The Vestax Pad One is a good choice for adding a whole host of pads, FX control and other exciting Midi stuff to your existing set-up.
We kicked off this series talking about the software end of the deal in live remixing. But banging on your laptop keyboard and mouse can only take you so far. If we’ve noticed anything from those who perform well in live remixing, it’s that you need the right gear for the occasion.
Thankfully with technology the way it is, you have a plethora of options at your fingertips. You can spend a little or a lot and still get great results. Let’s have a look at the hardware options available to you.
Shiftee is a famous exponent of using controllerism alongside turntablism to really push boundaries… and you can tap into hot cues and samples too to spice up your DJ sets. This series will introduce you to these controllerism techniques.
Back in January, we made the New Year’s resolution to learn something new. To make an attempt to go beyond our normal realms of DJing and just try to “take it to the next level”. Some of you are already taking on this idea in our new Scratching For Controller DJs course – but this is just one way of making your DJing stand out. Another is the newer methodology of fired samples, loops, and chopped up pieces of music – a major element of what is often called “controllerism”.
Today’s article is the first of a three-part series where we’ll get you started and explore the world of basic controllerism, and give you some ideas on how to bring these techniques back into the basic DJ set. We’re going to start things off with software and finding sounds to use.
Moldover – the man who first coined the term “controllerism”, and who has been at the forefront of the scene ever since – has never been one to follow trends with the performance gear he concocts.
His latest project, the Robocaster, continues that trend of innovation and while it will surprise many people, it is one of the most fun Midi controllers I’ve seen so far at the NAMM Show 2013, melding guitar and controller to make a brand new instrument.
The Novation Twitch is a cool, modern controller with lots of performance features… but is it appropriate for a bar or wedding DJ?
Digital DJ Tips reader Scott writes: “I am looking at purchasing my first controller and although I am familiar with Ableton I am new to DJing. I have friends who are turntablists but at heart I think I am a controllerist. I would like to get out there and DJ to a crowd ASAP – maybe even bars and weddings, as I love music although it would be useful to make some extra cash.
“Originally I had thought the Denon DJ MC2000, but decided the extra input backup and levels on the Denon DJ MC3000 would be a better choice. My dilemma is that I like the idea of the Novation Twitch and its features but I am concerned that this may not be as applicable to the type of crowds I hope to entertain.
Ever been tempted to enter a DJ competition? Here’s how to decide whetherto bother, and how to win if you do…
Whether you’ve been a DJ for a month or many years, you’ll probably have encountered a “DJ competition” at some point – if only the “DJ X-Factor” hype from earlier this year. It’s not surprising: DJ contests have for a long time been used to generate healthy competition among DJs, to get bodies in nightclubs, to build hits on websites and so on.
Some of you might have entered DJ contests, and had both positive and negative experiences with them. Others might have never tried, but be curious. The goal today is to giver you a potted guide to DJ competitions, whether to enter them, and the best way to approach them.
The Ultra Music Festival 2012: Dance is suddenly huge in the States - but is this a good thing for the underground and dance culture in general?
There has been a ton of major media coverage on dance music lately, specifically on how it seems to have entered the mainstream of American culture.
The New York Times Business section (yes, the business section) reported on how high-roller corporate investors are being attracted to the new-and-improved festival culture, with Pete Tong recently warning that if these same corporate investors are “allowed to run riot with their corporate machinery, (they) will destroy the scene.”
When Midi controllers and DJing first met, nobody knew what to call the emerging scene. “Mapping buttons to software in order to control recorded music” didn’t really cut it. Just as well, then, that Moldover – one of the scene’s earliest champions and now one of its brightest lights – was around to invent the term “controllerism”.
In the last week Native Instruments debuted Moldover’s performance video of its new Kontrol F1 hardware (see below watch it), and we managed to catch up with the man himself for this exclusive interview. So if you’re wanting to forge a name for yourself in controllerism, if you’re interested in knowing the skills that really matter in today’s electronic music culture, or you just want to know more about one of EDM’s nicest and most original characters, read on…
'It was great in '78!' Isn't it time hip-hop stopped being so narrow-minded about new DJ technology?
“I’m DJ Iceman and I’m a controllerist.” This is how my greeting would start at the DJs Anonymous meeting, shortly before being kicked out of the room for not being a “real DJ”. This is how it is in the realm of hip-hop. I’ve been a DJ for 30 years, the last five being digital, and it seems that in an age of “keeping it 100″, in hip-hop circles there is no room for the kind of progress controllerism promises.
Please let me tell you my story. I started my DJ journey in 1982, following behind my uncle A.D. (who was a big deal at the time, being the first DJ from Brooklyn to be down with the Universal Zulu Nation). I would bug him endlessly to teach me how to DJ. At seven years old I really didn’t know what it was to be a DJ, but I saw A.D. do block parties and the crowd going nuts, and I wanted to make the crowd go nuts too.
This week we turn our attention to physically mapping hot cues, and we'll be using the excellent Vestax Pad-One as our example Midi controller. Pic: Unique Squared
In this article we are going to start putting what we have learned into practice by creating a basic mapping for hot cues.
Being able to jump to a specific point in a track can be useful in a number of different ways. In many cases I use cue points simply as visual markers to indicate where I want to mix in or out of a track. This alone is hugely helpful compared to the old method of eyeing the groove on the record to see approximately where the breaks occur!
Is this kind of thing acceptable in DJ booths? Should it be?
Reader Eros writes: “My dilemma is this: I’m going down the pure digital path using Traktor. All clubs and bars here use CDJ 2000s and DJM 900 or 800. I was therefore trying to work out an option where the equipment I use at home is easily compatible with gear I will find at clubs.
“Initially I was excited about the DDJ-T1 and figured I could just plug it into one of the channels on the club mixer and then off I go. However a few places weren’t happy with that as they don’t consider the DDJ or most Midi controllers as being ‘club spec’.”
The Traktor Kontrol S2: A more portable S4 for two-deck controllerists.
Announced today, it ditches the four decks, shrinks the jumbo size of its bigger brother the Kontrol S4 to something more manageable, and throws in some innovative sample features to boot. We ask: Is the new Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 controller the company’s answer to the Novation Twitch?
First, take a look at Ean Golden’s excellent demo video to see where Native Instruments feels the innovation lies in this new controller. You’ll see sample decks have been brought right to the fore.
Covering the moodiness of “hipsters” in dance clubs, and how the in-crowd tends to turn on any producers who have a sniff of commercial success with their music, the article then moves on to state that maybe laptop DJs are actually the new underground.