Friday Roundup: Windows Tablets For DJing?

Acer Inspire

This Acer Inspire hybrid PC has a tablet detachable from the laptop and full touchscreen, and is running a version of Virtual DJ natively on Windows 8 - and Tiesto is backing it. Is this the way things are going?

While we've been busy this week in pre-production for our summer-release DJ video course - the How To Digital DJ Masterclass - we've also had time to uncover some essential DJ-related articles from around the web, which this week are part "future", part "now".

Our first of two "future" articles asks if Windows touchscreen computers (laptop or tablet) are about to give Apple a run for its money in the DJing and music worlds. The second had us wondering whether - with the new Traktor Kontrol S4 likely imminent, and Traktor DJ on the iPad pushing "touching the waveforms" over jogwheels - NI will at some point ditch the jogs in its gear entirely (the article has a great mock-up image of a "Traktor Kontrol T4"). And the third brings us back to practicalities: Just how do you find new fans for your DJing on Twitter?

  1. Are Windows touch tablets and ultrabooks the next big thing for DJs? - Imagine "real" DJ software running on your tablet - Traktor Pro, Serato, Virtual DJ, Ableton. With USBs and stuff. That's what the new breed of touch tablets potentially offers that Apple, with its dual OSes, doesn't - and at least in one manufacturer's case, Tiesto's behind it. All the benefits of touch, but on a full operating system. Create Digital Music has been in Taiwan investigating… Read more
  2. Traktor Kontrol T4: Would Native Instruments ever ditch the jogwheels? - Alan at Traktor Tips has uncovered an amateur mockup photo of a "Traktor Kontrol T4", basically an S4 without jogs and with waveform displays. But it raises the question - if you could touch the waveforms on that mockup in the same way you can touch the waveforms on Traktor DJ on the iPad, would that be enough nudge/scratch control to then ditch jogs entirely? Because using such waveforms (like touchstrips on the Novation Twitch) might mean no need for jogs at all - and the fact that NI doesn't have its own media player in its range suggests to me that longer term, it feels jogwheels are history. What do you think? Read more
  3. How to find new fans for your DJing and productions on Twitter - Be honest, do you use Twitter for promotion? Because while Facebook and your own blog are great for engaging with your existing fans, Twitter is the best place to finds new ones. Whether it's your DJ gigs, online mixes or mashups / productions that need the push, Twitter can give you the edge - and this DIY Musician article shows you how to do it. Read more

Is a controller like the "Traktor Kontrol T4" ever likely to happen? And will Windows hybrid computers start making inroads into Apple territory? Please share your thoughts below.

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  1. I think touch-screens will be one path forward, but not the only one, we still have people fighting hard for the use of Vinyl and CDs. I believe modular systems will become more popular than the current all-in-ones due to the nature of people shying away from making things themselves and simply purchasing pre-fab units for their customized layouts.

    • Good luck with Vinyl and CDs Let’s get one thing straight: the PC market itself isn’t going anywhere. one who uses the turntable or cds in the spirit of a musical instrument also applies with multi laptops etc..hey digitaltiger!! I play guitar should i use it to get my keys to the next track loading?

  2. I don't see the point in not having jog wheels.

  3. about the S4 mockup I wrote a comment somewhere about remix deck opened up. that maybe there would be a version 3 on the way giving the freeze/slicer from TraktorDJ and a new S4 with the touchstribs from the X1 MKII and a XY pad for FX. I makes no meaning to put screens on a controller that is meant for computer use.

  4. celtic-dj says:

    the acer looks promising....strange to see tiesto advertise this , maybee he will convert to digital soon...

  5. I would enjoy NI and other manufacturers having models without the jog wheels; having gone that route myself awhile ago it really saves a lot of space.

    That being said if I wanted an actual wheel/platter to use I'd go with CDJs or something more full sized; the small jogs don't really hold any interest for me.

    • I've always felt that jog wheels were tiny mock-ups of vinyl turntables that never really felt right. Even the best digital scratch masters would rather use a turntable for "round interface scratching" and I think we've proven that a touch interface seems to work better for interaction with a track. Certainly there is room for improvement in regards to direct action with touch interfaces, but when I tried the Novation Twitch, I was immediately hooked. It's as though Novation said "How do we pack as many features as possible into the space of something the size of a laptop while still being amazingly fun to use."... and that basically sums it up. I personally prefer the touch strip because it has a track I can run my finger along, but I can see many people liking X-Y interfaces as well.

      • I've never used a touch strip myself, just have endless encoders mapped to move through the song; works well and does what I need atm.

      • The Reloop and Vestax jogs with Serato are actually very very good, as demonstrated by our scratch tutor Steve who can perform pretty much all scratches as easily on them as on turntables.

      • "I’ve always felt that jog wheels were tiny mock-ups of vinyl turntables that never really felt right."

        Exactly my impression.

        That's the reason why when I turned from vynil to digital, after I tried several controllers, I finally choosed a Twitch (thus no jogwheels) rather than having to cope with jogwheels. Jogwheels felt clumsy, and had a very limited use compared to all the things you can do with real turntables. Felt like cheap children toys to me!

        To the point, personally I'm all for touchstrips displaying the waveform. I think it's a great concept. But they should be much wider and longer than what we've got now on recent Pioneers, Twitch and Vestax 380.

        Touchscreen strips? Bring'em on!

  6. I can see the next version of the S4 losing the jog wheels but gaining 8 (or 16) pads on each deck for more integrated remix deck capability. Basically, 2 F1's with a 4 channel mixer built in. I'd imagine a dedicated flux mode button and push-to-kill eq knobs. Oh and touch-strips.

  7. mr stiffy says:

    That controller would actually be really good as an all in one unit... If it ran its own version of traktor and had something like a 250gb SSD built in with USB slots for using other music... Would need more info on screens though... Even two long one pine screens above the dc to know what's selected.

  8. King of Snake says:

    sorry Phil, late post on the jogwheel subject:
    i have been using twitch for a while now and i so wish that the touchstrips would be vertical.
    i guess even for some scratching, that such a position would be better.


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