Category Archives: Dj Tech

N.I. TRAKTOR PRO 2.5

Native Instruments this week has announced a major overhaul of it’s industry leading Traktor platform and hardware range.

What Native Instruments say:

Native Instruments TRAKTOR has been defining DJ standards for over a decade, and now we’re mixing things up again – twice. Both TRAKTOR PRO and the whole range of TRAKTOR products are set to raise the bar once more:

Native Instruments TRAKTOR PRO 2.5 with Remix Decks™ is set to arrive on May 30th 2012 – the same day TRAKTOR KONTROL F1, the ultimate DJ Remix controller, hits stores worldwide.

If you currently use TRAKTOR PRO 2 or DUO 2, you’ll automatically receive a free update*. Even if you have an older generation of TRAKTOR, you can still step up to the latest version at a very special price for a limited time.

Ready to remix one.

The world-renowned, rock-solid DJ software just got even more creative. Featuring Remix Decks™, TruWave colored waveforms, powerful looping and cueing functionality and an exceptional effects suite, this is the most advanced version of TRAKTOR ever. Seamlessly merge the worlds of DJing and live performance, and elevate your mixes to new heights.

  • Intuitive: Plug and play operation of hardware and software
  • Creative: Powerful looping, cueing and Remix Decks™ with incredible effects
  • Addictive: TRAKTOR adapts to your workflow for absolute ease of use

 

  • Remix Decks are the latest TRAKTOR innovation, letting you select from up to 64 loops and one-shot samples per deck. Any of the four decks in TRAKTOR PRO 2.5 can be switched to be a Remix Deck
  • Each Remix Deck offers four different Slots (columns), ideal for arranging sounds and loops by instrument groups e.g. different drum, bass, percussion loops. Play one sound per column – a total of four samples at any one time.
  • Use loops from the included sound content or import any loops and sounds of your own
  • Develop your own unique trademark sound and build a personal arsenal of sounds by live-capturing your favorite loops while DJing

The stylish multi-color pads and ergonomic faders make TRAKTOR KONTROL F1 the ultimate controller for a Remix Deck. Any sound or loop can be assigned a specific RGB color, either in the software or via the controller
  • A Remix Set™ is the combination of 64 loops and one-shot samples and their respective beat grids and BPMs – stored and loaded just like a regular track in the browser
  • Control the entire Remix Deck via Native Scratch timecode control with vinyl or CDs – or scratch using the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4/S2 jog wheels. Each Remix Deck has its own transport, sync, and tempo master controls

  • To add more flavor, you can choose which slots are fed through TRAKTOR’s FX units, or even play samples in reverse
  • The Punch mode allows for instant switching between different loops in one instrument group, in perfect phase – switch from one drum loop to the next exactly on the 2 and 4 snares
  • Additionally, the Remix Deck quantize can be set to different values for full control of the musical phrasing

 

 

 

  • Rewritten tempo detection for improved accuracy, developed from analysing thousands of tracks from various genres
  • New “downbeat” auto-detection improves auto-beat-gridding and phase recognition
  • Convenient analysis options when importing files to your collection – set the tempo range by BPM
  • Much improved BPM detection on tracks with variable tempo, (such as “live” drummer genres) – now detects average BPM
  • Rewritten Tempo-Tap – instant and simple realignment anytime your tracks drifts away from the grid over time
  • Manually adjusted grids, (and all BPM-locked tracks) keep their position and tempo from previous versions

If you’re using TRAKTOR DUO 2 or TRAKTOR SCRATCH DUO 2, you can update for free to TRAKTOR PRO 2.5. This gives you a whole batch of amazing new features to play with on top of the new Remix Decks and improved beat detection (see above for more details).

  • Four fully assignable effects units (instead of two fixed ones), and two effects modes – Group and Single. Also includes 26 additional effects
  • Now offers the Loop Recorder, for recording live loops from any channel
  • In the internal software mixer, you’ll now find an assignable crossfader and the addition of classic filter types
  • Now possible to customize and store software layouts and deck details – e.g. display a beat counter in deck header
  • Sync with MASCHINE and other performance tools
  • Addition of internet broadcasting

The Native Instruments Traktor range is available from Scan

The Native Instruments Traktor Homepage

Pioneer announce the RMX-1000

Pioneer expand their DJ range’s overall functionality, by bringing a interesting new effects box to the market. We didn’t quite expect this, but seeing the integration in the promotional  video below, it does certainly look a lot of fun in use.

