Denon ahead of NAMM this year have announced the MCX8000 DJ controller.
Whilst it isn’t the first time that we’ve seen all in one (laptop not required) controllers, and certainly Pioneer already has a few well established options here, the MC8000 comes in at a great price point and knowing Denon gear it should be a solid controller.
• Serato DVS Upgrade ready
• Metal construction
• Includes revolutionary Denon DJ Engine standalone technology with integrated Serato Cue point support
• 2 USB inputs for Engine playback in standalone mode
• Includes 4-deck Serato DJ software
• 2 high-definition displays show Engine and Serato DJ operation
• Professional 4-channel digital mixer with 2 microphone inputs and Dual XLR outputs
• 3 built-in instant pre/post fader effects for Engine playback and line inputs
• Velocity-sensitive performance pads for cues, rolls, slicer and samples
• Stage LinQ network connection to control lighting and video
Essentially a full mixer and MP3 playback system that only needs USBs drives to run, as well as a fully featured Serato controller.
Shipping Q2 this year with a RRP of £899, we’d expect it to street a bit below that, and for the features on offer, this is certainly an exciting solution that we look forward to getting hands on with when we can.
Native Instruments this week brought their much anticipated “Stems” format to fruition, with a dedicated site launched to support this exciting new format. To help celebrate its launch, prices have been dropped on a number of controllers that are ideal for getting to grips with all the creative possibilities this new track format can offer.
What Is A Stem File?
The Stem file container collection opens up whole new ways as a Dj to play with your music. The Stem file at its most basic has a regular stereo copy of the file encoded into it, which allows for playback in a set just like any other. What makes it special however is that within that file is also encoded 4 “stem tracks” which allow you to disect the mix in various ways when playing with it in your set.
In the studio its normal to process groups of similar sounds in stems to ensure a quicker work flow at the mixdown and mastering phases. It gives a broader scope of control as well as allowing the producer the chance to make the individual tracks to gel together better through added group effects. Normally you would expect to see the drums get a stem mix and then perhaps vocals in another and lead sounds in yet another.
With this new Stems format Native have taken the this well proven production methodology and given the flexibility it offers to the end user, allowing a DJ to create mash ups and mixes in ways previously unimagined.
You want to mix the vocal from track A, with the drums from Track B, Synths from track C and Bass from track D? Now you can!
Who Can Create Stem Files?
The stems format is an open file format and Native Instruments have created free tools to allow anyone to create their own stems mixes without paying licensing fees which can then be distributed via your own service of choice.
Allowing a total of 4 stem tracks per mix you can give your listeners the ability to remix and interact with your music in amazing new ways.
For more information on creating your own files and more on the Stems creation tool take a look at Natives own information page.
As A Dj How Can I Get To Grips With Stems?
At launch a whole host of labels have already announced a number of releases in this new format, with the genres involved crossing the length and breadth of the dance music spectrum and many more are surely to follow. A number of digital stores such as Beatport & Juno have also confirmed they are amongst the initial half dozen launch stores involved and this will surely only grow over time.
From the off Native Instruments own Traktor is the first Dj software to support Stems natively, but with the file format being open to use without license and developer tools coming shortly, we should expect to see more update across other Dj software platforms if popularity grows and it becomes and essential feature and up until that point the master stereo file can still of course be played back if you find yourself mixing on a unsupported mixing package in the meantime.
The files themselves are based around the .MP4 container framework and the internal Stem files may be encoded in either AAC 256kbps VBR tracks or Apple Lossless Audio (ALAC). Windows 10 is the first PC based OS to fully support the ALAC format natively, althrough on older editions of windows if your DJ package supports it as Tracktor does or it is possible to install some third party codec packs to handle the format in your regular media player of choice.
Playing With Stems
So the big release on the software front to support all this is Traktor 2.9.0 which brings the support for the format to all the Traktor users who have been awaiting it. The ideal way to play and control Stem tracks will be with the Traktor Kontrol D2, Kontrol S8 or a Kontrol F1 along with Traktor Pro 2. The Kontrol S8 and Kontrol D2 have the added advantage of colored screens so DJs can actually see the individual stem waveforms split across the display.
These controllers along with Traktor 2.9.0 are all plug and play with controls natively mapped to the Stem Decks for you and ready to take full advantage of these new tracks. These devices aren’t the only way to control them as the Stem decks will be fully mappable to any MIDI controller so this could open up whole new ways of using your favorite controller.
