• Greg Carlson

    To sync or not to sync; It doesn’t make a bit of difference if your music sucks and you have no personal style and bad taste in music.

  • VLF

    It is the same argument people had when film appeared, then film with sound, then photography, then digital photography…

    Each of those discoveries was the “END OF THE WORLD”, cheating, killing this or that…

    I assume that people who poo-poo synch use electricity, mobile phones, plastics, digital cameras. What’s the point of being a selective luddite?

    “When I was your age, we DJed by rubbing two sticks together” – please…
    “This electronic music – PHEW! Anyone can do this!” – please…

    The argument can go for ever, but really, live and let live.

    Do remember that DJs were (and still are by some) to be musical parasites, who do not create anything, “just” play music composed by the creative ones.

  • Randy Reyes Nava

    I learned both beatmatching and using sync and let me tell you this feature has open alot of doors for me to becoming more creative with my sets,and being part of the movment were all in this together no matter old school or new school its just the way of technology advancment.

  • DJ Jon Paul

    From 4 SL 120′s and a Bozak rotary pot mixer is the school I came from. But now the itch strikes me again as I digitize 3000 12 inch single and test the waters of my old school skills. Forgive me Larry and Francis, but I fimd beat match sometimes useful whilst I pay attention to creative things of Measure and key and lyric whilst I allow the software to take care of the tempo for me. A tool can be used poorly and though not essential it does allow me to be creative in ways this 60 year old former NYC and San Fran spinner could not conceive of in the days of the “Disco”

  • Jimbo

    I don’t beat grid or use cue points, I DJ with a Laptop and Traktor Pro 2 with my X1. I play live and I use sync (although I learnt on 1210′s years ago) I believe it is all down to tune selection IE right song at the right time.

  • DURRP

    At your typical bar or house party the crowd doesn’t give a shit whether or not you can beatmatch, or if you’re just using the sync button. All that really matters is the music. If you can beatmatch then I applaud you for taking the time to learn, and if you sync your tracks then you better not just stand up there doing nothing. It’s nice to see some effects and creativity that stands out in the mix. In the end however, it all comes down to a solid choice of tracks… I would also hope that at the very least you can keep your transitions nice and smooth..

  • http://www.facebook.com/lars.lcr Lars Lcr

    its very easy…there are and always have been good and bad DJs. The only problem is, that al things have to become very easy… ist not a problem of using sync… today you can buy a controller for 200€ or less money. The Tracks are about 1,87€ or free (soundcloud  has so much fantastic music). So every one can try becomming a DJ. When I started DJing 16 years ago everything was much more expensive… You only started DJing, when you really wanted it. You had to buy turntables and mixer, you had to pay the expensive vinyls. Djing with vinyls is the best way to teach your ears and coordination between mixer and the control of the tune. Every DJ should be able to play on vinyls. But it is also no problem if a DJ starts using MIDI-Control, Traktor and Sync. It offers you so many more possibilitys, making tracks everybody knows to your own by using the new digital possibilitys.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lars.lcr Lars Lcr

    its very easy…there are and always have been good and bad DJs. The only problem is, that al things have to become very easy… ist not a problem of using sync… today you can buy a controller for 200€ or less money. The Tracks are about 1,87€ or free (soundcloud  has so much fantastic music). So every one can try becomming a DJ. When I started DJing 16 years ago everything was much more expensive… You only started DJing, when you really wanted it. You had to buy turntables and mixer, you had to pay the expensive vinyls. Djing with vinyls is the best way to teach your ears and coordination between mixer and the control of the tune. Every DJ should be able to play on vinyls. But it is also no problem if a DJ starts using MIDI-Control, Traktor and Sync. It offers you so many more possibilitys, making tracks everybody knows to your own by using the new digital possibilitys.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lars.lcr Lars Lcr

    its very easy…there are and always have been good and bad DJs. The only problem is, that al things have to become very easy… ist not a problem of using sync… today you can buy a controller for 200€ or less money. The Tracks are about 1,87€ or free (soundcloud  has so much fantastic music). So every one can try becomming a DJ. When I started DJing 16 years ago everything was much more expensive… You only started DJing, when you really wanted it. You had to buy turntables and mixer, you had to pay the expensive vinyls. Djing with vinyls is the best way to teach your ears and coordination between mixer and the control of the tune. Every DJ should be able to play on vinyls. But it is also no problem if a DJ starts using MIDI-Control, Traktor and Sync. It offers you so many more possibilitys, making tracks everybody knows to your own by using the new digital possibilitys.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lars.lcr Lars Lcr

    its very easy…there are and always have been good and bad DJs. The only problem is, that al things have to become very easy… ist not a problem of using sync… today you can buy a controller for 200€ or less money. The Tracks are about 1,87€ or free (soundcloud  has so much fantastic music). So every one can try becomming a DJ. When I started DJing 16 years ago everything was much more expensive… You only started DJing, when you really wanted it. You had to buy turntables and mixer, you had to pay the expensive vinyls. Djing with vinyls is the best way to teach your ears and coordination between mixer and the control of the tune. Every DJ should be able to play on vinyls. But it is also no problem if a DJ starts using MIDI-Control, Traktor and Sync. It offers you so many more possibilitys, making tracks everybody knows to your own by using the new digital possibilitys.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Armando-Magana/1265676634 Armando Magana

    I myself use traktor and started DJ-ing with virtual DJ. I can honestly say that if it wasnt for these programs i would of never fallen in love with the feeling you get when you mix live, on the spot, knowing that for once, its not the radio but you, feeling the drops and adding acapellas to different beats. If it weren’t for laptop DJing, i dont think i would of ever even picked it up because all of the good turntables are like 600 each, when you can find a controller for half that. 

    Of course, since my older bro is what you call an “old school” DJ, i had him show me a thing or two (or more like forced it on me). he would put on two random tracks, and force me to beatmatch without looking. you’d be amazed at how much of a difference there is between seeing the track and actually FEELING it. You begin to realize that traktor itself makes MANY mistakes when you press the sync button and sometimes it doesnt even find the correct beat.

