Showing posts with label controllerism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label controllerism. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Scratching On Controllers: 7 Myths Busted (by Digital DJ Tips)

Excelente matéria publicada pelo site DIGITAL DJ TIPS !
Reproduzo o texto na íntegra (em inglês), na qual vários mitos sobre fazer Scratch em controladore MDI são desmistificados.
Vale a leitura!

So have you ever believed those who say it's not possible to scratch well on DJ controllers, or DJ controller scratching will never be taken seriously? Read on, you may just be surprised...

As many of you will unfortunately be only too aware, there’s a whole army of haters out there, continually bashing digital DJs and controllerists because they don’t use vinyl or didn’t “come from” vinyl. And nowhere is this more true than among a certain section of scratch DJs. The standard line is that we shouldn't care what they think, blah blah, but actually I do, and I'll tell you why: Because as a scratch tutor, I know first-hand that the "hate talk" puts people off trying - and that cant be left unchallenged.
As I learned to scratch in the late 1980s, on the one hand this talk doesn't affect me as much as most, but on the other, it surprises me more than most! Sure, I earned my stripes in the vinyl days, and yeah it was cool - but you want to know something? It wasn’t cool because we used vinyl, it was cool in spite of the fact we had to use vinyl! We had no choice other than to deal with ridiculous prices, warping, jumping, hissy sound, the weight, the size, the excess luggage costs, the risk of damage or loss. If it could have been as simple as digital “back in the day”, would we have wanted it? I would have - in a heartbeat.
House music legend MK laid into "DJs who've been playing 20 years who look down on anything else but vinyl", in a promo video for Native Instruments. It's what we at DDJT have always believed: that far from holding you back as a DJ, digital can make it all more exciting, interesting, creative and fun for you.
But what about scratching? You have to learn to scratch with vinyl, surely? Wrong... as someone who's taught thousands of DJs to scratch in our Scratching For Controller DJs course (which is coming back soon, by the way), I know this to be untrue, and this is what I want to tackle today. Too many DJs feel restricted from getting started learning to scratch on DJ controllers because they think "you have to learn on vinyl first”. So, let's deal with the most common misconceptions about scratching using DJ controllers.
(By the way, if you saw this post last year, I've added some new ones and updated the existing five, to bring it bang up to date...)

7 scratch myths busted

1. Scratching on a controller doesn't sound the same as on vinyl

Actually, that’s correct to a certain extent, but not for the reasons the purists believe. When you scratch on a controller the sound doesn’t jump and, assuming your track sounds clean to begin with, there are no hisses or crackles. The sound you are scratching will not degrade in quality the more you scratch with it, and you don’t get any bass rumble or feedback through the system (all these issues are common with vinyl).
So yes, it’s true, digital scratching doesn’t sound the same as vinyl - for all the right reasons. So what do the naysayers mean when they say this? They’re referring to the “warm” vinyl sound as opposed to digital, about how the digital processing takes the analogue identity out of the sound. Well, if using digital source material is good enough for Qbert, Craze, DJ Angelo, Shiftee and Jazzy Jeff, then this myth is most definitely busted. Check out scratch legend D-Styles using a Vestax Spin and Djay4 in a head-to-head battle with a vinyl DJ:

2. Latency means you can't do really fast scratching

Digital latency can be an issue when you are using a controller that was not designed to be integrated with a particular software application, but if you’re using a controller / software combination that was designed to play nicely together, chances are this simply won’t be an issue for you.
For example the Traktor S4 or S2 paired with Traktor Pro 2 software has incredibly tight integration for super-fast scratches and cuts, same with the Reloop Terminal Mix series and Serato DJ - you get the idea. Put bluntly if your scratches don’t sound right, it’s because you’ve either got the settings wrong or you need to practise! Check out these scratch DJs from San Diego putting the S4 through its paces and ask yourself if you still believe this myth. As DJ Happee says himself: “I guess live shows will never be the same again...”

Also, check out this dude on the DDJ-SX:

3. You can't scratch on cheap gear and/or small jogwheels

This myth applies to DJing overall, that you won’t be a “good DJ” if you only have entry-level gear. The manufacturers are clearly not going to do anything to talk you out of this mindset, hoping you will continually upgrade in the quest to be taken more seriously. I have found some of the best controllers for scratching to be some of the least expensive, the Mixtrack Pro 3 comes to mind as does the Denon DJ MC2000 with its small jogwheels.

