Tag Archives: DJing

Stay off your phone!

By Tony Fernandez

The Internet is a glorious thing.  It truly is.  I marvel at the unlimited power and capabilities one has access to with a mere click or keystroke.  Once you get past the click bait, porn, and Russian political meddling, you can actually find some really useful things out there on the world wide web.

What I DON’T understand is why DJs seem to be using the Internet to fill gaps in their repertoire.  I’m not talking about the Spotify/YouTube jocks that can’t even get on the service that doesn’t have ads (I’m sure there is a special ring in Dante’s Inferno for you). . .

And I’m not talking about the yahoos that can’t use Google after people take the time to help, explain, educate, and pass on knowledge… you STILL want a link to click. . .

I’m talking about the DJs that are AT gigs… right in the middle of an event and they are on Facebook and the plethora of DJ pages asking questions like: Where do I place my speakers? The bride just moved the time line, what should I do? And my favorite: What song should I play next?

I’ll tell you what you need to do:  you need to get off your smart phone, put your nose to the grindstone, put on your big boy or big girl pants and FIGURE IT OUT! Yeah l I know you can make the point that the offending DJ is doing that by getting on their device, BUT…   do you see other professionals working and getting on Facebook to ask for suggestions?  I’m sure a lawyer in the middle of a courtroom is going to whip out their iPad and Google a case.  I’m sure a doctor in the middle of a procedure is going to check on a Facebook page to ask how to continue what they are doing. Yeah, right.

Look, I get it, we ALL need help at some point. My self included.  No single human being knows everything – well, maybe one: I saw a piece on a student (from MIT, I believe) that was able to isolate the nerve/electrical impulse that our brain uses to communicate with the mouth.  This student was then able to tap into that connection and convert that electrical impulse into text, which he sent to Google.  So you can ask this student ANYTHING and they would have the answer.

I digress…

There are some really great people on these pages that genuinely and selflessly offer up invaluable information for the sake of being a decent person. They authentically want to help.  What I take umbrage with are DJs doing the asking WHILE at a gig in REAL TIME.  Especially on things they should know.  Specifically: what music to play.  You got ONE job, handle the music.  Handle it before the gig.  And if something comes up during the gig, HANDLE IT.  That’s your job.

How do you even find time at a gig to get on a device to get an answer for something you need immediately?   I would think your time is better served by paying attention to the situation at hand instead of wasting precious time tapping a screen and waiting for a response. And at the risk of sounding like the proverbial old “hey you kids get of my lawn” guy, people were able to use the power of problem solving, cognitive skills and intestinal fortitude BEFORE the Note or iPhone was invented.

I have to go get ready to play to a bunch of college students.  I’m doing my homework NOW.

Keep ‘em spinning.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on Facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com

Pioneer DJ Introduces New HDJ-X5BT Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones

Pioneer has upgraded their affordable HDJ-X5 DJ headphones, adding Bluetooth® wireless technology to create the HDJ-X5BT. The new over-ear DJ headphones are ideal for DJing in the club and monitoring tracks on the move.

They are available in three colors: HDJ-X5BT-K (metallic black), HDJ-X5BT-R (metallic red) and HDJ-X5BT-W (gloss white).

DJs need equipment that is flexible and seamless to help them practice, prepare and perform wherever they go. Thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity, the HDJ-X5BT headphones make it easy to monitor music in any situation – whether you’re at home or on the move. When you connect the included cable, you can also use them for comfortable DJing in the club. Whether you go wireless or wired, the HDJ-X5BT headphones offer the same outstanding audio quality, durability and functionality as the original HDJ-X5 model.

The HDJ-X5BT headphones will be available from early-November at an MAP of $149. Watch the introduction video or find out more about the new Bluetooth headphones.

KEY FEATURES OF THE HDJ-X5BT HEADPHONES 

  1. Wireless technology for monitoring music anywhere you go

With easy set-up, you can simply power up the HDJ-X5BT headphones and pair them with your Bluetooth device – such as a smartphone or PC/Mac – then start monitoring tracks. A 3-hour charge gives you up to approximately 20 hours of playback. Thanks to the built-in microphone, you can talk hands-free on calls when the headphones are connected to your phone*1.

