DJTechTools Dec 5, 2016

On Friday night, the local electronic nightlife community here in the Bay Area experienced a terrible tragedy: a massive fire at an underground venue in Oakland. The event was a showcase of DJs and live electronic musicians. We’ve heard from many local DJTT friends and community members who have been affected by the disaster. Inside, we discuss how event promoters and organizers can make their events safer.

Author’s Note: If you have the means, consider donating to one of the fire relief funds set up for victims and their families of the Ghost Ship fire – one run by the local non-profit Gray Area For The Arts, the other by the Oakland Athletics and Raiders teams.   

From Orlando’s Pulse To Oakland’s Ghost Ship

It’s been an emotionally challenging year for nightlife in the United States. There have been two major disasters (a mass shooting in Orlando in June, and Saturday morning’s fire in Oakland) in places that the dance music community holds sacred. Clubs, after-hours parties, warehouse events, label showcases: these environments allow people an exciting, accepting, and positive escape from reality.

Amanda Allen?s last posted picture on Facebook was of Johnny Igaz, aka DJ Nackt, spinning at Ghost Ship (Image and caption via 48 Hills)

“Amanda Allen?s last posted picture on Facebook was of Johnny Igaz, aka DJ Nackt, spinning at Ghost Ship” (Image and caption via 48 Hills)

Many DJs and promoters in our local scene feel a sense of apprehension about the future of the already suppressed underground scene in San Francisco and Oakland. I’d love to believe that fire departments and city code enforcers could help to educate event coordinators about improving the safety of parties. For now, that feels too optimistic.

Some commentary has done a good job of framing this incident in the larger context of above-board venues continuing to get increased pressure from authorities around the world:

In a well-composed Facebook post about the Ghost Ship fire, Fest300 Creative Director and writer Eamon Armstrong summarizes the crossroads of safety and culture that many DJs, promoters, party goers and underground venue owners face:

“How can we come together to make the Bay Area alternative scene safer? For we must preserve it even as Ghost Ship becomes ground zero for a crack down on unconventional venues and living spaces. Even while we hold people responsible on every level we mustn?t give up on the promise of communities like these.”

What Can Event Organizers Do To Improve Safety?

Here’s the good news: there are things that everyone involved in the production of any type of music event can do to make it a safer environment. Here’s a starting list of suggestions – but share your own ideas in the comments and vote up the ones you think need to be featured.

Do A Pre-Event Safety Walk-through

Just like how musicians have sound check, event organizers should always have a final walk-through before any space opens to the public. Have the entire environment set up exactly how it will be when full of people and walk through the entire space. Pay attention to “flow”: can you move through the space? Do you know where you’re going? Where is the closest exit?

Be Your Own Fire Inspector

inspector-extinguisher

For a lot of venues, a fire department inspector is their worst nightmare. Aside from police officers, they’re some of the only people who can immediately shut down a venue and evacuate it for seemingly minor reasons.

When setting up for an event, it doesn’t hurt to put yourself in the mindset of a fire inspector. Some of the things to think about when preparing a venue:

  • Are the exits clearly marked? Have two exits, more if possible.
  • Are there fire extinguishers, are they visible, and fully charged?
  • What in the room is combustible? Are there any dangerous potential ignition sources nearby? (electrical wiring near curtains, sound insulation near hot lights, indoor smoking areas)
  • Is the electricity set up in a safe way in the venue?

Make Specific Plans For Disasters

1705-2-11-sample-1

Making a plan forces you to consider things live evacuation routes, fire extinguisher placement, etc.

In almost every type of disaster preparedness, the most important thing is to create a plan before anything happens. Nearly every government agency that deals with disasters focuses on this as the best way to prevent a worst-case scenario. All the people working an event (DJs, bouncers, promoters, bartenders, coat check) should know what the plan is so that they can communicate it to a crowd looking for direction in a crisis.

Here’s a three things to do the first sign of any kind of trouble in a dance music event – from a fist fight to an earthquake:

  • Stop the music at the first signs of trouble
  • Turn on/up the lights
  • Have a microphone ready to be able to ask people to leave, direct them, call security, etc

Take Action Immediately

There’s a well-documented phenomenon in crisis situations (read about it in Amanda Ripley’s The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why) where the initial reaction is to unconsciously deny that there is anything going wrong. This wastes valuable time in life-or-death situations.

The first in Ripley’s book is from a NIST study on 9/11 World Trade Center survivors. After the first tower was hit, on average people took six minutes before evacuating – many of them making phone calls, organizing their desks, etc â€“ even after they knew something was wrong:

“Why do we procrastinate leaving? The denial phase is a humbling one. It takes a while to come to terms with our miserable luck. Rowley puts it this way: “Fires only happen to other people.” We have a tendency to believe that everything is ok because, well, it almost always has before.”

Having a specific plan for a disaster, and people who have a responsibility to execute that plan, can help break through these first moments of delay and inaction.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help From A Professional

If you’re building a space that will regularly be used for events, reach out to an expert to help you plan your space and make it as safe as possible. For underground venues, this doesn’t mean you need to start having public inspections. Particularly in the wake of the Ghost Ship fire, many safety and fire professionals are eager to help below-code spaces to prevent future disasters.

At the very least, read Gui Cavalcanti’s Medium post, “A Guide To Fire Safety in Industrial Spaces” – he does a great job of emphasizing the things that any space with public assembly events should be paying attention to.

Header image credit: Ashim D?Silva on Unsplash

Share your own thoughts on nightclub and underground safety in the comments below. We’ll feature the comments with the best suggestions.

The post How Can Promoters + DJs Keep Events Safe? appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Dec 5, 2016
Pioneer DJ has consistently churned out controllers yearly, starting with the groundbreaking DDJ-SX that took four-channel controllers mainstream. It has also kept a close eye on the casual DJ market: We take a look at the DDJ-WeGO4, the latest WeGO model that brings a sleeker profile and an updated list of compatible DJ apps. The post Review & Video: Pioneer DJ DDJ-WeGO4 Rekordbox DJ...

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DigitalDJTips Dec 4, 2016
Digital DJ Tips reader Karlton writes: "I am trying to figure out how to 'read' a waveform. In other words, 'what do all the pretty colours mean?' I am trying to differentiate what the different colours in the waveform represent as in snare, kick, high hat, vocals, bass etc." The post Your Questions: How Do I "Read" The Colours In DJ Waveforms? appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Dec 3, 2016
Digital DJ Tips Platinum Group member Aaron writes: "Just had one of those 'ugh, that sucked' practice sessions where nothing felt right, nothing flowed, and so on. Got me wondering: How do you push through such moments? Do you keep after it? Take it as a sign to rest for a bit?" The post Your Questions: What To Do When My Practice Session Sucked? appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Dec 3, 2016
"I aint happy, I'm feelin' glad, / I got sunshine, in a bag. / I'm useless, but not for long. / The future is coming on..." So sang virtual band Gorillaz, and with robots on the decks, clubs you don't have to turn up at, and the frightening speed of progress of DJ booths over the past 40 years all featured in this week's Friday Roundup of interesting stuff from around the web, we reckon they had...

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DJTechTools Dec 2, 2016

The last year has been full of new advancements in machine learning, automated jobs, and artificial intelligence. In a new heavily branded video making the rounds, a robot designed for vehicle manufacturing jobs “learns how to scratch” from DJ Yoda. It makes for a unique advertisement – but turntablists shouldn’t be afraid of this robot.

In the DJTT inbox this week was a new clip of a robot “learning how to scratch” from a DJ Yoda, a British DJ. The robot in question is called “YuMi”, a collaborative robot – built to work along with humans on an assembly line. Watch the video put out showing off the robot learning how to DJ below.

Be warned, the video is very obviously an advertisement for the Ford Fiesta. Skip over that part!  

Notice that we don’t actually see very much action from the robot in this video. What we do learn is that DJ Yoda found one the hardest parts was communicating with the coders behind the robot – and teaching them how to code the bot to play in time with the beat.

But even with precise coding behind every cut, did the robot actually hold its own in the performance? Watch for yourself – we clipped this video from a longer livestream:

The performance starts with Yoda (also onstage, not seen in the beginning) scratching over nothing, YuMi moves the crossfader and plays a track, and Yoda cuts over the beat. There’s a few very basic baby scratches from the robot, and the two go back and forth for a bit.

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By the end of the routine, it’s clear to the viewer: this is a gimmick. The robot is playing a pre-set routine, and it’s not very refined. Maybe with more time from the coders it would be able to pass the turntablist version of a Turing Test, but it’s an awkward performance to anyone with a sense of timing.

So robots made to build cars aren’t going to be winning DJ battles anytime soon – but what about robots made to scratch? They’re already here:

The Scratching Robot DJs Should Fear

General purpose bots just aren’t cut out for the task of cutting on command. But last year we featured the incredible Scratchbot project by DJTT community member Mushrooshi that impressively emulated DJ-style cutting and scratching automation:

Read more about the Scratchbot in the video above in this DJTT feature. 

Couple this with a bit of artificial intelligence that has processed thousands of scratch routines. Then teach it how to create phrases and sequences on the fly, and you could genuinely have a cybernetic version of Qbert in just a few years. Entering a robot to compete in the 2017 DMC World Championship isn’t that crazy of an idea â€“ someone just needs to make it happen.

Know of a legitimate development in robotics or AI that would be interesting to DJs? Let us know in the comments! 

The post Will Assembly Line Robot DJs Take Over for Turntablists? Not Yet. appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Dec 2, 2016

French software company Mixvibes has broken new ground with an announcement of Ableton Link integration on their two softwares, Remixlive and Mixvibes Cross. Link has been adopted by Serato, Traktor, and many iOS apps – but this is the first software that includes support on Android devices. Keep reading for the details.

Remixlive + Cross = Ableton Linkable, Even On Android

Mixvibes recently announced that Remixlive, their loop sequencing application – can now play along their longtime DJ app, Mixvibes Cross. Two separate devices operating on a shared Wi-Fi network can work in tandem, allowing sequencing in Remixlive to be synced with the DJ mix taking place on Cross DJ.

How? Both apps have gained Ableton Link functionality that allows the syncing to take place. From the Mixvibes website:

?Ableton Link is a technology that syncs the beat, phase and tempo of Ableton Live, Cross DJ Pro and any Link-enabled app. You can now send audio from Remixlive to other Audiobus and Inter-App compatible music apps on the same device. It allows you to combine several music apps simultaneously to create unique performances.?

This integration of syncable sequencing presents new possibilities for users of Cross DJ – but even more excitingly, these are the very first apps on Android to be able to connect to an Ableton Link network. This means Android users can now sync these apps with an increasing number of computer and iOS based apps – like Ableton Live, Serato DJ, Traktor Pro 2, and a whole swath of iOS music making apps.

What’s Ableton Link?

According to Ableton?s website, it’s

?a technology that keeps devices in time over a local network, so you can forget the hassle of setting up and focus on playing music. Link is now part of Live, and also comes as a built-in feature of other music applications.?

This decision to allow third-party music apps to build in Ableton Link functionality into their existing software – meaning that it is possible that more DJ software companies will offer Ableton Link integration, further expanding performance possibilities. Ableton even offers development kits for Link to get developers started on software integration.

Who is Mixvibes?

Mixvibes is no stranger to the DJ world. Although not usually included in the traditional listing of DJ software, Mixvibes offers a full-featured DJ software including a digital vinyl system (Mixvibes DVS), extensive MIDI integration, as well as Pioneer CDJ integration. Since their launch in 1999, Mixvibes? software has been used over 10 million times by DJs and producers.

The post Mixvibes Cross: Ableton Link on Android appeared first on DJ TechTools.

Serato Dec 2, 2016
 
Whether you're looking to show off your slick DJ Name in a crazy font, show drink specials at the bar or display a logo, Serato Video Text and Image Effects is a great tool. What's even better, is that you can save these effects so that they're ready each time you play.

Text & Image effects within Serato Video allow you to enter your own text or select images from your computer to display over the main video output. In addition, you'll be able customise the look and feel of the image or text with alignment and animation configurations.

Where can I find Image & Text effects?  

How do I create and edit a Image or Text Effect?

 To create an Image Effect:

 1) Select the image you wish to display by clicking on the 'IMAGE' button

 NOTE: Compatible File Types: .jpg, .png (and .bmp on Windows computers).

 2) Select the image alignment, animation and speed configurations where applicable. 

 NOTE: When selecting the ZOOM BASS or ZOOM BPM animation, it must be applied to the 'L' or 'R' orientation as it requires an audio file overview to synchronise with the audio stream.

 3) To turn the Image Effect ON, select the ON button on the right hand end of the Image Effect panel. 

How do I save this Image Effect? 

Once you're satisfied with this image and the settings click the save icon (floppy disk). This Image will now be saved to your Image Effect drop down list.

To edit a saved Image Effect, load this effect, make the preferred changes then select the save icon again. This will update the Image effect with the new configurations.

To Create a Text Effect:

1) Enter the Text you wish to display in the get input field

2) Select the font, colour, alignment, animation & speed configurations where applicable.

NOTE: When selecting the ZOOM BASS or ZOOM BPM animation it must be applied to the 'L' or 'R' orientation as it requires an audio file overview to synchronise with the audio stream

3) To turn the Text Effect ON, select the ON button on the right hand end of the Text Effect panel

How do I save this Text Effect?

Like the Image Effect, once you're satisfied with this text and its configurations click the save icon (floppy disk). This text will now be saved to your Text Effect drop down list.

To edit a saved Text Effect, load this effect, make the preferred changes then select the save icon again. This will update the Image Effect with the new configurations.

Learn more about Serato DJ.

DigitalDJTips Dec 1, 2016
Pioneer DJ sells a range of DJ controllers suited to the home end of the market, so it's not a surprise to see the company also launching speakers that would pair well with such controllers. The DM-40s, at a price point of around US$150, on paper appear to fill just that gap in Pioneer DJ's range. But how good are they? The post Review & Video: Pioneer DJ DM-40 Active Monitor Speakers...

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DigitalDJTips Dec 1, 2016
Special Waves Mine is a Midi controller with a difference: You make it up on a blank board, using blocks, to construct a bespoke controller from the five available physical modules. the end result is a controller in the Push/Maschine vein, but "built" to your own specifications. The post Special Waves Mine: A Smart New Modular Controller appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DJTechTools Nov 30, 2016

Organizing your music as a digital DJs is an underwhelming and often frustrating experience.  Many DJs have years of history in iTunes, others have organized their tracks within Serato, Traktor, or Rekordbox. No one has really built a good alternative to iTunes for DJs – so that’s team behind SpinTools hopes to do.

What’s Wrong With iTunes?

Because of convenience, price (free), and ubiquitousness, has historically been the most common music organization tool for DJs. Just because something is easy doesn’t mean it’s a good tool.

Anyone remember iTunes 1.0? (Screenshot via Ars Technica)

Anyone remember iTunes 1.0? (Screenshot via Ars Technica)

iTunes’ development has bloated the software. It was once just an ID3 metadata editor, playlist organizer, CD burner, internet radio player, and mind-blowing visualizer (it had nothing on WinAmp). It was designed for music listeners (not DJs, since in 2001 there were very few digital DJs). Since then, the software has added features for watching movies, subscribing to podcasts, streaming on Apple Music, syncing iPods, iPhones, and iPads, etc.

One of the main forces behind the development of Spintools is Timothy Stoyanovski, aka Stoyvo. We asked him about iTunes’ biggest flaws for DJs, and he shared:

“The biggest issue with iTunes is its compatibility. iTunes was developed for the general public use and not specifically for DJs, thus causing issues with applications such as Serato. iTunes has a great collection of organization and meta-data editing tools, it?s very powerful, however it doesn?t quiet fit the needs of a DJ.

With the growing DJ population I?m surprised we don?t have a tool specifically built for our needs ? a library management tool with tag editing and ability to edit hot cues and/or loops. iTunes will never expand it?s toolset for DJs, rather it?s just a good solution for now until something better comes along.”

What Is SpinTools?

A very early screenshot of SpinTools

A very early screenshot of SpinTools from their blog (click to zoom)

It’s important to note that SpinTools is an independent project being developed by Stoyvo. Some of the iTunes alternatives for DJs we’ve seen in the past have come secondary to a different objective. For example, Beatport Pro is focused on selling tracks on Beatport – and the DJ organization is really secondary to that. Similarly, library management inside of Traktor/Serato/VDJ/Rekordbox all want you to use their software to DJ with.

SpinTools, which is still in a pre-beta development stage, envisions itself as a library management system expressly for DJs. Stoyvo writes:

“[No software] really suits [DJs] needs with managing our actual crates, media files, platform specific data (Serato cue points vs Traktor), and statistics about what we play.

SpinTools will allow you to find duplicates, organize tracks, edit cue points and loops, sync across applications (Serato and Traktor to start), edit ID3 tags, alert you of missing hot tracks (trends), and most importantly statistics. By analyzing your history we can tell you what tracks you play most often, which tracks you never have played, and eventually be able to identify ?routines? you may not notice doing. It?s a swiss army knife of DJ specific tools, less apps you need to bounce between just to stay organized.”

Could you do much of this in your own DJ software? Sure – but that’s not their core focus, elaborates Stoyvo:

 â€œ[..] live performance applications (such as Serato) were not built with library management as their top priority, and over the years we haven?t seen any change in this space. With SpinTools, library management is our top priority and our tool set will be much more versatile than your common DJ app.”

