Tag Archives: Record Pool

Digging for Diamonds

By Tony Fernandez

Through my travels on the web and through the various DJ pages, I keep seeing a recurring thought: The state of music, specifically current music, is at an all-time low. If that isn’t enough, that state of mind puts DJs into the frame of mind of: what are the good songs that should be played? The stuff out now is crap… blah, blah, blah….

I gotta tell ya, I really have no sympathy for the DJ who can’t figure out where to get “good” music. Let me explain my position before you flame me…

A long time ago in a galaxy not far away, there were these things called record stores. These record stores would have music on physical formats that people would purchase. DJs, at least the proactive DJs, wouldn’t go to a “regular” retail stores where troglodytes would buy their music. Nope. DJs would go WAY off the beaten path to find outlets that catered to them.

In these establishments is where bonds were formed, deals were made, fortunes found.

Now I’m not really going to wax on about record stores. That’s not the point. The point I’m trying to elucidate is: if you are lacking “good” music, go find it. It’s out there. Nothing worthwhile is just going to drop in your lap.

With the dawn of the digital age, record stores met their demise. As such, music is currently traded around, downloaded, and acquired in the digital scheme. That scenario, I think, has made a lot of DJs lackadaisical, complacent, passive and downright lazy to a fundamental aspect of being a DJ…

You have to dig to find that diamond in the rough. You have to put a bit of effort in your musical acquisitions. There is absolutely no reason to be obsequious in this aspect of your job. Make the time. It’s part of your job.

Just because you keep up with charts, subscribe to record pools and/or remix services doesn’t absolve you of keeping up. You really can’t just sit back and expect format radio to break the next “hot” song.

If you haven’t figured this out… format radio isn’t in the business of breaking music. Format radio is in the business of selling advertising time, to make money. They use music to do that.

You can’t just wait for your inbox to give you a notification that your downloads from the pools/remix services are ready and you’re good to go.   It’s not the job of record pools to pad your hard drive. Pools are at the mercy of the record labels and their release schedules.

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of tracks that radio, the charts, the pools, the remix services are NEVER going to pick up on, play, or release. It’s incumbent on you to seek those out. To at least listen and see if something new and different is worth playing it or your crowd.

I also realize that people are creatures of habit. They like familiarity. They like things they know. They like things they’ve heard. I get that. I’m in no way saying that DJs need to play unreleased, white label, bootleg versions of songs to be cool or relevant. The vast majority of DJs play to the general public. As such, we need to keep our music programming recognizable. I do get that.

Since music now is in a digital medium, we ALL have access to the SAME tracks. (Pretty much…) We all are drinking form the same fountain, as it were. Because that’s the case, we need to set ourselves apart. Finding new music and/or remixes to current / popular music is an aspect that DJs need to take advantage of. There is good music and good remixes out there. Just don’t expect it to fall into your hard drive.

Keep ‘em spinnin’ and dig around a bit. You’ll never know what you might find.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com

The Triangle: Conferences, Workshops, & Coaching/Mentoring

By Brian Buonassisi:

As we embark on a new year, I think it’s important to assess where you are at and where you want to go in 2018. I’m not talking about fickle New Year’s Resolutions but more to steering your business in the right direction. For some, no major course correction is needed. For others, you many need to completely change directions due to where the wind in your market is taking you. Over the years, I’ve found that there’s a pattern to growth and it’s not a linear thing. It’s like a triangle – you keep going through it. You’re either in need of conferences, workshops or coaching/mentoring. All of them have their place but I thought as you start thinking through your 2018 budget, this is a perfectly timed topic to talk through each one.

Conferences
There’s really 3 “national” DJ conferences out there: Mobile Beat, Marquee, and the DJ Expo. While you can definitely pick up some things to help your business at any of them, these conferences are mainly inspiration and network heavy. To encourage attendance, the show producers have to cast a wide net and cover as broad material as possible. You have the beginners all the way through to the industry veterans. It’s a great way to re-charge with your DJ brothers and sisters as well as take in a ton of information over a couple days. However, the reality is that it could take weeks if not months to go through all your notes and implement a strategy to employ some of it.

Workshops
Typically, workshops are more narrowed in scope. You are drilling down on a specific subject matter (or two) rather than a large range of categories. For example, you may want to improve with mic etiquette or scratching or sales, etc. If there’s an area that you feel you could use some development in, finding a workshop to address that area could be the solution. The other advantage to workshops is that you interact with those who are looking to learn the same type of subject matter. That can bond you together with a person you may never have had a chance to meet otherwise.