  1. Well-balanced, dynamic sound

Hear every nuance in your tracks whether you’re mixing in the booth or monitoring music at home. High-resolution, well-balanced tuning and bass reflex chambers in the housings allow the airflow to deliver an excellent bass response and sound insulation. The high-quality Qualcomm® aptX™ audio codec is supported as well as AAC and SBC for high-quality sound, even when listening wirelessly.

  1. Lasting durability

Take your cans on the road with confidence. The HDJ-X series headphones are rigorously tested and each model has cleared the US Military Standard MIL-STD-810G Shock test*2 as well as our own demanding stress testing to ensure they can handle severe conditions and heavy use.

  1. Flexible functionality for comfortable DJing

When you want to immerse yourself in a mix, connect the included 1.2m coiled cable to automatically disable Bluetooth and all other buttons. The HDJ-X5BT headphones are comfortable to use no matter how you wear them, thanks to the housing design, swivel mechanism and flexible headband inherited from the predecessors in the HDJ-X series.

  1. Other features
  • Comfortable ear pads

Wear your headphones in comfort for long sets. We carefully selected material that’s soft to the touch and provides cushioning, and we even paid attention to the positioning of the stitching to maximise its comfort.

  • Foldable, easy-to-carry design
  • Three colors available

Choose from metallic black (HDJ-X5BT-K), metallic red (HDJ-X5BT-R) or gloss white (HDJ-X5BT-W) versions to match the style of your gear and your look.

  • Original unique sounds for each beep when connecting via Bluetooth, powering and pairing, etc.

*1 You can use these headphones for phone calls if the Bluetooth-compatible phone (cellular phone, smartphone, etc.) is compatible with the HSP or HFP Bluetooth profile.

*2 MIL-STD-810G METHOD 516.7 SHOCK compliant.

HDJ-X5BT specifications

Version Bluetooth Specification Ver. 4.2
Output Bluetooth Specification Class 2
Maximum communication distance Prospective distance approx. 10m*3
Supported Bluetooth profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
Supported codecs SBC, AAC, Qualcomm® aptX™, Qualcomm® aptX™ Low Latency
Play time Approx. 20 Hours*4
Charging time Approx. 3 Hours
Type Closed, Dynamic
Frequency response 5 Hz – 30 kHz
Input impedance 32 kΩ
Sensitivity 104 dB
Maximum input power 2,000 mW
Driver φ 40 mm
Connection cord 1.2 m coiled cable (extended length 1.8 m)
Weight 319 g (without cable)
Accessories φ6.3 mm stereo plug adapter (threaded type),

USB charging cable

Warranty 1 Year

 

*3 Transmission distances are a guideline. Transmission distance may change depending on the surrounding environment.

*4 Sometimes less depending on the conditions of use.

Website: http://www.pioneerdj.com/

 

Digging for Diamonds

By Tony Fernandez

Through my travels on the web and through the various DJ pages, I keep seeing a recurring thought: The state of music, specifically current music, is at an all-time low. If that isn’t enough, that state of mind puts DJs into the frame of mind of: what are the good songs that should be played? The stuff out now is crap… blah, blah, blah….

I gotta tell ya, I really have no sympathy for the DJ who can’t figure out where to get “good” music. Let me explain my position before you flame me…

A long time ago in a galaxy not far away, there were these things called record stores. These record stores would have music on physical formats that people would purchase. DJs, at least the proactive DJs, wouldn’t go to a “regular” retail stores where troglodytes would buy their music. Nope. DJs would go WAY off the beaten path to find outlets that catered to them.

In these establishments is where bonds were formed, deals were made, fortunes found.

Now I’m not really going to wax on about record stores. That’s not the point. The point I’m trying to elucidate is: if you are lacking “good” music, go find it. It’s out there. Nothing worthwhile is just going to drop in your lap.

With the dawn of the digital age, record stores met their demise. As such, music is currently traded around, downloaded, and acquired in the digital scheme. That scenario, I think, has made a lot of DJs lackadaisical, complacent, passive and downright lazy to a fundamental aspect of being a DJ…

You have to dig to find that diamond in the rough. You have to put a bit of effort in your musical acquisitions. There is absolutely no reason to be obsequious in this aspect of your job. Make the time. It’s part of your job.

Just because you keep up with charts, subscribe to record pools and/or remix services doesn’t absolve you of keeping up. You really can’t just sit back and expect format radio to break the next “hot” song.