Moving From Prototype to DJ Utility

The SpinTools software is clearly still in a very alpha state. But what matters it that a developer is attempting to create a new tool that makes a mostly unpolished process (library organization) for DJs and makes it better.

Baby steps: the tag editor in SpinTools

Baby steps: the tag editor in SpinTools

On their blog, SpinTools development progress is charted publicly. There are screenshots of the features as they’ve built â€“ including a tag editor, crate management tool, and media player.

Basic crate creation from folder structures

Basic crate creation from folder structures

They’ve built a Trends tool that shows what tracks are charting on Beatport, Billboard, and DJ City and will note which songs a user has out of those charts (ideal for mobile DJs).

A basic player with loops, cue points, memory cues (click to zoom)

A basic player with loops, cue points, memory cues (click to zoom)

The most exciting part is that SpinTools is being built by DJs who actually want to hear what features other DJs want in their library software – Stoyvo writes:

“The DJ community is very important to us, we are also DJs at SpinTools. We believe that communication is very important and a lot of these big application developers don?t communicate with their users. SpinTools has a blog to help communicate our current status in development, but will also be used to help DJs effectively use the tool with tips and tutorials. For the time being we are available on our Facebook page and Serato forum.”

Based on a recent blog post, the software is slated for an Alpha release by the end of 2016, and then there’s a decent chance we’ll see it in action at NAMM 2017 in January.

What do you want to see in a bespoke DJ library management software? Share in the comments below!

The post SpinTools: Alternative to iTunes For DJs Coming Soon? appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 30, 2016
Enter the Audio Technica ATH-PRO700MK2, a pair of headphones that promise professional sound and rugged build at a good price. They're not a new model and they've been around for a few years now, but we received a fresh unit for review and thought we'd give them a go. Are they any good? We find out... The post Review & Video: Audio Technica ATH-PRO700MK2 Headphones appeared first on Digital...

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Serato Nov 29, 2016

 

Join Roland and Guitar Center for a detailed look at this trailblazing new instrument that breaks the barriers between DJing, performance, and production.

The all-new DJ-808 is the first DJ instrument to combine Serato DJ software with a built-in TR drum machine (808, 909, 707, 606) and sample sequencer. With AIRA Link USB ports, VT Vocal Transformer, ultra high-performance platters, and layers of performance pad features, the DJ-808 expands creative possibilities for DJs, producers and electronic musicians. Prizes and giveaways at all events.

EVENT SCHEDULE

  • Dec. 2- Detroit, MI w. Amp Fiddler - RSVP here
  • Dec. 3- C.Houston, TX  - RSVP here
  • Dec. 6- Boston, MA  - RSVP here
  • Dec. 7- Chicago, IL - RSVP here
  • Dec. 8- Las Vegas, NV - RSVP here
  • Dec. 8- Rockville, MD w. DJ Trayze (2016 Redbull Thre3Style US Champ) - RSVP here
  • Dec. 10- Concord, CA - RSVP here
  • Dec. 12- Atlanta, GA - RSVP here
  • Dec. 14- Hallandale, FL - RSVP here
  • Dec. 14- Hollywood, CA w. Melo-D (Beat Junkies) - RSVP here
  • Dec. 15- NY, NY, Union Square w. Nadus -RSVP here
  • Dec. 16- NY, NY Times Square w. DJ Scratch - RSVP here

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

DJTechTools Nov 28, 2016

From the coming soon on Kickstarter department, meet the Mine modular controller. It’s a MIDI controller with removable modules that lock into to a circuit board. Keep reading to learn about this boutique controller project!

Mine and Mines: Modular MIDI Controllers

  • Project: Mine modular controllers
  • Manufacturer: Specialwaves
  • Availability: Launching on Kickstarter in January
  • Expected Price: Unknown.

The Mine is a system of two circuit board cases that allow anyone to pop in standalone modules to their exact design. The larger Mine can fit up to 64 modules on it, while the smaller Mine S can fit  32

In terms of I/O, there’s a power adapter port (additional power for LEDs), a USB-B connector for plugging into your computer, and more USB-A ports to daisy chain other devices (two on the Mine, one on the Mine S).

6meglio-cosi-1-1

There are five modules that have been designed for the Mine system so far:

  • Pad module (velocity and pressure sensitive with RGB backlighting)
  • 2 Buttons module (similar to the size of the pads on the APC40MK2, with RGB backlighting)
  • Encoder module (endless rotary with pushbutton switch)
  • Pot module (a center-detent rotary potentiometer)
  • Slider module (a 60mm fader)

Specialwaves also mentions that they want to design future jogwheel, trackpad, display modules.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-nov-27-18-42-pm

The Modules are a clip-in design, meaning they can easily be attached to the board, but are stable once attached and need a special tool to unclip them and remove.

extract-fader

The Mine and Mine S cases are pretty simple-but-elegant. It’s a rounded wood design that looks clean and polished. One open question: what do you do with spaces that don’t have a module plugged into them

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-nov-27-20-14-pm

One particularly cool feature is on the software side – the software editor is able to automatically recognize what modules are plugged in where, including orientation. You can push settings back to the module as well – like encoder acceleration to a specific module.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-nov-27-21-59-pm

DIY Controller Design

A bit of an editorial here about modular controllers: many people have flirted with modular projects like this in the DJ and production space. It’s a very attractive concept. But typically these modular systems are expensive, have varying degrees of quality, and see challenges when trying to find an intended user.

“Mine is the controller that adapt itself to the user, not the contrary!”

Modular gear is great – being able to swap in and out individual components of a rig to have a setup that reflects how you want to play live. But a modular control system like Mine removes any intentional use design from the product and puts that on the end-user. It’s on the other end of the spectrum of highly specialized controllers like Faderfoxes, Midi Fighters, Kontrol X1s, etc. A modular system like Mine can be confusing: who is it good for?

In my opinion, “everyone who is a DJ or producer” isn’t a fair answer here. Many users of DJ gear have good ideas about controllers to make (see the history of the Midi Fighter Twister, which was designed by a contest run by DJTT), but that doesn’t mean they want to have to figure out what works well and what doesn’t from scratch.

Looking for a super customizable controller? Check out the Midi Fighter Twister : NOT your average knobs

What do you think? Are modular DJ systems like Mine a sleeping giant ready to take over the controller world? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Check out more similar modular projects featured on DJTT:

  • Pallete modules
  • MAWSER mixer
  • Little Bits magnetic synth from Korg
  • Hypothetical modular Kontrol S4

The post Mine Modular Controller: Put Faders, Buttons, Knobs Where You Want Them appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 28, 2016
Of everything we sell, Mixing Power Skills is the Digital DJ Tips online video course that has made the biggest difference to the biggest number of DJs' lives this year. Only previously available to students of our Digital DJ Masterclass Academy Course, it has been our runaway success since its public launch earlier in 2016. The post 10 Reasons Why You Need Mixing Power Skills Today appeared...

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DigitalDJTips Nov 28, 2016
Serato has announced the public beta of Serato DJ 1.9.5, which is all about making the software play nicely with Pioneer's latest Nexus 2 devices pro DJ booth gear, meaning Serato DJ is now just as easy to use with these latest gear updates from Pioneer DJ as it has been for many years with the original Nexus equipment. The post Serato 1.9.5 Public Beta: Adds Nexus 2 Compatibility appeared first...

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DJTechTools Nov 26, 2016

We’ve started rounding up the best DJ Black Friday deals that have popped up in the DJTT email inbox. Do you have something you’re looking to get this year? Today through Monday are awesome days to try to get massive prices savings. Here’s what we’ve found so far – feel free to leave a comment and add your own finds!

If you’re looking for discounts and Black Friday savings on DJ gear (mixers, CDJs, MIDI controllers, etc), consider checking out DJTT’s store sale. Everything is the DJTT store is on discount, up to 50% off! 

Serato : Control Vinyl

unnamed

“Serato Black on black – vinyl only $20!

We’re doubling down on Black Friday with our exclusive offer of USD 20 for a pair of our Black Performance Series 12″ (was USD 29). This is our best selling vinyl, so grab a set while stocks last.

Offer only available until Monday November 28th (NZ).”

Beatport : Mystery Coupon

unnamed
“Shop this Cyber Weekend with mystery discounts up to 50%! Rules of the game are below!

1. Mystery discounts range from 10% to 50% and change regularly over the weekend.
2. High discounts will be announced on our socials, so keep your eyes on our socials.
3. Use the code CYBERSALE at check-out to see the current discount. Not enough? Try again later!
4. The code only works once, so choose your discount carefully.
*Offer ends November 28 2016 at 11:59 PM CET. Not applicable to lossless upgrade fees.”

Native Instruments : 50% off select software

ni_thanksgiving_visual
“From November 24 until December 5, 2016, selected KOMPLETE Instruments and Effects, MASCHINE Expansions, the MASCHINE 2 SOFTWARE UPDATE, and TRAKTOR PRO 2 are available for 50% off the normal price, at the NI Online Shop ”

Waves : Gold Bundle and Volume Discounts

UP TO 80% OFF OUR MOST POPULAR PLUGINS!

“$50 off when you order $30, $100 off when you order $600, Waves Gold Bundle for $199 (usually $799), and lots of other fun deals. Limited-time offer. Discount applies to new software only. Waves subscriptions and Upgrades excluded.” Learn more

Soundtoys : 50% Off All Plugins*

soundtoys

 Warp Academy : 50% Off Music Hacking Course

music hacking bundle

“We continue our Black Friday sale with an incredible, must have, 3 course bundle from Ray Harmony and Vespers. The Music Hacking Bundle contains all 3 courses from the Music Hacking series for just $97!(Retail $197, Save $100!). This bundle is jammed full of incredible music theory shortcuts, Music Theory eBook?s and essential music theory hacks that are guaranteed to demystify the world of theory. The 3 courses included are:

    • Music Hacking for Electronic Musicians
    • Music Hacking: The 4-Hour Song ? Episode 1
    • Music Hacking: The 4-Hour Song ? Episode 2″

Share the best deals you’ve found in the comments below and check out our best prices of the year in the DJTT store!

The post Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2016 Deal Roundup appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 26, 2016
Certainly in the USA, "thanksgiving" is on everyone's minds right now, and the sea surge of people being "thankful" in print, online, and across social media over the last couple of days reminded me of this meme that has been doing the rounds recently - and the lessons within for anyone trying to succeed in the world of DJing. The post Thanksgiving Weekend: Some Thoughts for Aspiring DJs...

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DJTechTools Nov 25, 2016

Serato has launched a brand new public beta of Serato DJ 1.9.5. This new beta will focus on a number bugfixes and stability improvements. The main feature? Support for Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2 players and DJM-900NXS2 mixers. Read on for details and to join the beta.

Serato DJ 1.9.5 Public Beta

The big news in this Public Beta of Serato DJ is that the top-of-the-line Pioneer NXS2 CDJs and DJMs are now supported. Specifically, this includes the DJM-900NXS2 and CDJ-2000NXS2 (both of which we sell in our online store, which has a huge sale going on right now. As if you didn’t notice already, right?)

  • For the CDJs, this means full HID control with the platters and controls. It also means waveform display and library navigation on-screen!
  • For the DJM-900NXS2, this means that the soundcard is fully plug-and-play; and if you’ve got the Serato DJ Club Kit license, you’ll also be able to use the inputs for DVS control.

Memory Optimizations and Bug Fixes

Serato seems to always be chasing down bugs and stability issues in their releases. It’s always good to see a big list of these – a commitment to stability is something you want in a software developer. Here’s the list from their release notes:

  • Fixed issue where Sync would incorrectly half or double BPM
  • Fixed issue where Windows 7 users could experience audio dropouts at low buffer settings
  • Fixed an issue where Pioneer CDJ-850 doesn’t allow for deck selection in HID
  • Fixed an issue where Cue Points would re-order incorrectly
  • Fixed an issue where track skip can be activated after platter release
  • Fixed a potential runtime crash on Windows
  • Improved stability with memory optimisations

As always, please remember that new releases and beta version of DJ software are dangerous to install and start relying on without your own testing. Always test new software for a few hours at home before going out and using it live! 

Take part in the Serato DJ 1.9.5 public beta by signing up here on their website.

The post Serato DJ 1.9.5 Public Beta: CDJ-2000NXS2 + DJM-900NXS2 Support appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 25, 2016
The biggest shopping day of the year is upon us, and we've rounded up a pile of interesting deals for DJs and DJ/producers worldwide into one bumper post. These are the types of deals you won't find on Amazon or the other big box sites... The post [Black Friday Roundup] The Best Deals For DJs From Around The Web appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Nov 25, 2016
The Reloop Mixon 4 controller boasts several firsts: First four-channel controller specifically made for Algoriddim's djay Pro software; first controller to fit the iPad Pro in its physical mounting slot, and the flexibility to work with Serato DJ as well as djay Pro, meaning across the two platforms, it works with PC, Mac, iOS and Android. The post Review & Video: Reloop Mixon 4 Controller...

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DigitalDJTips Nov 25, 2016
So we all know that one hi-fi buff, right? It could even be you. Someone who spends thousands on individual pieces of gear - valve amplifiers, hand-made turntables, custom A/D converters - and obsesses over the ultimate sound quality. Theirs is a hushed, solitary world of acoustically deadened rooms and secrets shared between man (it's always a man) and record collection. And then there are...

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Serato Nov 25, 2016
 

Serato DJ 1.9.5  is now in public beta, adding Club Kit support for the Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 and HID mode support for the CDJ-2000NXS2 as an Official Serato Accessory, as well as a number of minor changes and stability improvements.

  • Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2.
  • Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2.
  • Bug fixes and some memory optimisations.

Matt Cleland (Serato Product Planner) says: “This update is huge for working club DJs as it provides support for two pieces of kit that many DJs will encounter on a nightly basis. With the Serato DJ Club Kit license, DJs can now connect directly to the Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 mixer without the need for a separate interface. Two USB connections on this mixer also means changeover is easier than ever. As well as this, the CDJ-2000NXS2 will also control Serato DJ in HID mode via USB connection. We encourage any DJs wanting to give this a go early, to test out the beta and give us their feedback.”

Join the Serato DJ 1.9.5 public beta to try this update early and give feedback.

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 1.9.5 beta area.

Join the Serato DJ 1.9.5 beta: http://sera.to/-b5xh

DJTechTools Nov 24, 2016

In late April of this year, we took a look at a DIY project that brought a built-in DVS system to a Technics SL-1200 turntable. Now there’s a brand new update that brings a display module with built-in waveform and browsing views. Has this become the ultimate Technics mod?

Technics DVS Mod Gets A Screen

technics-dvs-screen

 

In April, we saw how an enterprising electrical engineer / DJ installed a DVS-capable computer directly into a Technics SL-1200 turntable. After a feature on our site, he got a ton of feedback – and now has returned with a second revision. This time, it has a clever built-in screen and accompanying software.

In the video below, (which is in Russian), the designer Andrei Anantsko shows off the new features. Look below the video for a quick guide of what to note:

  • 1:08: â€œI decided to make round display modules, which are installed in the slot for the 7-inch adapter. Display modules can be hot plugged/unplugged during the operation of the player, without turning off the power.”
  • 1:42: “The display module can be rotated 360 degrees, set the desired angle, depending on the turntable’s position on the table (Classic or Battle).”
  • 2:16 – “The display module complements the existing system. If the display unit is not needed, and we want to play on the turntable like a real vinyl, take it off. You also can just use the color coded glow the 33 and 45 buttons as before.”
  • 2:45: â€œTalking about tech specs: I used an OLED-display, it has a wide viewing angle, high contrast, and a similar output to vacuum tubes or a CDJ-1000 player’s display.”

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-nov-23-10-48-pm

  • 2:59: â€œThe display can show the folder name, track title, pitch percentage, playing time, remaining time til end of the track, waveform, a progress bar below the playback position, and the the position of any hot cues on the waveform”
  • 3:22: â€œIn comparison with the waveform on a CDJ-1000mk3, the Technics DVS screen has a slightly higher resolution: the width 128px vs. 100px on the CDJ; amplitude resolution is 8px vs. 7px on CDJ. These characteristics are worse on newer CDJs, but remember the fact that the size of my display is less than 1 inch.”

otcues

  • 5:24: “I created a program to analyze tracks and create waveforms. It analyzes all the tracks in the folder and imports Hot Cues. Now, hot cues can be recorded not only on the turntable, but also on the PC. To do this, you need to set markers in a program like Sound Forge, Sony ACID, etc. The Technics DVS software will then automatically import the markers as hot cues.”

Watch The Technics DVS In A Mix
. Kindof:

Here’s Andrei himself (known here as DJ Greeb) using the Technics DVS turntables to DJ with standalone control vinyl. Editors update: We watched the whole mix and it’s just vinyl. Not sure why the DVS wasn’t used


Wait, Didn’t I Just See Something Like This?

Yes, it seems like standalone vinyl DVS setup projects are all the rage. Click the image below to check out another recent project featured on DJTT that uses a Raspberry Pi computer for each deck.

The post Technics DVS Mod Update: Waveform Display In 45 Adapter Slot appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Nov 24, 2016

Once again we’re kicking off our annual week-long DJ and producer sale with 10 to 50% off the very best equipment. This year, skip the corporate stores, and support your own community with DJ TechTools. We’re an independent small business that has a long history of helping DJs and DJ culture.  Check out some of the most exciting discounts inside and enter to win a $500 store credit at the bottom of the article.

Black Friday DJ Deals

DJTT’s carefully curated DJ and producer store throws only one major sale each year, allowing everyone to upgrade to high quality gear at an affordable price. Almost everything in the store is on sale ? and if you log into your free DJTT membership account, you’ll see steep discounts that last through Monday.

