One of the great things about the Traktor S4 system is it’s Loop Decks and multicolored/use wave display. From a producers standpoint who DJs the DJ PowerTools sound packs could be interest. They are basically sounds specifically created for use within Traktor. We are at the point where Traktor can be used as a studio remix tool. In some ways it’s more fun than a carefully planned DAW session.
“DJ PowerTools are the world’s first sound packs designed for controllerists. Using cue points and effects, any DJ can play synth instruments inside DJ software and remix songs on the fly.” – djtechtools.com
Native Instruments have teamed up with Berlin based electronic musicians Errorsmith and created a new software synthesizer called Razor. Besides the wobbling sound you can hear in the video above it has a nifty animated graphic display that lead Chris Randal to post on Twitter, “Man, the UI on NI Razor is really fucking nice. #jealous #gonnastealthatstyle #watchme”. I personally haven’t been touching software synths that much lately but this NI promo is cool enough to make me want to try Razor out. More discussion about Razor: kvraudio
“Razor is a synthesizer i developed in collaboration with Native Instruments. It’s programmed in Reaktor, a modular software synthesizer. You don’t need to own Reaktor in order to use it. Razor can be loaded in the free Reaktor Player software.” – razor.errorsmith.de
At the recent Tekserve Future of Music V event the discussion went beyond iPads and an audience member brought up Microsoft’s Kinect. I made the joke that the future of music would be air guitar. Well in just less than a month later we have Air Scratching via Kinect. So far I’m not so hot on no surface controllers but friends of mine who have used Kinect say it’s amazing. Is this a novelty or something we are going to be actually using in music creation?
“here im using the kinect to control dj software. its no joke in air gesture scratching.” – dustin o’connor
I will be speaking on a panel with Peter Kirn (Create Digital Music), Micah Frank aka Kamoni (Sound Designer & Founder of Puremagnetik), and Julie Covello aka DJ Shakey (DJ, Creator & Promoter of the Warper Party, Music Collector) on Saturday, September 25 at the SAE, 1293 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York NY 10001.
The IMSTA FESTA is free and should be good fun and of great interest to anyone who reads this blog. It’s a pro-audio manufacturer get together and panel series. It’s from 11:00AM – 7:00PM. Some of the exhibitors include Ableton, Arturia, Bias, SSL, Celemony, IK Multimedia, Image Line, Native Instruments, Pianoteq, Propellerhead, Rob Papen, Steinberg and Waves.
UPDATE: Over 1,000 people are registered. Come on down!
“IMSTA FESTA, a celebration of music software is coming to the heart of New York City. The First IMSTA FESTA started in Japan where it was highly successful for technology companies, producers and hobbyists alike. IMSTA FESTA brings a collection of the top audio technology companies together in an environment where they can interact with music makers face-to-face. If you use music software you will benefit from this event in a number of ways.” – http://www.imsta.org
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
Humans are born with a musical instrument attached to their face. All they have to do is mush their lips together and blow to make pretty sounds. Germany’s Best Service has released Whistler. A Native Instruments Kontakt library full of real human and bird whistles. I think this is pretty interesting. Why not add a background layer of whistle at the end of a song now and then? Sitting on the Dock of a Bay (iTunes link) by Otis Redding comes to mind.
“With the help of talented whistler Eduardo Tarilonte and a few birds, Best Service has released Whistler (19.99 EUR or approximately $30), a comprehensive library of every type of whistle tone you can imagine. No synths were used to create this library” – gearwire.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
Here’s a no brainer download for musicians. Native Instruments has released a free playback only version of their Sampler Kontakt with two free sample packs. The motivation is to get you into the NI world and buying new packs but that shouldn’t stop you from grabbing the freebie. I always think sample based sounds cut through a mix a little better than pure computer based synthesizers and drums. If you do end up with a collection of Kontakt “Player libraries” you can browse them from inside the plug-in and each library has a cover image and scrolls in a rack ala Reason. Kontakt Player also will operate stand alone so if your somewhere sans sequencer and bored you set to go.
“Building on the success of its predecessor, the free KONTAKT PLAYER allows for innovative, highly playable instruments that leave existing technological and musical limitations behind. The virtually unlimited flexibility of Kontakt Script Processing allows for instruments with unprecedented functionality and musicality.” – Native Instruments
I met Ritche Hawtin a few times. I played a bowling alley with him in the early 90′s. We were set up inside the area that gives out the rental shoes. More recently in Berlin he moved into the studio next to me. Beyond being a friendly guy he’s got some great marketing tool ideas. I really like his latest move which sends Tweets of whatever track he’s playing directly from Native Instruments Traktor to Twitter. Here’s the copy:
“Pioneering techno DJ Richie Hawtin has announced the development of a new Twitter application that enables him to broadcast his Traktor tracklists in real time over the network. The custom Twitter application was developed in-house by Richie Hawtin’s label Minus, and it works by uploading song metadata through Traktor Pro’s inbuilt broadcasting functionality. Track details are automatically posted to Richie Hawtin’s Twitter account every 30 seconds (you can already see Traktor tracklist updates on his Twitter), giving anyone access to the tracklist of his performance, and providing exposure to the artists and labels whose music is being played.” – beatportal.com
Last week I had to import some Midi files into my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). It was a commercial jingle I was to revamp and produce. To make it clear what instruments each part of the jingle were meant to be played with what instrument the writer (John) used General Midi. “GM” was created in 1991 and in short sets certain program numbers (sounds) to specific numbers. Doing this allows one to make a sound a flute and when the midi composition is played elsewhere using a GM module the embedded program change number will call up a flute sound.
I don’t often work with GM and when I received last week’s work John was adamant I listened to his fairly complex piece using a GM module at least once before I ripped it to pieces. It’s true that on a Mac one can just double-click any .midi file and it will open and play in Quicktime. However, I wanted to load the jingle into Ableton and view all the separate parts playing from a GM plug-in.
My first instinct was to ask Google for GM plug-ins and Native Instruments Bandstand popped up. Bandstand certainly would have fit my needs. It can be used stand alone or in your DAW and has over 2GB of samples from Sonic Reality, Big Fish, Best Service and others. Bandstand was in my budget at $119 but there was one issue: no download option. I really wanted to get working at that exact moment and as far as I could tell on the NI site there was no demo or download version. I may still grab Bandstand later because it looks to be the best GM player out there. My search for instant gratification continued…
I decided to do a little forum searching and on the official Apple Discussions I found a thread with my final answer. It turns out I already had a complete GM player plug-in installed on my Macbook Pro. Every Mac has a bunch of AU plug-ins installed by Apple for use in Garage Band and iMovie. I’ve used a few of them before in a pinch but rarely look hard into that folder. The Apple GM plug-in is called “DLSMusicDevice”. Very pleased I got to work.