Only one turntable - Sound Systems - why?

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Postby FitZ » Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:04 pm

Sure u can't buy an amp or big stuff, but what I mean is the choice you do...I mean looking through my experience of starting to build a sound, each & every coin is important & we are just runin 4 bass bin at the moment... but that's ours! & buy those 2nd hand bins cost twice a deck...you dig? I mean each & every stone is important to build the house, it's all a mater of choice..But I'm ok with you sayin it's not only dunza, it also depend on what you wanna do with it...and be sure that every proper sound (like tubbys, shanti, shaka, shiloh...) that use to play abroad & stuff has began little one day..& this is where the choice is to be done...but this is the only "dunza" part of the "one deck" thread....
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Postby StepDubStep » Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:02 pm

If you're patient and take the time to shop, you can find MK2's for under $400 US easy. $200 US for a suitable 18" driver is pretty hopeful don't you think? PD1850's are more along the line of $400 US for one! Even that is a bit wishful thinking.
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Postby capullo » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:09 pm

it's kinda funny that it was jamaican who grew up with sound systems who had the idea of using two decks and a mixer to keep the beat going. at the same time he paved the way for a new music style...talking about kool herc of course. those who took it further (afrika bambaata and grandmaster flash) also have caribbean backgrounds. i really like to mix drum roll intros (almost every reggae tune starts with) at the very right time in and stop or rewind the playing tune at the exactly right time. i think this one deck style has its own taste - saw king shiloh two weeks ago - but still makes things more limited. as roman says, with two tt's you can still do the one tt style. maybe a bit of both, why not?
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Postby benja » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:12 pm

One of the things I love most about playing reggae is mixing various versions of tunes together inna extended mix stylee. In a dance, I do much less of this, just because I don't want to bore people that aren't deeply in tune with what I'm doing. It seems better to do a quicker juggling in the dance and keep it upbeat. I leave the extended style for the radio cuz I could give a flip if it makes you dance on air, I just want to blow your mind.
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Postby Notwen » Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:23 am

Been to dances with one or two decks, and do prefer the 2 deck style for reasons already mentioned here. Was recently at a bash where the whole night ran from one deck. Was a great night, no fuss, but at some stage it would have been good to extend the tune. The vibe was heavy enough, just those 7" run too short sometimes. A mix of both is maybe the best.
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Postby freedubtribe soundsystem » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:26 pm

i've heard many tapes of shaka and there arent many seconds between songs, even if he doesnt chat on mic or the song is not a version on the same disc...

....when there were the last shaka dances in france and uk, was he running the sound with 1 deck...how long the gap between tunes?

when i do that there are long gaps, if i dont speak on them or use siren...
i mean how can u do that fast? to keep the vibes going on...?
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Postby Silworm » Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:19 pm

I was just sweeping thru old stuff and just wanted to drop my line and revive this interesting thread.

Much has been said for the both styles of play and I think they are compatible with each other, ie you can play and mix some type of tunes and then just go "warrior style" with others.
Almost any juggling sound makes some pauses and some Mc chat a bit so there's a pause between tunes but also an entertaining moment too...

I got used to play with 2 decks but this year played in a street fest in Lisbon with only one deck and the vibe was there the whole night until the cops told us to stop (@6:00am :) ).
With one TT I felt more concentrated in the moment, instead of being automatically preparing the next selection, I was more in tune with the massive... But I've seen great selectors do this with 2 decks.

I feel this one deck way a like a concert where the band puts on a song then a pause, singer chats and then some more vibes! But you can too have a band play long medleys or extended versions so there you go everything compatible!

Each sound should be doing what they do best either with one or two decks!!
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Postby mike turner » Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:18 am

great thread.

I've come to be really bored by extended mixes, version excursions and the like, because usually there's only one or two songs that are great and the rest seem to be played merely to demonstrate the depth of the selector's selections.

I'm of the opinion that the optimal length of reggae songs should be 4 minutes anyway (and that applies to my beloved 12" classics). That's just me. But I notice that in most crowds a critical segment will start to fatigue after a few minutes of juggling, and if you continue to flog them the crowd will try to hang in there, but you better come in with a very strong next tune or you will clear the floor.

