Apparently, at the DMC is making some changes. This was announced at the end of the World DMC Competition on October 18th, 2010. Tony Prince, the founder of the DMC, was reported to announce this news on stage after announcing the new heavy sponsorship from Rane and Serato. Personally, I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Its good that the competition is getting with the times, but on the other hand it could destroy the competition altogether. Click through for the full report with quotes from Tony Price and Serato, also for a list of pros and cons of this move.
Lets get to the nitty gritty first. On February 2010, Panasonic officially discontinued/ceased production on the Technics 1200 series turntables after over 35 years on top (source, and other sites). On October 18th (after the DMC World Finals) Serato announced the major sponsorship/partnership with the DMC for 2011 saying Serato will be allowed in the six minute and team battles (source). Then on October 20th 2010, Tony Prince, the founder and current head of the DMC, was quoted from iDJ Magazine to announce the use of digital in the competition (source:para6). He was also quoted saying this on stage after the 2010 DMC World Finals (the source from this is from a forum that I can no longer find). The full quotes are below:
"Serato | Rane present the 2011 DMC Wold DJ Championship:
October 18, 2010
Serato are pleased to announce that Serato and Rane have been confirmed as major sponsors of the 2011 DMC World DJ Championships.
For over a quarter of a century, the DMC World DJ Championships have inspired DJs from around the globe to put their creativity and skills to the test, and in 2011 the event opens new doors for competitors, allowing the use of Serato Scratch Live in addition to traditional vinyl.
From 2011 onwards competing DJs will be able to utilize Serato Scratch Live in the DMC World DJ Finals 6 minute category, as well as the DMC DJ Team Championship."
The quote from the DMC founder, Tony Prince:
“We’ve been loyal to the purist turntablism fans for a long time now, but it’s the DJs themselves who are actually approaching us and saying they would like to be able to open things up with the use of tools like Serato in their performances. Make no mistake, turntablism will always be at the forefront of the contest, but this allows things to move forward with the times and not simply stagnate in the same format that the competition has occupied for so many years”
(update) DMC official statement:
"DMC, the preeminent showcase for DJ talent around the world, are pleased to announce that Serato and Rane have come on board as major sponsors of the DMC World DJ Championships, a collaboration which DMC believes will take DJ creativity to an entirely new level with the ability to use Serato’s Scratch Live.
In order to balance traditional mixing and the popularity of digital vinyl playback, DMC have confirmed that from 2011 the 26 year old event will, like the DMC DJ TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP, permit the use of the software based system Serato Scratch Live in addition to traditional vinyl.
THE BATTLE FOR WORLD SUPREMACY will continue to support pure turntablism, two decks, vinyl and individual flair and creativity. DMC also plan an ON-LINE WORLD DJ CHAMPIONSHIP which will embrace visual mixing, the potential for which was seen at this year’s WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS with performances by DJs Woody and Shiftee.
DMCWORLDTV has established itself as the premier portal for DJ performances and now DMC has plans to launch DMC RADIO, a revolutionary channel featuring DJs covering every genre of dance & hip-hop music transmitting from a variety of servers around the world.
Sally Mclintock (DMC’s World Championship Manager): “We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of DJs who want to use Serato Scratch Live in their 6minute sets and we believe the creative landscape has now been widened. We’re very excited and really pleased to have the full support from Serato and Rane”.
Tony Prince (DMC Founder): “ I know the DJs will take up this new creative challenge and bring their art to a level no one can presently imagine. Expanding the DJ’s creative potential is what DMC has always encouraged and why we are the only World Championship in music that has lasted a quarter of a century, and I just can’t wait to see where the DJs take us with Serato supporting their musical creativity and inspiration in the years ahead. Whilst the DMC Championships will continue to discover the best turntablists in the world and the best DJ teams, we’re about to produce the next generation of DJs, the DJs of a new breed. We’re movin’ on up as we have done for 26 years creating new superstar DJs and my message to the next generation is to unharness their creative ability, check out the new possibilities of using Serato Scratch Live and get ready for the 2011 championships”!
Sam Gribben (Serato Audio Research, General Manager): “DMC is responsible for fostering the culture of competitive turntablism and Serato are honoured to become a major sponsor of this iconic and prestigious event. Preserving the art of vinyl DJing, whilst introducing new technologies for future world champions is a key Serato philosophy. We look forward to a long relationship with DMC, ensuring that competitive DJing continues to moveforward into new realms.”
Dean Standing (RANE CORPORATION, Director of Sales):“We’re excited to expand our involvement with DMC and be a part of the evolution of the preeminent DJ battle competition. We look forward to watching DJs use digital vinyl emulation systems such as Serato Scratch Live to further push the limits of their craft."
So there you have it. How will this effect the competition, its uncertain. It will depend on what sort of rules they wrap around this and how it will be jugged. It could be good or bad. Lets take a look at the pros and cons.
- It would be hard to standardize the equipment because there are so many different platforms/players/controllers out there.
- If Standardization happened, most DJs would probably hate going to a controller from a turntable with a control record.
- No more battle records needed. There goes that niche market.
- It will become extremely difficult to judge because it will be tough to tell if the DJ is doing the trick/effect/whatever or if it were pre-recored.
- It would be unfair to let it be serato only.
- This could turn many DJs off from the competition, especially if there are no real turntables.
- Setting up will be a bitch! Plug in your laptop and all the controllers you have, I don't want to watch that. What if you forget a cord?
I am sure there are many more, and I may add to the list later on. But till then, lets move to the pros.
- You can make your own battle records. AWESOME! No more shopping for that perfect battle record.
- Cue points, and more cue points! You can easily jump to any cue or cue up the next song very quick. This is going to make a huge difference. Take a look at Shiftee's sets, he loves the cue points.
- No more lugging records to the gig. But, then again, you gotta bring your computer, hmm...
- There are flexibilities that these programs have that you cannot achieve with records
- and, ummm, ummm, hmm...
Again, I can probably think of more Pros later, but for now it stands as-is. So, lets tally them up. Drum roll please... ... ... The Cons take it 7 to 4! But to be fair, cue points and the ability to make your own tracks/scratch records is pretty exciting, so the pros and cons kinda even out.
Only time will tell if this will be a good thing. I think, if they kept the setup the exact same, using a TTM-57 and a pair of dicers, then that would be awesome! But if they let any DJ come with all sorts of controllers,computers, mixer and turntables, this competition is going to fall apart and become a total sh!t-show. For a worldwide competition, there needs to be a standard set of tools to work with, that creates a baseline that can be fairly judged. We will see how it unfolds in 2011.
Video: Here is DJ Shiftee killing it with his digital/turntable setup:
Shiftee juggles 35 tracks in 90 seconds:
Some funny pics: