Category Archive: DJ
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Lack of posts… I know. Guilty as charged. I’ve been extremely busy with a bunch of new projects. For one, I finally finished school. I now have a B.A. in Computer Systems with a Minor in Recording Arts from CSUSB. I’ve also been producing a bunch of new tracks, both for Cold Busted, as well as a new label I’m working with called Journees Music – and one of their sublabels Shotcallers Music. I’ve also been writing a bit for an online magazine called Igloo Mag. Finally, I’ve been starting to book DJ gigs once more. I was recently featued on a KUCI FM radio program called Riders of the Plastic Groove. The following is a video stream archived of my set as well as an audio archive that can be streamed or downloaded from Mixcrate.
I am pleased to announce that I am currently working with Cold Busted records. I’ve known Derrick, aka DJ Vitamin D, for a number of years dating back to our days as DJs in the Los Angeles underground scene back in the day. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities being provided me on the music front by this wonderful label specialising in some very inspiring trip-hop, chill-out and downtempo music.
I am currently releasing music under the name Mojo Rising. Most recently I have a track entitled Boom Boom Martini which was released on the Stone Cold Busted 2 compilation, which features 21 tracks from the diverse and talented roster of Cold Busted artists. Additionally, I was invited to record a DJ mix of all of the tracks and this is also now available on Beatport along with the individual tracks. CDs have been pressed and these will also be available for purchase within the coming weeks at Amazon, among other online outlets.
I am also currently working on several tracks for an upcoming release of all original Mojo Rising material, which will feature a diverse array of electronic styles. More on that will be announced down the road. Having said that, I am pleased to quickly mention that I have currently been demoing a mastering plugin called Ozone 4, from Izotope, and I am very impressed with the results so far.
On the tech side of things, not a whole lot to report. The music opportunities that I have been given are my current priority, so future development work on the applications side are on standby for the time being.
Here is an innovative project presented by Stanford Ph.D. candidate Nick Bryan. Hat tip to my friend Simfonik for informing about this. The project, dubbed Mopho DJ, uses iPods to transmit their location, velocity and direction while rotating on a turntable. This data is then used to manipulate an mp3. There is a software application that decodes the transmitted data. In essence, the iPod takes the place of time coded vinyl as used in digital solutions like Traktor and Serato. I think it’s a very cool idea with a lot of potential. My only concern would be the uneven weight, the iPods add to turntables and one obviously has to make sure they are solidly secured. But kudos to Mr. Bryan for an idea with a lot of potential.
As you approach your destination, you begin to hear the sounds that have become the soundtrack of your soul. Booms, squelches, bleeps. You walk through the door, the sounds coalescing into that track you heard last night. Whatever the hell that track is, you’ve got to have it! Half running towards the DJ spinning this madness on the turntable, you try to get a peek at the label. As you get closer, you recognize the cat on the decks is the guy who hooked you up with some wicked new breaks last week. He catches your eye, recognizing the shared appreciation, and hands you this musical delicacy right off the platter, before gesturing towards the new release wall where there’s bound to be a dozen or more musical gems waiting. Grabbing a stack off the wall and making your way to one of the listening stations (at least they’re not crammed today); you rub a record edge on your pant leg to crack open the shrink-wrap and gingerly place the record on the platter. After listening to your stack, you’ve found a number of cool pieces. Probably more than you can afford to take home – begging the question, do I really need to eat today?
A similar story can be told at the used record shop you’ve recently found across town. Based on the amount of vinyl gold you’ve found here the past few weeks, it doesn’t seem like many others know about it. And for now, you intend to keep it that way. On bended knee, you dig through dusty crates of yesteryear’s classics. Making your way past a run of old Carpenter’s LPs, there’s a Coltrane… tempting, but you need something you can play tonight. And there it is. A record sleeve featuring a logo you recognize. Copyright says 1991; this is bound to be good. Of course you won’t know until you get it home; this place has no fancy listening stations. But at 99 cents, what have you got to lose? The owner of this place is some old beatnik dude who only listens to jazz. He hasn’t got a clue what’s buried between the Pat Benatar and the “Living Stereo” classics. While it’ll take you several cramped hours to make your way through it all, finding even only two or three pieces here today will make it all worthwhile.
