Stranger in a strange land.May 13
Can’t believe its been this long since I blogged , so i should probably
begin with ‘ Forgive me oh mighty inter-webs for being offline for a
while" As pennants I will surely serve up 40 tweets to make up for my
sinfull behaviour. But one of the reasons I have been so ‘unblogging‘ (mind you i DID put out a new docu-cast last week) is because I have been … Regenerating, that’s the word for it. Regenerating not as seen in the context of a timelord, where I would change my appearance magically to become a more attractive version of myself ( if this is even remotely possible) but in the context of ‘ regenerating some of my old skills". Perhaps the timelord
analogy is appropriate because in part the whole project i have been
working on for the last few weeks (and that has been sucking up my
energy like a black hole) does relate to my past. My past as a DJ.
a friend of mine I’m helping out in setting up and installing a sound
and light system , giving advice and looking at some alternatives to
cut corners (and money) on an otherwise very expensive venture. So as
of late I’m partially back in the land of mixers, pitch controlled cd
players, play lists, music, lighting and what have you. All though
"back" is a very big word. With more then ten years separating me
between the last time I slid the sliders of my favorite mixer in front
of a few hundred people and the present.. its like a whole new world. I
am amazed at the technological steps that have been taken over the last
ten years in the field of sound and light. Mixers, software, light
control..almost everything comes with a binary address these days and has a usb port sticking out from somewhere, begging to be plugged into a computer.
much passion as i carried for the "business" over a decade ago ( We had
our own sound and light company for eight years, touring the country to
setup roadshows and play at parties) i do findmyself as a stranger in
a strange land. Risking to sound like an old fart i could say ‘it was
all different back in my days’ and still be very close to the truth of
the matter. Massive light control tables with aspaghetti of electric wiring running into overcrowded trusses spanning the dancefloor , have been replaced by a single laptop, a mouse, a dmx control cable and one single power line
running into the rigging. No longer do we turn the power "on and off"
to make the lights flicker, we just let the computer "tell the lamp
what to do" according tot the program we have written.
"sound side" of things is just about the same. Forget records (we
stared to ditch those back in the old days), our instruments of mayhem
consisted out of a mixer and a double, 19” cd
player with pitch control. Playing one record you had to "feel" the
beat with you belly, while listening to the second track in your
headphones and match it up before you let both songs "merge"
seamlessly. These days you drag to mp3’s into the virtual cd players on your laptop, press sync and that’s that, you don’t even NEED a headphone anymore. Browsing through your cd
collection to find the next track you where going to play has been
replaced by entering the trackname in the search field of the mixing
software and click-click.
So after doing research, testing out products, playing with different types of software and generally
"feeling the water" for a possible return to my forgotten DJ career, I
find myself in the strangest state of mind. A state of mind that
wonders if the integration of digital technology into the whole sound
and light scene .. is such a good idea for me ? I feel out of place,
like an 80 year old being confronted with a VCR. One knows what it
does, but you just can’t get the hang of "using" it. The technology I
hold so dear in my everyday life has somehow stolen the soul of a world
that I was so comfortable in. This is one time where ‘tuning technology
in’ has resulted in "tuning me out". I continue to work on the project
and collect experience and expertise regarding the ‘current state ofaffairs
" in sound and light – land.. But with every button I press on the
digital light controller, with each slider i slide in the digital soundmixer software, with every mp3 I play .. I feel that I’ll probably never regenerate as a DJ again.