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AUSTRALIAN DJ FORUMS

Cupe

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Everything posted by Cupe

  1. Fucking dope. I'm always looking for shit like this when I'm driving in the car. Will wack it on next drive.
  2. Yeah I removed the spam links in its sig. Wouldn't mind a few bots like this bumping threads around town tbh
  3. This is pretty fire. It has good build and flows well.
  4. Hey dude welcome! Feel free to post all your tracks and anything else you want
  5. Fuck off dipshit

  6. BASIC CONTROLLERS Ok, the software thing is going great but now you want a little more than just a keypad to trigger effects and mix between tunes.The time has come to add a digital control surface called a “MIDI controller”. Much like a remote control for the TV, today’s best USB DJ controllers are just giant remote controls that tell DJ software what do, while providing a large tactile playing surface. The good news is that all the DJ software mentioned below are “MIDI-Enabled” so that means any controller that is “MIDI-Compliant” will work with it. This opens up a lot of low cost music controllers that were not intended for DJing but will work just fine for getting started. Here are, in our opinion, the most notable examples of the best MIDI controller options for DJs: from low to high price. KORG NANO KONTROL / NANO PAD Cost: $39 each Good For: Adding lots of controls on the cheap Small footprint Not So Great: Build Quality Controls are a bit of a squeeze (Kontrol) Pads aren’t very responsive (Pad) Bottom Line: The Korg Nano series is undoubtedly cheap and cheerful; they won’t last the rigours of being thrown around but they are handy for stay at home setups. The Nano Key is a bit of a waste though, as it doesn’t really add anything that your computer keys don’t already do. Additional Editor’s Tip: The Korg Nano Series has been updated to a new v2 series which promises a bit more in terms of build quality. They come in at a reasonable $60, and come in a bit nicer design. Check them out here: Korg nanoKONTROL2 Slim-Line USB Control Surface AKAI MPK MINI Cost: $80 Good For: Keys, pads, and knobs all-in-one Handy form factor 25 keys gives plenty of control Not So Great: The knobs have very short caps that can make them tricky to use The pads are okay at best Bottom Line: The MPK Mini is a great controller for the price, as it’s small but pretty sturdy, and although it’s not designed specifically with DJs in mind it does have potential. Interested in grabbing one for your setup? Check out the Akai Pro MPK Mini on Amazon. Numark DJ 2 Go Cost: $49 Good For: It’s ‘DJ shaped’ Mobile DJs Not So Great The unit’s not very controllerist friendly The dials aren’t up to much and feel cruddy Bottom Line If you’re in the market for a low budget controller you’ll probably have seen the DJ2GO. It’s not terrible, but its traditionalist design feels like a bit of a throwback. Actually… it’s pretty terrible. We’re listing it because it’s something many of you will likely consider. If you decided to see if it’s right for you, here’s the Amazon product page: Numark DJ2Go USB DJ Controller OXYGEN 25 KEYBOARD Cost: $99 Good For: Sturdy design 25 full-size keyboard keys Pitch and mod wheels Pretty good knobs Not So Great: Not designed for DJs No pads Bottom Line The Oxygen 25, previously known as the Oxygen 8, is something of a classic among controllerists on account of its low cost and high potential. It’s definitely worth a look, and will likely outlast the smaller, flimsier gear above. If it seems right for you, here’s a link to where you can pick one up: M-Audio Oxygen 25 25-Key USB MIDI Controller NUMARK MIXTRACK Cost: $130 Good For: Actually looking like a DJ controller Large platters DJ-focused controls Not So Great: Generally light on build quality Platters aren’t very good for track control Bottom Line The Mixtrack is actually a pretty decent attempt at a super-low budget DJ controller. It won’t set the world alight and I doubt it’ll last forever, but it has all the right controls. Want to get one and get started mixing? Here’s the obligatory link to buy: Numark MIXTRACK DJ Software Controller If you’ve got a bit more cash, we do know that the Mixtrack Pro($250) might be tempting, but remember that unlike the Trakor Kontrol S2, the only included softwares are the limited LE versions. DJ TECHTOOLS MIDI FIGHTER Cost: $179 Good For: Extreme tactile satisfaction Customization options Not So Great: Pinning your whole DJing control to it Bottom Line Okay, obviously the Midi Fighter is a DJ TechTools creation, but we hope you can trust our objectivity. The Midi Fighter uses professional quality buttons, but in all honesty 16 buttons without labels might not quite cut it when it comes to controlling everything your software has to offer. That won’t stop us from mentioning it, though – get your very own here! NATIVE INSTRUMENTS KONTROL X1 Cost: $199 Good For Excellent build quality High resolution controls in Traktor and Serato Not So Great Limited control surfaces in a cramped interface Better as an accompanying device Bottom Line The Kontrol X1 is a great feeling unit, but it feels like it’s designed to be the companion to something that controls your actual decks. Price per control ratio is high, but it’s a quality unit with awesome default Traktor and Serato mappings. It’s also a pretty decent deal at $199 – Amazon has it with free shipping, as well: Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1 Performance DJ Controller DJ SOUNDCARDS UNDER $220 If you are ready to start doing some DJ pre-cuing then you will need to add a USB sound card with 2 stereo outputs: one output goes to the speakers and the other is used for headphones. With the controllers above and a low cost sound card, you are still in for less than $400 with software. Below, we take a look at the best DJ soundcards under $220. Behringer UCA222 Cost: $40 Good For: Extremely low price Not So Great: All round quality Bottom Line: The Behringer UCA222 is unbelievably cheap, but it sort of shows; the chassis sometimes splits and the audio quality is just okay. It works, but if you can, then just wait a little longer and upgrade. If you can’t wait, here’s the link to getting your own: Behringer UCA222 U-Control USB Audio Interface. Native Instruments Audio 2 Cost: $99 Good For: Tiny but sturdy unit Sound quality is excellent Not So Great Extremely limited connectivity Bottom Line The NI Audio 2 sounds really good, but has nothing in the way of inputs and just stereo 1/4″ sockets for output. If it’s all you need then it’s all you need, but you might need more for your setup. Either way, at just $99, it’s a nice piece of kit to have if you’re just starting out – grab one for yourself here. ReLoop Play Cost: $90 Good For: Getting separate RCA outputs Not So Great No inputs Bottom Line For total, honest disclosure here, I need to tell you the only contact I’ve had with the Play is at trade show level. I can’t, therefore, really recommend that you do something either way – but I can tell you that the Play is tiny, seemed to work just fine, and provides more flexible I/O than the Audio 2 for less money. Test it out for yourself and grab one over on the Amazon product page: Reloop Play Interface Novation Nio 2|4 Cost: $220 Good for: Sturdy build Very low latency Phantom power input Free effects plugins Not So Great: Confusing top controls A shame not to have four inputs Bottom Line: The Novation Nio is really sturdy, and features special firmware that allows FX routing to be extremely low latency (handy if you’re going down the Ableton Live or similar route). Novation chose to trade four inputs for two, one with phantom power (through-cable power to allow condenser mics to work), and whilst it is cheaper, it’s not much cheaper than the Native Instruments Audio 6; if you’re planning on going DVS at some point soon, this isn’t the best card for you. It’s also not in production anymore – but you might be able to find a used one around if you snoop hard enough. THE ALL-IN-ONE SOLUTION If you know that tactile control and a sound card are going to be essential then it might be wise to skip straight to an “all in one” DJ controller that is equipped with software, hardware and a sound card for one price. Here are our three favorite beginner DJ controllers under $500: VESTAX SPIN / TYPHOON Cost: $249 Good For: Plug and go on the cheap Looks like a DJ controller Not So Great Limited control Limited quality Bottom Line Spin is designed for Mac and ships with Djay, whereas Typhoon is cross-platform and has Virtual DJ LE. Other than a paint job they’re basically the same controller, and they have a feel of ‘my first VCI-100’ about them. They are fun, but they lack controls for things like effects. Read some customer reviews and get one on Amazon here: Vestax Typhoon Midi Controller RELOOP DIGITAL JOCKEY 2 INTERFACE EDITION Cost: $300 Good For: Decent build Nice looking Sensible layout Not So Great: Slightly squashed up design Buttons aren’t ideal Bottom Line: The Reloop DJ2 is a surprisingly decent controller – you might immediately get controller envy when comparing it to their newer DJ3, but the DJ2 has plenty of controls and ships with Traktor LE, which is a short upgrade path from Traktor Pro. There’s a lot of controller for the money, but it’s also quite small so you might feel like you’re a bit squashed in. Into getting squashed? Grab a Reloop Digital Jockey 2 here – and celebrate for the potential free shipping. Novation Twitch Cost: $499 Good For: The very cool slicer mode in Itch Generally professional feel Not So Great: Some build quality issues No platters might be weird for some Bottom Line: Twitch is a controller unto its own, as although it has plenty of competition it also has enough USP to ensure it stands out. Where it really works is the cool features developed for Itch, including the excellent integration of slicer mode. CHOOSE YOUR PATH CAREFULLY! Most popular DJ solutions today start at $500 and up but there are lots of ways to get started for less. Just keep growth in mind if possible. Pick components that are modular and software that leaves room for growth so that as your demands increase, you can re-use and integrate the components you already have. Using an external sound card is sometimes smart, because when you want to upgrade your controller you wont need to spend money on another controller with a sound card built in. If your eventual goal is to use Traktor Pro or Serato Scratch Live/Itch then it might be wise to start with their “junior” or light versions. By starting there, the work and experience you put in now wont be wasted when moving to an entirely new DJ platform. Much of the time spent in digital DJing admin is preparing music – cue points, grid information, comments and so on – so switching platforms can be a very time consuming down the road.
