Turntablism in the Digital Age: DJ Jungleboy with Stanton SCS.3d; Open Scratch Scripting

Want to reignite interest in DJs who actually use their hands and fingers to slice up and juggle sounds? A cavalcade of “laptopists” is the ticket. Suddenly, at least in some corners, people are again interested in turntablism. It’s nice to see how a controller can integrate digital loop and cue points with a setup that still focuses on scratching. And Stanton’s SCS.3d turns out to be scriptable in the open source DJ software Mixxx. As some live PA musicians revert to a “push play” mentality, DJs can keep it interesting.

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More from Mutek: Tech and Gear Spottings, Ecology and the Planet

Liz and Peter Dines continue to send dispatches from the epic MUTEK festival in Montreal. Stay tuned to our events.createdigitalmusic.com page for the latest. Among the new reports: various Reaktor spottings among artists, insane turntable abuse, and even a discussion of how arts events can reduce their impact on the planet. (Oddly enough, that last panel evidently included Dan Seligman, with whom I worked at the Sierra Club on international trade and human rights issues in another life of mine.) Check out the ongoing MUTEK coverage while we wait for Liz and Peter to finish off their stack of interviews …

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Digital DJ Controllers: A Hybrid Numark Turntable, Stanton Sans Vinyl

Since this week has become Unplanned Unofficial Vinyl Week, I might as well keep going. Vinyl with printed timecode is just one path. Here are two examples (one recent, one upcoming) of products that have found other means of connecting digital sound to the turntable. If a product like Traktor Scratch or Serato Scratch Live represent the maturation of the integrated vinyl + hardware + software solution, these two tools virtualize the turntable experience in other ways. And they demonstrate just how much control technology can change in music, turntable or no. The Numark X2, above, as pointed out by …

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Ghetto-Fabulous Digital Vinyl: Make a Mouse Into a Turntable

Scratching with a mouse just doesn’t feel right. One solution, as in FinalScratch and other products, is to print timecode onto the vinyl. But then there’s the direct approach: strap that mouse right onto your turntable and hit the club! That’s just what the DIY-oriented community of users of terminatorX have done. terminatorX is a fully open-source scratch synth on Linux, with support for files like OGG, MP3, and WAV, and even (recently) Linux’s open stereo plug-in format, LADSPA. terminatorX lacks fancy features like support for timecode-printed vinyl, so users take a more literal approach to melding mouse and turntable. …

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Free Turntablism: Open Source Reaktor Ensemble Could Change Scratching

Digital turntablism is nothing new. But Ammobox, debuted at the first-ever CDM Futuristic Music Design Challenge, is unique in a number of ways. What creator Nathan Ramella has done differently: 1. He’s demystified digital vinyl timecode. With no previous DSP programming experience, Nathan created his own custom tool for reading vinyl timecode — and explains how he did it. 2. He’s changed the rules of scratching — it’s now polyphonic scratching. As Nathan puts it, "You get a polyphonic sampler that can layer multiple samples at the same time and scratch them all simultaneously." Yep: no more does digital vinyl …

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Teaser: ammoBox Project Digitally Scratches … What?

Nathan Ramella has sent us a video of a new project called ammoBox. What is it? Well, I happen to know a bit about it, but Nathan has sworn me to secrecy, so I’ll just point out: It claims to be the "world’s first stream scratching, simul scratching, sequ scratching" Nathan was a co-creator of the Unofficial Ableton Live API (which now lives on Google Code if you’ve been wondering where to find updates on that) — so we know he’s got the chops for hacking Yes, that’s Ableton Live … yes, that’s a turntable … no, this isn’t quite …

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Free Samples: Lo-Fi Drum Machines, Fisher Price Music Box Record Player

Free, odd soundware keeps on coming — hot on the heels of faux bent instruments and a tape-recorded Roland 606 and 808, here are more sounds to satisfy your need for unusual sounds. Stephen Haunts was inspired by the cassette-recorded 808, and writes to tell us he’s decided to give something back. He’s uploaded 22 kits from a Korg ElecTribe ER-1, a kit from a Yamaha DD-10 (pictured amusing the awkward fellow at right from the manual), and a Yamaha PSS-80. The Yamahas steal the show: they’re little toy keyboards with a decidedly lo-fi sound. I always admired the Japanese …

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Turntable Art: Turntables as Interactive Servers, Fashion

The ways in which people can reimagine the beloved turntable seems boundless. We’ve seen bass guitar turntables, computer scratching visualizations, turntable-controlled vibrating chaise longues, and turntables embedded in tree trunks as art installations. Still, there’s more: TurntablistPC is an ongoing art project coupling a vintage turntable with a vintage PC, creating a hybrid, record-playing server that can be controlled remotely by remote websites around the world. It’s the creation of artist Mogen Jacobsen, and it’s currently being exhibited as part of a show called Webscape at the Art Museum of West Sealand, Denmark. What? You’re not planning to pass through …

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Pitched Turntable Virtuosity on Vestax, and More Theremin Tunes

Speaking of going beyond traditional instruments like keyboards, the urge to reinvent pitch interfaces continues. Via comments, we’ve got some additions. tripmastermonkee points us to this demo by DJ Woody on the Vestax Controller One, the turntable with pitch control and pitch buttons seen previously on CDM: Sure, there are other ways of acheiving the same result (there usually are), but there’s something wonderfully material about seeing it done on a turntable, and the results sound really unique. PS: said it before, but will say it again, Scratchworx is an awesome DJ web publishing powerhouse. And if you just can’t …

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Plattabass, DIY Hybrid Bass – Turntable, Coming Soon

Winning the award this month for “Most Insane Project Mockup”, I give you the Plattabass. It’s a bass. It’s a record player. It has magnetic sensors embedded in the neck. And yes, that is a crossfader. Even crazier: Mobius (Ray Belden) plans to actually build this thing. We’ll be watching. Proposed specs, courtesy Ray: 2 assignable cross faders, an extreme pitch control that goes to zero RMP, a thumb worn magnet that triggers a sensor inlaid in the back of the neck Three control knobs, and 2 TRS stereo outputs Fender P bass neck, Basslines 1/4 pound pickups, and Fender …

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