Over the weekend, I got sent a picture that made me laugh when I saw it. It contained the above shot of a guy DJing in what could be a school gymnasium, or some random fire hall. Who knows. The fact of the matter is, it made me laugh. Why? Because no matter what music was emitting from the speakers, the sight of a an iMac being used by a DJ, in an age where all you see in clubs, at festivals, and on live streams are two turntables and a mixer (with or without a laptop) being is the norm. And while I get why some people didn't like the post, the picture is still funny to me.
Max Pearl at THUMP made some remarks about the DAD staff commenting on this in Midtown while sipping coconut waters while staring at framed degrees on my desk while seeing this picture. That's cute, I guess. It's so far removed from what my life actually is, or the intent of the post. Do I understand that "everyone has to start from somewhere?" Sure, that's how I got to where I am today. Do I bug out when people look at me weird for using a BlackBerry when everyone is using iPhones and Androids? Or how I used Blogger when all other blogs were done in Wordpress? Not at all; I'm set in my ways, just like this guy with the iMac might be. Do I understand that "it's not about the equipment, but what you're doing with what you have?" Definitely... I've seen DJs who scratch with boomboxes before. Coming up in the '90s, before people knew what CDJs were, I've seen so many wild combinations of DJ equipment. I know DJs who have caught flack for being controller-based in an age of Serato and CDJs. And again, I used a BlackBerry; I get it. But does all of this mean that if I walked into a dance and saw a guy using his iMac to DJ I wouldn't laugh? Hell no. And it's not because it's wrong or I think all DJs need to look a certain way or use the same equipment. If I were at a club and the DJ started getting set up and pulled out an iMac, I'd laugh Simple, really. If that DJ then started to kill it, I'd applaud.
Hell, I imagine that this guy could be just the A/V teacher at a school, wanting to DJ a dance. He might know about digital mixing software, but doesn't own a laptop or a controller, and the school won't shell out for what he needs. He's making do with what he has. Totally understandable, whatever the situation is. But does that mean that, regardless from where most DJs start out from, that he doesn't stick out in a conversation regarding what equipment is used when performing live?
Look, I don't trip about having shots taken at me; at DAD we dish enough of it out, I can take it. But in an age where it's reasonably affordable to have a convenient, portable setup, yes, I'd chuckle if I was out and saw an iMac running in the DJ booth. And for the record, being a great DJ is badass. The use of an iMac doesn't make you any better or worse, especially if you can't mix.