Modern technology has transformed DJing in ways never imagined possible. Pioneer’s CDJs (Compact Disk Jockeys) have found themselves in the hands of renowned producers like John Summit, Peggy Gou, and David Guetta.

With the convenience of digital control over mixing effects, it’s no wonder CDJs are often the top choice for live sets. While popular, other technologies have also dominated the EDM scene.

DJ Methods - Fred Again

Billboard/Julian Bajsel


Short for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, this piece of technology enables DJs to integrate instrumentation into their sets. Whether using MIDI keyboards or MIDI drum pads, there is a seamless connection between the instrument and a computer. DJs can then manipulate the sound coming from their instrument of choice using knobs, buttons, or sliders.

Known for his innovative approach to music production, Fred Again is just one of the many DJs who harness the power of MIDI drum pads. His quick finger movements allow him to experiment with rhythm. Fred Again is also known for his integration of samples, typically done by uploading vocal snippets onto the drum pads, and then creatively manipulating them.

Kygo, a Norwegian DJ known for his piano melodies, also relies on MIDI. It is rare to see him standing behind a keyboard. Kygo has the ability to apply effects to notes and in turn, create emotional depth in his music.

DJ Methods - Carl Cox

Youtube/Jeton Records


Despite the touch-sensitive jog wheels on CDJs, some DJs prefer to scratch, cue, and adjust the tempo of tracks using turntables. Unlike jog wheels, turntables require vinyl records. They are equipped with a needle to read the grooves of a vinyl, producing a distinctive textured sound that can’t truly be replicated with a CDJ.

Carl Cox and Jeff Mills are among those who favor this method for the profound physical connection they feel to the music when handling a vinyl.

Touchscreen Controller

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Deadmau5 has taken advantage of modern technology to create a software called OSC/PILOT. After simply downloading the app on a touchscreen tablet, DJs have access to the same functions of a physical controller. While the app is compatible with mini touch displays, DeadMau5 opts to use a 55” touchscreen during his sets.

DJ Methods - DeadMau5

MusicTech/Leah Sems

Synchronized Visuals

Eric Prydz is just one of the many DJs who incorporate visual elements in his sets. Using proprietary technology, he synchronizes audio with large-scale holographic images. Timing is essential when it comes to beat drops and build-ups. Using cue points, he is able to determine these key moments in his tracks.

Since debuting HOLO, Prydz’s fans have come to expect immersive three-dimensional displays floating above them at shows.

Technological Advancements Have Significantly Enhanced Engagement.

Whether operating on a Pioneer DJ CDJ-3000, AKAI MPC Live, or an Audio-Technica Direct Drive Turntable, DJs will undoubtedly be able to connect with their audiences.

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