I’ve DJed on and off over the years and recently I picked up a Traktor S4. I love the thing. Native Instruments really has the software and hardware working together in a dreamlike manner. With the Sample Decks it’s also very interesting from a producer’s standpoint. What you see above is Vestax’s answer to the S4 the VCI-400. It does much of the same with a few differences. You can easily switch out the faders, the filter knob has a light when it’s on and some other niceties. The S4 is probably still the best choice for most people though. The new VCI will be available early next year.
“At about 2 inches shorter than the s4, the VCI-400 strikes a nice balance of being well spaced but looking reasonably portable. It will fit in more backpacks and conveys a nice solid look that feels at home next to turntables and mixers. Most other plastic controllers do seem a bit out of place in the rugged and utilitarian dj environment.” – djtechtools.com
One of the nice features of the new Traktor Pro 2 (and S4) is that when you create a Loop it automatically saves it in a folder for use to use in your DAW or anywhere else. It also labels the Loop so you know what track it came from so you can give credit where do if you so choose. I’ve been building a nice collection of tidbits and started throwing them into the new meta.dj app with some interesting results.
“Are you half producer and half DJ? Has your style outgrown the abilities of 2 virtual decks, digital wax and a mixer?” – soundtrends.com
Here is a video of LA based Kid Chameleon (Matt Loniero) and his home brew helmet created out of an old Mac Plus. Who needs Daft Punk now? His friend Terrence Scoville pieced the headgear together.
“The helmet is the body of an old Apple computer, but the screen is replaced by an iPad, which fits in a slot that was cut into either side of the screen area. Inside, there is support for comfort.n LED patch that is reactive to sound is attached and its connections are all contained within the body of the computer and fed through the floppy disk drive out of the front.” – Matt Loniero
A friend of mine linked to her DJ Set on Twitter and upon clicking I found it hosted on Mixcloud. I’m always making DJ sets with Traktor and Torq but stopped posted them online because there wasn’t a legal way. It seems Mixcloud is paying (or attempting to pay) labels. Being 2010 the site has the usual social features where you can follow friends and connect your profile to Twitter and Facebook. I particularily like that you can embed your DJ sets as you can see below:
“Why can’t I download ? Mixcloud is a legal platform for on-demand radio shows, Podcasts and DJ mixes which contain copyrighted music. The only licensing option available at present is a streaming format, and Mixcloud is committed to providing a legal option which supports artists and ensures they receive royalties for the shows and mixes which contain music. In addition, the site can keep track of what you (and your friends) listen to, so we can make better recommendations and provide a more personalised site tuned to exactly what you like to hear.” – mixcloud.com
I’m surprised it took so long for Native Instruments to come up with a full hardware solution for Traktor. I’ve always been intrigued by M-Audio’s Torq and Xponent but I never actually saw anyone using Xponent in an actual nightclub. I think we will be seeing a lot of Kontrol S4s around. The hardcase with laptop stand is a very smart move by NI. I’m always making my own mixes using Traktor maybe this will finally push me to do it in front of people. $999 and $189 for the hardcase. If the hardware is rugged they have a winner.
“Custom-tailored for TRAKTOR, the S4 fuses a premium-quality 4 channel DJ mixer, a built-in 24 bit/96 kHz soundcard, an intuitive controller, and the flagship TRAKTOR PRO S4 software…” – native-instruments.com
Sonorasaurus is another DJ App. There’s going to be a lot of them and the idea really makes sense on the iPad. It should be interesting to see how long it’s going to take before they are common place in clubs. This one is getting good reviews. You can grab it here for $12.99: click here (iTunes link)
“Two standalone decks each with a dedicated effects module offering reverb, flange, distortion, tremelo, echo and high pass. Beat-highlighted waveforms to further fascilitate beatmatching. BPM Tapper for easy BPM calculation. Pitch controls for adjusting the playback speed of your tunes and a dynamic jog area for getting your beatmatching just right . A crossfader and volume controls for mixing your songs together to any degree you choose. EQs and Gains for fine tuning the volume, low, mid and high frequency ranges. Split audio mode for headphone cueing (requires a Y adapter). A built in HTTP upload interface for adding songs to your mixing library.” – sonorasaurus.com
Here’s an interesting way to show off the portability of a product. Have you ever heard of “Parkour” or the people who do it often called “traceur’s”? Stephane Vigroux make it look easier than it seems. Wikipedia: “Parkour (sometimes also abbreviated to PK) or l’art du déplacement (English: the art of movement) is a discipline that appeared first in France, more similar to a martial art than to a sport, focused on moving from one point to another as smoothly, efficiently and quickly as possible using the abilities of the human body.”.
I used to run all over the mountain near my house growing up. Would that count? In the end it all leads us to the small Native Instruments audio interface for DJ’s the Audio 2 DJ. It seems to fit the bill nicely if your mixing solely off a laptop.
“Renowned traceur Stephane Vigroux demonstrates the portability of the new Audio 2 DJ interface by free-running through London. A film by Julie Angel” – www.native-instruments.com
I know this won’t be “the” touch screen turntable killer but it does show one will arrive someday. It’s crazy Microsoft doesn’t get the price of Surface to something reasonable and push it to consumers.
“Eric Havir chats with Joe Engalan about their DJ 2.0 alpha application, a fun DJ tool for the novice on Microsoft Surface.” – mssurface