DJTechTools Oct 21, 2016

Trying to perfect a kick/bass mixdown and it?s going nowhere? It’s hard to tell what you’re hearing because your neighbors have asked you to wear headphones, or your studio monitors aren’t properly acoustically treated. Bottom line, the mixdown is taking too long. There must be a better way, right? Today’s article is a set of tips from experts on solving this exact issue.

There are experts who have taken on this challenge before. Producers who got big making tracks in their bedroom, but who get booked because their music sounds great on big sound systems. If their music didn?t sound clear on big systems, their career could be at risk. Today we’ve collected advice on doing kick/bass mixdowns from successful producers – not some random YouTuber claims to “personally know” Diplo â€“ so listen up.

Tip # 1: Reference Master Level

Stimming: Reference master level when adjusting to attain a loud master (skip to 14:13 to hear the tip)

Say you add bassline to kick drum and your mix gets 3 db ?louder? on the master channel. The question becomes: how do i make these two elements fit together better to avoid such a big jump in volume? 

Stimming’s tip, above, is to reference your DAW?s master level while adjusting critical mixdown elements to see if your decisions actually win back some lost headroom. This is especially true for low frequencies since they take up a lot of headroom. You can see him trying different tactics like EQ, sidechain, and compressor choice while watching the master level to see if his decisions are working.

Tip # 2: Oscilloscope Fun!

Nicky Romero: use an oscilloscope so the kick & bass compliment each other (not overlap – skip to 4:09 to hear this tip).

Load up the oscilloscope on the master channel. First, solo your kick. Then solo your bass. Note how each looks individually on the oscilloscope. When you then play them together, you can see where the two overlap. Tune your mix while referencing the oscilloscope to ensure the overlap between the two is minimal.

For instance, use a sidechain compressor while watching how it affects the envelope of the bass. Yes, this means you have to make a choice about which element is more important – and that?s a good thing. The plugin Nicky Romero uses can be downloaded free here.

Tip # 3: Extreme Compressors

Laidback Luke : Use extreme compressors settings to dial in the perfect side-chain (skip to 3:14 to hear this tip)

Luke says a track is like a puzzle, and every little piece must fit together. So if your kick hits at 50 hz, that means your bass line shouldn’t have that frequency. Let?s apply this idea to sidechaining. If we want the bassline to fit with the kick, it must pump with the right timing.

  • First, play your kick and bass, then sidechain your bass to kick drum.
  • Reduce the threshold on the compressor so the side-chain pump is greatly over-exaggerated and you see heavy gain reduction.
  • Then tweak the release time to dial in the pump.
  • After the pump feels right, dial back the threshold so it?s more subtle.

Tip # 4: Separate Basses

Hardwell: Separate sub-bass and synth ?bass?, and sidechain sub-bass much harder (skip to :54 to hear this tip)

Hardwell layers his lead bass sound with a synth layer and a sub layer (like in his track Spaceman). In order for him to make the low-end clean, he?ll sidechain the sub-layer super hard, but leave the top synth bass a bit less compressed and more natural. Adding this concept to Laidback Luke?s trick, you could even try to sidechain the sub-bass super hard, while focusing more so on the groove of the synth bass. 

Tip # 5: Drum & Bass Bus

Dada Life : Use a drum and bass bus with subtle compression (skip to :26 to hear this tip)

Route the audio output of all your drums and bass sounds to one audio bus. Add a compressor to that bus. Dada Life is using the Solid Bus Comp from Komplete 11, which is known to pump well. Compress a few dbs of the signal, tune the attack so your compressor engages at the right time, and tune the release so the compressor pumps in time with your track. You can then dial back the dry/wet on the compressor to about 50% so half of the signal is compressed and half is dry, making it sound more natural. This is subtle but will help your track bounce that extra few percent.

What can we learn from these tips?

All these producers are using tools to make decisions so that they can get clearer mixdowns that sound great in a club. Even though these producers have dream studios, they still use all the tools available to them to improve their mixdowns. You?d think it?d be the other way around and that the pros should know how something should sound after a while, but this is not the case. So take note, and try some of these tricks for yourself.

Dada Life even mentions using one of our favorite tools for mixdowns: the Subpac S2, which is a tactile subwoofer that lets you feel the frequencies under 100hz as if you were standing on the dancefloor in a club. It’s basically like a magnifying glass for your low end that isn’t susceptible to acoustic issues. This may be new to you, but many top DJs also use the Subpac : Calyx and Tee Bee, Richie Hawtin, Dubfire, Excision, Camo & Krooked, Datsik, The Glitch Mob, and so many more.

Our advice to you: try these studio secrets and buy a Subpac

A note from the DJTT store crew: Have questions about Subpacs? Matias on DJTT Live Chat (in the DJTT store) can help you out. Best of luck with the studio?s worst enemy and club music?s greatest ally: bass.

Keep Reading: Want to know what gear top producers are using the studio?

The post 5 Kick + Bass Mixdown Secrets from Top Producers appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Oct 21, 2016
Wow, what a week that was! I'm just back at the studio from Amsterdam Dance Event, in a week that also saw us launch The DJ Test and my Rock The Dancefloor! book. Check 'em out... but also check out the stuff from around the web that's been hot on our browsers this week here at DDJT... The post Friday Roundup: Martin Garrix World's Best DJ, Says DJ Mag appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DigitalDJTips Oct 21, 2016
Denon DJ has sneaked out a brand-new pro turntable here at Amsterdam Dance Event. Called the VL12, it's unusual in that it is a genuinely new design, as opposed to the vast majority of post-Technics turntables out there that are rebadged but essentially almost identical to each other. The post Denon DJ Shows Off Its New VL12 Turntable At ADE appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

Serato Oct 21, 2016

Beat Jump is a feature in Serato DJ that allows you to instantly jump forward or backwards in your track by a pre-determined amount, perfectly in time. This feature is great for giving yourself more time to mix, jumping straight to the hook and skipping that slow section in the track.

  • To enable this feature, first make sure you've got the latest update to Serato DJ.
  • Open the Serato DJ setup screen, and select "Show Beat Jump Controls" in the DJ Preferences tab.
  • You will see the Beat Jump controls underneath your looping controls. You can choose your Beat Jump amount and hit the arrow forwards or backwards to make the jump. This is quantised so if you hit it out of time, it'll sound smooth and perfectly in time.

Supported controllers with sets of 8 performance pads, will be able to access Beat Jump controls in Auto-Loop or Loop Roll mode on the bottom 4 performance pads (when Beat Jump is enabled in the Setup screen. The two outside pads will control shifting the playhead backwards or forwards, while the two inside pads control the Beat Jump value.

If you have Loop Shift controls on your hardware, these will become Beat Jump controls when it's enabled in Setup. For more info on hardware controls for your device, download your controller Quickstart Guide.

If you have any problems or need further help with this or any other Serato DJ features, please open a help ticket for our support team. They'll help out out!

Try out Serato DJ free for two weeks.


DigitalDJTips Oct 20, 2016
For months now we?ve had a crack team of savvy web geniuses locked away in a secret bunker somewhere in central London working on something totally game-changing, and today we?re unveiling to you exactly what all the effort has been for. Introducing... The DJ Test. The post The Digital DJ Tips DJ Test is Live - How Will You Score? appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

Serato Oct 20, 2016

Dedicated to his good friend Big Makk, DJ Nonames of Foreign Beggars has put together this mix for SeratoCast Mix 59. Cue this one up to play at your next party or turn it up right now! You won't be disappointed.

"This one took me a minute, i've been producing a lot lately so I wanted to spend some time listening to new music and put together something that touched on all corners of what im into in 2016, and made sense musically. As always recorded live between Technics, CDJs, and my trusty DJM909 via Serato. I made the intro the day after Skepta won his Mercury prize, Dabbla and Illaman peppered it with some bars and I threw some other acapellas and shouts from my iphone in there. The last one is from the late great Big Makk aka Samisoni Koroitamudu. Rest up brother."

Check out more from Serato Artists.

Serato Oct 20, 2016

A very jazzy stopover by DJ Woody to the Serato Studio in Downtown LA!

Music: "How To Respond" from 'The Point Of Contact' by DJ Woody, available on Bandcamp now -

Check out more from Serato Artists

DJTechTools Oct 19, 2016

If you’re a DJ playing other artists’ music, how do those artists find out that their music has been played? More importantly, how do they get paid? With a new partnership between Richie Hawtin’s RADR and Pioneer DJ’s KUVO, more accurate reporting of the music played in clubs is possible. Keep reading to learn more.

RADR + KUVO: Get Play Get Paid

You might remember KUVO from a few years ago at launch. Essentially, this is a system installed in clubs that receives DJ metadata from Pioneer DJ gear / software, and uploads it a database for post-gig reporting. KUVO is then capable of streaming the data directly to the performance rights organizations, which ensure that royalties from licenses (purchased by venues) go to the artists who are actually played.

With today’s announcement, Richie Hawtin’s RADR (which previously focused on sending tracks played out to a Twitter post) will be able to take the same data out of Traktor Pro and send it into a KUVO hardware box.

All that Traktor DJs need for this to work is to have RADR installed, and have a KUVO box (NXS-GW) attached to their computer via a LAN cable. This only works with Traktor Pro on macOS – but RADR supports other software and operating systems, so we suspect that they will follow shortly.

At the end of the day, RADR is still just a hack in Traktor, using the broadcast/streaming features to send track metadata. It would be awesome to see Native Instruments and other companies actually adopt direct KUVO support without the need for a third-party tool like RADR.

What About Adoption By Clubs?

Pioneer's NXS-GW: Not much to look at, but the backbone of the system.

Pioneer’s NXS-GW: Not much to look at, but the backbone of the system.

There’s still one major obstacle that isn’t addressed in this video or the associated press release: adoption of KUVO by venues. A big part of what makes the proposed ecosystem of proper royalties tracking possible is knowing where tracks were played. How will Pioneer DJ get all venues with DJs – which have to pay music licensing fees – to install KUVO boxes?

Clearly this campaign is one part of the process – but it’s directed at producers and DJs, asking them to install RADR, use KUVO, clean up their metadata, or register their original productions with performing rights organizations.

The video is also asking major touring DJs to put KUVO on their riders – but will that actually capture anywhere near the level of data needed if KUVO isn’t set up for the resident DJs or local acts who don’t have riders?

Would you use RADR or KUVO if you had the chance at your next gig? Share thoughts in the comments.

The post KUVO and RADR Want To Pay Artists Played By DJs appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Oct 19, 2016
Today it's been announced that Pioneer's KUVO music tagging system plays nicely with Richie Hawtin's RADR app, following on from last week's announcement that the flagship Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2 multi players and DJM-900NXS2 mixer finally play nicely with Traktor Pro 2. The post Traktor & Pioneer DJ Cosy Up Further As Hawtin's RADR Joins The Party appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DigitalDJTips Oct 19, 2016
Last week, Phil Morse - Digital DJ Tips founder and author of Amazon best-selling book "Rock The Dancefloor!" - was interviewed on Pioneer DJ Radio. In the hour-long show, Phil spoke about the book, his DJing, and Digital DJ Tips, and played some of his favouriter tuens. The post Listen To Our Founder Phil Morse On Pioneer DJ Radio appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

Serato Oct 19, 2016

The Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2 will be a supported HID device in Serato DJ before the end of this year. This follows our announcement that DJM-900NXS2 support is also coming. You can read more about this here.

For more information on using supported CDJs in Serato DJ with HID mode, check out this tutorial video.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line in the comments below :)

DJTechTools Oct 18, 2016

Last week, Native Instruments launched the brand new version of Traktor 2.11. One of the key features: a step sequencer for the Remix Decks. While the Midi Fighter Twister has been able to sequence Remix Decks, this new feature opens it up to a host of new choices. Read on to learn how the Midi Fighter 3D and Twister can be used as powerful controllers for the Traktor Sequencer.

With the new Traktor Sequencer we have two new mappings – and of course the built-in sequencer for the Twister still works amazingly. Here are all the options for supercharged sequencing in Traktor with Midi Fighters:

Midi Fighter 3D Traktor Sequencer Mapping

Midi Fighter 3D + Traktor SequencerReady to start using the Traktor Sequencer? We’re launching a Midi Fighter 3D mapping for the sequencer (and one for the Twister as well). Watch Ean’s overview:

Posted by Midi Fighter on Monday, October 17, 2016

This new mapping was designed by highly popular request. When Traktor 2.11 was announced, many Midi Fighter 3D owners emailed us to ask if we would make a great mapping for their controllers. This is the first iteration of that mapping – built by the DJTT staff.

Features include 4 banks of 16 steps for decks C and D, per-slot effects control, swing adjustment, a motion-based filter, and more. Watch Ean’s demo video above – or just download the mapping here on

This mapping should also work for other Midi Fighter models – the Classic and Spectra. If you have suggestions or bug reports, please leave a comment on the mapping page and we will update it.

Midi Fighter Twister Traktor Sequencer Mapping


This mapping is a very similar variation of the built-in Midi Fighter Twister sequencer, but you’ll note that there are some differences that make it a new animal so no matter what your workflow we have you covered.

Since it uses Traktor’s internal sequencer you no longer have to worry about setting up the MIDI Clock or adjust the initial phase, so it’s pretty much a breeze to started, even if you’re not a Traktor wizard. Swing controls allow you add some groove to your beats to make them sound more natural and changing the pattern length makes it more versatile for quick edits on the fly. You can now also control 2 sequencer decks with a single device which was not possible before.

There are some features that didn’t make the cut – step velocity (adjusting the volume of each step), switching between different patterns on the fly at the twist of a knob, and of course using other mappings in tandem like our Twister Gratification mapping along the sequencer. Should you need them, you can always use our original Twister Sequencer mapping or use a 3D to handle the sequencing.

Download this mapping here on– and be sure to share your notes, feedback, and bug reports.

Other Controllers + Traktor Sequencer


If you’re not a Midi Fighter owner (you can get one here on the DJTT store) our MIDI mapping database has already started to have maps uploaded for other controllers. If you make one of your own, share it on there so that everyone can enjoy!

To see other Traktor Sequencer mappings – go to, hit the “Recent” tab, and under the software dropdown select “Traktor”. 

The post Supercharge The Traktor Sequencer With Midi Fighters appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Oct 18, 2016
To celebrate the global launch of my brand new book, "Rock The Dancefloor! The Five Step Guide To Total DJing Success", for the next 48 hours you can buy the Kindle version for just US$0.99/Ł0.99*. When you do, you also get 60 minutes of live DJ coaching with me, absolutely free! The post Buy My New Book For $0.99 & Get An Hour's Live DJ Coaching Free! appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DigitalDJTips Oct 16, 2016
Reader Nathan writes: I have been putting on house music nights in my city for about a year and a half now. They have all been successful bar two where attendance wasn't as high as expected. I have recently moved my night to a better venue with better sound quality, production etc. I really don't know where I have gone wrong..." The post Your Questions: Why Did My Club Night Fail? appeared first...

DigitalDJTips Oct 16, 2016
Digital DJ Tips reader Main Event writes: "I have a couple of gigs coming up where I am playing the music to accompany a vocalist. I imaging there must be proper communication between myself and the vocalist. I would like to be properly prepared so that everything goes off smoothly and as professionally as possible. Do you have any tips for me?" The post Your Questions: How Do I Handle DJing...

DigitalDJTips Oct 15, 2016
I've been in London recording an episode of The Lab Show for Pioneer DJ Radio today - but that hasn't stopped me rounding up a list of articles we've been enjoying here at Digital DJ Tips this last week - from seat 1C on the flight back to Gibraltar. Have a great weekend! The post Friday Roundup: Check Out The Amazing Levitating Turntable appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

Serato Oct 15, 2016

Serato DJ software is now supported for use with macOS Sierra, with some exceptions listed below.

Before updating, make sure to check the compatibility of your DJ hardware in the list below, as some devices require either driver or firmware updates from the hardware manufacturer for official support.

Requires a driver / firmware update.

  • Denon MCX8000 - download and upgrade firmware from here.

Hold off upgrading until further notice.

  • Mixars DUO
  • Numark NS7II
  • Numark NS7
  • Numark NS6
  • Numark V7
  • Allen & Heath DB2
  • Allen & Heath DB4
  • Rane TTM-57II
  • Rane MP2015
  • Rane 61
  • Rane 62
  • Rane 64
  • Rane 68

Please check for any updated drivers or firmware here, or contact your hardware manufacturer. There's an updated list of supported hardware in our support FAQ.

If you have any questions, or have run into any issues you need help with, please contact Serato Support.
DJTechTools Oct 14, 2016

We have published a lot of amazing “How I Play” videos over the years here on DJ TechTools with artists including DubFire, Stimming, Chris Leibing, Kink and many others. One of the most common requests has been to do one with with Richie Hawtin. If you’ve seen this techno master on tour and wondered what DJ gear he uses, this video is a good overview. Check out the detailed interview with the founder of Minus and Plus 8 after the jump.

Richie Hawtin: How I Play / Model 1 Mixer

The How I Play interview goes into depth on his setup, but admittedly is a bit focused on his new mixer called the Model 1. If DJTT had cut this interview, we would have gone into a little more depth on other parts of the rig, but the 12 minutes are rich with insights that fits a proper “How I Play” format. Enjoy!

Germany readers: This video is blocked (thanks, GEMA). Get around it with this YouTube proxy tool

Shot in the appropriately chic black and white aesthetic, this particular How I Play with Hawtin is heavy on the mixer elements, demonstrating how he users filters and EQs to meld sounds together. We really liked the detailed examples of his mixing style which layers percussion, and at times, competing melody lines. The usual controllers were on display for those wondering what DJ gear he uses:

Still want more techno and clap fills? Check out this great interview we did earlier this year on the CNTRL Tour with Richie Hawtin on his mixer and his live playing style:

Want more interviews with other phenomenal performers? Don’t forget to dig through the full archives of our video features here on DJ Techtools.