The most interesting feature here is the ability to build up and store your own custom effects chains where you can prebuild scenes that allow you quick and easy access during your live performances, ensureing that you don’t have to scramble about whilst your playing. You could certainly craft your own signiture sound by careful selection of the processing taking place and as Pioneer are making a number of “effects of the stars” type packs available upon the units release, you should be able to learn from them and develop your own style fairly quickly.

So what do Pioneer have to say?

Key features of the Pioneer RMX-1000

    1.     Club quality and fully customisable remix station unit

The ultimate multi-use unit, the Pioneer RMX-1000 can be used with mixers, CDJs and laptops in the booth, or with a PC in the studio for recording and producing.

With fully customisable settings, the Pioneer RMX-1000 offers the kind of flexibility never before seen in hardware. The control parameters can be completely modified using the remixbox software included.

The hardware offers three ways to access settings. Default activates Pioneer’s intuitive factory settings. And User settings can be stored on the unit, or on an SD card to be taken along to the booth – DJs simply plug their SD card in to get immediate access to their personalised controls. And Pioneer plans to make settings from internationally renowned DJs such as Chuckie, Kissy Sell Out, Kutski, James Zabiela, Doorly and Laidback Luke available for DJs to download.

The unit’s user-friendly, intuitive controls are divided into four categories:

 Scene FX

  • The Scene FX wheel allows DJs to build up and break down tracks by combining ten types of effects.
  • Use the top section to build up, adding effects like Noise, Echo and Spiral Up and the bottom section to break down, cutting sounds with effects like Crush Echo, Spiral Down and Reverb Down.
  • Twist the central knob to move from Wet to Dry to add pitch and intensity to the effect that’s in play.
  • Plus, two sub-parameter dials allow DJs to manipulate the Time and Resonance parameters for even more character.

 Isolator FX

  • Inherited from Pioneer’s high-end DJM-1000 mixer, the Pioneer RMX-1000’s isolators allow DJs to change the main audio input’s rhythm and timbre using hi-, mid- and low-frequency bands.
  • Plus, three effects are loaded into the dials for even more flexibility: Cut/Add, Trans/Roll and Gate/Drive.

 

X-Pad – with exclusive Pitch control

  • DJs will be itching to get their fingers on the Pioneer  RMX-1000’s intuitive X-Pad. Evolved from Pioneer’s flagship mixer, the DJM-900nexus, the touch-sensitive X-Pad reaches new levels of ingenuity on the Pioneer RMX-1000.
    • DJs can instantly get involved with the unit’s drum samples by tapping the individual sample buttons (Kick, Snare, Clap and Hi-Hat), or by using the X-Pad to roll (repeat) the samples at different speeds.
    • DJs can record their own beats and patterns on the fly by switching on Overdub, then use Roll and Mute to manipulate each sample in a variety of impressive combinations.
    • The Quantize button snaps each tap of the sample pads to the nearest beat, so DJs always sound on time.
    • And for truly unique performances, DJs can add up to 16 samples across the four sample banks, which they can instantly trigger and manipulate during live performance.
    • For unprecedented flexibility on the fly, DJs can edit the sample banks through remixbox and even alter them during play.
    • And, as if that wasn’t enough, the RMX-1000’s exclusive Pitch knob alters the pitch to add even more character to each repeated beat.

Release FX

  • The DJ’s get-out-of-jail-free card, the Release FX allows DJs to elegantly and seamlessly exit complex effect combinations and return to the original track.
  • Three modes with three customisable speeds – Spin Back, Echo and Break ­­­– allow DJs to choose exactly how they want to return to normal play.
  • For even more flexibility, DJs don’t have to exit totally from the engaged effect; they can come partially out and go back in by manipulating the highly sensitive Release switch. Or they can cut the original track out completely so just the engaged effects are heard.