    As a dancer, i feel like a have a good taste in music. And for all the “old school” DJ’s, dont hate us man… We’re just working with what we were given, and you guys would do the same if put in our situation. Dont get me wrong, sometimes you guys throw down the SICKEST mixes (DJ Shadow is an excellent example) but ive seen a few of you live at wedding where im just thinking “What the hell is he doing? where’s his style, his finess?”. Some I’ve seen just beat match, adjust eq, beat match, adjust eq, backspin, switch to diffrent tempo, and im just thinking, wheres the overlapping? cause you guys can atleast do that. But to those who actually put in work, and actually practice their turntable-ism, i have respect cause that something only years of experience can teach.

    And i know im just ranting now, but i get where the old schoolers are coming from. i went to a party last weekend and this dude on his laptop didnt even know how to count beats. he would just chop that s#!+ up reloop, effect, and switch song so horribly i felt like kicking him off and showing him how to put some motha effin STYLE, cause thats the least we can do since we got it so easy. Proper counting and beat dropping. Gotta learn to walk before you can run, let alone sprint and fall on your face and embarrass yourself infront of a big ass crown…

    In Conclusion, dont think that just cause we got alittle sync button, it means that any of us can DJ, it just puts alot of posers out there (but makes it easier for me to embarrass them when i get up on stage… haha)

  • Fishbottom

    I like to write electronic music but everyone tells me I need to DJ if I want to go anywhere. So I’m learning on tracktor and using the phase and the sync and I hope all the red necks that don’ like it hate me. 

  • Fishbottom

    I like to write electronic music but everyone tells me I need to DJ if I want to go anywhere. So I’m learning on tracktor and using the phase and the sync and I hope all the red necks that don’ like it hate me. 

  • Fishbottom

    I like to write electronic music but everyone tells me I need to DJ if I want to go anywhere. So I’m learning on tracktor and using the phase and the sync and I hope all the red necks that don’ like it hate me. 

  • Sambo

    Do a rewind? What is this, DJ Hero?

    I for one believe sync is good. If you use your tools to their full capabilities, you’ll realise sync is just a tiny foundation of how you can influence the sounds. There’s also some vinyl features that not any digital medium can reproduce, but back then it wasn’t about cue point juggling and too many FX because they weren’t built into the set ups.

    The reason no one does a REEEEWIND is because they already set up a simple loop or cue point, and the sound of rewinding is seen by many people as corny. (though admittedly, reversing a loop, EQ the hell out of it then putting a thumping percussion track behind it is always a strange bridge).

    So yeah, if you have sync, use it, but don’t focus on it, because that program will have hundreds of cooler features.

  • nk

    and yeah. I didn’t mean to post that anonymously.

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment="5382"]I think the real point is that the crowd only cares about what they’re hearing. So long as the tracks are in time and phase the crowd doesn’t care if you did it or a machine did it. [/quote]

    Sorry, but I really need to disagree here. Call me an old timer or whatever, but every time I’ve seen someone playing a gig on a laptop or a usb controller, they really don’t seem to register the fact there’s a friggin crowd there at all? Other than the fact they’re the DJ and the crowd is dancing, that’s all they seem to care about.

    Not one laptop DJ I have ever seen do a rewind, but of course, I haven’t seen them all. But seriously, unless you are an ENTERTAINER, don’t think that the crowd really loves you as much as the real performers out there. Sure your mixes may be spot on and you might be dropping four tracks at a time with a mad smart mixing effect and it sounds wicked dope and all…

    but it just doesn’t have the same pull as just a great, simple, REEEEEWINDDDDDDDDDDD!

  • http://myspace.com/DeeEssMusic Dee Ess

    I’ve just started learning djing myself and am teaching myself how to beatmatch and seeing how i far out i really am usin the sync feature within a few weeks i have it down to the smallest increment need to be moved when synced!

    Learning to beatmatch and not just hitting the sync button has already come in handy for example matching hip hop acapellas, that the computer can’t read BPM, to a hip hop beat!

    As a last panic resort at a club i would use it if I hadn’t had time and had no choice but to sync and throw in next mix, other than that I enjoy acheiving something and not letting the computer play for me!

  • Matt Charlesworth

    I agree – why synch if you can beat match? it’s not that difficult, yet all you digital guys keep insisting that you can do, you just don’t see the point! pure b/s “it allows me to be more creative & use loops efx etc” whatever it’s taken ten years to learn how to dj properley and yeah i’m not adverse to technolgy i beat mix using CDJs, and probably will get tracktor due to the fact that it would let me play anywhere i can take my laptop. But as i said before if you just learn and play out in 5 mins flat and let tracktor do all the work how can you claim to know anything about music? All we’ll end up with is everyone playing the same shit in every club use your minds people – it’s just wrong. Sure most people in the crowd won’t even know, but for me what made me wanna dj in the first was the talent of dj’s and their control of their music and thus the crowd, so typical of the blandness of the world today when people think it’s their fucking god given right to be able to do whatever they choose imiedatly without any hard work.

    • Erkron

       retarded comment, I guess you’ve never been that creative, or have even tried the possibilities, as a dj that used cdjs before, I think its fun to beatmatch and requires more skill but at the same time the overall effect is just more boring when you have to be adjusting…. there are sometimes you beatmatched so good, or the songs work so nice AND you had time you can make some crazy stuff you would with controllers…. but still more and more things can be done with controllers and customized in ways only limited by your imagination, in fact some cdjs used as controllers are awesome!

      just do what you like and stop hating on the digital and technological evolution…I guess you would rather use a corded phone with a dial ring gives you that analogue feeling ;)

    • bLadm

      “how can you claim to know anything about music?” 

      wow. im not even gonna comment on how stupid what you just said sounds.. wait… 

    • Adam Olivier

      “how can you claim to know anything about music?” and “it allows me to be more creative & use loops efx etc” …whatever” 
      so it doesn’t let you be more creative?… man im not even gonna comment on how stupid you sound… wait..