The post Richie Hawtin: How I Play Gear Walkthrough appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Oct 14, 2016

For the first time in a year, Native Instruments is shipping a major update to their DJ software, Traktor Pro 2.11. The new version includes a few major new features, including Ableton Link, a Remix Deck step sequencer, and Pioneer DJ NXS2 support. Keep reading for details and videos.

Editor’s warning: As always, we are obligated to remind you that updating to a new DJ software right before a gig is a bad idea! Make sure you test everything out. Here’s how to roll back quickly to an older version if things go south. 

Traktor Pro 2.11: Ableton Link

In the new version of Traktor Pro, they’ve added the very powerful and increasingly common Ableton Link. This feature means that any other software using the Link protocol can be synchronized with Traktor. Any changes to the BPM are propagated to the other softwares.

You can add as many other softwares as you want – including Ableton Live and Serato DJ instances – all over a local area networks (Wi-Fi or ethernet).

Watch two Native Instruments employees show off how Link works in the video below:

What’s special about Ableton Link is that it goes beyond simple MIDI clock synchronization – and in our testing, tempo drift and latency is much improved. You can adjust the tempo globally for all the connected applications, and start/stop playback without doing so on the other linked apps.

Remix Decks Step Sequencer

Yes, Native Instruments is joining the step sequencing craze. We first launched our own Remix Deck sequencer with the Midi Fighter Twister years ago – it still is a powerful solution that’s a bit different from Traktor’s – but it is very exciting to have an official sequencer that anyone can map.

Traktor Pro 2.11 includes some sample step sequencer content, and it’s automatically pre-mapped to Traktor Kontrol S8 and D2 controllers. Stay tuned for a powerful mapping for the Midi Fighter 3D in the next few days.

If you make a MIDI mapping for the Traktor step sequencer for your controller, please upload it to DJTT’s Maps repository so others can try it for themselves, comment, and improve your work!

NXS2 HID/DVS Support

We wrote about this in a separate article earlier today – but finally users of Pioneer DJ’s NXS2 setup have full HID support. This means that you can control the decks via HID on the CDJ-2000NXS2s, as well as use the DJM-900NXS2’s audio inputs for DVS control.

Traktor Pro 2.11 is available now in Service Center or on NI’s website under Updates.

The post Traktor Pro 2.11 Out Now appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Oct 14, 2016

The Pioneer DJ NXS2 setup – CDJ-2000NXS2s and DJM-900NXS2s – are finally getting complete Tratkor Scratch compatibility. This comes in step with the launch of Traktor 2.11 (which is due to be released in the next day or two). Keep reading for the details on new compatibility.

Traktor + Pioneer NXS2s History

We published an article back in June 2016 about the absurdity of the situation for early adopters of high end Pioneer DJ NXS2 gear. Many users upgraded directly from NXS gear, and for some DJs, this meant losing DVS/Traktor Scratch and HID compatibility.

Pioneer DJ notes that the new compatibility being announced today, “comes under the Pioneer DJ Certification Program, an initiative to evaluate products from other companies and certify them as compatible with our DJ gear so you know you can use them together with confidence.”

The NXS2 line officially launched in February 2016, so if you invested then, it’s been eight months without this feature. Long enough for almost any digital DJ who missed this feature consider returning the units or trying out Rekordbox DJ, which has worked perfectly with the NXS2 hardware most of the year.

Full USB-HID Compatibility + Features

Despite the delay, we’re happy that Pioneer DJ have announced this new update. Here are the features that Pioneer DJ is announcing for each unit:


  • Intuitive DVS and scratch control: Plug your computer into the mixer and use the Traktor Scratch control vinyl or CDs. If you?re using a CDJ-2000NXS2, you don?t need a timecode disc.
  • Dual Soundcard Support: With the DJM-900NXS2?s dual built-in sound cards and input selector switches, it’s easy to connect two computers to the mixer at the same time and trade off channels.
  • Use the DJM-900NXS2 as an audio output device: Output audio signals from TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO 2 without needing an external audio interface. The USB sound cards enable 96 kHz/24-bit high-quality sample processing and you can input/output each audio signal and maintain sound quality just by connecting the mixer to your PC/Mac. (Editor’s note: We are pretty sure this isn’t a new feature – just now “officially supported”) 


  • HID Control: Plug your Traktor Scratch computer into a CDJ-2000NXS2 and control track decks without the need for a control disc. Loops, tempo adjustment, and play/cue are all automatically mapped to the software.
  • Track information on CDJ-2000NXS2?s screen: Text information, artwork, and wave form from your tracks in Traktor are shown on the screen (Editor’s note: so far, it looks like this is still just one static waveform and not a highres, zoomable waveform – same as with the CDJ-2000NXS)
  • Use the CDJ-2000NXS2 as an audio output device: Output audio via the CDJ-2000’s built-in sound card

How To Set It Up

In order to start DJing with Traktor Scratch Pro and the NXS2 line, you’ll need to download the 2.11 beta (or soon, final release) of Traktor. You also will will need to update the firmware on your CDJ-2000NX2 units to version 1.50 and DJM-900NXS2 units to version 1.20.

We also noticed a good bit of advice in the Pioneer DJ forums for any DJs who might use CDJs without a DJM mixer. This means using the audio output of the CDJs and using the CDJ Aggregator software.  Here’s what Tristan James writes:


Have your own experiences with using NXS2 gear with Traktor? Let us know in the comments.

The post Pioneer DJ NXS2 Setup Gets Traktor HID Compatability appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Oct 14, 2016
So you make a great mixtape (or CD, or online mix). You give it out to everyone you can think of who may be able to get you a gig. You sit back, confident that by the weight of sheer numbers, someone will give you a gig. And... nothing. So you get to wondering. Why did it not go right? The post 7 Reasons Why Your Mixtapes Never Get You Bookings appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DJTechTools Oct 13, 2016

The Pioneer DJ NXS2 setup – CDJ-2000NXS2s and DJM-900NXS2s – are finally getting complete Tratkor Scratch compatibility. This comes in step with the launch of Traktor 2.11 (which is due to be released in the next day or two). Keep reading for the details on new compatibility.

Traktor + Pioneer NXS2s History

We published an article back in June 2016 about the absurdity of the situation for early adopters of high end Pioneer DJ NXS2 gear. Many users upgraded directly from NXS gear, and for some DJs, this meant losing DVS/Traktor Scratch and HID compatibility.

Pioneer DJ notes that the new compatibility being announced today, “comes under the Pioneer DJ Certification Program, an initiative to evaluate products from other companies and certify them as compatible with our DJ gear so you know you can use them together with confidence.”

The NXS2 line officially launched in February 2016, so if you invested then, it’s been eight months without this feature. Long enough for almost any digital DJ who missed this feature consider returning the units or trying out Rekordbox DJ, which has worked perfectly with the NXS2 hardware most of the year.

Full USB-HID Compatibility + Features

Despite the delay, we’re happy that Pioneer DJ have announced this new update. Here are the features that Pioneer DJ is announcing for each unit:


  • Intuitive DVS and scratch control: Plug your computer into the mixer and use the Traktor Scratch control vinyl or CDs. If you?re using a CDJ-2000NXS2, you don?t need a timecode disc.
  • Dual Soundcard Support: With the DJM-900NXS2?s dual built-in sound cards and input selector switches, it’s easy to connect two computers to the mixer at the same time and trade off channels.
  • Use the DJM-900NXS2 as an audio output device: Output audio signals from TRAKTOR SCRATCH PRO 2 without needing an external audio interface. The USB sound cards enable 96 kHz/24-bit high-quality sample processing and you can input/output each audio signal and maintain sound quality just by connecting the mixer to your PC/Mac. (Editor’s note: We are pretty sure this isn’t a new feature – just now “officially supported”) 


  • HID Control: Plug your Traktor Scratch computer into a CDJ-2000NXS2 and control track decks without the need for a control disc. Loops, tempo adjustment, and play/cue are all automatically mapped to the software.
  • Track information on CDJ-2000NXS2?s screen: Text information, artwork, and wave form from your tracks in Traktor are shown on the screen (Editor’s note: so far, it looks like this is still just one static waveform and not a highres, zoomable waveform – same as with the CDJ-2000NXS)
  • Use the CDJ-2000NXS2 as an audio output device: Output audio via the CDJ-2000’s built-in sound card

How To Set It Up

In order to start DJing with Traktor Scratch Pro and the NXS2 line, you’ll need to download the 2.11 beta (or soon, final release) of Traktor. You also will will need to update the firmware on your CDJ-2000NX2 units to version 1.50 and DJM-900NXS2 units to version 1.20.

We also noticed a good bit of advice in the Pioneer DJ forums for any DJs who might use CDJs without a DJM mixer. This means using the audio output of the CDJs and using the CDJ Aggregator software.  Here’s what Tristan James writes:


Have your own experiences with using NXS2 gear with Traktor? Let us know in the comments.

The post Pioneer DJ NXS2 Setup Gets Traktor Scratch HID Compatability appeared first on DJ TechTools.

Serato Oct 13, 2016

We are hosting 15 Serato DJ workshops all around Germany, as well as Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Finland and Sweden between the 17th of October and 25th. November.

Come along to your local workshop you would like to meet the team and get up to scratch with some of our new features and hardware, including the Roland DJ-808, Ableton Link, updated Sampler, SoundSwitch, Pulslocker and much more. 

All attendee's will also go in the draw to win prizes which include Pioneer DJM-S9, Roland 808, Mixars Duo and Pulselocker VIP Accounts amongst others. 

RSVP to an event near you.

DJTechTools Oct 12, 2016

For rising producers who are ready to go beyond self-release and promotion, there’s a clear “next step”. Submitting your tracks to labels with the hopes of getting a release isn’t easy. But in today’s article, guest contributor and JOOF label A&R manager Daniel Sokolovskiy reveals a few key insights. Keep reading to learn how to properly send demos to record labels, with the goal of getting a response.

Having great music is the essential part of a music producer?s career. Marketing, social media, and other promotional tools work only if your music is truly great.

But when dealing with record labels, just having great music is not enough ? you have to know how to properly pitch the labels. Otherwise, you may end up like a radio telescope in the above image – blasting out signals but never getting a reply back.

In this article, I’ll share my insights on sending a demo to a record label, and how to increase chances of a positive response.

Demonstrate your best

Some producers think that demo is a 1-minute cut from the full track, some others think it’s a work-in-progress preview. Let?s clarify what the ?demo? actually means in the first place.

?demo? is short for demonstration ? the demonstration of the best you can do.

Let?s take photographers for example. A good photographer won’t show just a piece of his shots to the clients, saying something like “Well, you know, it’s a work-in-progress, but after Photoshop it will be better”.

Imagine if photographs only shared a section of their completed work. Show the best you can do, not some tiny unfinished piece

Imagine if photographers only shared a section of their completed work – it wouldn’t make sense! Show the best you can do, not some tiny unfinished piece.

So when sending submissions to labels, don’t send ideas and rough previews saying “I’ll finish if your label is interested in it”. Send only finished tracks, and only when you?re absolutely sure it’s the best you can do.

Do Your Research; Submit To The Right Labels

Surprisingly, producers often send tracks that don’t match a label’s genre. It may sound obvious, but before hitting send, do some research. Before you submit a demo, make sure it totally suits the style and concept of the label. Why would a Trance label would ever want to listen to your Drum & Bass demo?

It can be good to have specific label in mind when you are producing a track. But if you just starting out and not sure where your music fits in, try this research process:

  • Find five or ten artists with similar music to yours
  • Check where those artists have been released
  • Check those labels and listen to their other releases.

Do this process a few times and you’ll have a solid list of record labels where your music potentially fits in.

Use Official Contacts, Not Facebook Messages

Please don't be like this guy. Just don't.

Please don’t be like this guy. Just don’t.

All the people in the music industry have public accounts: on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Google+, and other social media. But just because these accounts have â€œSend a message” buttons doesn’t mean that label heads want to receive your demos here. In fact, it might be quite the opposite.

Personal and business communication are different things, and not all people like to mix it together. I advise to respect people’s privacy, and don?t send demos in personal messages on social media. If you try this, know that your message might not even get there – for instance, Facebook filters out messages from people who don’t have a certain number of shared friends.

Instead, I recommend using a label’s official contact methods for demo submission. Go to the label’s website or Facebook page, look for the contacts section, and check their specific instructions out. If they accept demos via form on their website only, then send via that form. If they ask to send an email to specific address ? send an email to that address.

If you’re unwilling to follow the directions that a label has set out for submitting tracks, this means something to the label manager. Do they really want to work with someone (an artist) who can’t follow directions and submit music properly? Probably not.

Personalize Your Submission

Some producers use mass mailings, hoping that the odds are that someone will pick their track up. Trust me – chances of getting released on a decent label by mass mailing are very, very low.

“My demo for the best labels”, this email says. A fancy MailChimp template makes it look even more artificial, the opposite of what a real person-to-person email would look like

Going beyond that, I advise personalizing your submission. Instead of simply saying, “Hi, here is my demo” (which may indicate that you probably sent this demo to other labels as well), add that particular label name in subject line, or in track title, or in track description, or wherever.

This instantly gives a feeling of a personalized demo sent specifically for this label. This is important! If you don’t care which label you want to be released on, then most likely the label won’t care much about you either.

Send a Brief-but-Specific Message

It’s surprising how often I receive emails like this:

I hope you’ll like my new track!
Sent from my iPhone

Who is the sender, what’s their artist name? What track did they sent, and for what purpose? Well, you can only guess! Most likely, such messages are simply ignored in a favor of many other incoming messages in the queue. Remember, credible labels with good reputations receive dozens of demos on a daily basis!

But please don’t write a huge wall of text either. The best practice is to briefly introduce yourself, tell something about the track, and why you’re sending it. It’s okay to mention some other tracks or artists you like from the label, this shows you’re a fan of the label, which is always a good sign.

A good message might look look like this:

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-oct-12-13-47-amHere’s a template you can duplicate in your own submissions:

  • One short paragraph about yourself
  • One or two sentences about this demo
  • Signature with one main website link

Send Links, Not Files

Never ever attach audio files to the email message. Some mail servers and filters have a limit on incoming file size, you risk that your message won’t be delivered at all. It also can comes off as less professional.

I recommend uploading your files to one of the trusted and reliable platforms – SoundCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, or WeTransfer. Make sure to name files properly with your artist name and track title rather than something like “ID1.mp3”.

Personally, I prefer SoundCloud links most of all. But there are three things to keep in mind when sending over SoundCloud:

  • Turn on download option. Listening online is super handy, but sometimes a person who is making a decision may want to download this track to listen in another environment (ex: on a long overseas flight)
  • Keep your uploads private. Labels want to get exclusive material that no one has heard before, so public uploads significantly reduce chances of it getting signed.
  • Make sure you send a proper link. This one is a common mistake: to get a private link, you have to click on the “Share” button, and then copy text from the “Private Share” line. Double-check it: the link should include some few random digits at the end – try opening it in an Incognito browsing window. If you just copy-paste the regular link from your browser, everyone but you will see this:


Be Patient + Learn to Accept ‘No’

Don’t expect to get a reply back instantaneously. Good manners and business ethics imply waiting for a response for at least a week is reasonable. This is one of the main differences between quick online chats with friends and business communication.

Keep in mind that A&R Managers are often active artists themselves. They usually have busy schedules with their own music production and touring.

It is okay to send a reminder if you haven’t got a reply in 2-3 weeks. But don’t fall into a trap of false illusions: probably, you won’t hear back at all. Don’t let that discourage you – if your track is really amazing, well-produced, and totally fits the label, you’ll get a reply.

Being an active artist myself, I know how frustrating it can be to get a rejection or even no response. But don’t be afraid of getting “no” as an answer. Being alright with rejection and learning what works and what doesn’t helps you grow as a producer!

Daniel Sokolovskiy is a Psytrance music producer and DJ, known under the alias Daniel Lesden ? an artist at Digital Om Productions roster and A&R manager at JOOF Recordings. Daniel hosts his monthly show Rave Podcast on Digitally Imported radio and shares experience in the weekly Advice blog.

The post How To Send Demos To Record Labels appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Oct 12, 2016

Arturia is coming out with an analog beat maker that is an all-in-one beat machine made for performance and sound-design. The Brute product line is centered around hardware synthesizers – you might know the MiniBrutes, MicroBrutes, and MaxiBrute. They’re introducing DrumBrute – an analog drum machine and sequencer. Read more about the analog beat maker below.

Arturia’s DrumBrute: An Analog Drum Sequencer

  • Product: DrumBrute
  • Manufacturer: Arturia
  • Price: $499.00
  • Availability: November 17, 2016

The Arturia DrumBrute comes packed with 17 distinct, fully analog drum and percussion instruments:

  • 2 Kicks
  • Clap
  • Snare
  • Rim
  • Clave
  • Closed Hat
  • Open Hat
  • Low Tom
  • High Tom
  • Cymbal
  • Reversed Cymbal
  • High Conga
  • Low Conga
  • Maracas
  • Tambourine
  • Zap

The core of the DrumBrute is the 100% analog instruments that can fit into many different projects. Each drum sound can be adjusted using 24 different parameters, giving producers more control over the beat. There are 4 different banks where the user can store 64 different patterns using a 64 step sequencer. Patterns can be recorded using the sequencer and in real-time. At any point, the parameters for each instrument are adjustable.


Effects and Grooves

Swing and randomness are available to add more of a human feel to the beat. The DrumBrute also contains a Steiner-Parker Filter that can be set to low-pass, high-pass, or bypassed mode. There are also controls from the cutoff and resonance. This filter is great for toning drums or adding sweep effects to a beat.

