This is going to be a hot topic in DJ’ing world soon since manufacturers already started eliminating it from their newest products, so I wanted to throw in my point of view too.
We’re talking about that big, shiny, illuminated round platter on your controller.
Did you ever think why we have jogwheels on our control surfaces ? I mean how did we get them at the first place ?
The answer is simple. It’s because of vinyl. When DJ CD players were invented, jogwheels were placed on them to replicate the feeling of the turntable. Its function was essential for DJ’ing. I believe it still is.
You scratch, bend, search and apply other functions by using your big shiny platter. Latest ones are almost all touch sensitive and dual zone which means multi functional.
Some controllers like Numark NS7II have motorized platters just to give their users the real vinyl feeling.
Technology runs forward like hell, so is DJ gear. Options and features are added and faded in time.
The big brands decided to come up with different controllers ditching the favorite round wheel lately. For example Traktor S8. It’s brand new and the flagship product of Native Instruments. S8 does not have jogwheels. They are replaced with LED guided touch sensitive strip pads.
From a technical standpoint, is it possible, yes. Obviously ! I mean, can you DJ without the jog platter with all these features S8 has ? Yes, you surely can.
On the other side, this concept will hurt so many veterans in our community because none of them would wanna give up on their old habits.
DJ’ing is all about feeling the music and the way you command it. Professionals spend a fortune on their equipment just to have the best in their hands and feel the quality of it. Jogwheels are also a part of that feel.
I personally call DJ’ing with no platters as ” Knowing how to drive an automatic car but not the stick shift “. Imagine yourself just beginning to learn. You do it on a controller like S8 and have no idea of jogwheels. One day, you end up facing an old-fashioned device and look at it clueless. A real DJ has to be able to perform on different platforms like CDJs, digital controllers and so on.
Only one thing I agree is that platters occupy a lot of space on the device surface which can be used to place other buttons and knobs instead. I can live with that forever, in fact I always prefer the large jogwheels.
I’m sure we’ll see more and more of these new generation DJ control devices in the near future, but never believe jogwheels will leave the scene forever. It’s the basic of DJ’ing.
I’m open to change folks, but not this one.