Digital Vinyl Systems born out of the noughties like Serato Scratch Live and Traktor have gone on to overtake traditional vinyl-orientated set-ups. The sight of the DJ looking like they’re checking their email is more likely than seeing them riffling through a big sack of wax these days.
It’s rooted firmly in the world of turntablism too - Even the DMC softened up a coupla years back to let its competitors adopt it, and every last one does.
The advantages of a DVS are astronomical - instant doubles means no digging for second copies of records. No skipping. There’s no wear and tear. There’s no need to change the record, meaning faster transitions. And owing SSL gives every DJ the opportunity to create their own tracks and sample sentences, and lets them customise their ideas for any routine.
Is it cheating? Since about 2004 all battle DJs have opted for the 'whole routine pressed on one record' style of competing anyway. It does, naturally, allow them to construct their routine down to an airtight level, and that has been called soulless by the old school cats. Are they right?
No longer are we going to see Chad Jacksons flinging records over their shoulders. No more ‘sticker looping’. No more thrilling sentence juggles that made Noize’s sets such a high point of the art…
Whatever you potion, this is the here and now. Everyone from Z-Trip to Jazzy Jeff rocks SSL. DVS packages like that have provided the perfect transition from vinyl to digital for DJs who had learned their prized skills jockeying 12” singles. It does beg the question, though - whatever next?
Which of the top two DVSs is right for you? Let scratch legend Qbert be your guide…