The beat can become even more dynamic with polyrhythmic control, giving each instrument a different pattern, step repeat for fills, accents to give certain hits more emphasis, and a roller to accelerate a sound in 1/4, 1/8. 1/16, or 1/32 fills.

arturia drumbrute

Ultimate Connectivity

The DrumBrute offers multiple ways to connect the DrumBrute to different systems. There is a USB MIDI interface as wells as MIDI Ins and Outs with multiple sync options (Internal, MIDI, Clock, 1PPS, 2PPQ, DIN24, and DIN48).  For audio, there are 1/8″ outputs for each instrument plus a metronome as well as a 1/4″ master output. There are two headphone jacks, a 3.5mm and a 1/4″ jack with a level knob.


The DrumBrute has two modes: Looper and Song Mode. Looper is for repeating patterns from 1/4 to 1/32 increments to give an edgy, breakbeat feel to a song. Song Mode allows a user to create up to 16 unique songs with 16 patterns from 64 patterns across 4 separate banks. The amount of control, space, and outputs on this unit makes for a really comprehensive beat piece in any studio. The connectivity also makes the case for taking this unit out on the road. The DrumBrute is a creative addition to the Arturia product line and will make for some interesting performances.

Arturia is taking pre-orders for the DrumBrute at $499.00 and is going to be available on November 17th.

The post Arturia DrumBrute: Analog Beat Maker appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Oct 12, 2016
Numark's Lightwave speakers are all about combining stuff. Want some speakers you can use for both home use and small parties? Want some speakers that you can plug iPads/iPhones, DJ controllers, and microphones into? And - of course (the clue's in the name) - want some speakers that are also, erm, lights? That'll be the Numarks! In this review, we find out what they're all about. The post Review...

DigitalDJTips Oct 12, 2016
It's always been a big challenge for DJ/producers: Getting your music onto Beatport. In the past you needed to be on a record label (or own one) to have chance. But new service Ditto DJ Plus, from Ditto Music Promotion, claims to change all that. The post Get Your Productions Onto Beatport With Ditto DJ Plus appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DJTechTools Oct 11, 2016

We’ve watched carefully as Ableton has prepared a new release of their DAW. Live 9.7 is being released today as a free download to all current users. If you’re ready for new sampling features and a bunch of Push updates, this version is for you. Keep reading for the details.

Ableton Live 9.7

Here’s the main features of Live 9.7, as reported by Ableton themselves:

  • You can now slice by region as well as transients
  • You can route audio/MIDI in and out from the hardware
  • We?ve added 16 levels for drums which means you can quickly select between 16 fixed velocities when recording rhythm parts
  • You can colour code pads, clips and tracks from the hardware
  • Record count in and knowing where you are in a clip is now visible from the Push display
  • We updated the pad behaviour so the sensitivity changes automatically depending on whether you?re playing percussive style or chords

Mad Zach Shows Off The Sample Slicing

Want to see how the sample slicing is changing? Here’s Zach sharing his techniques with a beta of this version of the software:


Read next: Mad Zach’s full tips on using the new Ableton Simpler modes in Live 9.7

The post Ableton Live 9.7 Out Now: Sampling Power Up! appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Oct 10, 2016

The new TORAIZ SP-16 sampler and sequencer has a ton of layers to it, but so far, very few tutorials on the internet. Today, DJTT contributor Stu G is sharing a new video showing how to link up and sync the unit with a CDJ setup. For studio producers, he’s also sharing a technique for routing tracks out through it as an effects unit. Watch the full thing inside!

Want your own SP-16? Support DJTT and purchase one in our online DJ boutique.

Setting Up TORAIZ SP-16 To Sync With CDJs

In the video above, you see the complete walk through of how to set up the TORAIZ SP-16 with a CDJ setup. For reference, here’s the steps and tips:

  • Attach a Link cable (ethernet) to each of the CDJs and the SP-16 (also if you have a Pioneer DJM mixer, that too!). You will need an ethernet hub.
  • On the SP-16, in settings, change SYNC from INTERNAL to PRO DJ LINK
  • Also, change PRO DJ LINK SYNC SETTING to your preferred mode. The modes are: BPM, BARS, BEAT – syncing to various levels of quantization.
  • In the BPM/QUANTIZE menu, turn the Master Player Select to AUTO (whichever player is the master will control the SP-16)

Now any changes you make to your BPM will automatically be reflected on the SP-16 instantly.

Using the SP-16’s Dave Smith Filter In The Studio

As with syncing with CDJs, setting up the SP-16 so that you can pass audio through it is fairly simple once you know how. In the video above, I’m using the device as an external processing unit, specifically to run individual tracks through the powerful Dave Smith filter and adding analog overdrive to it.

Here’s how to set this up:

  • Send a pair of external outputs on your soundcard into the 1/4″ stereo inputs on the SP-16
  • Send a pair of 1/4″ stereo outputs from the SP-16 into a stereo input on your soundcard
  • Select a new scene and insert a blank pattern
  • Select any track, and change the track type to “THRU”
  • Adjust the level knob on the back of the SP-16 to get a good signal level
  • Set the outputs on a track in your DAW to the same outputs on your soundcard, and make a record track with the SP-16’s inputs

Now you can record a processed version of any track easily – it’s an easy way to add analog warmth to bass lines, etc.

Jam Session

Watch Stu’s full jam session with the SP-16 and CDJs in the video below:

DJTT contributor Stu G jamming out on the new Pioneer DJ SP-16 sampler and CDJs. Learn how to set this up here:

Posted by DJ TechTools on Monday, October 10, 2016

What tutorials and tips would you like to see next with the TORAIZ? Share in the comments!

The track used in the video is Stu G’s own new release with Mr. Bootsauce, “Get On Up“. 

The post Setting Up Pioneer’s TORAIZ SP-16 With CDJs + In Studio appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Oct 10, 2016
I get to watch scores of DJ routines, and despite wanting to be enthusiastic about them, the truth is that often they leave me cold - I liken many of them to watching an endless guitar solo or a rock drummer showing off for too long. Yeah, it's all technically impressive - but often, I end up asking myself: What's the point? The post One DJ Routine It's Definitely Worth Watching appeared first...

DigitalDJTips Oct 10, 2016
Over on our forum, DJ Jecky asked whether he should upgrade his Denon DJ MC6000 to either the Denon DJ MC7000 or the Pioneer DDJ-SX2. Bearing in mind he's already a Denon DJ controller user, and also that we haven't actually tested the MC7000 yet, here is our response to him... The post Controller Clinic #44: Denon DJ MC7000 Or Pioneer DDJ-SX2? appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

Serato Oct 10, 2016

Whether you're adding your custom DJ drops, blasting airhorns or setting off the dub siren, the Serato Sampler is your best friend. One of the older features of Serato DJ software, the original SP-6 was first introduced back in April 2009 in Scratch Live 1.9 but has recently been updated to include two extra slots, as well as a number of changes to the design for better usability.

There's a few different ways you'd use samples as a DJ:

  • DJ drops / stings - to drop your custom radio sting, advertising, shout outs from Lil Jon etc.
  • Transition FX - risers, sweeps and other FX like explosions are used a lot by DJs when transitioning tracks as you might want to stop and change tempo, or completely change the mood of the set. These can also be userful for DJs that play for rappers when you want to cut the song (cue gunshot samples).
  • Sound FX - Most often than not this is either an airhorn, a dub siren or a variation on that theme. Lion roars work well too :)
  • Loops - If you're playing a lot of minimal techno or similar styles of music where there is room for layering your own sounds on top, you may want to have a collection of loops in your library to add interest. With Sync, you can make sure your loops are on point and will ride on top of the track you're playing. Shakers, hi-hats and even kick loops can be used to subtly add some energy to a track. You can also make loops of tracks in your library and drag these to SP-6 slots, allowing you to sample your own music.
  • Drums / one-hits - For your Araab Musiks, your Lex Lugers etc... The drum sample is used for exactly what you think - finger drumming! Either use one-hits from sample packs, or drums from tracks in your library set on cue points (using the "start from feature" mentioned below).

As there are many different ways to use samples while DJing, it's important to be organised and use Sample Banks to hold different sets of samples. In Serato DJ, you can have 4 banks of 8 samples each. You can easily switch between banks by using the A,B,C,D buttons.

For example, you may want to have one bank set up with your radio stings, one bank with sounds FX, one with drums and one bank with your transitions.

Finding Samples

This question comes up a lot online in many DJ Facebook groups, forums, Twitter etc. Where do you find samples? Here are a few different options:

  • Your friends / other DJs - Try asking around! Chances are, there's one person in your immediate DJ circles that has an airhorn sample. Doing sample swaps is a good way to share also.
  • Make them yourself - If you already are doing a bit of production or dabble with synthesisers, it's relatively easy to play around and make some cool transition FX. Just search for some basic tutorials online if you're starting out and experiment.
  • Online sample banks / content providers - This is the most obvious source. There are many online providers of sample content (some better than others) and you can get mostly anything relatively easily. Free services may tend to have lower quality content or less choice, while premium services such as Loopmasters will have a huge catalogue of samples, ready for professional use.
  • Your music  - You can always go the classic route, and sample your own music. Whether it's a loop, or a series of vocal cuts you've assigned using cue points (and "play from") settings, it's an easy way to use music in another way in your sets. You can even drop a full track into an SP-6 slot, which will keep playing - freeing up your virtual decks. 

Check out some free sample content available for Serato DJs.

The Serato Sampler

Open the Serato Sampler by hitting the Sampler button located at the top of the screen within Serato DJ. You can load samples to slots by dragging from your library directly to the slot, or from the Virtual Deck.

Performance vs Advanced View


You can switch between a simple performance view of the Serato Sampler, or an advanced view that gives you access to many different settings. Use the advanced view while preparing your banks so that it's set up nicely for quick and easy performance when your at the club.

Use the arrow button to the left of the Sampler to switch between these view modes.

Play Modes

The Sampler slots have a few different play options, which can be set to the right of the sample slot. You can choose from Trigger Mode, Hold Mode and On / Off Mode. Hit the play mode button to cycle through these.

  • Trigger Mode will play the sample entirely through from one touch - you can't stop the sample once it's been triggered but hitting the sample again, will start it playing again. This is useful for things like drums and one-hits where you want to be able to hit multiple times in a row quickly.
  • Hold Mode will play the sample for as long as you hold down on the play button / performance pad. 
  • On / Off Mode plays the sample entirely through, until you hit the performance pad / play button again, which will stop the sample and return you to the beginning.

Each of these play modes is useful depending on what you're doing. Have a play around and figure out what's best for what you're using it for.

Play From

Use the 'Play From' selector to choose where the track will play from. You can choose to play a track from the start of the file, any one of the Cue Points, or any one of the loop in points.


When this is set to play from start, or play from a Cue Point, the track will play from this position. If a loop is selected in the Play From Selector the track will play from this position. The loop will repeat if repeat is enabled for the slot.

The number of options will be dependent on the number of Cue Points and Loops already set in your track. i.e. if the track loaded has no Cue Points and Loops set, then only “start” will be available as a “Play From” option.

TIP To set or adjust Cue Point and Loop information for a track, load it to a Virtual Deck, make your adjustments, then load it back into the sample slot.


The Serato Sampler now supports Simple Sync - to sync sample slots to your playing decks, just hit the SYNC button at the bottom of each slot :)

Audio Output and FX Routing

You can find the audio output settings to the left hand side of the Sampler, and depending on your hardware, you will have options to send the Sampelr output through one channel, multiple channels or the master. 

If you're wanting to use FX (reverbs and echo are great!) on your samples, just route the Sampler to a spare channel on your mixer / controller and then make sure your FX are assigned to these channels. 


For more information of the Serato Sampler and a full overview of functionality, please refer to the Serato DJ user guide here.

DJTechTools Oct 8, 2016

Often during a DJ’s career, you take a step back and wonder, ?why am I doing this again?? Inevitably, some form of new inspiration arrives, and the question is answered from a fresh perspective. Lately, after nearly 20 years on the decks, that bothersome feeling has crept back in and just in time, an answer showed up from the most unlikely of places

Why should DJs exist? What do we do that?s important?

Every one of you probably has a really good answer to this question that is unique, special, and equally as true. We encourage you to share them in the comments. Here is my submission to the tape pile.

DJs bring music to life!

To support this argument, we turn to the topsy-turvy world of quantum theory.

In the world of the quantum, there are a lot of big ideas that can be tough to wrap your head around. For example, take this passage from the book ?Seven Brief Lessons on Physics? – a great primer for anyone interested in quantum leaps and other high wire acts of intellectual genius.

?Heisenberg imagined that electrons do not always exist. They only exist when someone or something watches them, or better, when they are interacting with something else. They materialize in a place with a calculable probability, when colliding with something else?

If his conclusion is correct, nothing really exists until it is either observed or, more significantly, has a material interaction with another object. If you’re familiar with the Schrödinger’s Cat thought experiment, this will sound familiar. This was one conclusion he theorized â€“ but he’s famous for a larger concept, the Uncertainty Principle:

Applying Quantum Theory To Music?


After music has been recorded and shipped out in a finite form, one could argue that in a way it?s largely “dead”, and doesn’t exist until someone encounters or interacts with it.

The most basic form of interaction would be simply playing the tune on a home stereo and dancing around the room like a crazy person. There is no question the song now exists, but is it really alive? The dancer is interacting with / responding to the song in a fresh, unpredictable way. Something new is being created in those movements but the music does not have an opportunity to change or experience unpredictable shifts in the composition.

That?s where DJs can come in. Think of each song as a basic atom or better yet a photon. Forcing these objects together causes them to interact and behave in different ways every time. The resulting musical moments are familiar, but unpredictable and fresh every time they meet.  No matter how hard you try, no two songs can be mixed the same every time. Throw in a dancefloor and the results will be even more fluid.

Levels Of Mixing that are “Alive”

Here are three simple examples of progressively more unpredictable ways of mixing that support this idea and might give you some practical inspiration for getting back on the decks.

The Basic Mix


At the most basic, DJs can bring music to life by simply providing contrast, and a juxtaposition between the songs. Just like the musical notes themselves, a song derives its feeling not only from its own arrangement, but also the things around it.

For example, take the difference between a Major and Minor chord. In emotional terms, they could not be more different. One bright and airy, the other slightly melancholy. In practical terms, they’re very similar and contain the same number of notes. The only difference is the distance between the middle note and the two notes on either side. In this case, one single note simply shifts down a half step getting closer to the root E and farther from the G.


Take away one of the outside notes and that simple change no longer has the same significance. It?s the contextual relationship between them that creates the feeling. So even if you are just executing the most basic form of DJing with a bit of blending between songs, the balance and counterbalance can breath new life into those competitions simply through context.

The Extended Mix 



One of my favorite DJ friends told me years ago, ?It?s not the songs that are important, but between them – during the mix – that?s the magic part.? He was referring to what would become the mashup movement, and a total recontextualization of recorded material. This statement holds true for DJs who lengthen and extend their mixes. They really let the two songs dance with each other for an extended period, and the arrangements come to life.

Some forms of music (and software) lend themselves to this realm of the unpredictable. Especially combinations like techno and Traktor, where seemingly infinite layering is a very real possibility. One can?t help but think of artists like Richie Hawtin, for whom a song is almost never played by itself, and the end result – where there’s is a palpable energy that feels very much alive – speaks for itself.

I encourage you to go beyond mixing intros and outros of songs. Find the moments of one track that compliment, support or bring life the the other – and let it ride. Perhaps look for material that is in a complimentary key and create tension or resolve between the keys.

The Third Element


Ready to really bring your music to life? Introduce a third constant that interacts with all the music in the set in unpredictable ways while creating a consistent theme. Read more about themes and counterpoints in this article as well. Using whatever tools are available and feel the most fluid, try to maintain a consistent element over your set that can be manipulated over time. Here are a few examples:

  • Maintain a loop from a song you like in a third deck for 3-5 songs
  • Basic drum loops like kicks, snare, or high hat patterns that fit well over material and fill out the sonic spectrum. Traktor?s Remix Decks work well for this.
  • A drum machine like the AIRA TR-8, where you can program and manipulate the tones of the sounds themselves
  • Use one of the many tools that allow you to sequence drums inside of DJ software – with Traktor, the Midi Fighter Twister; with Serato DJ, the new Roland DJ-808; for Pioneer setups, the new TORAIZ SP-16 drum machine

This style of DJing is a more complex and advanced form of life, with multiple molecules bumping into each other constantly that create unpredictable and exciting results. A wonderful source of energy for the dance floor, but also an endless source of inspiration for the DJs who need to keep things fresh and exciting to continue to ply our craft.

The Cherry on Top

Of course these styles of DJing can never be brought fully to life without my favorite molecule of all, dancers. When you take your DJing out of a controlled context and introduce it to an audience, everything changes. In this context, how you blend songs and allow certain elements to ride are largely dependent on the crowd’s reactions, and the room itself. All these elements combine to create a unique sonic soup from which fresh life can spring night after night.

The post DJs Bring Music To Life: Quantum Theory appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Oct 8, 2016

Most active music listeners are using streaming services to find new tracks. If you’re a DJ or producer, making “unlicensed” remixes or DJ sets, you’re out of luck in terms of getting your edits and tracks on these services – until now. Starting yesterday, Apple Music and Spotify have started adding unofficial remixes to their library thanks to a partnership with MixBank. Read on for details.

The First Legal Unofficial Remixes, Streaming

As we reported earlier this year, both Apple Music and Spotify partnered with the music licensing company, Dubset, to start licensing user-uploaded content. On both of these services, there’s a lot of content from labels and big-name artists. If you’re making music that isn’t officially blessed by the original rights-holder, you’ve been traditionally out of luck.

This is all changing with these new partnerships. With Dubset’s service, MixBANK, users can upload their own edits/bootlegs/remixes of songs. The rights to remixing the original track are verified and acquired (you have to accurately name the original works used in the remix). Any resulting royalties from streams get redistributed out to the original artist and to the remixer.

Starting this week, the first unofficial remixes that have been licensed via the MixBANK process are starting to appear on Spotify and Apple Music. The lucky first DJ to get this treatment is Jazzy Jeff, and his remix of Anderson .Paak’s “Room In Here” – seen above in Spotify and below in Apple Music:

It’s unclear how quickly these new unofficial remixes are being added – but if you sign up and apply for an artist’s account on MixBANK you can already start uploading content for verification and processing.