  • bert

    sync is cheaaatinngggg

  • Troy

    What is the sync function other than a time keeper? Is a guitarist cheating if they listen to the drummer to keep time? What about the first chair violinist if they look at the conductor. I love the fact that I can now spend more time working on harmonics, layering, effects, juggling, video, lighting effects etc that can all be tied to the midi clock and elevate my sets from “cool” to “HOLY SHIT”, and if that is cheating, well don’t tell my wife…

    • http://www.IDJNY.com Deejdave

      Those are examples of beat matching not letting a porgram sync it for you TART

      • VLF

        You’d be more convincing if you sent this reply scribbled on a parchments via a homing pigeon.
        :)

  • Anonymous

    I learned to beatmatch years ago on a solid pair of 1200s.. having just recently bought a copy of TSD, I love how easy the sync button has made things for me. I can spend less time worrying about keeping my tunes lined up, and more time on making things more interesting. I think that maybe a lot of the old school DJs feel that their territory is being invaded by people who haven’t taken the time to learn how to beatmatch and therefore don’t ‘deserve’ to be there. If you’re worried about some auto-matching dj stealing all your gigs, step up your game and get more creative with your performances.

    • Johnnybrownbills

      bahahahhahahahaa shut the fuck up people were doing way more than you on two decks before you were even thought of as a dj, its you sync buttoner who needs to step up their game 

      • Transcendenc3

        Your profanity lack of proper grammer and points show you are extremely unintelligent. You make assumntions and make an ass out of yourself. The more you continue to fight inovation the more it makes it easier to be better then you. “It is not the strongest or most intelligent species that survives, but the most adaptable to change” Darwin

        • transcendtard

          yet you try to sound intelligent and fail at it, probably one of them 12 year old sync boys aren’t you :)
          Quoting Darwin ? lmfao gtfo idiot

        • VLF

          Profanity is not right, but it’s spelled “grammAr”.

    • Kyle prickett

      I feel using the sync isn’t cheating, as you said you can make your mix sound more interesting with help from the sync, I also learnt to sync when I first started but once I was able to beat match by ear I started using sync.

  • Charlie

    Well that was just my thoughts. I don’t quite see how your disagreeing as you said to ban syncing for begginers and that’s what i’ve done. That’s what i want quite badly.

  • http://www.myspace.com/belchofficial Belch

    [quote post="459"]Spot on with this one mate.[/quote]

    I don’t want to rock the boat here too much.. but I’d have to disagree with this. I mean, I learnt on Vinyl and then on an iDJ2, then CDJs and now onto Traktor (with CDJs) and I’d have to disagree that beatmatching is what sets a DJ apart from a jukebox. If the SYNC function is available now, then your ‘software of the future’ will no doubt be able to beatmatch songs aswell.. What you now have to do is set yourself apart from other DJs by intelligently mixing your songs. For me, beatmatching is like mastering the clutch when learning to drive – it’s where you go from there that makes you a good driver – for example, you can’t do a 3-point turn without a good grasp of the basics – and even then, maneuvers are only the basics. For me (and again, each to their own) the SYNC function allows more time to be spent making the mix different and memorable.

    But i think the SYNC function should be banned for beginners! And for me, that’s digital!

    • erkron

      well said, its like an automatic car XD, maybe you can’t control all aspects of the motor, but you have more time to multitask (which you shouldn’t in a car but whatever) :P

    • Anonymous

      Couldn’t agree more with this comment. Especially the banning of the auto sync for beginners. This is how any and all dj’s should learn to beatmatch by ear not by waveform, not auto sync only by ear. This is a way to keep the tradition alive and well and is only going to help you new Dj’s out in the long run. They should put a feature on all DVS systems and all dj software that before you can auto sync you have to be able to mix a set of 5-6 tracks by ear to unlock the feature. Then you earn the respect of all the dj’s that came before you and show them respect for making the art what it is today. It’s easy to learn hard to master. I am not going to call those who don’t learn cheaters in the sense that I personally feel cheated because I don’t. I know I can do it. They’re honestly cheating themselves because I will never forget the first time I finally figured out how to separate the tracks in my ear and how I felt when I successfully made my first mix and how awesome I felt and how amazing and excited I was about music. I immediately fell in love with the art of mixing and blending music and everyday No matter what I was doing I was thinking about getting home to try some more practice some more get better. And for those new Dj’s who have the auto sync option handed to them They have no idea what that feels like. Not to mention what if you have to mix by ear? You’re screwed you’re going to get booed off the stage and maybe ruin potential gigs of your career.

      • VLF

        “Especially the banning of the auto sync for beginners. This is how any and all dj’s should learn to beatmatch by ear not by waveform, not auto sync only by ear.”

        Would you then postulate that anyone who wants to buy a digital camera must take live drawing classes?

        With all digitally-enhanced arts it’s the survival of the talented.
        The digital photography still requires skill and the “eye” to create photographs as opposed to instagram “coolness”.

        Digital DJing goes the same way, good ones survive, the rest plays in their bedrooms. Nothing wrong with that.

  • Charlie

    [quote comment=""]I use traktor pro and a vci 100, but i have erased the sync functions. I have only just started DJing really and i wanted to learn how to DJ properly and manually. I understand the benefits of bypassing this but i love the feeling that you’ve personally got those songs running together just perfect. I also have disabled looking at the phase meter so i have to do it all manually. I will eventually move onto CDJ’s and mixer, i know through some eyes this is a step back and through others eyes a step forward. For me the practicality, functionality and price tag of what i’m using is perfect to learn on and more. Learning the ‘hard’ way is making me improve faster, understand my own music taste more, and giving me a massive sense of satisfaction. I wouldn’t slate anybody using the sync function and bypassing beatmatching, but i personally don’t want too. What i really dislike though is how when people on other forums i use know i use digital they assume i use all these bypassing techniques. My vci 100 provides a realistic DJ set up and i love it.

    The options there, people are going to use it and some arn’t, i think putting it forward as an arguement isn’t going to prove much just let people get thier personal opinions and personal usese of thier chests, which is always good!

    each to his own.

    And for me that’s digital, no sync![/quote]
    [quote comment="5483"]The thing with auto sync is the fact that beat matching is one of the things that separates DJ’s from the rest. It’s a skill acquired through practise. You then nail that and then start working on the technique.

    When you start to take away the skill then you are nothing more that a juke box. What happens when clubs start to use software instead of a DJ? You ever think of that?

    It’s all fine using something to get the flow better and adding equiptment. I too am interested in the MP3 scene but you know what…. when it comes to a club that will only have turn tables or CD decks I’ll still be able to put on a good show where as the people that rely on Sync will be lost.

    I have a skill. I am proud of it. You should be too if you have a skill and put time and effort into it.

    People are just too lazy and want the end result at the start of something. A rushed job is never complete.[/quote]

    Spot on with this one mate.