It’s also Thanksgiving here in the US. This year, we’re incredibly thankful for a supportive DJ community who look out for each other. Even in hard times, every DJ around the world wants to share great music and help people dance. We are especially appreciative of all our readers that support the DJTT store with their limited gear budget, which enables us to keep this community running.

The sale is on now, and will end Monday, November 28th at 11:59PM PST.  

Here are a selection of the best deals, to see everything:
Visit the DJ TechTools Black Friday page

Midi Fighter 3D + Twister 20% Off

midi-fighters-twister-3d

Get one of DJTT’s premium MIDI controllers for producers, DJs, finger drummers, live visuals, photo editing, and almost anything you can imagine. They’re a steal at only $175 – the lowest price all year for both the Midi Fighter 3D and Midi Fighter Twister. Don’t wait for a better deal on these, it’s not coming. 

Yes, there are some limited edition Twisters in stock as well! 

V-Moda M-100 Headphones

M100 Black Friday Cyber Monday sale

Some of the most durable and feature-heavy headphones on the market for DJs are 30% off. Did you know the band is rated strong enough that you can bend it completely flat and it will not break? Or that they come with headphone splitters built into the cable and the cans themselves? 

Chroma Cables

Chroma Cables Black Friday

We make some of the best USB cables on the market for anyone looking for a way to connect their DJ gear with their computer. Not only are they heavily shielded, they rock dual ferrites to cut interference, and also have a solid array of colors to code your various gear. 50% off (or $6.50 each) during this sale! 

Chroma Caps

Chroma Caps Cyber Monday

As with Chroma Cables, above, we’re dropping our colored caps line down to 50% off. We want to get as many of these caps out into the world, improving mixes with their high-visibility colors and extra-grippy exteriors. 

Ableton Push 2 + Live Intro = 20% Off

Ableton Push 2 Black Friday 20% off

Want to get a new Ableton Push 2? It even comes with a copy of Live Intro (but you can also just use your current version of Live if you already have it). This is the best price we’ve seen on this ultimate DAW instrument since it launched! 

Everything in the store up to 50% off: Black Friday DJ Sale

Visit Our Store + Share This Article, Win $500 For DJ Gear

Use the widget below to enter our contest to win $500 credit in the DJTT webstore. We’ll announce the winner in the widget on Black Friday at Noon PST. Yes, you’ll be able to use it as a refund – so if you want to buy something now and then apply it to a purchase you made, no problem! We’re also giving away 3 $20 discounts as well, for more chances to win!

To enter, you’ll have to put in your DJTT username (a quick way to check it is by logging into the store here) in the widget below. You can get more entries by sharing this article on Twitter or joining the DJTT mailing list!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post 2016 Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sale + $500 Giveaway appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 24, 2016
Don't be left at the back of the queue - get in early for this year's Black Friday Sale at Digital DJ Tips. We've taken a huge 35% off all of our currently available courses, meaning savings of between US$70 and US$100 on each and every course you buy. The post Save Up To $100 On Every DJ Course You Buy appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Nov 24, 2016
Coming in V4, V6 and V8 guises to suit different studio sizes, KRK's S4 series has recently been announced, offering a new take on studio speakers from the company most famous among DJs for its budget Rokit range. While more aimed the professional end of the market, the series still keeps the Rokit styling so beloved of DJs. The post KRK Announces New V Series 4 Powered Monitors appeared first...

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Serato Nov 24, 2016

Taiwan's DJ Smile shows off the brand new Denon DJ MCX8000 all-in-one controller for Serato DJ including the exciting Pitch Play performance feature. Watch this short demo!

Check out more from Serato Artists.

DigitalDJTips Nov 22, 2016
So we all know that one hi-fi buff, right? It could even be you. Someone who spends thousands on individual pieces of gear - valve amplifiers, hand-made turntables, custom A/D converters - and obsesses over the ultimate sound quality. Theirs is a hushed, solitary world of acoustically deadened rooms and secrets shared between man (it's always a man) and record collection. And then there are...

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DJTechTools Nov 21, 2016

One of the best things about having outboard gear in a studio is being able to step away from the computer and focus more on your ears, and the moment. It just so happens that the hardware often sounds great as well. That’s why so much analog, standalone gear keeps hitting the market. The Arturia DrumBrute is a new drum machine that packs a punch at a budget-friendly $449. Keep reading to watch Mad Zach take it through the paces in this hands-on first look.

Arturia DrumBrute Review

Gear: DrumBrute analog drum machine
Manufacturer:
Arturia
Price:
$449
Availability:
Out now

arturia-drumbrute-featured

Mad Zach’s Thoughts on the DrumBrute

Birds Eye View: The strongest features of the DrumBrute are its workflow and functionality. It was fun to play, and delivers a number of innovative performance features. I thought the mute groups were cool, and liked being able to sequence quickly either by playing in patterns, or step sequencing. Also, very cool that you can run each sound out individually. Personally I was slightly unimpressed by some of the sounds, for example the main kick and hats at long decay. However I did like some of the other sounds, like the shakers, and toms. Overall I felt the unit would sound very nice paired with some analog saturation.

Build Quality: The DrumBrute is very similar in quality to a lot of other Arturia products (like the Beatstep Pro, MicroBrute, etc). If you’ve felt the knobs on those other units, you’ll know what to expect. It is designed in France, made in China. Yet despite some aspects of the construction feeling a bit cheap, it does deliver fully on functionality, which at this price, is the best one could ask for. The step sequencing buttons left a bit to be desired (rather smooshy and cheap feeling) but ultimately served their purpose as well, and made quick work of some relatively dirty beats.

Sounds: The kicks are both fairly simple; one is punchy and the second is more of an 808 sub. The hi-hat sounds metallic when you open it up – which might be desirable to some users, but also unique. Some of the drum slots have the ability to alternate between two different sounds that are sequenced independently – adding an extra set of sounds without needing more physical controls. The downside of this was that the same knobs control both sounds together, so you cannot tweak the two sounds separately. The filters were functional but not distinguished.

Sequencing Workflow: You can program beats in a few different ways:

  1. Select an instrument and then program it into the step sequencer in the top section
  2. Hit record and play live with the pad at the bottom of each slot. Depending on how hard you hit the pad, it is either an accented note or not.
  3. Hit the record button, select an instrument, and hold down the step repeat touch strip at the top to record patterns in – it’s quick and fun.

Connectivity: The DrumBrute can be synced via MIDI cable, USB MIDI, and click. It features a dedicated headphone out, as well as individual outputs (1/8″) for the sounds, and a full mix output. It also comes with an editor, which connects to your PC via USB and allows for preference adjustment, as well as pattern management and editing.

Want to see more of Mad Zach’s DJTT content? Check out all of his past articles here.

 

The post Arturia DrumBrute: Mad Zach’s First Look + Feature Overview appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 21, 2016
Digital DJ Tips reader Tamas writes: "I am looking for an entry level DJ controller for my son's seventh birthday. It has to be not more than US$100. For obvious reasons. It is gonna be a toy in the first place, but I also want to be able to cue through headphones." The post Controller Clinic #45: Which DJ Controller For A 7-Year-Old? appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Nov 20, 2016
Here's a question for you. When do you reckon big name DJs will be streaming their sets from a single location into one or more clubs rather than fly there to play in person? It can't be that far into the future, can it? After all, being booked in one place in the evening would leave the day free to play another timezone where it's already night time... The post How Long Until DJs Don't Even...

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DJTechTools Nov 19, 2016

Remotify is a platform to challenge the unknown void of scripting in Ableton and bring custom control surfaces to the masses. To many, Ableton scripting is a dark world full of confusion and endless frustration. In this complex world, it seems like only the truly worthy are able to unlock the mysteries coded in Python. Why can’t every controller Automap like an APC40 or a Push 2? The reason for all this heartache boils down to one thing: there?s no UI available for Ableton scripting.

Product Reviewed: Remotify
Price: Free version with basic functionality, Pro (with extended functionality) is $57 (one time purchase), 1-month subscription at $9
Platform: Web-based

THE GOOD

  • Free tier for basic functionality; Pro version for your wildest scripting dreams come true
  • MIDI Learn support (with Chrome)
  • Shift + Modes available to create virtual banks (Pro only)
  • Easy troubleshooting messages + comprehensive documentation
  • One-to-one support with great response times

THE BAD

  • No easy way to change feedback color for RGB devices
  • Could use a script wizard with common scenarios (similar to how XtremeMapping does for Traktor)
  • Missing copy/duplicate commands to replicate similar parameters
  • Commands sorted randomly in the main list – you’ll have to hunt to find the command just added

THE BOTTOM LINE

If you?re new to scripting in Ableton, this tool is a must. It will not only save you a massive headache, but also allows you to learn how it works as you go since Remotify also gives you an uncompiled “.py” version of the files so you can have a look at the code. This app will make basic mapping tasks a breeze.

For the more experienced user, the app can help tame complicated scenarios and perhaps provide the inspiration needed to finish that ambitious project you?ve been continually putting off until you really ?get it?.

Session Box: A Quick Example Of Remotify’s Power

Remotify Screenshot

People who want basic mixing controls can get away with manually mapping them inside Ableton?s own UI. But if you want something more versatile – such as having those follow the selected track in larger projects or Ableton?s famous Session Box to easily control clip launching – then this platform is the tool you need.

If you want to create your very own Session Box script you’ll assign just a few lines.

  1. Once you click on “Add a New Mapping” and select “Session Box” you can assign how big you want it to be.
  2. Click on each of the boxes, filling in the CC/Note number manually or using the MIDI Learn tool (Chrome). Assign a name to it and save it
  3. Click on “Add A New Mapping” again and select the Session Navigation element making sure the “Direction” field matches where you’d like the box to move when the button is pressed. Repeat this step for all 4 directions.
  4. Give your script a name and hit the download button.
  5. That’s it! You just need to follow these easy steps to import it into Ableton.

As you can see the process is fairly straightforward and regardless of having mapping experience on other software or not you should be right at home with it in no time. We are quite exited for it’s future and hope it continues going strong as it has so far to keep the mysterious door of scripting open to anyone.

Have you done advanced controller mappings in Ableton before? Check out Remotify and let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

The post Review: Remotify Makes Ableton Control Surfaces Scripts A Snap appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 18, 2016
Bit of Friday fun for you to kick off this week's Friday Roundup, with a guide from Popular Science on how to build your very own wind powered turntable. Elon Musk would be proud... This and more in our weekly roundup of stuff that's caught our eye around the web. The post Friday Roundup: How To Build A Wind Powered Turntable appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DJTechTools Nov 17, 2016

Danish headphone company famous for its modular architecture AIAIAI just launched its latest addition to its TMA-2 family: a ?smart? headband called the H05 that transforms the TMA-2 into a fully wireless pair of headphones. This move comes just months after the release of Apple?s iPhone 7 that (to the chagrin of wired headphone users) does away with the traditional headphone jack.

This move forced wired headphone users to either buy a bulky adapter to use the smartphone?s charging port as a traditional headphone jack, or purchase wireless headphones. As a result, a way to convert existing headphones into wireless ones presents a considerable advantage because consumers can continue to use the headphones they are accustomed to, but without cables. AIAIAI, a company devoted to minimalistic audio products, releases their smart headband to allow TMA-2 users to wirelessly use their headphones without purchasing a whole new pair or appreciably altering their headphones.

The H05 Smart Headband

At time of publication, the AIAIAI smart headband is on Kickstarter, where it almost doubled its initial funding goal of $43,336. Owners of existing TMA-2 headphones can buy just the smart headband for $90 (as of November 16, this is the cheapest Kickstarter ?reward? available – there was a cheaper option of $65 but that has sold out).

The cheapest way to build an entire pair of TMA-2 headphones with the wireless option comes in at $205 ($90 for the smart headband, $25 for microfiber on-ear pads, $65 for their entry-level driver, and $25 for a coiled 1.5m cable or a 1.2m inline mic cable).

However, if you purchase the total headphones on Kickstarter, AIAIAI will discount the price of all the aforementioned parts to a total price of $165. Once the smart headbands are officially released, their price will climb to $125 and AIAIAI?s cheapest wireless headphone will now cost $240. While that is considerably more than AIAIA?s non-wireless headphone?s, it remains considerably cheaper than the Beats Solo3 Wireless that retail for $399.

Inspiration

Christian B. Lorentzen, the Head of New Product Development at AIAIAI, noted that preserving the modular ecosystem that AIAIAI users are familiar with remained the top priority of AIAIAI when introducing wireless capabilities. Lorentzen notes:

?At first, we intuitively focused on creating a new speaker to introduce wireless technology to the system. But that felt wrong somehow, as it would be limiting to have only a few wireless sound configurations. That?s why we came up with this idea of integrating the Bluetooth module into the headband, to maintain that 100% modularity.?

Why a Modular System?

cc3230695f0d09a544e6e5172699cd32_original

The TMA-2 modular system

Alonside certain Sol Republic, AIAIAI headphones are some of the only headphones that can be purchased modularly, with consumers selecting specific options they want (speaker quality, headband size, earpad size and material) and omitting options they don?t require. (Editor’s Note: certain Pioneer DJ, and Sennheiser models have replaceable parts, but not a modular, ground-up system)

AIAIAI co-founder, Frederik Jorgensen, notes that

?The modular system creates the ultimate flexibility for our business and our customers, as well as a more creative way of interacting with our products. This adaptable, versatile approach to our headphones offers radical new opportunities for future product development, enabling us to expand the system to create better options for our users.?

For instance, a TMA-2 can be converted from an on-ear design to an over-ear design with just the purchase of new ear cups costing just $40.

Are Wireless Headphones For DJs?

Despite freeing DJs from the burden of cords, wireless headphones have struggled to gain traction among DJs who feel that the idea of relying on wireless transmission presents more challenges, like latency or signal interruptions, than benefits. Most DJ setups currently do not feature bluetooth capabilities, so DJ adoption of wireless headphones seems far off.

That said, AIAIAI?s headphones represent a good value for DJs due to their replaceable parts. If one element breaks due to heavy use, a DJ, and not having to buy a whole new pair of headphones, can simply replace the part. Perhaps DJs who already use the TMA-2 would purchase the wireless headband and DJ normally with the cord, but listen passively with the bluetooth headband without cords.

Learn more about the wireless TMA-2s on the official Kickstarter project here

The post Wireless TMA-2: Modular Headphones Gain Bluetooth Headband appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 17, 2016
Ableton just announced a discount over at its online store. From now until 11 January 2017, get a 20% reduction on Ableton Live 9 software, the Push 2 grid controller, as well as all add-on packs for Live 9. If you've wanted to get started producing music with Ableton Live or are looking to upgrade, now's a good time to do so. The post Get 20% Off Ableton Live 9 & Push 2 appeared first on...

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DigitalDJTips Nov 17, 2016
Our post recommending DJs not to use iTunes to organise their music libraries recently certainly got a people talking. But I'm aware we left some people in pain, pointing out what's wrong with iTunes without fully outlining a preferred alternative. This post will help you see the five steps of any good music library organisation system. The post Five Steps To Your Perfect DJ Music Library System...

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DJTechTools Nov 16, 2016

Now in its second year, Loop, a temporary faculty-installation organized by Ableton, brought together pro-users and enthusiasts in Berlin for a long-weekend of panel discussions, workshops and performances. DJ Techtools? Dan Cole was on hand to get to grips with the mechanics behind the software company?s latest foray into technological and social conferences.

Experiencing Ableton Loop

From Friday through to Sunday in early November, Loop was home to lectures and panels (as well as workshops and tutorials), such as:

  • ?Local Scenes in a Globalized World?
  • ?New Approaches in Music Education?
  • the aptly titled ?Don?t Be A Music Snob?

Upon entering the convention, you’re bombarded with a wave of multi-disciplinary showcases that look to the future of music and production; an installation where you could use an Oculus Rift to program music; 3D music-making environments, and a multi-tactile facsimile of the party game Twister that allowed you to create beats with your feet (image below). The entrance was just a small respite from the swell of options that were readily available throughout the weekend.

Ableton Loop - Twister

This was the second year of Loop, and the music-makers summit proved again to be a hub of talented and creative minds. Now located in Funkhaus ? a gallant, former East-German industrial broadcasting centre in Berlin ? Loop was a hive with a multitude of experts, academics and artists covering a plethora of musical and artistic fields. Far from a product fair, Loop has the air of an academy, with scheduled classes, get-togethers, and breaks.

High Profile Producers

unspecified

Those on stage debating music making in the modern age included pioneering electronic musician Morton Subotnick, LA producer and Kanye, Jay Z and Common affiliated hit-machine) No I.D., Grammy Award-winning artist Kimbra, beat-master Jazzy Jeff, dub-pioneer Lee Scratch Perry, and many more. In addition, there were more intimate studio and production sessions that featured Quantic, Skinnerbox, and as well as a whole list of affiliated tech-wizards, along with a full nighttime schedule that featured Elysia Crampton, Resom, Kode 9, and Nonotak.

There was an overall richness of approach towards general collectivism that made Loop special. Tickets are allocated to music-makers only, and then filtered to make sure the attending crowd meet Abelton?s ?vision of a healthy and diverse music technology community?. This created a general feeling of inclusivity, where no one person feels more exceptional than the other.

There is often the sense that those on stage leading the classes are often learning more from the attendees than visa-versa. Ableton’s clearly curating a future community of academics, and everywhere I looked, there were talented attendees.