If all this prove popular and other software and hardware developers choose to follow with added Stem support in the future on other DJ software platforms, this would make the Stem format a huge win for DJs/producers.
For a limited time in celebration of this new advance in Dj’ing, along with Native Instruments we are offering a discount on the ideal controllers to take your performances to the next level. Until the end of September only the price of the Kontrol S8 has been dropped to £699, the Kontrol D2 is down to £279 and the Kontrol F1 is superb £99.
For more info on Stems, check out the offical Native Instruments info pages here.
For all the Native Instruments controllers and software at Scan click here.
With Christmas fast approaching, many parents look at options for presents for their little darlings, and many of them will consider a musical instrument as parents have done over the ages.
Most everyone knows the benefits of learning an instrument, self discipline, a sense of worth, etc. apart from the very joy of creating music itself, but it may be that the traditional instruments of the past are unlikely to interest your budding DJ/Producer, so check these out….
The electribe has been reborn including KORG’s latest technology distilled from popular products such as the KingKORG, kaossilator, kaoss pad, and taktile. The 200 preset patterns cover House and Techno as well as cutting-edge dance music genres such as Trap and EDM. Another major evolution of the new electribe is support for polyphonic playback, which is indispensable for musical styles that involve complex chord progressions such as House music,
There’s also a “motion sequence” function that lets you record knob and button operations and use them in the pattern that you create. Either drums or synths can now be assigned to each of the 16 parts (i.e., the 16 pads). For example you could create complex rhythms by assigning drums to all of the 16 parts
The electribe sampler featuring KORG’s latest technology has been reborn with cutting-edge technology inherited from popular KORG products such as the KingKORG, kaossilator, kaoss pad, and taktile. The internal memory lets you save 250 patterns, including preset patterns which are perfect for today’s dance music scene. There’s also support for the polyphonic playback that’s indispensable for styles that include complex chord progressions, such as House music.
An evolved step sequencer
Using the 16 pads placed on the front of the unit, you can create patterns intuitively while actually hearing and seeing the sounds. You can use the pads as a keyboard to realtime-record phrases, and also perform step recording by entering the pitch and rhythmic value one note at a time.
Both of these are new instruments, as used by Dance producers and DJ’s to produce todays Hits and Dance anthems. So where in the past it might have been a Guitar or a Piano or a Saxaphone, nowadays its very likely to be a KORG Electribe unit….. and old idea for Christmas, just new instruments for todays music makers…
The Native Instruments Traktor Z1 is the ultimate, stick-it-in-yer-bag portable addon for Traktor users, both on PC and Mac, but also for Traktor DJ on iOS.
Fully compatible with all of the versions of Traktor, this unit is very similar to the Traktor S2 mixer section. Featuring the same faders and knobs as the S2 and S4, this really opens up the use of iOS Traktor App for iMac and iPhone (yes, it is even reported to work with iPhone too!) “more than a bit of fun messing about” usage. Not only does it give you a true stereo output and stereo headphone cue for iOS, it’s also an ultra-portable solution to anyone with its partner X1 or F1 controller for PC and Mac.
Numark have pulled out a couple of variations to their Mixtrack II controller.
Mixtrack Quad seems to add two extra channels and gain controls to the mixer, alongside some extra coloured LED’s for a total of 16 colours, to identify different deck modes, such as cues, loops and sample playback. The platters have two zones and are touch sensitive. It comes with Virtual DJ LE software and has a built in, bus powered audio interface.
Mixtrack Edge keeps the built-in USB interface, but reverts to the two channel config and flattens the controls into a rucksack friendly format, whilst actually adding multifunction metal platters that control pitch, song select and cue mix.
Now anyone who’s seen us at any shows around the country over the last few years will have seen Tom mixing it up using Wii controllers and showing off just how much fun you can have performing when your free to move about. In the light of so many people trying it out by hacking other hardware out there its kind of surprised us that no one has developed a more simple solution that works over WiFi… well it seems like Numark has taken up the mantle with the Orbit.
