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View Full Version : Laptop vs. traditional turntable djing.



Asger
29-12-2005, 03:51 PM
Hey guys, been wanting to get into some mixing for a long time, mainly because a lot of the music I want to hear isn't being played by the local djs (I live in Århus, Denmark - Scandinavia).
I think i've decided to go for the laptop (just bought an iBook 2 months ago, but I have a couple of questions, and at the same time I would like to start a little discussion about the pros and cons of laptop djing and turntable djing. Which medium do you prefer, and why?

What is the normal laptop method, 'pre-made' mixes (Ableton Live...?) or 'on the spot' mixing (Traktor, etc..?).

And what hardware do I need to rip vinyl onto my computer (turntable (have a 1210), soundcard and a mixer right?)?

nomos
29-12-2005, 10:02 PM
Good thread. I hope there are a few responses because I've been curious about people's experiences with this for a while. I think there's still a bit of a stigma about it though so maybe people are shy to brand themselves as post-vinylists.

Anyway, I don't think there's really a normal way. Traktor and Final Cut-style setups - whether using the vinyl interface or not - seem to aim at a more tradtional and linear cut and mix approach whereas the strength of Live is that it makes it easy to break down your tracks into segments and remix on the fly (or prepare it all ahead of time and just push a button when you're "live"). Actually, a back-to-back set employing both methods could be quite interesting.

I guess you're looking for a firewire in/out box if you've got an iBook? I like the looks of the things M-Audio carries. Not sure if the Final Cut contraption can be used that way or not. But yes, apart from the audio interface, all you'd need is your mixer.


Here are a couple of related threads that I started a while back. Didn't get many bites though.

http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=401 - DJing with mp3s

http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=1231 - specifically about mp3 sound quality in a club setting

wonk_vitesse
30-12-2005, 08:54 AM
traktor is quite popular here in London, i've seen quite a few well knowns names use it. get yerself a half decent sound card, although frankly apple's own sound in/out will do for sticking tunes in yer gonna 'play out' .

There's loads of little software audio recorders, i use Amadeus just coz it doesn't seem to mess up and has good effects and editing facilities.

I think the golden rule is 'don't mix your formats' use a laptop or dex not both together! (unless you're clever like aaron spectre)

oh yes and as for audio mp3 quality, along as it's 160-192Kbps the public won't notice. Jeez most systems in bars/clubs are so shit anyhow :(

Asger
30-12-2005, 05:00 PM
Nice threads, altough neither produced a lot of replies ;/ too bad...

As i'm not really great at mixing, hold tight Gutterbreakz every time, I'm thinking (semi) pre-made ableton mixes are going to be my choice (then I just need to get some cash - 499 euros is a lot of money hehe).

I've settled M-Audio's 'Firewire Audiophile' as it's in my price range, and luckily my older brother sells music equipment, which means i'll get a tiny discount...

But just to get things started I guess im going to dl the Live demo - the "this one is computerised" mix is done in live right? Can you give some hints/tips to start me off - just basic stuff (maybe you have a link to a nice tutorial sorta thing, or is the manual very newbie friendly?
I've tried the app before very quickly, and it looked very nice, but didn't know where to begin :D

Btw. Are there any essential plugins, I need to get a hold of?

And what about ripping apps, is Audiograbber ok?

tryptych
30-12-2005, 10:20 PM
I've been using Traktor for a couple of years now, mainly because it means I can take more music with me when I got house parties etc instead of a limited set of records.

I've got version 2.0, so everything I say below might not apply to the newer updates:

1) It can be unstable - I've read lots of people having problems with getting it to work, and at first mine would crash and lose all the data in the database - I think that problem relates to the fact that Traktor cant handle special characters (accents etc) in mp3 names or tags.

2) It's hard to use Traktor as you would use vinyl. You can't just grab a track and think, "hey i'll try mixing this in" in the middle of a set. The reason for this is the incredibly crap sensitivity of the pitch fader - the most sensitive it gets is +/- 35%, so fine adjustments arnt very easy.

The way round this of course, is to use Traktor's own BPM detection to get the correct BPM of the track, then hit sync to lock it to the track thats already playing. But this only works well if you're mixing stuff with a clear 4/4 beat - otherwise the BPM detection isn't very accurate, and the tracks will drift apart once sync'd. If you'r nifty with the pitch nudge controls you can keep them together, but it can be a bit fiddly.

For anything without a good solid 4/4, its best to manually work out the BPM by creating a beat grid for each mp3. Do this, and you'll have pretty accurate BPMs for everything and will be able to sync to your hearts content - you'll never need to cue things up on the headphones again! This can be attractive - play on any sound system, without the need of a mixer and get faultless beat matching every time.

The downside of this is the time involved before hand. Accurately determining the BPM of each track requires playing though each track at least 2-3 times, getting the markers in the right place, and you really cant do it whilst in the mix. So less work when you're actually playing out, but a lot more before hand.


I can't really decide whether I like Traktor or not. It's great that I can take out 30gb of music when I play - having that variety of music is great, but it really takes out some of the spontaneous and inspirational elements of DJing that you get with vinyl. I guess my problems would be solved by using Final Scratch, but at £500 it's well out of my reach at the moment.

