Traktor 2.11 is here, and a bunch of stuff now works together

Computer DJing: it should solve problems, not create them. Because you can also mix vinyl or use phonographs to Rekordbox-formatted USB sticks, computer DJing also absolutely, positively has to open up creative possibilities. It has to justify its existence. And because we play music – like, it’s supposed to be something fun we do with other people – computer DJ tools ought to play with one another. So, Traktor 2.11 delivers a lot of little things. But these details both make playing solo potentially more creative, and playing with others and plugging into gear in a booth a whole lot …


Pioneer XDJ-700 is the $699 touchscreen CDJ to take home

We know Pioneer is dominant in the clubs. (Heck, as a brand, Pioneer is almost more of a sure thing than even Red Bull.) But as the global DJ population booms, is it something people will also take home? Pioneer sure does seem to hope so – and as it gears itself toward DJs outside clubs, it’s starting to look more like a direct rival to Traktor and Serato and their ecosystems.

djay Pro Video Mode Screenshot

djay Pro Now Works with CDJs, Adds 320k Spotify Streaming, VJ Tools

If you thought you could safely dismiss Algoriddim’s djay as some entry-level player, something for non-serious users, you might change your mind. And that could also cause Spotify to make a bigger splash with DJing. The company has a few surprise announcements today.


Serato DJs Get Slim-Line Controllers at Last, with New Akai Hardware

Serato DJs swear by their software. But one thing they haven’t had lately is a lot of choice in DJ controller hardware. Sure, there’s now a range of hardware getting updated for the latest software. But even after a transition to the new Serato DJ platform, almost all of this hardware is of the “really wide with two big wheels” variety. That big hardware is a big problem. It leaves out Serato DJs working with vinyl who just want some added control of the software. It adds two big platters, which are arguably something you don’t need in the first …

It's not a monster combining everything in a giant, coffin-sized case. Instead, the Z2 focuses in on 2-channel mixing and controls, and integrates with Traktor.

A Mixer, A Soundcard, a Controller: NI Traktor Kontrol Z2, Examined [Gallery, Details]

Native Instruments is continuing their hardware attack with a new device that combines three tools: controller, mixer, audio interface. Those knobs and faders control software, as an integrated controller for Traktor, but internally, the Kontrol Z2 is also a mixer and computer soundcard. It’s geared primarily for Traktor users, of course, but with pricing under a grand and support for MIDI and audio with any software, it’ll be interesting to see if this sort of all-in-one design appeals to users of other DJ and performance tools. The Z2 is unique in that it’s a 2+2 mixer. It’s not the first …

The new CDJ. Works like a CDJ, but does things you might expect of a computer. Photos courtesy Pioneer.

CDJ, The Next Generation: Pioneer Reimagines DJ CD Player in Networked, Mobile Age of Software

In DJing, it seems, everyone has a banner to fly. There are the turntablists, the vinyl die-hards, the scratch artists. There are the digital DJs, the laptop users. The controllerists. DJing seems to go hand-in-hand with advocacy, and it’s hard to find a middle path. Even the DJ press outlets online often tend to a side. Of course, this is CDM, where we fly the banner of things like tangible music made with fruit JELL-O. (I’m telling you, it’s the future.) So, perhaps it’s worth stating the obvious: none of these things seems to be going away in the immediate …

Pioneer's CDJ sometimes seems as much a part of the club scene as ... a bar. An NI software update marries the decks and their onboard UI to Traktor's mix, cueing, remix, and library features. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Will Will, in the UAE.

Pioneer CDJ Gets Integrated with Traktor; Can’t We All Get Just Along?

Some surprise news out of Native Instruments today: NI’s Traktor can now integrate with Pioneer hardware, including the CDJ. We’ll see how the news will be received by DJs, but it at least suggests an attempt by the two companies to make their tools coexist in more peaceful fashion. The integration itself is best seen in the video, but it’s pretty impressive: for users comfortable with Pioneer’s flagship mixer (the DJM-900) and the CDJ deck, the stuff in Traktor is accessible directly from hardware. It could also be part of a larger trend: it’s computer functionality, away from the computer. …


Traktor 2.5 Remix Decks + Custom Controllers: What You Need to Know, Why HID Matters

“People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware,” said computer visionary Alan Kay in 1982. And when it comes to making computer software into something you can control physically with your hands, that has made some music tool makers look to integrated hardware for control. But music users – DJs included – also expect to be able to use their own controller hardware when they play, an expectation cemented by decades of access to the standard MIDI protocol. That meant that Native Instruments stirred up some controversy from its users when it failed to match third-party …


Make Music with Anything: junXion Universal Send-Receive for Mac [Video Tutorial Round-up]

“So,” you say, “I’ve got a … and I want to connect it to a … to make music. How do I do that?” One strong answer to that question, if you’ve got a Mac, is junXion. Developed by the landmark audio research laboratory STEIM – a hotspot in Amsterdam that for years has been imagining new ways of making music by connecting things to other things – it got a big update recently. It takes lots of the inputs you might imagine (joysticks, mice, touchscreens, MIDI, OpenSoundControl, audio, Arduino-powered hardware and all of its sensors, and video sensing) and …


OSC Files: Play That Funky Music, Hexagons

Didgeridoo from bar|none on Vimeo. You can’t quite dance to it, but bar|none has a beautifully-shot video of a strange, invented instrument constructed with some of the technologies we saw last week. As noted then, new support for OSC in the powerful Kyma sound system means the ability to control imagined instruments in more sophisticated, higher-resolution ways. Just days later, bar|none responded to my post with one of his first experiments. It’s just the beginning of his work, so judge it accordingly – think of the first emanations of a newly-created musical instrument – but it’s a reminder that far-out …