  • Charlie

    I use traktor pro and a vci 100, but i have erased the sync functions. I have only just started DJing really and i wanted to learn how to DJ properly and manually. I understand the benefits of bypassing this but i love the feeling that you’ve personally got those songs running together just perfect. I also have disabled looking at the phase meter so i have to do it all manually. I will eventually move onto CDJ’s and mixer, i know through some eyes this is a step back and through others eyes a step forward. For me the practicality, functionality and price tag of what i’m using is perfect to learn on and more. Learning the ‘hard’ way is making me improve faster, understand my own music taste more, and giving me a massive sense of satisfaction. I wouldn’t slate anybody using the sync function and bypassing beatmatching, but i personally don’t want too. What i really dislike though is how when people on other forums i use know i use digital they assume i use all these bypassing techniques. My vci 100 provides a realistic DJ set up and i love it.

    The options there, people are going to use it and some arn’t, i think putting it forward as an arguement isn’t going to prove much just let people get thier personal opinions and personal usese of thier chests, which is always good!

    each to his own.

    And for me that’s digital, no sync!

  • Belch

    [quote comment=""]im just curious how many of you arbitrarily pick a bpm and then match all your songs to it? i do this in traktor and keep the key the same. then again im just starting out and may be making a newb/cheat move. iuno but it works for me[/quote]

    I DJ in Traktor with 3 or sometimes 4 decks, and it’s so much easier to have four SYNC buttons, than have 4 pitch faders. I still sit on the train to and from gigs with my laptop fine tuning the beatgrids of every new song i get to make sure that the software hasn’t screwed me over, as it has done once or rwice in the past though. I think digital DJing is heavier on the preparation to allow you to try new things on the fly – mainly beatgridding and cue points – but t the end of the day, the fact that you can beatmatch at the press of a button simply allows you to put your ten fingers to better use! SYNCing is totally justified in my opinion as long as you use that saved time to do something more useful! at the end of the day, beatmatching alone’s not gonna get anyone any fanny…

  • djin50mnia

    im just curious how many of you arbitrarily pick a bpm and then match all your songs to it? i do this in traktor and keep the key the same. then again im just starting out and may be making a newb/cheat move. iuno but it works for me

  • http://www.totalgamingradio.com Ion

    what does Ean mean by “phase SYNC”?
    is that sort of like counting the bars or knowing when parts of the track are going to come in?

    *confused* :S

  • Benito Mussolini&#03

    Well, a good reason to learn to beatmatch is that it gives you a better ear for the tunes, but also, when traktor crashes hideously (which happens a lot more with pro than 3), you have a plan "B". You can always slam CDs and carry on with CDJs if the computer dies totally, too.

    It's all about giving yourself more options- more creative possibilities, more safety nets.

  • xvolver

    I think "virtual revolution" began with mixing software, designed to emulate the hardware, not to replace the dj. Technics and Pioneer deserves their place in history better than Ableton or Serato.

  • xvolver

    I think "virtual revolution" began with mixing software, designed to emulate the hardware, not to replace the dj. Technics and Pioneer deserves their place in history better than Ableton or Serato.

  • Sheeno

    Ive never tried any software with synching, however, I think any tool which allows you to be more creative with your mixes is a good thing and needs to be embraced.

    I remember when the cdj1000 first came out, some people were quick to accuse the new "CD jock" of cheating as you now had the ability to roughly match the bpms using the cdj display even before you even cued up the track.

    I can understand why some DJs feel threatened by the new technology though. Aspiring DJs used to have to spend weeks, months or even years perfecting the art of beatmatching and now, with the press of a button, any punk with a laptop can do it!

    I still feel that this argument is missing the point though. In my mind the primary role of the DJ is to read and enhance the mood of a crowd. How he does that is irrelevant.

  • a sick cunt

    if you were a respected dj who used traktor, used sync, couldn't beatmatch and then was asked to beatmatch with vinyl and couldn't, would you be a sad panda?

    sync's useful and makes you more flexible, opening up alot of potential – especially with traktor and such.. but are you a t-t-t-true dj? where's the soul at?

  • http://tosmts.spaces.live.com DJ ToS

    You are wagging the dog now…stop this nosense and go mind you own bussiness(or practice beatmatching). All that was to say, was said. Now, I wonder if there is a lock feature for comments as there is for forum threads. Might be usefull here.

    Ow and: “All hail machines. We are all Halcon. All will be one.”

  • DJ Knight

    I learnt how to DJ on Traktor, just as I learnt how to produce and record songs in Logic Pro and Pro-Tools. I have a massive amount of respect for old-school style DJs and Mix engineers who used all the classic analogue equipment and got some truly great results. I can’t beatmatch manually, and I’m in no way ashamed of that, just as I am in no way ashamed that I don’t know how to use an old 8-track tape recorder. But why should I bother to learn when 8-tracks are obsolete? Having the ability to get songs in sync with each other is essential for a DJ. Just as getting around town is essential for that DJ when he goes to meet clients and agents. Should that DJ then learn to ride a horse, just so he can appreciate how mankind had to travel around before the invention of the motor car? Of course not, that would just be silly.

    DJing is not about how you get the beats lined up, its how you get the crowd on their feet from start to finish, something a machine will never be able to do.

    • Nio GodSent

      I can mix in MixMeister, all the heaviest tunes (for a specific crowd) and just have a playback of it in front of them right after.

      Im just gonna move hands and stuff, looking like doing “things” on my decks.

      Then peeps are gonna make the floor WET simply because they WILL be LOVING the mix and especially the TRACKS, because I know where Im playing to.

      So, the audience is happy because of a good music picker.
      So, we can call that guy a nice professional DJ.

      ^ This & you, are most probably wrong.

  • http://www.eangolden.com Ean Golden

    But by virtue it’s really something you should know how to do before you call yourself a pro.

    Great analogy!

  • Nate Black

    Something that I was thinking about a while ago……a professional DJ that doesn’t know how to beatmatch is like a professional drag racer who doesn’t know how to drive stick – both of these things aren’t really essential to today’s professionals, and you don’t really need to use those skills to be successful on the circuit.

    But by virtue it’s really something you should know how to do before you call yourself a pro.

    • Daaruz

      Beautifully articulated. That’s exactly how I see this “to sync or not to sync” debate.