Tweak Head
01-01-2006, 10:52 PM
Asger, Live 5 has lessons built in and one of these covers DJ mixes. The Demo has it too. It's pretty easy to follow.

Also this month Computer Music has a special on Live, which includes a section on DJing. The Computer Music specials always seem to deliver less than they promise but for £6 (in UK) including a CD with tutorials and patches it's not bad value. I guess you ought to be able to find it in Aarhus.

minikomi
02-01-2006, 02:32 AM
ah.... if you were on pc i could be of a little """"""""HELP""""""""" ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) in regards to ableton live. (nudgenudgewinkwinksaynomoresaynomore..)



also, for quick beatmatching on pc i quite like this ap... handles really nicely, is intuitive if you come from a vinyl background and fits on a floppy disk :P

MR1200 (http://www.mono211.com/monoraveik/mr1200.html)


you can get around the huge final scratch price tag by using this app and just buying the timecoded vinyls

http://www.djdecks.be/

good luck :)

nomos
02-01-2006, 03:56 PM
Asger - Yes that mix I did was done in Live and I'm nearly done another. I suppose my one-a-year pace says something about how finnicky you can get in Live. "This one..." was completely unlive - all cut and paste and edits, although with some practice I think I might be able to achieve a similar effect live using a MIDI mixer.

There have been a couple of good threads in the Ableton foum about DJing with Live. I think the most important thing I've learned is to immediately throw out all beat markers (except for #1) that Live makes when you import a whole song. Then, set the tempo of your project to the approximate tempo of your track, put that track on 'solo,' turn on the metronome and start following your song. Adjust the beat markers as you go. I find it useful to set a couple of them early on (e.g. around beat #9, #17) then go as far along the song as possible (e.g. beat #98, #161, etc.) before setting another. The advantage in this is that it saves you the trouble of lining up all the beats in between and, for that reason, you avoid creating unnecessary wow and flutter due to varying distances between your beat markers. Vinyl captured from a quartz-locked turntable seems to keep very steady time, although mp3s, and especially the variable bitrate ones, seem to fluctuate a bit.

As for plugins, I try to keep it pretty simple to start with. EQ 3 is probably the most important one to have on every track if you're doing a lot of long beat-matched stuff.

Asger
02-01-2006, 06:56 PM
ah.... if you were on pc i could be of a little """"""""HELP""""""""" ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) in regards to ableton live. (nudgenudgewinkwinksaynomoresaynomore..)


hehehe, luckily ive also got a (stationary) pc, which is semi-powerfull (2,8 ghz p4, 1gb ram). I should be able to transfer mixes done in live on that, to my mac right?

Btw. Still listening to your a-town mix now and then, very nice!

mms
02-01-2006, 07:16 PM
i prefer decks as i wouldn't want to dj at a computer if i've been at one all day for work, plus i prefer to be more hands on and put some skill and effort and a bit of randomness into it .
plus computer programmes still sound a bit rubbish imo.

watching someone djing at a computer is visually the same as a laptop performance utterly fucking boring and one of the reasons people don't go to see people play live off laptops as much as they see bands etc

nomos
02-01-2006, 09:09 PM
i prefer decks as i wouldn't want to dj at a computer if i've been at one all day for work
indeed. i've been at it for two days and i think my eyes are bleeding.


plus i prefer to be more hands on and put some skill and effort and a bit of randomness into it .
the tactile thing is why i finally got myself a second deck again after many years. it's a completely different thing though. even meditative if you want it to be. whereas the computer thing is more on the level of using photoshop or final cut. of course it takes skill. just different sort at the level of technique. the only reason to do it though is if you're doing something you couldn't with decks.


watching someone djing at a computer is visually the same as a laptop performance utterly fucking boring and one of the reasons people don't go to see people play live off laptops as much as they see bands etc
true but there's also a difference between richard james on a couch checking his mail and someone djing with a laptop. there's no point looking at either of them, but in the case of the dj there should be no pretense of it being important to fixate on her/him.

but yeah, two different things. each rewarding in their own way.

Asger
04-01-2006, 03:04 PM
Also this month Computer Music has a special on Live, which includes a section on DJing. The Computer Music specials always seem to deliver less than they promise but for £6 (in UK) including a CD with tutorials and patches it's not bad value. I guess you ought to be able to find it in Aarhus.

