Deckadance, from the makers of FL “Fruity Loops” Studio, is now shipping. No word on the Mac version in development, but Windows, at least, is shipping now. We’re excited to try it out for all the reasons we were when we first saw it, and now we have some additional details to flesh in:
- It hosts VST plug-ins. One of our big complaints with too many traditional DJ apps: you’re restricted to the included effects. Deckadance wisely allows you to use VST plug-ins. Like many of you, I’m not quite ready to give up Ableton Live, though, so that brings us to our next point:
- It will act as a VST plug-in. Drop Deckadance into any host program, and you can take advantage of its vinyl support capabilities and DJ tools while using everything you like about your host.
- It has some lovely effects of its own. The Juice Pack is included. I’ve been using these with FL Studio 7 as I test that, and it’s a nice bundle for US$99. $179 with Deckadance is a great deal, too. And since they’re VSTs, you can use them even when you’re not running Deckadance, in case you want some FX love in SONAR or Live.
- It’s cheap. US$179, or $149 during an introductory offer for May.
- It supports lots of MIDI controllers. Now confirmed: Vestax VCI-100, Behringer BCD2000 & 3000 (though interestingly not Behringer’s DJ controller), Allen & Heath Xone:3D, M-Audio X-Session, the ugly but serviceable Hercules DJ Console MP3 & MK II, and slick EKS XP10 are all supported out of the box.
- It supports lots of vinyl control systems. Rather than restricting you to one vinyl system, Deckadance “autolearns” the timecode used by various systems, and “has been tested with timecode vinyls & CDs from msPinky, Stanton FinalScratch, MixVibes, Serato Scratch Live, Virtual DJ & Torq.” Notably absent: NI’s upcoming Traktor Scratch. NI tells us they don’t think Deckadance will be able to reverse-engineer their timecode with support for absolute mode. We have heard, though, that absolute timecode (which allows you to needle-drop, etc.) on at least Ms. Pinky, so we’ll see if Image Line can reverse engineer NI’s system.
There are plenty of big questions here, of course, not the least being how this “autolearn” system will work and if it’s competitive with systems integrated out of the box, like NI’s Traktor Scratch. But after years of relative stagnation in traditional digital DJ systems, things are getting interesting. And, while I don’t expect this will be a huge market, I’m personally interested in ways of bringing vinyl techniques into other live performance setups in tools like Max/MSP, FL Studio, Live, through integration of plug-ins like the Ms. Pinky VST or Deckadance in VST mode.