2.     Fully customisable with specially designed remixboxsoftware     

Designed by Pioneer exclusively for the RMX-1000, the remixbox software allows DJs to prepare mind-blowing sets – while the hardware leaves plenty of room for spontaneity on the night.

And DJs can use the software to modify the unit’s features and change its parameters for a truly personalised DJing experience. By hovering their mouse over the remixbox’s virtual Pioneer RMX-1000, DJs can edit features, change parameters or adjust effects on the hardware itself.

  1. 1.     First DJ-dedicated controller for Virtual Studio Technology/Audio Units

As the first VST/AU controller dedicated to the DJ industry, the Pioneer  RMX-1000 brings the operability of hardware into the recording studio.

By just plugging the unit into a laptop, DJs and producers can use the Pioneer  RMX-1000’s dedicated controls to manipulate the VST/AU’s exciting features.

There’s no need to fiddle around with the mouse and keyboard: just hit a button, twist a dial, or turn a knob – the Pioneer RMX-1000 literally puts every effect right at producers’ fingertips.

2.     Other features

  • High-quality sound design reduces noise for clear and pristine sound.
  • The Quantize function can be applied at any stage during play or production for real-time music analysis and automatic synchronisation of the beat.
  • NEW Auto BPM function automatically measures and follows the tempo of the music.
  • USB-MIDI connection means the Pioneer  RMX-1000 can be used as a MIDI controller.
  • Compact and sleek design makes the Pioneer  RMX-1000 highly portable – and it looks good as part of any DJ set-up.

 

The RMX-1000
The Pioneer RMX-1000

Main specifications – Pioneer RMX-1000 

Inputs

RCA x 1 

6.3 mm jack x 1

Outputs

RCA x 1 

6.3 mm jack x 1

Other ports

USB B port x 1

Sampling rate

48 kHz

A/D and D/A converter

24 bit

Frequency response

20 Hz – 20 kHz

Total harmonic distortion

Max. 0.005%

S/N ratio

102 dB

Head room

20 dB

Software

remixboxTM, RMX-1000 Plug-in

External dimensions

(W x D x H)

334 x 157 x 57 mm

Mass

1.3 kg

 

The RMX-1000 will be available from May 2012 with a RRP around £600.

Native Instruments F1 Controller & Traktor 2.5

Native Instruments F1 Controller & Traktor 2.5

So, waaay back at the start of NAMM week, we got the first teaser vid of the new Native Instruments Traktor F1 remix controller, which was tipped to be called the X2.

Well, now it’s offically surfaced its actually the Traktor Kontrol F1, but the feature set seems pretty much as predicted.
The unit will ship along with Traktor 2.5 software, which brings in the “Remix Deck” functionality. The NI CEO introduced the device by saying

“So those of you that like Ableton but actually didn’t feel that it’s quite a DJ product, this is it. We take the whole production clipping aspect right into a DJ application, and these pads light up in just the same color as the cells in the Remix Decks.”

Well, it certainly seems to deliver exactly that, and here’s a Vid of DJ Shiftee putting it though its paces (once the mc shuts up!)

Here’s a hi-res image of the controller

Lets take a look from the top down then…..

First thing to notice is the four filter knobs, i’d presume at this point that they would control the same hi/low pass filter thats found on the S4, though of course with these controllers, you can assign them to any parameter in the software to suit your workflow.

 

Next up are the faders, presumably preset to volume, so perfect for doing some manual fades.

 

 

 

Then we get down to the control buttons, sync will lock all of the samples loaded to the master tempo, and the QUANT(ize) button will make things lock to beat, so they are come in tempo perfect (the same as ableton) and i expect that the dial will also be able to change the quantize resolution to bar, quarter note etc.

Capture and size we still know nothing about,  but you can definatly reverse samples so, thats probably what the reverse button is for.

 

As you can see from the buttons, there is no “trigger everything in a line” button, like you find on the ableton controllers, but with four fingers, you should be able to trigger things quite easily, so i cant see that being any great loss. The stop buttons at the bottom are a nice touch too, so that you can easily stop using the decks and go back to regular dj’ing.