  7. It might be a bit terrifying to older DJs, but many new DJs don’t know anything about audio cables, wiring, and pre-amps. In today’s article, guest contributor DJ Soo shares a back-to-basics guide on audio cables. This is essential reading for every new DJ – pass it along and share your own must-know knowledge in the comments. Why Do Most New DJs Not Know About Audio Cables? For decades, stereo systems were largely component-based gear requiring a certain level of knowledge and understanding to get home hi-fi systems up and running, with various components sending signal to each other. There were separate amplifiers, turntables, CD players, cassette decks, etc – and each had to connect to one another to get sound to the speakers. Wiring a hi-fi system is a skill of the past. In the last 20 years or so, the way we listen to music has drastically changed. The home stereo is no longer the source of music. Computers and phones are how most people consume their music, and the industry has focused on creating technology devoted specifically to them. Most home audio setups rarely need more than a 1/8” cable, USB cable, phone dock, or a Bluetooth connection. DJing and PA systems on the other hand, still remain firmly entrenched in a more traditional use of audio cables to connect various components and there may be many younger DJs that are not fully familiar with the various types of cables available and how each functions. So with that said, here’s a beginner’s guide to the different types of audio cables you’re likely to meet as a DJ. Editor’s Note: Many of these concepts might be obvious to most veteran DJs – but they are all included here to act as a comprehensive guide. Signal Flow The inputs and outputs on a DJM-900NXS The first thing to understand about audio is that it is very linear. There is generally either an output or an input. When it comes to audio connections, Output refers to the sound coming out of those ports, while Input refers to ports that receive that sound. This is what is known as “signal flow” or “signal chain.” Outputs should be connected to inputs along the chain of devices. For instance, when connecting a device like a CDJ or controller to a DJ Mixer, you want the CDJ outputs sending audio to your mixer inputs for their respective channels. On a standard DJ mixer, your MASTER, BOOTH, and REC OUT will be your outputs while your channel ports will be your inputs. Left/Right Audio cables are often colored red and white to easily track which side is connected to which channel. This one is fairly obvious – the tracks you DJ with are almost always produced in a stereo field. This means the signals for the left and right speakers differ. In most audio gear, that means separate ports and cables are required for the left and right side of the signal. Traditionally, the right side port will be colored red, while the left side will be white or black. The coloring on the cables makes no functional difference – they’re just an easy guide to keep track of where things are plugged in. Male/Female Connectors + Plugs The terms “Male” and “Female” in regards to cables and ports refers to the type of connectors of the cables. Male connectors plug into things, while Female connectors have things plugged into them. I’ll let you figure out where the terms originated from. Most cables used in DJing will have male ends on each side, with the female connections as the ports on the hardware. With XLR cables (more on them below), there’s almost always a male and female end, with outputs on hardware almost always being male and inputs almost always being female. Balanced/Unbalanced There’s a wealth of technical reasons and descriptions differentiating Balanced and Unbalanced cables using such jargon as “differential,” “reversed polarity,” “phase cancellation,” and so on, but instead of getting into that, let’s stick to the practical application – the most important thing for DJs to know: Unbalanced cables tend to be more prone to interference and added noise once getting beyond a certain length (about 15-20 feet) Balanced cables tend to have less noise and allow for longer cables In order to use balanced cables, the hardware must also have balanced outputs. This will be labeled on the gear. If you have to use long cables, you should always try to use balanced cables and outputs! Of the most widely used cables: RCA is always Unbalanced XLR is always Balanced 1/4” can either be Balanced (TRS) or Unbalanced (TS) Here’s a great quick explanation of the two concepts on YouTube by Joe Gilder: Pre-amps Amplifiers do pretty much what the name states: it amplifies power and in the case of audio, the volume. Audio output from computers, CDJs, phones, and other non-analog devices is what’s known as line level audio. This is a specific range of volume output by devices. There are, however, certain devices that output considerably quieter or weaker signals that require an extra stage of amplification to output at a similar volume. The two most commonly encountered pieces of gear for DJs will be turntables and microphones. The inputs on a DJ mixer often have selectable phono preamp or line level inputs – like on the back of this Rane Sixty Two DJ turntables require what’s known as a phono pre-amp to get vinyl at a similar volume level as a CDJ or controller. Almost all DJ mixers will have built-in pre-amps, and some of the more modern turntable options also have built-in pre-amps. Phono inputs on DJ mixers are specifically for turntables and nothing else as they have a specific layer of EQing required to make vinyl sound like real music (known as the RIAA EQ curve). If you’ve ever plugged in a turntable into the Line input of a mixer and heard a quiet signal or worse, or plugged a CDJ into the Phono input and heard a loud, distorted mess of a signal, it’s because of the pre-amp (or lack thereof). Microphones also require a pre-amp as passive mics also tend to be very weak compared to line level sound. Most line or front-of-house mixers have both line level and mic level inputs that can be plugged into. Unlike phono pre-amps, the input does not alter the sound outside of amplification so it is possible to plug a line level output into a mic input and drastically lower the gain to prevent clipping. Some mixers will also have what’s known as a “pad” option which automatically adjusts down the level by about 20 db essentially converting the input into a line level input. Audio Cable Types RCA Cables RCA is one of the most ubiquitous cable formats in audio gear. Developed in the 1940s, it has remained largely unchanged since and continues to be one of the standard cables for linking audio components. This cable is used for everything from CDJs to mixers to main outputs to stereo systems. Due to the unbalanced nature of RCA cables, they are best used for shorter distances. This is fine connecting a CDJ to a mixer or a controller to a mixer, but for entry-level mixers and controllers that only have RCA outputs for the mains, it isn’t recommended to connect directly to a PA system if the cables are going to be longer than 15-20 feet just due to the increased risk of noise and interference. RCA cables can also be used for S/PDIF or Digital Outputs although a specific cable (75ohm cable) is supposed to give the best results. This is most commonly seen in higher end Pioneer CDJs and Nexus mixers. TRS / TS Cables TRS stands for Tip Ring Sleeve which is another ubiquitous cable format alongside TS which is simply Tip Sleeve. The most commonly seen usage of the TRS connector is the 1/8” or 1/4” jack used in headphones. These cables are also used as PA Speaker cables, microphones, and instrument patch cables. Outside of headphones, in the DJ world, they are often used as main outputs or booth outputs. The important thing to note: these cables can either be balanced or unbalanced. TRS cables are balanced while TS cables are unbalanced. The easy way to tell the cables apart is that TRS cables have an extra plastic ring around the jack rather than the single in a TS cable. XLR Cables XLR cables are one of the standard cable formats for pro audio. Unlike most audio cables, XLR will almost always have two different ends – one male and one female. XLR outputs and inputs are most commonly used for main outputs on mixers or higher end controllers or for microphones. XLR cables are popular in the pro audio world for a few of reasons: They are always balanced – it’s very easy to run long cables They lock into place – making it more difficult to get accidentally unplugged Due to the dual connector ends, it’s very easy to link up a series of shorter cables together for a longer run If you’re building up a mobile PA system, this will be the cable you will most likely use the most to connect speakers. SpeakOn Cables SpeakOn cables are most often used in higher end and larger PA systems – festival and concert rigs and the like. DJ gear does not use SpeakOn connectors – they’re used to connect amplifier racks to passive speaker rigs. The advantages to SpeakOn cables is the greater shielding to prevent interference or even electrical shock, more durable and thicker cables, and a superior locking mechanism. Newer passive speakers (i.e. requiring separate amplifiers) will often sport SpeakOn connectors vs XLR connectors on powered or active gear. Speaker Wire I’ve always hated speaker wire. It’s messy, ugly and hard to deal with. They were the standard for HiFi systems for decades. It’s essentially two raw bundles of small copper, wrapped in rubber, with the copper exposed on each end. This wire is used to connect an amplifier to passive speakers. If you’ve ever had to ground a Technics to a ground post with the grounding fork missing, connecting