If you haven’t figured this out… format radio isn’t in the business of breaking music. Format radio is in the business of selling advertising time, to make money. They use music to do that.

You can’t just wait for your inbox to give you a notification that your downloads from the pools/remix services are ready and you’re good to go.   It’s not the job of record pools to pad your hard drive. Pools are at the mercy of the record labels and their release schedules.

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of tracks that radio, the charts, the pools, the remix services are NEVER going to pick up on, play, or release. It’s incumbent on you to seek those out. To at least listen and see if something new and different is worth playing it or your crowd.

I also realize that people are creatures of habit. They like familiarity. They like things they know. They like things they’ve heard. I get that. I’m in no way saying that DJs need to play unreleased, white label, bootleg versions of songs to be cool or relevant. The vast majority of DJs play to the general public. As such, we need to keep our music programming recognizable. I do get that.

Since music now is in a digital medium, we ALL have access to the SAME tracks. (Pretty much…) We all are drinking form the same fountain, as it were. Because that’s the case, we need to set ourselves apart. Finding new music and/or remixes to current / popular music is an aspect that DJs need to take advantage of. There is good music and good remixes out there. Just don’t expect it to fall into your hard drive.

Keep ‘em spinnin’ and dig around a bit. You’ll never know what you might find.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com

Bedroom to Main Room: Pioneer Introduces the XDJ-RR

Make the transition from playing at home to performing at parties, bars and eventually clubs with Pioneer’s new XDJ-RR 2-channel all-in-one DJ system for rekordboxTM . The system inherits all the basic features from their club-standard NXS2 set-up and packs them into a lightweight, portable body that’s easy to take to parties and gigs as you progress through the DJ ranks.

The XDJ-RR offers you flexibility, so you can practice and perform however you prefer. It’s compatible with our professional performance application rekordbox dj (license included) but if you don’t want to use a PC/Mac, you can export your rekordbox-analyzed music to USB storage devices, plug them into the controller and play tracks directly from them.

Keep an eye on all the information you need thanks to the XDJ-RR’s 7-inch full-color screen and use performance features and FX inherited from the NXS2 set-up – such as Hot Cues, Slip Loop and Beat FX – to craft unique mixes on the fly.

Unleash your creativity with the XDJ-RR and follow your dreams from your bedroom to the club.

A license key for rekordbox dj worth $129 is included with the XDJ-RR so you can plug it into your PC or Mac straight out of the box and start mixing. If you already own rekordbox dj, upgrade to the latest version to use the XDJ-RR.

To help protect your XDJ-RR on the road, the DJC-RR BAG will be available from October (EMEA only). The high-quality bag is perfectly sized to snugly fit the all-in-one DJ system and features a Durashock molded body and ballistic polyester to prevent damage from knocks and vibrations.

The XDJ-RR will be available from mid-September at an MAP of $1,099.

 Watch the introduction video or find out more about the all-in-one DJ system.

KEY FEATURES OF THE XDJ-RR 

  1. Layout and features from club-standard NXS2 set-up

The XDJ-RR inherits its layout design and many of its performance controls, features and FX from our flagship CDJ-2000NXS2 professional multi player and DJM-900NXS2 professional mixer set-up. You can play rekordbox-analyzed tracks directly from USB storage drives or connect your PC/Mac to the XDJ-RR and use rekordbox dj – our professional performance application. You also have the option to use Link Export mode.

  1. Dual USB-A ports and single USB-B port

Connect your PC/Mac to the USB-B port at the rear of the XDJ-RR and plug USB drives into the dual USB-A ports on the top of the system to ensure seamless handovers between DJs.

  1. 7-inch full-colour screen

Browse and select tracks quickly and intuitively via the 7-inch full-colour screen, using the GUI design and large rotary selector from the CDJ-2000NXS2 multi player. Get a quick visual reference of track information such as playback position, BPM and waveforms for more accurate mixing and scratching.