I guess that's the dec. 2005 issue, cause it's not in jan. issue (?) - i've looked in that in a shop down town.

bassnation
04-01-2006, 05:02 PM
i prefer decks as i wouldn't want to dj at a computer if i've been at one all day for work, plus i prefer to be more hands on and put some skill and effort and a bit of randomness into it .
plus computer programmes still sound a bit rubbish imo.

watching someone djing at a computer is visually the same as a laptop performance utterly fucking boring and one of the reasons people don't go to see people play live off laptops as much as they see bands etc

watching someone hunched over a pair of technics is equally fucking boring if you ask me. unless they are an incredible scratch dj and even then as a fan, its sad and nerdy to be clustered round the decks. more into dancing than watching, but there you go.

and as for the sound quality, this is debatable. anecdotal evidence suggests even high quality mp3s don't sound great over club soundsystems - but if your playing from a laptop you can easily use wav or aiff in which case the sound will be better than vinyl.

computer mixing still involves skill, but its more about the tune selection rather than the beatmatching - practically anyone can learn the latter but the former takes real skill. that for me is the essence of djing. the technical fancy stuff less so, although a combination of the two is obviously the best.

everyones seen a boring laptop set - but i'd suggest its more down to the selection and selector than it is the technology.

john eden
04-01-2006, 05:13 PM
watching someone hunched over a pair of technics is equally fucking boring if you ask me. unless they are an incredible scratch dj and even then as a fan, its sad and nerdy to be clustered round the decks. more into dancing than watching, but there you go.

I think the "work" thing is key really - watching people type if you do that all day is actually less visually interesting than watching them take a record out of a sleeve and cue it up etc.

There is also the suspicion they are just playing a mix CD and writing an email to their mates or something. The fact that laptops are so small means it's less of a performance - if it involved massive banks of flashing lights like a secret laborotory from an episode of The Man From Uncle then I'd be all for it.

Aaaaand why do people think it's OK to fucking sit there on their arses if they are using a laptop? You don't usually get that with decks, do you?

However I can see that it's incredibly convenient and if I was starting from scratch as a young whippersnapper I would definitely consider it.

Plus obviously some people can pull it off - I'd rather see that LFO Demon laptop set at Sick and Twisted again than yer average "bar" DJ with vinyl.

bassnation
04-01-2006, 05:22 PM
There is also the suspicion they are just playing a mix CD and writing an email to their mates or something. The fact that laptops are so small means it's less of a performance - if it involved massive banks of flashing lights like a secret laborotory from an episode of The Man From Uncle then I'd be all for it.

when people talk about being entertained by watching a dj it always makes me think of fatboy slim gurning and putting his hands in the air behind the decks - something vaguely embarressing about it, but maybe thats just me getting old!


Aaaaand why do people think it's OK to fucking sit there on their arses if they are using a laptop? You don't usually get that with decks, do you?

yeah, whats that all about? the laptop sets i've witnessed have all been minimal glitchy house kind of affairs - which probably explains it - more listening music than dancing.

on the other hand, i've heard a few traktor sets by surgeon which are totally rocking (providing you don't mind the techno piledriver thing) so it doesn't have to be that way.

also worth mentioning that for "studio" mixes, computers win hands down. when i used to do mix cds using decks i got tired of making one small mistake and having to do the entire thing again. by the time its finished you never want to hear those records ever again.

bassnation
04-01-2006, 05:28 PM
I'd rather see that LFO Demon laptop set at Sick and Twisted again than yer average "bar" DJ with vinyl.

you've got me intrigued now - what was it like? can i download it from anywhere? ;)

john eden
04-01-2006, 05:31 PM
when people talk about being entertained by watching a dj it always makes me think of fatboy slim gurning and putting his hands in the air behind the decks - something vaguely embarressing about it, but maybe thats just me getting old!

You don't love it when he waves a record around in the air like he is signalling de plane? :confused:

errrr well maybe there is some middle ground between that and maybe looking a bit excited when you put a record on and some middle ground between THAT and LOOKING LIKE A FUCKING ACCOUNTANT.

Obviously it's mainly about the music and the crowd and the vibe and all that, but how the DJ looks is still a big part of that I think.


yeah, whats that all about? the laptop sets i've witnessed have all been minimal glitchy house kind of affairs - which probably explains it - more listening music than dancing.

Yeah I think maybe me too, but I don't see why there still can't be a bit of performance alongside it all.


on the other hand, i've heard a few traktor sets by surgeon which are totally rocking (providing you don't mind the techno piledriver thing) so it doesn't have to be that way.

Chicken and egg maybe - people are drawn towards that type of music because of what they are like? I dunno.


also worth mentioning that for "studio" mixes, computers win hands down. when i used to do mix cds using decks i got tired of making one small mistake and having to do the entire thing again. by the time its finished you never want to hear those records ever again.

I just leave the mistakes in... or get Paul to edit them out. ;)

Mind you I'm less bothered about beat mixing and all that stuff. Certainly bashment mixes can be beatmatched on a computer but I think they can come out quite sterile. Mayhap I will give it a go sometime this year and see what happens.

mms
04-01-2006, 07:16 PM
when people talk about being entertained by watching a dj it always makes me think of fatboy slim gurning and putting his hands in the air behind the decks - something vaguely embarressing about it, but maybe thats just me getting old!


its more exciting to watch someone just select and cue for sure, there is nothing less interesting than watching someone on a computer i think, and having to concentrate on a screen takes away most of the movability and tactileness of a trad dj set.





yeah, whats that all about? the laptop sets i've witnessed have all been minimal glitchy house kind of affairs - which probably explains it - more listening music than dancing.

on the other hand, i've heard a few traktor sets by surgeon which are totally rocking (providing you don't mind the techno piledriver thing) so it doesn't have to be that way.

