model1main

This is the new DJ mixer from Xone creator and Richie Hawtin

If a DJ mixer could be anything you wanted, what would it be? That question isn’t actually that easy to answer. DJ mixers have a fairly defined set of functions, and not a lot of obvious room for variation. They have become more or less a commodity product as a result. And even as we’ve seen high-end mixers, those have tended to be simply a spendier version of the same commodity. So, maybe the news that Richie Hawtin was working on a new mixer, teased out over the past few months, didn’t interest you at first. But, having had a …

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90sboilerroom

90s Boiler Room Gets Serious People Dancing to Greatest Hits

What are you doing right now? Because … well, you might wind up chortling for a few minutes. Updated: It seems Boiler Room has pulled the videos. (Suggestion for the creators: hot tip from Russia, things like this should really just be on VK. Ahem.) In other words, this particular parody suggesting Boiler Room might take itself too seriously has been taken seriously by Boiler Room. You can judge what that means, for intellectual property law or humor. I suppose it does mean the rest of us can get back to work. And then, tragically, they resurfaced! Oh, no! It’s …

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facetech

Could You Someday Wear Speakers? Wearable Tech and Expression

Wearable tech so far has often tended to dresses that light up or wristwatches that act as remote controls for your smartphone. But what if wearable tech actually produced sound – and it wasn’t a pair of headphones? That’s the question posed by SubPac. It’s a sort of backpack subwoofer aimed both at improving tactile bass response for consumers and allowing proper bass monitoring for DJs and producers – you know, when they can’t just try their latest mix on a big club PA. We’ve covered wearable tech on CDM before – we’ve even hosted workshops and labs on the …

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2 V-P Makes Performing Live with Quartz Composer Effortless, Powerful

Apple’s Quartz Composer has long enabled beautiful, intricate generative and responsive visuals, often even with simple patches. But assembling its compositions into something with which you can perform is more of a chore. 2 V-P isn’t the first attempt to wrap Quartz’s interactive visualizations into a performance tool. But it might be the most practical. The work of Ali Demirel, with developer Pascal Lesport, it embodies a lot of Ali’s approach to thoughtfully-morphing imagery. It’s been torture-tested in the real world of performance, particularly in Ali’s ongoing collaboration with Richie Hawtin. What’s promising about 2 V-P is that it centersentirely …

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A Full Traktor DJ App on iPad, Syncs – or Replaces – Desktop App; First Impressions, Tour

It’s not a controller app. It’s not a “my first DJ app.” Native Instruments has released a full, two-deck version of Traktor, built from the ground up for the iPad, that nonetheless does essentially what the desktop app can. The same team behind the desktop Traktor has reconceived the library, effects, looping, sample navigation, and mixing around touch. CDM has been testing the result with the developers and in release candidate builds. You can use Traktor DJ for iPad on a bus, or – if you’re Richie Hawtin or on vacation – on the beach. You can then turn around, …

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cntrl-r

Connect Four: 4 Decks, 4 FX Units, Advanced Traktor Mapping [Video]

DJ tool makers keep working on integrated hardware/software solutions – as they should. But meanwhile, creative DJs and hackers keep rolling their own, personal solutions – as they absolutely should. Here’s one of the latest in action. Stewe on the DJ TechTools forums rigs a four-deck, four-effect mapping for the CNTRL:R, the Livid Instruments-Richie Hawtin collaboration. It makes for some intelligent, performative DJ setups here – and four of each, to me, is often more than enough musical elements to get creative. (One might argue that not only about DJing, but live electronic musical elements in general. There’s something about …

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When Detroit Met Holland: Sterac “Secret Life of Machines” Documentary, Re-release Coming [Video]

Musical history seems to happen when things collide, when things get mixed up – certainly in the twentieth, and now the twenty-first century. And so it is that one of the most important “Detroit techno” records ever released came out of Amsterdam. If this were a new artist, the long string of endorsements from a who’s who of electronic music in the video here might seem like publicity fluff. But because Dutch artist Steve Jerome Rachmad, aka Sterac, has had such a deep influence on electronic music since his 1995 debut release, instead you can listen to a network of …

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New TouchDesigner Goes Gold, with Free Sharing, Ableton Live Sync, More

From top: TouchDesigner powering the Plastikman show, Steve Mason’s Chapichapo. If you’ve been watching big-league visuals lately, things that made your eyeballs roll out into the crowd, odds are TouchDesigner might have been some of the software in use. The tool, established in years of use but perhaps little known outside a few select circles, has been making waves lately in some very nice shows. Even its interface is dazzling (and, indeed, figures directly in shows by the likes of Berlin label Raster Noton), flying through endlessly-zoomable graphical patching interfaces. One obstacle has stood in TouchDesigner’s way: accessibility. That Hollywood-sexy …

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lemur

Spotted: Lemur Interface, Running on iPad

I don’t know why you look so surprised about this, really. Photo (CC-BY) insanephotoholic. “Lemur should just run on the iPad.” “There’s no point to have a Lemur when you can get an iPad for $500.” “When will the Lemur just run on the iPad?” Soon, apparently. Sources and an in-person sighting suggest to me you’ll see this in the very near future. The JazzMutant Lemur, the touch control hardware I reviewed over five years ago, gave musicians the first widely-available, for-sale taste of multi-touch control of music. It established a lot of basic paradigms that would appear on other …

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Plastikman Visuals, Condensed to 60 Seconds

Pacing live visuals over the course of a performance can be a key to its success, so it makes this 60-second timelapse of the Plastikman (Richie Hawtin) show all the more compelling to watch. You have a sense in this condensed version of how color and imagery are mapped to the flow of the performance, and the amount of constraint required to make that consistent. (Style differs – I’ve seen plenty of visual performers get more hectic than this in 60 real-time seconds. It works for some, not as much for others.) Ali Demirel & Jarrett Smith of Canada-based Derivative …

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