  1. Performance controls

Enhance your sets using dedicated controls for performance features:

  • Hot Cues – mark various points in your tracks and instantly play from them by hitting the Hot Cue pads. Create live remixes by triggering Hot Cues in unique sequences.
  • Beat Loop – loop a section of a track and the XDJ-RR automatically sets the loop-out point based on the BPM. You can chop up loops on the fly for even more creative performances.
  • Slip Loop – switch on Slip Loop and tracks keep playing silently in the background when you’re scratching or using other performance features. Then, when you’re ready to drop the track back in, it plays from exactly the right place.
  • Beat Jump – easily change the way a track develops by jumping backwards or forwards by the number of beats you choose.
  1. Mixer section with professional FX

Perform smooth, precise mixes using the EQs and channel faders, which feature curves equal to those on the DJM-900NXS2 professional club mixer. You can spice up your sets with FX also inherited from the flagship mixer:

Beat FX – change the sound in sync with the beat:

  • Echo
  • Reverb
  • Flanger

Sound Color FX – add texture and tension by simply turning the knob:

  • Filter
  • Noise
  • Dub Echo
  • Pitch
  1. Lightweight and portable

Take the XDJ-RR wherever you want to practise or perform thanks to its portable design. It’s compact and weighs just 5.2 kg – almost 4 kg (43%) less than the XDJ-RX2 – making it perfect for carrying to your next house party or gig.

Other features

  • All-in-one design enables simple and speedy set-up

Connect the XDJ-RR to a power source and your speakers or sound system and you’re ready to perform. There’s no need for cables between the player and mixer sections.

  • External audio input

Play music from external sources or mobile devices thanks to the AUX input.

  • Link Export mode for rekordbox

Connect your laptop directly to the XDJ-RR with a single USB cable and play the tracks in your rekordbox library without exporting them to a USB drive.

  • Includes rekordbox dj license key

Activate the rekordbox dj license key (worth $129) bundled with the XDJ-RR to use our professional performance application. And, if you add the DDJ-XP1 DJ sub controller to your set-up (available separately), you can unleash even more of rekordbox dj’s features – for example, by using the 32 Performance Pads to trigger extra FX – and bring more creative flair to your performances.

XDJ-RR Specifications

Frequency characteristic 20 Hz to 20 kHz (USB, AUX, MIC)
S/N ratio 112 dB (USB)
Total harmonic distortion 0.003% (USB)
Input / Output terminals Inputs AUX x 1 (RCA)

MIC x 1 (XLR & 1/4-inch TRS jack)

Outputs MASTER 1 x 1 (XLR)

MASTER 2 x 1 (RCA)

PHONES x 2 (1/4-inch stereo phone jack x 1, 3.5-mm stereo mini jack x 1)

USB USB (Type A) x 2

USB (Type B) x 1

Dimensions (W x D x H) 625.0 mm x 388.5 mm x 74.2 mm
Main unit weight 5.2 kg
Accessories Power cord

AC adapter

USB cable

Instruction manual (Quick start guide)

rekordbox dj license key card

 

rekordbox system requirements

Compatible OS Mac macOS High Sierra 10.13 (updated to the latest version)

macOS Sierra 10.12 (updated to the latest version)

OS X 10.11 (updated to the latest version)

Windows Windows® 10, 8.1, 7 (the latest service pack)
CPU Intel® processor CoreTM i7, i5, i3
Memory 4GB or more of RAM

 

Website: http://www.pioneerdj.com

C’mon, Man!

By Glen Ervin:

 Assumptions: We all make them all the time. It’s how our brains function, the result of millions of years of evolution (one would assume) during which pretty much everything was trying to kill you. Good times. Problems arise, however, when we confuse our assumptions with reality despite clear evidence to the contrary.

The pipe and tweed crowd refers to the habit of hoarding preconceived notions as cognitive bias, and have come up with some pretty catchy titles to describe its symptoms.

Some you may recognize: the Bandwagon Effect, Confirmation Bias, Cheerleader Effect, the Dunning-Kruger Effect, aka all the other kids are doing it, I’m just here for opinions that agree with mine, five girls in skimpy skirts are better than one girl in a skimpy skirt, and way too many idiots have an inflated opinion of themselves, respectively.

Others less well known have no doubt spread your way.

Maybe you’ve caught an earful of the Sharing Music Doesn’t Hurt Anyone Bias. That’s the shell game some DJs play where they convince themselves that taking caviar off the table of rich recording artists is no big deal while conveniently ignoring the fact that everyone from secretaries to songwriters to how much DJs can charge for their events is negatively impacted by music piracy.

