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

as long as you're here, why not read more?

dj kali & mr. dna @ casa del popolo post-punk night

last night was a blast! a big thank you to dj tyg for letting us guest star on her monthly night, because we had a great time. my set was a little more reminiscent of the sets that i used to do at katacombes [i.e., less prone to strange meanderings than what you normally hear at the caustic lounge]. i actually invited someone to the night with the promise "don't worry, it'll be normal". which also gives you an idea of what to expect at the caustic lounge. behold my marketing genius.

mr. dna started off putting the "punk" into the night [which i think technically means i was responsible for the post, which doesn't sound quite so exciting]. i'd say that he definitely had the edge in the bouncy energy department.

many thanks to those who stopped in throughout the night to share in the tunes, the booze and the remarkably tasty nachos and a special thank you to the ska boss who stuck it out until the end of the night and gave our weary bones a ride home…

making faces :: je vois la vie en rose

you may have heard that some enterprising but probably not too bright folk started a fundraising campaign to push kylie jenner over the one billion dollar net worth threshold after forbes magazine touted her as the woman poised to become america's youngest ever self-made billionaire. the idea that there are people out there who can think of nothing better to do with their money than hand it over to someone who already has way more money than she could ever need is pretty gross if you think about it, which you probably shouldn't. and that's before you even take into account that jenner isn't self-made by any honest definition of the term: she comes from a family who already had billions, who then made millions if not billions more because of a television show that followed them around doing their billionaire things. she always had lots of money to spend on building a cosmetic line, and her presence on reality television gives her a massive built-in marketing platform. t…

friday favourites 20.07.12

i was almost going to skip it this week. not out of any disinterest, but i always feel weird posting something flip and cheeky on days when the news is choked with stories of some location filled with people going about their lives suddenly getting shot up by a lone maniac with some sort of personal gripe or agenda.

awful things happen every single day. people who lead otherwise normal lives are suddenly transformed through violence every single day. by the harsh standards of the world, what happened last night in aurora, colorado isn't even close to the worst. i'm sure families in syria would consider a day where ten people died to be better than average. but there is something about these completely random mass shootings in otherwise fairly peaceful places that haunts us all here in the western world. it happened today with aurora. it happened a year ago sunday in norway. it happened in another colorado town, now synonymous with the terror of such a massacre in 1999.

what h…