WMC: Miami Heats Up as DJs Go Digital; Tips for Converting from Vinyl

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Date: Thursday, March 31st, 2005, 10:54
Category: DJ

WMC DJ in the Wyndham lobbyToday we’re cross-posting some content from our good friend Peter Kirn’s CreateDigitalMusic.com.
Some notes from the Art of the DJ/Digital Mixing session at WMC: Five out of Seven Panelists Use PowerBooks. Read More…

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Laptop Musicians Do Battle

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Date: Wednesday, March 30th, 2005, 14:17
Category: DJ

NPR Morning Edition’s David Malakoff yesterday covered the Laptop Battle phenomenon: competitive laptop composition contests that are spreading across North America, thanks to fourthcity‘s LAPTOPBATTLE.ORG. NPR caught the recent Mid-Atlantic laptop battle. Players are given a time-limit and are actually forbidden from using external controllers. The music must be laptop-only. Then it’s a slam — whoever wins over the judges with their musical mastery and energy wins.
So, how can you get on the action? April 1 (Friday!) is the next contest in Seattle. (Any Seattle readers? Hit comments and let us know if you make it!) And the contest will be touring through many other US cities; check the site for details. For virtual action, download the free DVD. And women, get rolling — there was all of one female entrant in February.
In other news: NPR finally answers the question of what Fruity Loops composition + color commentary sounds like on the radio.

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WMC: M3 Summit Opens in Miami Tomorrow

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Date: Monday, March 21st, 2005, 17:25
Category: DJ

The M3 Summit (Miami, Music, Multimedia) opens tomorrow at Winter Music Conference in Miami, FL. The event (which is co-sponsored by Apple) bills itself as “the only gathering in the United States to merge modern music, technology, fashion, and multimedia arts as an integrated lifestyle.” On the bill are sunset sessions and poolside networking parties, confirmed guests include John Legend (Thursday night), Cirque Du Soleil Musique (Saturday night) and one of my personal favorites – Layo and Bushwacka. I will be covering the event live from Miami for CreateDigitalMusic.com and look forward to bringing back reports on the latest in mobile DJ technology. More soon…

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Diaries of a Digital DJ: Getting Started

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Date: Thursday, March 17th, 2005, 00:25
Category: DJ

Today I am introducing a new column that will cover the technology and the issues involved with being a mobile DJ in 2005. Although I still believe in (and spin) good, ole-fashioned vinyl records, there’s a trend in the DJ industry to go digital – not unlike the digital revolution that swept through photography over the past few years. Read More…

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Playlist Comes to USA; Behind the Scenes of Digital DJ Party (Updated)

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Date: Wednesday, March 9th, 2005, 11:33
Category: DJ

What? Can’t pop by London on March 26 for the “it” digital DJ club party? Here in the untamed colonies, you can still get your iPod-DJing action: Playlist is coming to Philadelphia. Head over to The Khyber (2nd and Chestnut) Monday, March 28 for the free party, and get your digital DJing skills judged by Philadelphia Weekly’s music critic Doug Wallen.
As digital DJ parties begin their meme-like spread around the world (karaoke without the tone-deaf crooning?), we asked the London Playlist‘s Johnny Rockit what’s the preferred gear of choice.

“We use gold-tipped digital audio cables directly into the house mixing desk, we don’t use any of the tasty digital DJ kit that’s available – though it may be worth adding that we will happily live test such equipment, if manufacturers want a review on our site of their kit’s performance in a live environment. We create the forum to really test their gadgets, and know exactly what we need. So – if they are confident in their products, they should get in contact.
“To be honest, we’ve found that using two ‘Pods and the mixer still works in a live environment. DJ Lisa Rocket played her tunes at a West End club (not Playlist) on Friday (she goes out on her own account). She’s very good at picking tunes, and managed to get 140 people with their arms in the air, dancing and singing along. It was a great buzz.

Put your hands in the air, Pod People. (Just make sure I don’t get to an iPod, or Zappa’s Suzy Creamcheese might clear out the room.)
Since it’s in our back yard, the PowerPage is planning a meetup (and maybe even a guest DJ set) on opening night. If you’re interested in coming, get in touch).
Further Reading:
Playlist’s Johnny Rocket on London’s Digital DJ Club

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HP to Develop iPod-style DJ Player/Instrument

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Date: Tuesday, March 1st, 2005, 20:48
Category: DJ, iPod

We’ve been saying for ages Apple needs to develop a music player for DJs. Jason O’Grady has been saying it for two years. Well, Apple, HP is likely to beat you to the punch:
The owners of the Playlist club
in London (which features a night for iPod DJs just like APT here in
NYC) alerted CDM to an exclusive interview with the team at HP
developing the DJammer handheld DJ device. Here’s why it’s going to
replace the iPod in clubs:

  • Mic input
  • Hold/scratch tracks, via sophisticated motion sensors
  • More than a DJ device: sounds like a motion-sensitive portable
    sampler; HP says it will be "the new electric guitar" — we’ll see, but it does look like a real instrument
  • Streaming to other devices for collaboration
  • HP team wants an open interface

This sounds huge — if the device makes it to market. Let’s hope the honchos at HP see the value of this research.
Read Playlist’s full interview with HP.
HP DJammer research page

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DJ Mixer Features iPod Connection

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Date: Tuesday, March 1st, 2005, 20:00
Category: DJ, iPod

After Numark’s introduction of a USB DJ mixer, I was immediately excited to read in the fine print that Stanton’s added an ‘iPod connection’ to its “soon-to-be-shipping” RM.404 and 406 4-channel DJ mixers. These are the same mixers with very-cool red backlighting on knobs, via Stanton’s Illumiknobs(TM) technology. Wow, the iPod thing really is happening.
Not so fast: reading the specs, that’s “inijack input (overrides Line input 5) for connecting an iPod™”. Oh, great. So you saved us a trip to Radio Shack for a minijack-to-TRS adapter. Why not call it a “Walkman Connection” or “strange cheap plastic audio crap connection”?
Now, mixer manufacturers, I’m not one to DJ with an iPod — okay, I’m not one to DJ, period — but the first manufacturer to put an iPod dock on your mixer scores instant dough.
Back to those knobs, though. They’re red. They glow. They’re insanely great. I’m going to get one of these (forget USB!) and turn out the lights in my studio just to watch them. That’s my kind of gimmick.

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New Traktor DJ: FS2, Internet, Live Ins, Recording, OGG

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Date: Tuesday, March 1st, 2005, 20:58
Category: DJ

When is a 2.6 release more like 3?
When it comes from Native Instruments. Get a load of what’s new in Traktor DJ Studio 2.6:

  • Final Scratch 2 compatibility: Take advantage of Stanton’s latest vinyl interface, complete with FireWire audio, HD sound, new hardware features — oh, just check out that, too.
  • Broadcast live on the Internet via Icecast
  • Live input, live recording, mix recording: But here’s the cool bit: record as you input and drag right into the mix, for instant sampling. (Announcements? Come on, you canhave more fun than that!)
  • AAC, WMA, OGG, FLAC compatibility: OGG — now that’s nifty. Go DRM-free! (iTunes DRM songs still don’t work, sadly.)

Plus playlist history, browser favorites. Free download for current users, available now.

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