techno boys and their latest toys is'nt it ?
with richie hawtin being top boy.
surgeon is very good - everything gets pushed down to one speed though, it enables layering faster so it's good for layering tracks and rhythms etc, that aspect is excellent.
But on the whole since computer mixing is based on mimicry there is still something unsatisfactory about the way normal mixes sound through a mixing programme, plus the sound still isn't as good as vinyl despite what you say imo :)
seeing average djs down a pub with a laptop etc way more miserable than seeing them with records.
I'd still much rather play records i love cuing em up and fiddling away with the knobs , adjusting the speed and seeing what happens with different mixes etc. Selecting random things and generally pissing about is fun.

nomos
04-01-2006, 08:10 PM
best of all, turntables rarely crash mid-set ;)

i like doing the lappy thing for a sit-at-home, geek-out mash-up, post-it-on-the-internet mix. it's great for that. but i'm really not into the idea of playing out with one. maybe with final scratch, but otherwise i'd rather fuck up a lot with decks and a cd player.

i bet we see acrobatic turntablist type laptop djs soon.

bassnation
04-01-2006, 08:13 PM
sound still isn't as good as vinyl despite what you say imo :)


lol, i'm not venturing any further with that one - i've seen entire discussion boards erupt into flame wars on this very topic! ;)


I'd still much rather play records i love cuing em up and fiddling away with the knobs , adjusting the speed and seeing what happens with different mixes etc. Selecting random things and generally pissing about is fun.

well, despite what i said, it is more satisfying to use decks for playing live. theres the point where the two records take on a life of their own, and its almost like your riding a wave of noise and not knowing where its going to go - a feeling which can only be described as totally exhilarating. chopping up samples into ableton for four weeks prior to the night is not really going to yeild that feeling is it? even talking about this is making me want to dust off my decks and have a go.

but i still prefer computers for doing mixes "offline" even though (technically) its cheating. doing these kind of mixes is closer to production than it is to djing, although the two things have always crossed over with dance music.

nomos
04-01-2006, 08:17 PM
doing these kind of mixes is closer to production than it is to djing, although the two things have always crossed over with dance music.i think that's the crux of it right there

Asger
04-01-2006, 09:49 PM
maybe I should get myself a second deckle and a mixer then :p

But, following you guys on the discussion here, it can be (and usually is) a lot more exciting to watch a regular turnt. dj, and laptop ppl tend to be really boring (trust me inno, we've got 4 semi-large, on danish scale that is, clicks and cuts guys here in Aarhus, and they take themselves a lot too serious). But I've also seen exceptions, Shitmat is an obvious choice, rocking the lappy with a distorted mic and terrorist-skimask (and when thinking of it Drop the Lime I guess is another example of a hype and entertaining use of a laptop), contra a 2-step guy on decks I saw once who was fucking boring...

The reason laptop appeals to me is because i'm a wasteman on the decks, but I guess I "just" need to practice a bit (a whole lot) and then give it a go, but besides the lack of talent, there is also the lack of vinyl. Ive been buying a fair amount of mp3s on the net, 'cause its really hard to get a hold on the 12"s I want here in Denmark (unless im willing to pay 10 pounds per record, which ive done in some cases, and are going to do a bit in the future - for instance I have to get murkle man).

michael
04-01-2006, 11:36 PM
A month or so back I did a temp contract with Serato, who made Scratch Live, a similar thing to Final Scratch and these others. Use special slabs of vinyl to cue and play files on a computer, basically.

Seemed pretty damn awesome, to me. If you'd grown up on vinyl it seemed like such a great way to go... and by assigning a whole bunch of tracks to different markers on the vinyl you minimise the amount of interaction with the computer, so there's not that staring at the screen business.

Plus it handles Ogg Vorbis files. :D Haha. I am such a nerd.

I tried DJing with Traktor once (at a cousin's wedding, admittedly - how careful do you need to make that mix from 'Flashdance' to 'Mamma Mia'?) and found that the physical interface of the computer is still quite a pain, regardless of what the software can do. That is, you're still typing and mousing.

DJ PIMP
05-01-2006, 12:37 AM
Traktor3 for me, ta.

tryptych
05-01-2006, 04:16 PM
i prefer decks as i wouldn't want to dj at a computer if i've been at one all day for work, plus i prefer to be more hands on and put some skill and effort and a bit of randomness into it .
plus computer programmes still sound a bit rubbish imo.

watching someone djing at a computer is visually the same as a laptop performance utterly fucking boring and one of the reasons people don't go to see people play live off laptops as much as they see bands etc


So far, the reasons people dislike DJs with laptops is;

1) sound quality - debatable, obviously, and more dependent on a decent sound system than the source perhaps?

2) the visual/skillful aspect of watching someone DJ. So presumably someone using Final Scratch or the Rane Serato system would have more "value" or be more "worthy" or whatever we want to call it because of the hands on skill required. The only difference with Final Scratch etc and ordinary DJing is that you never take the records off the decks - cueing and mixing is exactly the same.