A friend of mine used to be a disco dj in New York in the 70s and he told me he always watched the dancers arms. As long as he saw hands going above the shoulders he would carry on, but once he saw arms dropping he knew it was time to change. It's a good rule of thumb.

But pity the aging deejay like myself attempting the single changer style. As my eyesight and back flexibility decline I find it quite difficult to bend over some low table in dim light and deftly maneuver the tone arm. Fortunately I have yet to miss the run-in groove entirely, but that day is surely coming!
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Postby Freddy C » Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:00 am

I read this thread at the time it started and have not re-read it tonight so forgive me if I'm retreading.

Wasn't the single turntable set-up originally determined by economics rather than being a deliberate choice? In other words isn't it likely that the selectors of the past would have desired two decks?

With this in mind, playing with a single deck nowadays seems like it could just be an attempt to present some slice of old skool authenticity which isn't really there in most cases.
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Postby Marvin » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:03 am

Joined this thread late so forgive me if I'm reiterating what has been said already, but personnally I'm a fan of the one deck scenario. I've always found that once a tune has been dropped be it 7 12 or a plate the anticipation of the next tune is emphasised by the calm that falls on the crowd between tunes. I must add as a bubbler myself I always find the small break gives me a chance to exchange a few words with the company i'm with and gives the legs a quick break which can be much needed when attending a 6 - 7 hr session.
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Postby Scooby » Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:08 pm

Marvin wrote:I always find the small break gives me a chance to exchange a few words with the company i'm with and gives the legs a quick break which can be much needed when attending a 6 - 7 hr session.


I can certainly identify with that especially if the DJ has been dropping a crucial selection, most certainly gives the crowd a few vital seconds to rest up before it all starts off again :shock:
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Postby ital steppah » Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:29 pm

As a one man sound using old belt drives goldring lenco, thorens mk11.
With two decks its put through a mixer which i think spoils the sound.Mixers are very restricted in what you can do with then weather decks through mixer first or last makes no differfence.With one deck the level and weight of the needle stays consistant unlike two decks adjusting the level most of the dance, and being a one man sound you aint got time for and that flapping about.The gaps betwwen tunes depends on whats happening in the dance at the time.
I remember a shaka dance in the early 90s when he just lifted up the needle and held it there above the record for at least half an hour and the crowd was wondering what was going on .1.sound broke down. 2.then the cusses started so shaka knew now who he was looking for. dread biz.
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Postby sf2030 » Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:55 am

Here in San Francisco we're switching to one deck systems in our ongoing efforts to combat global warming...soon we'll continue our crusade by passing a binding resolution forcing all sound operators to use pre 1930 mechanical gramophones...we'll save the earth and fight down the evil power companies...so what if we sacrifice a little bass, evryone can huddle close to their roots gramophone and sing "cumbyah"...on the Punnany rhythm of course!
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Postby sf2030 » Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:01 am

Oh, I forgot...another positive aspect of using non-electrical gramaphones is all the wonderful aerobic exercise our box boys will get by cranking the deck all night...right on! Do you think Shaka might want to join our no carbon imprint musical collective?
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Postby Anonymous » Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:20 am

Jah Shaka, Jah Observer,Channel One, Aba Shanti I all use one turntable and sound the best tune wise.
All play old style roots. Aba Shanti sometimes plays dub or occassionally new steppers style reggae.

Iration Steppas [CD decks], King Earthquake [1 turntable or CD decks or minidisc], Jah Tubbys [Laptop usually or CD decks].
Mostly they play new roots reggae,steppers or dub.


Not sure what King Shiloh use [I think 1 turntable] and Jah Voice uses.

Can't think of ANY reggae sound that mixes like some annoying disco DJ.

Can't think of ANY BIG reggae sound nowadays that uses 2 turntables either.


Some people might say Gladdy Wax, but they aint as known as names like Shaka or Channel One.
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