DJ Sets Are Next

A big part of the news about these partnerships was that MixBANK also can license songs that are inside of longform DJ mixes. This will be huge – DJ mixes historically have always been relegated to dedicated sites like Mixcloud or Soundcloud. Being on a streaming service means you get a built-in audience for your mixes.

According to TechCrunch, Dubset’s CEO knows that everyone wants DJ mix content:

“Still missing are the multi-song mixsets DJs often share from their gigs. But Dubset is also equipped to distribute royalties from those and its deals permit them. Dubset CEO Stephen White tells me ?Mixes are coming next!?”

And in MixBANK’s support section of their website, there’s even more evidence that Spotify will be the first platform to support mixes. A knowledge base article notes:

How can I distribute my mixes?

? Distributing to Apple Music: Apple Music is not currently accepting or distributing mixes at this time [..]

? About Spotify: Spotify supports the distribution of mixes & remixes

Now’s The Perfect Time For Spotify To Buy Soundcloud


We reported last week on the potential acquisition that Spotify is looking at: buying out Soundcloud. We predicted that one of the major wins for Spotify would be the massive library of content that Soundcloud has held – which could easily be processed via MixBANK and be made available for streaming.

This could even apply retroactively to a lot of content that was taken down on Soundcloud – like mixes and unofficial remixes. Imagine how Spotify could breath life back into a service that’s largely been under the stranglehold of labels and monetization issues.

We recommend that DJs who want their tracks and mixes to end up on these streaming services start applying for a (free) MixBANK account now – check out their site for details

The post Apple Music + Spotify Now Streaming Unofficial Remixes, DJ Sets Are Next appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Oct 8, 2016
News broke this week that Darude had been booed and heckled for not playing his huge hit from 2000, Sandstorm, at a gig. But should DJ/producers always have to play their biggest tracks when they DJ? Or is it something that stifles creativity and progress? The post Over To You: Should DJ/Producers Always Be Expected To Play Their Hits? appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DigitalDJTips Oct 7, 2016
In this week's Friday Roundup, a heartwarming tale of why wedding DJing is just as noble a form of the art of DJing as any other type, and a whole host of other stories from around our favourite music and DJing websites, as spotted over the past seven days... The post Friday Roundup: "How I Accidentally Became A Popular Wedding DJ" appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DigitalDJTips Oct 7, 2016
With our Scratching For Controller DJs training about to close for 2016, I wanted to let you in on some valuable but little-known benefits that every student on the training enjoys - benefits that help them learn quicker and more easily, and that help them to enjoy the process much more. Some of these things you simply can't get anywhere else, at any price... The post 3 Secret Perks Enjoyed By...

Serato Oct 7, 2016

If you're a club DJ wanting to connect directly to the Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 mixer, there will be Serato DJ support by the end of the year in conjunction with the Club Kit license bundle.

The Club Kit is a license bundle comprised of Serato DJ and the Serato DVS Expansion Pack. 

Even if you don't own these mixers, but you use them in the club, you can still trial or purchase the Club Kit to use them with Serato DJ.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line in the comments below :)


DJTechTools Oct 6, 2016

Earlier this summer, Allen & Heath were teasing a new 4-channel mixer for the masses, the Xone:PX5. This mixer is a 4+1 channel analog unit that boasts digital connectivity with classic Xone FX processing. The feature rich Xone:PX5 now seems to be getting the Native Instruments stamp of approval.

Xone:PX5 to Support Traktor Scratch Pro

In the short video above and from the post on Facebook, we can report Traktor Scratch Pro will support the Xone:PX5. This is huge news for both companies as Native Instruments is poised to drop Traktor 2.11 soon. With Traktor Scratch Pro support, DJs using the Xone:PX5 now get the full Xone mixing experience when using traditional DJ software. This added support is icing on the cake for the Xone:PX5 which is already a powerhouse of a unit. Some may even argue that this gives the Z2 a run for its money.

While the Traktor 2.11 beta is out now, there is no clear indication that the support is readily available in the beta. Adventurous DJs can read all about Traktor 2.11 here and sign up for the beta. There’s no final date when support for the Xone:PX5 will be available, so we will be watching for more announcements.

Other Xone Mixers?

Some commenters on Facebook (rightly) pointed out that this certification is a bit odd considering that the “flagship” mixers from Allen & Heath don’t have it.

The Xone:DB4 and DB2, despite being high-end mixers with great onboard sound cards, still don’t have Traktor Scratch certification. These mixers can be made to work with a bit of not-so-kosher hacking of Traktor, but why not have the official implementation? So far Allen & Heath haven’t replied to any comments on the matter.

The post Xone:PX5 Soon to Support Traktor Scratch Pro appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Oct 6, 2016

Enter the Seaboard RISE, an exciting new take on the piano-based MIDI controller which ? for the first time in a while ? brings us a truly new input mechanism. At first glance it doesn?t look like much, an elegant black rectangle which would be more at home in an Apple store than your local music shop, but after close inspection it reveals itself as a notably innovative control surface.

Mad Zach’s Seaboard RISE Review

The Seaboard RISE’s magic is in its squishy, ribbed surface, which not only registers ?notes? but additionally allows you to bend, slide, glide, twiddle, and bob your notes all around like a slippery acid piano.

Right out of the box I found myself creating melodies and progressions that would have been actually impossible with a normal controller. There was increased detail to organic dynamics, pitch movement/bending, and other-wordly modulations.

  • Gear: Seaboard RISE
  • Price: 25-key = $799, 37-key = $1999, 61-key = $2,999, 88-key limited edition = $8,888
  • Availability: Out now

In my opinion the Seaboard RISE as a product is cool, but the most exciting part is the surface technology. It’s a firm yet “gelatinous” surface which registers pressure, velocity, and location all at once. They?ve compressed these inputs into what they?re calling ?the five dimensions of touch.?  I know, it sounds cheesy, but the execution is pretty dang cool.

At heart, I?m more of a ?percussionist? than a pianist, so I?m crossing my fingers that they integrate this technology into a pad based controller sometime soon!

The Five Dimensions of Touch:

  • Strike – fancy talk for ?hitting a note? – basic but essential, just like you would with a normal keyboard
  • Press – aka: ?pressure? – this is what happens after you ?strike? – also known as ?continuous pressure? – similar to what you?d find on Ableton Push or any controller with aftertouch
  • Glide – allows you polyphonic and endless portamento on any note you press. You can either wiggle your finger side-to-side to create vibrato or glide seamlessly between notes. It’s even possible to glide between multiple notes independently and simultaneously. You can also run your finger along the top of the RISE and glide endlessly similarly to how you might play a theremin.
  • Slide – a unique dimension which adds additional control based on how you slide up and down vertically on a given ?key?
  • Lift – another interesting input mode which creates a control parameter based on the speed at which you release a note

The Software – EQUATOR

The controller also comes with its own software, which is – for all intents and purposes – the only synth which currently works seamlessly with the RISE and its multitude of control inputs. You can hook up RISE with other synths (such as Kontakt and Omnisphere), but the setup otherwise is pretty complicated and not very streamlined.

However, the modulation capabilities with Equator are definitely sweet. I wasn?t too blown away by Equator?s tone but its hard to say if that is just the presets and my personal tone preferences speaking. I?m excited to see if other synth makers will adopt compatibility with ?the 5D touch? concept. Equator?s strong suits seemed to be dynamic cinematic sounds (hyper-realistic strings, alien morph pads, etc.). As such, I imagine this would be an absolute weapon for movie or commercial soundtracks.

Seaboard RISE Tech Specs


Have questions or your own thoughts about the Seaboard? Let Zach know in the comments and he’ll respond in line. 

The post Seaboard RISE: Mad Zach Review appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Oct 6, 2016
There is still a market for turntables among DJs. Whether for listening to or mixing with old (and sometimes new) vinyl collections, ripping vinyl to USB, or DJing and scratching using digital vinyl and software, the turntable still soldiers on. Numark's TT250USB is priced at the lower end of the DJ turntable market. In this review, we find out how it stacks up. The post Review & Video:...

DigitalDJTips Oct 6, 2016
You can't have failed to notice how DJ gear from whatever manufacturer is all becoming more and more similar over time. Sure, there are bits round the edges where stuff is different (a sequencer here, a touchstrip instead of jogwheels there), but overall, what's most remarkable about DJ gear over the past five years is not how different it all is, but how similar it all is. The post DJ Gear Is...

DigitalDJTips Oct 4, 2016
Want to come behind the scenes and take a look at what it looks like inside our Scratching For Controller DJs course? I dragged chief tutor Steve Canueto away from his work welcoming all the new students who've joined us for the 2016 edition of the course, and got him to make a quick video showing you "behind the scenes". The post Your Sneak Peek Inside Our 2016 Scratch Training appeared first...

Serato Oct 4, 2016

Check out a wild "mixfilm" by DJ Sleeper from his epic bedroom setup! Paying homage to the legacy of Phife Dawg, Bowie and Prince. It's a set that he hopes will make you proud to be a DJ.

Watch the making of this mixfilm here.

Watch more video sets from Serato DJs.

DJTechTools Oct 3, 2016

Native Instruments’ music production line has taken a huge step with the introduction of their Maschine Jam controller. The Jam unlocks rapid song arrangement, step sequencing, unique instrument modes and much more. In today’s hands-on video, NI product specialist Brian Kullas demonstrates the core features of the new Maschine controller.

Maschine Jam Overview

The Maschine Jam is the natural evolution of Native Instruments’ beat production suite. The Maschine software has slowly been evolving from a simpler production tool to a more fully fledged DAW-style software. The Jam opens up the doors to many of the features that don’t work too intuitively with the 16-pad Maschine controllers. The some of the most powerful features (even more demonstrated in the above walk through video) include:

  • Step Sequencing: There are a few different modes here, but with the Jam you can quickly sequence a ton of sounds concurrently using the 8×8 matrix.
  • Smart Strips Notes Mode: Play chords or build your own set of notes to play using the strips as finger-strumming instruments. Set the key of the mode to match your song and stay in tune.
  • Lock Mode: Essentially a way to quickly snap back to a previous “state” of settings. This works with volume/mixer settings, but also individual instrument parameters. Hit LOCK to save a state, tweak and adjust the settings, and then hit LOCK again to jump back to how it was. This is great for improvisations and buildups.

Important to note, while it was not demonstrated in this video, the Jam has a powerful Ableton Live template. Many of the features of the Jam are compatible with Ableton.

Watch More: OddKidOut Routine

If you missed it, NI also released a new performance video on the Jam late last week (it was slightly overshadowed by the news about Traktor 2.11 coming out). Watch the routine below:

See the full set of features and grab your own Maschine Jam here in the DJTT store.

The post Maschine Jam: Hands-On Controller Walkthrough appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Oct 3, 2016
It was while working with another DJ at a friend's wedding that the whole silent disco thing started for me. My DJ pal was involved with a local festival that had been around for about five years, and the promoters tried the first year to put on a dance tent, but this was stopped due to noise complaints... The post Confessions Of A Silent Disco DJ appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

Serato Oct 3, 2016

Join us tomorrow from 5pm PST, for a special one-off performance and catch up with starRo - showcasing his new album and more with the Roland DJ-808 for Serato DJ. 

Streaming LIVE on Facebook from 5pm PST. Follow Serato and tune in!



DigitalDJTips Oct 2, 2016
Digital DJ Tips reader Rob S writes: "My mate is a pure CDJ guy, no interest in any other form of DJing. He absolutely slates anyone using software or syncing in any manner at all, yet happily uses the BPM readout and merely matches it up. Is syncing really so different from matching the readout and giving it a little nudge into touch?" The post Your Questions: Is Sync Really So Different To...

DigitalDJTips Oct 1, 2016
Digital DJ Tips Forum member Gary writes: "I would like to know if you think at 60 of age I'm too old to learn the techniques of DJing. I have a few skills, mostly mixing (not scratching), but not enough to play for a Christmas party that I've been asked to do for about 150 people. What do you think I should do? Should I polish up my skills or turn down the offer to DJ the party?" The post Your...

DJTechTools Sep 30, 2016

Today is an exciting day for button pushers as the Maschine Jam is officially available in stores. Earlier this month we reported on the new controller from Native Instruments and all that new things Maschine Jam brings to the table. This new controller combines a lot of elements of past controllers and OddKidOut highlights the new features in his routine:

Gear used in this video: 

  • Pads: Maschine Jam (Now shipping from the DJ TechTools Store)
  • Software: Maschine 2.5

In a matter of minutes, OddKidOut composes a track using only the Maschine Jam. The sequencing and performance capabilities allow OddKidOut to build up and break down a track in less than two minutes. He starts by using the Smart Strips to build a melody from which he drops a beat into a bass heavy verse. Throughout the entire performance, he switches between Step, Pad, and Piano Roll Mode to demonstrate the power in the controller. This routine shows that this controller is useful for sequencing, finger-drumming, and live instrumentation.

The Maschine Jam elaborates on the all-in-one mentality some producer’s had with Maschine which makes for an even more robust instrument. With the right amount of preparation and practice, producers can easily turn tracks into a full performance just using one controller. OddKidOut’s routine shows us a glimpse into what could be done on this new piece of hardware.

Watch more inspiring DJ routines by clicking here and seeing every routine we?ve ever posted on DJTT

The post Routine: OddKidOut on Maschine Jam appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Sep 30, 2016
The days of dodgy sounding YouTube rips being played indiscriminately by DJs who know no better may be numbered - good news, we say. Read this article and more in this week's Friday Roundup, our weekly trawl around DJing and music websites to uncover the stories that matter... The post Friday Roundup: Ripping From YouTube May Soon Get Harder appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DJTechTools Sep 29, 2016

It’s been almost exactly one year since the last major update to Traktor, and today we’ve gotten confirmation that a brand public beta of Traktor Pro 2.11 is launching. Traktor 2.11 is actually going to bring a few major features – including Ableton Link integration and a MIDI-mappable Remix Deck step sequencer. Read on for an overview of this new update and details on how to get the Beta.

Many Traktor users and Beta testers have already gotten an email this morning announcing a new version of Traktor Pro:

“After the positive response to the 2.10.3 bug fix update and the exciting news that macOS Sierra fixes the long-standing audio issues observed by some Mac users, we now plan to release two brand new features for the performing DJ – Ableton Link and the Step Sequencer for Remix Decks.

These features are very easy to use and will add a new dimension to your creative arsenal.”

Ableton Link Integration

Ableton Link in Traktor

Ableton Link in Traktor’s menubar

It seems like every DJ software is jumping on Ableton Link bandwagon. If you’re not yet aware, Link is a tempo-syncing protocol that works between apps on a single device, or across a wireless LAN. This means that DJs can now sync the tempo of Traktor with a ton of apps – check them all out here.

From the details included with the Public Beta, here’s how you set up Link:

  • In the application header, you’ll see the new button labelled “LINK”.
  • Tapping this button will engage LINK and submit the Master Clock to the LINK timeline
  • The meter will start showing the bar-phase of the Link timeline
  • LINK auto-discovers any other Linkable application on the same computer or on your local network, wired or wirelessly.

It’s worth pointing out here that Ableton Link also works with Serato, Ableton, and iMaschine â€“ and we suspect as a result we’ll soon be seeing it added to Maschine as well.

It’s also worth noting that because Traktor only has beats and not bars in their track decks, there’s a bit of manual syncing that needs to be done using the heads up display for Link:

“TRAKTOR’s sync engine does not have the notion of bars – TRAKTOR decks therefore always sync to the nearest beat.

Nevertheless, in context of Link, the shared timeline is used to define the first beat of a bar by all Link enabled applications supporting bar-sync such as Ableton Live, Serato DJ and iMaschine.
We therefore provide a meter in the TRAKTOR header showing the bar-phase of the Link timeline, allowing TRAKTOR users to start their tracks on the downbeat of the shared Link timeline.”

Considering the reliability of Ableton Link over traditional MIDI clock syncing, we’re excited to see how this fares. Anyone want to see us do a Traktor <> Ableton <> Serato Link test?

Remix Deck Step Sequencer

Sequencing Remix Decks in Traktor? That’s old news for Midi Fighter Twister owners, but now it looks like Native Instruments has built their own solution inside of the software. The new Remix Deck Step Sequencer will allow simple sequencing of the Remix Decks.

There’s no user interface within the software right now that allows you to see the step sequencer, it only is visible if you have a controller that is either pre-mapped (see below) or MIDI mapped to the sequencer. As with Stems, it seems like NI is focusing on the S8/D2/F1 compatibility first:

The Remix Deck step sequencer running on the Kontrol S8

The Remix Deck step sequencer running on the Kontrol S8

If you own a Kontrol F1, D2, or S8, the new 2.11 version of Traktor comes with pre-built mappings for the step sequencer in the software. But even if you don’t own these controllers, you can still MIDI map the sequencer functionality yourself in the Controller Manager.


A few additional notes on the Step Sequencer based on our use of it so far:

  • Sequencer play is independent of Deck play – it can get a little confusing
  • There’s per-deck swing control that works pretty well
  • No volume control per step (something present on DJTT’s Midi Fighter Twister step sequencer for Traktor)
  • Sequencer defaults to 8 steps per slot, you can extended to 16 steps in 1 step increments
  • No way to extend the sequence length beyond 1 bar (4 beats)
  • If you load a new Remix Set, the sequence remains the same – no way to save sequences per Remix Set yet

If you make a MIDI mapping for your controller for Traktor, consider uploading it to DJTT’s extensive Maps repository so everyone can try it out!

How To Get The Traktor 2.11 Public Beta

This new update will be another free download for current users of Traktor Pro 2.

If you’ve previously signed up for Traktor betas, you should be able to log into your CenterCode account and access the new beta version and documentation for 2.11. If not, apply for the testing opportunity on CenterCode with a new account using this link:

Reminder: Don’t start playing gigs with this version of Traktor as it is a beta version – not all the bugs will be worked out yet. If you need to roll back to a previous version of Traktor, here’s our article on that.

