Who says turntables and software can’t coexist?

Via Live PA, which has lots of commentary on live PA and live laptop performances.

Plenty more where that came from on YouTube, including a number from K5fromTRIGGERS and this user, realtablist.

Whether this is your kind of music or not, what works for me in this video is that it’s very apparent how the music is being constructed, and everything in the performance is physical (rather than trapped behind the computer screen). I had a conversation with Thomas Dolby about the same thing in an interview I’ll be posting later this week or early next.

Also smart use of foot triggers, a must-have technique for Live. That and, in the words of my significant other, “scratching is just so cool.”

How about you: are you blending turntables and software in new ways — not just controlling virtual vinyl in software like Traktor, but using computers to extend what’s possible?

  • someone

    This has been goin on for years without coomputers involved.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOoAOaJrWGI as 1 example

  • Well, yes — that was kind of my point. đŸ™‚

    The general feeling is that there's an either/or proposition with computers and turntables, and there isn't. You can use software in a number of ways. Some duplicate what's been done in hardware in the past (though possibly with more flexibility / customization); some are specific to the computer, whether shown here or not.

  • Nek

    That's cool but there is nothing mpc+turntables can't do.

  • Nek

    oh sorry

    a creative mind with mpc+turntables can't do =)

  • bliss

    Hey, I liked that video! And dude's scratchin' was pretty good. I like how some DJs are marking key points on their vinyl. Kinda like fretted vs fretless instruments or something. As long as it sounds good, that's all I want to know most of the time.

  • Well, think of it this way: if this is all you want to do, then Live just gives you an alternative to an MPC. Some people will prefer MPCs and such; some will prefer Live. If you want to go further, throw a granular effect or crazy plug-in on a channel, and you've left MPC territory.

  • tooll

    I would much prefer a laptop and drum pad unit to an MPC. You've got the same exact set up as an MPC except with infinitely more options, less hassle for importing/exporting/manipulating samples and without having to lug a big 30 pound piece of gear around.

  • Fatlimey

    Interesting techniques, records sampling into live looping slots to layer sounds. My one concern is that this must be a destructive operation on the Live set – once you've reached the end of that piece you've got to flush your set and start again. It's great for a one-off performance but not sustainable for an entire DJ set. How to fix this?

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  • Fatlimey, not sure what you mean … couldn't you just set up so that between sets, you just stop all clips and start triggering recording again? Then you would have a big set with all the samples recorded over the course of, say, an evening. Unless I'm misunderstanding your question …

    Live definitely lacks easy tools for set management and some of what you might like for sample recording (though you could opt for a plug-in to handle that if you wanted), but it is possible to do most things with a little effort, and I expect this might be an area we'll see improve over time.

  • Thanks for the link over to the LivePA Blog.

    I think the purpose of that video is two fold.

    1. The world of DJ and Live artist is becoming increasingly blurred. Look at all of the stuff that was featured at this past NAMM. Most of the DJ gear featured midi or reqire or something these days. Who is to say that pure DJ'ing or pure oldschool LivePA is the way to go. A hybrid of each has its place as anything else.

    2. Don't try to take the video off as being the one all be all to this technqiue. I dont think the artist, me or CD here are trying to imply that this is how something is done, but rather showing one cool set of tools and collections it could be done. It is to spur thought if anything, and if someone out there is thinking, "Hey I got an MPC that could do that, but I haven't done that before", and they do and do it, then mission accomplished.

    @ Fatlimey: I think you are inehrently looking at the song structure from a DJ'ing perspective. From a LivePA persepective the sound structure does not have to be so singularly oriented. You don't have to have a song per say that ends and starts with another. The liveset could very well just be a corroboration of evolving sounds being patched in and out throughout the entire set, costnantly morphing rather then perhaps identifying itself.

  • Bliss: The stickers on the record is a turntablist technique which has existed for a long time. It allows you to drop the needle on the record and then the sticker shunts it into the exact groove you need: http://youtube.com/results?search_query=dmc+dj

  • agent_orange

    my opinios is: this has to be the future of turntabelism.

    some kind of "dj -> musician" evolution…

  • agent_orange

    @ M.A.S.: I strongly agree

  • dkb

    Its exactly the same as how samplers and turntables were used in the 80's to make hip hop but Ableton is better than a sampler. Turntables is a must. If you got this stuff you will be making good music

  • dubbele lucht

    taking it one step further….watch the movie: http://www.olgerstar.com/scatch.mov

    The Scatch by Olger Star (how is that for a surname…) allows you to sample live input and scratch with it. Just plug in the sampler and put a sensor on top of your turntable + vinyl record of choise and go crazy. I've seen really nice demos live and on video, but can not find anything else than this one on the web… I will push Olger to put some of it online next time I see him.

    Sorry, movie and most info this is in Dutch….

  • I use tools.

    Turntable? Sp 555? (better than mpc in my opinion) Beatboxing? Live? DVS? Video? breaking a glass?

    ALL are my TOOLS and I'm only a Free Creative Human…

    Make music and let "desesperate organization" of our minds…

    Be water my friends (and check enterely the Bruce Lee interview to undertand how energy waster is this paradigm about "styles")

    "I don't believe in styles anymore…" (Bruce Lee dixit)