Coaching/Mentoring
So far it may appear like each one of these options is a step up from the other. While coaching/mentoring could feel that way, I honestly think it could be a great first step. Rather than undoing bad habits or mistakes, you are able to deal with issues in real time. Finding a coach or a mentor isn’t cheap (not for the good ones at least) but it saves you a lot of money in in the long run. These sessions are either in one on one settings or in a small group (10-20 people) whereas a conference may have thousands and a workshop could have up to a hundred or so. The constant touches (at minimum you’re meeting a few times a year but most meet weekly or monthly) and accountability with coaching/mentoring makes a ton of difference in not only getting started with a plan but staying the course.

For myself, I’m in the coaching/mentoring category this year. Not only am I being coached in 2018 but I’m also coaching others. I’m only a few days in and it’s already been rewarding. What are your needs? What category do you fall in? It could be you need a little of all three. The reality is that doing any of these three things is going to put you ahead of 90% of your competition and give you a leg up. I hope to see you in one of these settings in 2018 and if I can help you at all, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian Buonassissi is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury destination private events. He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with offices in Southern California, Destin, FL and New York City. You can connect with him at brian@djbrianbofficial.com.

Social, Mobile and You (Second in a Series)

By Mitch Taylor:

Last month we talked about how the vast majority of people have their smartphone within three feet of them at all times and the three important items you need to be sure you have on your mobile website to capture their attention.
This month, we’ll be highlighting the social side of social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.). For this article’s purposes, we’ll be focusing on the biggest of the social media platforms, Facebook.

The best way to navigate Facebook is to hire a professional to handle your contests or at minimum consult with one to find the best contest app for your desired outcome. Why? You must be careful with the methods you use to generate “likes.” Facebook has rules, especially regarding contents, and failure to adhere to those rules can get your page taken down, requiring you to build your entire Facebook presence again.

Taylored Weddings has recently consulted with Caryn Terradas of SpeakEasy and has had great success with her abilities to increase our exposure and outreach on our Facebook page. That said, do your due diligence in consulting an expert; there are many fly by night companies trying to get into the game of social media management.

Okay. You’ve consulted with an expert and determined what you want to achieve with your page. Now what do you say? My good friend Brian Kelm, Master of I Do, has a great approach and one that I have adapted to my business with great success.

1) Be sure to friend your clients on Facebook. This will allow their friends to see your postings when you tag them in one.

2) Every 30 days leading up to your client’s event date, go to their profile and find a picture that best represents them, then click “share, along with a comment about couple and their upcoming event; i.e. “@YourCompanyName is looking forward to celebrating with @Heather Smith and @John Johnson in just four weeks from today. Surprises galore in store with fun and smiles all day! So glad they chose @YourFavoritePhotographer to capture their moments!”

By including the venue and other vendors you actively promote them as well. It’s a win-win for everyone! You may also want to try a Vendor Of The Week Bridal Tip Tuesday, Wedding Wish Wednesday, Tradition Thursday, or Friday Fun Facts. I know one company that does well having a trivia contest and others who put up YouTube videos on their wall and have their fans post their favorite clips as well.

The bottom line with any social media is that you must be GENUINE and interactive. Today’s clientele can spot a phony and a sales pitch from a mile away. Provide value first, cultivate the relationship and the referrals will come!

About: Mitch Taylor owns and operates Taylored Weddings and can be reached via email at mitch@mitchtaylor.net. For more info about his Creating Connections books and workshops visit creatingconnections.biz

Playlists. The Demise of DJing?

By Tony Fernandez

Google “playlists” and you’ll likely get the following results: Best 25 Playlist Ideas on Pinterest, Playlists from Spotify, Playlists from Soundcloud, Playlists from Tidal, The Ultimate Wedding playlist… none of which bode too well for the DJ industry, at least as we know it.

And there is no stopping the trend.

In a relatively short span of time, playlists have grown from innocuous lists of songs individuals put together to run, work out, enjoy in the car, etc. to defacto musical blueprints for weddings, parties, and life experiences.

 I don’t want to come of like some old geezer that doesn’t embrace technology. I’m a geek with a very well populated hard drive and the skill to know how to use it. So I get that playlists serve a purpose: it’s how most people organize, cultivate and share their music.

But playlists are also dumbing down the most important aspect of DJing — music. And it’s happening on two fronts.