The post Traktor Pro 2.11 Public Beta: Ableton Link, Remix Deck Step Sequencer appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Sep 29, 2016

Based on an initial report from the Financial Times, there’s a reasonable chance that streaming-music giant Spotify could buy SoundCloud. We’ve heard many times before that SoundCloud was on the market, including famous talks with Twitter. It turned out that Twitter was only investing – but it seems like Spotify buying SoundCloud could be a reality.

Why Spotify Buying SoundCloud Makes Sense

SoundCloud was one of the first streaming music sites to really carve out a unique niche for themselves – but unlike the more successful streaming businesses, the business plan has always been in question. Only last year did SoundCloud really start monetizing plays – via advertisements and a membership that allowed listeners to skip them.

So why would Spotify buy Soundcloud? There’s three solid reasons that we can think of:

  • Library: Sure, Spotify has a massive library of released music. But adding on SoundCloud’s repository of over 125 million songs would be huge, particularly because a lot of that content will be unreleased and original work that otherwise wouldn’t make it onto Spotify. Especially if they solve licensing for remixes – read on.
  • Solving Licensing On SoundCloud Content: We reported earlier this year that Spotify started working with MixBank to legally stream DJ mixes, mashups, unofficial remixes, bootlegs, etc. While this hasn’t really started to appear in content yet, we could very easily see Spotify running the entire SoundCloud library through MixBank’s licensing process and then getting the rights to stream everything (even content that was previously taken down) on their service. This would be huge for DJs and producers who have felt the squish from recent copyright takedowns on SoundCloud.
  • Active Users: Spotify has way more users that SoundCloud, but as TechCrunch reported earlier this year, SoundCloud has way more monthly active listeners: “Spotify has only 75 million active users compared to SoundCloud?s more than 175 million monthly listeners.” Adding a whole bunch of active users to Spotify will be a major boon for their monetization (ads or membership) strategy.  

A Good Investment? 

This is more up for debate, but let’s just say that in terms of valuations, SoundCloud is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to Spotify. This means that putting together the capital to buy SoundCloud at their recent $700 million valuation would be pretty easy. Spotify was valued at $8.5 billion in June of 2015 – so not too extreme of an investment for them.

Would it be worth it? That’s the question at hand – let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

The post Is Spotify Buying Soundcloud? appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Sep 29, 2016
Huge news today: The full Scratching For Controller DJs online interactive video course has just this second gone on sale. This is the first and only time you'll be able to get this in 2016, and places are limited, so don't hang around; read on to find out how you could take a place on this unique and industry leading training course. The post Scratching For Controller DJs Released appeared...

DigitalDJTips Sep 29, 2016
Pioneer's RM-07 (and the smaller RM-05) are professional active monitor speakers aimed at the DJ/producer and producer market. In die-cast aluminium and with the tweeters mounted right in the middle of the woofers, they are as heavy as they are striking. In this full review and talkthrough video, we take a closer look at them. The post Review & Video: Pioneer DJ RM-07 Active Monitors...

DJTechTools Sep 28, 2016

There was a high-profile article published in The Economist recently about DJing. The central theme: it’s getting easier to DJ, and as a result, the art form might be dying. We’re not convinced that DJing is on its last gasp, so in today’s article, DJTT contributor Steven Maude analyzes and refutes some of the claims made.

Yes, Anyone Can DJ. Standing Out Is Another Question.

The Economist is not where you’d expect commentary on the state of DJing in 2016. But last month they posted an article asking: “Now that anyone can be a DJ, is the art form dead?”

Spoiler: the answer errs on the side of “no” which nicely fits with Betteridge’s humorous law of headlines (in short, if an article ends in a question mark, the answer is no).

When mainstream publications examining DJing, it’s worth noting what they get right and wrong. The article ? and it’s a well-written one for a general audience ? spots many features of today’s DJing, but more than once manages to reach the wrong conclusions. In this article we take a look at why and how The Economist fails to see the whole picture.

Let’s take look why.

DJ Technology Changes

Is software-based track analysis killing DJing?

Is software-based track analysis killing DJing?

The Economist’s take is that the advent of CDJs ? and, by implication, software ? has removed much of the technical competency required. Tools like beat and key detection, it’s claimed:

“have made it easy for those with limited talent to sound professional.”

Beatmatching has long been thought of as a foundation of DJing. One theory about why it took so long for laptops and CDJs to replace trusty 1200s is that this view was deeply entrenched among audience and performers alike. If no-one’s beatmatching, what’s the DJ being paid for?

Anyone who’s tried DJing will quickly find that this isn’t the case. Sync and key matching aren’t going to instantly transform you into a festival headliner.

These technologies are good, but not perfect. Here at DJTT we’ve found that key matching software is getting there, while not completely reliable. Likewise, relying on beat sync may well lead you astray when you least expect it. Neither of these “automated” tools are a bulletproof replacement for well-trained ears.

Skills That Technology Can’t (Yet) Accommodate:

Beat and key matching algorithms, as well as other digital features like cue points and waveform views, have removed some of the work from DJing. That’s not to say that DJing is simple. Plenty of technical aspects haven’t been eliminated:

Technology Has Changed The Scope of DJing:

It’s important to recognize that technology has freed DJs from busy work, but also augmented the range of tools available, whether that’s effects, loops, sometimes even visuals too. These additions, if used with discretion, can help elevate what a DJ does.

That said, The Economist article rightly points out that DJing is more than just technology or technical skills. Being able to read the crowd and having a great music selection are critical too.

Democratizing Music


Another big shift is how DJs build their music selections and curate their collection. The Economist post concludes that the days of DJs being able to make unusual finds are over.:

“Today, virtually every dance record is available to download through specialist dance-music sites such as Beatport.”

Digital stores like Beatport and tools like Shazam do make it easier to build up a collection of what you’ve heard. In reality, this is only good for widely released, current dance records – and doesn’t cover the entire picture.

Older Releases Lost To Time:

A whole world of older music isn’t available digitally, at least legally. Particularly underground dance music, where the web presence of once-dominating labels is now reduced to a simple Discogs page and users lamenting their passing.

Who has the rights to that music? Where are the producers, the label owners and the master tapes or digital files? If Beatport is to dance music as Steam is to PC gaming, where’s the music equivalent of to dig and digitize the lost classics? That music might still be out there, but either preserved as YouTube rips or listed for sale at wallet-worrying prices.

Self-Published Tracks

Another big shift is how easy it is to record music and to self-publish. Make a track, and share it with the world in a few seconds once it’s done. There’s a huge amount of unsigned music out there. Because of this, it’s always possible to discover gold on Bandcamp or SoundCloud that almost everyone else has passed by.

Taken together, all this means there’s a massive music catalogue ? past and present ? out there to sift through. DJs might be digging with clicks and not in crates ? but this labour isn’t disappearing soon.

Making A Name For Your DJ Self

Selling your mixtapes on the street like Donald Glover isn't the most legit way to get yourself heard. (Image Credit: College Humor / Derrik Comedy)

Selling your mixtapes on the street like Donald Glover – not how you’ll become a famous DJ. (Image Credit: College Humor / Derrik Comedy)

The article is quite right in citing production as being one important route for DJs to establishing themselves. I’d struggle to name more than a few well-known DJs who don’t produce. Even of those, they’re usually hosting radio shows or running labels instead.

Any of today’s aspiring DJs may well also have to act as their own social media manager, trying to develop a big enough following that they can prove they can pull in an audience.

This blend of skills ? DJ as crowd-pleasing performer and as marketer and promoter ? isn’t something you may have needed years ago, when you might have been one of a few DJs in town.

What’s Wrong With DJing Being Accessible?

Lil Jon's son, pictured, put out a mixtape at age 12.

Lil Jon’s son, Young Slade (pictured), put out a mixtape at age 12. (Photo credit:

Making DJing more accessible by removing the initial barriers can only be a positive. More people can be actively involved with the culture and, in return, this can imbue them with a newfound respect for the DJs who they admire, when they discover that becoming a competent DJ is trickier than they thought.

A wider involvement also pushes the bar higher for people to distinguish themselves. Not so great for DJs comfortably resting on their laurels, but fantastic for those of us who want to see where this art can go next.

The Future Of DJing


Finally, the Economist post just stops dead at discussing what’s happening today, not tomorrow. We’re now at a time where drastic changes in DJ technology are happening slowly. There are always interesting new controllers always being designed, but they’re only iterations on what’s already out there. Nothing yet has really seen the entire DJ community collectively selling their existing kit and moving on.

That’s not that surprising. Two turntables and a mixer served many DJs well for a good couple of decades. Are we resigned to only small incremental improvements?

Maybe not. With the growth of powerful technology companies with extensive music interests (Spotify, Soundcloud, Google, Apple, Amazon), innovation might even come from outside the traditional players in the DJ hardware and software market. Could your next best track selection come from an artificial intelligence from one of these companies?

DJs critical of today’s situation may have more to complain about in the future. The rest of us will look forward to how those tools get used.

Header photo credit: Monster Kids on YouTube.

Do you think the art form of DJing is too accessible? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The post Anyone Can Learn To DJ, But The Art Form Isn’t Dead appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Sep 28, 2016

We?re excited to share a new routine straight out of Native Instruments’ Tokyo artist lounge featuring GENRE BNDRwhich includes, DJ Rafik (2007 DMC World Championship Champion), Kireek (2007-2011 DMC World Championship Team Champion), and DJ Yuto (2016 DMC World Championship Champion). This remarkable routine incorporates live turntablism, controllerism, and finger-drumming all into one routine ? a clever synchronized dance between four DJs. Watch below as the power-team get down in the lounge:

Gear used in this video: 

  • Pads: Custom-made Maschine MK2s
  • Mixers: Kontrol Z2s
  • Turntable: Technic 1200s
  • FX Controller: Kontrol X1 MK1
  • Software: Traktor, Maschine

It is always exciting to see high-quality routines come out that feature DJs flexing on the decks. However, we don’t often witness four DJs mix together on a level like this ? a complete change from the Ultra live streams of DJ duos “mixing”. These guys, on their own, show us a wide set of skills from turntablism to finger-drumming, and then play off one another at the same caliber as a well-seasoned band.

Groups like Genre BNDR shows that it is possible to team up with friends and play live. It will take a lot more time and practice – much like a band – but the results can be amazing and the process looks ridiculously fun.

Watch more inspiring DJ routines by clicking here and seeing every routine we?ve ever posted on DJTT

The post Routine: GENRE BNDR on Traktor, Maschine, Technic 1200s appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Sep 28, 2016
We always get a ton of questions about scratching when we run our annual free scratch training event (heads up: it's closing soon, and it's free to take the training, so be quick...) So, we made a quick video answering those questions about learning to scratch on controllers that always come up time and time again. The post Video: All Your Controller Scratch Questions Answered appeared first on...

DigitalDJTips Sep 28, 2016
We review scores of DJ controllers here in the studio, but nothing quite beats playing a full night on a unit to find out its strengths and weaknesses. I recently took our loan sample of the Denon DJ MCX8000 to a charity event and played a six-hour set on it. Here's my report... The post My First Gig With The Denon DJ MCX8000 appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DJTechTools Sep 27, 2016

We saw an early version of Bomebox in January of 2015 at NAMM. This is Bome Software’s first hardware product, designed act as the central hub for connecting all types of audio gear without an additional computer. Keep reading to find out more about this recently released device.


Bomebox connecting an MPD-218 controller to an Elektron Analog Rytm (photo credit: tsutek on the Elektronauts forums)

Bomebox connecting an MPD-218 controller to an Elektron Analog Rytm (photo credit: tsutek on the Elektronauts forums)

  • Price: ?199 (~$223 US)
  • Manufacturer: Bome
  • Availability: Now available (released late August)
  • Key Feature: Connects and powers MIDI/USB/audio gear without a computer

When the BomeBox was first teased at NAMM 2015, Bome was still waiting on the device to pass various certification tests. It took much longer than expected – requiring changes to the unit itself to be able to be sold in the US and abroad. But at last in August, Bome’s founder Florian Bömers was excitedly able to announce that the BomeBox was available and shipping.

BomeBox’s Key Features

So what does this small box even do, and why should DJs, producers, and performers care? In short, the BomeBox is able to connect almost any type of gear together without a separate computer, and pass control messages back and forth. As an example, you’re able to connect a classic Roland synthesizer (MIDI) to a Midi Fighter 3D (USB) – with only the Bome Box between the two. Connecting USB-MIDI to 5-pin DIN MIDI devices is a breeze, with all ports forwarding by default.


But this is Bomes – so the functionality goes far beyond simple port forwarding. The BomeBox has the ability to run scripts on the MIDI data that it is receiving from every device in real-time. This all works in parallel with Bome’s MIDI Translator Pro software – which allows you to route and interpret MIDI messages in unique ways between software programs and hardware devices.

You need a computer to create the mappings to connect devices together in clever ways, but once those mappings are loaded onto the BomeBox, it’s a fully standalone operation.

Why Do We Need BomeBox?

When MIDI first was introduced to the public at the 1983 winter NAMM show, it was an extraordinary feat. Two collaborators, Dave Smith (then-president of Sequential Circuits) and Ikutaro Kakehashi (founder of Roland) designed and developed the MIDI interface together, allowing audio gear from different manufacturers to talk to each other.

The first gear to be connected? A Prophet 600 and a Roland JP-6 synthesizer:

The very first MIDI connection ever!

The very first MIDI connection ever!

Since 1983, the biggest change in the musical instrument industry has been the personal computer, and the development of devices that don’t connect to others via MIDI cable. There’s USB MIDI controllers, Ethernet control surfaces, tablet-based Wi-Fi devices, and much more – but they’re each designed with a specific use case in mind. The BomeBox bridges the gap, much as MIDI did in the early eighties, allowing all kinds of devices to talk to each other.

I/O + Technical Specs


The BomeBox might act as the central hub in future live performance/production setups, but the design is clearly focused on staying minimal and utilitarian. The most important part about the unit itself is naturally the inputs and outputs, which include:

  • MIDI in & out with very low latency
  • USB 2 Host (Type A receptacle) for connecting MIDI controllers, synthesizers, serial ports, USB Hubs, etc.
  • 2x Ethernet 100MBit/s
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 GHz
  • Power: uses approx 150mA, either
    • via Micro-USB Type B: standard cell phone charger, or
    • via Power over Ethernet (PoE): Ethernet In port



  • Provides power for
    • connected USB-MIDI devices (max. 1A)
    • other daisy chained BomeBoxes via PoE Out (if powered via PoE)
  • ?HD Protocol? ready
  • Dimensions: 121mm x 96 mm x 38 mm (4.8? x 3.7? x 1.5?)
  • Weight: 180g

Versatile in Power

A helpful feature for portable rigs is that the BomeBox has versatile power solutions. As noted above – it can be powered over Ethernet, but also can use standard external battery packs – like the ones you might use to charge your cell phone when you’re away from an outlet:

A simple USB battery pack can power the BomeBox for a long time

A simple USB battery pack can power the BomeBox for a long time

The BomeBox also can send up to 1 amp of power on the USB Type A port, or be used alongside a powered USB hub if you have multiple devices (larger MIDI/USB controllers, etc) that need power via USB.

We’re excited to get a BomeBox here at DJTT and review it in the coming months. What would you connected together with one of these devices? Share in the comments below. 

More Mapping Magic: MIDI-Maping Tone Play Cuepoints

The post BomeBox: Advanced MIDI/USB/WiFi Hub Now Available appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Sep 27, 2016

The Traktor Kontrol S8 and S5 are two powerful Traktor DJ controllers with screens. But their power is limited by what information is shown on the screen – and for some, the default display wasn’t good enough. Check out a project by some enterprising DJs to hack the screens on these controllers with advanced layouts.

Out With The Old (Screens), In With The New

Customizing your DJ setup is one of the most exciting parts of being a DJ. We love to find new ways to modify gear to make it our own. This can mean adding stickers, custom knobs, changing the software layout, building a unique DJ booth, or any number of other projects.

But with modern digital DJ equipment, there’s often a closed system that prevents modification on the digital/software side. This often comes when there’s a new big advance – like adding display screens to DJ controllers. Having a window into Traktor on the Kontrol S8, S5, and D2 is great, but what if you want to change what you’re seeing? Too bad – until now.

Playing With QML Files

QML is a markup language based on Javascript used for programming user interfaces. Native Instruments uses QML files to help tell Traktor Pro what information is displayed on the screens on the Kontrol S8/S5/D2. Owners of these controllers already know what these displays look like. But what if they could be changed?

Two different Traktor power users took on their own independent forays into making their own versions of the heads-up displays on these controllers.

Sydes Custom Kontrol Screens

First up is Sydes, a user on the Native Instruments forums who, in late July, started a now-popular thread on the topic of modding these screens. He writes:

I have always wondered why the display of the S8 are so dull and boring and do not provide the info everyone is asking for.  [

I have rewritten the deckheader file completly from scratch, so it makes more sense and allows for easier modifications. [..] this is a first attempt at a new display format, showing lots more info then before, thus even further reducing to look at the PC screens. My ultimate goal is to completely remove the need for PC screens :)

His new heads up display shows substantially more information on the track screen:


As well as showing more details on the browser screen (I love that he has added indications for matching keys here with the four decks in the bottom right – green is one step away, orange is two steps away):


In addition to way more information overall, there’s Camelot keys instead of Traktor Open Key. Really handy for those of us who are used to looking at key one way on all tracks.

You can download the most recent (August 16th) version of Sydes’ deckheader here (installation instructions at the end of this aticle) – or read the entire thread on the NI forums to see if there’s something newer.