Watching the concluding performance I notice that I was standing next to LA beat-producer matthewdavid. Over in the distance I spot Noah Pred, and outside I brush past Jivraj Singh ?from Indian electro-pop duo Parekh & Singh. Daedulus is perpetually hanging out on the stairwell seemingly talking to everyone, while Ableton co-founder Robert Henke (whose laser installation Fragile Territories (video below) brightened up one the upper-connecting platforms) was omnipresent, as if his personality was ghosting throughout Funkhaus? ethereal corridors and pathways.

Hands-On With Gear, Synths, Jam Sessions

In the recesses of Funkhaus, where the former broadcast studios overlook the River Spree, the more hands-on aspect to the programme took place. These ground-floor, outmoded workspaces provided listening sessions by Jazzy Jeff, Chino Amobi and more.

speechless. this performance was worth aline the trip to #loopberlin #suzanneciani

A video posted by Theon Neverjoy (@tudorneve) on

FACT presented live presentations of their notorious Against The Clock series and Bastl Intruments hosted synth-building tutorials. There were classes on how to improving field recording skills, building modulars, or learning how to process plug-ins.

There were also spaces for gear fetishists to go and get a more hands-on feel with a wide selection of music tools. One area provided daily jam sessions, where you could make music with up to ten other like-minded musicians on drum machines, synthesizers, modules and pads ? all linked together through Ableton Link, and coordinated by the company?s lead product experts.

Towards the end of the three days, I bumped into DJ and producer Sasha Perrera (see Jahcoozi). Throughout Loop she imparted knowledge on panels, hosting technical studio sessions and generally giving out seasoned advice to those who attended.

?Everyone here is on the same page,? she commented about the festival, ?there really is no hierarchy here.?

In a sense, it recapitulates some of Loop?s finer points; it is comprehensive, wide-ranging and inspirational space – a place that facilitates the exchange of ideas, that looked to help reshape notions of music, open up ideas of what music-making can be, while engaging with people beyond the worlds of instant messaging and DAWs.

Concluding the event, Lee ?Scratch? Perry took the stage to impart his far-flung, ideas and experience about music with the younger crowd. The enigmatic, borderline-genius brought with him his radical notions, before closing Loop with his show alongside the Subatomic Sound System.

?Without Music, we are lost,? Lee proclaimed when asked by The Wire?s Frances Morgan. ?We are the sheep, and music is the shepherd.”

Should Producers Consider Going To Loop?

loop

If you want to take your productions, regardless of genre or style, you won?t do much worse than getting on board with Loop. Loop exists as a space that pushes you outside of your comfort zone, thinking far beyond teaching simple studio or production techniques. It seeks to create a more tolerant musical space where progressive notions of composition and thinking take place, where collaboration and imagination rules in a world of technical limitations and immeasurable musical diversity.

Three Stand-Out Acts At Loop

Along with an exceedingly well-programmed night schedule, that featured Kode9, MC Earl, Fatima Al Qadiri and more, the day conference was also broken up by shows played out primarily in the Main Hall. These performances were mainly built around a theme of experimentalism, challenging conceived notions of what a concert should actually be. These were three best artist showcases from the weekend:

1. Deantoni Parks:

Instagram Photo

Bordering on the edge of absurd and obscenely, mind-blowingly amazing, the LA experimental, jazz-rock drummer (he was once drummer for The Mars Volta, recorded with Flying Lotus and collaborated with Sade and John Cale) delivered a set that was half-analogue, half digital. With one hand setting the rhythm on his drum kit, the other triggering samples on a MIDI-controlled keyboard, Deantoni Parks? set a new standard for what one can accomplish using a bucket-load of creative flair and a strong pallet for talent.

2. Suzanne Ciani

Instagram Photo

One of the most vital and important figures within electronic music synthesis, the classical musician delivered an invigorating and inspired set using the Buchla Modular. Ciani, who recently re-released a series of 70s Buchla recordings, as well as collaborating with Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, then discussed her approach to using modular systems, and her deep and exceptional history of composition and innovation.

3. Mitya and Sandunes

Although they were not performing, Russian multi-instrumentalist Mitya and Indian producer Sandunes introduced sections from their new Red Bull documentary Searching for Sound, presenting the new music and techniques they used and made during the film?s production. As part of the series? concept, the two producers went into different habitats to engage with regional musicians, with the end goal of using locally recorded soundscapes and music to use within their own compositions. The end results were both moving and incredible.

Dan Cole is a DJTT contributing writer based in Berlin, Germany. See more of his work here.

The post Inside Ableton Loop: A Hands-On Summit For Music Makers appeared first on DJ TechTools.

Serato Nov 16, 2016
 

The Mixon 4 is Reloop's flagship, 4-channel Serato DJ controller. The Mixon 4 gives easy and responsive control over many Serato DJ features including Hot Cue, Loop Roll, Sampler, Slicer, Flip, Cue & Slicer Loop modes and Pitch Play with its 16 RGB performance pads.

Reloop Mixon 4: Key Features

  • Serato DJ Enabled - requires no additional software license and is plug-and-play.
  • 8 colour-coded performance modes including brand Pitch Play for creative key shifting of cue points.
  • Unique Macro FX Mode: Combine any Effect with the Sound Filter on each Channel
  • 4-deck control for Serato DJ.
  • 16 RGB, velocity-sensitive drum pads to trigger Hot Cue, Loop Roll, Sampler, Slicer, Flip and Cue & Slicer Loop modes.
  • Control for Serato Pitch ‘n Time DJ key shifting and sync features.
  • Ultra flat XXL (155 mm) Aluminum Jog Wheels with 2-part touch-sensitive technology for tactile control and virtual needle illumination displaying playhead position and remaining track length.
  • Hi-Res 14-bit pitch fader with range and Key Lock control.
  • Fader-start feature.
  • Quick-skip: Fast search within a track.
  • Sturdy metal-panel construction with performance faders & knobs in club size and quality.

The Reloop Mixon 4 is supported in Serato DJ 1.9.4, available now.


Serato Nov 16, 2016

Built with Denon DJ's high quality, the Denon DJ MC7000 is plug and play with Serato DJ and comes packed with professional features including dual USB connection, key sync, key shifting and Flip controls. 

The MC7000 also includes free Expansion Pack licenses for Serato Flip, Serato Pitch 'n Time DJ and Serato Video.

 

Denon DJ MC7000: Key Features

  • Serato DJ Enabled - requires no additional software license and is plug-and-play.
  • DVS Upgrade Ready
  • Dual USB Audio Interfaces
  • Comes with Pitch 'n Time DJ, Serato Flip and Serato Video licenses included.
  • New Dedicated Key Matching and Changing Controls
  • Dedicated hardware control for Serato Flip Expansion Pack for creating edits and advanced cue point performance.
  • 4-deck control for Serato DJ.
  • Serato DVS Upgrade ready.
  • Professional 4-channel digital mixer with 2 microphone inputs.
  • Solid 6-inch Touch-Capacitive Platters with Tracking LED
  • 3 built-in instant effects for Engine playback and line inputs.
  • 16 Velocity-sensitive, RGB lit performance pads for Cues, Loop Roll, Slicer and Samples.
  • Strong Metal construction and low profile design.
  • XLR Booth and Master connections.

The MC7000 is supported in Serato DJ 1.9.4, available now.

DigitalDJTips Nov 15, 2016
Serato has just released Serato DJ 1.9.4, the latest version of its software, in order to make it compatible with the Denon DJ MC7000 controller and the Reloop Mixon 4 controller. Buyers of both of those brand-new controllers can download the latest version of the software upon purchase in order to get started right away. The post Serato Now Works With Denon DJ MC7000 & Reloop Mixon 4...

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Serato Nov 15, 2016
 

Serato has released Serato DJ 1.9.4, a free update that includes support for the Denon DJ MC7000 4-channel all-in-one controller as well as the Reloop Mixon 4.

Serato Product Owner, Martin Cains says: “This update supports the all new Denon DJ MC7000 & Reloop Mixon 4, two exciting and powerful all in one DJ controllers. The MC7000 is the latest controller with two separate USB interfaces, allowing DJs to change over easily as well as play back to back with two laptops. As well as this, there are controls for all the pro level Serato DJ features, with Serato Pitch ‘n Time DJ, Serato Flip and Serato Video all being included for free. We have also been working in close collaboration with Reloop in development of the Mixon4, their latest 4-channel controller for Serato DJ to ensure tight integration between hardware and software features. These controllers are both great devices for DJs wanting the flexibility of an all-in-one setup.”

Download and update to Serato DJ 1.9.4

Hardware Support

Denon DJ MC7000: Key Features

  • Serato DJ Enabled - requires no additional software license and is plug-and-play.
  • DVS Upgrade Ready
  • Dual USB Audio Interfaces
  • Comes with Pitch 'n Time DJ, Serato Flip and Serato Video licenses included.
  • New Dedicated Key Matching and Changing Controls
  • Dedicated hardware control for Serato Flip Expansion Pack for creating edits and advanced cue point performance.
  • 4-deck control for Serato DJ.
  • Serato DVS Upgrade ready.
  • Professional 4-channel digital mixer with 2 microphone inputs.
  • Solid 6-inch Touch-Capacitive Platters with Tracking LED
  • 3 built-in instant effects for Engine playback and line inputs.
  • 16 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.
  • XLR Booth and Master connections.

Read more about the Denon MC7000 for Serato DJ

Reloop Mixon 4: Key Features

  • Serato DJ Enabled - requires no additional software license and is plug-and-play.
  • 8 colour-coded performance modes including brand Pitch Play for creative key shifting of cue points.
  • Unique Macro FX Mode: Combine any Effect with the Sound Filter on each Channel
  • 4-deck control for Serato DJ.
  • 16 RGB, velocity-sensitive drum pads to trigger Hot Cue, Loop Roll, Sampler, Slicer, Flip and Cue & Slicer Loop modes.
  • Control for Serato Pitch ‘n Time DJ key shifting and sync features.
  • Ultra flat XXL (155 mm) Aluminum Jog Wheels with 2-part touch-sensitive technology for tactile control and virtual needle illumination displaying playhead position and remaining track length.
  • Hi-Res 14-bit pitch fader with range and Key Lock control.
  • Fader-start feature.
  • Quick-skip: Fast search within a track.
  • Sturdy metal-panel construction with performance faders & knobs in club size and quality.

Read more about the Reloop Mixon 4 for Serato DJ.

Read the full list of changes and additions in the Serato DJ 1.9.4 release notes.

Download Serato DJ and update here: http://serato.com/dj/downloads

DJTechTools Nov 14, 2016

There’s an entire industry surrounding protective cases for musical equipment gear. Specialized hard and soft road cases exist for almost every piece of equipment. But instead of spending hundreds of dollars, what could you make from $30 and a trip to Goodwill? Take a look at DJ Cannon’s DIY project in this article.

From Suitcase To DDJ-SB Case

Shared with DJ Techtools over the weekend was a quick, fun way to make a quality case for DJ controllers. The mind behind the unique case is DJ Cannon, an Alabama-based mobile DJ – which makes sense, because mobile DJs are always having to move their gear around and want to keep it well protected while doing so.

The suitcase used - a Samsonite Silhouette - cost $7 at a Goodwill

The suitcase used – a Samsonite Silhouette – cost $7 at a Goodwill secondhand store.

“Road cases for DJ controller and laptops run $300 or more. I wanted something cool and rugged. Vintage Samsonite suitcases are both.

The suitcase was $7 at Goodwill, and is on the older Samsonite Silhouette with metal sides, so I know it’s more than rugged enough to use as a road case. It smell like old lady’s dirty underwear, so I decided to rip out the interior and replace it. It’s still ‘just a suitcase’, but I then made padding to fit my controller and laptop and headphones in..”

Keep reading to see the steps of how DJ Cannon made this unique case:

Step 1: Gut and Paint

lid

Removing the interiors and painting them black

To start the project off, he first ripped out the old internal material inside of the case, sanding the inside of the lid and painting it black.

Step 2: Padding! 

04-padding

Adding foam lining acts as an impact cushion

As with all good gear cases, it’s important to make sure there’s enough shock-absorbing material around your gear to reduce any impact damage should the case be dropped. DJ Cannon lined both the top and bottom of the case with 1/4″ foam padding.

A closer look at the foam material used.

A closer look at the foam material used.

This padding is known as “foam stabilizer”, and is sold in fabric stores. It’s essentially just 1/4″ foam with a thin mesh cloth on each side of the foam.

Step 3: Upholstery! 

Part of the interior cloth ready to be cut-to-size

Part of the interior cloth ready to be cut-to-size

For a unique design and a soft interior to the case, Cannon cut pieces of plush fleece with a Día de los Muertos pattern to fit each side. The suitcase already has a retainer to hold the edges in place – he just cut the cloth to match the size while it was laid inside.

Spray adhesive for the cloth

Spray adhesive for the cloth

To get the fabric to stay in place, a bit of spray-on automotive headliner adhesive does the trick.

The completed interior fabric

The completed interior fabric

Step 4: Add A Plywood Divider

A plywood divider, cut to fit.

A plywood divider, cut to fit.

Instead of the original cloth divider in the suitcase, he decided to cut a piece of plywood to the shape of the suitcase. Eventually it will have egg crate foam added to it for extra padding. This divider allows him to keep the controller on one side and other gear on the other – and it latches securely to the top side.

The divider secured to the top side of the suitcase.

The divider secured to the top side of the suitcase.

Step 4: More Padding + Flourish

14-tyzudrh

The DDJ-SB sitting securely in the case thanks to some more foam

On the controller side of the suitcase, Cannon added more foam (HDPE foam insulation for pipes, in this case) to make his DDJ-SB controller fit snugly inside of the case.

Behind the plywood divider

Behind the plywood divider

On the top side, behind the divider, there’s room for “a laptop, power supply, headphones, and cables. The laptop will be in a padded sleeve and the divider will get egg crate foam attached.”

Luggage tags!

A nice final touch: luggage tags made from business cards!

Older Samsonite suitcases seem to have a great reputation – DJ Cannon shared a final thought on future projects:

“[
] the larger old hard sided Samsonites are great for lights and cables. My next project is an led par case that will hold 8 LED pars. It will just be carpet lined.”

Other Creative DIY DJ Gear Cases?

Have you made your own unique DJ gear cases, or have photos of another unique project like this? Share them in the comments on this article and we’ll feature the coolest ones.

The post DIY: Make A DJ Controller Case From A Suitcase appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 14, 2016
Choosing a DJ name is one of the most important early decision you'll make when getting started as a DJ. Get it right, and you'll have an instantly recognisable name that tells the world the kind of DJ you are and helps get you noticed. Get it wrong, and all kind of obstacles will block your path to success. Here are some of the rookie errors people make time and time again. The post 10 Silly...

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DigitalDJTips Nov 13, 2016
Digital DJ Tips reader Kamil writes: "I was bedroom DJing for about four years and recently took a few weeks off. That got me to thinking: Should I start over with a clean slate, making a new music collection which will consist of house (I was mixing mostly EDM with a touch of house for these four years)?" The post Your Questions: Should I Ditch EDM? appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Nov 12, 2016
Digital DJ Tips reader Payam writes: "I was wondering what kind of music should I be playing for a middle-aged audience? I got a call and there's a Christmas party for a corporate and I was told the audience are between 30 and 45. I don't know if it's wise to go completely old school or mix it with some 80s and 90s with a little sip of modern dance music." The post Your Questions: How Should I...

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DigitalDJTips Nov 12, 2016
So you might have noticed that the USA has elected a new president, despite Steve Aoki (and, it seemed, most of the celebrity world, backing Clinton). And the electronic music community predictably has had a lot to say about "President Trump" in the days since. We lead with that story, among a whole host of others that have caught our attention this last week. The post Friday Roundup: Dance...

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DJTechTools Nov 11, 2016

Earlier this week, Denon DJ (part of InMusic group) released product teaser video, titled ?#ChangeYourRider 2017?. We traditionally don’t enjoy over-hyped teaser videos, but it’s exciting to see a potential competitor to Pioneer DJ’s stronghold on media players make some noise. Keep reading for our analysis.

Denon DJ Wants DJs To #ChangeYourRider

In the video, there’s a schematic of what looks like a media player. This makes sense, Denon’s media player line hasn’t been updated in a while. The  targeting users of the immensely popular Pioneer CDJ range.

The title, #ChangeYourRider, is directed squarely at touring / club DJs who request an equipment rider detailing their exact specifications before any performance. Currently, the overwhelming majority of professional riders specify Pioneer DJ CDJs as the media players. Denon’s campaign is clearly focused on toppling that monopoly – with a new product that will likely fill many of the roles currently satisfied by the CDJ range.

BPM counters, time displays, and a moving waveform visible in this angle of a new media player from Denon DJ

BPM counters, time displays, and a moving waveform visible in this angle of a new media player from Denon DJ

Based on the video, we can deduce a few specific features in the upcoming Denon DJ media player:
  • At second 3, there’s a line of square shapes. This suggests performance pads or a bank of hot cues.
  • At second 8 in the video, it looks like there’s a large, central jog-wheel with a blue central jog display
  • At second 20 (screenshot above) there’s an inclined screen with track info, tempo, beatgrids, and a detailed waveform

Denon DJ’s Engine In A Standalone Unit?

Denon’s announcement comes months the launch of their MCX 8000, which used their proprietary Engine library software (which parallels Pioneer DJ’s Rekordbox) and worked as a full-featured for Serato DJ controller.