  • http://www.geendweil.nl JDarko

    JDarko,
    I’m not saying that modern dj’s have to relive anything….I was talking about myself….I’ve got no guilt using the sync, (but I’m sensing that perhaps you do????)

    The end doesn’t always justify the means….I don’t agree that “the word cheating in music makes no sense. If it sounds good, it sounds good.” If a dj is getting paid to play “live” and he/she plays a pre-mixed cd and fakes it….even if the crowd is on its feet, it is cheating…..think steroids in sports. DJ’s aren’t magicians/illusionists, so our thing isn’t to trick the audience.

    again, I figure all the hacks will be revealed in time, with or without the sync button.

    I don’t think that your comparison with sports or magicians is correct. The point mentioned here, is that syncing saves the time of doing a ‘choir’, which then can be spent on making better mixes, perhaps even multilayer.

    I am still talking about a capable dj working hard, and using sync to concentrate on other parts of his set. (As I sense, is someone like you).
    In my opinion, automating choirs that aren’t involving musically, is a good thing. Whats the point of having a dj when he needs to spend all his time on blending tracks into eachother, without making the songs more interesting.

    As I see it, there are also downfalls. It isn’t as easy as it used to, to spot a bad dj. (Which is your main point). And I think you are right that beatmatching by ear is an important skill that must be mastered. However, the question was “to sync or not to sync?”, and to that I say: Sync.

  • oquela

    JDarko,
    I’m not saying that modern dj’s have to relive anything….I was talking about myself….I’ve got no guilt using the sync, (but I’m sensing that perhaps you do????)

    The end doesn’t always justify the means….I don’t agree that “the word cheating in music makes no sense. If it sounds good, it sounds good.” If a dj is getting paid to play “live” and he/she plays a pre-mixed cd and fakes it….even if the crowd is on its feet, it is cheating…..think steroids in sports. DJ’s aren’t magicians/illusionists, so our thing isn’t to trick the audience.

    again, I figure all the hacks will be revealed in time, with or without the sync button.

  • Mr flexxx

    i play mostly rnb and find that the sync button tho it does help dosent tend to b that spot on anyway. what i’ve ended up doin is playin more traditionally with it and only ever look at the laptop to load the track. even if hittin the sync button could mix the 2 tracks perfectly i wouldnt rely on it, what would b the point in me playin, not only cheatin myself but the audience.

  • http://www.geendweil.nl JDarko

    If you?re in a venue that doesn?t allow a computer connection,

    ps. The only venue that doesn’t allow a computer is an Amish People farm, so no real loss here.

  • http://www.geendweil.nl JDarko

    I too am interested in the MP3 scene but you know what?. when it comes to a club that will only have turn tables or CD decks I?ll still be able to put on a good show where as the people that rely on Sync will be lost.

    If you?re in a venue that doesn?t allow a computer connection, or you have some kind of technical difficulty that prohibits you from using a computer as part of your performance, I believe that you should be able to carry on your performance and fulfill your obligation using the equipment available to you. So in the spirit of that belief, I think every DJ should be able to perform in a reasonable manner WITHOUT a computer.

    Yeah in the same way that when a classical guitarist is hired to a club that doesn’t allow for micing, he is obligatory to carry on his performance by playing electric guitar.

    Not.

    They are different things and the same goes for software and turntable mixing. One has no obligatory at all to master another “instrument” in case he can’t play his own due to the [u]venue’s[/u] circumstances.

    oquela:
    Things aren?t like they were before. Being raised ?DJ old-school,? I feel I?ve earned my stripes to use a sync button if I need to(?cuz I know how to beat-match using turntables) ?.very much like a professional author/writer can CHOOSE to make a spelling/grammar mistake ON PURPOSE in his writing for creativity.

    So what you’re saying is, that every new coming software DJ should first relive the 80′s and 90′s with vinyl, before they have “earned” their rights to use advantages of the 21st century?

    To me, the word cheating in music makes no sense. If it sounds good, it sounds good.

    If all you veteran dj’s are afraid that newcomers with no skill will ruin the scene, you shouldn’t worry. If they truly suck, clubs will stop hiring them and the problem solves itself. But I also think that you should start atleast trying out the newer technologies, because the world will never stop changing, and neither should you.

  • nico

    You don’t HAVE to use that sync button, you know? :)

    Oftentime, when I need to get back into the music, I just beatmatch with Traktor the old school way, just pitch bend and tempo control. Using sync all the time ends up with me being boring, bored and less involved. So yes, I just love that function, it is so handy! Yes, it has drawbacks, which can be easily avoided if you just stop using it once in a while, to get the fun of djaying back.

  • oquela

    A couple of thoughts:
    there are LOTS of software titles that are allowing new DJ’s to beat-match. Also, with the advent of mp3 music, LOTS of DJ’s aren’t making the trek to the local vinyl store and spending hard-earned cash to buy the latest extended mix (heck, w/software, you can MAKE your own extended mix.) This is sad in and of itself.

    Things aren’t like they were before. Being raised “DJ old-school,” I feel I’ve earned my stripes to use a sync button if I need to(‘cuz I know how to beat-match using turntables) ….very much like a professional author/writer can CHOOSE to make a spelling/grammar mistake ON PURPOSE in his writing for creativity.

    Besides, I use the sync feature more for studio/recording mixes to save time. How is this any different than a band doing multiple takes when doing a recording?

    I only think it’s cheating if you can’t beat-match without the sync feature.

  • http://myspace/mumuproductions murat

    Vinyl DJ’s hating on the expanded offerings of mp3/Traktor Djing are failing to raise a justifiable point. Sure, the feeling of spinning two musical plates in synchronised tempo is a nice one, and the first mixes were no doubt considered pioneering leaps in technology.

    What’s the problem with letting Traktor do the same>?