ErikMinekus’s Two Kontrol Screen Options

A second Traktor user also made serious forays into replacing the default screens on these controllers. ErikMinekus has his versions organized a bit better on GitHub, and there are two versions available:


The Kontrol Edition maintains a similar layout as originally, but with a few minor changes for usability

  • Kontrol Edition: Default layout, but with spectrum waveform colors, and a lot of small annoyances fixed. See the readme for details.

The Nexus edition makes a few changes that make the Kontrol S5/S8/D2 screens look a bit less like NI gear and a bit more like Pioneer

  • Nexus Edition: Contains the same waveform colors and fixes from above, but the layout and features are inspired by CDJ/XDJ players.

Wondering what the functions and annoyances that have been changed are? Here it is straight from the read me:

Changes in appearance:

  • Camelot keys
  • FX overlay is always large
  • Spectrum waveform colors
  • Track deck header displays beats, remaining time, tempo and BPM

Changes in functionality:

  • BPM coarse and fine adjustment are flipped
  • [D2] Shift + Deck switches between deck A/C and B/D
  • Timings have been improved
  • Use the Browse knob to zoom in and out of the waveform
  • Waveform zooming has been improved so that more beats are visible

How To Install

Erik’s written up a great simple guide on how to install custom QML files with Traktor – this should work with any of the three projects above:


  • Navigate to /Applications/Native Instruments/Traktor 2
  • Right click, then click Show Package Contents
  • Navigate to Contents/Resources/qml
  • Make a backup of this folder!
  • Replace the CSI, Defines and Screens folders
  • Restart Traktor


  • Navigate to C:\Program Files\Native Instruments\Traktor 2\Resources64\qml
  • Make a backup of this folder!
  • Replace the CSI, Defines and Screens folders
  • Restart Traktor

We hope to see continued development of alternative display screens on all controllers – the more customization, the better! Maybe NI could even take a hint from these projects and allow users to customize their screens without having to mess around with QML files? 

The post Hack Kontrol S8/S5/D2 Screens With Advanced Layouts appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Sep 27, 2016

We’ve been treated to a lot of previews of the new version of Serato DJ via Roland’s DJ-808 announcement and Ableton’s Link news. But the software finally is rolling out to the public today, and has a host of new features. Read on for the full details.

Serato DJ 1.9.3 Features

This new Serato DJ 1.9.3 release is just now being heavily pushed by Serato, with the bulk of the features having been announced or part of the public beta. Here’s the full list of features that are included on this version:

  • Serato DJ’s Sampler is finally being refreshed. Say goodbye to the SP-6! Now its four banks of eight slots – and the UI design has been slightly altered as well:
Serato DJ's new sampler layout

Serato DJ’s new sampler layout

  • Additional bugs fixed, and other stability updates that fix CPU spikes, memory leaks, audio issues, and much more. This also includes driver updates that allow OS X El Capitan support for SL 2/3/4 sound cards.
  • Support for the Roland DJ-808 controller (this includes Pitch ‘n Play tone play cue mapping – but there’s no clear section for it in the user interface yet)
  • Ableton Link support (read more here)  â€“ allowing DJs to quickly link their tempo with other Serato DJ software, Ableton Live, and other devices on a wireless network. We’ve heard some really exciting news here with link that’s still top-secret as well
 stay tuned. Serato has put out this video that’s a quick overview of Link:

  • A new MIDI mapping panel that allows much more advanced control over deck modes, loop sizes, library manipulation, and much more:
Serato DJ MIDI panel

Serato DJ’s new MIDI panel

Have you had a chance to use the new version of Serato DJ yet? Let us know how it’s going in the comments. 

This is a free update to Serato DJ, available as a free download here on the official Serato site. Read the full release notes here

The post Serato DJ 1.9.3 Out Now: Link, New Sampler, DJ-808 Support appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Sep 27, 2016

When DJing, one of the worst things you can hear is sudden, unexpected silence. Audio dropouts with digital DJ gear happen all too easily. In today’s article, guest contributor Tenova shares a guide of common solutions to problems that cause most audio dropouts for DJs.

Audio Dropouts: A DJ’s Worst Nightmare

There are few worse things that could happen in a DJ set than an audio dropout.

Unfortunately, audio dropouts are far more common than one may think, and they equally impact Traktor and Serato users. Any DJ who has ever had a dropout happen during a set knows the agony that can result from dead silence in the club and the anxiety that can follow these incidents.

What’s more, often times these issues can be no fault of your own. Even the most resources and best prepared/supported DJs can have problems. Hell, even Tiesto has experienced audio dropouts before:

As unfortunate as these occurrences are, there’s almost always a logical explanation. Sound suddenly stopping is actually a symptom of a larger issue. The cause can almost always be diagnosed and addressed, and precautions can be taken to prevent them from happening.

This guide is by no means a comprehensive list of every issue that can possibly cause a dropout. Instead, it highlights the most common causes of one of the worst technical issues a DJ can face.

Did your DJ software crash, or did the audio simply stop?

There is an important distinction to be made here when diagnosing why your audio has dropped out in your DJ software of choice. Did the program quit entirely, or did the program stay open and the audio simply stop?

If the program itself has closed unexpectedly, it’s most likely a software-related, and you can skip ahead to the software causes section of this guide.

Physical Causes of audio dropouts:

Is your computer up to specification?

I am often amazed at which many DJs choose to trust with the integrity of their performance. Below are the suggested specifications for optimal performance of both Traktor and Serato. To me, these are the absolute minimum requirements any working DJs should have in their machines if they expect expects their software to function flawlessly.

  • Traktor Pro 2: Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM
  • Serato DJ: Intel Core i3, i5 or 1.7, 1.07GHz, 4GB RAM, USB 2.0 port or higher

It is possible to run Traktor or Serato on less sophisticated setups, you are inciting potential trouble in doing so.

Solution: Only use a machine that is up to specification.

Photo credit: Windows Central

Photo credit: Windows Central 

Are you using a PC?

I’ve diagnosed/fixed numerous DJs’ laptops suffering from a myriad of issues. There’s no doubt: catastrophic issues in digital audio processing are far more common on PCs than on a Mac. (My bias: I own a PC for production and a Macbook for DJing)

Here’s a story of one of those issues from my own experience.

I once diagnosed technical issues for a notable touring DJ (name withheld on request). He wanted to save money and purchased a PC to tour with as opposed to a Mac. While practicing for a festival set, awful distortion started pumping through his monitors playing tracks from his Traktor setup.

He called me. Twelve hours of research later, I found that his particular model of PC had a BIOS setting where the processor would intermittently discharge additional electricity throughout the motherboard. This somehow affected the audio card, and distortion ensued. The manufacturer had no solution, and Native Instruments has very little incentive to try to find a fix. It’s a weird issue – but the kind of thing that just doesn’t happen with Macbooks.

Apple is a vertically integrated company across their hardware and software products. Very little variation exists between Apple laptop models. This isn’t the case with, where literally hundreds of thousands of manufacturers exist.

The more standardized DJ?s setups are, the less fewer resources software companies have to spend diagnosing why an issue is occurring on a particular device. This leads to faster turnaround times when addressing tech issues. For these reasons, more DJs use Macbooks than any other computer.

Updates to operating systems and DJ software are notorious for causing issues, and each update presents a new opportunity for an issue to arise based on the unique makeup of each user’s machine. Think about it: if an incompatibility were to arise between a DJ software update and an operating system/piece of hardware, which group of users do you think that the technicians at Traktor or Serato would give priority to?

Solution: Consider buying a Macbook. 


What quality of USB cables are you using?

Not all USB cables are created equally. A USB cable is one of the most mass-produced items on the planet, and there are different degrees of quality.

Cheaply manufactured USB cables offer little protection from outside interference. Sources of outside interference include cell phones, radio waves, and a multitude of other things you wouldn’t expect. Any interference on this path can cause a disturbance in the signal, as well as in your music. Quality USB cables will include at least one ferrite core, or a magnetic clasp that attached to the outside of your cable to prevent interference.

Solution: get professional-grade USB cables. DJTT manufactures Chroma Cables, some of the best USB cables on earth.

Editor’s Disclaimer: we didn’t ask Tenova to mention or endorse Chroma Cables, but we’ll take the compliment. 

How well do you take care of your cables?

Cables, particularly USB cables, deteriorate over time. Improperly wrapping USB cables will cause them to deteriorate faster.

For this reason, “over/under” wrap your USB cables to ensure the longest lifespan out of them. Here’s a great video demonstrating this:

Solution: Over/under wrap your USB cables and replace them regularly to be on the safe side.

Voltage Fluctuations: a big issue that nobody talks about

Some nightclubs are notorious for cutting costs in every way imaginable. What may appear to be a top-notch operation could very well be poorly wired. Here’s another story:

At my first big club residency, myself and another resident DJ experienced multiple audio dropouts on both of our respective nights. Both of our audio devices would randomly disconnect from our laptops during the night. The program would not crash, but rather the connection between the mixer and software would be lost.

He was a Serato DJ. I was using Traktor. This nightmare went on for two weeks. The club owners insisted we keep opening and would continually hound us about our “technical difficulties.” By process of elimination, it would be very highly unlikely that we both had faulty equipment.

Several hours of research led me to believe that the entire DJ booth at this particular nightclub was powered off of one circuit. Despite the club’s constant attempt to cut costs, they outfitted the DJ booth with two DJ setups, two mini refrigerators, a fog machine, a fan, and at one point, a Fireball Whiskey machine.

I mentioned this setup to club management, but it largely fell on deaf ears. It wasn’t until their DJM-900 mysteriously quit working altogether that they began to listen.

Plugging a multi-meter into a free plug on the power strip revealed that the voltage was jumping around drastically throughout the night, particularly when the fog machine would engage.

This voltage fluctuation is terrible for electronics, and years of it eventually led the club’s mixer to the Pioneer repair center. In the short term, however, these fluctuations are enough to cause a disconnect between a laptop and an audio device, resulting in an audio dropout.


If you are doing everything right and are still experiencing audio dropouts, I highly suggest taking a look at the outlets from which you are getting power, asking the club management about how the booth is wired, and potentially plugging a multimeter into a free outlet on the circuit to watch for these fluctuations.

One solution for this is plugging your computer and audio device into an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS for short). This ensures a constant flow of electricity, and voltage fluctuations have no impact. UPSs are cheap and plentiful, and can often be found at your neighborhood electronics store. I have one on my rider for club gigs, and always take one along for my mobile gigs.

Solution: Learn the wiring of your DJ booth, and make sure that there are multiple circuits to power your setup and whatever else is in the booth. Avoid plugging devices that hog electricity into the same circuit as your laptop and soundcard.

Software Causes of Audio Dropouts

How much Hard Drive space do you have available?

A hard drive can become full very fast! A large DJ library can fill a drive very quickly, and it’s easy to lose track of how much free space one may have.


If you’re experiencing glitches or dropouts, make sure that you have the absolute minimum of 20% of free space available on your drive. Filling it past 80% can create issues with drive indexing, local caching, etc and potentially cause audio issues.

Solution: Use an app like OmniDiskSweeper to clear out unnecessary files clogging up your hard drive. Consider upgrading to a larger Solid State Drive if necessary.


Corrupt files wreak havoc!

One of the unfortunate realities of digital audio processing is the potential for file corruption. To save a lengthy discussion about drive sectors: File corruption can happen at any moment. That being said, a corrupt audio file can crash either Traktor or Serato when loaded. Serato users have it better than Traktor users in this arena, as Serato will display an icon next to the track name, indicating that the file has become corrupt.

Multiple programs exist for scanning one’s collection for corrupt files and fixing them.

Solution: Run an app like MP3 Scan + Repair weekly to ensure no files have become corrupt. Import & analyze each file prior to playing them at a live gig.

Have you streamlined your Mac?

Macbooks aren’t ready to DJ with straight out of the box. Fifteen minutes of tuning can go a long way, as far as increasing performance and negating any potential issues.

Solution: Follow Mike Charles’ awesome Macbook optimization guide. Note that much of this is still relevant even though the article is from 2009!

Come prepared, be proactive!

If there’s one theme of this article, it’s â€œsh*t happens!” Being a proactive working DJ can prevent technical mishaps.  As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

All clichés aside, I encourage all DJs to have an emergency backup in the event that something goes seriously wrong. Even beyond the realm of technical mishaps, drinks get spilled, hard drives crash and bad things can happen.

  • Keep a 1/8th inch cable in your DJ bag & an iPod full of DJ mixes.
  • Have a backup laptop. While not necessarily related to the discussion of audio dropouts, I keep a cloned version of my Macbook Pro the trunk of my car in the event of a major disaster. The show must go on, after all!

Consider going without the laptop when possible.

Every time I’m in a situation where I’m playing more House centric and there are CDJs available, I opt to ditch the laptop entirely. While I don’t find it reasonable to do this for a mixed format club set, eliminating the laptop is a surefire way of eliminating the threat of a dropout.

Barring a mechanical error, which would be the fault of the club who owns the gear, I find using CDJs and a thumb drive to be far more reliable than any digital DJ software.

Tenova (Thomas Hricik) is a guest contributor to DJ Techtools. 

Have your own audio dropout horror story or solution? Share in the comments.

The post Preventing Audio Dropouts in Digital DJ Software appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Sep 27, 2016

About a year ago, Apple released OS X 10.11, El Capitan – and DJs around the world either experienced or heard about the many issues that plagued digital DJ software. Even now, many DJs and producers have held off on updating. This week Apple releases macOS Sierra, 10.12. Read on to learn what the state of DJ software is with this new release.

Warning: Do not update to macOS Sierra if your current DJ setup is stable and you have an important gig coming up. Always have a backup plan or way to roll back your operating system. Don’t take risks!  

Traktor Pro With macOS Sierra


Let’s start with the most exciting development. With El Capitan, there have continued to be a number of major issues for users of Traktor’s hardware, mostly related to larger CoreAudio problems. According to Native Instruments,

“after working closely with Apple and intensive testing, macOS Sierra delivers very stable audio performance on all our current-generation hardware devices.”

If you’ve experienced issues with stuttering audio and dropouts, many beta testers have confirmed that macOS Sierra seems to fix these with the new version of Core Audio:


There are a few legacy devices that are still having issues with their audio output which, according to NI, still seem to have crackling issues. Native Instruments has mentioned on CenterCode that they will stop support of these devices with this new update:

  • Kontrol S4 MK1
  • Audio 8/4/2 DJ

Serato DJ with With macOS Sierra


Serato DJ also had some hiccups with El Capitan – most of which were resolved after an arduous few weeks with serious issues. To ward off any potential issues this time around, Serato has sent out a mass email letting their users know the current status of their software. The main warning is for legacy Serato Scratch Live users:

As Scratch Live is a legacy product, we don?t recommend updating to macOS Sierra as there may be unknown issues.

However, we?ve been testing Serato DJ across the beta versions of Sierra and should be able to confirm support shortly after the official release.

If you have supported hardware for Serato DJ, we recommend upgrading.

Note that similar to Native Instruments, Serato have stop supporting older devices and sound cards – like the Rane TTM57 (MK1) mixer and Rane SL1 soundcard.

Rekordbox DJ With macOS Sierra


Rekordbox noted earlier this summer that, “We will not be officially supporting Sierra until after the official public release and we’ve had an opportunity to verify compatibility. During this time, you may try it at your own risk, Pioneer DJ does not guarantee performance, assumes no responsibility for loss of information, and will not provide support should you encounter any problems.”

So far we haven’t heard of any major issues – just a few posts on the Rekordbox forums and Facebook groups that seem to indicate everything is working without issue:


Ableton Live With macOS Sierra


Ableton has written up a support article on their site sharing a bit of details about Live 9 and the new macOS. It’s a similar story here – no major issues so far. They note that only the newest version of Live 9 is confirmed to be working well:

“We are not aware of any issues affecting the latest version of Live 9 under macOS Sierra.  However, older versions of Live 9 cannot be expected to function flawlessly, nor is Live is supported on the beta version of macOS Sierra.”

And the same goes for Max for Live:

“As of version 7.2.4, Max for Live will work in macOS Sierra.  However, for users that upgrade the OS (as opposed to reinstalling it), it is necessary to perform a Java 6 SE installation a new time.”

Apple is set to make macOS Sierra available for download tomorrow – Tuesday the 20th. Details on their site here

Do you have any experience with Sierra and other DJ software? Let us know in the comments. 

The post macOS Sierra: Does DJ Software Work? appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Sep 27, 2016

Mobile DJ apps are getting better and better with the increasing power capabilities put into smartphones. Apple is rolling out the iPhone 7 with a faster processor and even without an audio jack, companies like DJiT from France are finding ways to make smartphones work for DJs. The latest app coming from DJiT is edjing Mix, the 6th edition of the DJ app. It’s optimized for iOS 10, has a brand new user interface, and DVS/MIDI support.

edjing Mix: The Finale in edjing Suite

The arrival of edjing Mix completes a suite of apps from the company – incuding edjing Scratch and Pro. Edjing Mix contains a brand new interface that simplifies the complexity DJ hardware. This edition also brings along a sampler and hardware integration that increases the potential uses for this app. Interestingly enough, DJiT simplified the UI to the point where the company claims “each feature is now accessible in 1 touch” with the added capability of having multiple windows open at once across all menus.

The app is optimized for iOS 10 and takes advantage of the latest audio technology available to mobile devices. The new Core Audio Engine included in edjing Mix provides high-quality output and allows multiple instances of audio to run at once which gives way to higher quality sampling. Edjing Mix also contains an auto-gain feature called Smart Volume which adjusts the gain of tracks without compromising the sound quality.

Sampler and DVS Control

Edjing Mix includes a new sampler with the familiar colored drum pads on each deck that is found usually in physical DJ hardware. While it is important to note that the samples included are essentials for DJs, the icing on the cake is the fact that samples can be linked to the crossfader. This means that the volume can be dependent on the sample pressed which saves the DJ from accidents while attempting to crossfade on a tiny screen.