Or maybe it’s the Music Is Free Effect, Real DJs Don’t Use Sync Bias, Real DJs Beatmatch Effect and, my personal favorite, the I Have More Songs On My Hard Drive Than You Do Bias that make you back away from the keyboard and voice the only reasonable response available…

C’mon man!

If you’re in a place where you think you’re entitled to earn a living by ripping off artists and driving down prices for other DJs. Or need to build yourself up by tearing other DJs down, that’s… a choice.

Just know those of us who strive every day to make our best better and value the music that makes doing what we love for a living possible are rolling their eyes.

And while we may not always say it out loud, we’re thinking it…

C’mon man!

After being turned out to pasture following a 16-year club residency, Glen Ervin finds himself gainfully employed as Promo Only sales manager, media consultant and staff writer.

Pioneer’s New DDJ-400: Club-standard layout & new Tutorial feature

If you want to try DJing at home and see how far you can take it, Pioneer has created the perfect controller to learn on: the DDJ-400. Made for dedicated use with their professional performance application, rekordbox dj (free license key included), the 2-channel DDJ-400 is designed to help you get the most from the new features coming to the software with the release of rekordboxTM ver 5.3 today.

The DDJ-400 is the ideal piece of kit for first-time DJs. Its controls enable you to easily learn the basics, plus it’s packed with features that will help you develop your skills. The controller is compatible with the new Tutorial feature in rekordbox dj, which explains basic equipment operation step by step. Even if you’ve never ventured behind the decks before, you can learn how to DJ.

Thanks to the lightweight and portable design, you can take the DDJ-400 to friends’ houses to practice together or bring it to parties and small venues to perform. And if you want to take mixing to the next level, you’ll feel at home in the club DJ booth because the DDJ-400 inherits design traits from our professional range. The layout of dedicated play/pause and cue buttons, Beat FX, CDJ-style looping controls and more is inherited from our NXS2 set-up.

The DDJ-400 will be available from late June at an MAP of $249. Watch the introduction video or find out more about the controller.

A license key for rekordbox dj worth $129 is included with the DDJ-400 so you can plug it into your PC or Mac straight out of the box and start mixing. If you already own rekordbox dj, upgrade to the latest version to use the controller.

KEY FEATURES OF THE DDJ-400

  1. Club-style layout

The buttons and knobs on the DDJ-400 are arranged in the same way as those on our club-standard CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2 set-up.

  • Player sections

Get familiar with jog wheels, play/pause and cue buttons, tempo sliders, a loop section and cue/loop call buttons just like the ones on the CDJ-2000NXS2.

  • Mixer section

Use the trim and EQ knobs, and the headphone cue buttons, in exactly the same way as those on the DJM-900NXS2.

  1. Other features
  • Built-in sound card (audio interface) – plug and play by simply connecting the controller to your PC/Mac using a single USB cable.
  • Mic input circuit clear audio without distortion, even with high input level.
  • USB bus powered no need to plug into the mains.
  • Grab handles on both sides – easy to carry.
  • Class compliant – no need to install a driver.

KEY FEATURES OF REKORDBOX VER 5.3

  1. Tutorial feature – learn how to DJ

Follow the instructions of the Tutorial on your PC/Mac’s screen. Even if you’re a complete beginner, you can learn how to DJ. The Tutorial feature is also compatible with the DDJ-RB as of 26th June 2018.

  1. Track Suggestion – displays tracks that match well with the one currently playing1

This feature ranks every track in your rekordbox library according to how well it matches with the one you’re currently playing, helping you choose tracks that will fit well in your set. The track displayed at the top of the track list is the most relevant one to play next. Quickly scroll through your music, making maximum use of your collection.

There are three sorting modes:

  • Era: tracks with a close year of release.
  • Mood: tracks with a similar mood.
  • Association: tracks sharing traits such as artist, label,

1 To use this feature effectively, build up track information in your rekordbox library.

  1. Easy sharing of mixes to social media with track titles and time stamps

Use rekordbox to record your sets and share them with the world via social media channels such as Mixcloud, YouTube and KUVO. When you upload your mix, all track titles and time stamps are automatically added by rekordbox, so listeners can check each track title while enjoying your set.