    At the end of the day, as mentioned very accurately, being a ‘good’ DJ is more about understanding how music flows, changes, builds and adopts during a party – how the tracks come and go. The SYNC button is just a tool which allows you to match tempos automatically (provided you set up the -not THAT hard- beatgrid). Whether you use it or not is your decision. IF you don’t understand the fundamental basics of beat-matching (ie the ‘vinyl’ fundamentals) then you won’t really understand the SYNC button anyway. Personally, I keep it on all the time and keep a 4/4 127 or 128 tempo pounding non-stop – my set is like a non-stop wave – but this is just me. I like to mess around with eq, re-consider my next track choices, effects (T2 L/H is a fave) have a sip of beer… and enjoy it too maybe! :)

  • http://www.myspace.com/metrofunkchicago/ michael

    the software revloution has come, and it going to stay. however nobody will teach you good taste in your selection of tracks. that is the true talent of a good dj. like a curator of a museum of sound there will be those who can buy the art. but few who know how to hang or place the art, in creative way that draw blockbuster museum shows.

    with software beat matching is not the greatest issue. what’s missing in this thread is using the sofware to organize your tracks in key. then the real fun comes with harmonic mixing. use the software to order your discography from all formats then label by key your vinyl/cds and order your digital collection accordingly. i believe that the real power of the software, is that the tone deaf can now make what was a boring mix into something memorable. few djs in the media purest set know how to do chromatic/harmonic mixing. for me this is the real power of the software.

    you dont have to use software to mix but aleast organize your tracks ik by key then get bast the sync or not sync debate. you see those t shirt play on the design of the maxell brand, so please djs mixwell.i ve heard mixes by battle djs that cant even pull off a traditional set mix. but really if you say your dj you can mix d&b hip hop metal all together with out a computer. alot of of the the faction can learn alot from each other by learning all of the tricks of each. the battle dj’s knack of labeling cue points on the vinyl, to the genre centric mix djs pulling off a cohesive mix. ultimately it is the a good curator of sound that impresses the crowd. not just beat perfect, bauhaus with the offspring mashups.

  • http://kookinmusic.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/tenori-on-midi-controller-matrix/ Nick

    I do feel it is cheating a bit.

    We have a problem in Glasgow at the moment with guys posing as DJ's and doing gigs using only a laptop to mix tracks, so what you end up with is a bunch of clowns who hadn't learned how to DJ properly filling up the spaces that the 'real' dj's would usually fill; all because of a beat matching button a computer. It generally lower the quality of the clubs and pubs music…end of rant!

  • Jordan

    Yes for me too. I use Serato at the moment and will be getting Traktor Scratch soon too. I will also use Traktor 3 with the vestax controler. I do it this way to be flexible for locations.

    I agree with the beat matching comment above. It gets you involved. It's not only for the people listening to the mix. Thats what many people get wrong. It's also for the DJ. Thats why I DJ. Because I love doing it. Not to just look cool!

  • DJ_AS

    The first comment strikes a chord with me.

    After about 7 years of spinning vinyl and CDs I switched to using Traktor (mainly for reasons of lack of space) and was impressed by the Sync function. I was free to spend my time playing with perfect loops and effects, doing things I just couldn't do with vinyl or my simple CD players.

    After about 3 years of Traktor I now have room for my decks again and I have rediscovered the challenge and FUN of actually doing the mixing myself. I also fins myself more engrossed in the music as I am forced to listen harder to what I am doing.

    And although my Traktor produced mixes maybe more polished and contain loops / effects I couldn't have done before, I have realised that, for all its cleverness, I don't enjoy listening to these Traktor mixes any more than those created manually.

    So as a compromise I think its Traktor Scratch for me – vinyl control and manual beatmatching plus the loops and effects via the laptop.

  • http://www.nem0nic.com nem0nic

    I don't think using the features of a specific program is "cheating", but I DO have a problem with DJs that can't perform with more traditional equipment.

    If you're a professional DJ, I think you have a responsibility to those who hire you to be able to perform in whatever environment you've agreed to work in. If you're in a venue that doesn't allow a computer connection, or you have some kind of technical difficulty that prohibits you from using a computer as part of your performance, I believe that you should be able to carry on your performance and fulfill your obligation using the equipment available to you. So in the spirit of that belief, I think every DJ should be able to perform in a reasonable manner WITHOUT a computer.

    I've been out on several occasions where I heard a digital DJ (mostly DVS) have a problem that resulted in a minute of silence followed by what is obviously NOT a live performance. If I were the club owner and saw the floor clear out because of this kind of lack of professionalism I would pay that DJ accordingly (and not ask him back).

    In this day of MP3 reading CDJs, I don't think there is any excuse to not have (for instance) some "oh shit" music burned in MP3 format on your timecode CDs, as well as a small book of current songs in your gig bag – ready to go at a moment's notice.

    At the root of it all, you're being paid to entertain people by playing music. The reason you're working at all instead of being replaced by a CD player on shuffle is because of your ability to put music together in a meaningful way. If you're serious about being a DJ, I think you should be able to deliver on that even if your equipment is compromised.

  • Jordan

    The thing with auto sync is the fact that beat matching is one of the things that separates DJ's from the rest. It's a skill acquired through practise. You then nail that and then start working on the technique.

    When you start to take away the skill then you are nothing more that a juke box. What happens when clubs start to use software instead of a DJ? You ever think of that?

    It's all fine using something to get the flow better and adding equiptment. I too am interested in the MP3 scene but you know what…. when it comes to a club that will only have turn tables or CD decks I'll still be able to put on a good show where as the people that rely on Sync will be lost.

    I have a skill. I am proud of it. You should be too if you have a skill and put time and effort into it.

    People are just too lazy and want the end result at the start of something. A rushed job is never complete.

  • Anonymous

    Computers just take away some of the theatrics.

    I like what people are doing with computers to (re)gain the theatrics. Using light/proximity sensors for midi messages thus building theremin-like fx controller is quite cool onstage(paired with some good led lighting).

    To err. is human, to really frack things up requires a computer.

    (*my favourite)

    I use TDS because there is space to make errors, fall out of sync and show that there is no DAT/minidisc player there hooked up to the mixer.

  • http://www.coreycraig.com DJ Corey Craig

    Didn't we have this conversation back when CD players started showing up in DJ Booths?

    I think artistically, the mechanical aspects of DJing are no longer part of the show… Nowadays, the savvy audience has satellite radio and so many choices, they demand more from the sound of your set. Harmonic mixing and beats that compliment each other as well as a solid set of attention grabbing songs is more important.

    NO computer can pick up on the vibe of the crowd, realize that the bar is flooding because someone busted a pipe and play "Umbrella"… The human element will always be there when it comes to DJ's. Computers just take away some of the theatrics.

