Vinyl records are the foundation of DJing and turntablism. Vinyl is the essence of this art. For this reason, it is and will always remain the standard format for DJs and turntablists. As an integral part of the 'culture', vinyl's importance cannot be understated. Music is in it's purest form when it's on a vinyl record. Vinyl (also known as gramophone/phonograph) recordings have been the primary medium of music reproduction (and distribution) for the better part of the past 100 years. Vinyl is indispensable when it comes to DJ/turntablist culture. Many serious DJs keep an extensive vinyl collection. They've been collecting wax for years. Hunting or tracking down desired music on vinyl is a major part of the DJ/turntablist culture. Some DJs spend hours or even days at a time in record shops looking for hidden gems on vinyl format (a process known as digging or diggin').
Since the introduction of the compact disc until the present day, the music industry (record companies) adopted a new business model which has steered away from it's traditional business practices. They've moved more toward digital media (CDs and MP3s) rather than analog (vinyl recordings) as a main method of music distribution. Much of this has to do with the practicality and convenience that digital music provides. The bad part about this however is that the general public (especially younger people) miss out on experiencing music the way it's meant to be experienced. Digital music loses this experience in both overall feel as well as level of audio quality. The vinyl vs digital debate has been a topic of discussion and contention for decades among audio experts, audiophiles, as well as within the DJ industry.
'Purists' believe that "real DJs" use and spin vinyl records. This is at a time when digital and laptop DJs are increasingly taking over the mainstream.
Contrary to what some may believe, vinyl isn't some kind of extinct or obsolete musical format. Record companies do still release music on vinyl format, although not as much as in previous decades.
These days, music is also available on digital formats (such as CDs and MP3 downloadable files). There's even technologically advanced DJ equipment available, which can emulate the vinyl/turntable experience. 'Purists' believe these can never 'replace' the experience of an actual vinyl on turntable mix-session. In fact, 'Purists' believe these types of technologies only serve to deviate from the core tenets of true DJ and turntablist culture.
Track Masters chooses to remain neutral regarding these matters and promotes unity within the DJ and turntablist community. Many excellent, respectable DJs and turntablists have embraced digital as well as these newer technologies to much success.
There are certainly pros and cons that go along with music format comparisons as well as DJ equipment technology.
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