Pioneer really want to sell you a turntable, with $350 PLX-500

Pioneer clearly seek to own DJing – and they’ve now got a pretty solid play for every piece of that landscape. The latest piece: a direct drive turntable with USB connection, ready to play, scratch, or work with control vinyl (and Pioneer’s increasingly ubiquitous Rekordbox software). Price: US$350 – affordable enough to appeal to even casual DJs as a set of two.


Pioneer focuses on scratch, battle, effects with new mixer

Meet Pioneer’s new push, a strategy aiming squarely at scratch and turntablist DJs and effects lovers, with or without a computer. If some of the latest mixers have conventional analog mixing, bread and butter features, and rotaries, Pioneer’s DJ mixer this week – isn’t any of that. Instead, the DJM-S9 is a “battle” mixer loaded up with extras and emphasizing scratch and effects features. And it is unmistakably a Pioneer box in that it draws heavily on wild effects. It’s a “party rocking mixer” as an artist describes it in the launch video. Also, watch the video. What you mostly …


Jazzy Jeff, Shiftee Show Us Turntable as a Musical Instrument

Serato and Native Instruments may have a fierce rivalry when it comes to tools. But at the end of the day, the leading DJ vendors exist for one reason: they’re there to support musicians. And I do mean musicians. Watching new routines from Jazzy Jeff and Shiftee, you really see the turntable emerge as a virtuoso musical instrument. They’re released as promotions for Serato (Jeff) and Native Instruments (Shiftee). And the tools are important: they’re there to allow these players to make use of their skills, to do more than just select tracks like a jukebox. But this really is …


The Most Complete iPad Control of Traktor Yet: One Lemur Template Does Nearly Everything

You can now run Traktor on the iPad, but with a fraction of the power of the desktop Traktor. Or you can map Traktor’s capabilities to hardware controllers – just expect to make some choices, and spread out some controllers. A new Lemur template for iPad does something different: it controls nearly everything from custom pages on Apple’s tablet. Platters, pitch control, beat jumping, hot cue manipulation, remix decks – it’s all there. There are massive touch platters that turn your iPad into a kind of scratch deck. You can edit your cues directly in painstaking detail. You even get …


Scratch Anything, in a $20 Plug-in: MIDI, Turntables, and Hosts Like Ableton Meet

Turntablism is still alive, but surprisingly, turntable techniques haven’t entirely harmonized with modern DAWs. One of the first products ever covered here on CDM was Ms. Pinky, a combination of software and vinyl, which recently saw a Max for Live iteration. But Scratch Track is about the most universal, easiest way yet to drop scratching into a project. It’s a VST plug-in, compatible with OS X (10.6 or later) and Windows. It works with turntables. It works with MIDI. It works with host automation. It works with host automation and MIDI even if you don’t have a turntable. And there’s …


Projection Mapping Meets Turntablism: Serato DJing and Live Visual Feedback

Rooted in pre-digital tradition, the turntables and mixer here get a different kind of digital upgrade: sound-responsive visuals transform the decks. Built by Austin, Texas-based student Mark Morris, artist E.N.S., and collaborators, this work in progress demonstrates what happens if you point the projector directly at the DJ’s rig. Cleverly, they map the platters themselves as they rotate, as well as add interface elements from the DJ software and responsive audio waveforms. From Mark: This is a projection mapping project we’ve been working on for about a month as of uploading. It’s a user interface for Serato Scratch Live that …


Proposal: A Markup Language for Turntable Scratch Performance; Open Call

Scratching, captured. Photo (CC-BY-SA) karl sinfield / sindesign. Add this to the Internet of Things: imagine data recording scratching and scratch performances. Technologists Jamie Wilkinson, Michael Auger, and Kyle McDonald propose a new way of storing scratch moves as data. They’re not just working in traditional ways, either: they’re hacking turntables and optical mice and cameras, and imagine not only recording performances, but having machines recreate scratching. (Robots!) And they want your help. Kyle writes: i’m going to be leading a group at art hack day ( brooklyn, january 26th-28th ) about scratch markup language, a tool for recording …


Experimental Turntablism with dj sniff – Inside the Rig, Process, Playing Technique (CDM Video)

Behind records, dj sniff hides a no-display computer-based rig running his own software, extending the possibilities of what turntablism can be. Photo by Tanya Traboulsi. dj sniff, aka Takuro Mizuta Lippit, has been a leading figure in experimental turntablism and experimental music in general. Following studies in New York and Tokyo, he’s been a key artist and curator in the scene, as well as a top practitioner of turntable technique that pushes the envelope of what the record player can do. I got to spend some time with him in the basement of STEIM, the cutting-edge “electro-instrumental” research center in …


Scratch This: A DIY Project Repurposes DJ Controllers as Scratch Inputs; Recycling DJ Gear

Scratching, meet recycling. Rather than allow MIDI DJ controllers to consign themselves to landfills, a new open source project promises to retrofit these gadgets with scratch capabilities. Scratch Decoder is a collaborative, open source effort to add or extend obsolete controllers, CDJs, and turntables with digital vinyl control – before they get tossed. Inspired by a 2009 thesis by Swiss student Ramon Mathis, advised by the folks who first developed the Ms. Pinky vinyl control system for Max/MSP, and rooted in years of work, the system is now publicly documented. The ingredients: An Arduino hardware board The encoder sensor and …


Kinect Video Scratching, and Why One Live Artist Uses Kinect for Control

Adding to the list of homebrewed Kinect wonders, artist Mauritius Seeger writes to share his live video scratching rig, built with Kinect. It’s the first experiment, but already shows some great promise: hey guys, i just wanted to let you know about a kinect prototype/hack i’ve made to explore video scratching via hand movements. just a first step in a possible gestural VJ interface. in this video you see me controlling the playhead of a video using the distance between my body and the camera. currently it just picks a significant closest point, so that it can be used with …