DJ Expo was definitely one of the most interesting to date. A good
majority of the vendors incorporated skratching into their displays,
including the CD and software vendors! The highlight of the expo was
probably the worlds first CD digital vs. turntable analog
skratch demonstration hosted by Qbert, Yogafrog, and Gerald Webb.
The seminar was
packed as this was the most anticipated lecture/demonstration of the
event. Gerald World Wide Webb started by stating that he
did start off as a traditional DJ, using vinyl and everything. What
turned him onto skratching with digital methods was the potential of
being able to use effects as well as the ease of being able to put
any sound instantaneously onto a CD and skratch it right then and
there. Qbert agreed that everyone should be open minded to
everything, but as of now he is definitely sticking with the turntable.
Yogafrog MC'd the
demonstration. It wasnt a battle, as most press had promoted it
to be. The seminar was designed to show everyone how far the CD
skratch mechanisms have gone compared to the turntable. The
demonstration was structured in a question/answer format.
From the start it was obvious which medium allowed for the most
control - the turntable. The CD skratch module was not nearly as
responsive to the human touch. While Qbert was able to manipulate
each sound in real time, Gerald used an effect box to bend his
sounds. Qbert also seemed to have a much easier time switching
samples or needle dropping, even though Gerald had samples
pre-recorded on one CD. When it came to playing HORSE,
the turntable once again proved to be the most advantageous medium as
Qbert was able to mock and elevate every skratch that Gerald
produced. The CD skratch technology is definitely taking a step in
the right direction, but for now the turntable is still by far the
medium of choice for the skratch musician.
Both Qbert and
Gerald were very open to questions and comments from the audience.
One of the first questions to Qbert was would you ever switch
over to CD skratching? Qbert politely replied that that would
never happen unless someone was able to exactly duplicate the feel
and control of vinyl. The digital technology is still far off. Gerald
was asked what the advantages does a CD skratcher have over analog
(vinyl). He likes the fact that effects can be applied easily and
also the fact that original CDs are easier to create per DJ than a
piece of vinyl.
Right now there
are three different companies who are in the process of developing CD
skratch devices: Pioneer, Tascam, and American DJ. All are trying to
replicate the control and feel of skratching with vinyl. Even though
the current technology is not quite there, they are definitely on the