We suspect this new player would probably use the Engine software as well, and fit into Denon?s existing ecosystem that includes the MCX 8000 and their media players. Denon?s current media player lineup is in serious need of a revitalization – a new player would join the Denon SC2900 and SC3900, both of which have all been on the market for years and don’t stand up next to newer Rekordbox-driven CDJs.

Denon's most recent media players - the SC2900 (left) and SC3900 (right)

Denon’s most recent media players – the SC2900 (left) and SC3900 (right)

I spoke with a DJ friend – who swears by Denon media players – about this teaser. He expressed hope that this new media player would have a hallmark feature of older Denon players: moving platters for jog-wheels. But motorized parts aren’t exactly in high demand by most DJs who aren’t turntablists.

Will Denon DJ’s campaign to infiltrate the riders of professional DJs work? It could happen. Particularly if the new player is able to compete with the CDJ-2000NXS2 and the XDJ-1000mkII (in both features and price). There’s a clear gap in the market for home/bedroom DJs who want to use professional CDJ-style setups, but don’t have $2,000 to $6,000 to spend on a high-end Pioneer DJ setup.

That said, it’s sure to be an uphill battle. Can Denon do it? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

The post Is Denon DJ Going To Release A CDJ-Killer? appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Nov 11, 2016

Along with some PC notebooks and Android phones, Apple?s new MacBook Pro exclusively features USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connections for power and data. In today’s article, we’ve compiled the benefits and headaches of  USB-C for DJs and electronic musicians. We also reached out to major music gear manufacturers. Read what they think of the new standard, and when they might add USB-C ports into their hardware. Will USB-C be the new uber-standard or the next FireWire 800 flop?

USB-C and the MI Industry

Consumer products like external hard drives are much faster to adopt new standards than music gear

Consumer products like external hard drives are much faster to adopt new standards than music gear.

Since the inception of computer music and electronic music gear, the musical instrument (MI) industry has been slower to adopt technological standards than the computer / consumer electronics industries at large.  Why?

  • longer product refresh cycles for music technology
  • the relatively tiny size of the MI business means manufacturers have a tougher time reaching economies of scale and negotiating for lower-priced bulk components

This has lead to a slower-then-ideal adoption of standards (SD cards, Bluetooth) into music gear, which the industry has largely caught up to. So when the latest technologies pop up, music producers and DJs always have to wonder how soon (if at all) their setups will be affected.

While the 24-pin USB-C ports started popping up on some PCs in early 2015, it didn?t make much of a splash in the music tech scene. However, when Apple festooned its long-awaited MacBook Pro laptops with nothing but USB-C ports and a 3.5 mm headphone jack at the end of October, it both granted a bright future to the USB-C standard, and sent cringes rippling through music technology circles.

The ports on the new Macbook Pros

The ports on the new Macbook Pros

The MacBook Pro is the most ubiquitous laptop amongst pro and semi-pro music producers and DJs. Many anticipated an overdue product refresh for quite some time. While USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports could be an advantage down the line, there are currently no pro-audio peripherals that include the port. Using adapters can (but does not always) diminish the performance of audio interfaces and other peripherals. Adapters of all kinds are also easy to lose (think about the last time you needed a headphone adapter but couldn’t find one).

Our industry’s enthusiasm for USB-C?s advantages hinges upon how quickly and thoroughly MI gear adopts it.

Advantages of USB-C for Music Gear

  • Smaller – USB-C measures 2.6 mm tall, so it can allow devices like laptops to be thinner if they don?t use any 7.5 mm tall USB-A sockets. Only certain mobile segments of music gear benefit much from ultra-thinness, but USB-C could also help free up space on often-crowded audio interfaces and controller or instrument back panels.
  • Easier connection – USB-C cables are reversible and flippable; they don?t have to be connected ?right side up,? and they use the same connector on each end. That will eventually help musicians and DJs set up more quickly and easily in low-light situations. Also, in case there was any doubt, USB-C connections are backwards-compatible with other USB standards.
  • Powerhouse – USB-C can send video, audio and power streams simultaneously, which could mean that depending on your music setup, you may only need one wall power adapter for your laptop. Eliminating as many wall-wart and other power adapters from a live rig as possible can only make for less frustrating setups. USB-C also uses the USB 3.1 protocol by default, which has a theoretical speed of 10Gbps?twice the speed of USB 3.0.
  • Thunderbolt 3 – Since Intel announced that Thunderbolt 3 would use the USB-C port type, every Thunderbolt 3 port, like the ones one the new MacBook Pros, will also work as USB-C ports, and will use the same cables. The Thunderbolt 3 protocol is even more powerful, supporting 40Gbps theoretical bandwidth and as much as 100W of power. As the most powerful protocol yet, Thunderbolt 3 promises to eliminate latency and provide for more expandability options over fewer cables (that is, if all your other gear is also compatible with USB-C).

When Will We See Massive USB-C Adoption in Music Gear?

Outlets like PCMag more or less rejoiced when Apple revealed its USB-C covered MacBook Pros, seeing it as a sign that ?it won?t be long until [?] USB-C is found on all manner of devices from simple external hard drives on up.? The connection is already in certain thin-form PC laptops like the Asus ZenBook 3 and in Android phones like the new Google Pixel and models from HTC and Motorola.

The new Google Pixel phone (right) has a USB-C port

The new Google Pixel phone (right) has a USB-C port

As previously mentioned, MI companies are historically slow in adopting new tech standards. It’s possible that Apple?s clout, especially in the music world, will encourage gear manufacturers that USB-C is the way of the near- and long-term future. But those purchasing the new MacBook Pro out of necessity or luxury will have to settle for struggling in a potential mire of adapters and dongles for their gear until everyone else catches up. Macworld published a helpful guide to various USB-C adapters.

Early USB-C adopters will have to hope everyone else does catch up without a lot of concrete proof for now. We contacted 10 major OEMs of music and DJ gear to try to gauge both their interest in and timetable for USB-C adoption.

As you might expect: no one wanted to give specific estimates on when their company would incorporate USB-C into their products, but the overall implication, with varying degrees of urgency, indicated that MI manufacturers would adopt USB-C when it made sense for them to do so. My own conclusion: gear manufacturers are waiting on a wide-scale adoption of USB-C computers first.

It?s nonetheless enlightening to hear some of the feedback from heavy-hitting gear manufacturers:

Korg on USB-C

Korg emphasized that it is ?always innovating,? but Korg Product Specialist Nick Kwas? comments centered on how USB-C could specifically enhance pro audio products. ?[USB-C is] compact, which allows for more space for other input and output jacks,? he said. ?And it allows for USB 3.1 data transfer, which might someday lead to technology that can be used to transmit USB MIDI and audio data at completely unprecedented rates and fidelity.?

Roland on USB-C

Roland issued the most affirmative response to adopting USB-C, although without any specific timing. Roland Corp., US Product Strategy Manager Brandon Ryan said, ?we intend to implement USB-C in the future.? He added that because of USB-C?s wide compatibility and other advantages outlined above, ?we expect USB-C to be adopted quickly and fully.?

Ryan?s further comments addressed how USB-C could benefit audio gear and the people who use it. ?Increased power delivery could mean more devices that can get their power from USB, reducing cable clutter, eliminating unwieldy wall warts and speeding up setup at gigs,? he said. ?It means more gear can go more places, increasing the opportunities to be creative.?

He also pointed to the benefit of USB-C possibly becoming the default cord for power and data. ?USB-C cables will probably become ubiquitous, reducing the need for expensive, proprietary cables that may not be readily available, especially on location,? Ryan said.

Allen & Heath on USB-C

Allen & Heath?s response reinforced the notion that you shouldn?t assume USB-C will show up on musical equipment in the immediate future.

?We?ve observed that a large proportion of DJs are still using ?older? issue laptops and despite many perceptions, have no real definitive reason to upgrade the system that currently works for them,? said Allen & Heath?s Xone Marketing Specialist, Greg Ibbotson. ?For DJs selecting external interfaces with a laptop, they might not (yet) require this or gain any benefit for the next three years.?

Ibbotson continued that ?USB-C looks appealing, but it will be another standard caught in the multitude of connectivity options already on the markets? various interfaces. However, as this isn?t an Apple-only standard, we could see USB-C actually long-term replace interfaces that featured the larger USB connector.?

Native Instruments declined to comment on its adoption of USB-C at this time, and Pioneer DJ, Novation/Focusrite, InMusic Brands and Keith McMillen Instruments did not return our request for comments in time for publication.

Share your thoughts below: how do you think the new connection could improve musical gear? Will you move to a USB-C computer soon? 

The post Will Music + DJ Gear Manufacturers Adopt USB-C? appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 11, 2016
Have you yet done a mix yet on video? We've actually been doing an awful lot of these recently here at Digital DJ Tips (filming material for our forthcoming Digital DJ Lab training - more on that later...), and we think it's something every DJ should have a go at. So whether you've thought about it and not known where to start, or not even considered it before, here's why you should... The post...

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DJTechTools Nov 9, 2016

Recording and distributing a DJ mix might be easier than ever, but when you’re sharing your mix online, how do you reach people? In an era of video-focused content, audio-only DJ mixes are becoming more difficult to easily share on social media. Keep reading for an overview of the state of DJ mix sharing and how you can stand out.

Are Rich Media Embeds On Facebook Dead?

Want to embed a Soundcloud player on Facebook? Sorry, not an option.

Want to embed a Soundcloud player on Facebook? Sorry, not an option.

In the last few years, we’ve seen Facebook’s increased desire to become the place that media is hosted instead of simply shared. This has reflected itself in users’ timelines – with Facebook Live and videos uploaded directly to the site getting the ability to play right in the timeline.

DJs who have used audio-hosting web tools like Soundcloud or Mixcloud might remember that pasting in a link to your mix would put an audio player directly into the feed, making it way more likely that a friend or fan would start to listen to your mix.

But those days are gone. Pasting in a link to your mixes on these sites no longer generate a built-in player. There was no official announcement, and it’s not exactly clear who is “to blame”. Here are the facts:

  • Open Graph Music (the API behind rich-media embeds on Facebook) is only available to whitelisted Facebook partners.
  • Facebook likely wants users and pages to upload their (video) content directly to the site (more page views to monetize) – so could be discouraging other built-in players
  • Sites like Soundcloud and Mixcloud want to capture users on their own sites – and monetize. They can’t serve ads as easily if you’re not listening on their site.

“In response to recent sharing issues on Facebook, we have implemented a change where links shared to Facebook will not render into players, but will rather let users click straight through to your track’s page on SoundCloud to play there. This way, we can provide a much better experience for your listeners” – excerpt from a Soundcloud support page on Facebook sharing

Based on a bit of casual testing on Facebook, only a few major media providers seem able to still play media directly in the timeline:

  • Vimeo
  • YouTube
  • Spotify
  • Apple Music
  • Facebook video (obviously)

For Spotify and Apple Music, DJ mixes aren’t supported (more on that at the end of this article) – but what about Facebook video, YouTube, and Vimeo? There are a few options:

Uploading Your DJ Mixes As Videos

So in an era where audio-only mixes are mostly useless, the simple answer is to make a video for your DJ mixes. This comes with a big caveat: YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo – pretty much any high-traffic video hosting website – all have content detection engines that could easily make your video unplayable if the wrong content is included. Under US copyright law, DJ mixes typically don’t quality as fair use as they usually:

  • include rebroadcastings of original copy-written work
  • don’t have explicit permission from artists
  • are not made with a clear educational purpose

Based on anecdotal evidence, we’ve found that Facebook is very likely to take down DJ mixes (even if you livestream them using Facebook Live). YouTube is much more likely to identify songs within a video and monetize your video, giving the royalties to the artists identified.

YouTube is one of the few rich media players to live on in Facebook timelines

YouTube is one of the few rich media players to live on in Facebook timelines

YouTube is likely the best option for most DJ mix uploads because:

  • of the above relative leniency on copyright
  • its own built-in audience (which easily outpaces DJ-only mix sites)
  • a great related content discovery engine (random people are more likely to discover your video if it is well-titled)
  • almost every social media platform (including Facebook) allows a YouTube player to be embedded

Record Your Mixing Session Live

This is the most successful way to upload mixes to YouTube. Set a camera down in front of your DJ setup before you start recording your mix, and then upload the entire thing when finished. You’ve probably seen videos in this “bedroom Boiler Room” style before – but here’s a few examples.

DJ Ravine (who has shared CDJ-tips on DJ Techtools before) has loads of uploads on YouTube of his mix sessions. His videos are often themed to a specific genre or concept, on unique pieces of gear, offer multiple camera angles on the gear, and occasionally include a guest mixing alongside him (it’s usually Cotts).

Don’t believe that you’ll be able to upload mixes to YouTube without getting a copyright takedown? Delta Notch is proof that it’s not as dangerous as you might think – he has a ton of mix videos, including the above eight-hour mixing session.

Create A Live Visuals Video Of Your Mix

The other most common form of DJ mix videos include basic visualizers in them – or have simple video content that matches the mood of the mix. Take this upload – which uses freely available visual elements from visuals artist Beeple to complement the mix (which has just shy of 1 million views).

You could have something more dynamic if you sat down and crafted an advanced sound-reactive VJ set or worked up a unique scene in After Effects – but those are projects onto themselves.

If you want an easy, free way to record reactive visuals for your DJ mix, just use iTunes and a screen capture program. The drawback here is that you’ll have to record it in real-time, and have enough space on your hard drive for the resulting video capture:

One option for visual content: record a visualizer!

One option for visual content: record a music visualizer!

Another option to create an unchanging title card or photo as the video content for your mix. This is the fastest way to make a “video” for your mix, but also by far the most boring. If you have a well-titled mix and a decent following, this solution can work just fine. As an example, here’s a mix by RamsesB, uploaded on prominent YouTube channel MrSuicideSheep. It has nearly 16 million views:

What About The Future?

The truth is that none of these solutions are really ideal for DJs and their audiences. Making a video just so you can upload your mix to YouTube, just so listeners can play your mix directly from their social media streams? It’s a lot of work.

Spotify embedded in Facebook

Ultimately, where do people who are consuming streaming music of any type go to? The answer is simple: listeners are streaming music on services like Spotify and Apple Music. DJ content hasn’t yet been introduced to those platforms, but both have announced partnerships with Dubset’s Mixbank that will eventually make this happen.

Stay tuned to DJ Techtools in the coming weeks as we hope to find out even more about when DJ mixes will start to get integrated into these platforms very soon.

Read Next: How To Record DJ Mixes Right (and Why It Matters)

The post Sharing DJ Mixes On Facebook + YouTube appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 9, 2016
Allen & Heath introduced its Xone line of mixers and controllers 16 years ago and has since earned a well-deserved reputation for pristine sound and great build quality. The PX5 is its latest offering: a performance oriented, high-end 4+1 channel mixer which combines the signature creamy analogue Xone sound with dedicated digital effects. The post Review & Video: Allen & Heath...

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DigitalDJTips Nov 9, 2016
The Global Digital DJ Census from Digital DJ Tips is the biggest annual DJ survey in the world, and is back again for 2016. Whether you're a beginner, a bedroom DJ or a pro, and whether you're a club, mobile or party DJ, this is your chance to get your voice heard and make your opinion count - and it only takes 10 minutes. The post Take Our DJ Survey For Your Free $11,000 Prize Draw Entry...

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Serato Nov 9, 2016
 

Looks like Christmas has come a little early this year with Serato's brand new Xmas Control Vinyl.

Featuring a nasty AF Christmas sweater, this exclusive record comes dusted with red, green and white splatter and two crisp white slipmats. And to spice things up even more, we're throwing in the chance to win a Pioneer DJM-S9!

These are available in stores only. To purchase, check with your local Serato dealer.

To enter:

  1. Take a photo showing off the vinyl in your best Christmas getup.
  2. Upload to Instagram and tag #s9taclaus

Our favourite entry will win the mighty Pioneer DJ DJM-S9! 

Winner announced December 15th.

Serato Nov 9, 2016

 

Mastering is the process of polishing your raw recording into a dynamic, loud and high quality professionally sounding audio product. The LANDR DJ App offers an instant mastering tool allowing your recording to sound good on a wide array of speakers, not just your personal setup.

LANDR is now offering unlimited HD WAVs (24 bits) within the LANDR Pro Yearly subscription - for no extra charge. 

To celebrate this great news, Serato is exclusively offering users 20% off on the LANDR Pro Yearly subscription ( + 2 free WAVs for all new users) from today until November 15th.

Create an account and try LANDR

There's also a new and improved engine in the LANDR DJ App. Here's a summary of the new features:

  • Automatic segmentation of individual tracks from the dj set
  • Each track individually analyzed and production decisions determined
  • Each track's production optimized according to dj set as a whole
  • Seamlessly recombined and rendered

Try out LANDR and make your mixtapes stand out!

DigitalDJTips Nov 7, 2016
Bag maker Namba, whose rucksacks we've used (and abused) through the years, has come up with something that goes against the custom-built grain: Namba Gear Wraps are padded squares that you can tuck your gear in, whether it's a laptop, DJ controller, or audio interface. We take a look at them in this review. The post Review & Video: Namba Gear Wraps appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Nov 7, 2016
Denon DJ has dropped a 30-second video with the hashtag #ChangeYourRider, showing "a new standalone multi-player with CD and touchscreen" - or at least, that's the consensus of opinion forming in the video comments, which seems reasonable to us (it's all big jogwheels and buttons). The post Denon DJ Teases New Pro DJ Gear appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Nov 5, 2016
Digital DJ Tips reader Varsha writes in with a question that could potentially be relevant to half the entire population, although maybe shockingly, to only 5% of our readership. It's this: "Hi Phil, I have just started as a mobile DJ. Do you think it's not good for a girl to do this? Can you recommend any forums or help for female DJs?" The post Over To You: Help For New Female Mobile DJ?...