speaker wire is the same, but more of a pain. Speaker wire is essentially two wires melded together – a positive and negative side. The exposed wires are often twisted up and jammed into a clip connector or a binding post (similar to a grounding post). Some speakers will have special connectors you can attach to the wires to make it simpler. Bonus Concepts + Additional Notes Combo Jacks Combo jack Mic inputs on the back of a VCI-400 Combo jacks are jacks that can take both XLR and 1/4” TRS/TS cables. They are always female so they always function as inputs. These are most commonly found in active speakers. Adaptors There are times that certain pieces of gear require different connectors on each ends (for example, connecting a DDJ-SR – which only has 1/4” outs – to a pair speakers that only have XLR inputs). The easiest way to solve this is to use either adaptors or cables with different connectors on either end. Want to change cable types? There’s seemingly an adaptor for every possible situation. If you can think of a combination of connectors, then an adaptor or cable exists for it. While adaptors are convenient, I tend to gravitate towards dedicated cables (or in the case of XLR, they also function as adaptors – just with a length of wire between them). Adaptors can be bulky and in the case of some manufacturers of connectors, aren’t the most snug leading to signal loss or noise. Add to that, given that most DJ gear tends to plug in horizontally, heavier adaptors can stress the plugs – which can end up damaging your gear. Converting unbalanced to balanced signal If you have a mixer or controller which only has RCA or unbalanced 1/4” outputs and you want the option of running cables longer than 15 feet, there are a couple of ways to convert the signal to a balanced output. The first is a DI or Direct Box which is a small unit that is purpose-built to convert the signal into a balanced output. They come in different sizes and styles some which are very basic and others which have a host of more features. Best bet is to find one that supports stereo inputs and outputs, otherwise a pair of boxes will be required. The other option is to run the device into a separate mixer with balanced outputs. There are plenty of small-size and affordable mixers which accept RCA or 1/4” inputs and have balanced XLR or 1/4” outputs. The added benefit of these mixers is that it allows for an extra gain stage to boost volume. This is especially useful for entry-level devices that tend to have lower output. A DJ mixer will also function well for this application – so venues with any type of house mixer will work fine.
  8. A new DJM-V10 mixer from Pioneer DJ has 6 channels, master isolators, four band EQ, per-channel compression knobs and sends for each channel. You could be forgiven for thinking that we’re listing features on an Allen & Heath DJ mixer. The new unit is expected to be present today at NAMM 2020 in Anaheim, so we’ll be taking a first look at it soon. Keep reading for all the details on Pioneer DJ’s new mixer and we’ll take a closer look at the feature set and layout. Gear: DJM-V10 Manufacturer: Pioneer DJ Price: $3,199 Availability: If you’re interested, we have preorders in the DJTT store here. Release Date: Early February, 2020 Let’s start with the obvious: this mixer almost feels like someone at Pioneer DJ looked at Richie Hawtin’s Model 1 mixer design and said “we can do that!” There’s no advanced sculpting EQ, but a lot of the other features of the mixer feel incredibly inspired by Xone mixers. the DJM-V10, click to zoom Here’s what you need to know about the features on the DJM-V10: It supports 6 channels of audio This is the first DJ mixer from Pioneer to have six channel since the rack mount 19-inch DJM-1000. Interestingly, that mixer also had a master isolator like this one. Just because you can play six channels doesn’t mean that you’ll start to see DJ booths with six CDJs or even four CDJs and two DJS-1000 sampler/sequencers. Pioneer DJ Pro Link limits the number of connected devices to 4, which means that the extra two channels are best used for devices that don’t rely on being linked. One other design note that Pioneer DJ points out in their release: the channels on the top of the unit line up with the input jacks on the rear of the unit. This means less fiddling around behind the mixer figuring out where to plug in each input. There are 4-band EQs Four band EQs, single-pole filters, master isolators – wow. Four-band EQs are historically so very Allen & Heath, and as such the DJM-V10 is challenging that notion. “The frequencies, curves, and boost and cut amounts on each band have all been specially designed to give you total flexibility. Completely isolate the high and/or low and tweak the two mid ranges – which have their own custom curves – to fine-tune your mix.” Every channel has a filter, they’re not dual-pole The classic Pioneer DJ dual-pole filter series is gone on this mixer, replaced by a filter style that’s similar to the DJM-2000NXS. Each channel has a dedicated filter knob, and the filters have been beefed up. Here’s how Pioneer DJ explains it: “Drastically change the sound of a track or make tiny adjustments using the newly developed filter with resonance control. Switch on high or low pass by pressing either button, then turn the knob from all the way to the left (no filter applied) to the furthest position on the right (maximum filter applied). Because the high and low pass are separated, the entire range of the knob is dedicated to the option you choose, giving you twice the resolution to play with compared to the filter on the DJM-900NXS2.” The mixer has a Master Isolator Big, chunky knobs for isolators are incredibly fun to control the master output with. “[the 3-band isolator] features new boost/cut curves and adjustments to the crossover frequencies and other parameters.” Per-Channel Compressors! Compression is a powerful tool if used in the studio, but it’s rarely used in the DJ booth. In reality, many DJM mixers have compression on them, hidden inside the Color FX, but that means sacrificing filter control. On the DJM-V10, there’s a compressor knob on every single channel. This can be especially useful if you’re playing older/unmastered songs that might pale in comparison to new music. “Turn the compressor knob on the relevant channel and the mixer will “beef up” the audio in real time. The quieter the track, the more pressure is added, boosting the sound of “weaker” tracks and having a minimal effect on mastered music.” Send/Return Built-In + External FX A dedicated send/return FX unit that was added to the DJM-900NXS2 was welcome, but the send/return section on the DJM-V10 goes quite a bit further. There are four built-in send/return FX: Short Delay, Long Delay, Dub Echo, and Reverb – and then you can connect other units to the TRS jacks for more options. For those built-in FX, there’s a whole slew of parameter controls: Size/Feedback: changes the room size when using a reverb, and the feedback amount when using delays and echoes. Time: adjusts the decay time of the reverb and the delay time for delays and echoes. Tone: changes the hue of the effected sound, making it deep and heavy or light and crisp. Master Mix Level: acts as the overall volume of the effected sound when Master Mix is turned on Finally, route the resulting audio from the Send/Return FX unit to either the master or out to one of the channels on the mixer. Sending it to a channel means you can then apply more EQ and filters to the wet mix. Two DJs can cue independently Here’s another feature that’s straight off of the Model 1 mixer: two sets of headphone cue outputs. If you’re playing B2B, you can listen to one channel, and your partner can be listening to anything else – no more passing your headphones back and forth here. Worth noting, the Headphones A ports are on the top of the mixer, while the Headphones B ports are on the face of it. A bit of a strange choice as usually there’s no ports on the front face of Pioneer DJ mixers. Fix your monitors with Booth EQ Does your booth sound like crap? Is there no way to adjust the monitors to make them sound better? No problem with the DJM-V10, because it has two knobs for HI/LOW EQing of the booth output. A New Beat Effect, Shimmer All the Beat FX are familiar on the DJM-V10 except for a new one, Shimmer, which is shown in all the promo photos. It seems to create overtone – we’ll update this once we’ve actually heard it or seen a video of it in use. Sound Quality “Studio-quality 64-bit mixing and dithering processing, 32-bit high-quality A/D and D/A converters, a low-jitter clock circuit, and many other components all work to produce a full low-end, vibrant mids, and precise highs.” The DJM-900NXS2 was huge step up in sound quality versus the original NXS, but Pioneer DJ seems to have tripled down on this mixer. They’ve written a lot about the changes here, and while obviously some of it requires higher end components, we are hoping that they use some of what they’ve developed here in other future products too. What The DJM-V10 Works With There’s built in support for a few different devices, apps, and services at launch. Rekordbox, Traktor Pro 3, Serato DJ Pro (after launch) RMX-1000 iPad app (can be used with the Multi I/O USB port) DJM-REC app on iOS to upload or stream sets Pro DJ Link ShowKontrol can send info to lighting desks: “This enables DJs, technical producers, LJs, and VJs to use all the important information from the DJM-V10, such as actual fader and knob positions, to effectively align sound and visuals and create shows that blow audiences away. On top of this, some of the DJM-V10 settings can be remotely configured via ShowKontrol software.”
