Hey DJ, Where’s Your DJ Turntables?

Even with technology being what it is today, I still get asked as a professional DJ , “Where’s your DJ turntables?” from time to time.


I hold back my laughter and smile “I don’t use DJ turntables anymore. I just use this MacBook. It does everything I need and more.”


“Just the computer? No CD player either?” And they look around my DJ Station searching for the ‘hidden’ CD player or turntable that I must be keeping from him.


“It’s just me and this MacBook. Come look at the software I use, it is called djay, made specifically for Mac and iTunes. Works just like a DJ turntable but don’t have to lug around eight racks of records and kill my back, anymore. More importantly, I have about 35,000 songs to honor any requests that I could never do with my vinyl or CDs.”


They walk around skeptically and look at the screen, “WOW! Thad is so cool! You’re right; it is just like a DJ turntable. So you can play your whole library right from this thing?”

“Yup. Here me let me show you how I queue up the next song.” He watches like he is seeing the first spaceship land on the moon and invariably, “Unbelievable that you can do that so easily. What did you say the name of this software is?”

djay. You can download it online and be ready to go in minutes. I recommend it to everyone, professional DJs or folks who just want to play around at home. I think it’s great and I feel like I used to with DJ turntables without all the other problems. But I do miss them sometimes. I miss touching the vinyl itself, otherwise, I’ll statick with my MacBook and djay.”

DJ Turntables vs DJ Software


We continue to talk about music and dancing and technology for a little bit. Then they notice my BOSE L1 System and the next conversations starts…


DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Upgrading My MacBook For DJ Services

I knew it was time for a new internal hard drive when I noticed that I was about to run out of space for adding new tunes to my computer.  As a professional DJ, continuing to build and expand our music library is essential to success with our customers, especially here in the NJ & NY region.


I visited The Apple Store last week for advice and recommendations on which hard drive to purchase and determined that the Samsung 1TB drive would be the best option for me.  Even though I do a Time Machine back up of my whole system weekly and once more ten minutes before removing the old one, I was nervous, very nervous about the wedding I have this Saturday. What if something went wrong and I did not have use of my MacBook? What if somehow it erased or lost my entire music library; all 35,000+ songs?

Well, fortunately nothing bad happened. I installed it properly and transferred all the data successfully.  There have been some collections I have wanted to strengthen and build larger and now I have the opportunity to do so!  I can’t wait to work on filling up the whole 1TB – a fun and ambitious challenge. But hey, this is what professional DJs get excited about.

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ

Why A Digital DJ?

I get asked regularly, “DJ Michael, why are you a digital DJ instead of turntables, since you are such a professional DJ purist, an ‘Old Skool-type DJ’?”
“Simple. I can honor the requests live of pretty much any genre or song a guest may ask.  I would need to bring with me thirty or forty racks of records to even come close to covering the diverse musical requests that a professional DJ needs to have access to at an event. Also, it is a lot easier on my back and body, not to mention there is such a smaller margin of error with digital equipment than turntables and CD players.”
When I was younger, I knew it was always possible to deal with needles skipping when someone was having too much fun near the DJ Station. I knew records would get scratches and grooves in them. To a much lesser extent, I experienced some of this with CDs, although not nearly as much. I do not have any tech problems these days. Nothing.
I miss using vinyl. I miss its natural sound and the feel of the records in my hands. I even miss the liner notes I used to read to learn about the musicians and the album. None of these are worth sacrificing technical perfection and the ability to honor nearly 95% on-site requests. For a true Club DJ that only plays one genre and does not lug gear with them from gig to gig; vinyl is a great option. I am not that kind of professional DJ. I need to be ready for whatever genre someone wants to hire me to play. It might be Top 40 and Hip Hop one night or 80’s the next or Oldies and Top 40 the day after. I have performed at weddings with Celtic, Reggae and Calypso on a Sunday afternoon after playing Top 40, MoTown, Soul, Disco and R&B the night before. I appreciate the opportunity to play diverse playlists and the challenge of hunting down obscure tunes that a couple may want during Cocktail Hour or a First Dance Song of a couple celebrating their 50th Anniversary and renewing their vows that had the local band play at their wedding in 1961 as a professional DJ! And I will find it. This is fun for me.
I’ll keep using my MacBook. I like the ability to be more creative than I could have imagined when I started out many years ago.  Time to finish preparing for a wedding on Saturday night with Rock, MoTown and Top 40:)