As we saw when we busted myth #2, small jogs, like those on the S2 and S4, are no barrier to being able to scratch like a demon. If you’ve got a controller with jogwheels, you can scratch with it - period. Check out this guy scratching, cutting and chirping away on a Mixtrack Pro: You can pick these up for US$50 on ebay and the Mixtrack Pro 3 is also fantastically capable at around $200:

4. You can't "beatjuggle" without spinning visual cues

Beatjuggling is tricky, whether it’s on vinyl or not, it takes incredible coordination, rhythm and practice. When DJs beat juggle on vinyl, they use marks on the record labels to be able to give themselves a visual cue of the position of the record. And those records are constantly spinning. In general this is not available to controller DJs, it’s replicated on some DJ controllers, like the LED lights on some Reloop and Pioneer models, and the spinning platters on the Numark NS7III, but is not the norm, and is mostly only available on more expensive units.
So can beatjuggling, and the more advanced techniques like “chasing” be done on a normal controller? You guessed it, absolutely yes, and DJ Wreckdown is going to bust this myth for us in the following video, with his awesome routine on the Denon MC3000 and Traktor (also proving that some non-Native controllers work great with Traktor too!):

5. Scratching on a controller is not like “performing” on turntables

The extent to which you are “performing” depends entirely on you... it doesn’t matter what set-up you’re using. One of the best party-rocking performance DJs out there is DJ Angelo, and as part of his sometime role of brand ambassador for Reloop he has put together mind-blowing routines using controllers that showcase not only his own abilities, but the capability of the gear too.
This landmark demo he did for Reloop at Musikmesse in 2013 is an absolute masterclass in music programming, scratching, beatjuggling, controllerism and DJ performance, not limited in any way by using a controller, or indeed limited in his mindset. His enthusiasm (even in the sterile environment of an exhibition hall during the day) is as infectious as his skills are impressive:

6. You can't scratch with house or trance music

There's no denying that scratching came from, and is still most widely used in, hip hop, but there seems to be an assumption that if you DJ with any other genre, then there's no place for scratching. Well there are plenty of DJs who don't agree.
James Zabiela has always pushed the boundaries of performance in his DJing, and scratching has always been a big part of it, and a massive contributory factor to his rise to fame. He understood very early on that you need to show that you're in control at the decks. He says: "It’s important to give your audience something to look at as well. I always really enjoy looking at those DMC tapes where the DJs are like scratching with snooker cues. That’s totally out of my league but it’s great to watch. I think somewhere in between that and the sort of smooth Sasha mixing is somewhere where I’m heading. Somewhere in between."
James is a true multi-genre DJ but plays mostly house / techno tempo, and uses scratching, combined with loops and FX to devastating effect in his sets, check out what he describes as a "mess about" here using Pioneer CDJs and the RMX1000:
Another house DJ who leverages the power of scratching is legend of the genre Terrence Parker. Inspired by Grandmaster Flash when he was young, he decided that scratching would always be a part of his DJ performances: "When I first stared DJing, and actually developing my style, it was very important for me to show people that I'm actually working."
Here he is cutting, scratching and juggling his own house tunes in his "masterclass" video that truly busts this myth:

7. You'll never be respected scratching on digital gear

As we said right at the start, there will always be haters, but the tide is turning. More and more "proper" scratch DJs are acknowledging that it doesn't matter what gear you use, it's the skills you display that count. Even the DMC World DJ championship is now getting respected entires from DJs using controllers - check out The Abbot from New Zealand rocking his Pioneer DDJ-SZ for his round six entry for this year's competition, even goading viewers in the comments under his own video saying: "Waiting for the controller haters..." :)
Busting the last of our myths is the incredible "Saturday Super Session" videos - put together by Dutch DJ TLM, where 56 DJs from over 30 countries all submitted a scratch session using the same beat and whatever gear they wanted... iPads, cheap controllers, expensive controllers, CDJs, turntables, DVS - the whole lot!
This acceptance of DJs into the scratch community no matter what gear they're using is growing day by day, as DJ TLM says: "In this video everyone's using they're own thing to get the job done, and to me it's pretty cool to see how everyone uses their equipment. I didn't want this just to be a session with the top guys doing all kinds of intricate cuts and scratches on vinyl only. There's DJs in there doing really basic scratches, but they're doing them in a neat fashion and that's all that counts."
Check out the session here:

A word on DVS...