 

 

The Native Instruments Kontrol F1 will be available from at the end of May and will retail at £199, including the Traktor Pro 2.5 Software.

For More Information On the F1 Controller From Native Instruments

The Native Instruments F1 Controller At Scan

Traktor Kontrol S2 Offer from February 1st – 31st March.

For two months only, Native Instruments are offering a special deal on the Traktor Kontrol S2 allowing us to sell through at a special offer price of £329 saving £150 on our previous list price.

What Native Instruments have to say about the Traktor Kontrol S2:

The TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 has pro credentials throughout, the 2.1 design couples the most essential items for any DJ — 2 decks and a mixer — with controls for multi-effect units and a third channel for samples. Set it up in an instant and dive right into the mix.

Rugged and highly portable, TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 is the only controller of its size to come with the full version of TRAKTOR PRO 2 included – the same software that pro DJs of all genres use. With TRAKTOR 2 Technology Inside, the S2 is tuned for maximum intuitiveness and creativity – resulting in an intensely fluid and fun mixing experience.

The included TRAKTOR PRO 2 is the culmination of 10 years of experience as the industry-leading DJ software platform. Its ease-of-use and astounding creative arsenal are built on the concept of TRAKTOR 2 Technology Inside.

This compact and portable unit was built by the same team and with the same components that brought you the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4. Robust knobs and backlit buttons let you know what’s going on at all times and two high-quality, pressure-sensitive jog wheels deliver total track control and easy pitch bending and tempo nudging.

TRAKTOR KONTROL S2 is the ideal hardware for new DJs who want to access the same great features used by the pros in an easily accessible and focused format.

There’s no steep learning curve with the S2 – the perfect integration between hardware and software means everything is ready to go, so you can focus on selecting the hottest tracks from your hard drive or iTunes® library. Get deep into the powerful looping features, and use the four dedicated ‘hot-cue’ buttons to effortlessly remix and re-edit tunes on the fly – all perfectly in time.

The Samples knob lets you mix the eight Sample Deck slots into your mix – either record loops from the playing track or use any of the included sound content and two flexible FX units give you access to 30 pro effects that automatically sync to tempo, so you can easily stamp your own style on the mix. Welcome to the future of DJing.

Traktor Kontrol S2 Full Shot
The Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2

Scan Shop : Traktor Kontrol S2

Native Instruments Traktor S2 Offer Information Page

IK Multimedia learn to Dj with iRig MIX

Another new product at NAMM this year from IK Multimedia see them adding a DJ solution to their popular iRig series. Called the iRig mix we  see a 2 channel dj style mixer solution that allows you to access your i device libary and mix it up with another connected device as well as enabling you to patch in a guitar or mic on a 3rd dedicated channel.

The IK Multimedia iRig MIX lays claim to being the first mobile mixer for iPhone, iPod touch or iPad devices. iRig MIX offers the same controls you would expect from a professional DJ mixer (crossfader, cues, EQ and volume controls, etc.) in an ultra-compact mobile mixer that can be used with a huge variety of iOS DJ mixing and other apps.

The IK Multimedia iRig MIX allows DJs to use a traditional setup with two devices (one plugged into each of the independent channels) OR a single iOS device. For the single iOS device setup, the output of the single device is split into dual-mono and sent to the individual channels. Additionally – for the first time on any DJ mixer – iRig MIX can be used for mixing any type of audio source including those coming from mp3 players, CD players, etc… with an iOS device using automatic tempo matching and beat syncing. This is accomplished with X-Sync, a feature that works in combination with the DJ Rig free app from IK Multimedia that is included with iRig MIX.

The ultra-compact size and low profile of the IK Multimedia iRig MIX allows it to be easily be carried in a regular iPad bag. Plus its low-voltage power supply (only 5VDC) lets it be powered not only by any regular mobile device charger, but also by suitable iOS battery pack or laptop USB port for maximum mobility to mix anywhere.

