Traktor's SYNC does not suck. Bad DJs do. | Conductr

Traktor’s SYNC does not suck. Bad DJs do.

Music is what matters

Traktor’s SYNC does not suck. Bad DJs do.

Conductr Sync Fake

The day Native Instruments released the Traktor software, the art of DJing died for many.

Traktor included the SYNC function that automatically beatmatches multiple track’s BPMs. Although it is not the panacea that many claim it to be —there’s a huge difference between using SYNC and using it well—, for the amateur it’s a way to initialise their DJ careers without the constraints of learning to beatmatch by ear. The countless hours, days, months or even years it takes to learn it is no longer a skill that needs to be dominated to be a DJ. Having a computer with Traktor and enough courage to be on a stage in front of an audience is more than you need nowadays. Many were not happy.

When we decided to launch the Conductr module to control Traktor on the iPad we knew that the international DJ community was divided into SYNC supporters and detractors but, we weren’t aware of how vicious the attacks in social media could get.

At Conductr we work hard to innovate in musical technology and we believe firmly that it is positive that mediums and devices for music production improve progressively. Overall, the most important thing is that the technology doesn’t get in the way but instead helps artists to develop and express their creativity better. So, here is our two cents about why SYNC is a good thing.

1. The medium is not the message.
You are in a DJ booth to rock the crowd, not to impress other DJs. You have to make people dance. That’s your job as a DJ. So it’s not about the tools that you use but about how you use them. Technology and technique are a means to an end. Besides, let’s be clear: most people don’t give a shit about how or what you do in the DJ booth. Which brings us to…

2. A well done beatmatch by ear doesn’t make a good session.
DJing is not only about beatmatching, just like playing guitar is not only about fitting dozens of notes into a single measure at light speed. A virtuoso guitar player without a good song is useless. Same happens with DJing: It doesn’t matter how good you are at beatmatching, backspinning, beat juggling or EQing. If you don’t play the right tunes at the right time, you suck. On the other hand, a great DJ can not be that great technically speaking but have that sixth sense that turns a mix into something memorable.
Djing is mainly about dancefloor psychology, which means getting to know the crowd, what they want, how and when they want it, how high they are and what they are on. The same people in a club can have different vibes from one night to the next, depending on multiple factors. A good DJ has to feel it and ride the vibe otherwise, his set won’t work. No technique nor software function can help you to achieve that.

3. “Old school” means… well, “old”.
It happened when CDs replaced vinyl and it’s happening now with digital files replacing CDs. Every generation wants to be the ultimate keeper of realness. ‘Old school’ trained DJs seem to have a kind of moral superiority. It is very common to think about them as “real” or “better” DJs, as the media and the veteran DJs themselves have insisted so much on that idea. That is straight up plain bullshit. You are DJing today to an audience made primarily of young people. Forget about the past. Look into the future.

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  1. Sacha-Mi 10 August, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Normally i don’t like to play with SYNC if not i decide to play in consolle with other live instruments as Maschine by Native Instruments or others Live programm … i start with cd’s and cdj 100 end now i learned the Vinyl … but … This App of Conductr give some reason to play more quite and try many differents Dj set … in the last period i play with 2 vinyls + 2 ipads with Conductr and the new native instruments D2 .. what can i say more… Never this app fail , Never crash and the latence in wifi connection it’s really low … perfect for the stage … something have to be little better , but sure i trust in this App end in the Conductr Team …
    I play since 10 years and sure i think that a good Dj have to feel the beat with ear before the sync , but it’s also right that the time go and the clubbing is change … anyone have different way to play , the important not bore the people and give an important reason to dance …

  2. Joe 14 February, 2016 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    This article was clearly written by a young person who lacks the experience to be able to compare the new tractor sync (so called) djs with those of yesteryear who actually spun vinyl. There is no comparison, actually. Tractor sync djs suck. And this comment is coming from someone who is not a dj.

    • Oriol Rosell 16 February, 2016 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      Actually, it was written by a 44 years old who used to dj with vinyl.

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