  9. Pioneer DJ has put out the Rekordbox DJ software, brought it up to speed in features, and now they’re ready to go after the market in a huge way: with entry-level controllers that include the software for free. Meet the Pioneer DJ DDJ-RB and DDJ-RR, Pioneer DJ’s low-cost controllers designed specifically for their own DJ software. DDJ-RB DDJ-RR Both of these controllers fall completely in line with their two-channel counterparts, the DDJ-SB and DDJ-SR. Check out a quick graphical comparison of them below – you can see that a few new functions have been added on the RB/RR to correspond with new Pioneer Rekordbox features. First, the DDJ-SB (left) versus the DDJ-RB (right, click to zoom): Next, the DDJ-SR (left) versus the DDJ-RR (right, click to zoom😞 The DDJ-RB is the entry-level controller for Rekordbox DJ. It’s going to be available starting in late May 2016 for $249 The DDJ-RR is the next step up – boasting RGB backlighting on the pads, additional inputs/outputs (it’s a standalone mixer as well), VU meters, needle search, and more – it’ll be available in June 2016 for $699. Both controllers will come with the Rekordbox DJ “Plus Pack” (a license for the full DJ software, which normally runs $129) PC Master Out; AKA Dual Soundcards There’s also a sneaky new feature that is supported with these two DJ controllers called PC Master Out. It essentially allows you to use two soundcards with Rekordbox DJ – the one onboard your DDJ-RB/RR controller to mix and cue and the one in your computer to send a master out signal. This will be especially handy in situations where you don’t have the proper cables to connect your controller to the sound system – think situations where there’s just an Aux cord without any other adapters. Sequence Call / Rekordbox 4.1.1 Software Update In addition to these new controllers, there’s a new update out for the software, Rekordbox 4.1.1. The new update not only supports the new controllers, but also adds support for PC Master Out (detailed above) and Sequence Load/Call, which lets you “load your sample sequences to the deck to scratch them”.
  10. In their usual fashion, Pioneer DJ has sent out a late night email for a surprise announcement of a new product, this time the DDJ-RZX. This new bit of DJ gear is designed specifically to work alongside a new Rekrodbox DJ video pack that allows mixing video in the DJ software – read on for details. Pioneer DDJ-RZX + Rekordbox Video The DDJ-RZX looks (and behaves) a lot like someone took the Numark Dashboard and permanently installed it to a DDJ-RZ. It offers three 7-inch touch screens, each of which allow you to: preview and monitor video and image files trigger beat/release FX Touch FX that allow use of X/Y controls to change level/depth of the effect see enlarged track waveforms / metadata (similar to the TOUR-1 screens) Also worth noting is that Pioneer has added a few new effects controls that you can take advantage on on the controller: Combo FX – control Sound Color FX and Beat FX at the same time using the touch screens Sampler Repeat – change the length of a loop just by touching the display and apply Sound Color FX when using the rekordbox dj sampler Sound Color FX with sub parameter control – use the studio-quality Sound Color FX from the DJM-900NXS2 mixer including Sweep, Filter, Crush, Dub Echo, Noise and Space, and fine-tune them using sub parameter control Release FX – exit complex FX patterns by selecting Vinyl Brake, Echo or Back Spin and twisting the dial The DDJ-RZX includes license for Rekordbox DJ, Video, and DVS, and is estimated to be in stores sometime in July with a retail price of$ 2,999. Rekordbox DJ Gets Video Rekordbox Video in action – click to zoom. The new Rekordbox DJ Plus Pack adds the ability to mix videos to the software – taking solid aim at Serato and Virtual DJ. The feature set includes (directly from their press release): Native control of videos – scratch and add FX to videos as if they were audio tracks Transition FX – use the crossfader to mix two video sources with a choice of 20 built-in FX, or add up to five effects to your favorites and recall them Touch FX – trace on the display’s x and y axes to add FX and adjust parameters Slideshow – create slideshows of still images in advance or on the fly Camera output – show the live feed from a digital camera connected to your computer To take advantage of this new Video Plus Pack, you can buy a license for $149 – or get access instantly if you have a subscription license to the software. Will This Turn Into An XDJ-RZ Standalone Unit? Upon first glance, we thought that this product announcement would be a much-needed successor to the all-in-one standalone XDJ-RX, this time in a four deck version. Unfortunately, it’s not, but considering Pioneer DJ’s penchant for reusing similar designs in their lineup we wouldn’t be surprised. Alternately, this is just begging for someone to install a Mac Mini inside the case (if there’s room) and run it as a standalone unit…. anyone up for the challenge?
  11. We’ve only seen quick glimpses on social media of Pioneer DJ’s groundbreaking new TORAIZ SP-16 hardware sequencer. A few days ago, a series of videos were finally released that give us a better look at the unit and how it works. Get advanced, pre-release insight into this unit inside. What Is The TORAIZ SP-16? The first announcement of the TORAIZ SP-16 was back in April 2016, over four months ago. Let’s start with a quick refresher on the basic stats of this unit: Gear: TORAIZ SP-16 Sequencer Manufacturer: Pioneer DJ Price: $1,499 Availability: The first units are (allegedly) in stores later this month. Click here to be the first to know when preorders are available. Key Features: Full-color 7″ touch screen 16-step sequencer and 16 performance pads with velocity for live performance Beat sync (via PRO DJ LINK) with CDJs to lock in time with tracks and quantize loops to the master deck Analog filters by Dave Smith (the same as on the Prophet-6 synth) On August 5th, Pioneer DJ released a series of tutorials on their YouTube channel that share more insight into the TORAIZ SP-16 than we’ve ever seen before. They’re fairly dry and low-energy tutorial videos – so we’ve summarized the most important parts in each section below: How TORAIZ Projects/Samples/Tracks Are Structured On the TORAIZ, there’s a fairly simple structure to how your work is stored: Projects are the top-level of organization Each project stores 16 scenes, 1 arrangement, and a mixer state The TORAIZ can store as many projects as there is memory for Scenes have 16 patterns, and assignment information for 16 tracks Each Track is a sample player on a pad – it stores information on the amp envelop, insert FX, and any associated sequence. Sample Tracks are based around a sample as the source of audio Through Tracks use external input as the sound source Patterns can be 4 to 64 beats long TORAIZ Sample Browsing / Assignment This video mostly is showing off how you browse and search for samples when working on the TORAIZ. Browse samples via the internal folder structure, or you can search for them with the on-screen keyboard (which is only a few inches wide). TORAIZ Pad Modes When no pad mode lights are lit, each pad just plays the associated track (without selecting it for manipulation on the sequencer or screen) Track Mode: Selects the track assigned for a pad (think of this as putting a “focus” on a specific track for the entire unit. This allows quick sequencing and parameter adjustment Mute Mode: Allows you to quickly mute/unmute tracks. This is like a simple mixer functionality. Shift + a pad in this mode will solo/unsolo any track Slice Mode: Automatically slices a sample across all 16 pads so you can play / trigger any individual part of it Scale Mode: Pitches a sample across 16 pads, increasing in 1 semitone on each pad. TORAIZ SP-16’s Step Sequencer The TORAIZ’s step sequencer works pretty much like one might expect – particularly for users coming from a workflow like on the Roland AIRA TR-8. The color of the sequencer buttons correspond to the track being sequenced – this is nice for very quick reference of what you are manipulating Start sequencing a track by hitting the associated pad (while in Track pad mode), or by tapping the track on the screen Parameter automation can be recorded using the step modulation function – hold down a step key and turn one of the 6 parameter knobs below the screen. It seems like you can easily map the ADSR of samples, the playback time, pitch, etc With the record button on, you can play samples and adjust parameters in real-time instead of step-by-step. Quantization is available in the project BPM screen Dave Smith Analog Filters Drive allows a user to quickly add overdrive and distort a track with the filter section. An OVER light indicates when distortion is “in process”. Low pass and high pass are self-explanatory filters – and interestingly, only Low Pass can be manipulated with the Resonance knob. Trigger Types There are three trigger types on the SP-16’s sequencer: Full: Triggers everything: the sample, amp envelop, and parameters. Half: Only triggers the envelope – the sample is not retriggered Parameter: Only triggers the manipulated parameters – not the sample or the envelop What About Sampling + Using Alongside CDJs? So in the videos above, we’ve had a chance to finally see the TORAIZ SP-16 in action. One thing is very much missing: sampling. So far, there hasn’t been any media released that show the sampling process in action. We expect that how the SP-16 integrates into the rest of a “typical” Pioneer CDJ setup will be critical in the success of the unit. If it’s a no-brainer that plays nice with the industry standard for track playback, every CDJ user will at least try the TORAIZ out. If it’s too complex or not intuitive, it won’t as easy of a sell. We’re betting Pioneer DJ knows this – and that a performance video of the sampling process is in the works.
