I’m probably going to be taking a turn behind the decks at a friends house party this year. I’m quite looking forward to it but the main problem with playing outside of your ‘bedroom’ is that when using final scratch you run the risk of having to play around with phono/audio cabling between the decks and the mixer. This is not a problem if you’ve got some time to sort it out beforehand and there are enough channels on the mixer…. the big problem appears if you turn up half way through the party and then have to try and do this reconfiguration during someone’s set. As you can imagine you’re not going to be too popular if you mess something up and end up with a) silence or b) feedback from the speakers.
The one big advantage of final scratch however is that its so much easier to carry all your tunes around. My entire ‘record box’ fits on my laptop, I have to carry the scratchamp, a firewire card and a few power cables around. The only two records I ever need are the two timecoded bits of vinyl that you use to control the mp3’s via turntables. All my DJ setup fits in a single record bag – no carrying around 200kg of vinyl for me!
The other neat thing is that using Traktor as the interface between the turntables and the laptop is the ability to search and control your records so much easier. You’re playing at around 130 bpm, no problem just sort by bpm and pick a tune! Final scratch offers a great way to get all the advantages of digital DJ’ing coupled with the traditionalist approach of using decks. It so much nicer to use turntables than CDJ’s or a pure laptop solution, you get much better feedback via 1210’s than you do from other mediums and it still looks cool if you’re using decks 😉
Of course the only downside is that you’re relying on a computer and if it crashes…….well enjoy the sound of silence!!