Wireless Handheld MIDI DJ Controller
2.4 GHz ultra-low-latency wireless performance control
16 backlit pads, 4 selectable banks, 16 virtual knobs per bank
Internal two-axis accelerometer with shoulder trigger controls
Use handheld, strapped to belt or body, or hung around neck
Illuminated aluminum-faced control wheel
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Whilst the design looks a little gamer like the big solid controls should make it very easy to use, even whilst having it on the dance floor yourself! The inclusion of the two axis accelerometer should give you some interesting options in regards to effect mapping and triggering and with a bit of tweaking we reckon this could be a really fun and pretty inspiring product.
Tweaker – Live Performance Controller for Ableton, Traktor and Serato.
Today at Scan we were given an exclusive chance to quickly have a bash with the new Tweaker by Electrix, a Live Performance Controller for Ableton, Traktor and Serato.
As three of us on the Pro Audio team use each one of those programs we were all keen to have a go.
Firstly I tried setting it up with the Ableton overlay and to make this change you lift off the fader pots and switch the overlay which can then be quickly put in place.
The first most noticeable aspect of the controller is its build quality. It’s clearly aimed at the live user in clubs/on stage, the casing is very robust and will definitely take some wear and tear expected from regular gigging.
For installation, all I needed to do was to download the Ableton script/template from the Electrix website. The device is plug and play for both Windows and Mac and on starting up Ableton, Tweaker could be seen in the Midi device list and was ready to use.
Have a look at the video to see Simons first impressions and look out for a more function and feature based video soon.
Pioneer have today alongside the Serato Dj announcement this morning their new Searto controller the Pioneer DDJ-SX and without spliting hairs…. it looks an absolute beast!
The offical line from Pioneer is as follows:
The DDJ SX is the exclusive controller for the new Serato DJ software, also announced today. This really is the ultimate controller featuring stand alone 4 channel mixer, metal jogwheels and casing, hardware colour effects, sample/effects launch pads, 4 deck control, exclusive dual deck control amongst many other creative features.
Further infomation can be found on the Serato site where offically the Pioneer DDJ-SX appears to be the launch controller of choice for the new Serato DJ software lin and should be the first controller to ship with the new software client.
Key Features Of the Pioneer DDJ-SX
Tight integration with Serato DJ
Developed specifically for Serato DJ, the DDJ-SX controls are tightly integrated with the software features giving you the best hands on control over your performance.
Performance Pad Section
8 velocity sensitive, Performance Pads to control Cue Points, Loop Rolls, Slicer and the SP-6.
You can enter Velocity Mode to trigger the SP-6 Sample Player slots. The harder or softer you hit the performance pads, the louder or quieter the samples sound.
Dual Deck Mode
Developed specifically for the DDJ-SX, this allows you to link two software deck layers and manipulate them as one. Go crazy and layer sounds!Large, Touch Sensitive Platters
Trustworthy Pioneer touch sensitive platters with platter illumination and a jog wheel display allow for the tightest control of the virtual decks in Serato DJ.
4-Channel Standalone Hardware Mixer
Connect your CDJs or Turntables and have the best of both worlds.
Keep everything in time and in the groove. Turn on this mode and trigger cue points, loops or scratch. Once you are done, the track will go back to the position it would have been had you done nothing.
Hardware FX Controls
Dedicated hardware controls for the brand new FX Powered by iZotope in Serato DJ.
Chop sections of your tracks up and re-arrange on the fly. The Slicer cuts a section of your track into 8 pieces, which can be triggered creatively with the 8 performance pads.
Dedicated HP/LP Channel Filters
A dedicated High Pass / Low Pass filter per channel gives you more control to create smooth blends and interesting sounds.
Channel Fader Start
Start playback of your tracks by opening the channel fader.
The Pioneer DD-SX launches later this month and should land at around £809 when it does.
Serato has announced that its Serato Intro and Itch packages will be replaced by a more unified and interoperable pair of software clients going under the Serato Dj banner with a product launch on November the first.
A few features stick out for us here at Scan with the main improved funcationality possibly coming from the ability to map midi to other third party controllers opening up all sorts of new ways of controlling your music. This is perticularly a boon for users on older controllers who don’t currently have dedicated buttons and knobs assignable to the newer features like the SP6 sampler added last year as you’ll now be able to pick up a generic pad like the nano pad series from Korg and map them yourself.
Also to note is an upgrade to the effects section care of Izotope, improved support for Serato video as well as improved support for multideck controllers.