  • http://tosmts.spaces.live.com DJ ToS

    Nice set of comments.

    Not knowing what ur whole playlist(track pool) sounds like is the funniest stage(offcourse, not on a pro gig). Sync saves time because, in such situation, I prelisten 50% of the time, and it still buys me enough time to do some nice transitions and/or effects.

    If you can sync in 5 secs, (you probably) know what your tracks are by the vinyl groove, then there is a great possibility that you already got bored of that track for listening/spinning it so much. That part kills creativity in me jus as abusing the sync button.

    My friend mixes his song pool without headphones(if he must), using sync, phase indicator and waveform display (and drunk). That is…(cheating?) I'd say different.

  • http://www.ome-les.com tekki

    Isn't DJing all about crowd control?

    Every second a DJ can spent on entertaining/moving the crowd is a second in favour of the DJ.

    As long as he is putting effort in listening to the crowd by means of a creating a on spot flawless setlist, you won't hear me complain if he or she is using autosync.

    The DJ however should now how to beatmatch in case auto sync won't work. :P

  • Constant

    I think the question that you really have to ask is does the person who is syncing really understand music, structure. theory, etc.

    To me, it doesn't matter how the end result was achieved…if there is a full dance floor, whats the big deal?

    Technology is scary as hell to people that have spent years and years perfecting an art and somethings comes along that completely automates a good bit of the process.

    With photography there was a similar debate with D-SLR's and Standard Film cameras. Old school photographers were so upset that the dark room was cut out of the mix, processing, etc. Now that some time has passed, a lot of the same people complaining are now using Digital SLR cameras because it was realized that although technology can let you focus (no pun intended, haha) on other creative things, it still can't replace the vision of professionals. A good camera can take a great picture, but it can't tell you the ELEMENTS that make the picture interesting and eye appealing.

    Again…syncing the music allows DJ's to focus on other aspects that really make the experience much more enjoyable for the listeners. I think what most DJ's have to understand is that the people on the dance don't care about your technique, they just don't want to stop moving. Syncing allows two beats to stay in time with one another, but it doesn't tell inspiring DJ's how to build an atmosphere, where to cue and cut, etc. There are HUMAN elements that make good mixes, take good photos, etc…and those elements can't be replicated via software.

    ….yet ;-0

  • nan

    I just think that the ability you have for whichever task is great when you play for a contest… if you play for the party and the good times, it's all about what allows you to do so…

    Also, Ean, I just got myself a novation remote sl like yours… was wondering if you could (or maybe you already have) upload your layout but for ableton, cause I know you have already done so for traktor… Thanx and keep up the good work.. I have been a musician for about 15 years, and never considered djing (or controllerism for now) up until I found about your page… thanx! You do a very good job in giving us confidence, tools, and knowledge to make really good stuff!!!

  • tgrizz

    sorry, i meant to say picking a canvas up at an art store not art show, you know like Pearl. anyway it just gets my musical point and vision across more quickly

  • tgrizz

    i've been djing for about 10 years and when i started using Traktor it finally let my creativity flow faster, stronger and to points i never even thought of. I hit sync pretty much all the time to START the sequence of blending of songs. I do not 100% rely on it but it's a quick starting point.If most of you know older tracks are not perfectly in time so a bit of adjusting here and there are required without beat grids.

    i think its like an artist stretching their own canvas or picking one up at an art show, it just gets their vision out to the people faster.

  • http://5min.com weaponry

    dj mixing

    scratching

    cassette tapes
    http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-scratch-on-a-dou

  • DJLp

    Nice blend of posts up here. Many good points. To summarize, I think tobamai said it best by saying the crowd only cares about what they're hearing. To add to that, you can't cheat even beat counts. Just cuz the beat matches doesn't mean you know the funkiest places to get in and out of a record. Being able to push the sync button is all well and fine but can you drop that next record @ just the right time & give the crowd a "funky transition" from track to track? If so, who cares that the sync button did the math for you? If you can't, that same sync button that perfectly matched those beats for you really didn't help. It's not a cheat.

    I've been mixing since the early 80's (don't remember the exact year but if I had to guess…somewhere around '83). Basically I still mix the beats myself 90% of the time out of habit and being to lazy to do beat grids as another post mentioned. Plus I come from the R&B/hip hop side of things. I applaud technology coming into play. Guys like Moldover, Ean & others have taken the sync buttons to ANOTHER LEVEL because of what they do WHILE those beats are syncing. It's not like that's there chance to take another sip…those guys are hammering into the music with cool effects exciting the crowd. It's simply an evolution. I'm not mad @ a traditionalist that beieves in doing it all by hand but respect the birth of another generation & style of mixing. They all have their place in the game.

    The microwave DJ is the guy that suddenly gets 15,000 songs in an mp3 swap, can't mix NOR does he know anything about the recodrs he's playing. Anybody knows that Def Leappard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" is cool to play. The pro's & the vets know it's even COOLER to play the version with the intro from the video that has since been released on CD & mp3. Another example…TLC's "Ain't To Proud To Beg…" easy classic. But the version that matters to the crowd is the 12" or CD single…not the album/full length CD version. It's the guys that don't know any better that need a tutoring session. Those are bigger cheats and job stealers to me than any creative jock that utilizes the sync button.

    I welomce the birth of the new. Party on Garth!!!

  • http://trigitaliz.com trigitaliz

    Can't care less if a DJ can beat mix or not, as long he does a good set. The sync button does not mix for you it just set the tracks in right speed. To mix is a little bit more than that :-)

    I've been a DJ for 15 years and beat match vinyl or CD with the pitch in 5 second. But after I start to DJ with Traktor, I think the manually beat match is just a waist of time and I use the sync button all the time.

    Had this discussion with a DJ friend, that even after 5 years of DJ:ing cant beat match perfect. And of course he feels it's cheating to use the sync button. I hear to many DJ:s with there big vinyl bags, that cant really beat mix proper. That just complains that we SW DJ:s are cheating.

    Sometime a bring some vinyls the my gigs. But every time I put one on I regret myself. I just want to start loop the track or beat jump etc, but I can't, it's just a boring old vinyl.

    WORD..