DDJ-400 specifications

Software rekordbox dj
Frequency Response 20 Hz to 20 kHz
S/N Ratio 103 dB (USB)
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.005%
Input/Output Terminals Inputs MIC x 1 (1/4-inch TS jack)
Outputs MASTER x 1 (RCA x 1)

PHONES x 1 (3.5-mm stereo mini jack x 1)

USB USB (Type B) x 1
Maximum Dimensions (WxDxH) 482.0 x 272.4 x 58.5 mm
Weight 2.1 kg
Accessories USB cable

Quick Start Guide

rekordbox dj license key card

 

rekordbox dj system requirements

Compatible OS Mac macOS High Sierra 10.13 (updated to the latest version)

macOS Sierra 10.12 (updated to the latest version)

OS X 10.11 (updated to the latest version)

Windows Windows® 10, 8.1, 7 (the latest service pack)
CPU Intel® processor CoreTM i7, i5, i3
Memory 4GB or more of RAM

 

To mix or not to mix (hint: mix)

By Tony Fernandez:

Its 2018 right? Which means that since the late 1960s DJs have been segueing from record to record, song to song, to maintain a vibe and the consistency of that vibe, roughly some 50 years. So why is it in the technologically advanced world that we currently live in that some DJs still chose not to mix?

Before I continue on my diatribe, let me step off the soapbox for a moment…

I do realize its America. As such, I know I have no right to dictate how one should DJ. I’m sure there are plenty of DJs that don’t mix and make a lot more money than me.

Back to my soapbox…
I’m not saying that all DJs need to be qualifiers for the DMC battle for World Supremacy or finalists for Red Bull Thre3Style. Just asking how is it possible that some DJs put no thought or effort into mastering a fundamental skill that all DJs should have in their arsenal.

Let’s put it this way: If you don’t mix, you’re pretty much a bag of bones that pushes buttons.
You’re just navigating a playlist. And yes, for those who don’t know, I am NOT a fan of playlists.

Let’s frame it another way: On some level we’re all pretty much playing the same songs. We all subscribe to the same record pools (shameless plug for Promo Only here). We all have the potential to have the same content. So… how are you as a DJ going to distinguish yourself from everyone else?

Come on kids, you have to do better. You have to maintain a certain set of fundamental skills. Know your music. Know how to read a crowd. Know your gear. Know how to say no to that seventh cocktail. And know how to mix.

While I’m pontificating, let me add: If you don’t mix (for whatever justification you hang your headphones on) don’t post up and comment on how ‘I haven’t needed to mix in the two centuries I’ve been a DJ and I’m still getting work…’ Honestly, to me, that’s a cop-out and a mitigation of a rudimentary skill you should possess. Besides, stating that you don’t know how to mix isn’t really painting yourself in the best light.

Mixing isn’t neurological surgery. I’m truly not trying to make mixing more important that what it is. But there is a method to the madness, as it were. Mixing is more than just finding songs with the same BPM. Mixing is more than just blending two (or more) songs together. You have to pick the CORRECT song to mix with. You have to know when to START the mix. You have to know when to END the mix. And you have to be consistent from song to song to song, usually for 4 hours or more.

I truly do not understand how someone can find solace in not mixing, ergo, not being a complete DJ. Mixing music is what a DJ does. It’s part of the essence of being a DJ. Dare I say (if I haven’t said enough already) that mixing is a requisite skill that every DJ should have in their toolbox.

Till next time DJs. Keep ‘em spinning.

And mix those spins.

 

 Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com

 

A DJ’s role

By Tony Fernandez:

Let me say right off the bat… I am NOT a fan of Cardi B’s music. To me, “Bodak Yellow” is unlistenable. Recently, however, I found myself, mostly out of curiosity, watching Cardi B co-host the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I will admit I was thoroughly entertained. She was funny, engaging and genuinely herself. She was hilarious. Then she performed “Money Bag…” which brings us to the dynamic of music in general and to the DJ’s role in that music specifically.

As I have stated, I am not a fan of Cardi B’s music. However, I totally respect her as an artist. She has the right to create any music she desires and to work her shtick any way she sees fit. I don’t find fault with that whatsoever.

On the flip side, I believe any artist that puts themself in the public forum, any artist that is trying to monetize their craft, opens themselves up to admiration in conjunction with disregard: I can acknowledge and respect Cardi B as an artist…

I don’t have to purchase or play her music.