At the end of a long day, as you prepare to enjoy the fruits of today’s haul on your 1200’s, your second wind kicks in as the beats begin to pulse. There were no Monster drinks back in the day. You’re ready to kick off a three hour mixing session, fueled by the excitement of what you came up on today. Then, it’s off to your gig.
Many of today’s up and coming DJs aren’t familiar with these experiences. I share them, not just to nostalgically reminisce about the “good old days,” but also to share my perspective on a debate currently being waged. A debate that pits vinyl against digital mixing platforms. I too have engaged in this debate… with myself. I see the virtues and the pitfalls of both, and as such, I think I can offer an objective opinion that respects and appreciates where we’ve come from, but also acknowledges some of the benefits of where we seem to be headed. There are impassioned and entrenched positions on both sides, and I respect and understand where each are coming from. I hope by offering a balanced point of view, mutual understanding can be achieved.
In the interest of full disclosure, let me state that I come from a completely vinyl background. I started spinning in 1992, when all we had was vinyl. I have a decent-size vinyl collection that I treasure probably more than any other material thing I own, and I continue to add to it when opportunities present themselves. I cringe when I hear friends talk about digitizing and selling their collections (unless they’re gonna give me first crack at it). Having said all that, I share one other main passion besides music and that is technology. I enjoy gadgets and geeky tech things. I like keeping up on the new “toys.” I have reviewed or demo’d several of the new mixing environments on my blog. And yes, I have even done some development in the area of digital music interfaces myself, and this is an area I hope to continue to explore. Some may see a contradiction in my simultaneous love for vinyl and open-mindedness towards new platforms. I see it as a natural progression.
Before I move any further, I want to make one thing absolutely clear, and that is that I consider auto synch features an abomination and an insult to DJs everywhere. I understand the marketing gimmick that makes these features desirable, but I really wish the software development firms would just remove them completely. Now sure, there have been a variety of auto synch functions out on the market for years, from BPM counters to mixers that would flash LEDs in time with the tempo, but, beat matching is at the heart of being a DJ. At its core, this is the primary, fundamental aspect of what makes a DJ, a DJ. Even if you have no notion of key, can’t juggle or scratch, have never laid a hand on the EQ, can’t read a crowd, and have crappy taste in music, at least if you could match beats, you had a place to start. How anyone could think that cheating with auto synch can make them a DJ is beyond me. The obvious truth is that anyone can auto synch, you cheapen the craft and all those involved when you resort to this. Besides, while beat matching takes some longer to learn than others, it’s a skill that, like riding a bike, will be with you for the rest of your life. The only time I could possibly accept the use of autosynch is if an established, accomplished DJ used it as a means to pull off some really mind-blowing, crazy magic. And even then, it’s questionable, because any established DJ should be able to match a beat within a few seconds. So, to reiterate, regardless of which platform you choose to become a DJ, learn to beat match. Period.
So what is it about vinyl? I love the feel of vinyl. I love the record sleeves and the artwork that is common on many sleeves and labels. It’s easy to organize in a crate or a bag. And there’s no question that when it comes to tactile feedback, it is superior to anything else out there. The scratching on some of the new platforms is pretty close, but there is always that hint of latency that seems to keep it from feeling exactly like vinyl. It provides visual feedback and you can mark your records and personalize them. Some whine about how heavy crates are. I always enjoyed walking into an event with a crate. It was an announcement. People immediately knew what you were there for. And let’s face it, for the time being at least, vinyl holds its value. Actually, depending on the record in question, vinyl potentially increases its value. This brings me to another, more esoteric point. Vinyl, as opposed to today’s digital media, had intrinsic value. That value was built on two key aspects – 1. Vinyl was considerably more expensive than today’s digital tracks, and 2. Vinyl was a limited resource. The cost of a record, at $10.00 minimum for an import, or even $5.00 or $6.00 for a domestic, meant that you had to be extra picky every time you went shopping. Looking back, the cost of the records, as much as it hurt financially sometimes, acted like a quality control filter. I’m not saying I’ve never bought a crappy $10 record, but generally, you could afford fewer “misses” at $10, then you can at 99 cents, or free. The only way one was fortunate enough to get free music back then was to become known enough to get some promos.