DJs may be reluctant to use a phone to DJ in a club however this supports DVS and MIDI. Traditional DJ hardware is capable of controlling parameters via a MIDI controller and an adapter. DJs can also go the DVS route. By routing a turntable playing timecode to the phone via an audio port DJs can use hardware to control their tracks. Just as DJs use Serato or Traktor Scratch, edjing Mix offers the same capability except with the convenience of being on a device that fits in a pocket. Edjing Mix is also compatible with DJiT’s latest hardware, Mixfader, the Bluetooth crossfader.

The app also integrates Deezer and Soundcloud to make a DJ’s library even more extensive. DJs can also record and share mixes right from the app.

Edjing Mix is available for free on the App Store and is iOS 10 ready â€“ while a version for Android is “coming soon”.


The post Edjing Mix: DJiT’s App with DVS Support appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Sep 27, 2016

Pioneer DJ’s top-of-the-line CDJ-2000NXS2s have been missing a critical feature from the previous model: HID support. Serato and Traktor users have been mostly out of luck in terms of getting this high-end new kit to work with their software. In a new Facebook post, Pioneer DJ is hinting at HID Traktor support, and maybe something to do with Stems as well?

CDJ-2000NXS2 HID Traktor Support?

In the below Facebook post made on the official Pioneer DJ page early Friday, there’s a CDJ-2000NXS2 pictured, as well as a laptop with Traktor on the screen. The caption reads “Coming soon!” – which is a bit of a slap in the face for early adopters who have had NXS2s for months and not been able to use their multi-thousand dollar gear with leading DJ softwares Traktor and Serato.

Coming soon!

Posted by Pioneer DJ on Friday, September 16, 2016

Despite the delays, it’s great to see that Pioneer DJ is making advances here that make the flagship CDJ unit once again a ubiquitous DJ tool. We’re hoping that the HID experience is even more seamless than in the past – and that being able to use a pair of CDJs as the audio output has been even more simplified (the old CDJ Aggregator tool was always a bit unreliable).

CDJ Stems Support?

Perhaps the most interesting element of this post from Pioneer DJ is what’s displayed on the screen of the laptop running Traktor. Both decks are playing Stems files instead of normal Track Decks. 

This could be accidental, but it seems unlikely. We’re not entirely sure what functionality could be added by a CDJ. It’s likely still just standard deck control – maybe with the ability to turn on and off different Stems files using the four colored cue point buttons on the left side of the CDJ?

Stay tuned for news as Pioneer and Native Instruments release this new update.
What do you want to see included as a feature? 

The post Pioneer DJ Hints At CDJ-2000NXS2 HID Traktor Support, Stems? appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Sep 27, 2016

Compared to cue points, looping, and effects, beat jump is one of the more rarely discussed DJ software features. It?s underutilized by a majority of DJs, mainly because many DJs don?t know how to use it effectively. Beat jump is a powerful tool not only during performance, but it can speed up preparation time as well.

What Is Beat Jump?

Beat Jump Top

Imagine throwing on a new track in the middle of your set, but you aren?t sure where to mix it in seamlessly. You have to scrub back and forth through the track to find the right spot, then worry about how far back you need to bring the track to give you enough time to mix in. In the heat of a set, having to go through those steps can take you out of the moment and ruin your groove. Beat jump can simplify this process and make it feel effortless.

Beat jump allows you to skip forward or backward through a track on beat, based on the beat grid. The on beat part is what makes this feature a game changer. With a few clicks of the mouse you can find the part of a track you are looking for and not worry about phrasing.

Currently beat jump or something similar is available in:

  • Traktor Pro
  • Rekordbox DJ
  • Serato DJ
  • Pioneer DJ’s XDJ-1000 (MK1/2) and CDJ-2000NXS2

3 Things To Keep In Mind When Using Beat Jump

Beat Grids

Beat Jump SDJ Grids

Keep in mind when using beat jump make sure the beat grid of the track is correct. Beat jump works around the beat grid, so if the beat grid is off the beat jump will be off as well.

Beat Jump LengthBeat Jump Length Traktor

Most software that has beat jump allows you to select the length in beats that you would like the move through the track. Be sure that you have the correct length select before you start jumping through the track.

Forward Or BackwardBeat Jump Forward Backward RDJ

Along with length controls there are controls to jump either forward or backward. Make sure that you are aware of which button you are hitting as they are usually placed pretty close together. This can be less confusing when using a controller with tactile buttons.

3 Great Uses For Beat Jump

Setting Cue Points

Beat Jump cue point set

For DJs who place their cue points based on song structure, beat jump speeds up the track preparation. For example, I like to place a cue point at the beginning of an intro, mid-way through the intro, and at the end of the intro. Beat jump allows me to just click through the track on time instead of having to scrub through the track.

Learning Song Structure On The Fly

Beat Jump song structure

When introducing new songs into your sets there is a period of getting familiar with the track. Some songs might have 32 beat build up, some may only have 24 beats. Using beat jump to get move through the track on beat makes learning each song much faster. 

Saving Mis-Cued Drops

Beat Jump mis-cues

Here’s an example of how beat jump can be the most useful:

  • Mixing out of a song with a 32 beat chorus with the next song cued
  • Hit the cue point on the incoming track, but you realize that the incoming track has a 64 beat intro. This would create some phrasing issues
  • Use beat jump to correct the position of the incoming track – jump forward 32 beats and avoid having to loop one of the tracks

Now Put It To Use!

Adding beat jump to my preparation and performance work flow has been nothing but positive. It’s easily overlooked and definitely under-appreciated. Give beat jump a try, add it to one part of your DJ process. 

Here’s a video walkthrough of how to use beat jump with Rekordbox, Serato, and Traktor, as well as examples of the uses I explained above:

Watch next: Ean’s Tutorial On Loop Move Macros in Traktor

The post Underused DJ Techniques: Beat Jump appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Sep 27, 2016
In this review we take a look at Pioneer's HRM-7 headphones, a pair of cans with big cups that cover your ears to provide comfort and isolation, with the aim of providing you detailed sound for music production purposes. Should they be on your list if you're a producer? We'll find out... The post Review & Video: Pioneer HRM-7 Studio Headphones appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DigitalDJTips Sep 27, 2016
Mixvibes has announced that its popular Remixlive app is now available to PC users. A surprise hit of 2016, Remixlive is kind of a stripped down pad-based groovebox, letting anyone easily trigger samples to make music instantly, using the seven supplied high-quality sample packs The post Remixlive Arrives For PC, Updated For Mac appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DigitalDJTips Sep 27, 2016
As many of you will unfortunately be only too aware, there?s a whole army of haters out there, continually bashing digital DJs because they don?t use vinyl or didn?t ?come from? vinyl. And nowhere is this more true than among a certain section of scratch DJs. Now, you may say that us controller DJs shouldn't [...] The post Scratching On DJ Controllers - The 7 Biggest Myths Busted appeared first...

DigitalDJTips Sep 27, 2016
Digital DJ Tips reader Simon writes: I live in a smaller city in Australia that's famous for its wine. There are many wineries around and most have lively cellar doors with food and outdoor areas. Generally there is no music playing. I can see a market for the cellar door DJ spinning laid back vinyl and really setting a cool vibe..." The post Your Questions: How Can I Become A Winery DJ?...

DigitalDJTips Sep 27, 2016
We've just released the second free scratch training video of this week's programme, meaning there is now over an hour of complete free tuition for you to get stuck into - spending just 60 minutes on these two videos this weekend could change your DJing life forever! The post Your Second FREE Scratch Training Video Is Now Live appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DigitalDJTips Sep 27, 2016
We've got the top 100 disco tunes of all time, the first pop song composed by artificial intelligence, Kaskade hitting back at rave drug allegations, and a piece on why most festival DJ sets (allegedly) suck. It's all in your Friday Roundup of music and DJing stories from around the web this week. Have a good one! The post Friday Roundup: The Top 100 Disco Records Of All Time appeared first on...

DigitalDJTips Sep 27, 2016
Numark certainly isn't a brand scared to innovate, having produced the first DJ controller for Serato with screens (the Numark NV), and now, the first with displays built in to the jogwheels. What's more impressive is that the Mixtrack Platinum isn't a high-ticket item; in fact, it's aimed squarely at the budget end of the market. In today's review we'll see how it all stacks up... The post...

DigitalDJTips Sep 27, 2016
Serato just announced the release of Serato DJ 1.9.3. The latest version of the software comes with Ableton Link baked in, meaning you can sync it up with other Ableton Link-enabled apps, including Ableton Live. The Serato Sampler also gets an upgrade, and the new Roland DJ-808 controller is now supported. The post Serato DJ 1.9.3 Out Now, Syncs With Ableton appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DigitalDJTips Sep 27, 2016
We're excited to announce that our free Scratching For Controller DJs interactive video course is back for 2016! This hugely popular video training series is now into its fourth year, and we've just put the first episode live - remember, it's completely free to all. The post Starts Today: Free Scratch Training For Every Reader appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

DigitalDJTips Sep 27, 2016
When just about anyone can make a mixtape using DJ software, there's never been a better time to make a mix show. As more people stream content, a mix show acts like a bridge between the classic DJ mixtape and the modern talk podcast. Check out some tips for making your own mix show in this piece. The post 7 Essentials For A Successful Online Mix Show appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

Serato Sep 27, 2016

What is Link? 

Link is an Ableton technology used for synchronising Serato DJ with other devices and applications, usually over a local network.

It can be used to synchronise two Serato DJ instances on separate computers, synchronise Serato DJ with other Digital Audio Workstations (such as Ableton Live), or other devices and applications.


What do I need to use Link?


  • Serato DJ 1.9.3 or higher
  • Serato DJ-compatible hardware
  • An ad-hoc or local network connection (unless Ableton Live is being used with Link and Serato DJ on the same computer)
  • If using Link to connect with Ableton - Ableton Live 9.6 or higher
  • A Link compatible application


What applications can be controlled using Link?


Currently it's available with the following desktop applications;


  • Ableton Live
  • Serato DJ
  • Reason
  • Max


It's also available via a multitude of iOS apps, and more desktop and mobile applications are planned to include support in the future.


For more information and up-to-date list of compatible applications, please refer to Ableton's Link website.


Ableton also have a more general Link FAQ.


How do I setup Link?


Ableton Link is available in Serato DJ 1.9.3.

Download Serato DJ 1.9.3 & Update.

Serato Sep 27, 2016

We enlisted Montreal producer Shash'U to put the Roland DJ-808 to the test. See why the DJ-808 is more than a DJ controller as he uses the built in TR-S, Sampler, PnT DJ, FX and more, adding a whole new level to his performance.

Roland DJ-808 Key Features

  • Integrated TR-S drum machine offering the iconic 606, 707, 808 and 909 drum sounds in a 16-step sequencer, which can also trigger the newly improved 8-slot Serato DJ Sampler.
  • RGB coloured performance pads give performers and DJs control for all the usual Serato DJ features such as Hot Cues, Loop Roll, Slicer, Sampler as well as TR Pad Mode for the drum machine and Pitch Play.
  • The unique Roland VT Voice Transformer is something new for Serato DJs, offering a number of powerful effects including pitch shifting and vocal key matching to playing tracks via the Auto Pitch feature.
  • Two AIRA link USB ports offering seamless connection with Roland synths and instruments. This offers a huge range of creative possibilities for live performance rigs, remixing and music production.
  • Control for all of the professional level Serato DJ features such as Serato Flip, Pitch ‘n Time DJ Key Shifting and Sync, Looping and all library and play controls.
  • Serato DJ Enabled - no extra license required. Also includes a license for Pitch ‘n Time DJ.
  • Purchase the DVS Expansion Pack and connect turntables or CDJs.
  • 24bit/96kHz audio fidelity
  • Dual-deck mode to control two Serato DJ decks simultaneously
  • Large range 100mm pitch faders for accurate level control in the mix
  • 1/8” and 1/4” headphones jacks, combo XLR input jacks, built-in phono pre-amp, and audiophile sound quality 

Learn more about the Roland DJ-808 and Serato DJ.

Serato Sep 27, 2016
Estamos organizando muy pronto nuestra primera serie de clĂ­nicas de Serato en LatinoamĂ©rica! Con fechas alineadas en Argentina, Chile, MĂ©xico y Brasil, es la oportunidad perfecta para conocer al equipo, aprender las Ășltimas funciones de Serato DJ, descubrir consejos y trucos, y conectar con otros DJs.  

También celebraremos showcases con los campeónes de Red Bull Thre3style, así que venga y aprende de los mejores :)

Si viénes a la clinica, tienes también la oportunidad de ganar buenos premios de Serato y otras marcas: licencias de Serato DJ Suite, una mezcladora Pioneer DJM-S9, remeras, gorras,.. 

Hasta pronto! 


Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • 28 Septiembre @ ARJAUS, Av Congreso 3541, Buenos Aires.
  • Presentado por DJ Stuart y DJ Byte, el actual campeĂłn del mundo Thre3style.
  • RSVP

Santiago, Chile

  • 30 Septiembre @ Dj School Chile, Hindenburg 667, Providencia.
  • Presentado por DJ Stuart y DJ Byte, el actual campeĂłn del mundo Thre3style.
  • RSVP

Ciudad de MĂ©xico, MĂ©xico

  • 5 Octubre @ G Martell, Calle Cerro TlapacoyĂĄn 7, Col. Copilco, Ciudad de Mexico.
  • Presentado por DJ Unit27.  
  • RSVP
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil 
  • 8 Octubre @ Malha, R. Gen. Bruce 274, SĂŁo CristĂłvĂŁo, Rio de Janeiro.
  • Presentado por Nedu Lopes y DJ Byte, el actual campeĂłn del mundo Thre3style.
  • RSVP
São Paulo, Brasil 
  • 10 Octubre @ DJ Ban, R. Carlos Sampaio 53, Bela Vista, SĂŁo Paulo. 
  • Presentado por Nedu Lopes y DJ Byte, el actual campeĂłn del mundo Thre3style.
  • RSVP
Serato Sep 27, 2016

Find the key that fits! Logan from Serato HQ discusses harmonic mixing and how you can easily use the key shifting and key sync tools in Serato DJ to make your mixes sound smoother than ever.

Serato DJ now has key detection / display as well as updates to Pitch 'n Time DJ, allowing DJs to shift the root key of their track and also sync this with the other deck. What this means is that your mixes can now sound perfect every time. If you've ever mixed two tracks and thought, "THIS SOUNDS SO HOT OMG," it's probably because the two tracks were in key.

Learn more about Pitch 'n Time DJ

If you have any questions, ask us below in the comments section :)

Download Serato DJ

Serato Sep 27, 2016

Serato DJ 1.9.3 Update

Serato DJ 1.9.3 is now available with a number of new features and improvements such as:

  • Ableton Link support - link tempo with other DJs and devices over a wireless network.
  • The Serato DJ Sampler has been updated from the classic SP-6 with two extra slots, as well as a number of changes to the design for better usability.
  • Support for the Roland DJ-808 controller.
  • Bundled driver updates, providing El Capitan support for the Rane SL 2, SL 3 and SL 4. More info regarding macOS Sierra support.
  • An improved and refreshed look for MIDI mapping.
  • Various bug fixes, changes and stability improvements.

Ableton Link

Serato DJ now supports Ableton Link in 1.9.3. Ableton Link provides a way of syncing Serato DJ to Ableton Live, syncing multiple Serato DJ setups as well as your Serato DJ setup with supported iOS Apps - all wirelessly. 

What is Ableton Link? 

How to set up Ableton Link for Serato DJ

Roland DJ-808

  • Integrated TR-S drum machine offering the iconic 606, 707, 808 and 909 drum sounds in a 16-step sequencer, which can also trigger the newly improved 8-slot Serato DJ Sampler.
  • RGB coloured performance pads give performers and DJs control for all the usual Serato DJ features such as Hot Cues, Loop Roll, Slicer, Sampler as well as TR Pad Mode for the drum machine and Pitch Play.
  • The unique Roland VT Voice Transformer is something new for Serato DJs, offering a number of powerful effects including pitch shifting and vocal key matching to playing tracks via the Auto Pitch feature.
  • Two AIRA link USB ports offering seamless connection with Roland synths and instruments. This offers a huge range of creative possibilities for live performance rigs, remixing and music production.
  • Control for all of the professional level Serato DJ features such as Serato Flip, Pitch ‘n Time DJ Key Shifting and Sync, Looping and all library and play controls.
  • Serato DJ Enabled - no extra license required. Also includes a license for Pitch ‘n Time DJ.
  • Purchase the DVS Expansion Pack and connect turntables or CDJs.

Learn more about the Roland DJ-808 for Serato DJ.

Make sure you have the latest firmware & drivers from Roland.

Serato Sampler

  • Includes two extra sample slots, allowing a total of eight samples to be loaded at once.
  • Mapped across all supported hardware.
  • A redesigned interface with new simple / advanced view modes for ease of use and also flexibility for complex control.
  • Simple Sync now supported for the Serato Sampler.
  • More improvements listed in the full release notes.

This release also includes a number of important stability improvements for all Serato DJs. Read the full list of bug fixes, changes and additions in the Serato DJ 1.9.3 release notes.

Download and update to Serato DJ 1.9.3

Serato Sep 27, 2016

We’ve been testing Serato DJ across the beta versions of macOS Sierra and should be able to confirm support shortly after the official release.

So please hold off upgrading for now.

If you need any help or have any questions, please contact Serato Support.

macOS Sierra and Scratch Live: As Scratch Live is a legacy product, we don’t recommend updating to macOS Sierra as there may be unknown issues. If you have supported hardware for Serato DJ, we recommend upgrading - download Serato DJ.

Serato Sep 27, 2016

We are continuing  the Serato DJ 1.9.3 public beta with added support for Ableton Link. Also included are new features and improvements such as:

  • The Serato DJ Sample Player has been updated from the classic SP-6 with two extra slots, as well as a number of changes to the design for better usability.
  • An improved and refreshed look for MIDI mapping.
  • Various bug fixes, changes and stability improvements.

