17 June 2010

DJ Techtools

Today I got my new overlay and knobs for my Vestax VCI-100 + the cool MIDI Fighter and DJ Techtools T-shirts!

djtechtools.com  is a great site run by a couple of guys from the US of A, and it's my favorite site for dj tech updates. The store is realy great and has alot of cool DJ stuff and I just had to have the T-shirts.
The head of the site is Ean Golden. A guru when it comes to MIDI controllers and Traktor. He's profiled from both Vestax and Native Instruments. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should have a look. :)

14 June 2010

Routing audio sources through the Traktor software

It is posible to run an audio signal from the inputs on a soundcard through Traktor. And no... Not through the multicore cables.This is running an external audio source through the software and back out on the soundcard output. It's a great feature because pulling the audio through the system one can use the internal EQ, filters, effects and more Traktor features on the standard Vinyl or CD source.

The way to do this is to change the deck parameters to Audio Through. It is located underneeth the BIG letter for each deck.

One of the other options is Internal Playback. This is meant for DJs using MIDI-controllers. You can see that the deck is sat in this mode by looking at the transport buttons. They will show CUE and CUP.

The final option is the Scratch Control. This will enable the Relative Mode and Absolute Mode buttons to apear. This is used by DJs using timecode for deck transport controls.

Cable inputs for timecode sources

The Multicore cables for Traktor are great to have, but they are not nessessary if you are only using Traktor and normaly don't use the CD player/Turntable for playing regular audio media.

If you are only using Traktor for playback you can connect the CD or Turntable dirrectly to your soundcard.
You can play standard audio media through the soundcard and Traktor when you don't use the multicore cables, so the only time the multicore cables are needed are when you want to play regular audio media on your CD player/Turntable when the soundcard is not connected to a computer.

11 June 2010

Modjo vs Booka Shade - Lady Language (Alva's remix)

Nice mashup. :)

It's a really old mix, but I just discovered it...

Really like it at about 1:45!

Using one turntable on four decks in Traktor

Do you like using midi controllers but lack the option to do some scrathing when you like?

What to do if one of your turntables shuts down or a pickup gets broken?

Some DJ perfer to have it on the left and some on the right. The combination of midi controll and timecode is a very easy and intuitive way to manipulate music. So far I've never experienced a midi controll source that is as good as a turntable itself. :) So I tried to combine the option of Turntable and MIDI. This is my initial video showing what one can do with the power of midi mapping.


10 June 2010

How to sync with timecode

The key to applying sync when using timecode is quite simple, but there are a couple of things you'll need to keep in mind.
  1. The pitch slider needs to be in 0 when the track is calibrated and NOT moved from that position. Use the internal slider when adjusting the tempo.
  2. The sync will not hold due to the wow and flutter. So you might have to retrigger the sync sometimes if you hit the flutter on a peak. It can vary quite a lot (Worst I’ve seen is between -0,2 and +0,2). Tap it a couple of times till you make a good sync, or continuously to keep it in sync.
  3. If there is much wow and flutter the track will also sometimes loose the Master setting aswell. Map a “Set Master” function to a midi controller or keyboard command.
Keep this in mind and you'll be able to use sync with timecode. :)

Best of both worlds

I've been looking around at DJs playing with computer systems and there are commonly two types.

The Turntablist/CD DJUsing the system the “old-school” way. Pitch sliders for beat matching, the cueing the track with needle drop/track intro and almost never using the more advanced internal functions.

The ControlleristThe MIDI masters... Often with a single or multiple controller bashing buttons and turning knobs. Using the internal EQ, effects and filters. Can often lead to very sterile sets.

After the Native Instruments X1 hit the market the turntablists and CD DJs advanced into using the hotcues, loops and internal effects. However the ones I’ve seen using the X1 has not used sync.

I want to take it one step further...What I'm looking at now is to combine the two by using a midi controller instead of the standard audio mixer, thus giving the option to switch between internal and external (relative/direct) modes. By doing so I don't miss out on the great controller surfaces that are available and maintain a structured workflow, and I don't lose the possibility to scratch away if I want to.

One hitch: Lagging midi fadersThe midi controllers has a slight lag on the faders. This will makes the timing a bit tricky, but it does not take very long to get the feel of it. :) A trick is to set the fader curve to minimum so that you get the "cutting" effect.

I’ll present midi mappings and a short demo video in a short while, so stay tuned.