Why to Choose Physical DJ Mixers over Software
Mixers are an essential part of any DJ equipment packages but there is some controversy over whether or not you should choose to employ a physical mixer over a virtual or software one. The DJ mixer allows you to effect many different changes over the music that you are playing, whether you want to add some awesome effects for the benefit of your audience, or you want to adjust the sound for a particular type of venue. The sound mixer is without a doubt one of the most important pieces of equipment that you can have, but what are the benefits of using a digital one?
The Digital Advantages
When you have a digital device, you won’t find yourself having to worry about making room in your bag, or even worse, damaging your mixer during transport. In addition to that, digital mixers tend to have more options, and can even be upgraded to comply with your own person standards. They are not physical, after all, and many pieces of mixer software are actually a more modular solution, meaning they can take any form from ridiculously simple to outrageously complicated.
As you can see, there are definite and clear benefits to going with the digital option, but there are also several disadvantages. For example, it must be installed on a computer and this is all dependent upon whether or not the computer can handle the software, as well as whether or not the computer is functioning. If your operating system crashes, or a piece of your hardware fails, you will need to pay to replace the computer, and it could be more expensive than simply fixing a broken component on the DJ mixers.
There are definitely advantages to using a digital mixer, but there are also problems that you will have to deal with. Are there more advantages to using a physical mixer? It’s a bit of a trade off, as with anything, but let’s take a look at some of the benefits.
The Physical Advantages
Purists are going to tell you that physical is the only way to go, and they may very well be onto something. There is really nothing quite like actually having the controls beneath your fingers and being able to control them with expert precisions. You will also find that you do it without the lag that often accompanies a computer program (sometimes).
The biggest advantage, is that a physical mixer isn’t going to be at the mercy of software bugs. In other words, it’s just going to work, and it’s going to work well no matter what situation you put it in. Can you say the same for a piece of software?
Of course, the disadvantage of using a physical mixer, as you probably know, is going to be the bulk. If your setup is mostly stationary, it will be fine, but as you probably know by now, mixing boards can be huge, and carrying them around can become a virtual impossibility. There are smaller mixers, of course, but they won’t have the full range of control, which is why many DJ’s have switched over to the digital standard.
Mixers are a normal part of any DJ equipment packages, and to be quite frank, there is no rule that says you cannot go for the digital AND the physical variants. We tend to favor the physical, for the reasons mentioned above, but to be a digital DJ today, you have to put your own spin on the art, which is not unlike the requirements of the vinyl DJ’s of old. Find your style, develop it, and most importantly, make sure that you stick with it. DJ’ing is a different experience for everyone, especially in the digital world.