When Pioneer DJ unveiled its entry-level controller, the DDJ-SB3, many die-hard turntablists were reluctant to use features like pad scratch, which allows would-be disc jocks to mimic “eight different scratching techniques developed by DJ Jazzy Jeff were recorded “. .

Many doomers quickly got involved online, saying this type of “cheating” was just another nail in the coffin for the traditional hard-earned DJ skills that are the vital backbone of culture.

Jeff, the last DJ to be challenged for his undeniable technical ability, is here to break the crap and defend the machine in this new era of “push-button” DJing where the old guard is so high up are. Arms around.

So why not sit back and let The Fresh Prince’s right hand scratch the most controversial topic currently raging around the campfire of the DJ community?

Wait, Jazzy Jeff pimps controllers? We thought you were the last one to rave about jog wheels and buttons …

“People who know me know that I’m pretty much a turntable first guy. But I’m also someone who is very persistent in promoting culture. Pioneer turned to me because they wanted an affordable, entry-level controller that was very powerful.

“They wanted me to add scratches to the scratch pad, which is basically a tutorial for people. You can take whatever sound you want, put it on the scratch pad and it will play the sound with the scratch pattern I made.

“Somebody has to try to imitate that and teach them how to use it. It’s a learning tool in a very, very powerful controller. “

Everyone knows that ‘real DJs’ use two decks and a mixer …

“As much as I love turntables, my thinking is that turntables are $ 700 each, so that’s $ 1,400. A good quality mixer to match the turntables costs an additional $ 1,500.

“I just can’t imagine a 10-year-old boy interested in becoming a DJ or his parents spending $ 3,000 to have this entry-level controller that is basically $ 249 to study costs.

“When Pioneer presented it to me, I was excited. I knew right away that I was going to give away about four of them for Christmas! I knew from people who were interested in all of this and that the DDJ was going to be something that could really help them get started. “

The DDJ-SB3 started out on the internet with people calling it a toy.

“You know what it is? Purists. Listen. I’m probably the greatest purist of all of them, but I also think I’m pretty smart about understanding that technology has to keep advancing. You make people ‘Oh no. You scratch pads. That ruins the DJ culture!’

“No, it is not. No, it is not. Ultimately, there is no machine that can record records. There is no machine that can read space. There is no machine that can detect that based on people’s reactions You have played this genre of music for too long. So the DJing aspect always comes from a person. I don’t care how much a machine can do – it won’t be enough to replace a DJ. “

Do you think all new technologies get a little backlash in the beginning?

“You always get backlash. I was an early adopter of Serato. At first I got backlash when people said, ‘Oh. You only use one computer. Oh my God…’

“It wasn’t until you showed people that the only thing that changed was the way you wear your music. I have a very famous saying – “If you suck before Serato, you suck after”. It doesn’t make you better.

“I’m trying to explain this to some people, but some purists say, ‘Oh my god. You’re ruining the culture. I prefer vinyl ‘. I’m like you know what I find it very interesting when someone says that I am ruining the culture and that they prefer vinyl when we talk on social media. If that is the case, write me a letter in pencil and send it off! “

People like the old school. But isn’t this new wave of button presses in DJing just faking funk?

I don’t criticize the keystrokes. At the end of the day, did we forget what the idea of ​​a DJ is supposed to be?

“Trust me. I understand, but I’ve never been afraid to be on the same page with any of these guys. Because I know I can do what you do, but you can’t do what I do.

“I don’t criticize the button pushers. At the end of the day, did we forget what the idea of ​​a DJ is supposed to be? They are supposed to entertain the people. They are supposed to get them to the dance floor.

“The last time I checked, what you’re using has nothing to do with it. I think people lose sight of the DJ job. Your aim is to make people dance and have a good time. It’s not about showing them the type of gear you are using.

“Listen. The person who built my house – I don’t care what equipment they built it with. As long as they did a good job and I’m happy. That’s it.”

You have to keep the foundations of DJ culture alive, right?

“Yes. Absolutely.”

Doesn’t the new Pioneer DDJ-SB do all the heavy lifting for you?

“Trust me. Pioneer came to me very delicately because they know how I feel. This isn’t something you have that just makes the scratch for you, you know?

“When you see the advertisement, on one side you see the pad scratch and on the other there is someone who is mimicking it. And that’s what you want. How else is a young child supposed to learn to DJ?

“How else do you expect them to get that love of scratching and the rest of it and drive the culture forward? How else? Or are we so puristic that we want everything to die with us?

“It’s always about the next generation. If the generation before us didn’t care about us, I wouldn’t be here. “

Let’s talk about turntables. What decks is Jeff flexing with right now?

“The Pioneer DJ PLX-1000 is my favorite choice. The Technics have always been the standard, but they have been quite a hit and miss with the statement, “We don’t make turntables anymore. Wait, we’re making turntables now … ‘

“I was just glad that Pioneer brought out a very good replacement that is close by. If you want them, you can just get them. “

And your mixer of choice?

“I still use a Pioneer DJM-S9. I love that. I recently got the new Rane Seventy-Two which I think is really good.

“I’m glad. When it comes to equipment, it doesn’t have to be an either-or situation. Or it doesn’t have to be, ‘This one is better than this,’ you see? One does one different than the other. I like them both. It is a very good time right now. “

What about pioneering turntables like the Rane Twelve?

“I’ve done some beta tests on them and there are amazing ones. You eliminate so many of the problems people have had with turntables for years, with vibration and possibly needle bouncing. “

The biggest news about the DJ water cooler is probably the new phase technology. Is that the end of DVS?

“I was totally overwhelmed by this technology. It really seems that we are moving towards a world where we don’t necessarily have to worry about needles. And that’s because I’m the ultimate purist.

“But what I think more as a purist is that I put on a great show. The potential of my needle jumps or the bass being too heavy and vibrating is kind of performing poorly – that bothers me.

“I’m not the type to switch to a CDJ. Not because of what someone else might say, but more because of my level of comfort. I’m just excited because now we have products that give me options. It really gives me options.

“The more I play around with these Rane Twelves and the phase, the more comfortable I feel that I’m almost completely forgetting what I’m doing and it’s all about your performance. It’ll get to a point where I don’t know if I want to go back. “

For more information on the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 controller, let Jazzy Jeff walk you through some of its heavyweight specs in this handy promotional video:


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