Why Paco Osuna Expanded Beyond the DJ Decks

Mar 29, 2023

Ana Monroy Yglesias

3 min read

Throughout life, we all face major crossroads, many of which can feel incredibly daunting in the moment. For Spanish DJ/producer Paco Osuna, one of those challenging life-changing experiences came when he developed a bad neck and his doctor told him he had to stop DJing or find a way to do it with better posture. Instead of walking away from the career he loved and has since he was 20, he sought out a solution to continue performing without causing further harm.

It was time to dump the CDJs and get creative with the other DJ technology available. Of course, techno and music technology king Richie Hawtin was a great resource. In 2016, Osuna was chosen as an ambassador of Hawtin's PLAYdifferently MODEL1 mixer. (Hawtin co-designed the mixer with former Allen & Health Lead Designer Andy Rigby-Jones. PLAYdifferently partners with Allen & Heath to manufacture and distribute their products.)

The "Otopisimo" producer uses the high-tech mixer with his computer, an Ableton Push MIDI pad controller, and a few other contraptions. Since he made the essential switch up, he has even more flexibility than he did with turntables or CDJs.

"The way that I play now is much more creative, giving [me] so many opportunities to go very far with ideas that I have in my mind at the moment," he told Gray Area in 2022.

"For me, it's very important to always evolve with the times. You know, maybe in 20, 30 years, there is no computer, there's something else. I remember I had a friend who told me 'In the future, we are not going to hear music. We will hear frequencies and the frequencies will make us dance.' So, I don't know. But you can't go against the evolution of the world."

He's been DJing since 1994, in the days of vinyl, when his current setup couldn't possibly be dreamed up. And while he loves vinyl, he's always been open to new ways to elevate his DJ sets and offer some something unique.

"My background is analog," Osuna told Antelope Audio—he uses their Orion 32+ audio interface.

"But, I'm one of these people who really likes to have the opportunities that the technology gives you to increase your creativity. For me, the vinyl was very good, and the analog sound is very warm, but you can have the same results with digital sounds when you find the right soundcard and you have the right elements to do it."

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