practicality. A DJ would be able to bring his or her entire music collection on asmall device rather than carrying crates of records or endless CD folders togigs. DJ software allows the DJ to mix traditionally by interfacing the laptop toa pair of turntables or CD players via timecoded vinyls or CDs. Relativelysimple in concept, the timecode control record contains data that indicates theposition of the needle, which the software uses to place the position of the MP3being played. Changes to the pitch of the timecode through manipulation of the turntable (or CDJ) pitch control directs the software to increase ordecrease the tempo of the MP3 as required.Early DJ software was primitive, but it did provide the DJ with usefulinformation about the songs they play. Waveforms and BPM informationbecame guides for DJs to plan better mixes.DJ software quickly evolved to include the most controversial feature that hashit the world of DJ-ing. This feature is known as
. When a DJactivates the auto-sync feature, the software aligns the beats of the two tracksbeing played to ensure a perfect beat-mix. This releases the DJ from the time-consuming task of manually beat-matching, but removes a significant part of the DJ craft. This is where the controversy arises. Purists believe that the art of DJ-ing requires manual mixing, while embracers of technology believe thatremoving this task frees the DJ to focus on the real art—song selection.I have used both manual and automated systems and I’m going to boldly statemy position. Auto-sync mixing
diminish the art of DJ-ing. There are twoaspects to art: the end product and the
of the end product.Autosync supporters focus much of their argument on the end product. Theybelieve that the means of production is not as important as the end product initself. The idea is that the real goal of a DJ is to read a crowd and select songs.Those song are to be delivered as a seemless mix, but how that mix istechnically implemented is not relevant. Furthermore, auto-sync supportersargue that the crowd doesn’t care about the implementation of the mix, solong as it is tight and delivers the songs that take them on a journey.