Warning: This blog is more directed at deejays. It was something I posted today on a DJ Site for learners. If it's your cup of tea then fine. I'm just saying!
I burned a CD for a customer last night for their wedding ceromony. It was the first CD I've burned in 5 years and without anything but Windows media player it was a severe pain in the arse! I thought Itunes was un-user friendly, but that took the cake..
I have been using a Numark D2 and a laptop with OTS AV (super lightweight ultra reliable DJ Software) now for around the last 5 years. It all started when I was looking for one song and it took me the entire length of the gig to find it on the back of another consolidated CDR. That's what we used to do. When you had too many CD singles to fit into your boxes, you had to get a twin cd player and consolidate them down to one or two CDR's. Eventually I had too many CDR albums and that plus the former problem drove me to it! I think that being a mobile DJ and not a club DJ makes us more cutting edge in technology terms, for the simple reason that we have to hang on to all our songs and not just have a little box or these days, cd bag of the current stuff.
I decided to bite the bullet one January when work was thinnest on the ground. I had the help part time of my friend Melenie who was a trained typist and just happened to love my PC keyboard at the time. She enjoyed it and when she couldn't be there I soldiered on through it. I ripped all my CD songs (about 10,000 at the time) using yes..good old windows media player. I have to say it's a lot easier to rip than create some stupid bloody play list to burn etc. It took us around 5 weeks of all day and night ripping and typing! But boy, was it worth it. Now I don't have to carry loads of CD's around and it can all be found in seconds, which is great at a gig. Of course you lose the inspiration of looking through the physical media, but as Pete Tong says, your deejaying always goes down a bit when you change technology. Don't worry though, It comes back pretty soon in the heat of the night when you have to have that one great track!
I am one of those rare creatures who has to have two seperate systems in case one goes down. It's more to carry around but it's saved my arse on a couple of occasions and actually lends itself really well to the nightly environment. When things are not kicking off yet or I want to have a leak or a cigarette, I leave the Ots AV running and mixing by itself on the laptop. When the floor starts to fill, I switch over to the D2 and manually "mix up a storm" as they say. Check my website feedback page if you like. I must be doing something right....
My advice is, go for it. If you are a club DJ and you have limited space, Go for an apple with Traktor (industry standard) software. If you are a mobile like me, then I can honestly say that I haven't wanted to change what I have in 5 years. You can't get the D2 any more, but the mix track pro should be ok. You just may have to commission a larger console as I have, if you want it wired in and ready.
All the best,