Imitating Analogue

With the rapid encroachment of technology on every aspect of our lives, I occasionally find myself questioning the value of replicating things digitally. One rule that over the past few years I have always stuck by, is the use of vinyl over digital formats regarding mixing music, or DJ-ing. The reason for this is simple: I like the way it feels. The way you could grab, spin or scratch a record is probably the major reason that people are still buying analogue as opposed to CD DJ turntables today.

For years I weighed up the pros and cons of digital versus analogue, with the only reason for sticking to vinyl being for that direct connection of the hand to the musical format. On the tally board, however, digital won by a country mile; music was cheaper to obtain, easier to lug about, was able to be edited easily, and so on. The possibilities were endless. Vinyl still prevailed, however, for that one intimate factor.

This week the scales eventually tipped and my love for the feel of analogue was outweighed by the power and possibilities of digital. Abandoning my trusted pair of Technics turntables for the digital ease of a couple of Pioneer DJM-800 CD turntables I now have limitless possibilities of editing music on the fly adding loops and effects to what was once an ordinary track. Throw a laptop and a program like Ableton Live! into the mix and the possibilities are endless. Much like the synthesised handclap becoming recognized as the sound of a real handclap in pop music in the 1970's, I have converted to the idea of accepting that the vinyl mode on my digital turntable will replace my idea of what analogue felt like.

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Neil McVean

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