At most of the events I go to in Detroit I’m seeing that the Technics turntable is still the preferrable instrument for many DJs. It is really hard to see controllers ever taking over the DJ booth in this city. Though by reading DJ blogs and browsing through online music shops it would appear that all DJs are using all-in-one DJ controllers today. Maybe in other places around the world it is like that but around here I see Technics or CDJs used, with the occasional Ableton Live custom setup from time to time.
Now when it comes to mixing with Ableton Live, it seems that it is socially acceptable to be using a controller in the club. I guess since the software is called Live it automatically ensures everyone that the DJ is spontaneously original regardless of what is actually on the computer screen. With Traktor on the other hand, if you are simply using a controller it is thought of as cheating or not really DJing at all. The truth is that in Traktor you can get incredibly complex and that some people just mix two tracks while using Live. It all depends on the user and how they utilize their tools.
But even with these complex digital systems it seems that the turntable and a modular approach, opposed to an all-in-one, is still the go to for professionals. Why?
I believe this is because Technics are robust and their giant moving platters give DJs a satisfying hands on feel. They are also heavy and made with high quality parts meant to last a long time. Controllers can be trashed in a year or so. Buttons stop working. USB slots get loose. Some are just dead on arrival or crash your whole system. Good thing new ones are constantly coming out. Right?
When it comes down to it, I think that professional DJs were very comfortable with the turntable and still wish to use them over anything else. I believe eventually a company will make a USB turntable with a 12 inch moving platter that is metal. Until then we are still rocking the Techs. No worries.
So what do you think? Will controllers ever replace the turntable in the DJ booth?