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What Grinds My Gear

It’s me!

I love gear. I think everybody in the industry loves gear. Wow, did I really just use “Industry”. Yes, I did.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met another DJ or musical professional that doesn’t love their equipment. Musicians, DJs, Photographers, and even trades people love their equipment. It’s like it is a part of us.

One of the best things about the internet is the availability of information. It always feels like I’m on the fourth cup of coffee when I click the newest release from Pioneer or open Virtual DJ.

However, there is another side to it all. For however much I and so many other professionals love their gear there is an equal amount of hate spewing forth. 

Let me start by saying, I’m no saint. I have had my fair share of comments; chastising a peer for using a Nikon or Trakktor. So, keep that in mind. Instead, I hope to create a world where we don’t have to belittle each other for the gear in our toolbelt. 

No one cares if you can play music off iTunes, you have to be able to use Serato DJ. 

That’s the thing though. For someone with virtually no experience with DJing, hearing someone play music that they enjoy at a party is everything. Even if I hear that song on the radio – and it still gives me goosebumps – there is no reason that whatever software the DJ uses should matter. We’re to preoccupied by what makes us “better” or makes us “stand out”, that we will speak down to those who are not at our level.

It simply doesn’t matter.

I’ve been told who knows how many times that I’m not a DJ if I:

  • Don’t use turntables
  • Don’t use serato
  • Mix without a laptop
  • Don’t beat match

And the list goes on…

I never let it get to me. I just nod along and think of some excuse why I’m not that guy. I tell them I love the “ecosystem” or that I’m “heavily invested” in the platform because I’ve spent so much money on it. Both of which are true, of course. 

It doesn’t take someone to be the next A-Track to be a DJ. It takes someone with the guts to press play. 

Even in the days of vinyl there was still a button to rotate the platter.  We’re still doing the same thing, sifting and sorting through music to play. The game has just changed. 

Believe me, there’s nothing wrong with the “old ways”. I used digital vinyl for a few events last year and I can be the first to tell you that anyone that uses vinyl or timecode vinyl are champions! The platters alone can be 20 lbs, and when you factor in cases, mixers, and all the cords associated with those rigs you’re sitting with a hundred pounds of equipment. 

This talented artist is a teen who I met that is absolutely killing it. She’s already light years ahead of me right now and especially when I was her age. Please support her on social media or with a shout out!

I think what I’m trying to say here is that we need more respect in this world. Everybody starts somewhere. We simply do not achieve enough if we put out negative energy. Instead, a constructive comment would mean the world to a novice or even a PRO. We can all benefit from a different perspective once in a while.

I’m sure you’ve read to be open-minded. So, be open-minded with this week’s joke: What do you call a scared cow?

A Cow-heard.

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