So what about DVS (digital vinyl systems)? This is vinyl, right? Well yes, but with some significant differences that only digital can bring. Most of the top-flight scratch DJs use this system by default now, and why? Because they only need carry maximum of four records (one timecode vinyl for each deck, and maybe two spares), and if the records get scratched, warped, broken or stolen, they are easily replaced while the music collection is not compromised in any way (always back up your music!) DVS even deals with jumping needles - the needle can be jumping all over the place but the audio stays solidly locked in the groove, opening the artform up to faster and faster techniques.
Another reason DVS is so widely used is it means the DJ can continue to use the medium he or she learned on. Think about it, if you drive an automatic car all your life, you can’t just jump into a stick shift manual car and expect to nail it straight away. DVS is "digital in the comfort zone" for scratch DJs, but as DJ Angelo (who also uses DVS) proved earlier, the skills are totally transferrable to controllers.
Check out Qbert & Revolution’s mastery of DVS here:


For those DJs who want to be vinyl-only, who love vinyl and all its history… If it feels more “real” to you, that’s cool, follow your heart and spread a positive message about the thing you’re passionate about. If people concentrated more on loving what they do, and less on hating what others do, then a common respect among DJs would exist that’s sadly sometimes lacking.
And if you want to learn to scratch, but can only get your hands on a $50 controller and some type of "intro" software, get started today... you have no excuse not to, especially now you know there’s nothing stopping you other that your own fears and the attitudes of a small number of "vinyl snobs" who will probably always be there. Why let such things hold you back?

Mais informaçoes e cursos de Scratch AQUI

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pioneer’s XDJ-RX: End Of The DJ Controller Era? (By DJ Tech Tools)

Excelente matéria publicada pelo site DJ TechTools, que reproduzo integralmente aqui.
Fala sobre o possível futuro da tecnologia MIDI, cujos sinais da indústria parecem mostrar o que a prática já dizia: menos é mais (no que tange a gadgets pra se colocar numa cabine de dj exígua).
Segue o texto (em inglês) na íntegra: 

Pioneer’s XDJ-RX: End Of The DJ Controller Era?

Earlier this month, we wrote about Pioneer’s upcoming Rekordbox DJ software – but the truth is, we’ve already seen what DJ software from Pioneer will look like. The XDJ-RX has a complete DJ software right inside of its 8″ high-resolution screen, allowing browsing, cues, loops, rolls, FX, and more. In this article we break down how the XDJ-RX is poised to become the digital DJ hardware of the future – and what obstacles Pioneer still faces.
Pioneer has built an incredible unit with this “standalone DJ system”, which easily wins the prize of best non-controller for all-in-one DJ products yet. The DJ world has seen a number of half-baked attempts at complete digital DJ systems – from the Stanton’s SCS.4DJ, to the Pacemaker hardware, to even Pioneer’s own XDJ-R1 in 2013. The truth is none of them succeeded at changing the game because they were usable but not well-polished.

The “also-ran” products of the standalone digital DJ world

But Pioneer has been building a best-in-class digital DJ workflow on the CDJ-2000Nexus and XDJ-1000 units. It’s simple and intuitive for anyone from any DJ background – so when they decided to build new standalone all-in-one, adopting that exact workflow made sense.
So will the XDJ-RX replace traditional DJ controllers like the Kontrol S4 or Mixtrack Pro? Here’s what Pioneer is doing right on this unit that makes it such a powerful competitor:

XDJ-RX Is A Club DJ Setup For Bedroom DJs

Immediately clear just from looking at the XDJ-RX is how much it mirrors the layout of two CDJs and a two-channel version of a DJM-900. This standardized layout means that there’s a “cross-compatibility” of sorts when it comes to DJ skills:
  • beginners learning on the XDJ-RX will be able to quickly adapt to a club setup
  • experienced club DJs will be able to quickly use most of their same skills and techniques on an RX unit
We’re pretty sure Pioneer very carefully thought about this concept (skills that translate from bedroom to club) a lot when making this piece of gear – because the truth is that bedroom DJs are where most sales of DJ controllers come from. By and large, professional DJs (a much smaller market) are either using a modular setup or some kind of CDJ/mixer combo.

Solid Setup For Mobile DJs

At a mobile gig - the less stuff to connect (while still looking pro) - the better!
At a mobile gig – the less stuff to connect (while still looking pro) – the better! (photo via DJ)

The second big market for DJ controllers? Mobile DJs. Tons of gear is sold every year to DJs that are playing mobile gigs for decent cash – weddings, birthdays, corporate parties, etc. These DJs are constantly looking for their ultimate piece of gear which usually entails:
  • quick + minimal setup required
  • microphone input
  • limited cords
  • looks professional
The RX hits each of these solidly, and has the added bonus of removing the laptop from the equation. There’s one less thing to worry about – and no chance you’ll have anyone wondering why you’re not a “real DJ” or that you “look like you’re checking your email.
The big drawback here for mobile DJs is portability – the RX isn’t quite as thin as traditional controllers, and weighs in at 8 pounds – a bit heavier than most. You also have no backup systems besides the unit itself, but if for some reason your USB sticks aren’t loading correctly, the unit can run as a standalone DJ mixer.

Get Advanced: Pioneer Color / Beat FX

It feels like Pioneer played “Survivor” with their FX and only let the best ones stay on the RX island.

