How Wireless Technology Has Changed the Job of the DJ

From vinyl to tablets.

By Heidi Flato on February 19, 2014

The evolution of the disc jockey (DJ) dates back to the early days of radio in the 1930s. Now, more than 80 years later, professionals in the $4 billion industry are introducing mobile technology and apps to the techniques of the past.

Being a DJ once meant lugging around large, expensive equipment and boxes of records. However, mobile technology has made it easier for professional DJs to take their art on the road and access millions of tracks from their wireless devices. Plus, amateurs can now try their hand at spinning tunes just by downloading an app that helps them get started.

“To us old school DJs, technology is a gift to make our job less physical by not carrying around crates of records and just bringing our laptops,” said Christian Camarilla, also known as “DJ CMC,” of Union City, Calif.

Instead of relying on the set of music he happens to have on hand, Camarilla is now able to access songs at the drop of a hat with Wi-Fi access in the clubs where he spins or mobile hotspots that he can use to download songs as they are requested.

For Basil Sabisor, also known as “DJ B-Strut,” of San Leandro, Calif., the DJ Player app is flexible enough to use whether he’s learning, practicing, creating mixes or performing in clubs. Plus, it’s compatible with his existing equipment. The app features a DJ platform that can be used on its own or in any combination of the touch screen, external mixers, MIDI controllers and vinyl (DVS).

Another advancement is Bluetooth-enabled devices. Sabisor uses wireless speakers and headphones to give him more freedom to move around behind his system. Wireless headphones, like the Motorola X Sol Republic Bluetooth Headphones, are becoming more common, not only for professional DJs, but also for those looking for ways to enhance their listening experience with their own collection.

For those just trying to get the party started, DJing tools have never been more accessible and user friendly. PartyMonster allows users to stream their own music as if they were in a club. The app cross-fades tracks so the beats never stop, allowing mix masters to skip over songs and switch up playlists on the go. Combining this with the ability to stream music to a wireless speaker device, like the Jawbone Mini Jambox, makes it easy to manage party playlists.

Whether DJs are spinning tracks for thousands of club-goers or mixing for friends at a house party, having the latest tech and apps is essential to creating a top-notch listening experience.