Technology Takes The Art Of DJing To A Whole New Level At DJ Expo 2019

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Written by Lauren DeLisa Coleman
DJ Expo
DJ Grand Wizard Theodore, RockandSoul NYC, Oct. 8, 2010. Image: YouTube

While superstar DJs such as Calvin Harris and Diplo are among the most recognizable faces, the entire market of “mobile” or event DJs is a massive community with major spending power that dictates technology trends in the industry.

Indeed, the DJ equipment or gear market was valued at $410 million in 2017 and is projected to reach a whopping $680 million by 2025.

Future trends and power of this industry are being set right now in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the DJ Expo 2019.

Billed as the premier convention for DJs and producers, the DJ Expo is a week-long focal point of all things music from a DJ point of view. This is about the absolute latest in audio, lighting and trussing. It’s a very powerful scene. Hundreds descend upon the convention center at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City to network with fellow DJs and file into demo rooms where new products make their debut and skills are shared at exclusive workshops and educational seminars.

The exhibit floor of the DJ Expo is packed with people, controllers, speakers, lights and fog machines. It’s a dark, high-energy, loud, multicolored fantasy-world for anyone whose needs in the industry drive top brands.

Lauren de Lisa Coleman

This is no frivolous undertaking, for while the attendees are hip and innovative, this is about business — the business of DJing with technology.

For example, entertainment lighting innovator and manufacturer Chauvet partnered with a DJ to give an extensive workshop on the possibilities and intricacies of expanding DJ skills to include venue lighting expertise to drive one’s brand. The Chauvet panel highlighted the company’s new Bluetooth capabilities for DJs to control lights via an app on their phone or foot control as a brand new move.  The company also noted trends for the coming year which included interactive lighting and moving textures on walls and ceilings.

But one of the standouts this year was a presentation of the legendary Pioneer DJ controller with the software of Serato embedded internally within the hardware. Announced only three days prior to its debut at the expo, the news packed DJs into the room to hear a Pioneer DJ executive reveal not only all the fresh elements of the new DDJ-1000SRT  but most importantly the capabilities of the software within the product. Such an advance takes the art of DJing, in the right hands, to an entirely new and fluid level.

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The exhibit floor of the DJ expo is packed with people, controllers, speakers, lights and fog machines. It’s a dark, high-energy, loud, multicolored fantasy-world for anyone interested in the space and those whose needs in the industry drive top brands such as Bose, Rane, KKR, KCR, Peavey, Numark and more to push innovation.

DJ Expo
Exhibition DJ for Hercules, a leader in portable mixing controllers for computers. Photo: Lauren de Lisa Coleman

Should anyone doubt the power of any part of this equipment ecosystem, check out the mainstage in the exhibit hall, not to mention the parties at night sponsored by the various exhibitors. Some of the best in the business — from DJ Throdown to legend Grand Wizard Theodore and Keith Shocklee of Public Enemy — perform for expo attendees at various scheduled times throughout the day.

The beauty of this event is to observe how the particular concept of the status of the DJ from the early hip-hop era has influenced other genres and continues to lead today among a diverse audience that will be driving a massive industry backed by technology and working hard to set the tone for many of the 2020 events we will attend.