Even though the XDJ-RX is great for beginners, it also has enough advanced features that you can practice more challenging techniques. The FX are especially nice – it feels like Pioneer has slimmed down the Beat and Color FX to the most useful options on any of the DJM mixers.
Want to try your hand at the Spiral effect, or play with Noise for a wash? No problem. Pioneer has even moved all the Beat FX rate displays to the main screen for super easy reference – this means less looking around to see how your FX settings are set before activating one.

Adoption of Best Industry Features

Record a set directly to your USB drive
Record a set directly to your USB drive

Here’s the case for why Pioneer’s XDJ-RX is not just a good product, but a sign of the direction of the future of DJ gear: they are stealing great ideas from other DJ gear. So many companies in the DJ industry seem afraid/hesitant to incorporate great ideas that they didn’t come up with. In the RX, Pioneer has added:
  • Parallel waveforms: even the other DJ gear that has screens on them seems to be keeping the waveforms separated (we’re looking at you, Kontrol S8) – and Pioneer has never really had two waveforms side-by-side except for in the Rekordbox software. Virtual DJ and Serato DJ owners often rave about their waveform layouts that allow quick visual mixing if they need it, so it’s no surprise that Pioneer added this.
  • Recording on the USB stick: this might be an industry first, but having dual USB ports and the ability to record your set on the one in the second port (yes, you can load tracks from it at the same time) is a major win. We want to see this on other Pioneer DJ gear ASAP, please.
The familiar bottom-of-deck controls from the DDJ line...
The familiar bottom-of-deck controls from the DDJ line…
  • DDJ-SX style buttons at the bottom of each deck: Pioneer has put a lot of work into building a memorable set of controls at the bottom of each controller. They’re at home on the RX, and we suspect it might be a sign that we’ll soon see a new CDJ/XDJ controller that has those same buttons on it below the platter..

What Still Needs Work On The RX

Despite being conceptually a DJ product that could take out all-in-one style controllers, there’s a few areas where the XDJ-RX needs a lot of work to make it able to compete:
  • Jog wheels aren’t platinum status: One of the biggest sells for the high-end CDJ-900/2000/XDJ-1000 lines are the quality of the jogwheels. They’re pleasantly hefty mixing tools that feel great. The XDJ-RX’s jogs are about what you get on the DDJ-SR/SX, not especially heavy but “good enough”. It’s particularly hard to do a long backspin on these with just a flick of the hand; they seem to have a limited range just from a single touch. Minor quibble, but enough to notice and consider going for a higher end product instead.

Cue/slice buttons should feel great - not ok.
Cue/slice buttons should feel great – not ok.
  • Plastic cue/loop/slice buttons: We’re not very big fans of plastic buttons – and while the buttons at the bottom of each deck on this gear are responsive, they’re not really fun to use or easy to juggle with. Many all-in-one controllers do a lot better.
  • Beatmatching: Lining up tracks on the RX is different from all Pioneer gear – it’s way more “elastic” feeling. My experience was that unless you had Sync enabled, using the waveforms to mix was difficult as two beatmatched tracks only seemed lined up at the playhead – not ahead or behind it. As always, trust your ears before anything else – but this still felt weird.
XDJ-RX to scale
XDJ-RX to scale next to CDJ-900Nexus, PLX-1000 turntable
  • Portability / Club-Readiness: This gear is really ideal for house parties, home studios, and maybe a mobile gig – but there’s no way you’re going to be able to clear almost 2.5 feet of width in most DJ booths for your gear. This is why small modular DJ gear will always win in a club setting – you can fit your gear in the booth!

Who’s Next?

Looking toward the future, we suspect that both NI and Serato must have their eyes on their own brands of standalone DJ gear:
Thinking of buying an XDJ-RX? Please support DJTT and purchase it in our store

Leia mais sobre tecnologia DJ no site DJ TECHTOOLS

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mixing with STEMS - Native Instruments!

Mais um vídeo da Native Instruments mostrando seu novo lançamento, o STEM.
Pra quem não sabe, são arquivos de áudio "abertos", nos quais se tem acesso a diferentes partes da track.
Parece interessante...
Será que vai pegar?

Mais info AQUI

Friday, September 12, 2014

DJ SOUQ @ REX BAR - 13/09

E sábado estarei tocando, como de costume, no REX BAR!
A função começa cedo, então te programa pra curtir aquele petisco, os drinks espertos e aquele som bacana aos meus cuidados!
20:00h, DJ Souq @ Rex Bar, Santo Antonio 801, Bom Fim!
Todos convidados!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Monday, March 7, 2011

DJ Qbert at work! Traktor 2

DJs Qbert, Rafik and Shiftee demonstrating the brand new Traktor 2!

Simply fantastic...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Simply amazing!