First, given the ubiquity of playlists, regular people (i.e. people with the potential to sign your paycheck) are under the delusion that if they can pick tunes for their life events, why hire you to do it. Of course, as professionals, we know it’s not so easy to string along a set of songs together and whip up a party.

Making a list of songs is easy. Making a list of songs work for a group of people in a harmonious, fluid, timely, and celebratory manner is hard.

Secondly, as the digital age of music has immersed our society in streaming the music we consume, DJs (to me) have lost the drive and desire to explore music and seem to rely on playlists to do their thinking. It’s akin to having a tiger in captivity and a tiger in the wild. If a captive tiger is being fed, that tiger isn’t going to be as sharp as the wild tiger that seeks out and hunts its food.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve all asked for help with music. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking advice, assistance, and insight from your peers. It just seems to me that there are far too many DJs taking the easy road and expecting playlists to properly execute a well-played set. I know that playlists are not going away. I’m not daft enough to even suggest DJs shouldn’t use playlists. They are a great resource when used to supplement your arsenal. But come on kids, don’t be lazy, don’t be complacent. Learn your music, learn your craft.

The benefits and rewards you’ll reap will serve you for your entire career.

P.S. I’ve recently discovered something even scarier about playlists. Companies like Spotify will soon be using the playlists being generated and shared by their subscribers to target market to those very same subscribers.   But don’t worry about that, Google, Apple, and Skynet have bigger and better plans… J

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com

Pioneer upgrades their popular Serato DJ Controller with the new DDJ-SR2

Pioneer has upgraded one of their popular Serato DJ controllers to create the 2-channel DDJ-SR2.

DDJ-SR2_prm_top_low_0809-848x538

You can use the new dedicated controls to get hands on with the latest features in Serato DJ, including the Pitch ‘n Time DJ Expansion Pack, with Key Shift, Key Sync, and Pitch Play controls. The lightweight and portable DDJ-SR2 is Serato DVS Upgrade Ready (license available separately), making it one of the most compact DVS-ready controllers*1 that enables perfect harmonic control using Serato DJ.

The DDJ-SR2 inherits design traits and features from our professional DJ gear including multi-coloured Performance Pads that give you instant feedback on pad modes and playing statuses, plus generous space between faders, buttons and knobs for comfortable, intuitive mixing and scratching. Thanks to the high-quality aluminium-finish top panel and jog wheels, the controller is approximately 18 percent lighter than its predecessor, so you can easily take it wherever you go.

To help you get the most out of the controller, the Serato DJ Enabled DDJ-SR2 comes bundled with the Pitch ‘n Time DJ Expansion Pack. Pitch ‘n Time DJ allows you to shift and sync the key of your tracks as well as increase and decrease BPM to extreme tempos while retaining the original key of the music. This means you can maintain perfect key while mixing, cutting and scratching any combination of tracks.

Download the latest version of Serato DJ to use with the DDJ-SR2 from serato.com/dj/downloads.

The DDJ-SR2 will be available from September at an MAP of $699.

*1 Most compact controller the DVS-ready controller market (according to internal investigation as of 1st September 2017)

Watch the introduction video and find out more about the DDJ-SR2.

KEY FEATURES OF THE DDJ-SR2

  1. 1.   Dedicated hardware controls for Serato Pitch ‘n Time DJ (license included)

Instantly and intuitively trigger the key-related functions in Serato DJ with dedicated controls for:

  • Key Shift: Change the key of tracks by semitone without changing the tempo.
  • Key Sync: Automatically sync the keys of different tracks during mixes.
  • Key Reset: Instantly reset to the track’s original key after changing keys.
  1. Feature set mirrors professional set-up
  • Multi-coloured Performance Pads: Use the large, multi-coloured tactile Performance Pads to trigger Hot Cues, Roll and Sampler. Hit the pads and watch their colours change as they indicate the selected pad mode and playing status.
  • Needle Search Pad: Instantly jump to a specific part of a track with a simple touch of the pad.
  • Dual Level Meter: See the master out and channel levels at all times.
  1. Easy to use wherever you go
  • Lightweight and portable: The DDJ-SR2 is approximately 18 per cent lighter than the DDJ-SR.
  • Mains or USB power: Choose your preferred source.
  • Flexible connectivity: You can use the DDJ-SR2 to control trims, EQs and channel faders for audio from media players or turntables thanks to dual line and phono inputs. The controller also has a Mic input so you can add audio from an external device. A booth and two master outputs give you the freedom to connect the controller to various kinds of PA equipment.

