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the DJ from the past

 
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Mixing & cutting music was expensive in the old days. The minimum equipment you needed was at least five times the price of the equipment we use today. Also remember that the records themselves where ten to twenty times the price per track.

Everting had to be done "on the fly". Post production was limited to some minor cuts. Re-recording from analogue to analogue was avoided as much as possible to minimise the noise floor. With the introduction of affordable digital recording things got easier. But we all know that.

In my opinion the pre digital age was more creative due to the restrictions in editing. You really had to plan ahead and "feel" the flow you wanted to get on tape. Once started there was no going back. Well you could always start all over again if things really got messed up. Another tape in the bin.

No I'm not nostalgic about the past. Not if it concerns the way we had to put it all together. The music was fine. Not always the best quality in comparison with today's productions. But it was more organic and certainly not quantised. Maybe that’s why young DJ's struggle to mix the old stuff. Don't worry, it's a skill you just don't need anymore.

Open Reel Tape

Not many people know that:
Obtaining quality was always a struggle. Apart from using good (expensive) audio equipment, most of the work was recorded on "fresh" (also expensive) open reel tapes to avoid distortion. The mixing took often place late at night. The power grid was less polluted with (industrial) noise. Mixit Music used a custom split monitoring system that made it possible to mix on headphones only. Left monitoring next to right master output. When mixing: Left control on top of stereo master output.

TDK MA

Cassette tapes were very important. It was the only affordable way to distribute the (custom) mixes. So that's why we talk about "Mix Tapes". For the DJ it was really a MIX on the Tape. I've made at least a thousand.

 

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