Ik Multimedia iRig MIX
Ik Multimedia iRig MIX

IK Multimedia iRig MIX Key Features:

  • 2 stereo inputs with gain, bass, treble and volume controls, independent cue on each channel with LED indication and channel cross-fader
  • Instrument/microphone/extra input with volume control can be processed by iOS apps (such as AmpliTube, VocaLive)
  • Stereo output with RCA connectors, master level and LED meters
  • High quality, pristine sound
  • Quality headphone output for master or cue monitoring with independent volume control
  • Input switch splits Input 1 into dual-mono for use with DJ mixing apps on a single iOS device
  • “X-Sync” mode allows auto-sync with any audio source using the included DJ Rig free app
  • Can also be powered with battery packs and mobile chargers
  • Includes 4 free apps: DJ Rig, AmpliTube, VocaLive, GrooveMaker
IK Multimedia iRig Mix with Guitar input
IK Multimedia iRig Mix - Not Just For Dj's!

 

The IK Multimedia iRig MIX Homepage

Numark @ NAMM with new DJ Kit

Also at NAMM are Numark showing off a number of attention getting items this year.

The Numark 4Trak

 

Numark 4TRAK
Numark 4TRAK

 

Numark 4TRAK Top Down
Numark 4TRAK Top Down

 

Numark 4TRAK Rear Shot
Numark 4TRAK Rear Shot

What They Say:

Four decks of software control, a four-channel mixer and total command over all effects: Meet the Numark 4TRAK, the ultimate controller for TRAKTOR DJ software. 4TRAK lays out a vast assembly of tactile controls in front of you, putting a playground of capability at your fingertips. Mix anything: The Numark 4TRAK’s built-in four-channel mixer allows you to bring turntables, microphones, MP3 players and more into the mix. Tweak everything: High-resolution platters, exclusive Strip Search needle-drop technology and an expansive 12-knob FX KOMMAND CONSOLE give you more precise control over TRAKTOR than ever before.

At the heart of the Numark 4TRAK is a premium-quality fully independent four-channel mixer that can be used with or without a computer, making 4TRAK one of the most versatile TRAKTOR controllers in the world. The Numark 4TRAK has a full range of input and outputs for connecting virtually any device: RCA inputs on each channel and four line-level inputs with two switchable to phono and two switchable to mic. Connect almost any external music source like turntables, CD players and microphones, and mix them in seamlessly with tracks from your software.

What we say:

A new flagship product from Numark and it’s a beast. Clearly designed to sit at the heart of your Dj’in setup this could become the controller for Traktor fans everywhere.

Features:

  • Four decks of software control with included TRAKTOR 2 4TRAK Edition software
  • 12-knob FX KOMMAND CONSOLE for complete control over effects & filters
  • Built-in four-channel DJ mixer that works with or without a computer
  • Four line inputs, two turntable inputs and two microphone inputs
  • Touch-sensitive illuminated platters with 3600 ticks of resolution per rotation
  • Built-in 24-bit audio interface with balanced XLR outputs
  • Solid metal construction
  • Maps seamlessly with TRAKTOR PRO 2 including sample triggers
  • Ultra-precise, low-latency high-speed MIDI
  • Strip Search with illuminated track-position indicator
  • Mouseless library navigation with view options

More info at the 4Trak hompage

The Numark 4Trak At Scan

The iDJ Pro iPad DJ Controller

 

The iPad Pro
The iPad Pro

 

What they Say:

Deck out your iPad for some serious mixing. iDJ Pro from Numark is a professional DJ controller that expands your iPad’s touch interface, seamlessly integrating with Algoriddim’s djay for iPad app to form a completely new DJ experience. iDJ Pro features a sleek, brushed aluminum casing and is equipped with all the professional controls you expect, plus some design features and capabilities that will inspire brand-new surges of creativity.

Combining the industry-leading design of Numark DJ controllers with the power of your iPad and Algoriddim’s djay app, The Numark iDJ Pro puts a 30-pin dock for iPad at the center of its traditional dual-platter setup, giving you access to your iPad’s touchscreen alongside an expanded layout of physical controls: touch-sensitive platters, large die-cast aluminum volume knobs, a dedicated music-library scroll knob, plus hot cues, looping, pitch and effect controls. Once your iPad is docked, a latching door provides total, seamless integration, giving you an intuitive, flexible and powerful DJ system.

