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DJ Scott Mad Flip

DJ Scott Mad Flip
February 2, 2012

Bold Predictions How DJing Will Change in 2012

As we start a new year it’s hard not to reflect on what we have accomplished in years past, but yet it’s harder still to try and predict what this wonderful world of DJing has in store for us in 2012.  I see a major change in my musical direction, albeit more of a 90′s revival of sorts for me personally, integrating more of my original music in my sets as well as playing less dubstep for dubstep’s sake.  It’s over anyway, Bieber made it so by simply uttering the words “dubstep” from his magical mouth when asked about his new record.  Of course, I’m kidding.  ANYWAY, here are some bold predictions for 2012:

The Diminishing  State Of The Internet Free-Jay Nation

There have been some new developments concerning the use of online file sharing sights now that SOPA and PIPA have everyone talking, and online sites like MegaUpload and MediaFire have had to make adjustments in the manner at which they operate.  Almost gone are the days of Google searching ” _____ mediafire” and right-clicking in order to build your music collection.  The blogosphere is certainly changing now as well with Soundcloud links replacing most download links for all the hot, new, and previously free tunes.

Therefore, I predict two things in regard to the waning accessibility of free music.  First, Beatport and similar websites are about to blow-up because working DJ’s are going to have to buy their music now.  And secondly, the previously increasing amount of Free-Jays will finally start to diminish.  We all know that eventually someone will find a way to provide pirated music again, but for now I welcome the restrictions.  In no way am I discouraging any of you from becoming a DJ, on the contrary it will be even better for you in the long run to have to hunt high and low for good music, and pay handsomely for it like we all did in the 80′s and 90′s.  You will have a greater love and respect for the culture by paying your dues to the artists that create the music that you play.  NO MORE FREE-JAYS IN 2012!

Simon Cowell’s DJ X-Factor FTW!

SCENARIO 1: There are 10-12 weeks of  (OXYMORON ALERT) really exciting reality television in which we fall in love with America’s sweetheart from Indiana who started DJing after driving 423 miles on a school night just to see Kaskade spin in Chicago.  Will her pretty face and clean mixing be enough to save her from elimination?  Or will the 8-year-old beat juggling prodigy from Atlanta continue to wow the judges and win the hearts of the nation with his technical skill and dirty south catch phrases?  Drama ensues and the world of dance music and DJ culture gets some incredible exposure worldwide.

SCENARIO 2: There are 8 weeks of scattered, poorly edited, and quite possibly scripted “reality” television that includes ego-driven DJ’s, a lot of backstabbing, and contrived story lines that do little to educate the masses on dance music or the DJ culture.  The finalists will use very average but extremely flashy skills in the finale and ultimately the winner will be booked for some huge gigs and an equally awesome world tour.  We as DJ’s, will hate the show.  We will constantly, and cleverly Tweet and Facebook update about exactly how much we hate the show, BUT we will religiously tune in for every single episode.

Let’s just face it.  Scenario 1 is more likely to happen considering this is will be a well funded, corporate sponsored Simon Cowell production.  I am personally excited about this for a few reasons.  The DJ as a “rockstar” is not a new concept.  If I could have had a poster of my first favorite DJs growing up I would have…wait, I did have a poster of Run-DMC with Jam Master Jay, RIP, on my wall as a teenager.  ANYWAY, we can all hate on S.Cowell’s tired statement and even his lucrative intentions of cashing in on and exploiting our beloved EDM, Hip-Hop, and DJ culture.  It is going to happen inevitably in one form or another as we see our DJ and remix heroes like Skrillex and Diplo thrive in their perspective crafts, become financially successful, and gain a lot of exposure in the mainstream.  I have seen this all happen before.  In the 80′s, I was there to see the MC, DJ, Tagger, B-Boy, Locker, and Popper get grouped into the term “Break-Dancer” , “Rapper”, and “Street Artist” by the mainstream media and exploited by big businesses who succeeded in cashing in on the “trend” of Hip-Hop culture.  The culture saw some rough times, but it survived and even evolved by going back to the underground where everything gets “cool” again.

The bottom line is this, the show will give all of us and our art form some serious mainstream exposure, as well as the opportunity to compete, and showcase our skill and creativity.  Hopefully, the DJ X-Factor can serve to introduce the world to some amazing music, turntablism, controllerism, impeccable mixing and programming.  It really doesn’t even matter who wins, does it?  Ultimately, we all win if America finally gets educated and realizes that what we do to become good DJs takes a lot of humility, hard work, a lot of time behind the decks, and a maximum respect for the craft.

Vinyl Makes A Comeback

“Madflip, bro it never left.”

Yeah, I know there’s an ongoing battle between the digital guys, the turntable guys, the controller guys, the LARPers, the Tea Party, and the unicorns.  I can more than share my opinion on what is best, what I prefer, what is more accurate, etc.  Well, at the end of the day I prefer playing vinyl.  It feels and sounds great, and I honor the culture and my roots every time I play my records.  Do I use everything else?  Yes, I do.  Why?  Because turntables are heavy, and sometimes unstable and inaccurate.  Too much can go wrong and I demand reliable gear to accomplish my goals as a working DJ.  My Kontrol S4 is extremely reliable and accurate and very easy to transport and set-up in any environment.