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DigitalDJTips Nov 5, 2016
Thinking all music is sounding the same nowadays? It might - just might - not be due to your getting older. Whether you agree or not, the first piece we link to in today's Friday Roundup is certainly food for thought... The post Friday Roundup: "Why All Modern Music Is Sh**" appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DJTechTools Nov 4, 2016

When ill.Gates waxes poetic on music production processes, it’s clear that he’s spent uncountable hours in the studio. In today’s video, he shares some of his most valuable tips for anyone taking on the creative process of producing. Learn why “it’s not over until someone kills a puppy” is reasonable music writing advice – watch the full video inside.

ill.Gates’: How To Optimize Your Studio Workflow

In the above video, ill.Gates gives an incredibly detailed overview of five tips that have changed his own creative process in the studio when music making. Here’s a quick summary of the major points he makes:

Divide Studio Sessions Into “Day” and “Night” Sessions

  • Time spent in the studio is incredibly valuable – but if you do everything at once it will be too overwhelming
  • Split your sessions into Writing and Prep sessions
  • Prep/Nighttime: Shorter amount of time, good for sound design, plugins, making sounds and kits, organizing library, practicing finger drumming (essentially anything isn’t writing music). This is more about exploring and experimentation.
  • Writing/Daytime: Treat this like you would a job – wake up early, focus entirely on writing the music for a long period. Get as much writing done as possible in one session!

The Three Production Phases

  • Phase 1: Saying Yes â€“ This is when you’re creating new ideas, jamming. Putting down as many ideas as possible. Add as many things as you want to your project.
  • Phase 2: Saying No â€“ Arrange the above ideas into a track “by subtracting, not by adding”. Delete stuff from the first stage – you can’t incorporate all of your ideas into one song.

“A good song should do one thing really well, not all the things.”

  • Phase 3: Finishing Up – Finalize everything – flatten it down to audio stems. Mix rendered audio instead of live instruments (for the sake of processing power). Correct timing, and tidy things up. Mix again with fancy plugins and make small edits to your stems where needed (reverse things, pitch shift, etc).

Make Your Studio Ergonomic

All of the gear in his studio is velcro'd on monitor mounts/trees

All of the gear in his studio is velcro’d on monitor mounts/trees

  • ill.Gates likes to stand up for phase 1 – when jamming – not be sitting down. This is common in a lot of creative practices.
  • Buy monitor arms / trees and attach your various gear to. There are a number of low-cost options on Amazon – which tilt and rotate fully. Many pieces of gear won’t have VESA mounts on the back of them, so try using heavy-duty Velcro instead!

Timeboxing + Recipes

The Seconds Pro app in action

The Seconds Pro app in action

  • Make a list of everything that needs to happen to your track
  • Set a timer (simple mechanical kitchen timers like this one work well!)
  • Cross off as many things on the list as possible
  • You might recognize this as a simplified version of the Pomodoro technique
  • You can also use your phone – ill.Gates recommends interval timers – he specifically uses Seconds Pro ($4.99 on the App Store) which allows you to allocate specific amounts of time for different studio tasks.
  • Apps allow you to unit the kitchen timer and the list – to make what ill.Gates calls a recipe (can you tell he loves cooking analogies?)

Find more ill.Gates’ studio advice on ProducerDJ.com – including his Ill Methodology tutorial series. 

Want to own some of ill.Gates’ original finger drumming soundpacks? Check out the packs he released with DJ Techtools here

The post Ill Gates: 5 Studio Workflow Techniques appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 4, 2016
MegaSeg, the radio automation and DJ mixing platform for Mac, has just had a major upgrade to version 6, with a new interface and dozens of new features and improvements designed to take advantage of macOS Sierra. Improvements include resizable current song player, auto volume sensing for automated segues, and a new playlist browser. The post Automated DJ Platform MegaSeg 6 Arrives For macOS...

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DigitalDJTips Nov 4, 2016
Out in time for Christmas, the Hercules DJControl Party Pack may be a tiny bit too expensive for a stocking filler, but it's certainly a party in a box, offering a DJ controller and light show for around the price of a dirt-cheap smartphone. While this set-up is not going to appeal to professionals or even serious hobbyists, it has thoughtful touches for beginner. The post Hercules DJControl...

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DJTechTools Nov 3, 2016

DJ software isn’t easy to build. Developers and management have customer data that only goes so far when it comes to building a product DJs will enjoy using compared to others. For a small software company to go up against NI or Serato there are a lot more hurdles to overcome with (usually) a much smaller budget. This is a typical narrative, but not the narrative of DJ Player 9, which receives advice and design tips straight from a Slack community its own users.

DJ Player 9 Crowdsource

Crowdsourcing a DJ App with Slack

In the Bay Area tech scene, Slack is a trendy app used for interoffice team communication. I’ve never seen it used in DJ context before hearing about DJ Player 9’s origin story. Since November 2015, creator Gábor Szántó has used Slack to connect his team with its users from 45 countries in 11 different time zones. From MIDI mappings to beta tests, the community of 1000+ members has contributed to the latest release. This progressive move takes the users right to the discussion table. DJs were able to give ideas, mock-ups, and even niche features that would eventually make it into the release candidate.

The final DJ Player 9 app is a child of this ecosystem and it has a strong foundation of users who are dedicated to testing and improving the software. The community is still alive and well today where users are contributing and talking about the app. Gábor wants to keep the conversation going because, “no ‘point zero’ version is perfect, and not every reasonable wish” is present.

DJ Player 9: What’s New

The press release claims DJ Player 9 is the “Formula 1” car for the DJ world – we’ll let you read the features and decide for yourself. The iOS app is DVS ready for any timecode vinyl and has MIDI support for a range of controllers with no manufacturer restrictions. The app also supports 4 decks and Native Instruments STEM tracks as well.

There are two major interface options when DJs use the app: Classic and Modern.

DJ Player 9

The Classic interface is the legacy of earlier versions of DJ Player. This version focuses on handheld capabilities with DVS and portablism in mind. The top level controls include Play, Cue, Sync and Loop with a +/- pitch control and 3 EQ knobs. A crossfader rests between both decks. The deck displays BPM, pitch changes, and key with a vertical waveform on the side and a smaller horizontal waveform above.

DJ Player 9

The Modern interface is more progressive with waveforms taking up a majority of the screen real estate. The waveform displays (for both views) now provide better track structure overview and beat localization. Immediate controls available within the Modern face are Play, Cue, Sync and Loop with a knob pitch and key control. A crossfader rests on the left side of the screen. EQ controls are available with a click of a button.

Each interface has a dedicated FX screen for each deck. The FX screen has three FX pads and a combo option to layer effects. Users can switch between Modern and Classic interfaces quickly using the Yin-Yang symbol at the top of the screen. As the interface has improved, the performance of the software has been maintained. Under the hood, analyzing tracks takes less time and the app runs at 60 FPS. The folks behind DJ Player 9 promise to provide better performance, better responsiveness, and a cleaner sound when compared to other DJ software.

Final Thoughts

As always with switching to a new DJ software, the heavy claims in press releases about performance, responsiveness, and features don’t really matter. DJs change software when they see other DJs using it, and the experience of the software is superior enough to convince them to put in the effort to learn something new.

DJ Player 9 is a unique breed. After being sent through exhaustive tests by dedicated users, the company now has a product that resonates with the DJs who use it. Other companies have open betas, however, rarely do consumers communicate compliments and issues directly to the creator.

The new version is well situated to be a strong contender in the ring of iOS DJ software. There’s the added bonus of having an open community of DJs who believe in the product, and the crowdsourced design makes this a unique entry.

DJ Player 9 is available now in the App Store for free, with required subscription of $1.67/month or $89.99 to remove trial notifications.

The post DJ Player 9: An iOS DJ App Crowdsourced Over Slack appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 3, 2016
LANDR - the professional online mastering platform for producers - has just announced the latest version of its app aimed at DJs who want to add some polish and shine to their DJ mixes, and you can download and try it for free as of now. Click the link in the article to get it and give it a go. The post Polish Your DJ Mixes With LANDR's Latest DJ App appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Nov 3, 2016
A decade ago, when key detection was almost unheard of, Mixed In Key revolutionised the game, giving DJs a simple way to instantly know what was likely to mix with what. But with key detection now built in to all major software, does Mixed In Key 8 do enough to make it worth buying? We find out... The post Review & Video: Mixed In Key 8 For Mac & PC appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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Serato Nov 3, 2016
 

Serato Product Specialist, OP, takes you through the Roland DJ-808 controller - the very first product from Serato and Roland featuring a built-in TR-S drum machine, VT voice transformer and much more.

Courtesy of Scratch DJ Academy.

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

Serato Nov 3, 2016

DJ earl and Spinn of Teklife put the Roland DJ-808 controller through its paces in this mini-mix by using the built in VT Voice transformer and TR-S drum machine while mixing tracks within Serato DJ.

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.

DJTechTools Nov 2, 2016

ROLI, the company behind the unique Seaboard RISE touch keyboards, rolled out a new product line today: BLOCKS. They’re modular control surfaces, quickly attached together to expand from a single touch pad to full array of modules. Keep reading to get a sense of BLOCKS and how they work with ROLI’s free iOS music creation app.

ROLI BLOCKS

These new devices are built for ROLI’s own iOS app, NOISE. The basic idea is a streamlined music creation app – something that sits comfortably between a DAW and a Kaossilator. The app has been out for a while – but until now it was focused on the on-screen experience.

With the new BLOCKS hardware, NOISE is gaining a system of control that’s unprecedented on iOS when it comes to music creation apps. It’s no surprise that one of the few places you’ll be able to buy any of the three control surfaces will be in Apple Stores around the world â€“ these devices are aiming to be the ultimate music-creation accessory.

Lightpad, Live, Loop Blocks

There are three different pieces of hardware that are a part of the BLOCKS family: Lightpad, Live, and Loop. The Lightpad Block is the primary unit that a new user would start with. It will run $180, has 225 LEDs across its multi-touch surface that has some familiar power features as other ROLI touch products:

The Lightpad Block has a number of grid modes, each of which display a different colored grid of notes that helps guide process of writing melodies, playing drums, etc.

It sends MIDI over Bluetooth – so we suspect there will be a healthy community of people who get a Lightpad for their own setups that don’t use NOISE. But the intuitive control over the iOS app is likely to be the most attractive option for most consumers.

lightpad-block

Lightpad also is advertised as “5D” touch – by which ROLI means there are five different ways you can touch the surface to create sounds:

“Strike the surface to sound a note, as you would on a piano key or a drum. Glide your fingers from side to side to bend the pitch, as violinists do. Slide up and down to modulate the sound. Press into the surface to deepen sounds, like a saxophone player does by breathing more. Lift off the surface at different speeds to change a sound?s resonance.”

It’s all designed to be intuitive, instead of terrifying (something that a lot of first-time producers feel when they open Ableton and have no idea what they’re doing). The Lightpad adjusts to what you see on the iOS app, and even has a Learn Mode that visually suggest different types of gestures to craft musical ideas. As expected, all the input functions can be quantized and scale locked – ideal to always stay in tune with a project.

You can add a second Lightpad Block to the first to expand the playable space (see more about BLOCKS’ modular connections below). Alternatively, adding one of the two other Blocks (each of which are $80) allows even more secondary control:

Live Block

This secondary Live Block controller is designed for performing – allowing live producers to quickly “switch scales and octaves, trigger chords and arpeggios, and sustain notes in real time.”

Loop Block

The Loop Block is, as you might expect, more oriented for loop-based production work. You can quickly record loops / sequences, turn on the metronome, adjust BPM, quantize input, undo your last input, and more.

Modular BLOCKS: Keep Adding More

ROLI has thought the modularity of the BLOCKS through – with the ability to quickly connect each of the devices together. The Lightpad Blocks have magnetic “BLOCKS DNA connectors” on all four sides, meaning you can attach other Blocks however best suits your setup.

ROLI’s new BLOCKS are available now on their store – and soon, in Apple Stores as well. You can download the NOISE app for free on the App Store, and yes, it works without owning any of the Blocks or a Seaboard. 

The post BLOCKS: Modular iOS Music Creation Gear From ROLI appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Nov 2, 2016

Earlier this year we highlighted a variety of analog rotary mixers being made by independent companies, and the list continues to grow. Two British companies, MasterSounds and Union Audio, have teamed up to create the simple-but-unique Radius 2 DJ mixer. Keep reading for details on this two-channel mixer with master isolators, analog VU meters, and high-pass filters on each channel.

Radius 2: 2 Channel Simplicity

The Radius 2 in silver (click to zoom)

The Radius 2 in silver (click to zoom)

The Radius 2 is a compact two-channel mixer – with a focus on the overall quality of the mixer as opposed to cramming as many features in as possible. Here’s the advertised feature set:

  • “a fantastic clean, open and dynamic sound” on both Line and RIAA/Phono inputs
  • easy to read VU meters (analog needles instead of lights)
  • a three-band Master EQ/Isolator
  • a “smooth natural sounding” hi-pass filter per channel
  • AUX Send/Return loop for adding on external effects
  • Record Out (RCA)
  • Booth Out (1/4″)
  • Master Out (XLR)

radius-2-rear-finalsmall

Make no mistake – this is a premium product. The units are all hand-built, tested, and shipped by co-designer Andy Rigby-Jones (the industrial designer behind Richie Hawtin’s Model 1 Mixer) The mixer is available in two exterior case colors – black and silver.

The price matches the premium aesthetic and delivery:  â€œŁ1,200 including VAT, and Ł1,350 including VAT for the even higher specification version” (although there’s no details on what the higher-spec version offers). With the GBP where it is now, those prices are $1,467 and $1,651 respectively.

radius-2-black-closeup-final

Who Are MasterSounds and Union Audio?

So why buy this type of high-end DJ mixer from two smaller companies in the U.K.? First, it’s worth noting that as with the other mixers we highlighted back in June, these are not mass-produced products. This is a big part of why the price is high – but it also allows the quality to be hand-checked by someone intensely familiar with the design of the product.

The two companies are uniquely qualified to create a product puts audio quality as the central focus. MasterSounds is a company that sells turntable accessories and audiophile versions of Technics SL-1210s. Union Audio is a company that designs and develops audio products – and was founded by Andy Rigby-Jones (who created the Allen & Heath Xone series of DJ mixers), who writes:

“The heart of the Radius 2 is a carefully designed audio signal path, marrying classic analogue circuitry to the latest high performance components and design techniques, all of which contribute to the superb transparency of the mixer.”

The Radius 2 Black and Silver are available only by emailing Ryan Shaw at MasterSounds as they are made-to-order. Click here to get more details

The post Radius 2: A New 2-Channel Rotary Analog DJ Mixer appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DigitalDJTips Nov 2, 2016
Boutique iOS DJ app DJ Player Pro has just been released in a "completely redesigned" version, this time boasting two views ("classic" and "modern") and a host of new features, and calling itself the "Formula 1 car" of iOS DJ software. The developers major on it being the only DJ software developed completely in-house without external components The post DJ Player Pro 9 In New Bid For iOS DJ...

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DigitalDJTips Nov 2, 2016
It's ironic that at its Keynote last week, Apple chose to use DJ software (Algoriddim's excellent djay Pro) to demo the computer's new Touch Bar, seeing as DJs appear to be abandoning Apple's flagship music program, iTunes, in droves. What was once the go-to app for organising DJ music libraries is now, frankly, a mess... The post 5 Reasons Why DJs Should Stop Using iTunes Now appeared first on...

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DigitalDJTips Nov 2, 2016
To celebrate the launch of my new book, Rock The Dancefloor!, I recently held a free live coaching session with several hundred of our readers and students who had bought the book on its first day of release, as a way of thanking them. The response to the webinar was so great, and we had [...] The post Missed Our Free DJ Coaching Session? Catch Up Here... appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Nov 2, 2016
Digital DJ Tips reader Karlton writes: "All the DJs I am hanging with (including my mentor), are telling me to jump the Serato ship and 'move up' to Traktor. They say it will make life easier behind the decks while performing because it locks into the beat better than Serato does..." The post Your Questions: Should I Switch From Serato To Traktor? appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Nov 2, 2016
Digital DJ Tips reader Mike writes: "I'm fairly new to DJing, here on the east coast of the States. My question is, why aren't DJs using IEMs? I understand the cost of IEMs is a little outrageous, but it seems to me that the cost is definitely worth it. I bought some Westone W30s, and the only downside so far is that you likely need to take one out for speaking into a mic..." The post Over To...

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DigitalDJTips Nov 2, 2016
Did you catch the Apple Keynote with the new MacBook and Algoriddim's djay Pro software yesterday? Our lead story this week is all about it. Read on for that, and the rest of the stuff that's caught our eye this week., as we trawl around the music and DJing website that matter to bring you your Friday Roundup... The post Friday Roundup: How DJs Might Use The New MacBook Touch Bar appeared first...