Then there’s the limited quantity issue. A first run pressing might have as few as 1,000 copies distributed worldwide. Some stores only picked up two or three copies of a given piece, meaning you had to be lucky enough to have it get past the DJs who worked there, who always had first dibs. This is why so many of us took low paying record store jobs. And if you didn’t work at the record shop, you made friends with the guys who did, or you got to know the shipment schedule real well. So now you’ve got a record in your hands that maybe only one or two guys in your town have. Having several records that were associated with you – your songs, if you will – was a badge of honor back in the day. If you heard a record that you liked, at a club or on a mix tape, you had to work to research what the track was and where you could find a copy of it. The infinite number of copies of an easily available digital track removes this dynamic completely. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing. At its heart, DJing is and always will be about sharing music with others. But the value built into a vinyl record was built on many more factors than the song itself. It represented the work, and occasional luck, you put in to come by that record, in an age when there were no wikis, youtubes, discogs, ebays or message forums.
So, there’s my defense of vinyl. It may, at least in part, explain the impassioned hold vinyl has on so many. However, we are many years removed from those glory days. Solid digital platforms in one form or another have been on the market for quite some time now. CDJs, virtual vinyl, midi controllers, mixing software, even iPad apps. The technical improvements have brought many of them to functional equivalence with turntables, some would argue that they are superior to the turntable… although I say, let’s not get carried away. There are clearly some additional features available – effects, sorting, looping, graphical representations of a song’s waveform makes it a lot easier to find a breakdown in a dark room. These are all cool features that, in the hands of a skilled artist, should definitely add to the toolbox and enhance the performance. At the end of the day, it’s what a performer can do with a set of tools, not the tools themselves, that defines their skill.
I first bought Traktor Scratch abut two years ago. I bought it because I wanted easy, inexpensive access to new music to mix with. Let’s face it, it’s a hell of a lot more convenient to shop for tracks in the comfort of your own home. You miss out on the social aspects of record shopping, which were always part of the fun, but you can quickly and easily browse through a boatload of tunes at your own pace. It also offered me opportunities to get my hands on music on my want list that is very difficult or expensive to find. Further, I could more easily explore other genres without having to make a big upfront financial commitment. I use it with the virtual time-coded vinyls, which, from an operational perspective, makes it nearly identical to what I do with vinyl. I can even use it with my existing vinyl collection. So for me, it was the best of both worlds.
Now, I’ve read some of the rants against digital platforms, and I agree to the extent that if someone shows up for a performance with a pre-configured, auto synched set, that is an insult and a load of bullshit. Having said that, I use Traktor exactly like I use my traditional vinyl. I am still beat matching, riding the beat, and am actively involved in the mix. I can’t say I would prefer to take my setup to a gig… there are too many variables for my comfort. But if a Traktor/Serato virtual vinyl configuration was already set up at the location, I think I could roll with this. CDJs have been in place at many venues for several years now.
