Archive for September, 2008

24
Sep
08

UPDATE: Numark NS7 looks sweet, plus Stanton’s DaScratch looks LAME!

The Numark NS7 got previewed a while back and is starting to get hands-on reviews from tradeshows etc.  Numark is aiming to be the best in the game for an all in one DJ rig. Hook the unit into a laptop and you are ready to roll.  It comes packed with the same Serato Itch software (previewed in earlier post) but the whole hardware is bigger and badder. The design philosophy is similar to vestax’s vci-300: there is a one to one relationship between the buttons on the hardware and the functions in the software.  The idea is to help the digital DJ get away from the computer screen and back to manipulating the music.

Check out this link for the hardware demo.  I’m especially impressed with the “timeline search” function, which I can see being an intuitive and super useful tool.  (DJs who use Serato in Relative mode with real turntables don’t really have an easy way to jump around a track without fiddling with their mousepad)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UQsKh0Jew0

Even more impressive is the scratching in this video.  You can tell from the way that he is moving his hands and the way it sounds that Numark has got the feel JUST RIGHT!  I can’t wait to try one.  PSSL.Com has it going for $1300.  Ships on November 30th.

In other news Stanton also announced their DaScratch midi controller, which looks kindof DaLAME.  This thing looks like a toy and performs like a toy.  Although, its price ($250 on pssl.com) make it a pretty affordable and highly featured MIDI controller.  It is definitely not a “fully featured DJ controller” as they are trying to bill it.  Scratching on a touchpad will never be more than a gimmick and it shouldn’t have been included on this thing.  For use as a midi controller and for DJs who don’t do intensive mixing, it could work well.  Check out the video and judge for yourself.

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23
Sep
08

Let’s get ANALOG: Fun with vinyl on youtube.

More reasons not to get rid of your turntables…or great reasons to buy real record players if you’re thinking of getting into DJing!

I can’t believe that I’ve been DJing for 8 years and have never known you could do this! 

Play a record upside down!

Paper Cone Gramophone (For post apocalyptic listening)

Bicycle Gramophone

PLUS Vinyl Edutainment: How a Vinyl record is made..

12
Sep
08

New Vestax DJ Controller Gets goes SUPER MINI! – Vestax VCI-300 plus Serato Itch

I missed the prepress on this one so I was kindof blown away when I got the ProSound Catalog the other day with this on the cover.

Vestax and Serato have joined forces.
Sharing their technology and compiled feedback from Pro DJ’fs and users from around the world, they have created a dedicated DJ USB MIDI / Audio system and software offering absolute control. 

The VCI-300 is a dedicated USB MIDI controller for the included Serato DJ software. It also comes with a built in audio interface with standard 4in/4out and headphone connection, which means all you need for DJing is the VCI-300, a laptop and a set of headphones.

Why is this a big deal?  Because Vestax makes SERIOUS dj equipment for serious DJs and now Serato has made a new program that will be the benchmark for tabletop DJing.  Serato Itch is a stripped down and revamped version of Scratch Live that is built with this controller and other forthcoming USB/MIDI controllers in mind.  I love my technics turntables but frequent gigging means lots of wear and tear and LOTS of moving these heavy things.  I’ll be touring with a hip-hop group in the spring and I’m definitely NOT looking forward to lugging those bad boys around.  Also, using Serato Scratch Live with control records is just a digital simulation of DJing with a really nice feel.

The VCI-300 is the first DJ controller that has high resolution MIDI that can send enough data to the computer to get a great scratching sound, meaning this is the first digital contoller that allows you to do everything you can do with real turntables PLUS get all of the benefits of a digital system.  M-Audio’s Torq uses the same idea, software designed to integrate well with the controller, but it is nowhere near the response and functionality of this thing.

Scratching Demo

ALSO,  Numark is getting in the DJ Controller game.  Looks like the NS7 is gonna use the same Serato software but with a larger “deluxe” spinning platter kindof interface.  I always thought it was pretty dumb that their CD turntables had a spinning motor in it, but since switching to SSL, it no longer seems so stupid to have a spinning turntable that doesn’t actual have a real record on it.  Its all about the “feel” man!

One last side note….Anybody from Vestax who might be reading this….

What the heck happened to THIS THING????

Pro Audio Star is carrying the VCI-300.  Check out their prices here.

12
Sep
08

The Art Of DJing Workshop @ Creative Alliance

Ridiculous DJ Academy presents our first collaboration with The Creative Alliance, the unique and fantastic multi-purpose arts center at the historic Patterson theatre (map).   The workshop will be a 3 hour introduction to all things relating to REAL Djing.  From history to videos, demos of battle routines and hands on time learning some scratching and beatmatching.   This will be a great workshop for anybody who wants to GET SOME SKILLS but likes a little bit less pressure than a private lesson.  Also, about half of the total time of the workshop will be demonstration and discussion, so even if you’re not musical or not interested in DJing yourself you will still get a ton of information about the culture and how it all works!  This is a very intimate class with no more than 10 students.  Check it out!

DJ Ridiculous mixes up a crash course in the art of DJing, beginning with a historical overview, equipment demos and terminology, then moving on to hands-on instruction behind the decks. Learn how to scratch, mix, and beatmatch and how to apply these skills to DJing in any genre of music. Turn your love of music into a fun, creative skill! Keating has been a DJ for 8 years, teacher for 2, and DJs for hip-hop group AK Slaughter and the rapper Bow N’ Arrow as well as modern dance and performance artists. Adv reg $50, $45 mbrs. Walk-in $60, $55 mbrs.

Creative Alliance Website