 

  1. Other features
  • Audio mixer feature: When you’re using the DDJ-SR2 to control music stored on your PC/Mac via Serato DJ, you can also use trims, channel faders and EQs to control audio from external equipment such as turntables and media players. Even when the controller isn’t connected to a computer, the trims and channel faders can be used for audio input from external sources.
  • Professional XLR outputs: A professional XLR master output, a TRS booth output and secondary master output give you the freedom to connect the controller to various kinds of PA equipment with ease.

DDJ-SR2 Specifications

DDJ-SR2_prm_rear_low_0809-848x154

Software Serato DJ
Frequency Range 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
S/N Ratio 105 dB (USB)
Sampling rate 44.1 kHz
A/D, D/A converter 24-bit
Total harmonic distortion 0.003 % (USB)
Input / Output terminals Inputs LINE/PHONO × 2 (RCA x 2)

MIC × 1 (1/4 inch TS JACK)

Outputs MASTER × 2 (XLR × 1,RCA × 1)

BOOTH OUT × 1 (1/4” TRS JACK)

PHONES × 2 (FRONT 6.3mm 1/4 inch TRS JACK × 1, 3.5mm 1/8 inch STEREO MINI JACK × 1)

USB USB-(TypeB) × 1
Dimensions (W x D x H) 553.0 mm × 334.5 mm × 65.1 mm
Unit weight 3.7 kg

System Requirements

Supported operating systems Windows Windows® 10, 8.1, 7 (latest service pack)
Mac macOS Sierra 10.12 (latest update)

OS X 10.11, 10.10 (latest update)

CPU Intel® processor Core™ i7 and i5 1.07 GHz or higher
Memory 4 GB or more of RAM

Disclaimer:

* Serato DJ is a registered trademark of Serato Audio Research Ltd.

* Mac and macOS and OS X are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

* Other stated company names, product names, technology names, etc. are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

 Website: http://www.pioneerdj.com/

Deeper Connection: Meet Pioneer’s new HDJ over-ear headphone models

Pioneer DJ has designed a new range of DJ headphones, the HDJ-X10, HDJ-X7 and HDJ-X5. The HDJ-X models offer a brand-new experience that will be sure to impress and suit every DJ.

The new flagship HDJ-X10 headphones are designed for professional DJs to use at clubs and festivals. Built to withstand the rigours of the road, they’re comfortable to wear for long sets. Also, they allow you to hear frequencies other DJ headphones can’t reproduce so you can make a deeper connection with the music and the dance floor.

Thanks to their HD drivers,1 the HDJ-X10 headphones are the world’s first DJ headphones to produce high-resolution sound ranging from 5 Hz to 40 kHz.2 When connected to our flagship TOUR1 set up or the NXS2 set up, you can experience up to 96 kHz/24-bit high-resolution audio reproduction with superb clarity and sound separation. In another world first for DJ headphones,3 the ear pads and headband on the HDJ-X10 model are protected from sweat and dirt by water repellent nano coating. This means you can keep your headphones looking fresh and easily prolong their lifespan with regular cleaning.

The HDJ-X7 headphones are based on our previous flagship model, the HDJ-2000MK2, and are equipped with newly developed drivers, while the HDJ-X5 headphones inherit high-quality audio design from the model above, giving you clean monitoring even at high volumes.

Whichever way you prefer to wear your headphones, you can comfortably use any HDJ-X model for long periods of time thanks to the flexible swivel mechanism and housing that have been designed with input from professional DJs. They’re built to be highly robust, too, with all models having cleared the US Military Standard MIL-STD-810G Shock test,4 as well as our stringent in-house durability tests.

The new headphones will be available from mid-September at the following MAPs:

 

HDJ-X10-K_prm_angle_low_0807-848x848

HDJ-X10: $349

HDJ-X7-K_prm_hero_low_0807-848x848

HDJ-X7: $199

HDJ-X5-K_prm_folding_low_0807-848x848

HDJ-X5: $99

Watch our introduction video or find out more about the HDJ-X models and accessories.

KEY FEATURES OF THE HDJ-X MODEL HEADPHONES

 

  1. Outstanding sound
  • High-quality audio design

The HDJ-X10 headphones are equipped with our new 50-mm HD driver, making them the world’s first DJ headphones to reproduce high-resolution sound from 5 Hz to 40 kHz. The direct drive structure, with a newly developed diaphragm shape and voice coil, delivers high-quality sound without loss of quality due to mechanic loss. Creating rich bass notes and clean mid-to-high frequencies, the flagship headphones enable accurate point source monitoring, even at loud volumes, and allow you to make a deeper connection to the music.

