Paris Hilton. It’s the one name that makes almost every wannabe-pro DJ shudder. How dare that dumb blonde – who’s name became a household phenomenon in 2005 when she and Nicole Richie decided to play up their dumb blonde personas in the Simple Life – step behind the hallowed wheels of steel err… plastic. She is now best known in our scene today as the embodiment of everything that is wrong with EDM. All you need to see is the now famous photo of her sound tech adjusting her levels at her debut performance in 2012 and you’ll see that the hate is justified.
But wait… that was then. We’re now a year into her new career as a globetrotting DJ. She’s still got her detractors, but now she has her own residency at Ibiza’s Amnesia. But that’s not all. She’s starting to show that she might actually LIKE EDM and that she might actually be making some smart decisions that are based on something other than simply gaining attention, looking pretty and well… rich.
One would expect Paris to be rocking Pioneer’s Platinum Edition Nexus System. She could easily demand any club provide it for her. Hell, she could buy ever last one of the limited edition Pioneer systems. She however hasn’t done that. Nope. She’s not doing that. So… what’s she rockin’? Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4.
Yup. She’s rockin’ hard on wheels of plastic produced by EDM software giant Native Instruments. It’s the same Traktor Kontrol S4 that anybody can buy at any Guitar Center or Sam Ash across the US for $600 – after NI’s $399 price drop. For those not in the know, just one of the CDJ-2000 Nexus players (non-platinum) will run you $2000. A whole Nexus System will be north of $6000. Paris spent $600. I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty significant and here’s why:
- If she wanted to use Traktor Pro, she still could have had the Nexus System. In fact, the non-platinum edition is sitting right there in the booth with her. Traktor can be controlled natively through HID by the Nexus System and only one cable would have been necessary to make that happen. Even with the Nexus there, she still chose a $600 piece of plastic to use.
- If she needed the sync button because she can’t beatmatch to save her life, she still could have used either Traktor Pro or the Nexus System without Traktor Pro and used Pioneer’s Beat Sync. But let’s be honest, there’s more to DJing than simply playing two or more tracks in sync. While some might call this cheating, I seem to remember vinyl DJs marking their record sleeves with notes about BPMs and pitch settings back in the day so they could match things faster and focus on actual mixing rather than the technical of aligning their beats. It’s not much different when you realize preparing your tracks for a night out isn’t something that started with computers.
- If she wanted access to a solid effects unit, Pioneer could have delivered them and more. The interface isn’t that hard to use. Then again, Traktor’s own effect units are pretty amazing and again, she could have used the Nexus as a controller for Traktor AND had access to the Pioneer effects.
- Live Remixes could have been another reason, but since she has neither the RMX-1000 on stage nor NI’s Kontrol F1 or Maschine, that seems unlikely.
I could make more feature based arguments as to why she should have been using the Nexus System beside her, but I can’t. It comes down to features of Traktor Pro and a Nexus System are pretty much the same. If that’s really the case, then the decision to use a $600 system rather than the $6000+ bling factor Nexus System must be based on… personal preference and experience rather than fashion or what’s popular.
Did I just say that Paris Hilton has developed a personal preference for how she performs? Did I just call her experienced? Yeah … I’m mildly shocked to. Imagine that. Someone has spent more than a year DJing in clubs and has figured out what system matches her creative ability best and a $600 plastic midi controller with software beat out hardware.
It would be so easy for her to fake it on CDJs and she apparently has before.
She could still be faking it with Traktor, but I think it’s less likely given the photos of her laptop. I haven’t seen a photo or video clear enough to check her cables or even see the Nexus System she’s plugged into to verify that, so take my opinion here as just that. Also, don’t get me wrong. I’m not making the argument that Paris is the best DJ in the world. She’s not. I’m actually watching a video of Carl Cox on a Nexus System right now and there’s a reason why he’s recognized as one of the great DJs and that includes years of experience on top of raw talent. Paris is too new to claim she’s a great DJ, but she’s starting to make decisions that will help her to become a GOOD DJ – in a few years.
You see it’s never been about having the best gear on the market. It’s all about having the best gear for you for where you are at today. Tomorrow isn’t here yet and you can’t change yesterday. Only today matters and today for Paris is Traktor Kontrol S4. At 1/10th the cost and her deep pockets, the only logical explanation is that she isn’t the completely dumb blonde we were introduced to on the Simple Life and has decided on the Kontrol S4 for a legitimate reason rather than simply to be fashionable.
Earlier I mentioned that Paris could have used beat sync on either the Nexus or Traktor systems and then declared that beatmatching isn’t the most important thing about DJing. I’ll stand 100% by that. The most important thing about DJing is making sure the crowd is moving and having a good time. Like it or not, time and time again Paris has been able to do just that.
Hate her all you want. Hate the fact that she had a much easier time accessing the mega clubs and breaking into the scene because of her millions and her former boyfriend, Afrojack. You can’t deny though that the crowds at her show are enjoying what she’s doing… even if you think you are better when it comes to rocking the house. Don’t let personal jealous blind you when it comes to acknowledging the fact that someone is learning and making progress. Paris may not be the best thing that’s happened to EDM, but she might just be learning how to be a part of the solution rather than the problem.