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DigitalDJTips Nov 2, 2016
The ball in your stomach that you feel looking at an empty gig calendar is a hard one to conquer. Even veterans go through droughts. It?s one of the worst feelings as a DJ - right there behind panicking, all out of ideas of what to play in front of an empty dancefloor. The post Why I Turned Down A Hot Residency & A $1500 Fee... appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Nov 2, 2016
Pioneer DJ has today announced that its XDJ-RX DJ media player/controller now comes with Rekordbox DJ software for free. This means that buyers of the unit can DJ from USB as before, but can also now plug in their laptop and use the unit as a controller without the extra expense of buying. The post Pioneer's XDJ-RX Now Comes With Rekordbox DJ Free appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Nov 2, 2016
Novation's Circuit is a standalone synth, drum machine, and sequencer in one, with a focus on letting you create tracks in minutes, all without a computer or software. Is it a good production tool for both beginner and intermediate DJ/producers? We find out in this review... The post Review & Video: Novation Circuit Groovebox appeared first on Digital DJ Tips.

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DigitalDJTips Nov 2, 2016
If you haven't seen Sleeper's "Only Love" mixfilm, you have to see it - it's one of the most fun and life-affirming DJ routines we've seen. Performed live in one take in Sleeper's bedroom, it is a lesson in what DJing in 2016 can mean, and comes complete with a full video element too. It's a mini masterpiece. So I naturally had to have a chat with the man... The post Interview: Sleeper, The Man...

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DJTechTools Oct 31, 2016

What if you didn’t have to plug your laptop into your DJ setup – but still could be able to access all of your tracks and use control vinyl? PiDeck, a new project from 64 Studio, combines a Raspberry Pi microcomputer with xwax open source DJ software. The result is a lightweight, laptop-free DJing solution that you can quickly put a USB key into and start mixing. Read on for videos and an overview.

PiDeck: Raspberry Pi +xwax

The concept is simple: build a version of the open-source digital vinyl system xwax that runs well on a Raspberry Pi and use it as the sole interface to load/play songs and process timecode signal. The PiDeck project isn’t a concept, it’s a real working system:

Instead of using a $1,000 laptop, the system runs on a tiny ~$39* computer for each deck (*for the Pi 3 Model B, the only model supported on this project). Take a turntable, some control vinyl and add a soundcard (to input control vinyl signal) and a touchscreen monitor – and you’ve got a digital DJ setup.

PiDeck is really simple – there’s no advanced features to mess things up. The software just loads all the songs on your USB drive that you plug in – there’s no playlist features, sync, onboard FX. The project is completely open source, so anyone can download to software and make modifications if they’re so inclined.

In a quote on Create Digital Music, one of the developers notes how important PiDeck being a universal, non-custom device was – in order for anyone to walk up and use it without messing around with settings, etc:

We?ve deliberately put no configurable options in the interface, and there are no personal files stored on the device. This helps ensure the PiDeck becomes part of the turntable and not unique, in the way that a laptop and its data is. This makes the PiDeck easier to share with other DJs, so that there should be no downtime between sets, and should make it easier for up-and-coming DJs to get a turn on the equipment. If a PiDeck breaks, it would be possible to swap it out for another PiDeck device and carry right on.

Can You Scratch? (How’s The Latency?)

Surely on a low-cost computer like this, the performance must be pretty miserable, right? Guess again – here’s a great demo video:

What You Need To Use PiDeck

The project page on PiDeck’s official website is pretty comprehensive, and includes this list of what you need to be able to set this exact system up:

  • A recent Raspberry Pi (only Pi 3 model B tested so far) and power supply. First generation Raspberry Pi’s are not supported, sorry
  • Touchscreen (single-touch is enough), or a HDMI monitor and keyboard
  • Stereo, full-duplex I2S or USB soundcard with a phono input stage, or line input and an external pre-amp, soundcard must be supported by ALSA
  • Micro SD card for the software, at least 2GB in size, and an adaptor to flash it with
  • Control vinyl, Serato CV02 pressing or later recommended
  • USB stick containing your favourite music. FLAC format is recommended (16-bit 44100Hz format tested)
  • Non-automatic record player that can hold speed, with a clean, sharp stylus. It helps scratching if the headshell and arm are adjusted correctly
  • Slipmat, made from felt or neoprene
  • Sheet of wax paper from the kitchen drawer, to go under the slipmat
  • A beverage-proof case would be good. We’re still working on that.

The PiDeck team estimates that each device runs about Ł150 (~$187) – this doesn’t include control vinyl, needles, turntable. That’s vastly cheaper than a CDJ – and the convenience of just not having to use a laptop or primary computer at all is certainly going to be incredibly appealing to many DJs.

Would you build a PiDeck for your own use? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. 

H/T to Create Digital Music, which first covered the PiDeck earlier this month. 

The post PiDeck: Standalone DVS Control On Raspberry Pi appeared first on DJ TechTools.

Serato Oct 31, 2016

LigOne is back with another intricate live remix video, where he cuts up Family Portrait by Point Point using Serato DJ and the Akai Pro MPD226 pad controller. Cue and loops only!

See more from Serato Artists. 

DJTechTools Oct 30, 2016

For many DJs and producers, new Apple laptops have been important because macOS has been a historically bulletproof operating system for playing live. But with the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines both shifting to USB-C only, what do DJs and producers need to continue to use their current setups? Keep reading for our advice.

USB-C: An Industry-Wide Standard

Many online commenters waxing poetic about the new Macbook Pro yesterday came to a few false conclusions:

  • There’s no USB ports on the new MacBook Pro
  • Apple is removing an industry standard port and replacing it with their own proprietary one

In fact, USB-C is the new standard of USB ports. The original USB standard, which we’re all used to, was introduced in the mid-1990s (on the iMac G3). Twenty years later it’s time for a new standard – and there’s a distinct list of advantages that make it clear that this connector will be the expected port on every device in the future:

  • 10Gbps top speed transfer rate
  • 2.6mm port height allows it to fit in phones, super-thin laptops, and other slim devices
  • completely reversible – there’s no up or down orientation for the connector
  • the same connection on both ends – no device/computer sides to the cable
  • supports DisplayPort, HDMI, power, USB, and VGA – all over the same cable
  • USB-C supports 100w power delivery – so most devices will be able to be charged and powered and data connected via this cable
Image credit to usbc-adapters.com

Image credit to usbc-adapters.com

Over 700 different companies are a part of the group that designed and developed the spec for USB-C, including Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, Intel, HP, and Dell.  You can expect continued adoption of it by manufacturers as it becomes more widespread and manufacturing prices go down.

Apple might be “out in front” in terms of releasing a laptop that only has USB-C ports on it, but we expect to see most other manufacturers follow suit. For another example, look no further than Google’s latest product introduction, the Pixel phone, or other devices like the Nexus 6P, 5X, OnePlus 2, etc.

Adapters: Are They Safe?

Many of the adapters on the market are being made by third-party companies, which means that you should use caution when shopping around for them. There’s a rigid set of specs that USB-C cables and adapters need to conform to.

We’re living in a bit of a “wild west” situation where many cable companies and accessory developers are quickly creating accessories without paying attention to the specs – so read the reviews carefully! Particularly look for reviewer Benson Leung on Amazon – he’s reviewed many USB-C devices to ensure they’re up to spec.

usb-c-to-a-adapter

The most common adapter that DJs and producers with a USB-C laptop will want will be a USB-C to USB 3.0 A Female adapter. The above $13.99 3-pack from CableCreation on Amazon is highly reviewed (and up to spec). This will allow you to quickly start using your legacy USB devices with their original cables.

If you’d prefer to avoid adapters all together and have a lot of USB-B devices (probably the most common DJ controller port), you can get cables that go from USB-C to USB-B like the one below from Cable Matters – just $7.99 on Amazon.

usbb-to-c

USB-C Hubs

Many of the USB-C Hubs are plagued by issues that go beyond failing spec. In an era of faked Amazon reviews, this can often be difficult to detect. As Micah Singleton from The Verge writes,

Third-party USB-C hubs are notoriously a disaster. They overheat, are missing crucial ports, or the ports they have are underpowered, and on many of the ones we?ve tested, the SD card readers consistently fail to work.. [
] I, along with a few other Verge coworkers who own the laptop have used just about every viable USB-C hub to date, with less than stellar results.

The adapter that Micah begrudgingly recommends is Apple’s own mutiport adapter – but even that adapter isn’t great – just a HDMI port, a USB-C port, and a USB-A port. Not exactly versatile – and it’s $69.

The Arc Hub with a Launchpad

The Arc Hub with a Launchpad

But there are hubs that look promising coming soon – like the Arc Hub, with HDMI, Mini Display, SD Card, 2 USB-A 3.0, and 2 USB-C ports. This hub is still in development, but is set to ship in January for $105 – preorders here.

You could also take your luck with any number of USB-C hubs available on Amazon – from $9 to $64 – but buyer beware. We recommend using FakeSpot on anything you’re about to buy to detect fake reviews on Amazon.

USB-C Devices

So far there still aren’t very many devices on the market that are directly USB-C. We suspect that it may take at least one more year (NAMM 2018?) before we see any devices in the pro audio market come out with a USB-C connection as standard.

usb-c-flashdrive

However, there is one very important USB device that every creative professional needs – and many DJs use it every day: a thumb drive. There’s already a number of dual-port drives on the market – like the Samsung Flash Drive DUO, above. The prices are reasonable as well, which is great news for early adopters – the 128 GB model is $34.98 on Amazon.

 

USB-C Chroma Cables?

One final section here – mostly as a poll – would you buy USB-C Chroma Cables if DJTT developed them? As always they would be high-quality USB cables in great colors, with shielding and ferrites to prevent any noise issues. Let us know in the poll below:

The post USB-C Only: What Solutions Will DJs + Producers Need? appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Oct 30, 2016

The budget-friendly Mixars brand that first debuted in January 2016 at NAMM has a new mixer: the MXR-2. It’s a two-channel mixer “designed for club DJs”, packs a built-in 4×4 soundcard, an onboard effects unit, and only costs $349. Keep reading for more details.

MXR-2 Two Channel Mixer

This new MXR-2 mixer is fairly simple – clearly aiming to steal the low-end market from a lack of competition (Reloop, Behringer, and a few other companies make two channel budget mixers).

The face of the MXR-2 (click to zoom)

The face of the MXR-2 (click to zoom)

The feature set on the MXR-2 includes:

  • Two channels on the mixer section, with 3 band Kill-EQs (+12/-26dB)
  • 8 built-in digital FX (flanger, pitch shifter, stutter, vocoder, filter, and more) all able to be sync’d with auto-BPM detection
  • USB sound card – 4in / 4out (we’re pretty sure this will work for DVS, but it would need to get certified by the major software programs to work)
  • 2 stereo RCAs in per channel (switchable between line and phono)
  • 1 RCA AUX in
  • 1/4″ balanced or RCA master out
  • RCA record out
  • Microphone TRS in with gain, 2-band EQ

mxr2_back

The next step up from the MXR-2 is the Mixars Duo – which is a Serato DJ certified mixer with 4 sets of hot cue pads on each side of the mixer. That mixer is priced at over $700 – so in comparison, the MXR-2 is much more affordable. But this mixer is more about being a solid starter mixer than a professional solution – and the initial spec sheet seems to indicate it should do that nicely.

The post Mixars Launches MXR-2 Two Channel Club Mixer With Effects + Soundcard appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Oct 30, 2016

Apple always make a big deal of their new product announcements – and this morning’s new Macbook Pro lineup is no exception. The big news was that Apple has removed the function keys from the laptop and instead replaced it with a secondary multi-touch screen called TouchBar. Could DJs and producers find a good use for this TouchBar? Keep reading.

Algoriddim’s DJ Pro Already Is Using TouchBar

The final app demo that used the TouchBar technology was an app that we’re very familiar with: DJ Pro. Karim Morsy demonstrated how they’ve integrated the new Retina touchscreen into their app. Two parts of the demo particularly stood out – first, triggering samples with the TouchBar:

Samples arranged on the TouchBar (image captured via the Apple livestream)

Samples arranged on the TouchBar (image captured via the Apple livestream)

The question here becomes one of latency – is playing samples via the TouchBar really enjoyable? Is it better than using the keyboard directly below it?

Applying FX was the other demo that Karim showed off – doing beat loops and filters live in the TouchBar. This is a nice touch – and something that we imagine on-the-fly DJs who don’t have their gear with them but still want to perform might appreciate. It’s fun – and a better use of controls than the usually unused function keys during a DJ set. Here’s a tiny clip of the demo – better quality coming when Apple releases the keynote for re-watching:

Production DAWs?

Beyond simple on-the-fly DJing controls, we suspect that there will be even more interesting options available for producers whose software of choice builds an integration into the TouchBar. Imagine being able to quickly tweak your synth settings, or play a few notes, or trigger clips just using the multi-touch display. You can make get a pretty good sense of how the TouchBar might become a high-utility function in this screenshot of it in use with Final Cut X:

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-oct-27-06-34-pm

It’s attractive – but remember that this world moves slowly. We suspect that Apple’s own apps (Garageband, Logic) will be the first to adopt – and we’ll see Native Instruments, Ableton, and others take on the challenge at a much more leisurely pace.

What About The Rest Of The Laptop?

So there’s a decent chance that the Macbook Pro’s TouchBar could be incredibly useful for DJs and producers – but is first major update to the product line still be appealing beyond that?

macbook-io

It’s back to the same issue that we had in March of 2015 with the Macbook that removed all ports that weren’t USB-C. On this new Macbook Pro, Apple has consolidated their I/O to just a few ports.

  • No USB connectors
  • 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports (USB-C works here as well)
  • A headphone jack (we can hear a sigh of relief from DJs everywhere)
  • No MagSafe connector

USB-C / Thunderbolt 3

But will moving to Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports really be a solution that DJs and producers (professionals who need to use their computer with many external devices every day) will embrace? If you are plugging in gear that uses traditional USB connectors (thumb drives, MIDI controllers, drum machines, sequencers, etc) you’ll need either a new USB to USB-C cable for each device, or adapters for your old cables (we found this one on Apple’s store for $19 each).

usb-to-usbc

USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 is faster and far more versatile than the old-style USB ports (up to 40Gbps transfer speeds, you can send up to 15w of bus power to any device), so adoption will make sense for some devices. But for a majority of solutions in the DJ and production world, it’s overkill. We’d be surprised to see industry manufacturers move quickly to adopt the new spec as standard until a majority of new computers and devices are USB-C compatible.

That being said – USB-C isn’t a proprietary Apple connector! This means that, barring some other connection type becoming more popular in the next few years, it will likely be a fairly future-proof option. It just might be more appropriate for a DJ in 2020 than 2016 – but we’ll have to wait and see.

MagSafe No More

The other thing to note is the removal of MagSafe might be a risk for some DJs – we’ve long relied on the power cable on laptops on stands to just pull away without moving the computer. The new Macbook Pro no longer has this advantage because it uses one of the four Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports to charge.

Simply put – this means that if someone trips over your power cable, it’s more likely to pull your computer with it than it would have been with a MagSafe connector. It’s not as bad as a USB cable (Thunderbolt connectors are much shallower), but still a risk.

In fact, Mac accessory company Griffin has already come up with a solution: the BreakSafe USB-C power cable – if you can spare $39.99:

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-oct-27-56-41-am

Will you be considering the new Macbook Pro for a new DJing computer? Or will you hold off and look for something else? Let us know in the comments.

The post Will DJs Use The New Macbook Pro’s TouchBar? appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Oct 27, 2016

A dedicated DJ booth is one of the best things you can have to make sure you regularly practice at home. Today we’re sharing a DIY instructional guide on how to build a DJ booth that has integrated RGB lighting inside of it, all for less than $300. Keep reading for the full instructions from guest contributor Brian Bentley!

DIY: Light Box DJ Booth

Recently, I moved into a new apartment and the old IKEA DJ booth I had constructed wouldn?t fit. After seven years and three moves, it was becoming less sturdy and pretty scratched up. I gave it away on Craigslist and started dreaming of a new one. After searching for DIY and professionally built booths, I decided to build one because I wanted:

  • The exact right size to fit space in my room
  • To be able to use CDJs or turntables (and have storage for what wasn’t being used)
  • A permanent shelf for laptop/speakers
  • A place on the booth to store turntables/CDJs when not in use, hide wiring and SL3 box
  • Something with a unique look

After contemplating an initial boxy, solid wood design, I decided it would be too heavy and boring looking. In trying to reduce the weight, I added four short metal legs inside the enclosed area so the side panels wouldn?t have to be structural. With a solid color plastic in mind, I started searching online for something I could use as side panels.

Inspired by another DIY booth with RGB accent lighting, I had the idea to turn the enclosed space into a light box. So I started looking for translucent white panel and found a local plastics place. They carried transparent white, cast acrylic that would do just what I wanted.

Below, is a complete guide on how I built this light box DJ booth – including some pro tips and changes to consider when building this DJ booth for yourself. Click the drop downs below to view what you’ll need to build this project!

