Tuesday, 17 June 2008

mtf - week 12 - dj Skilz

Well, scratching is all well and good... however more than 30 seconds continuous is just tedious. It reminds me of the Theremin - at first it's a really interesting use of time/space, then "OMG is that is ? A warbly pure tone ? Where's my polyphony ? Let alone distortion/delay/chorus/etc...?"

Apart from that minor quibble, the art of DJing is a very fine art. There are practitioners of all skill levels and it is rare that I experience the finer end.

On the blunter end, my experience of CutDemUp, a digital hardcore freak, (whose approach to scratching was perhaps improved with a blunt needle) was at the time a veritable laugh and a half. Techniques included dragging the needle sideways, and dropping it repetitively. And given the material he was mixing (digital hardcore - and if you don't know, then..here) it blended relatively seamlessly.

On a personal level, my finer moments of DJing have included using the infinite loop at the end of a record for extra "authentic record crackle", and leaving the needle on an unrotating platter - and cranking the volume for quality record feedback (a lovely warm sound).

In regards to the quality DVD we were exposed to in the name of education :P I am a bit curious as to the lack of emphasis on EQ as a tool. The EQ on a decent mixer is incredibly intense, and when used with something as simple as whatever it's called when you have two tracks on at once (beatmixing?) can enhance the layering. Not to mention the use of EQ killswitches (switch based band on/off), which when used with quality psy-trance, can raise the level of your generic middle eight peak to a level of glowstick abandon !!!

[1] Stephen Whittington, "Music Technology Forum: Semester 1 - Week 12 – Itching and Scratching". Lecture presented at the Electronic Music Unit, University of Adelaide, South Australia, 5th June 2008

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