Serato Dj Feature List
Even Better Experience
Serato DJ has a brand new look and a greatly improved software layout, optimized for simplicity and a great experience. The new interface also offers two and four deck view modes for four deck controllers, alongside improvements to the cue point and looping controls, which now allow you to display either 8 cues, 8 loops or a combination of both depending on how you perform.
Get Inventive with new FX
Load and customize your choice of high quality FX powered by iZotope including: Delay, Echo, Ping Pong Delay, Reverb, Phaser, Flanger, Distortion, HPF, LPF and a Combo HPF/LPF. Adjust and customize a range of parameters for each effect to shape your sound.
Hands on Control
MIDI mapping opens the software up to be mapped to a secondary MIDI controller to take full advantage of all Serato DJs features in your performance and create your own unique workflow.
Save your work
Played a great set? Want to share your latest bangers with the world? Save your nights work or record your latest mixtape. In-software recording gives you the ability to save your mix with the click of a button.
Loop it up
Take advantage of both auto-looping, which sets loops automatically based on the BPM of the track, and manual looping to create your own custom loops.
Mix with up to 4 decks for supported controllers.
Keep it all together
Lock your tracks together for seamless grooves. Smart Sync with Beatgrids gives you even more time to get creative. 4 deck mixing has never been better with the ability to create your own special blends of tracks, instrumentals and vocals without the pressure of keeping everything in time too. Less time making it work, more time at the party!
Mix music videos or add visuals to your sets. Serato Video support in Serato DJ gives you even more to enrich your performance, connect with the crowd and visualize the music.
Less time making it work, more time at the party.
Plays well with others
Interoperable with Scratch Live, ITCH, DJ Intro and iTunes Music Libraries.
Stay in Tune
Access a wealth of free and exclusive promo music at your fingertips on Whitelabel.net.
Support for existing controllers is being rolled out over the next 12 months and if you’d like to find out when your weapon of choice is due to get some Serato Dj love head over to Serato.com
Ultrasone have over the last few months a firm fave of the staff here at Scan with a number of us already picking up pairs for our own studios, having been impressed with the clarity and accuracy of the models currently available. This week the range expands with the Ultrasone Signature DJ edition offering the same great sound quality of the Ultrasone Signature studio edition in a more DJ friendly design.
Ultrasone comments on the Signature DJ Edition:
The development of these luxurious DJ headphones drew on the experiences of DJs from all over the world.
Something all passionate DJs have in common is the desire for an exceptional set of headphones. These unique Signature DJ headphones are the product of this background knowledge, our many years of experience in the professional music business and our passion for high-quality products.
The bass-oriented tone quality of the extremely powerful transducer reproduces entirely distortion-free music – even at high volume. Such bass precision and absence of distortion are a result of patented S-Logic PLUS technology. The Signature DJ headphones come equipped with patented MU metal shielding as a matter of course, which in turn reduces electromagnetic radiation by up to 98% – a must for every health and safety conscious professional.
The Signature DJ are the first DJ headphones of their kind with ear and head pads made from Ethiopian sheepskin. Their acoustic insulation and superior wearer-comfort are unparalleled. Another exceptional quality feature of this luxurious leather is its ability to absorb sweat without causing the leather to perish or become porous. In order to underscore the exclusivity and quality of these DJ headphones the name plates are made of toughened glass and imprinted with reflective logos by means of a unique process.
These Ultrasone headphones have been specifically designed for use in clubs but are also perfectly suited for use on the move. The helix cable, delivered as standard, is ideal for professional use and can be used interchangeably between microphone and remote control – enabling the use of mobile devices everywhere.
Ultrasone Signature DJ Specifications:
Principle: Dynamic / Closed
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Driver: 50 mm Mylar
Frequency range: 5 – 32.000 Hz
SPL: 115 dB
Weight (excl. cord): 300 g
2 detachable cords: coiled cable up to 3,0m, goldplated 6.3mm plug
1,2m straight cable with microphone and remote control, angled 3,5mm gold plated plug
S-Logic Plus technology
Ethiopian sheep skin leather head pad and ear pads
Real glass nameplates
If they sound anything like the rest of the Ultrasone range they should be great sounding headphones and the design aims laid out above indicate that the should be plenty of thought put into the design and comfort aspects of the headphones. We’re certainly looking forward to getting a look at a pair soon and if your in the market for a set of highend Dj headphones the Ultrasone Signature Dj editions should certainly be worth a look.