The beginning. Now... what's next? Photo courtesy Pioneer.

Pioneer Reminisces About CDJ’s Evolution; Building Up to New Release? [Video]

Pioneer DJ is celebrating its 20th anniversary with some looks back, starting with a celebrity-packed video that recalls the evolution – and impact – of the CDJ. The material is basic (yes, we kind of know what a CDJ is and how vinyl works), but it’s charming to see this star-studded roster take us back through time. And it’s tough to overstate the CDJ’s role in modern DJ culture. I can’t count the number of CDJ sets I see, even in the age of laptops. (I can count the number of iPad sets I’ve seen – that’d be on one …


Quickie: Make a CD Case Out of a Piece of Paper

Quick! You need to send music to someone! You need to make it count! I love SoundCloud and whatnot, but with everyone so overwhelmed by music, there’s something about making something physical. We’ve covered this topic before, but: 1. I think we can all use a break from 2,000 word posts with 150 comments and controversy over deadmau5 (or Paris Hilton DJ debuts – staying away from that one). 2. CDM can only rarely link to wedding sites. This is one of those times. 3. With many variations out there, this one is especially nicely done, and nicely photographed, and …


Augmented Reality CDs into DJ Tools; DJing with SoundCloud, Clock Faces, More

First Augmented Reality Music CD :: Latrama :: Love & Projects :: from musikame on Vimeo. Want the CD as object to come alive again? Here’s yet another approach: make it into an input for webcam-based augmented reality. The album “Love & Projects” by Latrama uses the packaging to trigger augmented reality “DJing” of the playlist. Put the CD in front of your webcam, head to a browser-based tool, and you get turntable controls for playing the album live, complete with scratching, pitch, delay, filter, and volume controls. There are more downloads available, as well. Of course, this raises the …


Last Days of Compact Disco: Album Lovers Hand-Make Musical Objects

While Mac blog TUAW calls on Apple to kill optical drives (does Apple need that kind of encouragement?), the shiny digital compact disc and the album in general still have their devotees. Sure, album sales are down. Sure, digital downloads are in. But look beyond business or practicality for a moment at these exotic hand-constructed musical objects, and what you see is sheer love. A hand-constructed CD or vinyl album is a gesture of making music for someone, not for the ether. I raised the issue early last month, and readers responded with lots of examples of handmade records, which …


Composing for 1-bit Microchip: Tristan Perich

Tristan Perich releases music entirely as electronics, with his 1-bit Symphony, coming out next week. But before we get hung up on the novelty of the thing, take note: there’s some real musical, compositional goodness inside that jewel case frame, locked up in the circuits. To begin the conversation about that music, Primus Luta, aka David Dodson, talks to the artist for CDM. If you are familiar with Tristan Perich’s previous work 1-Bit Music, the packaging for 1-Bit Symphony will look familiar. ┬áHoused in a standard jewel case, the CD is replaced by a series of circuits wired to a …


Listen: Auditory Canvas, Dreamlike Album Made with Crowdsourced Funding

The limited edition version of the album is actually an object you might care about. So, yes, as the digital album evolves from strange plastic jewel cases into ephemeral download form, it’s evolving the other way, too. If anyone had listened to the predictions, albums would be irrelevant by now. Instead, finding a way to weave music into a coherent narrative of tracks, and imbuing the object with meaning and value, matters more than ever. Finding time and resources is as much a challenge as ever, but there are some new tools for funding and finding music, even in the …


ISO Releases Standard for Care and Feeding of Your CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs

The ubiquitous shiny disc. Photo: “Fanch The System.” There’s a massive misconception of digital formats, that somehow if something’s digital it’ll last forever in a pristine state. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth: because digital formats are so intolerant of any error, they’re actually more susceptible to physical harm than analog formats. (If you don’t believe me, compare a vinyl LP with some scratches on it to a CD with a single scratch.) Now, the question is, how dedicated are you to proper care and feeding of your discs? Enough to care whether you’re handling your CDs …