  12. From the “obscure messages in change logs” department, Pioneer DJ has announced today that there’s a new version of Rekordbox DJ coming soon. As a part of the announcement, they’re suggesting to potential purchasers of the performance software to wait until the new release comes out. What Pioneer DJ said: Fire up rekordbox 5 today and you’ll see a fascinating notice pop up where the new version change log usually lives: Here’s the key part of the image: “Thank you for using our services. Due to upcoming changes to the service system, sales of the current version of rekordbox will soon end. Please consider delaying your purchase until the new service system is available. * rekordbox ver. 5 will still be usable after the new system becomes available” What could it all mean? This notice says a lot – the most clear of which is that a brand new version of Rekordbox is likely just around the corner, and it’s probably going to be Rekordbox 6 (or maybe they’ll jump right to Rekordbox X?). The other key thing to note here is the heavy use of the word “service” – it’s something of a change from just talking about rekordbox as a system or software. In the rest of the tech/software world, “service” often means an ongoing payment for the user – and an associated service that’s worth paying for. We’re guessing streaming music could be here in a big way in Rekordbox 6.
  13. Don't let the dream die. You were a major part of ADJF and showed everyone how you can push through pressure and make something of yourself. One of the toughest dudes in ADJF history and I'm glad you're still around mate. Get a mix happening!
  14. I'd def be keen to do the One Sample challenge.
  15. It’s comforting to think that with the right amount of preparation you can avoid making mistakes in front of other people when DJing. But there’s a cold undeniable truth — you can’t. It’s going to happen, it’s just something people don’t like talking about. It takes bravery to admit this truth, which is what made Tiga’s Instagram post from 2018 so compelling, memorable, and well-received. Knowing that everyone makes mistakes can also be liberating, because that means you’re not alone, and you’re not a failure. What is vastly more important is how you handle a less-than-ideal situation when it does arise. We hope this article normalizes some common undesirable scenarios for DJs. Keep reading to learn specific tools and ideas to help you recover quickly when they do happen! So let’s get our hazmat suits on and start digging through some dumpster fires full of train wrecks and shoe-filled dryers, shall we? Fail #1: You’re not connecting with the crowd. It may be a new booking, or it may be the same place you’ve played dozens of times before, but for whatever reason, people aren’t feeling it. This can be very deflating when your one job is to make sure people are having a good time. Often times you can triage the situation by reflecting on how you’re approaching song selection for your set: If you didn’t plan your set and find yourself “winging” it, you may have yourself a bit of a continuity vacuum. There’s a certain amount of flow from track to track that people need to get into a groove on the dance floor, so maybe it’s time to pull up some old playlists and planned sets that you know have worked in the past. And next time, consider having a bit more of a roadmap to fall back on when the scenic route isn’t working. If you’re working from a more planned set but the crowd isn’t feeling it, check and see if you’re playing what you THINK they should like, rather than paying attention to what they ACTUALLY are liking in the moment. Preparation is key, but if you get to the moment and all of your plans aren’t translating to a successful reality, the best thing to do is change course. Start by experimenting with groups of songs you know work well together and see if any resonate — maybe they’re just looking for a different vibe than the one you thought they wanted. How can you tell if the odds are starting to turn in your favor? It can be something as subtle as seeing people start to tap their feet, and getting one more person on the dance floor is definitely a victory. You’re not going to go from an empty floor to a hyped crowd instantly, it’s a hard won battle for each person, moment by moment. Fail #2: You have no idea what to play next. Ah yes, that moment of panic when you realize that your track is almost done and you don’t have a new one selected. If you’re suffering from TSP —Track Selection Paralysis — you’re not alone. The condition affects thousands of DJs every year, and we totally made up a name for it for this article. The most important thing is to snap out of the paralysis as quickly as possible. First off, don’t beat yourself up — this happens to everyone at some point and self shaming will keep you from starting to fix the problem. If you have a few minutes to search for the next song, start by scrolling through tracks that are in the same or complementary key as what’s playing. It will create a narrower list of songs that are much more likely to fit nicely together (see: harmonic mixing). I find a lot of luck in taking a chance on selecting music that I enjoy but wasn’t originally considering to play. As long as your selection isn’t completely out of left field (generally don’t go straight from house to say, banging dubstep), if the crowd sees you enjoying what you’re playing, it may begin to resonate with them as well. If all else fails, just pick a song, go with it, deal with the consequences. The sooner you decide, the more time you will have to think about the next track, and the next, and how to get back to where you want to be on the journey. More times than not you’ll get back on track faster than you think. One final pro tip: don’t be afraid to set a loop at the end of a track during an outro. With a bit of active EQing in time with the track and FX use, you can often a few valuable more seconds out of a track before it expires. This might give you a few more moments to get your next track mixed in smoother – just don’t let that loop run for too long! Fail #3: Your beatmatching starts to go off the rails. Double tapping the Sync button can sometimes save you, or sometimes make it worse Ah yes, the proverbial trainwreck. Your beatmatching isn’t holding up and the rhythm on your two tracks are drifting apart, making that dreaded shoes-in-a-dryer-type sound. What do you do? First, assess how bad it is. Are the beats slowly drifting apart or are they wildly off? If they’re slowly drifting, attempt a slight course correction. Oftentimes, when you’re practiced, a quick pull or push of the platter/jogwheel will be enough to get the beats back in sync. But beware — overcorrecting may make things worse. If things are getting worse by the millisecond, there’s one more thing to try before giving up and going to the next track — using the sync button (if your setup has it). Toggling the sync button on and off quickly should reset your tracks to be back in time. There is a big caveat to this strategy: be sure your songs have correct beat grids set on them. Otherwise, resetting sync may put things wildly out of time and things will go from bad to worse. If your beatmatching suddenly goes wildly off (for example, if your hand slaps the platter on a CDJ) might be better to just cut to the next track and move on as quickly as possible, either by a hard cut or doing a quick FX transition. Now, most of the time the average listener will NOT notice. But clients, promoters, or fellow DJs you may be wanting to impress may hear the sloppy transition. They will also notice how quickly you recover from your mishap. If done quickly and skillfully, it actually may be a net positive experience. Fail #4: A massive mixing fail that people definitely notice. Here’s a few common mishaps that can put you in this category: Your beatmatching goes so wildly off that it turns the head of everyone in the room. You accidentally restart the song by hitting the cue button on the track you’re currently playing instead of the one in your headphones. You forget to turn the volume fader down and everyone can hear the track you’re cueing as well as the one you’re playing. You forget to turn off the FX or filter after you’re done. Your setup freezes and you’re trapped on emergency loop, or worse, your setup crashes altogether. The list goes on and on. The Beat Junkies recently did a whole hour-long podcast on DJ fails, starting off with this gem from Melo-D (go to 8:00 if the video doesn’t jump automatically): It’s a very uncomfortable place to be in, but if everyone in the room notices that you just stank up the place, the best course of action is to own it with a sense of humor. Embody your inner shrug emoji guy: ¯\_(?)_/¯ Most people appreciate honest vulnerability with a dash of levity mixed in, and it can get you out of a lot of sticky situations. The more you’re down to earth, the more your audience will be able to relate to you, and the more forgiving they’ll be. Once the awkward moment has passed, do your best to leave it in the past. It may take a bit to get the energy back into the room, but most of the time it will come back if you’re able to keep your head in the game. Fail #5 — The sound cuts out. If the sound stops, and it’s not your fault, be ready for a few awkward moments. Oftentimes there are mishaps that happen beyond a DJ’s control. If the sound cuts out on your watch and it’s not your soundsystem, that doesn’t mean your job of being a DJ is over. Actually, it’s more important than ever. First off, make sure to flag down the nearest sound guy or club employee or have a friend tell someone about the situation immediately. Do NOT assume that they hear what’s going on until you have evidence suggesting they actually do. If the sound partially fails, keep DJing and use whatever sound you have at your disposal to keep the party going. For example, if the mains cut out but your booth monitor is still blasting, turn up the volume and point it towards the crowd. If the sound cuts out completely, this is where you have to get a little more creative. One of my DJ buddies Pwny leads everyone in a little “Happy Birthday” singalong, silently praying that the issue will be fixed by the time she’s done. Get creative with the vibe that resonates with your “DJ persona” and see if you can keep it going for as long as you can. Whatever you do — don’t lose your cool and don’t lose your connection with the crowd. Learning from your mistakes. These are just a few of the countless things that can go wrong during a DJ set. Whatever the situation, give yourself a little time, sleep on it, and then get curious. If you recorded your set, go back and listen and see where you need to improve. When in doubt, recreate the mistake as it happened and practice the techniques to fix it. Also check with your friends or listen to the recording to see if it really was that bad. Sometimes what you thought was a colossal mistake was really just a blip in an otherwise great set. We’re all our harshest critic, and the last thing you want is to get down on yourself for something that wasn’t that bad in the first place. Don’t damage your confidence unnecessarily. Regardless of what the mistake is, what matters the most is how you react to it. When in doubt, get creative and learn how to approach mistakes with poise and authenticity. Mistakes and failures are signs that you are pushing the envelope and expanding your horizons, so use these hard lessons to your utmost advantage and persevere. DJing requires constant acts of bravery. Keep at it.