What we say:

They are taking what so far has been a consumer level product and attempting to make it pro. It’ll be interesting to see if the feature set of the The Numark iDJ Pro chimes with the pro level performers out there, but it could certainly be another interesting product.

Features:

  • Works seamlessly with algoriddim
  • Complete dual-platter DJ system that seamlessly integrates your iPad
  • Fully incorporates iPad
  • Brushed aluminum casing with lighted controls
  • Capacitive touch-activated platters, plus Hot Cues, Loop & Effects controls
  • Large retro-styled die-cast aluminum volume knobs
  • AirPlay-compatible: send your mix to any AirPlay speakers
  • RCA inputs, 1/4
  • Dedicated music-library scroll knob

More info from the Numark iDJPro homepage


Serato announce new video features for Scratch Live and ITCH

One of the killer features for Serato has always been it’s Video-SL plug-in for vinyl emulation Software Scratch Live, which allows you to control video clips via the time coded vinal.  This March Serato Video will offer support for both Serato Scratch Live and Serato ITCH, giving DJs who own devices that support these clients like the Novation Twitch and the Numark NS6  more flexibility than ever.

The feature list for this version includes :

  • Add video clips to your Serato Scratch Live or Serato ITCH performance.
  • View loaded clips and output from your computer.
  • Manipulate playback with Serato control records, CDs or with your ITCH controller of choice.
  • Use built in transitions and effects including text and image effects.
  • Enrich your set with audio responsive effects, including bass zoom and splits, that are controlled by analyzing the music signal.
  • Preview and manage video files in both the ITCH and Scratch Live offline players.
  • Use Video Instant Doubles to play the same video and effects on a second deck.
  • Store effects within each video file for instant recall.
  • Setup different output configurations (Output Only, L/R prefader or all 3 outputs) for greater flexibility when video mixing externally.
  • Utilize 3rd party controllers with Serato Video’s MIDI control in Scratch Live.

If you already own Serato Video-SL then Serato Video will be a FREE upgrade for existing Video-SL customers.

Serato Video will be available to purchase in March 2012.

New Traktor Controller – (X2???) mini Ableton-esque

Ok, so NI are still quite tight lipped about this one, but as a hardcore Traktor user, i think i can work out whats going on.

It seems to be a multiple loop trigger control, a bit like a 4 channel version of ableton, that will probably be switchable with the sample decks currently in Traktor Pro 2.

I really like this concept, as you could load them up with stems from a track and remix it on the fly. this is especially good for producer-dj’s who can do live versions of their tracks as part of a dj set.

 

http://www.native-instruments.com/

SCAN guide to MIDI controllers

SCAN GUIDE TO MIDI CONTROLLERS:

WHAT IS A MIDI CONTROLLER KEYBOARD?
Basically a MIDI Controller Keyboard is way of communicating with a Synth or a sampler or a Computer running a VST instrument or other software based Sound generator.
It is possible to play music via a computer by simply entering data into the DAW via the QWERTY key board, but it’s not very musical.
Keyboard controllers are usually based on a standard piano keyboard. Pressing down a key allows a Note On/Note Off message to be sent to a receiving device, a sampler maybe, telling it exactly which note to sound. At the same time a velocity message is transmitted, showing  how hard the key was struck.
Compared to a real piano, most keyboard controllers have small keys and provide a playing range of just a few octaves.
They usually have no internal sounds of their own. Many units also come with various sliders, knobs and pads which can be assigned to control other MIDI functions linked to filters and Oscillators.
The Controller usually connects to the computer via a USB port, doing away with the need for a MIDI interface. Most software can recognise the USB as a MIDI Device.

OTHER MIDI CONTROLLERS…….
As well as devices based on a Piano keyboard, there are many controllers available which are based around a series of pads, or sliders and knobs, as well as dedicated controllers for software packages like Ableton Live.
They basically all work the same way, sending MIDI controller data to the computer or synth, and allowing the user to manipulate the sound in a much more tangible and intuitive way.

PERCUSSION MIDI CONTROLLERS:
These are specialised ‘Drum Kits’ or individual drum like elements that allow the user to play sampled or computer generated percussion sounds in an authentic way.