I was reading something about a Facebook meme. To this day I still don't get what a meme is having read and viewed numerous explanations as to what one was. 

Anyhow this particular meme was to do with "when is a DJ actually a DJ" and the snobbery that surrounds it relating to DJ's that can't actually DJ with vinyl. 

The problem is that despite the fact that the use of vinyl in clubs is near dead (unless you're a scratch DJ), there's still plenty of it with many collectors of it. Whilst living in the UK I've hung around a few record shops in my time and even worked in a vinyl stocking warehouse for a brief stint, and there is indeed a weird artificial mysticism about it short of sitting round a camp fire and smoking peace pipes. I personally don't have an issue with people skipping the whole vinyl thing as it does seem a little redundant to me given what computing technology allows us to do. But the DJ industry has always had major artificial speed bumps put in place for a very-very long time and maybe for good reason. Computing technology would have essentially allowed us to reduce the music mixing art form to the task of merely pressing a few buttons a long-long time ago with auto-sync ability too. but there was just no way the big wigs would have allowed that to be made (or even released if it was made) for obvious reasons. 

Sure it could be seen as the industry trying to make as much money as they can from the music. But you know something? Most of my music that I bought on vinyl for my vinyl two turntable DJ rig wasn't actually from major record labels and tended to be limited press releases. I might also point out that there wasn't actually that much money in it for the artists themselves (or the DJ's for that matter unless they actually had a decent regular paying gig or residency at a decent club) other then to get the music out there and retain/build their presence on the actual taste maker scenes for the main part. Since it was the people who loved the music most that were putting word of it out via word of mouth or in press and playing the actual music to select crowds who wanted to be there to hear the music in the first place making the buzz for them. As in the people with the actual want and passion  for it.  

But yeah, I still do think that vinyl is very obsolete at this stage especially with DVS's. Lets just hope Richard Branson doesn't read this, a few years ago I reckon he would have been blowing steam just at the very thought of someone saying such a thing that was seriously considering being a DJ before optionally moving on to other methods! I'm not sure of what his standing on the matter is these days. 

But that's also precisely the problem, there are still many key holders that would prefer you to move through vinyl first, unless that is you're lucky enough to forge a path that negates these types of unsaid conventions amongst the DJ elite, or come through the ranks of production.

I think more weight/pressure also comes from a certain section of DJ big wigs that need to somehow justify it as an art form, but its a little more difficult to do that if its all purely about moving sliders, twiddling pots and pressing buttons, especially when they've spent so much time trying to equate the vinyl turntable to using a musical instrument, maybe in a bid to make DJ's feel better about what they do? (Who knows, I know I certainly felt better at the time) which maybe then kind of stuck as an inductional quirk. Much in the way that anyone can own a guitar, but if you want credibility there are specific types to go for especially if you're going to be doing it seriously and want to be taken seriously. Whatever the case it might be worth considering that there's a huge difference between...

... the kid that tries to hold down a job to be able to afford the vinyl they enjoy playing it on the gear that they bought with their wage having first considered each invidual purchase long and hard before parting with cash for it, this is instead of spending their money on other none DJ related stuff. They might also be the type of buyer that unintentionally tended to buy many of the hits within their genre before they go big when checking their DMC fill out sheets or their vinyl purchase history at around a 60 to 80 or 70 to 90 percent conversion rate. Or at least the winners they picked in each purchase batch far out weighed the losses of the none makers, again without the actual intention of doing that to begin with and just going off what they liked the sound of or loved. 

...and...

... the kid that just has a constant download client running to download as much random dance music for free as possible to then sift through it all afterwards for all the already broken scene gems whilst knowing very little about the music and scenes. The knowledge of which they pick up from the genre chart listings in order to make decisions about what they will play instead picking the tracks based on what they personally liked the sound of regardless of prior chart placement or not. After which they might then DJ it with a cheap controller connected to a computer to also still not know much about the music, and the scenes. It's not difficult to see who cares more about it. This would also be true of people who know how to negate server security as well as have the ability to access computer back doors to instantly lift brand new productions or the production construct files (even before the artist has even released them) as well as full commercially purchased releases that have been bought and paid for by very small percentage others, entirely for free. It was certainly much more difficult to do that with a record box full of vinyl and CD's. They might also be able to afford a much more expensive mixer, controller or a full DJ rig with money that they acquired via the same dodgy means, unless that is they were already getting paid a shit tone of money already for doing certain IT related jobs that allowed them this kind of access.

What would even be more sickening is if someone was actually able to build a very successful DJ or producer career that was highly respected to then go on to make sh*t loads of money in the process via such underhand means. I wonder how many people on the scene are of this origin?

I'm not sure where people who could legitimately afford all these things would be in the pegging. I guess in such situations it boils down to their dedication, passion and general enthusiasm for it as well a their reasons for doing with actual ability. People who've already done their dues would have even greater standing to my mind.

The elitism that surrounds vinyl for getting your DJ stripes even if you choose to move onto to other methods after? I'm not dead against it as it serves its purpose if not only to say what I would like to say having been through it and seen the free dance music download junkies playing all the chart stuff with cheap controllers connected to a computer whilst trying to create on online following via social networking with no real groundings in the scene or knowledge of it at all, but I'm not that mean to expect it of someone if they do show a genuine passion and real want for it with actual true ability.

Here's the balance that the industry has to strike, how can they make money from DJ gear if no-one has any reason to buy it? For people to want to buy DJ gear there has to be the music out there for people to initially get onto and use on the actual gear. If it was too tightly controlled it would be much more difficult for those willing to pay a substantial amounts of money for their gear and not the actual music itself. meaning less reason for people to buy the gear. 

But what these people forget is that the people making the music that they "like" don't get any money from the the DJ equipment that they've spent a substantial amount of money on and are using to play and mix the music. Not so much of an issue if you're a popstar act thats had large commercial success but certainly much more of a problem for producers that produce high quality stuff that isn't destined or necessarily intended for the mainstream money making machine.