catholics is that the souls relegated there can't do anything to help themselves, and are reliant on the prayers of their living relatives and loved ones to …