That being said, I predict a 2nd renaissance for vinyl DJs.  In fact, I am praying for it because I want Technics to resume production of the SL12oo High Torque Direct-Drive Turntable, RIP.  I know that here in the states, in some cities as we speak there are underground vinyl only DJ syndicates that are throwing the BEST parties since your first rave.  This is not necessarily a rebellion, or vinyl revolution…er.  This is a vinyl revival.  I personally have new wave, breaks, house, and early techno that’s been out print for years that most likely can’t be found anywhere digitally and very rarely otherwise.  Successful DJs young and old find ways of reinventing themselves time and time again, sometimes by exploring their roots, and it makes sense that the re-emergence of analog only raves will be big this year.  Make it so.

The iPad Will Become Significant To DJs

To embrace or not embrace?  That is the question.  According to TabTimes ”eMarketer expects the number of iPad users to more than double from 2011 to 2014, growing from 28 million to 60.8 million.”  This should come as no surprise.  It’s obvious that the industry is catering to iPad users with the introduction of products like the iDJ Pro at this years NAMM show, but how do we really feel about the potential new wave of iPad DJs, and will they ever really be taken seriously?  I actually welcome the technology because I am open to change and I am always hungry to see new things, but it might take a major endorsement from one of the mega DJs to make a serious statement about iPad DJing, this year anyway.  The truth is this, when laptop DVS systems like Final Scratch, Serato Scratch Live, and Traktor Scratch started to become prevalent around 2004 most of us were reluctant to embrace the technology, but we could definitely see the benefits of having all of your music digitally on a laptop, and we were intrigued with the interface that allowed us to still use turntables.  At that time DVS systems had a lot to offer.  They were a viable alternative to carting around loads of records and compact discs, and as the time code technology improved and became more accurate…well, you know the rest.

As it stands now, the iPad is not quite tried and true in the DJ trenches, yet.  But that is far from discouraging major manufacturers and software developers in creating products that will make the iPad the center of the DJ universe.  For now, the iPad has limited memory for track storage, only a few solid DJ applications, and the hardware integration is still incubating.  This will soon change and drastically improve.  I do see the benefits of using Cloud technology for extended file access, as well as the ability to use Bluetooth for audio output to multiple sources.  The technology is definitely forthcoming and the possibilities could be endless.  Will I make the switch just yet?  I’ll let you know in 6 months.

Okay, some of these are obvious and others will hopefully serve to invoke some thought.  I encourage you to list your predictions bold or otherwise in the comments below so we can compare notes, and have a nice chat.  I promise we will be blogging the whole year round to fill you in on the latest happenings in the DJ universe.  Super shouts to Phil Morse at Digital DJ Tips for always providing stellar DJ journalism, and especially to all of you who love and play music, for music’s sake.  Until next time, happy gigs!

Comments

  1. Kim Hancock says:

    I think your right ,History always repeates itself….regrettably sometime’s….and greatly at others….I love the way vinyl sounds…The crackling of old records..The feeling of the times through the sounds of the past…It’s cool and yes of course even though I’m not a super technology buff…DJs do there best work with the spin of a record….I think anyway…I have been holding on to alot of records myself…lol…selling them to someone who will appreciate them would be cool

    1. Thanks for the comment! I would keep holding on to those records if I were you, but let me know if you do decide to sell them. I’ll keep them warm for you! Cheers!

  2. Taylor taylor says:

    Thanks MadFlip for commenting on SOPA and PIPA. As a musician who has written, recorded, and TRIED to sell my music, it is nice to see that there is hope for us struggling artists. There is nothing wrong with being able to hear a song for free, a test drive if you will. If you want to take that track off the lot and use it for yourself, it just makes sense to give prop$ to the person who pleasured your ears.

    1. I’m certainly hoping there will be a way of regulating the downloads so artists can start to benefit from their hard work by seeing some sort of financial return. I just hope it can be accomplished without making the internet self-destruct. Thanks Taylor!

  3. Cameron says:

    I think 2012 will be the year where the CD starts to tumble. Dj’s will be increasing the use of SD cards, with more being converted to Traktor, especially using the external mode with mixer. Vinyl sales will increase, fueled by the Underground scene. The Sopa and Pipa are surely a good thing for the industry with more small time producers achieving the recognition they deserve. The Simon Cowell “Deck Factor,” well it could be good in the sense that it spreads the EDM scence. Equally, part of being a good dj is being able to take people on a musical journey and that will just not be possible on a peak time tv show. It will also lead to what John Digweed hoped wouldn’t happen in 2012 “Hopefully less people impersonating DJ’s.”

    1. I agree, hopefully these impressive sets will be available for download, but how much will we be charged? Great comments Cameron!

  4. LEWISLACE says:

    In 2012 technology will be released where brainwaves can trigger a variety of different effects and also cue upcoming tracks. “Mapping” to the software will work through keying functions to work with the frequency of your own thoughts.

    1. Super deep Lewis! Thanks for the comment!

  5. Kyle says:

    I would like to see motion capture devices adapted to be used with live shows. controlling tracks with gestures could be pretty freakin’ cool.