Ableton Link

Serato DJ now supports Ableton Link in 1.9.3. Ableton Link provides a way of syncing Serato DJ to Ableton Live, syncing multiple Serato DJ setups as well as your Serato DJ setup with supported iOS Apps - all wirelessly. 

Read more about Ableton Link here.

Serato Sampler

  • Includes two extra sample slots, allowing a total of eight samples to be loaded at once.
  • Mapped across all supported hardware.
  • A redesigned interface with new simple / advanced view modes for ease of use and also flexibility for complex control.
  • More improvements listed in the full release notes.

This release also includes a number of important stability improvements for all Serato DJs. Read the full list of bug fixes, changes and additions in the Serato DJ 1.9.3 release notes.

Join the Serato DJ 1.9.3 beta:

Serato Sep 27, 2016

Local musician, producer and DJ, Jeremy Toy, gives the all-new Roland DJ-808 his first spin - with a special challenge from Radio NZ to perform a live remix of the Morning Report theme :)

Learn more about the Roland DJ-808 for Serato DJ.

Serato Sep 27, 2016

Congratulations to Denon DJ for taking out the "Ultimate DJ Controller" category with the MCX8000, at the 2016 DJ Mag Tech Awards! 

This powerful controller has dedicated control for the latest Serato DJ features including Serato Flip, Pitch 'n Time DJ key shifting and key sync, as well as features that have become standard such as cues, loops, library, Beatgrid editing, Slicer, samples, sync, keylock etc. With the added bonus of in-built screens, Engine compatibility and DVS upgrade capability, it offers a uniquely flexible controller for a home setup, bar or club.


Key Features

  • Serato DJ Enabled - requires no additional software license and is plug-and-play.
  • 2 high definition on-board displays to move your focus away from the computer.
  • Comes with Pitch 'n Time DJ license included.
  • Unique Key Mode allowing you to trigger cue points on the performance pads, whilst simultaneously key shifting for easy tone play.
  • Dedicated hardware control for Serato Flip Expansion Pack for creating edits and advanced cue point performance.
  • 2 USB inputs for Denon DJ Engine standalone technology.
  • 4-deck control for Serato DJ.
  • Serato DVS Upgrade ready.
  • Professional 4-channel digital mixer with 2 microphone inputs.
  • 3 built-in instant effects for Engine playback and line inputs.
  • Velocity-sensitive, RGB lit performance pads for Cues, Loop Roll, Slicer and Samples.
  • Ethernet connection to control lighting and video.
  • Strong Metal construction and low profile design.

The Denon DJ MCX8000 is supported as a plug-and-play Serato DJ Enabled controller, requiring no extra software license. With the purchase of a DVS Expansion Pack license you can connect turntables / CDJs and use Serato Control Vinyl or CDs.

Download Serato DJ software.

Serato Sep 27, 2016

Fool's Gold producer-don and DJ powerhouse A Trak brings us a breezy, synth-charged single with "Parallel Lines'. Featuring vocals from indie-pop duo Phantogram, this pressing comes as an exclusive clear 7" record with audio on the A side and Serato CV02.5 Control Tone on the B side. 


  • Side A - A-Trak "Parallel Lines" ft Phantogram
  • Side B - Serato Control Tone CV02.5

Only a handful of these were pressed - don't sleep on this one! 

7" Serato Pressing - A-Trak "Parallel Lines" ft Phantogram (single) - buy here. 

Serato Sep 27, 2016


Serato and Roland announce the first DJ controller from Roland, the DJ-808. A professional 4-channel DJ controller with built-in drum sequencing, vocal processing, external instrument connectivity and deep Serato DJ integration. This will redefine what it means to DJ.

Developed in close collaboration with both companies from the very beginning, Serato’s software expertise is combined with Roland’s excellence in hardware to develop the most advanced piece of DJ hardware yet. The integration of a drum machine with a DJ controller opens the door to an entirely new way of DJ expression, and the 808 is an iconic place to begin.

See the DJ-808 up close and in action.

For the first time, there is an instrument for DJs that allows seamless movement between the DJ booth, live stage or the studio. Serato and Roland worked closely to ensure professional level quality and a vinyl like scratch experience with some of the lowest latency platters of any DJ controller in the market today. There is deep integration with Serato DJ, having the most advanced set of DJ performance controls available. The DJ-808 has endless possibilities for DJs - it brings the studio, booth and stage closer than ever before.


Roland DJ-808 Features

  • Integrated TR-S drum machine offering the iconic 606, 707, 808 and 909 drum sounds in a 16-step sequencer, which can also trigger the newly improved 8-slot Serato DJ Sampler.
  • RGB coloured performance pads give performers and DJs control for all the usual Serato DJ features such as Hot Cues, Loop Roll, Slicer, Sampler as well as TR Pad Mode for the drum machine and Pitch Play.
  • The unique Roland VT Voice Transformer is something new for Serato DJs, offering a number of powerful effects including pitch shifting and vocal key matching to playing tracks via the Auto Pitch feature.
  • Two AIRA link USB ports offering seamless connection with Roland synths and instruments. This offers a huge range of creative possibilities for live performance rigs, remixing and music production.
  • Control for all of the professional level Serato DJ features such as Serato Flip, Pitch ‘n Time DJ Key Shifting and Sync, Looping and all library and play controls.
  • Serato DJ Enabled - no extra license required. Also includes a license for Pitch ‘n Time DJ.
  • Purchase the DVS Expansion Pack and connect turntables or CDJs.
  • 24bit/96kHz audio fidelity
  • Dual-deck mode to control two Serato DJ decks simultaneously
  • Large range 100mm pitch faders for accurate level control in the mix
  • 1/8” and 1/4” headphones jacks, combo XLR input jacks, built-in phono pre-amp, and audiophile sound quality

Learn even more about the DJ-808 DJ Controller.

Serato Sep 27, 2016

The 2016 Global Spin DJ Expo is a special event happening on the 17th September in New York City for DJs to try out the latest in music technology, network and be part of the culture. Scratch DJ Academy will be there offering DJ lessons and much more...

"The GSDJE expo promises to bring together the global DJ community for one day of education, innovation and inspiration.  The GSDJE is sure to create a unique opportunity for our Sponsors and Exhibitors to connect with consumers receptive to music technology, services, music culture and lifestyle brands. The expo insures to connect attendees with the world’s leading music resources to help guide those who DJ as a hobby as well as those who are serious about their careers and wanting greater success."

- From GSDJE website.


Metropolitan Pavilion – 125 West 18th Street, New York City.


Saturday 9-17-16, 12pm - 6pm.

Head to the Global Spin DJ Expo website to buy tickets.

Serato Sep 27, 2016

As you might have seen in the media, iconic London club Fabric might have to close its doors and we don't want to see that happen. Fabric is a staple in London nightlife and has been open since 1999, had over 5000 artists perform and seen countless artists gain chart success after breaking tunes there.

Recently Fabric has been in the spotlight after two tragic drug-related deaths and the subsequent suspension of their license that's closed the venue until the local Islington council meets to decide on its future. 

With support from over 50,000 DJs as well as the Mayor of London, the #SaveFabric campaign is in full swing to stop the loss of even more London nightlife but still needs more support. 

Read more and sign the petition to Save Fabric!

Serato Sep 27, 2016

With 7,170,034 minutes of SeratoCast listened and over 50 mixes released, listen to the one that started it all... DJ Jazzy Jeff: Sometimes I Just Want To Play Some Music. 

Listen to other SeratoCast mixes from Serato Artists.

Serato Sep 27, 2016

Do your scratches have a unique flow? How do you practice and develop this? DJ Angelo shows how to train your scratch flow in his first episode of Cut Class for BPM Supreme.

Check out more from BPM Supreme.

Serato Sep 27, 2016

Watch a new video from Denon DJ with LigOne, performing his Origami routine on the MCX8000 for Serato DJ. Check out his use of Pitch Play, a new feature for performing interesting tone-play routines which can be accessed directly on this controller.

See other routines from Serato DJs.

DJTechTools Aug 26, 2016

Serato and Roland released a splash page on Serato’s site that teases an exciting partnership for both DJs and producers. The details are unclear as to what device and/or software the two companies have been cooking up in the lab. We have the latest and will be release further updates in the coming weeks as more news is released.

What We Know

This partnership is something that has been brewing for a while according to a teaser video from Serato. Shinsuke Takami, Planning Group Manager of Roland, began talking to Nick Maclaren, Head of Product Strategy of Serato, in Fall 2013. Since then, it is assumed that both companies have come together to work on product development; using resources from both sides.


The tagline for this partnership is, “World Class Software meets World Class Hardware”. This hints at a possible collaboration involving a device manufactured by Roland with Serato software. We know both companies are investing in the future of electronic music performance. What could they be working on?

Speculate and Wait

The full announcement will be coming out on September 9th, 2016 as part of the 909 Day worldwide celebration. Serato is hosting a live stream of the event from Auckland that includes “a special announcement”. Many are starting to speculate as to what this partnership will bring. A few ideas include:

  • AIRA DJ Gear
  • A “Bridge” between Serato and Roland Gear
  • Drum Synthesizers in Serato
  • Full MIDI Integration

DJ TechTools is just as curious as the rest of the world. We will be keeping a close watch on Serato and we will report back on 909 Day with (hopefully) more news as to what this partnership means. Watch the teaser video on Serato’s website.

Do you have an idea as to what this partnership could bring?

Let us know below!

The post Breaking: Serato and Roland Announce Partnership appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Aug 26, 2016

One of the hardest parts about the business of being a dance music producer is getting your tracks in places where listeners can hear and buy them. But unlesss you’re signed to a label or have a great distribution partner, this can be a challenge, and services will charge serious percentages of your earnings. Today, we take a closer look at Ditto – a service that hopes to simplify this process and reduce fees for music producers.

Selling tracks online is how many dance music producers make a steady income (especially if they’re not playing gigs regularly). Therefore, it?s vital for artists to distribute tracks to electronic-oriented platforms – Beatport in particular – in addition to the mainstream stores/services like iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.

With these DJ-focused stores, you?re guaranteed to reach an audience more likely to buy. This can make all the difference to your total sales and the royalties you stand to earn – and ultimately will be a major factor in your financial success as an artist.

How Producers Get Music In Digital Stores

You?re an independent DJ with a back-catalogue of tracks that you?re ready to get out to your fans; but where do you start? First of all, you?ll need to find a good music aggregator.

A music aggregator will get your music into the online stores and out to your fans. Choosing the right aggregator is particularly important, especially for DJs and producers looking to get their music onto the best platforms for the best price. Unfortunately, there are very few aggregators who will distribute music to Beatport. Of those that do, producers may have to pay extra charges or sacrifice some of your royalties to get your tracks on to the most important platforms for DJs and producers.

However, independent music distributors Ditto Music have just launched a new unlimited distribution service aimed specifically at DJs and producers, offering everything they need to get their music into the biggest mainstream and EDM-oriented stores in one simple package. It?s called Ditto DJ Plus.

Ditto: Release + Monetize Music 


  • Service: Ditto DJ Plus
  • Company: Ditto Music
  • Price: $149 per year

The key feature of Ditto Music’s “DJ Plus” plan it to allowing unlimited releases for almost every store that DJs and producers find to be important – and they’ve managed to do it while charging only an annual fee. The process to release a track is pretty simple. Create a new release (see image above) and add artwork and images, then add your tracks:


Then Ditto offers you an easy selection option to decide where you want to release your music:



The stores include Beatport and Juno, as well as iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and other streaming and download platforms.

The service costs Ł99/$149 per year and comes with a number of added benefits. Most importantly, the artist keeps 100% of the rights and royalties to their music – and all of the money they earned from the sales of tracks. If you happen to already have a Ditto Plus subscription, the introductory price is Ł49/$79 for the first year.

Other Music Aggregators


There are other music distribution companies to choose from, but most do not distribute music to Beatport at all. This leaves DJs and producers without a way to get their music into the world?s most popular electronic music store.

Tunecore is one of the biggest players in the indie music distribution industry, but they do not offer the option to distribute to Beatport or Juno, which means that DJs using their service will miss out on the platform?s massive potential.

The same is true for CD Baby and DistroKid. However, when it comes to CD Baby, not only will their clients miss out on distribution to Beatport, but also a 9% cut of their royalties, which the company will take from your earnings as part of their service.

Now finding a company who will distribute music to Beatport, specifically, is not hard. There are smaller aggregators out there which do release music to Beatport but be careful with less established distributors. Companies like Level, Label Engine (Lazy Rich‘s project), and Labelworx all offer distribution deals to Beatport. The cavet is that commission is often 20% or more of the artist’s royalties. (Some aggregators even charge monthly fees too!) It is also important to point out that many of these companies who distribute to Beatport are for independent labels. An independent artist using one of these label-focused services may often find low returns on investments.

Things to Consider

Make sure to ask yourself the important questions before signing up to their service. Do you trust them with your music? Is their pricing clear? Will you keep all of your royalty earnings? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then it is unlikely to be the best option for you. A simple earnings projection can also help a lot here as it can help you understand what cost-structure is best for your level of predicted music sales. In the digital age, it is very important to have clear and concise control over your music. Copyrights, royalties, and distribution are intricate parts of the music industry. The task of finding a professional company to guide you through the process is crucial.

Get Up and Running with Ditto

You can find out more about Ditto DJ Plus and try the service for yourself here. You can start adding tracks to your account for free to familiarize yourself with the process.

You?ll be able to start uploading your music and planning your releases straight away after signing up. Then just sit back and watch as your tracks appear on Beatport, iTunes, Spotify, Juno and any other music stores you choose. In our research, Ditto appears to be one of the best music aggregators around and depending on how much music a producer is looking to release, the DJ Plus plan is a killer investment.

Do you use a music aggregator to distribute your music? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below?

The post Ditto: Get Tracks On Beatport / Juno / iTunes Without Fees? appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Aug 26, 2016
In this week's Friday Roundup, we've got a feature on why great DJs aren't afraid to take risks during their sets, even if it means clearing the floor just to try something new. We've also got a piece that ponders whether DJing's lowered barriers to entry have killed the art form (spoiler: they haven't). These and more in our weekly roundup of news. The post Friday Roundup: You?re Not A True DJ...

DigitalDJTips Aug 26, 2016
Serato just announced a partnership with Roland, the Japanese music giant behind legendary synthesisers and genre-defining drum machines like the TR-808 and TR-909. The only detail shared was that the two companies are working on something that will "redefine what it means to be a DJ", which will be unveiled on 9 September 2016. The post Serato Partners With Roland, New Project Underway appeared...

Serato Aug 26, 2016

Serato announces a new partnership with Roland, a world leader in music hardware.

Serato and Roland are joining forces to create something truly unique and that will redefine what it means to be a DJ. Drawing on the combined experience of both companies, this shared vision will be realised in a special announcement on "909 Day" (September 9th).

Young Ly, Serato CEO says: "Roland is an exciting new partner for Serato. It's inspiring to be working closely with a company with such rich heritage and expertise in the musical performance and production world, and responsible for so much of the music that DJs play night after night. Both companies are closely aligned in our vision for the future of DJing and performance, and we're excited to reveal this to the world."

As part of the 909 Day worldwide celebration, Serato HQ will be hosting a streaming event live from Auckland, New Zealand, where a special announcement will be made. You don't want to miss this!

Sign up to be the first to know.

DJTechTools Aug 25, 2016

Pioneer is back at it again with another product release. This time,  they’ve decided to bring some of the exclusive features of the CDJ-2000NXS2 down to the more affordable XDJ range. Check out the new features of the updated XDJ-1000MK2 and get the DJTT low-down.



While it doesn’t seem like a major overhaul compared to the original, the new features and workflow improvements make the XDJ-1000MK2 a much more powerful player. However, just like the Nexus-2 line, this update has come along with a slight price bump. It does make us wonder if some fo the new features will make it to the original XDJ-1000 (with a firmware update) or if it’s being left behind.

There is no word if Pioneer is planning to work with Traktor and Serato to ensure these work via HID yet.  We are still waiting for them to add this along with timecode support to the Nexus 2 range so if you rely heavily on this feature you might want to hold off on buying till this intergeneration is clear.

Price: $1199/?1299

Availability: Mid-to-Late September 2016 (click here to pre-order yours at the DJTT store)


  • The XDJ-1000MK2 inherits high-quality audio from the CDJ-2000NXS2. Along RCA outputs, a digital output sends pristine audio, and the power circuit for analogue audio is completely separate from the digital circuit, reducing noise.
  • FLAC & ALAC playback is now supported for high-quality sound, as well as MP3, AAC, WAV and AIFF files.
  • Upgraded High-resolution colour LED touch screen (again, same one as the CDJ-2000NXS2) with RGB waveform view
  • Finding the right track to play next is easy thanks to Track Filter, which filters tracks by My Tag, BPM and key, and the new Matching feature displays tracks you’ve previously tagged when they’re mixed with the track that’s playing.
  • 8 Hot Cues are now supported compared to the traditional 3 on most Pioneer players.
  • RekordboxDJ Plus Pack compatibility is a given and the software will be updated soon to extend support for it.
  • You can now plug a DDJ-SP1 to control your Hot Cues, auto loops and Slip Mode. One DDJ-SP1 can control up to four XDJ multiplayers using Pro DJ Link.
  • Pro DJ Link offers seamless integration and shares beat grid information with the new TORAIZ SP-16.


Click to view slideshow.

Sticking with your setup or is it a worthy upgrade for you? Join the discussion below!

Want to be the first to know when units are shipping? Click here

The post XDJ-1000MK2: Upgraded Audio, Browsing & Display appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Aug 25, 2016
Pioneer DJ just announced the XDJ-1000MK2 multi player. It builds on the original XDJ-1000 released last year by including library browsing features like Track Filter and Track Matching, both of which are inherited from the flagship CDJ-2000NXS2 media player. It also supports high resolution FLAC and ALAC lossless music files. The post Pioneer DJ XDJ-1000MK2 Launched, Improves Browsing appeared...