One thing I think we can all agree on is that technology has played an important role in the DJ arena. The Technics turntable itself was a technological advancement. I can’t imagine what it would be like trying to mix on a pair of 8-tracks. The music most DJs mix is also heavily dependent on technology. From hip-hop and sampling to the more obvious role of technology in electronic music of all forms, technology represents not only how the music was produced, but quite often is associated with the identity of the music itself. Sure, some of the hardware involved, the 808s, 909s, 303s, Moogs, etc. are actually decades old, but producers are always gravitating to new sounds, even if not to new hardware. New patches and new effects are a fundamental aspect of electronic music, regardless of sub-genre. Is it a little odd that a DJ who’s involved with production will embrace the new effects box, the new synth, the new sequencer, but diss a new mixing platform?
I am curious to see what lies ahead and remain open towards new products and environments. My main concern is that the DJ craft does not get watered down along the way. I share this concern with the strident vinyl die-hards. The bottom line is that while everyone may want to be a DJ, it is only those who put in the time, dedication, work and paying of dues that deserve recognition. In a world of “DJ Hero” and other insta-DJ gimmicks, it is easy to become cynical. I believe if DJ Hero opens up a kid’s mind towards wanting to learn more about the actual DJ craft, then that’s not a bad thing. But if DJ Hero becomes some sort of replacement for the actual art of Ding, then that’s a big problem. Stick with Halo, kid.
I’ve read a number of great threads, posts and opinions from advocates on both sides of the issue. Sometimes the discussion devolves into nothing more than a bitter flame war. People on both sides hold pretty strong viewpoints. So much so, I was a bit hesitant to even write on this topic. The last thing I want to do is alienate anyone. I have friends and associates on both sides of the issue, some even financially invested on one side or the other. People I’ve worked with and people I have a great deal of respect and admiration for. And because I’m presenting the middle path, I could potentially piss off both sides. I heard once, that if you lie in the middle of the road, you are bound to get run over. Yet, as the publisher of this little blog on music and technology, I felt bound to weigh in on the issue and share my perspective. I don’t intend to change anyone’s mind, but I hope I can facilitate acceptance and ease judgments.
Looking back, there have been times I’ve viewed the current environment with a bit of envy. How much easier would it have been to identify and track down certain songs if I had the tools that are available now, back then? How much money could I have saved that could have gone into other investments or even could have made the struggle a little bit more comfortable? How much easier would it have been to promote myself and my mixes with today’s social media? And then I realize that the experiences I went through, the struggles I endured, and the work I put it in, were just as important as any achievements I enjoyed. As this unknown quote states – “Too often we are so preoccupied with the destination, we forget the journey.” When it comes to the great vinyl debate, I am reminded of another great quote from Jane’s Addiction – “Everybody has their own opinions.”
This video introduces the Hybrid mode on the Denon DN-S3700 CD decks for use with Serato Scratch. This mode allows real-time control of MP3s without any time coded vinyl or CDs being necessary. I think that’s a huge step forward. The tricknology is being performed by UK DMC champ JFB.
Welcome to the future. This is a concept I have been playing around with in my head and on paper for some time and now Pablo Martin has brought this vision to fruition. Basically, Pablo has created a software interface called Emulator that allows Traktor to receive multi touch data, freeing it up from the confines of just the mouse and allowing it to be used on a multi touch surface. That right there is cool enough.
Rodrigo from Chile is developing the multi touch surface you see in the video, which is called Töken. Between the two of them they have put together one hell of an incredible DJ rig.
Shout out to simfonik for turning me on to this.
With the release of DJ Hero and other DJ oriented apps and games, I know there are plenty of DJs and hobbyists out there that view these types of apps with skepticism. I have to tell you, though, DJ Player, by iMecht Ltd. is a fully functional mixing app for the Ipod* that offers a number of impressive features. Having played around with it for the past couple of weeks, I can tell you, this thing is a serious mixing app. One of the things I like most about DJ Player is that the developers made a very intuitive interface that shows they are familiar with what a DJ expects, from a DJ’s point of view. In fact, if I were to develop a mixing app, this comes pretty close to what I would try to offer.