Materials List

 Materials you’ll need to acquire if you want to build this exact desk

  1. Melamine Board, 0.75? thick, 4?x8? (x1) $38.20
  2. Acrylic Sheet (Plexiglass), 40% Opacity White, 3/16? thick, 23.75? x 9.75? (x2) $17.08/each
  3. Acrylic Sheet (Plexiglass), 40% Opacity White, Œ? thick, 43.375? x 9.75? (x2) $35.84/each
  4. IKEA Olov Table Legs (Includes Screws) (x4) $15.00/each (I recommend finding different legs than these ? see notes below)
  5. IKEA Godmorgan Legs (Includes Screws) (x4) $10.00/each
  6. Pipe, Galvanized, 1.0? ID x 12? Long (x2) $6.61/each (I recommend 1.5? to 2.0? ID to make wiring easy)
  7. Flange, Galvanized, for 1.0? ID Pipe (x4) $10.55/each (Flange needs to match pipe size if you use a different ID)
  8. Hinge, 90° Flush Mount (Includes Screws) (x2) $5.98/pair (I recommend using 3 hinges)
  9. IKEA BJÄRNUM Hook (x1) $9.99
  10. Wire Grommets, Ű 2.0? (x5) $13.95/5-pack
  11. Wire Grommets Ű 1. 5? (x2) $12.60/5-pack (You could just use 7 of the Ű2?)
  12. Adhesive, E6000, Clear, 2.0 oz. (1 tube) $4.29
  13. Wood Glue
  14. Iron-on Melamine Edge Tape, .75? wide, 25? long (x1) $5.22
  15. IKEA DIODER, multicolor LED lights (x1) $29.99 (I recommend the strips over the pucks)
  16. M8 x 35mm Hex Head Bolt (x4)
  17. 5/16? Split Lock Washer (x4)
  18. Œ?-20 x 1.5? Phillips Head Countersunk Bolt (x8)
  19. Œ?-20 Nylon Nut (x8)
  20.  Œ? ID Washer (x8)
  21.  #10 x 0.75? Phillips Head Countersunk Screw (x8)
  22.  Ziptie (x4)
  23.  Adhesive-backed Velcro
  24.  Painters Tape, 2.0? Wide

 Tool List
 Tools you will want on hand to build this booth! 

  1. Drill, Electric, with Phillips Head Bit
  2. Drill Bits (1/4? and 5/16?)
  3. Hole Saw, 2? and 1.5?
  4. Phillips Head Screw Driver
  5. Adjustable Wrench (or sockets)
  6. Heat Gun (not essential, but nice to have)
  7. Iron
  8. Measuring Tape
  9. Pencil
  10.  Scissors or Utility Knife
  11. Hammer and Punch (not necessary, but very helpful)

Step-By-Step Construction Guide

I used tape to mark out the measurements of the booth in my house and make sure my gear fit with enough room to spare

Using tape to mark out the measurements of the booth – be sure gear will fit with enough room to spare

Step 1: Measure!

  • The dimensions I needed (based on the space in my house) were 43.0? wide by 23.75? deep.
  • To figure out an ergonomic height, I measured from the floor to my elbow, with my arms bent 90° (as if I was DJing). This was 38.5?, which will be the height of the CDJ platters.
  • I determined the speaker and laptop shelf needed to be 43.0? wide by 12.75? deep, based on their respective sizes.

blueprint-dj-booth

Step 2: Parts & Design

  • I first tried to source all parts from IKEA, but had issued finding exactly what I needed. Additionally, a lot of IKEA tabletops are a paper honeycomb construction, which doesn?t work well for cutting or drilling. They also scratch easily. My work desk is a melamine tabletop, so I decided to go with that. Home Depot online showed that my local store had a bunch of melamine boards, 0.75? thick, in white (it does come in other colors, but might take some hunting). One 4? x 8? melamine board would yield all three pieces needed, and Home Depot cut them for free.
  • On IKEA?s website, Olov legs seemed to have adjustable min/max height range needed, based on the 38.5? CDJ height I measured (worth noting, these legs ended up needing more support. I recommend finding something more structurally sound).
  • For the legs inside of the light box, Godmorgan legs would work well. They have a bracket on one end used to attach it to whatever and the other end is an adjustable foot. My plan: remove the adjustable foot (basically a bolt with a plastic foot) and secure the leg by running an actual bolt through it.
  • For hide wires on the the laptop/speaker shelf, I planned on having hollow mounts with galvanized pipe to run the wires through. I wasn?t sure how tall to make the shelf – aside from tall enough that it didn?t interfere with DJing. After looking at lengths readily available, I felt 12.0? would suffice.
  • I decided to have my local plastics place cut-to-size the side panels. (Tip: You can save money cutting these yourself, but plexiglass cracks easy if not cut correctly.)
  • Based on all these parts, I sketched up the project in AutoCAD (image above), and then went out and purchased all the materials.

Step 3: Construction

4

  • Attaching the Godmorgan legs to form the light box was the first step. I chose which of the two 43?x12.75? melamine boards would be top and bottom.
  • On the underside of the top board, I measured and marked a pencil line 0.75? from the edge of all four sides of the melamine board. I installed three of the four Godmorgan legs in the corners of the 0.75? perimeter with the supplied screws. Before attaching the fourth leg, I unscrewed the leg bracket and used it to mark where I would need to drill a hole in bottom melamine board.
  • On the topside of the bottom board I drew the same 0.75? lines, placed the bracket in each corner, and traced the hole in the bracket where the leg attached. Then I put the bracket back on the fourth leg and attached it to the top board, same as the other ones.
  • Before drilling the holes I marked on the bottom board, I aligned the bottom board with the Godmorgan legs to make sure the planned holes lined up with the holes in the bottom of the legs. I marked the center of the hole with a punch and used a 5/16? drill bit to make all four holes.
  • Tip ? Anytime you need to drill, use a punch to mark the center so the drill doesn?t wander.
  • I checked the alignment of the freshly drilled holes with the legs by loosely threading in the M8 bolts I purchased to replace the plastic feet.

5

  • Next was attaching the Olov legs. Instead of using a flat washer on the M8 bolt used to attach the Godmorgan legs, I had the idea to use the bracket from the Olov legs. The M8 bolt was a little too big to fit through the screw hole in the Olov bracket, so I used the 5/16? drill bit to open it up.
  • Then I attached the Olov bracket by loosely threading in the M8 bolt with a 5/16? split lock washer. I adjusted the positioning of the bracket to make sure the edge was equidistant to the two nearest edges of the melamine board, and then used the supplied screws to attach the bracket. I repeated this for the remaining three Olov legs. Now the base is done.
  • Tip ? I highly recommend trying different legs than the Olov legs. I ended up having to brace them to sturdy the table.

6

  • With the base still upside down, it was a good opportunity to drill the 2.0? wire grommet holes. I decided to put one in each corner on the backside, so that I could use whichever hole was closet to a power outlet.
  • I marked a symmetrical location on both sides with a punch and used the 2.0? hole saw to drill through.
  • Tip ? Use painters tape on both sides of the melamine board where you are drilling to help prevent chipping the finish.
  • Before installing the 2.0? inch wire grommets, I added a bit of wood glue to them to make them permanent. You could use E6000 to bond these as well.

7

  • Before measuring mounting locations for the top shelf, I screwed the flanges on the two 12? galvanized pipes, set them on the base, and then set the shelf on top to try to find a balanced configuration for these mounts. I settled on 9.0? from the two far sides, and 5.0? from the backside. I marked these center locations on top of the base and on the underside of the shelf, and then used the flanges as templates to mark all the fastener locations.
  • Before attaching any of the flanges on the shelf, I drilled the two 1.5? holes for the wire grommets. I punched the two locations and used the 1.5? hole saw to drill through. To make the shelf removable, I planned to use nuts and bolts to attach the flanges to the base, and self-tapping wood screws to attach the flanges on the shelf. So the bolt holes on the base would need to be drilled, but the shelf ones do not.
  • First, I attached the flanges to the underside of the shelf in the 9?x5? location I had marked using #10 x 0.75? long screws. Next, I assembled the two pipes and flanges onto the flanges now mounted on the shelf, and checked to make sure the flange holes on base end lined up with the ones I marked. Then I used a Œ? drill bit to make the eight holes in the base. I put the shelf back up and inserted all the Œ?-20 x 1.5? bolts to check that everything fit and lined up. (Tip ? Use a larger ID pipe and flanges to make it easier for any cables with a plug to pass through.)

8

  • Before bolting the shelf to the base I finished all four shelf edges with iron-on melamine tape. I cut a length of the tape slightly longer than the edge, lined it up along the edge, and ran the iron slowly across it, back and forth, using the ?cotton? setting. (Tip ? Don?t plan to run a continuous strip of melamine tape around the entire perimeter. It will crack in the corners.)
  • I also finished the two front edges on the base that would be visible when the hinged front panel was open. It?s not necessary to finish any of the other base edges because the plexiglass panels will cover them. On the base, I also ended up installing some edge tape on the 1.5? holes (for the galvanized pipes) with a heat gun to prevent any wire chaffing from the particleboard inside the melamine board. For those same 1.5? holes on the shelf, I applied some wood glue to the 1.5? wire grommets and installed them.

9

  • Now it was time to bond the plexiglass side panels to the base. I started with a 23.75? long side and applied a bead of E6000 adhesive to the upper and lower edge of the two melamine boards. Then I carefully aligned the plexiglass panel and added some weight to the top to prevent any shifting while the adhesive cured over 24 hours. I repeated this for the other 23.75? long side, and the 43.375? long backside, but not the front side.

13

  • The 43.375? long front side, that I added the melamine edge tape to, would be a hinged panel, so the attachment would be different. This is also why I chose a thicker plexiglass for this side. The hinge I purchased came with two confusing, but ultimately helpful, templates for mounting. I determined the spacing for the hinges and then used the first template to mark the exact spot on the plaxiglass panel to bond.
  • Tip ? I recommend using three hinges. One at the far left, one in the center, and one at the far right. This will prevent any gaps along the edges.
  • I applied the E6000 to the back of both hinges, carefully aligned them, and used a C-clamp to secure them to the plexiglass while it cured over the next 24 hours. Once cured, I used the second template to attach the panel and hinges to the base with the provided screws.

14

  • The last thing to bond is the IKEA Bjarnum hook for my headphones. I chose the right side panel, towards the upper left corner, and bonded it with E6000.

1516

  • Next I attached the shelf to the base using eight Œ?-20 x 1.5? bolts, washers, and nylon nuts.

1718

  • With the booth pretty much finished, I ran all the wires for the LEDs and attached the lights using adhesive-backed Velcro. I placed three of the lights inside the light box near the center of the three visible panels, and the fourth light on the underside of the shelf.
  • Tip – you can also use spools of RGB tape instead – like these on Amazon – to achieve a more even lighting effect in the box.
A quick solution to a wobbly DJ booth - but I recommend choosing different legs.

A quick solution to a wobbly DJ booth – but I recommend choosing different legs.

  • Thinking the booth was done, I moved it into its place, and leveled the legs to account for my uneven apartment floor. Unfortunately, the booth was wobbly. The source was the threaded attachment of the Olov leg to its mounting bracket. Even when tightly torqued it could still wobble.
  • The easiest solution was to brace the legs with a scrap piece of melamine board and some zipties. I measured and marked holes on either side of each leg for the zipties to pass through, drilled, ziptied it, and amazingly it worked really well. I then pulled it back off to finish all the edges with the iron-on melamine edge tape so it looked more presentable, and reinstalled it.
  • Finally, it was time to run all the wires and setup my gear:
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Have questions about making a lightbox DJ booth of your own? Ask Brian for advice the comments below.

Brian Bentley produces a podcast, The liv dance Podcast, in his spare time when he’s not busy running, cycling, or working as a Vehicle Systems Engineer. He enjoys getting a rise out of fellow DJs by declaring how awesome the “sync” button is.

The post DIY: How To Build A Light Up DJ Booth appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Oct 27, 2016

Pioneer DJ has been trying very hard over the last year to bring their DJ software to every DJ who uses their gear. From introducing a whole second lie of DDJ controllers, to integrating DVS – and now they’re bundling the software with their only pure-standalone gear, the XDJ-RX. Read on for the details.

Rekordbox DJ + XDJ-RX

Starting November 1st, XDJ-RX units will have a bundled Rekordbox DJ license inside of the box with them. They’re estimating it at a $129 value – but in sales, adding a digital product to a physical product is a great way to add “perceived value” to a product in order to increase sales.

If you already purchased an XDJ-RX before this free program started, you can actually claim one using an online form on Pioneer’s site – but if you did already purchase the software, they are not issuing refunds.

What About The XDJ-RX2 / XDJ-RZ?

This is probably one of the more boring press releases we’ve received from Pioneer DJ in the last year. Adding a license to the XDJ-RX isn’t very exciting – but maybe there’s a bit of a story in what it could mean.

Many DJs have asked and speculated about a follow-up version of the XDJ-RX, or a potential 4-channel version in the future. Releasing either of these would naturally take away from sales of the original XDJ-RX – so perhaps Pioneer DJ is making big news out of this new value on the RX in order to move more of their stock before launching a new product. (Editor’s note: this is pure speculation, but not an uncommon business practice in our industry)

One final note – Pioneer DJ often releases puts out press releases in a series – one after another, about 24 hours apart. Stay tuned to see if there’s another announcement tonight.

The XDJ-RX standalone DJ setup is available on the DJ Techtools Store for $1,499 â€“ we include a free Chroma Cable for connecting it to your computer. 

The post Pioneer DJ’s XDJ-RX Now Includes Rekordbox DJ appeared first on DJ TechTools.

DJTechTools Oct 26, 2016

What if you took a MIDI-sending hardware sequencer and used to re-trigger cue points in time with your DJ set? Today’s post is from Italian competitive DJ John Type, and he’s sharing how cue point sequencing works in his sets. John’s calling it turntablism combined with controllerism – or “controltablism”.

Cue Point Sequencing = Controltablism?

First off – this is one of the first examples of this style of routine that we’ve seen done well. If you know of someone else who also deserves recognition alongside John Type pioneering this concept, please share in the comments at the end of this article.

Here’s John’s original video, showing off the controltablism / cue sequencing concept:

How To Start Sequencing Cue Points

We asked John to share a bit more about this concept and DJTT readers could do the same for themselves. Keep reading for his own perspective:

“Controltablism” is the fusion of controllerism and turntablism. In the video above, I reveal for the first time “Cue Sequencing”, a technique I used in 2011 in a live show, to control Serato Video with the Korg ESX-1. The main idea is trigger hot cues with a sequencer, to use the DVS decks like a sampler, with the advantage of having our samples on the turntable so we can also scratch it.

Settings + Requirements

  • You’ll need a sequencer – in this demo, I use the sequencer on a drum machine, the Korg ElecTribe SX (ESX-1)
  • The drum machine is connected to the computer with a MIDI / USB interface to communicate with Serato.
  • Each drum part of the drum machine corresponds to a hot cue.
  • To assign hot cue to each drum part, use Serato’s own MIDI mapping
  • As the sequencer triggers the drum parts, it will trigger the cue points
  • Hot cues become recordable / programmable using the sequencer

john_type_cue_sequencing_midi_routing

MIDI Routing

In Serato, the MIDI setup is pretty simple:

  • Set the first hot cue at the beginning of the point we wish to to loop and sequence
  • Set additional hot cues, such as snare, hi-hat, and so on

 

On the sequencer:

  • Set the length to a 1 bar loop (this means 1 bar corresponds to 16 of the step sequencer buttons)
  • Set the same bpm of the track on the Serato deck (on some hardware, you might be able to have this automatically get MIDI clock via USB)
  • Write the Cue 1 in the first step of the sequencer and press play
  • Cue 1 is triggered repeatedly to form a loop
  • Adjust the BPM of the drum machine and the turntable speed to create a perfect loop
  • Once the turntables and sequencer are in sync, you can begin to modify the sequence.
  • Create a new variation on the step sequencer, and combine it with elements of scratching.
  • The roll / note repeat function is activated by using the arpeggiator function on the ESX-1

Do It Yourself

In this video I used:

  • Hardware Sequencer: Korg Esx-1
  • MIDI interface: Roland Um-One
  • Mixer: Pioneer DJM-S9
  • Turntables: Technics 1210 MkII & Vestax Pdx 3000

If you want to do it yourself, you’ll need any hardware sequencer with MIDI Out or MIDI via USB. The sequencers are usually integrated in grooveboxes, drum machines and samplers (and also on the new Roland DJ-808)
? The best choice are the 16 step-sequencer like Roland TR-Style, for a direct control of the sequences.

Standalone Step-sequencer with MIDI out:
Akai: Rhythm Wolf, Tom Cat
Elektron: Machinedrum, Monomachine, Octatrack
Korg: Electribe Series
Novation: Circuit
Roland: Tr-8, Tr-09
Yamaha: Tenori-on, Rs7000, Rmx1

Standalone Step-sequencer with MIDI out also via USB:
Akai: Mpd323
Arturia: Beatstep Pro, Drumbrute
Dave Instruments: Tempest
M-Audio: Trigger Finger Pro
Misa Digital: Nsc-32
Sequentix: Cirklon
Squarp Instruments: Pyramid

 

Final Recommendations

In general a standalone sequencer is better since it frees up both CPU power so you keep your DJ software at minimum latency and you won’t need to use your computer’s screen to know what’s going on other but if you got the juice Maschine and Push 2 are really great software based options.

Drum machines are the most suitable since the drum parts and layout easily relate to hotcues on your DJ software, having a sequencer with more parts means that you’ll be able to control more hotcues so when shopping try to get something that has 8 or more slots available. Each steps sends a MIDI command which you can easily map to your software of choice so you aren’t really limited to mapping just the cues. Possibilities are endless!

The post Controltablism: Sequence Cue Points With MIDI Sequencers appeared first on DJ TechTools.

Serato Oct 26, 2016

Watch TJ Mizell back at it again, as he takes over a subway carriage on the 1st Avenue L train to Brooklyn - dropping that flame!

This follows on from his previous train takeover in 2014 which you can check out here.

See more from Serato Artists.

Serato Oct 26, 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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 - http://sera.to/-b5vs

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.

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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.

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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 :)