As DJs, we’re hired to be professional music soothsayers. We play songs in accordance to the client’s wishes or the crowd’s feedback. We all, myself included, play music that we don’t personally like. We’re there to do a job, not play for our personal entertainment.

BUT…. (there’s always a but) while we are DJs, we are human as well. We all have our personal proclivities. We have our biases. We have our likes and dislikes. And on some level, consciously or subconsciously, our dispositions are reflected in the way we program.

As a DJ, I have both the right and responsibility to pass judgement through my own personal filter. As a DJ who acts as an ambassador of music and is a tastemaker, I have the right to exercise my disposition at my discretion.

I play songs I personally don’t care for all the time. There are also songs I will not play. Period. I have garnered through experience and reputation the right to be in that position. I work with clients and venues that understand that I have PLENTY of other options, songs, and artists to play/program.

Not playing an artist doesn’t pass my personal filter is not going to kill my floors.

I don’t let what’s popular dictate how I program. I do take requests. But those requests have to be tempered with what works best at the event I’m working. Taste, appropriateness, content, and personal experience all come into play before a song is played.

I feel it’s incumbent on DJs to be able to exercise their judgement and mollify music that has questionable content. Granted that “questionable content” is often subjective, but the fact remains that DJs should feel compelled to be gatekeepers of “good” music.

Keep ‘em spinning.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email

Pioneer’s new HDJ-S7 professional on-ear DJ headphones

Following the launch of Pioneer’s  HDJ-X10, HDJ-X7 and HDJ-X5 professional over-ear DJ headphone models in autumn 2017, they’re releasing the HDJ-S7 professional on-ear DJ headphones. The new model offers outstanding audio quality, superior durability and improved functionality for comfortable DJing.

Available in black or white, the HDJ-S7 headphones are the world’s first on-ear DJ headphones to feature 40-mm HD1 drivers.2 This ensures the clear sound separation needed for monitoring during mixes, from rich and powerful bass to clear mid and high frequencies. Designed and built to be highly robust, they have cleared the US Military Standard MIL-STD-810G Shock test3, as well as our stringent in-house durability tests.

The new model features a swivel mechanism, a flexible headband and a smaller on-ear can, which is preferred by some DJs – so you can comfortably use the HDJ-S7 for every style of DJ monitoring.

The HDJ-S7 headphones will be available from late-April 2018 at an MAP of $199.

Watch our introduction video or find out more about the HDJ-S7 headphones and the available accessories.

 

KEY FEATURES OF THE HDJ-S7 HEADPHONES

 

 

  1. Outstanding sound
  • High-quality audio design

The HDJ-S7 headphones are equipped with our newly developed 40-mm HD drivers, making them the world’s first on-ear DJ headphones to reproduce high-resolution sound from 5Hz to 40 kHz – the same frequency range achieved by the flagship HDJ-X10 over-ear headphones. This ensures clear sound separation, from rich and tight bass to crystal-clear mid-to-high frequencies. As a result, the HDJ-S7 headphones deliver the immersive sound needed for precise monitoring in the loudest clubs.

  • 4-core twisted-structure cable

The independent ground wire in the 4-core twisted-structure cable provides superior left and right channel separation, improving sound quality.

  • Bass reflex chamber

The bass reflex chamber in the upper housing ensures excellent bass response and sound insulation.

  1. Superior durability
  • Rigorously tested

Take the HDJ-S7 headphones on the road and feel confident they’ll handle severe conditions and heavy use. The headphones have cleared the US Military Standard MIL-STD-810G Shock test, as well as our own demanding stress testing.

  • Highly durable materials and construction

To make the HDJ-S7 headphones highly durable and lightweight at the same time, we’ve used metal components in parts that are tested in high stress environments to create a strong construction for professional use.

  1. Improved functionality
  • Swivel mechanism for all monitoring styles

When developing any new product, we create numerous prototypes, each time with improvements based on the feedback of highly respected international DJs who test the equipment. Using this feedback and the results of our analysis of many different styles of monitoring, we’ve made sure the HDJ-S7 headphones are comfortable to use for any monitoring style, especially when hanging them on your neck with the swivel angle fixed to 45 degrees forwards. What’s more, the outside of the housing is textured for enhanced grip, so you can quickly grab it and start listening.

  • Comfortable and flexible headband

To help you find the perfect fit, the HDJ-S7 headphones feature a flexible, durable headband. Passing stringent tests, including opening and closing 20,000 times, they’re built to withstand intense use.