One of the key features that DJ Player offers is the ability to monitor a channel in your headphones. I did have to buy some additional cables and adapters to make this work, which I will detail below, but once the cable setup has been sorted, the ability to do pre-fader listening works like a charm. Also of note, is the ability to tap and store BPMs. Now, many of the tracks that I have purchased from places like Juno and Beatport already have the BPMs calculated, but for tracks that don’t have this, the tap ability is helpful… especially for DJs just starting out trying to learn the craft. Sure, there was a time when I would have considered this cheating, and I still believe nothing is better for learning the art of DJing than beatmatching by ear. But let’s face it, most DJ apps and many mixers already have BPM detection or matching already; the cat’s been out of the bag for some time now. The DJ Player developers would be foolish not to incorporate such a feature in today’s market.
Now, I’m not saying that this is going to replace a complete DJ rig, yet it is definitely robust enough in terms of the features to perform a complete set. For casual gigs such as house parties or just going to the beach with some friends, not having to lug around a bunch of gear and crates, this is where an app loke this can really shine. I also think this is a great set-programming tool for established DJs. Certainly mobile DJs can make use of this type of app and I think it’s a great learning tool for people who want to learn about mixing, but can’t afford a full rig.
Other notable features:
1. Ability to upload songs to your Ipod over Wifi with the included winsync program. I haven’t seen any other app that is capable of this. Just create a playlist in ITunes called “DJ PLAYER” and if your Ipod and computer are on the same wifi network, run the winsync program and input the IP address of your Ipod and hit sync. This will then upload the playlist and all associated songs to the Ipod. Pretty cool!
2. Multi-touch crossfader, pitch sliders, and pitch bend to make realtime adjustments. All of these are customizable in terms of scale and resolution and the curve of the crossfader can be adjusted as well.
3. Several effects including delay, reverb, high-pass and low-pass filters and EQ. These can be triggered via multitouch, or even controller via the Ipod’s accelerometer!
4. Low, mid and treble EQ sliders.
5. Tap function to calculate and store a song’s BPM.
6. Ability to set and save cue points on tracks. This is beneficial if you have a track that has silence, spoken word or ambience prior to the first beat.
7. Sortable playlist. You can sort by title, artist or tempo.
* When I refer to Ipod I am including Iphone and Ipad. I imagine this app would be even stronger on the Ipad with the additional real estate available.
Required cables for PFL monitoring (Headphone cueing):
1. Mini-plug to RCA Y adapter. This will plug into your Ipod’s headphone jack.
2. 2 RCA Y adapters. One for the red and one for the white ends of the mini to RCA adapter listed above.
3. Plug a normal RCA cable into the RCA Y-Adapter attached to the white side of the mini adapter. You may need RCA barrel couplers. This cable will go to your input on your amp, stereo, mixer, etc.
4. Your headphones will plug into one of the RCA connectors on the red side of the mini plug to RCA adapter. You may need one more mini to RCA adapter (not a Y adapter) or 1/4 inch to RCA adapter, depending on what type of connector is on your headphones.
The following video demonstrates real time mixing with this app. Yes, I used BPM syncing to speed things up for the sake of the video, but I still needed to monitor the speed and you will see me make bend adjustments to keep the beat-mixing proper.
Here is some video a friend of mine turned me on to featuring C2C competing in the team DJ showcase at the DMC championship in 2005. An amazing performance!
I made this mix back in 2006, as a tribute and homage to the West Coast and all the wonderful talent that emerged here during the early to mid 1990s. If you were even peripherally associated with the dance music scene in Los Angeles, San Francisco or any where along the Left Coast during the mid 1990s, there is no doubt that you would be familiar with some, or many of these tracks.
In late 1993, early 1994, the Los Angeles dance music scene experienced what some would consider a rebirth. A number of factors contributed to turbulence in the scene during 1993, including numerous events getting shut down, bad promoters, and even the term “rave” had fallen out of favor. The “scene” pretty much withdrew to smaller house music clubs and afterhours.
