DJing around the world used to mean carrying my turntables and my vinyl record collection everywhere I went. It took up a lot of space in my suitcase and weighed a lot too. These days I no longer have to worry about this. All I need to DJ is my laptop. Any club I play at provides the controller. I haven’t seen many that don’t have one. All of my music is on my laptop or on a USB disk. No need to carry heavy equipment anymore.
But I’m not sure that’s such a good thing. I love listening to music on vinyl and I really miss it. I have a turntable record player in my apartment at home, but it’s not portable and I don’t take it with me when I travel.
I still travel with speakers, but now I hook them up to my smart phone whenever I want to listen to music. I used to hook them up to my record player and that way I could listen to vinyl on the road. I do miss that.
I have converted all of my vinyl records to the digital format, so I do have those same vinyl sounds on my smart phone and on my computer, but it’s still not quite the same. It was also cool to have a few people over to my room and listen to vinyl records. Even if the sound is very similar, it just felt more sophisticated to have a record player playing the music, instead of the phone.
I also miss collecting records. I used to love browsing record stores and finding those gems and then playing them in my sets and surprising the crowd. I would play a lot of old records that they hadn’t heard in years, but they brought back nostalgic feelings. I also played a lot of new records that they had never heard before. That was always one of the coolest feelings. I loved it when I could surprise my audience by playing something they didn’t even know existed.
Oftentimes some of them would even come up to me after the show and asked me what it was they had heard. That was always one of my favorite things and that doesn’t really happen too much anymore. I guess you could still find new music by browsing on Spotify or whatever, but it isn’t really the same. In fact, I kind of hate browsing on there for music. It’s just not as much fun as going to a record store.
I do still visit record stores when I travel and occasionally buy vinyl records too, but they are just for my personal collection at home. So I guess it’s still fun but it definitely isn’t the same. And you don’t find as much music in the record stores these days.
They are struggling to stay open, so they need to stock what people want. And since nowadays it’s mostly hipsters who want to listen to vinyl, or more accurately want to have a player sitting around but never actually touch it, record stores stock the kind of music they like. It’s definitely not the kind of music I like.
So, yes, like many older people I miss vinyl. And yes, I know it’s making a comeback, but it is making a comeback among people most of us don’t really like. But more than anything, I miss spinning on vinyl. Manipulating the controller simulates it perfectly, but it still isn’t the same, is it? There’s just something about having an actual record on the record player and spinning and scratching it, that you don’t get from digital music. I miss it.