But then, you've basically turned your turntables into very large and heavy MIDI controllers. Which seems a somewhat unncessary fetishising of old technology, when there are now whole ranges of complex multi-function controllers with jog wheels, buttons etc to control your music.

So, is Final Scract etc just as exciting to watch as DJing? If not, why not?

john eden
05-01-2006, 05:08 PM
So, is Final Scract etc just as exciting to watch as DJing? If not, why not?

No I don't think so. If I go and see Jah Shaka on his own soundsystem then half of the point is the craft he has put into it all over the years, making his own boxes, amps etc. And collecting his own records and dubplates.

Watching him wipe a priceless record on the back of his camo pants and then putting it on his own gerard deck on a plinth some way above his head would not be the same at all as if he had downloaded everything onto a laptop or final scratch and pressed "return" or whatever.

And here we are dealing with one deck only so it isn't even about turntablist skills...

Perhaps this is irrational vinyl fetishism, but performance is not something one reacts to in a rational way. If it's good.

tryptych
05-01-2006, 05:45 PM
Eh? I thought that the whole point of a DJ being "exciting" talked about upthread was that the DJ was using physical skill to mix. By that criteria, Jah Shaka sticking on a record on one deck would be even less exciting, surely. The reasons he is exciting to watch are more to do with the aesthetic criteria of the genre, which are different to those of "dance" music (ie for these purposes, where the music is mixed continously).

mms
05-01-2006, 07:12 PM
So far, the reasons people dislike DJs with laptops is;

1) sound quality - debatable, obviously, and more dependent on a decent sound system than the source perhaps?

2) the visual/skillful aspect of watching someone DJ. So presumably someone using Final Scratch or the Rane Serato system would have more "value" or be more "worthy" or whatever we want to call it because of the hands on skill required. The only difference with Final Scratch etc and ordinary DJing is that you never take the records off the decks - cueing and mixing is exactly the same.

But then, you've basically turned your turntables into very large and heavy MIDI controllers. Which seems a somewhat unncessary fetishising of old technology, when there are now whole ranges of complex multi-function controllers with jog wheels, buttons etc to control your music.

So, is Final Scract etc just as exciting to watch as DJing? If not, why not?



i don't want to deal with computers at all when i dj - i want to pull records out of a box at a whim or in an organised manner and stick em on and piss about with them, mix and cut em etc, not piss about with a sodding computer and mp3 get up as it's rubbish.

john eden
05-01-2006, 08:03 PM
Eh? I thought that the whole point of a DJ being "exciting" talked about upthread was that the DJ was using physical skill to mix. By that criteria, Jah Shaka sticking on a record on one deck would be even less exciting, surely. The reasons he is exciting to watch are more to do with the aesthetic criteria of the genre, which are different to those of "dance" music (ie for these purposes, where the music is mixed continously).

Well I dunno, I can't be arsed with "dance music" for the most part!

But really what mms said.

Arsing about with records = cool

Arsing about with music computer files = fool

It's probably gross conservatism, but there it is! :p

Horses for courses and all that.

bassnation
05-01-2006, 08:13 PM
No I don't think so. If I go and see Jah Shaka on his own soundsystem then half of the point is the craft he has put into it all over the years, making his own boxes, amps etc. And collecting his own records and dubplates.

shaka is one of those djs who has made his own sound, cut his own tunes especially for playing out, has built everything to spec. these djs are few and far between but they are the ones that really turn it into an artform, instantly recognisable. this is what i mean about the technology - its unimportant - its the ideas, the soul, the love of what they are doing that matters.

i'd probably class fk up there with him too for the same kind of reasons. in fact fk in particular has embraced this technology because it enables him to take a much vaster collection of music out and about with him - at the end of the day thats all he cares about. this is the right attitude, its an enabler rather than a means to itself which many of the glitch-hop auter laptop djs are not seeing, imo.

run_time
05-01-2006, 10:00 PM
but just as Jah Shaka have built things from the ground up, some of the most interesting djs imho are those who are using digital mixing equipment to do redits on the fly. This provides the ability to recombine different elements in new forms in a way that would have been unimaginable with vinyl without the exception of dubplates (or i guess cds these days). can't say i get a whole lot out of what Hawtin and friends do over and above others but Optimo guys have put a smile on my face more than a few times with their fruity combinations

minikomi
07-01-2006, 08:23 AM
What a bunch of fuddy duddies!


i don't want to deal with djs at all when i play - i want to play my guitar at a whim or in an organised manner and strum it and piss about with it, not piss about with a sodding records and turntables get up as it's rubbish.

mms
07-01-2006, 05:41 PM
What a bunch of fuddy duddies!


i don't want to deal with djs at all when i play - i want to play my guitar at a whim or in an organised manner and strum it and piss about with it, not piss about with a sodding records and turntables get up as it's rubbish.

i don't want to deal with guitars or djs at all when i play - i want to play my computer files at a whim or in an organised manner and piss about with it, not piss about with a guitar or turntables as it's rubbish.

right thats it i'm l
not listening to any music in any format ever again - i'm just gonna permanently damage my eardrums and sit in an empty quiet room listening to the titinnus. :)

bassnation
07-01-2006, 10:30 PM
right thats it i'm l not listening to any music in any format ever again - i'm just gonna permanently damage my eardrums and sit in an empty quiet room listening to the titinnus. :)

bit like listening to some of the more abstract basic channel tunes!

michael
12-01-2006, 09:56 AM
I'd love to watch a lemur mixing tracks live.

http://www.jazzmutant.com/lemur_overview.php

:)

Freakaholic
13-01-2006, 03:32 PM
I'd love to watch a lemur mixing tracks live.

http://www.jazzmutant.com/lemur_overview.php

:)


Ive seen this page before. Is anyone using these things yet? They seem to be prohibitively expensive, but an amazingly cool-looking toy.