The HDJ-X7 headphones provide the same audio experience as the professional HDJ-2000MK2 model and feature a newly developed 50-mm driver. The shape and materials of the new diaphragm are optimized to create tight bass notes and clean high frequencies so you can enjoy accurate monitoring.

The HDJ-X5 headphones feature a new 40-mm driver with copper-clad aluminium wire (CCAW) voice coils. The magnetic circuit is optimised and, thanks to fine noise suppression and elaborate tuning, you can enjoy clear, distortion-free sound for easy monitoring.

  • 4-core twisted-structure cable

The independent ground wire in the 4-core twisted-structure cable gives superior left and right channel separation, improving sound quality. In addition, the HDJ-X10 model features a highly reliable, detachable mini-XLR connector for outstanding sound quality.

  • Bass reflex chamber

The bass reflex chamber in the upper housing ensures excellent bass response and sound insulation.

  1. Superior durability
  • Rigorously tested

Take the HDJ-X model headphones on the road and feel confident they’ll handle severe conditions and heavy use. Each model has cleared the US Military Standard MIL-STD-810G Shock test, as well as our own demanding stress testing. 

  • Highly durable materials and construction

Durable metal is used in the moving parts of both the HDJ-X10 and the HDJ-X7 headphones to create a strong construction.

  • Water repellent nano coating

Keep your headphones looking fresh for longer. The leather ear pads and headband cushion on the HDJ-X10 headphones are resistant to deterioration thanks to the use of nano coating, a world first for DJ headphones, so you can easily wipe off sweat and dirt.

  1. Improved functionality
  • Suited for all monitoring styles

While we’re developing any new product we create numerous prototypes, each time with new improvements based on the feedback of professional DJs who test the equipment. Using this feedback and the results of our analysis of many different styles of monitoring, we’ve made sure the HDJ-X headphones are comfortable to use no matter how you wear them. The housing design reduces pressure on your head and it’s textured on the outside for enhanced grip, so you can quickly grab it and start listening.

  • Comfortable and flexible headband

To help you find the perfect fit, the HDJ-X headphones feature a flexible, durable headband. Passing our stringent test to open and close 20,000 times, it’s built to withstand intense use.

  • Features inherited from HDJ-2000 models

As successors to the HDJ-2000 models, the HDJ-X headphones inherit popular professional features such as flexible swivels to enable comfortable monitoring however you wear them. The housing on the HDJ-X10 model incorporates an auto-return mechanism so the rotated housing automatically resets to its neutral position when you release it.

  1. Other features
  • Replacement parts available

You can easily renew the detachable cables and ear pads on all HDJ-X headphones using replacement parts (available separately). Each model comes with its own cable and the HDJ-X7 and HDJ-X5 models have a mutually compatible bayonet connector, so you can purchase an alternative cable type if you prefer (available separately). Replacement ear pads for the HDJ-X10 and HDJ-X7 are available and either set can be fitted to any of the HDJ-X models, including the HDJ-X5.

  • Solid, refined design

All the HDJ-X headphones feature a refined look and durable construction. The HDJ-X10 and HDJ-X7 models are finished in a metallic design incorporating aluminium spin processing and diamond cutting to the housings, which shine under club and stage lighting. Choose from black or silver versions to complete your desired look.

  • Excellent portability

When you’re travelling to gigs, you can be confident your HDJ-X10 headphones will be well protected in the included flat carrying case. Made from strong materials to protect your headphones from bumps and knocks on flights and in transit, the case has inner pockets for storing accessories such as USB devices and SD cards, and its handle makes carrying easy. The HDJ-X7 and HDJ-X5 both come with a compact carrying pouch, which snugly fits around the folded headphones to save space in your luggage and reduce the risk of damage on the road.

  • Various accessories included

The HDJ-X10 and HDJ-X7 headphones come with two detachable cables: a 1.2 m coiled cable (approximately 3.0 m when extended) and a 1.6 m straight cable. The HDJ-X5 model comes with a 1.2 m short coiled cable (approximately 1.8 m when extended) that’s ideal for both DJ performances and everyday listening. An L-type mini-jack prevents the connection from being knocked or accidentally disconnected during performances, even in cramped booths.

  • 2-year warranty

To guarantee long-term, reliable performance, we include a 2-year warranty with all HDJ-X model headphones.

1 High definition driver.

2 First headphones in the world to reproduce frequencies from 5 Hz to 40 kHz in the DJ headphones market (according to research conducted by Pioneer DJ Corporation Ltd, 21st August 2017).

