(CC-BY) Flavio Ensiki.

Stems for DJs and More: Here’s How A New Format Will Work

The most important thing to know about Stems, a new multitrack specification for audio, is that it’s simple by design. That simplicity means that it could really take off as a way of sharing music with multiple tracks, for DJing or live-remix applications. Stems won’t solve every problem of file exchange and sharing. It’s not a multichannel spatialization format. It’s not a sophisticated project format for storing metadata. I say that, because after we covered Stems at the beginning of this week, I found my inbox flooded with every use case for every file format imaginable, and complaints that Stems …


Numark NV for Serato: Every Digital DJ Control Method in One Box?

In the digital age, the metaphor for DJing has been fragmented. You’ve got big wheels, but they represent missing turntables and don’t provide visual feedback. You’ve got CDJs, but then the waveform and the wheel are still separate. You’ve got vinyl records, but then you have to look at a computer screen to see where you are in the track. (A recent presentation at the NIME conference projected images on the record – see below – but projectors lack enough resolution for cue points on the vinyl.) The iPad is the one device that seems to get it right. It …


Digital DJing: Serato Scratch Live is Dead; Long Live Serato DJ [In Depth]

Serato DJ With DVS is Here from Serato on Vimeo. Let’s not mince words: Serato’s DJ offerings had gotten confusing, and updates and compatibility lagged. This week, the company has changed the tune: there’s one Serato to support everything, and it’s coming soon. For controller users, that means being ready to go in October, thanks to vastly-expanded hardware compatibility. For digital vinyl users, things are still going somewhat slowly, but a beta will be available later this year with stability afterwards and broader support for hardware early next year. That means controller users are likely to switch this fall, with …


The 150-Button, 4-Deck, Obsessive-Compulsive Traktor Controller: 4TrackTrigger [Gallery]

Oh, sure, other controllers may be sleek and compact. They may have spacious, easy-to-hit controls. But if “pushing buttons” has been controversial, well… some DJs want more buttons to push. Some want something a little over the top. Meet the 4MidiLoop 4TrackTrigger. It’s nothing if not a maximalist DJ controller. And with a build from one of our favorite makers, Germany’s Faderfox, and design for the latest version of Traktor (2.5) via Switzerland’s Glanzmann Digital DJ Solutions, it’s something else, too. It’s the DJ controller you’d absolutely want to take with you to your secret DJ lair in your secluded …


Traktor 2.5, Kontrol F1 Arrive with Live Features; Hoping for More Live DJing

Features come and features go. As upgrades go, Traktor 2.5 has plenty to recommend it – plus, it’s free for current Traktor 2 users, meaning you probably don’t need anyone’s advice to try it out. So, then, the question is: will tools mean that the DJ gigs you hear be any different? There’s nothing wrong with DJs who simply smoothly mix records, whether on vinyl or digital. But that doesn’t stop music fans from sometimes longing for more of a performance. Traktor 2.5 is clearly focused around those “live” features – remixing music rather than just beat-matching and playing. As …


Record as Record Player: DIY Turntable, Donuts for Serato in New Releases

Record giant Universal Music Group is cutting prices on the CD, as analysts clamor for still-lower prices. But as for actual records – the kind made of vinyl – odder and odder innovations flourish. If the CD is dying, the vinyl record is an undead, sexually-alluring vampire. Two recent releases not only treat the record as “delivery mechanism,” but also tools for playing the record. The late hip hop great J Dilla (aka Jay Dee) gets a well-deserved tribute from his label Stones Throw, complete with some fantastic, unreleased instrumentals (“Safety Dance”, “Sycamore”, “Bars & Twists,” and remastered cuts for …


Disembodied Heads Meet Serato: Neurosonics Audiomedical Labs

Neurosonics Audiomedical Labs Inc. from Chris Cairns on Vimeo. Marvin Suggs and his Amazing Muppaphone was just way, way ahead of his time. But if you haven’t already seen it making the rounds, you owe yourself a little video watching break to check out Neurosonics Audiomedical Labs, Inc., an audiovisual dreamscape in which disembodied heads form electronic drum heads and spin on turntables. The work is produced by Chris Cairns of Partizan Lab, who has a striking resume of commercial spots and worked with folks like Lady Sovereign. The good folks of Motionographer get the scoop on the production background, …