Do any club DJs still spin vinyl? Or have most/all of them moved on to digital formats (such as WAV, FLAC, MP3)?
Do any club DJs still spin vinyl? Yes.
Have most/all of them moved on to computer formats (such as WAV, FLAC, MP3)? Difficult to answer.
We are currently experiencing a vinyl revival during which sales of vinyl records are growing every year. For example, in November 2014, it was reported that over million vinyl records had been sold in the UK in the since the beginning of the year. Sales had not reached this level since 1996. A lot of these purchases however are by music fans and collectors. Having said that, there are a lot of "vinyl only" club releases that therefore can only be played at a club from vinyl (or a vinyl rip). Some people argue that this not makes sense nowadays, however there are still a lot of people who would disagree with this sentiment:
Away from the blinding digital lights of the download world, vinyl is back in business thanks to a new generation of stars. Acts like ItaloJohnson, the UK’s Paranoid London and newcomers Dungeon Meat have swollen the ranks of the record-buying to its greatest numbers since the download revolution began. Seemingly consigned to the scrap heap of pop culture history in the 2000s as digital downloads turned the music world upside down, vinyl has been making a grass-roots comeback in the last five thanks to a rag tag alliance of purists, fan boys and audiophiles.
Therefore vinyl is not only making a comeback in terms of music consumption, but also clubbing and performing.
As a side note, there are also DJs that play both vinyl and other formats at the same time.
Using turntables and vinyl introduces a real-time performance aspect that, depending on your audience, may be difficult to replicate in a crowd-pleasing way through use of computers - partly because a virtual wheel controlling a computer is never truly going to be as immediate as having your hands on a real platter; and partly because of perception, as people know that a lot of things such as beat-matching and looping can be done automatically in the software, meaning that if you're using a computer, you're 'cheating' (even if you aren't!)
So to answer the question : yes, whenever there's an expectation that traditional vnyl-handling DJ skills will be on show.
In the electronic scene DJs are often expected to be on show but use non-vinyl spinners Feb 27, 2015 at 17:12
@ZachSaucier yeah, as you say it's all about expectations (I edited the last sentence to clarify).– user16Feb 27, 2015 at 17:20
Disclaimer: This is hard to answer objectively - It's very location and music style dependent. Below I'm referring to (charts, house) clubs in Switzerland.
I'd say, especially club DJs don't use vinyl anymore. They may still have a turntable, but that is a digital one which is just used to imitate scratches on digital files or mix to tracks together live. They don't put vinyl on those, they simply assign tracks to the turntables with their laptop.
Though there may still be some DJs using vinyl at concerts. I lately went to a Hip-Hop concert and was surprised, that there wasn't any laptop on stage (kind of sad, that no laptop became the extraordinary thing...). The DJ actually had a crate of vinyl next to him and browsed through them to choose the track he was going to play next.
1Nearly all club nights I go to have DJs spinning vinyls. I think it is difficult to answer this question objectively.– MMMFeb 27, 2015 at 9:48
You're right, indeed. Maybe I should go to clubs more often :) Also it pretty sure depends on the location. I'm sure not all DJs around the world use the same devices. At least where I'm from, I never saw a DJ using vinyl in a night club, though I didn't check any club nor did I go to clubs playing music I don't like.– AlexFeb 27, 2015 at 9:54
@MMM Where do you live? Mar 8, 2015 at 0:12