And, it utilizes as a control tool one of my favorite concepts of all interactive entertainment: Multiball.

man and machine
13-01-2006, 04:38 PM
some of the most interesting djs imho are those who are using digital mixing equipment to do redits on the fly. This provides the ability to recombine different elements in new forms in a way that would have been unimaginable with vinyl without the exception of dubplates

tim exile is an example of a performer pushing those particular boundaries. check him out: http://www.nativeinstruments.de/index.php?id=timexile_us&nitr=1&l_src=tds3details_us&tsr_id=34002&flash=0

the video demo he gives is pretty pedestrian compared to his live sets. he's set at the last technicality allnighter was some of the most amazing shit i've heard in years. he took tunes everyone knew and fucked them up beyond all recognition.

minikomi
14-01-2006, 02:26 AM
http://www.djmag.com/newsfeat173.php

Tweak Head
16-01-2006, 10:17 PM
I guess that's the dec. 2005 issue, cause it's not in jan. issue (?) - i've looked in that in a shop down town.

No, it's a special, not one of the regular monthly ones. Came out in December I think.

Did you try the lessons within Live?

tryptych
24-01-2006, 01:38 PM
http://www.djmag.com/newsfeat173.php

£200 per year to play off your laptop in the pub? Are they having a laugh?

nomos
24-01-2006, 02:24 PM
Not to mention that you're not even allowed to mix or edit... (via kode9 (http://kode9.blogspot.com/2006/01/anti-viral-auto-immune-system.html))

"The Licensee hereby warrants, represents and undertakes that it shall:

"(1) Dub each Track in its entirety provided that the Fade-down
Section of any Track may be subject to the use of premature fade and
cross-faded or overlapped with the Track following immediately
thereafter provided that the period of audible cross fade or overlap
does not exceed 2 (two) seconds;

"(2) not Dub Tracks in such a way as to accelerate the rate of
the Fade-up Section at the commencement of any Track;

"(3) Dub Tracks so that all reproductions of Sound Recordings on
a DJ Database or Back-up Database will be of sufficient technical
standard so that the quality of the original Sound Recording is
reasonably preserved for any person listening to the Service;

"(4) not mix, remix, Segue, edit, change or otherwise manipulate
the sounds of any Sound Recording so that the sounds on the Dubbed copy
of the Sound Recording are different from those on the original Sound Recording"

borderpolice
24-01-2006, 02:32 PM
"(4) not mix, remix, Segue, edit, change or otherwise manipulate

sorry for being ignorant, what exactly does "Segue" mean in this context?

droid
24-01-2006, 03:58 PM
Fade one tune into another?

Rambler
25-01-2006, 11:43 AM
Not to mention that you're not even allowed to mix or edit... (via kode9 (http://kode9.blogspot.com/2006/01/anti-viral-auto-immune-system.html))

"The Licensee hereby warrants, represents and undertakes that it shall:

"(1) Dub each Track in its entirety provided that the Fade-down
Section of any Track may be subject to the use of premature fade and
cross-faded or overlapped with the Track following immediately
thereafter provided that the period of audible cross fade or overlap
does not exceed 2 (two) seconds;

"(2) not Dub Tracks in such a way as to accelerate the rate of
the Fade-up Section at the commencement of any Track;

"(3) Dub Tracks so that all reproductions of Sound Recordings on
a DJ Database or Back-up Database will be of sufficient technical
standard so that the quality of the original Sound Recording is
reasonably preserved for any person listening to the Service;

"(4) not mix, remix, Segue, edit, change or otherwise manipulate
the sounds of any Sound Recording so that the sounds on the Dubbed copy
of the Sound Recording are different from those on the original Sound Recording"

This doesn't prohibit live mixing of tracks (although at first glance it looks like it does). You need to wade through the legalese a little bit, but the key word here is 'Dub'. Quoting from the opening definitions:
“Dub” means re-record, reproduce and/or copy or otherwise duplicate sound recordings

Therefore, the terms quoted above are all in respect of making a re-recording of the tracks that you are using to DJ with. The law allows you to make back-up recordings of these for your security, but in doing so you must respect the integrity of the original track. Remixing, editing, etc, the track and then re-recording it is not a right granted under this particular license - it's involved with a whole bunch of other intellectual property business that has to be dealt with elsewhere (as all remixes, cover versions, etc are). And although you're allowed to mix live, the license doesn't grant the right to record that mix - you'll need to license the individual tracks from their authors in order to do that. (As has always been the case.)