And then it happened. The rebirth. This was an awakening of sorts which brought with it a number of incredible monthly or semi-monthly events and parties. Of note, and I certainly don’t mean to leave anyone off the list, were the Dream and Parliament parties specializing in house and progressive house. Weekly club Jungle helped promote a new and exciting sound called Drum ‘n Bass. Another weekly called Magic Wednesdays brought high quality DJ talent from around the world to shine in Los Angeles. The Moontribe desert parties were spiritual events where everyone was welcome to dance under the moon and the stars. Fresh Produce emerged, promoting a series of high quality events and high quality vibes. Last, but definitely not least were two events that I had the privilege of being directly involved with. There was Insomniac, which sought to re-energize the old school techno crowd on a weekly basis and which eventually grew into a massive promotional outfit that coordinated such events as Nocturnal Wonderland, Electric Daisy Carnival and Organic. But dearest to my heart was F.A.M.I.L.Y, featuring special guests and a regular lineup consisting of DJs Trance, Fester, Oscar D.G. and me, Mojo. No one can question the vibe, the warmth and the mutual respect and kinship that the F.A.M.I.L.Y parties engendered. It was a special time for me and so many others.
Along with these new promotion crews, there was a rebirth in the music. House music became a little edgier with the new progressive house sounds emerging. Trance became a growing force to reckon with. And then there were the breaks. Super funky breaks that could loosen up even the stiffest of wall flowers. The West Coast played a prominent role in this emerging sound, with artists and labels from Los Angeles and San Francisco – as well as Portland, Seattle and Arizona – putting out a number of terrific tracks. Not only did these tracks feature great beats, but there was an intelligence and depth to them that set them apart from much of the earlier electronic dance music. The richness of the textures, the sophistication of composition, and the emotion that was woven into these tracks all provided an incredible sonic palette for the DJs of the day to paint with.
And so this mix includes songs from labels such as Michael Knapp’s (aka Xpando) Bassex Records, which featured collaboration with artists Jason Blakemore (aka DJ Trance) as Rebirth, and Eric Davenport as Metro. There is the City of Angels label. Simply Jeff’s Orbit Transmission label produced a number of great records. Exist Dance Records founded by Tom Chasteen and Michael Kandel, was a pioneer in intelligent dance music bringing a diversity and depth in their releases that I believe is unparalleled. They remain one of my favorite labels to this day. Similarly, the San Francisco Hardkiss label by the Hardkiss brothers features music that is characterized by innovative compositions that weave a plush tapestry of mood and rhythm. Finally, I would be remiss without mentioning Peter Tall’s Bassbin Twins records, whose complex, energizing beats are quite simply, second to none.
I am forever indebted to artists such as these, for helping reestablish something magical during this period in my life. They are truly an inspiration, and I am privileged to have had the pleasure of presenting their work through the prism of my mix.
Stream: Left Coast Breakfast
Download: Left Coast Breakfast
Last week I posted about a great site devoted to oldskool techno. There are quite a few blogs, forums, youtube channels, etc, devoted to this music and the scene that emerged around it. For me, even though I stopped gigging live for the most part as I have become focused on other aspects of my life, I have continued to research and discover elements of this music. Thank you Discogs!
What is it about this music that has created such a committed and loyal following? Looking back through the prism of maturity (and I mean that in a variety of ways, including artistically) after all these years, there is plenty of criticism one can direct toward this music. I mean, the production values on many of these records was not very good, the music often simple or formulaic, many records clone samples, beats and riffs off one another and let’s face it, some of those sounds are just in your face and obnoxious. And you know what? It is every one of those things and more that keeps this music endearing to us. Of course, there is the sentimentality of a magic time in our youth. A time spent with friends, putting the struggles and troubles of the day away for an evening of dancing, hearing new sounds, and meeting new people… Ok, now I am just rambling.