  • Dj G.Stefan

    Can't care less if a DJ can beat mix or not, as long he does a good set. The sync button does not mix for you it just set the tracks in right speed. To mix is a little bit more than that :-)

    I've been a DJ for 15 years and beat match vinyl or CD with the pitch in 5 second. But after I start to DJ with Traktor, I think the manually beat match is just a waist of time and I use the sync button all the time.

    Had this discussion with a DJ friend, that even after 5 years of DJ:ing cant beat match perfect. And of course he feels it's cheating to use the sync button. I hear to many DJ:s with there big vinyl bags, that cant really beat mix proper. That just complains that we SW DJ:s are cheating.

    Sometime a bring some vinyls the my gigs. But every time I put one on I regret myself. I just want to start loop the track or beat jump etc, but I can't, it's just a boring old vinyl.

  • http://www.rubicat.com/dj_dvlsadvct DvlsAdvct

    DJs should learn how to beatmatch by ear, even if they are using computers. But that doesn't mean they should give up on the sync button. Learn to beatmatch so you can get a feel for lining up rhythms, and then learn to beatgrid, and THEN use the Sync button to get involved in other uses of the digital DJing movment.

    the software is primitive for initial BPM detection, but if you know how to beat grip and use them software in front of you then there is no end to the power at your fingertips :-)

  • http://www.rubicat.com/dj_dvlsadvct DvlsAdvct

    DJs should learn how to beatmatch by ear, even if they are using computers. But that doesn't mean they should give up on the sync button. Learn to beatmatch so you can get a feel for lining up rhythms, and then learn to beatgrid, and THEN use the Sync button to get involved in other uses of the digital DJing movment.

    the software is primitive for initial BPM detection, but if you know how to beat grip and use them software in front of you then there is no end to the power at your fingertips :-)

  • http://trigitaliz.com trigitaliz

    i Use the synk to get the bpm right… only. my synk key ar not on toggle…. then after pressing it once it fine adj with the p-bend and pitch…. :)

  • Chris combe

    lack of time? i dont get it.. im still learning to beat match and i can normally get a track down pat in like 60 seconds to 90 max… the average songs i play are 5min+ so not sure how any one would run out of time unless you like switching songs every 30 seconds which frankly annoys the pants off me.. but that personal preference…

    there are some dj's who can pull it off.. 2manydj's for example and a couple others..

  • derek

    I've switched to Traktor (from mixer+cd) because of 3 things: I can SYNC tracks at one click and then use pros of software – many CUE points and many LOOP's. Now i can make my mix more interesting for crowd (imo most important thing) rather than mostly just switching song's because of lack of time.

  • Jack Bastard

    interesting that felix da housecatt said sync was cheating, I heard him dj at the key in london a couple of years back and he really could havd used a sync button ;-)

    Haha. Ain't that the truth. Manz couldn't mix a mojito.

  • parmafran

    interesting that felix da housecatt said sync was cheating, I heard him dj at the key in london a couple of years back and he really could havd used a sync button ;-)

  • Chris combe

    i think anyone starting out dj'ing all together should learn to beatmatch, eq and phrasing… once they master this and want new challenges and want to expand on their tool kit they can start to branch off on layering of 3 or 4 tracks and do some insance effects and cue juggling ala Ean Golden styles… I personally am not ready for that and want to nail my beatmatching down first and then there is a whole shopping cart list of things I need to learn before i trust a pc to do it for me..

    nice article.. i am more interested in other "old school" read "non sw mixing dj's have to say about the topic."

    it will be interesting to see the big companies tackle the algorithm issues because surely the power of todays dual core + 4gb of ram machines can have should be able to work out much stuff…

    i was told recently a nintendo wii has more cpu power then the apollo 11 rocket.. your telling me its harder then that?

  • lofi

    beatmatching really takes nothing to do. i'd love to use sync if it actually worked right. take for example if you run a loop and fire off 3 or 4 different cue points while switchin between 4 , 8 , and 16 beat in loop, that sync button is nothing but a mess. so for my current style of play its useless. now if all you do is play whole songs and mix between them, you gotta be some sort of rookie or really be lazy. to each there own as long as you rock the crowd.

  • Anonymous

    I think it's fine to use sync if you own up to it, and hopefully you're actually doing something productive with all the free time sync affords you.

    I feel that many DJs who can beatmatch by ear feel threatened by the next generation of DJs who may skip beatmatching on a whole. IMO anyone who calls themself a DJ should be able to beatmatch by ear to an extent. Personally, when at home I practice beatmatching amidst everything else, it really lays down the foundation to good DJ'ing.

    Anyway, I feel there's no cheating involved if you can beatmatch by ear and want to try something new.

  • http://www.zettt.de Zettt

    I don't think it's cheating at all. It's just another way of DJing. DJing with Software and in software you have these features. So what's the point?

  • tobamai

    I think the real point is that the crowd only cares about what they're hearing. So long as the tracks are in time and phase the crowd doesn't care if you did it or a machine did it. With that in mind, a dj needs to do enough preparation to ensure the tracks are in time and phase: if this means scanning all of the tracks he wants to play with ableton or teaching himself to beatmatch, it needs to happen. There's no excuse for a trainwreck, it's the dj's job to avoid it.

  • Wuz

    I'm a serious Traktor fan and while I have no previous DJ experience I quickly realised that you can't rely on its sync function alone.

    Something i've been doing (being a bit lazy to setup beatgrids all the time) is use the beatgrids that traktor detects but at the same time preview the accuracy of them between your two tracks before you have to bring the new track in. Then keeping an eye on the phase meter, pitch bend the incoming track either way and note the visual difference in the phase meter where they sound really perfect. If this stays fairly accurate for the duration of 32 or 64 beats i go with it. i turn sync on before hitting play on the incoming track, and before bringing its volume level in i make the visual phase meter adjustment – quite often this works extremely well.

    I suppose this is a combination of syncing, relying on the phase meter, but also training my ears to an extent. Sometimes i turn the phasemeter off and attempt to do traditional beatmatching. I'm not a pro though and usually i'm getting half cut in a loungeroom or my bedroom and nobody worries about the odd stuff up :)

  • http://www.myspace.com/noiseasaurus noiseasaurus

    it doesn't seem like software is all that good at syncing tracks together. sure it always comes close, but its never really there. its a lot more fun to beatmatch manually anyway. whatever happened to fun?