Can Stems Finally Make Multi-channel DJ Audio a Standard?

The path forward is clear: there’s no reason in this age of digital producing and DJing that music needs to be stereo. The need is there, but so far, not the solution. A file format announced in a press briefing at Miami’s Winter Music Conference and made public today wants to succeed where others failed. It’s called Stems, and there are a few details that make it different. It’s simple. “Stems” – the format – include four tracks. So that could be bass, drums, melody, vocal, for instance. (Or bagpipe, castrati chorus, tambourines, and banjo. But the point is, dividing …


NI Teases New Compact Traktor Hardware; Here’s a First Glimpse

Stop it! Get your eyes off that screen! We all know the problem: DJing with computers isn’t terribly practical without looking at the computer – a lot. Native Instruments’ Traktor S8, like Maschine before it, promised to liberate laptop users from that vacant computer stare. But it, and rival offerings, have a big problem: they’re back-breaking, checked luggage-triggering, tech rider-rewriting huge. Well, you probably already worked out the S8 “flagship” wasn’t going to be the only hardware from NI to play with this concept. The question was, what would a “half-S8” / “S8 mikro” / “S8 deck” look like. If …


On the Eve of New 808 Film, Techno’s Roots Matter More Than Ever [Videos]

If rock music had the Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster, hip hop and dance music have the TR-808. And if its sound seems sometimes overly familiar, even that is in some sense a hat-tip (pardon the pun) to its enduring ubiquity. Now, the Roland TR-808 gets its own full-length documentary, told primarily through the eyes of the people who repurposed its idiosyncratic sound to spin new musical genres and start a revolution. The film features extensive input from Arthur Baker, who acts as a centerpiece for the movie. Baker was the producer behind Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Planet Rock,’ a record …


Digital Meets Organic in Beautiful Music Video for Roel Funcken [Schematic]

Abstract three-dimensional geometries: for many, they are the best expression of the rich imagery the mind’s eye produces when listening to music. But, with a growing heap of work that uses that material, artists have to push the details and execution to connect with the music. Last year, Michel de Klein did a beautiful realization of Dutch artist Roel Funcken’s “Mercury Retrograde,” out on Schematic; I’m surprised I’m only coming across this now. It recalls the classic music video for Autechre’s “Gantz Graf,” produced in 2002 by Alex Rutterford of Lost in Space and far ahead of its time. Here, …


In Expressionist, Elaborate Compositions, Reas + Rosner Generate Mural on Gehry

Against the sun-streaked, palm-silhouetted skies of Miami, Florida, generated software murals create a layer of intricate virtual architecture atop a flat canvas of Frank Gehry’s hall for the New World Symphony. LA-based Casey Reas (known to many as co-creator of Processing) worked with Tal Rosner to product shifting generative murals in what I think is a triumph of digital expressionism. As the architecture itself is collapsed into cubist/abstract fractions of time, the building itself echoes ever-shifting structures, a silent but vibrant commentary on the urban landscape. The images themselves are stationary in the sample, but Casey shares with us some …


Pacemaker Mobile DJ Thing, Live in Miami

We’ve seen lots of gadget lust around the tiny Pacemaker mobile DJ device, but could you, say, show up in Miami with one and DJ? Alfred Nerstu, who’s actually an Assistant Art Director for Pacemaker’s maker Tonium (not a PR person), sends along this video they made. Answer: yes, you can be taken seriously with a Pacemaker, but you’ll have to lose your shirt. (Literally — not just because the Pacemaker costs some dough. And, hey, I’m sure you could afford one Pacemaker for about the cost of a two-night hotel stay in Miami during WMC…) I’m still not convinced …


Edirol Hosting VJs in Miami, Poolside

Generally, if a venue at which you’re VJing can be described as containing a large pool of liquid, something at the club has gone horribly wrong. (And, hey, haven’t we all been there?) But this is Winter Music Conference time, and the pool is actually inviting and swim-worthy, courtesy the Beatport Pool Party. Edirol is hosting a big VJ lineup at WMC this year there, with at least a couple of our friends / Friends of the Site. If you’re out in Miami, we’d love some photos / video of the sets; send them our way. Via Remix.


WMC: Ultra Music Festival in Miami

DJ Eldorado and Liz Dreisacker are sending dispatches from the massive dance music festival WMC in Miami. With expanding use of live visuals and laptop music, this mainstream music party is surprisingly in tune with the CDM wavelength. I’m sorry I missed Richie Hawtin tearing into Ableton Live. Here’s Liz. -Ed. Pictured: the Hot Hot Heat at Ultra; not, in fact, the Killers. -PK


WMC 2005: Full Coverage and Photos

Click 'read more' for our full coverage from Miami's 2005 Winter Music Conference — a convergence of music and technology, covered live by CDM's DJ Eldorado and Liz Dreisacker. Links to stories plus three new image galleries follow.


WMC: Ultra Music Festival Closes Out a Great Conference

Still not jealous that you weren't at Miami for the WMC? This should do the trick — and here's the right way to record a concert: in HD 5.1! (Photo: DJ Eldorado — gallery coming soon.) Miami — Ultra Music Festival (UMF) is an all-day outdoor festival that acts as the official closing ceremonies to Winter Music Conference (WMC) here. The event took place at Bayfront Park & Amphitheater in downtown Miami and featured over 100 artists, including: Timo Maas, BT, Josh Wink, Junkie XL, Armin Van Buuren, Rabbit in the Moon, The Crystal Method, Carl Cox, Danny Tenaglia, Pete …