    1. I agree for sure. Can you imagine choreographing your tag-team DJ sets? Or DJ set flash mobs? Bananas.

  6. Joseph says:

    In 2012, my bold prediction isn’t that bold at all. I predict… Nothing will change. Certainly physical sales of music will continue to diminish, digital sales will continue to rise, piracy will be ever-prevelant with no effective solution, DJs will still play what everyone wants to hear and the difficulty of finding those that know how to mix well will continue to increase, musicians will continue to exploit the wonderful power of the internet to reach an ever expanding audience etc.

    There won’t be hover-turntables or DJs being carried off by the police for playing a pirated Rihanna song, no new genres will come to the fore, Sopa and Acta will be a vague recollection until the next attempted legislation trying to steamroll our musical fun, I’ll still be an underground musician struggling to sell CDs and DJing will be the same game it’s always been :)

    Oh yes and Michael Jackson, Elvis and Jesus return from the dead to form a musical supergroup of Biblical proportions.

    And of course the end of the world…

    The End.

    1. Dreamr says:

      John Lennon will write for and manage the group!

  7. Josh E. says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you! I sure hope Technics comes back! I do like some controllers, but nothing beats the sound of Vinyl! However, I do like Kyle’s prediction of the motion capture devices being used to control music. That could definitely bring another dimension to “playing” with music.

  8. AdriaticBlue says:

    I believe that iPads will get more use by DJs in 2012 (perhaps by more new, younger DJs than older jocks who have done it for years and prefer not to go all digital).

    In the digital arena, an iPad allows for an even lighter weight load than a Macbook Air or Macbook Pro. Also, the $499 low end iPad model is much cheaper in price than any current Mac laptop and holds plenty of music to be played for hours.

    With that said, my one bold prediction for the world of DJing in 2012 is:

    Serato or Native Instruments will partner with Apple to develop an iOS version of their most popular DJing software. It will be written specifically for the iPad. I just do not know which of these two companies will get to the finish line first. If I had to put my money on one, it would be Native Instruments. The time has come for it.

    From there, we’ll start to see more controllers like the Numark iDJ Pro that will be slotted for iPads natively run Traktor iOS or Serato iOS. Hmmph – I think I just made a second prediction. :-)

    1. I think you’re spot on about the iOS Traktor and Serato apps. Thanks for the comment!

  9. MarinMix says:

    Club jocks (djs) will no longer be tethered to the booth, they will be ‘around’ and on the dance floor more… their light men also will work with conjoined apps that keep them un-tethered too… AND both sound & light will be ‘orchestrated’ by more mobile performers. A small prediction, and although somewhat already looming, it will be a mainstay and no longer common or unique. All because of the iPad.

    1. It’s in the not too distant future for certain. Thanks for the comment!

  10. Dreamr says:

    I guess I am alone. I hate the crackle of vinyl in breakdowns. I prefer clean, hi-res sound.

  11. Kai says:

    I honestly can’t say what will or will not happen. I do predict a rise in the amount of bedroom producers turned DJ’s, though. Personally, I welcome all of the changes in terms of what has happened with downloading restrictions because it’ll maybe allow producers to thrive as they did 20-30 years. In today’s market, these fantastic producers can’t solely live off of the funds that they receive from their productions, so I’d like to see one hit wonders come out of this!

  12. Mario R. says:

    Seems like the ending of 2011 and NAMM 2012 set the field to start a competition on MPC´s.

    Native Instruments made the first movement in midd 2011 with the release of MaschineMicro and the iMaschine an app that emulates the Maschine software but this app is really far beyond than their bigger brother. Also when you purchased the Maschine or the MaschineMicro you get a seducing discount for the Komplete Audio 6 plus a give away of two sample packs.

    This year just three weeks ago at NAMM 2011 Akai released a set of redesigned, improved and revamped MPC´s as a response to what Native Instruments just did and its basically the same target divided in three; iDevices Users, not heavy users and hardcore users none of these where forgotten by Akai or Native Intruments.

    Novation, M-Audio and maybe Korg probably join the competition and during the year they probably come with surprises but for sure Native Instruments and Akai will continue fighting back each other (and this is really good for us)

    So I predict/hope:

    Why not a Maschine with an audio interface built in, Native Instruments after a long awaiting finally released controllers with soundcards built in, so I am sure Maschine is really possible the next. NI will add Ins/Outs plus the Midis already has.

    I think another improvement could be focus on the iMaschine iOS app. It will be awesome if you can work on the iPad and Maschine as stand alone, without computer, and also a better the integration with a improved full version of the iPad.

    If Native Instrumenst adds and USB port to Maschine its totally possible to hook extra controller like the X1 or the new coming F1.

    The RGB pads and USB 3 is a must. I hope a RGB and bigger screen

    By now Maschine fully offers a complete solution as a Music Production Center and it has such an awesome workflow but with some modded tweaks could be taken to a whole new level.

    So I really hope during this year we could see the version of Maschine on Stereiods and the Japan Akai Samurais striking back and surprising everybody again and again and again.

    Cheers!!!!