We start our live coverage from Miami's WMC (Winter Music Conference) — more reports through the
weekend and into next week! CDM's Eldorado is on the scene. -Ed.

Miami — One of the most interesting parts of the electronic music
revolution is the digital convergence. An industry once steeped in
vinyl is gradually turning to digital technology. At a panel "Art of
the DJ/Digital Mixing" DJs and producers discussed switching from
traditional analog equipment (turntables and a mixer) to digital
technologies (i.e. software). Panelists include: Greg "Stryker" Chin,
AJ Bertenshaw, DJ Skribble, Josh Gabriel, Jay Dabhi and Cyril Palacios.
Joe Vangeri was the moderator.

A lot of the panel discussion centered on turntables vs. digital music.
Some of the most interesting nuggets from the panel are that five out
of seven use Mac OS X. Josh Gabriel extolled the virtues of using
Ableton's Live and performs using only his PowerBook laying a
plexiglass panel over the turntables at the clubs because there's "not
even three inches of space for a laptop." Everyone agreed that the
capabilities of tools like Live and Final Scratch were worth the
initial investment in time to archive all your music.

Some of the tips from the session on archiving your vinyl to digital

  • Encode your vinyl in the highest bit rate you can. Most panelists
    preferred 320 kbps, but will work with a well-encoded 192 kbps file
    when necessary.
  • When converting your vinyl it is imperative that you
    use good needles (club, DJ and scratch needles are all bad). Use an
    archival quality needle like the Stanton 890 FS. Bertenshaw,
    recommended the high-fidelity needles from Shure for around US$200.
  • Encode using a good analog to digital (A>D) converter, not the
    built-in sound card in your PC. It all comes down to budget, with
    things like the Apogee converter at the high end.