I'm no expert, but I think this looks much the same as a conventional DJ license would, but it had to be rethought in order to accommodate digital music (as everything has to be these days.)

nomos
25-01-2006, 01:51 PM
A-ha. Yes you're right. Although, "(4) not mix, remix, Segue, edit, change or otherwise manipulate the sounds of any Sound Recording" would still preclude a lot of what laptop mixing ends up being about.

Rambler
25-01-2006, 02:21 PM
Possibly, but my reading is that still applies to a 'Dubbed'/recorded version, not the live set itself. The principle that's being applied and codified into law is that as a digital DJ you have to treat your digital files as though they were records in a box: do what you like while you're actually playing your set, but when you've finished, they all go back in the box exactly as they came out. The 'DJ Database' that the license keeps referring to is the exact digital analogy of the record box - your iTunes library, eg, that remains unchanged once you've finished your set.

bassnation
25-01-2006, 02:42 PM
Possibly, but my reading is that still applies to a 'Dubbed'/recorded version, not the live set itself. The principle that's being applied and codified into law is that as a digital DJ you have to treat your digital files as though they were records in a box: do what you like while you're actually playing your set, but when you've finished, they all go back in the box exactly as they came out. The 'DJ Database' that the license keeps referring to is the exact digital analogy of the record box - your iTunes library, eg, that remains unchanged once you've finished your set.

its still pretty crap and excludes the possibility of doing studio mixes, mashups, etc. ironic really, as dance music is built on sampling and recontextualisation.

Rambler
25-01-2006, 02:53 PM
Yeah, but that's always been illegal (without licensing the material from its authors), and remains so. Besides, mashups etc have nothing to do with live DJing, so why should this license cover that?

[But, to temporarily derail the thread, I do completely support better, more flexible legislation that doesn't criminalise most of the best music being produced around the world. This isn't it, but it's not meant to be.]

bassnation
25-01-2006, 02:57 PM
Yeah, but that's always been illegal (without licensing the material from its authors), and remains so. Besides, mashups etc have nothing to do with live DJing, so why should this license cover that?

[But, to temporarily derail the thread, I do completely support better, more flexible legislation that doesn't criminalise most of the best music being produced around the world. This isn't it, but it's not meant to be.]

i take your point, but i'd argue re-edits and the like have long been an element of djing, since larry levan in fact. its a very narrow definition of djing to exclude that kind of thing.

Rambler
25-01-2006, 03:18 PM
As long as you don't record the result, you can do what you like while playing live. Exactly the same as turntable DJing now. To quote the PPL's FAQ documentation (http://www.ppluk.com/ppl/ppl_lf.nsf/PDFs/$file/Digital_DJ_Licence_FAQs.pdf):

Does the licence allow me to create mixes?

All that the Digital DJ Licence allows you to do is copy onto, and store on, the DJ Database (and Back-up Database) sound recordings in their original form (that is, the version that you downloaded or that was on the record that purchased from the shop). You are not entitled to edit or alter the track (including combining two or more tracks to create a new track).

This does not stop you creating a mix from different tracks when you are performing as a DJ. However, neither you nor anyone else will be able to record this mix.

My emphasis. And that's from the people who issue the licences.

Frankly, digital DJs should be MUCH more worried about the PPL's plans to enforce DRM onto their licencees:


What formats can I use?
At present you can copy store the sound recording in any digital format. However, please note that in the near future PPL will be requiring the storage of sound recordings in digital form to be protected by Digital Rights Management.

Grievous Angel
25-01-2006, 03:51 PM
Live is the shit for doing pre-recorded mixes.

No it doesn't sound quite as good as the original file even if you put the quality up to maximum (which is four times as processor-intensive), and of course the live sound isn't as good as the rendered sound. Using the "beat" preset just sounds shit.

However, Live dj sets can be absolutely kicking -- see the Dust boys for examples. Surgeon uses Live, not Traktor, hence his live TG remixes etc.

Shaka is THE DON. He is THE greatest DJ ever.

I'm thinking of getting a Linn LP12 and a dedicated phono amp to transfer my dubstep to AIFFs.

bassnation
25-01-2006, 03:54 PM
As long as you don't record the result, you can do what you like while playing live. Exactly the same as turntable DJing now. To quote the PPL's FAQ documentation (http://www.ppluk.com/ppl/ppl_lf.nsf/PDFs/$file/Digital_DJ_Licence_FAQs.pdf):


My emphasis. And that's from the people who issue the licences.

Frankly, digital DJs should be MUCH more worried about the PPL's plans to enforce DRM onto their licencees:

jesus, i missed that. they can fuck right off.

signs are people aren't so willing to put up with drm, that the tide is changing since the sony debacle.

does anyone think the regulation will work?

Rambler
25-01-2006, 04:11 PM
Thread getting pulled a little off course here, but I don't think on the small scale the legislation will work (do all bars and clubs pay their PPL licenses now?). But on a larger scale, yes it will, because that's how the system works in larger venues etc. It will slot into place exactly as the current legislation does - the license you need will just depend on what gear you turn up with on the night, and many venues will probably stump up for both (for big venues it's a bargain - at least half what a conventional license would cost).

