Recently, Pioneer launched a brand new two-channel controller aimed at beginners. The DDJ-FLX4 has Rekordbox and Serato compatibility, works with services like Spotify and Beatport, connects to almost any device you can think of and has a Smart Mixing feature to enable smoother transitions.
Indeed, judging by the gushing articles – well, more regurgitated press releases masquerading as original work, really – from the likes of Resident Advisor, just about the only thing this controller won’t do is make a cup of coffee for you. As Ears To The House hasn’t been invited to test one of these out and doesn’t generally recite from media handouts, we can’t comment on how good or bad it actually is.
Inevitably, online reaction to the controller has been tinged with the usual tiresome snobbery which has infested this scene since day nought. The same people who burst blood vessels at the concept of a sync button must be spontaneously combusting at the prospect of a machine which adjusts the volume and such when doing a blend.
The consensus here is that these same people should aim their fire at those at the top of the scene. Let’s be honest – with the exceptions of a few people like Carl Cox, most of the DJs in dance music’s higher echelons can’t mix for toffee. We realise some of you could come out in hives at this truth, so allow us to explain.
Now, Ears To The House isn’t under pretences that things were different in the past. This has always been the case – even back in the heady 90s, for every smooth mixer like CJ Mackintosh, you had okay-ish DJs like Danny Rampling whose mixes never lived up to their own hype. The problem persists today – even though DJing now is considerably easier than it ever was on sometimes obstreperous turntables.
So never mind this being advertised for beginners – those who think they’re at the top of their game should be using it too. It might also bring an end to this ridiculous spectacle of DJs pointlessly fiddling with knobs on controllers during sets. We’ve got no idea what half of the people we feature on our Friday column DJs Playing Badly are doing, and suspect most of them don’t either.
DJing really isn’t hard in theory. It’s choosing the tunes and playing them in the right order that’s the tricky bit. And frankly, a lot of the so-called best in the scene are terrible at it…
The Pioneer DDJ-FLX4 is available now at the price of £279. Which is roughly the equivalent of several minutes of “work” for some very highly paid DJs who couldn’t mix cement...