  16. Gear: X1850 Prime mixer Manufacturer: Denon DJ Price: $1,099 Release Date: early Q2, 2020 So, what makes this new X1850 mixer different from the X1800 that came before it? There’s only three apparent differences: There’s a new quantize FX option on the beat-synced FX unit (the unit that’s analogous to Beat FX on NXS gear). This keeps those FX in sync with the beatgrids on your SC5000/6000 players, if you want them to be. There’s a new locking IEC power connector on the mixer – meaning that it’s less likely to get randomly pulled out during a set. They also added these to the SC6000s… do that many DJs really have this problem? The new look! This is the biggest change. As with the players, there’s an entirely new darker black design to the mixer, and it looks great compared to the older design. It’s intentionally supposed next to the new players: Hey Denon DJ, how about some real product names? One of the biggest complaints we always had with “old” Denon (before the brand was bought by InMusic) was that the naming convention started to become nearly impossible to follow. Mixers and players all sounded like droid names, making it hard to keep track of what gear had which features. With the SC5000, SC5000M, SC6000, SC6000M, MCX8000, X1800, X1850, it’s clear that Denon DJ isn’t abandoning their roots.
  17. For new DJs, phrasing is a challenging concept to grasp. Even for practiced musicians, the idea of layering songs on top of one another isn’t the easiest to explain, so in today’s video, Ean breaks it down. Learn how to count phrases, and how to practically apply them in different genres for creative results. In the second part of the video, Ean delves deeper into how phrasing techniques can be used for advanced loop-based mixing as well – watch it below:
  18. For many producers, synthesis is at the core of their creative process. Being able to program and create sounds a number of different hardware or software synths is a skill that pays massive dividends, but can often be a hard space to get started in. As a follow on to Learning Music, a browser-based music production class that Ableton launched in 2017, Learning Synths aims to demystify the synthesis process. It’s a step-by-step introduction to subtractive synthesis, using a simple monophonic synthesizer. The lessons go from basic synthesis principles and into oscillators, filters, envelopes, and envelopes. There’s even a full-fledged playground that just allows you to mess with the synthesizer at the end! Learning Synths works with every modern browser that supports Web Audio, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari – as well as mobile versions of each.
  19. Some of the best tools are bespoke – custom-designed for specific uses. In today’s article, we look at Roland’s latest DJ controller, the DJ-707M, which aims to fill as many needs as possible for mobile DJs. Is it a solid choice, and how well do the mobile DJ-focused features work? DJTT contributor DJ Soo investigates in today’s review. The Life Of A Mobile DJ It’s not always glamorous or artistically fulfilling, mobile DJ work can be one of the most lucrative things to do in our field. These DJs are there to entertain a mixed crowd, playing a diverse range of often mainstream, recognizable music. They also are responsible for everything involved with the show: sound, lighting, visuals, staging, setup, teardown, etc. They are simultaneously the DJ, sound engineer, lighting technician, emcee, entertainer, and sometimes even event planners. Mobile DJs’ technical knowledge tends to be more about the ability to keep the show going: appealing to a broad audience, setting up and running the sound, running microphones for speeches, or handling audio requirements for multiple rooms and setups. Roland’s pretty explicit about who they think will want this controller: the mobile DJ. The gear required for these DJs is therefore much more extensive than the average DJ. Mobile DJs need to provide everything: speakers, lights, screens, microphones, additional mixers, speaker processing units, and more. Since mobile DJ operations tend to be one-person shows, space and weight requirements become a major factor in their purchasing choices. It is these types of DJs that Roland has decided to focus on with their latest entry into the controller world: the DJ-707M. The Focus Of This Review: Most DJ gear today has reached a level of parity and standardization across the board. As such, my reviews often skip the same and focus on the unique. With the 707M, there are some features that are absolutely unique to the unit that cannot be found in any controller – or even modular setup – on the market. There’s a lot to unpack with this controller despite its small stature, and I’ll outline and review the unique features available. The Overview Controller: DJ-707M Manufacturer: Roland Price: $999 Availability: Shipping in the DJTT store On the surface, Roland’s $999 DJ-707M controller is a compact, relatively full featured Serato DJ enabled controller. It functions as a 4 channel controller that can also be used as a pure mixer, and can also be used as a DVS mixer with the additional paid Serato DVS plugin. The real power of the controller lies “under the hood” so to speak in terms of the number of inputs and outputs available, as well as the complex routing and audio processing features that are built into the relatively small unit. The 707’s Layout + Controls Coming in at an ultra-light 7.7 lbs (3.5 kg), the DJ-707M is one of the smallest – and lightest – 4 channel controllers on the market. Size-wise, it is more comparable to the old Vestax VCI-400 or Denon MC6000 MK2 controllers rather than a Pioneer DDJ-SX style controller. It has all the familiar controls one would expect from a controller: EQs, levels, browsing controls, pads, etc. The pads are a quite a bit smaller than most controllers, but all the Serato pad functions are available at the press of a button (or Shift and a button): Cues, Loops, Loop Roll, Slicer, Sampler, Pitch Play, and a few more. Cueing is standard per-channel buttons, and the headphone volume controls are located at the front of the controller rather than on the face. They included a split cue feature, which is a bit of a rarity in the controller realm these days. A tiny display window and a single encoder knob/button combo resides on the top right of the controller. It’s used to control the various additional hardware features unique to the controller, as well as adjust a multitude of settings including things like pad sensitivity, crossfader cut, LED brightness, among others. The single knob is a little more intuitive than one would expect given the lack of screen real estate, but it does still require digging through the copious menus to adjust the settings. When left idle, the screen will display the BPM of all 4 channels – a very nice touch. In order to fit so much functionality into the unit, there may be some standard controls that some DJs will miss. The most notable is in the effects section – which consolidates the three effects knobs into a single knob – as well as the lack of dedicated looping controls (which are handled by the aforementioned pads). Build quality/overall feel: The build quality on the DJ-707M is… alright. One of the biggest complaints about the previous DJ-505 controller was the overall cheap-feeling build and the 707M has thankfully improved the materials used. While it still nearly all plastic – with the only metal being the faceplate over the mixer portion of the controller – the overall sturdiness of the controller feels a lot better than the 505. The controller still feels a little lighter than I’d care for. Heavier doesn’t necessarily mean better built, but there is a sort of reassuring feel to weightier and more rugged feeling controllers. Many mobile DJs will prefer the lighter feel as they’re often looking to shed as many pounds as possible when choosing equipment. In terms of the DJ controls, the pads feel good, if a little stiffer than some other companies, and the click-y buttons feel adequate, although I did notice a few mis-fires with the play/pause and cue buttons – sometimes requiring a little firmer presses to get it working. The knobs are thankfully a return to mainly metal stems that have always felt better than the plastic stems used in the 505 and 202 controllers. The faders have a decent feel to them, but they do have some lateral wiggle which I don’t particularly like. I was very impressed by the feel of the crossfader though – both in terms of smoothness and in terms of the cut (adjustable in the settings screen). The line faders have more resistance to them and don’t feel quite as nice as the crossfader, but that’s pretty common. All in all, the controller build feels good, but not great. Not as cheap feeling as the more entry level controllers out there, but also not as sturdy feeling as the top of the line controllers or the ones that utilize more metal in their materials. Long term user reviews will inform us if it will stand the test of time, but there is certainly nothing that stands out as problematic with the build. Sound quality: In my opinion, Roland makes the best sounding controllers on the market currently. This is a hill I’m willing to die on – and I’ve heard and compared a lot of gear over the years in a lot of different settings and sound systems. Yes, sound quality is ultimately subjective and a personal preference, but I’ve always felt that Roland has consistently punched well about its weight class with their included sound cards in their modern line of controllers, and the 707M is no different. There’s a warmth and presence that you usually only find in high end DJ mixers – many that cost well over twice the price of the Roland controllers and I put it up there in terms of sound quality to highly-touted sound-quality-focused brands like Allen & Heath or Rane. The only minus I found in regards