In any event, here is a mix I did a few years back that I think encapsulates a wide variety of oldskool techno. Everything from Belgian techno to some harder edged acid, and particularly a lot of the pre-jungle UK breakbeat that I was so fond of when I first started buying these records back in 1992. Tracklisting included below.
Stream: OldSkool Vinyl ThrowDown
Download: OldSkool Vinyl ThrowDown
01. Genaside II – Narra Mine
02. Is That It? – State of Mind
03. Rocket – Straight Up
04. Rabbit City #3
05. Pied Piper – Dreamers
06. HHFD – Start the Panic
07. Cybersonik – Technarcy
08. Tribal Instincts EP – Rock Da House
09. Venom – I Need Your Love
10. Tribal Instincts EP – Coming On Strong
11. Criminal Minds – Baptized By Dub
12. Phuture Assassins – Future Sound
13. Progression – On a Rubbish Tip
14. Krome & Time – This Sound is for the Underground
15. 4 Hero – In the Shadow (Sunrise Remix)
16. 32 Troop – Papa Malaysia
17. Illuminatae – Dreamer
18. The Hypnotist – This is my House
19. Mr. Kool-Aid & Marco – 2001: A Soda Pop Odyssey
20. D.H.S. – The House of God (Pump Panel Remix)
21. Drax – Amphetamine
22. DJ Tim & Ortega – Heartbreak
23. Edge #9 – File 57
24. Flag – Dominate
25. E.Kude – Common Sensi
26. Sound Corp – Security Overload
27. Kickin Six Pack LP 5
28. Caspar Pound – Pioneers of the Warped Groove (Way Out West Remix)
29. Hyper On Experience – Lords of the Null Lines (Foul Play Remix)
30. N-Joi – Drumstruck
31. Blame – Music Takes You (2 Bad Mice Remix)
32. Urban Shakedown – Some Justice
Blog to the Oldskool is dedicated to raising awareness of many classic and even obscure old school techno gems from back in the day. This is the music that I first started DJing with and it will always hold a sentimental nostalgia for me. It’s hard to believe that some of these tracks are almost 20 years old already!
I purchased an app for the Ipod Touch called ToneTable, which acts as a trigger control for software like Traktor or Serrato Scratch. It sends out a control pitch signal, like the timecoded vinyl records that are distributed with such mixing applications.
The app shows a virtual record and it has a pitch control to allow beatmatching as well as realtime pitch tweaking buttons. After hooking it up to my Traktor audio interface, I was indeed able to mix with it. But I really wanted to see if it was possible to scratch with it. And while it isn’t quite as precise as real vinyl; I was very impressed with the results. Below is some video I shot to compare it scratching with tradidiotnal vinyl as well as the Traktor control vinyl. It takes a bit of getting used to and finding a way to keep the Ipod in place is a bit of a challenge, but all in all this is a very impressive little app.
With a little practice, two Ipods, a mixer and a laptop, you could certainly perfrom with this amazing piece of work.
This video speaks for itself… the no fader scratching is insane.
DJ Rafik is a DMC champ. This video show him doing a completely live remix of the Chemical Brothers Block Rocking Beats using Traktor Scratch software, turntables and a MIDI controller. One of the particularly cool things you might notice is the tight scratching he is able to pull of with the vinyl tracking emulation in Traktor. This is pretty impressive work.
Here is some video I shot shortly after my project presentation which demonstrates the AirDeck virtual theremin application I designed and explains some of the features. It uses the Wii remote as an input mechanism by tracking motion with Infrared LEDs. The AirDeck is written in Java with the WiiUseJ API for handling Wii remote events and the JSyn API for internal synthesis. It can control MIDI out as well as offering a simple DJ scratch interface for real-time manipulation of sound samples similar to a DJ scratching with vinyl records. After about a year of working on this project, I am very relieved that it is finished. I’ve learned a lot and am looking forward to possibly working on other similar concepts in the not too distant future.