Don't know how they can get the DRM thing to work though - dread to think how this might affect small labels and bedroom producers getting their stuff out to laptop DJs.

bassnation
25-01-2006, 04:19 PM
Don't know how they can get the DRM thing to work though - dread to think how this might affect small labels and bedroom producers getting their stuff out to laptop DJs.

the practicallities of this is going to be very difficult. for a start there are many conflicting drm technologies which don't really work consistenly - apples fairplay, microsofts offerings etc.

second thing, hows it going to deal with legally purchased mp3s from somewhere like bleep who don't supply drm'd audio files?

hopefully they'll come unstuck with this particular idea, because its a right old can of worms.

Rambler
25-01-2006, 04:31 PM
Absolutely - I think the DRM bit sucks (all DRM sucks). I can't see labels like Bleep who don't use DRM, with the consent of their artists, being easily forced into changing that policy.

nomos
25-01-2006, 05:13 PM
Using the "beat" preset just sounds shit.Indeed. And 'Complex' is buggy. I usually go for re-Pitch unless I really need to tune something.


I'm thinking of getting a Linn LP12 and a dedicated phono amp to transfer my dubstep to AIFFs.Should I be doing this instead of 1200 > Behringer mixer > tiny hole in my PowerBook?

Question: How is Traktor in a pinch, say for dropping the odd track into a turntable set using a laptop rather than a CD deck? Is there any obvious advantage to using a (cheap (ie. the cheapest)) CD deck?

bassnation
25-01-2006, 05:15 PM
Indeed. And 'Complex' is buggy. I usually go for re-Pitch unless I really need to tune something.

Should I be doing this instead of 1200 > Behringer mixer > tiny hole in my PowerBook?

"beats" is ok providing you aren't taking it too far beyond the normal range of the song or sample. and even then, fucked up timestrecthing can be used as an effect if its done right. you can sometimes mitigate the shitness of the stretch with filters too.

bassnation
25-01-2006, 05:19 PM
Should I be doing this instead of 1200 > Behringer mixer > tiny hole in my PowerBook?

no matter how good the turntable ultimately its vinyl and the very nature of how record players work is going to add some analog scuzz to the recording, even with the linn.

but after all, this is why people like vinyl so not sure it matters.

nomos
25-01-2006, 05:26 PM
true. though i'm curious becuase the other week i recorded my DMZ 5 12" into the computer and the resulting file sounds noticeably flat compared to the mp3 of the same tune from Bleep. i'm not sure why that would be. would a fancy firewire audio interface be the answer?

Martin Dust
25-01-2006, 07:44 PM
Lappy every time for me, 300gig of tracks in the bag - you can do what you want....OV POWER

bassnation
25-01-2006, 07:57 PM
going back to the dj license, who will this money go to? will they track down every independent label or tiny little outfit to recompense musicians? if they did that it might be worth supporting but somehow i doubt it will happen.

matt b
25-01-2006, 09:14 PM
Don't know how they can get the DRM thing to work though - dread to think how this might affect small labels and bedroom producers getting their stuff out to laptop DJs.

could lead to the end of the laptop as a dj-ing option, if things like these are widely available and cheap:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/VINYL-RECORDING-SERVICE-on-everlasting-dubplate_W0QQitemZ4823059682QQcategoryZ27349QQrdZ1 QQcmdZViewItem


it avoids the issue completely- you play out, hear an mp3 you like, cut a dubplate- add it to your 'live' repetoire etc etc

Grievous Angel
25-01-2006, 09:33 PM
true. though i'm curious becuase the other week i recorded my DMZ 5 12" into the computer and the resulting file sounds noticeably flat compared to the mp3 of the same tune from Bleep. i'm not sure why that would be. would a fancy firewire audio interface be the answer?
I am given to understand that the secret is to get a decent phono amp, cos the ones in mixers tend to be a bit ropey -- even on flash mixers they won't be as good as a 99 quid Graham Slee, which is what I'm considering.

And it's not about whether it's USB2 or firewire, but how good the converters are. If you have a PC you can't go far wrong with the (PCI) E-MU ones, they have the same converters as high end pro-tools rigs.

I could do with a thread that goes into the detail on really good sounding cartridges for 1200s, and optimal turntable settings for archiving...

nomos
25-01-2006, 09:56 PM
I could do with a thread that goes into the detail on really good sounding cartridges for 1200s, and optimal turntable settings for archiving...:) Actually, I'd appreciate that quite a bit if you had time as I've just gotten back into DJing and vinyl ripping and I'm not totally sure I've got my weights and measures all sorted.

geto.blast
31-01-2006, 07:26 PM
We ve had a lot of luck/fun with traktor using a DM2 as a controller using this guy's "wrapper" and map for traktor http://www.pdoom.ch/dm2/

Some of the more ambitious dj's in the crew have also been playing set off gdam for freebsd and the "Dyne:bolic" distroes.

But imho pair of cheap decks and a mixer with no eq will do just fine.

Did anyone also mention mp3's sound like shit on a big system?