to sound quality is that playing vinyl did not really measure up to the excellent sound quality of digital files and line level audio. The phono preamps sounded a little dull, although far from the worst I’ve heard on DJ gear. Inputs/Outputs: The DJ-707M features 4 stereo, RCA inputs (two are phono/line switchable) – which allows it to double as a full 4 channel mixer. The unit also sports a pair of XLR mic inputs, an additional pair of 1/4” inputs that can be switched from a line level input to mic inputs, as well as an 1/8” stereo input on the same channel. These auxiliary inputs can be used for everything from connecting a phone to allowing live musicians to plug in their instruments. There are 4 separate outputs available on the unit covering most of the popular connection types. The Master out has balanced, XLR outputs as well as RCA outs, the Booth out has balanced, 1/4” outputs, and the Zone outputs are RCA outputs. Each output section has its own volume knob (with the Master XLR and RCA outs sharing the same volume control). The amount and flexibility of these inputs and outputs allows the DJ-707M to be used as a relatively robust line mixer on its own saving the need to bring a separate mixer. The only thing I would have liked to see is the Zone outputs being a balanced jack with 1/4” or XLR outs. The 707M also features a dual USB soundcard which is often used for seamless swapping of laptops. In the context of mobile DJing, dual USBs is especially useful for maintaining a backup laptop to avoid any technical issues in the high-pressure events synonymous with the job. The controller also sports an old school, 5 pin MIDI out port, useful for syncing clocks with other devices (including many of Roland’s own). Microphone inputs/controls: The two main Microphone inputs on the top left of the controller include a level knob, a three band EQ (switchable between a full kill isolator and regular EQ), as well as on/off controls, ducking controls, and dedicated effect controls. Each mic channel can be assigned an individual hardware effect from a suite of voice-specific effects – ranging from the fairly standard reverbs and delays, to some off-the-wall effects like harmonizers and robot filters – although only a single effect can be used at once. Beyond effects, there are a number of settings you can apply to the mic signal including gain/attenuation, a low cut filter, a noise gate, panning, overall ducking settings, and ducking effect routing. I would have liked to have seen a compressor for the mic inputs as well, but that is unfortunately not available. When I first tested the mic inputs, I found the default gain for the microphones a little high and I was experiencing some distortion even speaking at lower levels. When I dialed the internal mic gain back to about -18 db, everything sounded much better. Overall, I find the mic inputs to be very good – much higher quality than the average mic preamps usually included in controllers. While the auxiliary inputs can also be used for microphones, they are far less robust in terms of controls – the pair of inputs is controlled by a single volume knob. While all the features like EQ, effects, ducking can also be applied to the aux inputs, they must be controlled via the screen and encoder rather than any dedicated controls. Roland’s way of showing anti-feedback not working in a mobile DJ situation The DJ-707M also touts an anti-feedback feature which is supposed to reduce mic feedback in live settings, but in my tests at home, I didn’t really notice a huge improvement. That said, this feature might shine in a specific real world setting. Routing: A unique feature of the DJ-707M is the ability to customize the all the audio routing for the various sources and outputs. Using the single encoder, any of the four music channels, mic channels, and aux channels – can be assigned to any of the three outputs. This means DJs could have deck 4 and mic 2 assigned only to the Zone out, or Deck 3 and 4 and the aux input assigned only the Booth output. One example of the use-case of this setup would be utilizing the Zone output to send a separate mix or playlist to a 2nd room; another would be sending out an completely unprocessed signal to a videographer in order to get the cleanest audio feed, or a feed that only includes the microphones, but not the music. We’re pretty sure Roland set up a fake wedding for this photoshoot – but it demonstrates the various uses pretty well. Before the DJ-707M, the only controller capable of something even close to this feature would be the Denon Prime 4 – and that is much less customizable than the DJ-707M. Audio Processing: One of the challenges of mobile sound is dealing with room acoustics. These change from venue to venue, as room size and shape can affect the overall sound quality of any given sound system. To combat this, many higher end mobile DJs will often bring racks of audio processing units or a speaker management system like the popular dbx Driverack. By using EQs and various forms of compression and limiting on the master channels, the audio can be tuned to each room to reduce problematic frequencies and dial in overall sound quality. The DJ-707M is the first DJ controller that includes built in audio processing features usually reserved pricy rack-mount units or higher end, digital, front-of-house line mixers. The 707M includes a 4-band EQ with adjustable crossover points, multiband compression, a limiter, master attenuator, and a sub-output mode specifically for the Zone output. Used in conjunction with the powerful routing features, you can set different settings for each of the three outputs. While the UI and overall capabilities of the built in processing isn’t going to be quite as high level of a dedicated unit, it is still a very powerful set of features to be had in such a small unit. One thing I would have liked to see was a proper crossover feature. While there is a dedicated Sub Out feature, there’s no way to match up high pass and low pass filters to fully separate the highs and lows. Effects: The DJ-707M utilizes a combination of Serato software effects and built-in hardware effects. A single FX knob for Serato’s effects units The software effects section utilizes a shared depth knob similar to the effects setup on something like the Pioneer SB3. While each individual effect can be triggered or turned on and off with a separate button, the depth levels are all controlled simultaneously by a single knob. This is not my favorite layout for effects by any means, but I doubt the target market of this controller is going to be doing much complex layering of effects and would probably be more focused on simple transition effects like echos and reverbs. I also didn’t like how switching effect timing was handled by hold Shift and the depth knob. Because the depth knob is a linear knob, changing the timing would often result in a different knob position that you would set the depth. I would have preferred the effect timing to be bound to Shift + the Track Browse knob as having a separate knob makes more sense, and the track browse knob is right next to the depth knob. The hardware effects are controlled by the per-channel filter knob. The sweep effects can be changed on a channel-by-channel basis to a number of different options from standard echos and reverbs to some complex roll, pitching, and looper style effects. In theory, it gives you a very powerful suite of effects that can be triggered by the filter knobs, although in practice, the interface for changing the effects is pretty inefficient so it’s more likely you’d choose the effect you like, and leave it as is. Scenes: All the above settings can be set up and save to different preset “scenes” in the controller allowing for easy access to different setups. This can be especially useful if you frequent the same venues over the course of a season and can instantly recall optimal settings for any given room, or recall preset routings for different types of gigs. Extras: As with any Roland controller, the ubiquitous drum machine features are also included, albeit in a much more limited sense. Often used to beef up some older tracks with some more modern sounds layered underneath, the drum feature is much more limited than other Roland gear. Unlike other Roland controllers, the drum machine can only be used to play a selection of 16 pre-generated drum loops rather than having the sequencing features available. If you want to customize drum loops, it is possible to export loops made in the Roland TR-8S drum machine into the 707M. There is also an Oscillator mode is accessible function as a sound effect bank with various sound effects that can be accessed without a laptop connected. I found the Oscillator pretty superfluous to be honest. The sounds weren’t so unique that they stood out, and it’s not anything that can’t be accomplished via the Serato Sampler. Just seemed like a completely unnecessary addition. Each of these features can be assigned to the outer 2 channels on the mixer with the drum machine set to channel 3 (left) and the oscillator set to channel 4 (right) and the EQ and filter/color effects, and software effects can be applied to these channels. One of the nice things about setting the drum loops to a channel, is that you have full control over the loops via the platter and pitch slider allowing you to manually beat match the drum loop in addition to just using the sync button – especially useful for layering under unquantized music. While you can’t scratch with the drum loops, the platter can be used to pitch bend the loops as if you were playing with the Vinyl mode turned off. Dislikes + Elements of the DJ-707 That Need Work: DVS performance: While the compactness of the controller makes the option to use the 707M as a mixer between decks more attractive, I found the DVS tracking on turntables to be very problematic and somewhere between