  • Comfortable ear pads

Improvements made to the ear pads (compared to those on the HDJ-C70 headphones) enable you to DJ in comfort for longer. We carefully selected high-quality urethane material that’s soft to the touch and provides cushioning, and we even paid attention to the positioning of the stitching to ensure you don’t feel it.

  1. Other features
  • Replacement parts available

Easily refresh the detachable cables and ear pads on the HDJ-S7 headphones using replacement parts (available separately).

  • Excellent portability

When you’re travelling to gigs, you can be confident your HDJ-S7 headphones will be well protected in the included compact carry case. Made from strong materials to protect your headphones from bumps and knocks on flights and in transit, the case has pockets for storing accessories such as USB devices and SD cards.

  • Various accessories included

The HDJ-S7 headphones come with two detachable cables: a 1.2 m coiled cable (approximately 3.0 m when extended) and a 1.6 m straight cable. An L-type mini-jack prevents the connection from being knocked or accidentally disconnected during performances, even in cramped booths.

  • 2-year warranty

To guarantee long-term, reliable performance, a 2-year warranty is included.

1 High definition.

2 First headphones in the world to feature 40-mm HD drivers in the on-ear DJ headphones market (according to internal investigation as of 18th April 2018).

3 MIL-STD-810G METHOD 516.7 SHOCK compliant.

【 HDJ-S7 specifications】

Type Closed, Dynamic
Frequency response 5 Hz to 40,000 Hz
Impedance 48 Ω
Sensitivity 107 dB
Maximum input power 2,000 mW
Driver φ 40 mm
Connection cord 1.2 m coiled cable (extended length 3.0 m)

1.6 m straight cable

Weight 215 g (without cable)
Accessories Ø 6.3 mm stereo plug adapter (threaded type)

Carry case

 Disclaimer:

* Other stated company names, product names, technology names, etc. are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Website: http://www.pioneerdj.com/

 

Where Everybody Knew Your Name

By Tony Fernandez:

In the seemingly never-ending social media debate of Digital vs Vinyl, you hear the same points brought up time after time…

Vinyl is better

Digital is better

Record crates suck (this is actually true…)

Vinyl sounds warmer

Digital sounds cleaner

Vinyl made selection a skill

Digital made selection ubiquitous

Blah, blah, blah….

But the query that inspired me to put these words down was this: To what extent do you miss the social interaction with music /record store employees (who were usually fellow music lovers and/or DJs) that was inherent in buying vinyl records vs the isolated process of digital downloads?

I have to admit when I think about it I do miss that aspect of the vinyl world.

Going to record stores for me was an adventure. I was lucky enough to do a little bit of traveling and I would always check out the local record shops when I would be in a new town. It never failed that I would find some diamond in the rough that was overlooked by everyone else.

It was like a secret society. Once people knew you were a DJ and became a “regular”, things opened up. People treated you nicer and would grant you access to areas of the store the general public didn’t have. They would show you the under the counter stuff or the back room stuff.   Getting access to promo releases and white label prints on a retail level was not an easy feat. I’m glad to say I was able to cultivate a nice circle of stores where I could find some really choice pieces of wax.

And honestly, the people the worked there, the managers and the owners, they were really about the music. And that’s the part that was cool. It was like walking into the Cheer’s Bar, the people there would know who you were, be happy to see you and just catch up. I’m pretty sure to some I was just another customer, and that was OK. But by and large, everyone I met at the record store was very cool and always willing to help you in the task of finding the unique piece.

It was all about the journey. Making road trips to certain record stores because you were either going to play there that night or you just wanted to make a road trip and eat at that local restaurant. One thing for certain, the trip was not going to be in vain. You’d either come back with awesome tunes, a great meal or both.

I love playing “records”. But I still use SSL. I don’t miss lugging 40 lb crates loaded with vinyl. I don’t really miss the act of digging in the crates. I still do that in the digital space now. Not the same, but the results are the same. I do miss making those road trips and being a vinyl Indiana Jones. Nothing really beat having that piece of wax in your hand, placing it on the platter, dropping the track and having your friends ask, where did you find that?

My answer was always the same… don’t worry about it, it doesn’t matter, I got the last one.

Keep ‘em spinning.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com