What's the difference?
Pros: Sounds better, many audiophiles say. I think it sounds warmer and is therefore better with analog music (usually older stuff); It is also sexier for some reason. You seem more legitimate playing on vinyl, because it takes a lot more talent to mix and records are harder to find. For a turntablist, any other medium, I believe, is absolutely unacceptable. Some of the most elite underground artists release only on vinyl as well.
Cons: It is a total pain in the ass to be lugging your records with you to a gig. They also wear down with time, and are hard to find. If the speakers are too close, your record will skip.
Pros: You can burn CDs with custom mixes and playlists. Mixing with good equipment takes skill and is relatively acceptable, though not as much as vinyl in purist crowds. Most of the world's music today is available on CDs. Sound is crystal clear, especially for digital music.
Cons: You still have to lug around a large CD case if you want to bring some variety to the table. Piracy is rampant on CDs as well. Really good mixing equipment can be expensive as well. CDJ-1000's, an industry standard, will set you back $1,200 EACH.
Pros: You can fit whole bunch of these babies in your jump-drive, I-pod, or even cd's you burn. I have DJ buddies that email their favorite mixing songs to their gmail account and burn them wherever they are for a quick mix as well. The quality can potentially be very good. A 300 CD carrying case could potentially hold over 30,000 tracks in good quality.
Cons: How much respect will you get by spinning with 2 ipods and a dingy little mixer at a huge party? Its almost cheating, and not very sexy, except to maybe apple-worms. It kind of ruins the experience to go to a club, shell out $20 to get in, hear a $50,000 speaker system, and have some kid with ipods playing.
There are some exceptions and bridges to the vinyl, CD, mp3 gap. My favorite is a pair of Gemini CDT-05 hybrid turntables that play records, cds (that one can scratch with vinyl interface), and play mp3 cds.
You can also use something like Serato Scratch Live or Stanton's Final Scratch, computer programs that sync up with your turntables through coded records.
not what you mix with.
But, you must remember to respect
tradition and reach for innovation.