Gareth Emery wades into CDJ-2000 debate: ‘I used the sync button and I liked it’

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When Pioneer released its new CDJ-2000 Nexus in 2012, the presence of a Master Sync button (which effectively does away with the need to beat-match) had some corners of the DJ world up in arms. We went straight to one of Australia’s most authoritative DJs, Mike Callander, who offered his take in a Guest Editorial. “For me, good DJing never had much to do with keeping beats in sync,” he wrote. “Sure, nobody wants to hear a trainwreck mix, but there’s so much more to a good DJ set than matters of mathematics. Just because I own a metronome doesn’t mean I can play the piano.”

Now UK trance trailblazer Gareth Emery entered the discussion in his customary tongue-in-cheek way, telling his Facebook followers, “I used the sync button and I liked it (sorry).” He soon followed up that with a lengthier post that makes some perceptive points.

“So I was trolling a bit with my ‘sync button’ status but let me expand with a more serious and thoughtful post about my first experience of using these players,” Emery wrote. “Turned up at last night’s show to find 4 CDJ2000 Nexus rather than the usual CDJ2000s, so figured I’d have a play with the controversial button to see what all the fuss was about.

“The biggest difference? Not much. Doing 100+ gigs a year has meant the actual process of keeping the records in time is relatively second nature to me anyway but these new players freed up a small amount of extra time, which I used to dig deep into the vault of my SD card, pulled out a bunch of records that I hadn’t played for years, and was also able to mix out of tracks quickly, loop stuff, and generally be more creative. All benefits my laptop DJ colleagues who’ve enjoyed sync for years have had. My set went in a few directions I wasn’t expecting it to go, purely based on the vibe in the room, and I ended up playing nearly 4 hours (helped by Toronto’s incredible crowd).

“Cloing thought: whilst the reaction of a few is OMFG SYNC BUTTON URE FAKING URE SET I actually found the opposite was true, and I ended up playing a longer, more diverse & varied set than I would otherwise have done. I guess like many things in this wonderful world of dance music, when you dig deep and look at the subtleties & complexities of a situation, you find the reality is often rather different to the headline.”

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