Vinyl DJing … on Life Support?

Vinyl is dead! … Well, that would be bold statement. And no, … it isn’t. But it is safe to say DJ’s that are working with good ol’ vinyl records are getting scares. Earlier this month, Panasonic wrote a letter to retailers that production of all analogue turn-table products is being terminated at the end of this year. This public secret is floating on the internet since 2009, but now we can say it is really over for the magnificent SL-1200.

The demise of analog turntables is just the result of the technologic evolution of the past 10 years. Just look at what the development of digital music players has gone through. Personally I don’t have a DJ background but playing around with the CDJ-2000, at the time we did a review on it, I was amazed on what you could do with this baby. So the change from vinyl to MP3 made total sense. And for so many reasons: The built-in effects and midi connectivity of the modern CD-players, which makes life so much more interesting. Or just the fact that you can do a 4 hour set with a couple of USB-Flash Keys (easily) instead of carrying a couple of record bags of 20 kilos each…

The Last Bastion
One of the last groups, within the DJ world, that kept true to the vinyl were the turntablists. Getting together every year to fight it out who’s the best at the DMC World DJ Championships! The DMC DJ Battles are the longest running most prestigious DJ Battles in the world. Till this day being a DMC World or National Champion continues to be one of the most sought after titles for turntablists worldwide. All of them analog soldiers.

But, … look what the cat dragged in. A press release from Serato. Serato tell us that they and Rane have been confirmed as major sponsors of the 2011 DMC World DJ Championships. DMC is going digital? Yes they are. Not in all the categories but from 2011 onwards competing DJs will be able to utilize Serato Scratch Live in the DMC World DJ Finals 6 minute category, as well as the DMC DJ Team Championship.

Serato: “For over a quarter of a century, the DMC World DJ Championships have inspired DJs from around the globe to put their creativity and skills to the test, and in 2011 the event opens new doors for competitors, allowing the use of Serato Scratch Live in addition to traditional vinyl.

What does this mean?
Well following the statement from Panasonic/Technics, the press release from Serato, and the technologic evolution the DJ scene has gone through these last 5-10 years, I don’t see any change in the movement that has started 10 years ago. Will vinyl jocks disappear? No I don’t think so, but they will become a rarity.

Tony Prince read a poem at the last DMC World Finals, which tells a lot:

The DJ just retired
Truth is the jock got fired
He’s sold his entire record collection
All apart from the DMC section
320 12″sounds
And nine LP’s for 90 pounds

His venue’s switched to CD and DAT
And this DJ couldn’t handle that
A record man, a vinyl freak
Killed in his prime at this peak
He’d scratch and mix and do his tricks
From 11pm to almost six

Read the whole poem at the DMC DJ Champs website.


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