the preamps and the translation to Serato, something is going very wrong. Any slow motions on the turntable results in the loss of tracking and the signal will essentially break up. While it’s perfectly usable in terms of straight up mixing, any sort of scratch that requires slow record movements is very difficult to pull off. This is, sadly a reoccurring problem with Roland as the DJ-505 also had problematic DVS where the signal would break up when using specific needles and scratching. I found no issues when using line-level devices like CDJs or turntables with built in preamps (and these issues do not occur in any other DVS capable device I own or use). Platters: The capacitive touch platters, which feature the much-touted low-latency feel found on all Roland controllers, are very small – measuring 5” in diameter, but tapered inward leaving just 4 inches of surface platter to work with. While they feel very accurate, the small size simply feels limiting. Scratching is possible on the platters, but it doesn’t feel great. In addition, the lack of any platter screens with position indicators is also a bit of a disappointment. I get that the target market of this controller is likely not going to be scratching at their gig, nor would they need the position indicators, but if you’re used to having them or used to a larger platter, it’s a little jarring moving to the comparatively tiny platters on the 707M. Power supply: The 707M is primarily marketed to professionals – so most users would prefer an onboard power supply with a standard IEC plug instead of an included power brick. Aside from the paranoia of losing or forgetting the power supply, the overall quality of the brick and cables doesn’t inspire the most confidence. At my mobile gigs, I will have a minimum of 20 IEC cables stashed away so if one becomes problematic, I can simply swap it out for another. With the reliance on an AC adaptor, it’s a little more difficult to source proper fitting replacements – especially since 3rd party options can vary in quality and fit. This decision was likely to keep the size compact, but I think a lot of the target market would prefer a larger unit with a standard port. Gain Structure: The DJ-707M has a very uncommon gain structure to it. While most controllers and mixers tend to allow a comfortable gain level at anywhere from 11 – 12:00 on the knob, the DJ-707M needs the gain knob set at about 9:00 to stay out of the reds. Although it’s not that hard to adjust, it’s still a bit odd and takes some getting used to. While it is possible to change the gain sensitivity via the internal Serato gains, I found even the lowest setting for autogain to be not low enough and I didn’t want to individually adjust track gains to compensate, since it would affect usage on my other setups. Pitch Faders: Another casualty of the focus on compactness, the 60mm pitch faders are fairly standard for a controller this small. I still don’t really like it though and would prefer a longer throw fader. That said, the target market for this controller is likely going to be less concerned with pitch resolution. Hardware settings interface: While a single encoder knob to control such a complex toolbox is fairly intuitive, it is not the most efficient control scheme out there. It would be nice to have some type of larger interface available on the laptop including some more robust visual feedback. In a perfect world, I’d love to see a laptop control panel for the hardware features that is controllable via a wireless app on a smartphone or tablet. A lot of modern speaker management and digital console mixers now have a wireless option and the ability to tune the sound system wirelessly, and the ability to EQ a room from the dancefloor rather than from the DJ booth would be amazing. An Overall Reflection on the DJ-707M The Roland DJ-707M controller is ultimately a pretty niche product. I’ve heard it referred to as the “Swiss Army knife” of controllers and I’m inclined to agree. This controller’s winning features aren’t exactly sexy, nor will a DMC champ be the best pick to show off the unit. Rather, it’s tailor-made for the professional event/mobile/wedding DJ that needs the versatility of mics, speaker/sound management, and routing options and mitigates the need to bring a bunch of extra equipment like mixers or processing racks. As a DJ that routinely brings well over 500 lbs of gear to my mobile gigs, every pound of lost weight and every inch of saved space becomes a very attractive notion. I believe this controller would most appeal to veteran mobile DJs looking to shed some weight and gear for a simpler setup, or aspiring mobile DJs wanting to take the sound quality of their sound systems a little more seriously, but balk at the pricey add-ons like mixers and speaker processors that are required to get to that level. The only product that I would say is even comparable to this controller would be the old Denon MC6000 MK2 – which was also heavily marketed to – and popular among – mobile DJs. But while the MC6000 was mainly touted for its quality mic inputs and professional level outputs, the 707M offers so much more in terms of functional and useful features. The packed feature set coupled with the deliberate, compact design of the 707M does come at a price though. The platters, the effect controls, and some more standard dedicated controls all take a back seat in order to keep this controller compact. While the average mobile DJ may not be the most performance-focused at their gigs, there are still some that want both the functional features and the performance-oriented layout. During my time with this controller, I played about 20 hours worth of events in two weekends. The lack of performance features and smaller size the platters were definitely an issue to me and I felt I had to dial back my style somewhat to compensate. My favorite setup using this controller was pairing it with my set of Denon SC3900s. With those, the DVS issue with turntables wasn’t present, but I still got to use the larger, spinning platters (as well as delve into some proper 4 deck mixing). Ultimately, I feel this controller is a little hampered by the mandate to keep it compact. Some of the sacrifices required for such a densely packed controller might be too much for some people, but for those looking for a solid controller performance-wise, coupled with some incredibly useful and space saving features for the no-nonsense mobile DJ, there’s really nothing else like it on the market. In the future, it’s very possible we may see a larger DJ-707M Pro or an DJ-808M with the best of both worlds, but for now, the Roland DJ-707M is absolutely unique, and the epitome of practicality over flash.
  20. @wazza @dflux4 @Bonz @anditz Anyone know?
  21. These 16,000 BBC Sound Effects are made available by the BBC in WAV format to download for use under the terms of the RemArc Licence. The Sound Effects are BBC copyright, but they may be used for personal, educational or research purposes, as detailed in the license. For commercial use, you can license sound effects. Download here: http://bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk/
  22. Synth1 Pluto Box is a soundset for Ichiro Toda's Synth1 free software synthesizer containing a full set of 127 presets and 10 fully crafted Syntmorph MIDI sequences. The idea of Synth1 Pluto Box came from the love and work of my trusty Nord Rack 2x I have been using for years. Lately I became curious about its free software counterpart (Synth1 was modelled after the Nord Lead 2 synthesizer). First I thought it would be a great idea to transfer some of the sound design concepts into the Synth1 so started experimenting into this direction. I realized that even though most of the things are common in the hardware NR2x and the software Synth1, some advanced concepts (like the velocity/morph) of Nord Rack 2x could not be achieved here. Despite the several shortcomings of Synth1 (which I detail in a separate post in the Magazine section) I become attached to this free VST plug-in due to its limitations, ease-of-use and flexibility. To get the 128 presets into shape was a pure fun. Nearly all presets use subtle modulations from modulation wheel or aftertouch, so expressivity is always at your fingertips. The presets coupled with the Synthmorph concept offers you ten MIDI sequences with multiple automation lines producing sound morphs that will literally breathe a new life even into simple preset sounds. Listen to the Synthmorph sequences below, some of them uses 15-20 or even more parallel modulations per sequence. Only the built-in effects were used with a basic limiter on the master output. Use these Synthmorph sequences as is, tweak them or apply them to another preset - the choice is yours! Content: 127 Synth1 categorized presets (.sy1) 16 Arp 14 Bass 32 Key 8 Lead 10 Pad 44 SFX 4 Kick 10 Synthmorph MIDI sequences for Synth1 both in MIDI and mp3 audio video tutorial + PDF manual on installation and usage tips License: for single user 100% royalty-free for home or commercial use. Requirements: Synth1 v1.13 beta3 or later version (64-bit version is recommended) - Download the FREE Synth1 here
  23. Fuck thanks for doing that. I was about to then I noticed your post. +rep
  24. tbh scorptec dopesn't have to be the place. @Mitch suggested it and he's helping me put it together. I'd opt to pay the store to do it but Mitch is OCD about cable management lel I'll check out PCCG for price matching, tbh I've bought my entire computer history from PCCG or uMart when i lived in Brissie. The place I get it all from doesn't matter just the parts really, and we're pre close to a decent machine here now. For context, I have a fucking TON of data I want shifted inside a tower (30TB+ in internal drives, external drives and bay enclosures) and I want to keep this existing machine running too.
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