3 First headphones in the world to feature nano coating in the DJ headphones market (according to research conducted by Pioneer DJ Corporation Ltd, 21st August 2017).

4 MIL-STD-810G METHOD 516.7 SHOCK compliant. 

HDJ-X model headphones specifications

【 HDJ-X10 specifications】

Type Closed, Dynamic
Frequency response 5 Hz to 40,000 Hz
Impedance 32 Ω
Sensitivity 106 dB
Maximum input power 3,500 mW
Driver φ 50 mm
Connection cord 1.2 m coiled cable (extended length 3.0 m)

1.6 m straight cable

Weight 328 g (without cable)
Accessories ø6.3 mm stereo plug adapter (threaded type)

Carrying case

【 HDJ-X7 specifications】

Type Closed, Dynamic
Frequency response 5 Hz to 30,000 Hz
Impedance 36 Ω
Sensitivity 102 dB
Maximum input power 3,500 mW
Driver φ 50 mm
Connection cord 1.2 m coiled cable (extended length 3.0 m)

1.6 m straight cable

Weight 312 g (without cable)
Accessories ø6.3 mm stereo plug adapter (threaded type)

Carrying pouch

【 HDJ-X5 specifications】

Type Closed, Dynamic
Frequency response 5 Hz to 30,000 Hz
Impedance 32 Ω
Sensitivity 102 dB
Maximum input power 2,000 mW
Driver φ 40 mm
Connection cord 1.2 m short coiled cable (extended length 1.8 m)
Weight 269 g (without cable)
Accessories ø6.3 mm stereo plug adapter (threaded type)

Carrying pouch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing… Serato Sample!!!

serato-sample-logo-black

New from Serato – Serato Sample – a high-quality production plugin that makes sampling fast, simple and fun. Key features include the ability to quickly find, chop, key-shift and time-stretch samples, all with studio-grade sound using the power of Pitch ‘n Time.

At its core, Serato Sample is a beatmaking tool designed to get your ideas out quick. “During our R&D phase we found a real demand for something that allows producers to find and play around with samples without hassle,” says Nick Maclaren, Head of Strategy at Serato. “The result is a fully-featured tool that produces great sound and offers an intuitive, uninterrupted workflow.”

 

The plugin has already garnered praise from DJ Dahi, long-time Kendrick Lamar collaborator and Damn producer. This legendary beatmaker likened its ‘find samples’ modes to old-school sampling methods like popping a needle along a record. “We wanted to set producers up for those happy accidents – often the most enjoyable part of making music,” says Maclaren. “There’s a lot of features in Sample that help you discover entirely new parts of a track you may never have found otherwise.

DJ Dahi with Serato Sample

 

Sample is integrated with Serato’s original production plugin, Pitch ‘n Time. Adding this technology allows producers to manipulate samples freely (like adjusting the BPM from 1, all the way up to 999), without losing audio quality. “Pitch ‘n Time is almost 20 years old and is still the industry standard for pitch-shifting and time-stretching”, says Maclaren. “To have this tech in a $99 plugin is amazing value.”

Serato Sample is now available for download, including a free 30 day trial. Anyone who downloads will gain access to a bank of free Loopmasters sample packs, and in-depth tutorials.

Start a free 30 day trial

Serato Sample

 

Key features of Sample 1.0

Unrivalled time-stretching powered by Pitch ‘n Time

Time-stretch samples to extreme values using the power of Serato Pitch ‘n Time. It’s also easy to sync samples to your project.

Flawless Key Detection and Key Shifting

Find the key and then shift it with the power of Pitch ‘n Time.

Find the best samples

With one click Serato Sample’s algorithm finds 16 of the best samples to work with.

Change samples beyond recognition

You can manipulate each pad individually. Mess around with key, bpm and more with pad parameters.

Keyboard mode

Play one sample across the full piano scale like a synth.

Mono/Poly playback

Trigger your Cue Points with monophonic playback like Serato DJ. Or you can use polyphonic playback to play chords and drum patterns.

Familiar and fast Cue Point workflow

Use Serato DJ’s popular Cue Point workflow to quickly set and trigger pads.

Works in leading music production software

Including Ableton Live, FL Studio, Logic Pro and Maschine. Sample will also work in other DAWs that support AU/VST plugins.

Try Sample for free or buy now for $99

About Serato

Serato makes audio software for music lovers worldwide. In 1999 Serato launched with Pitch ‘n Time, still the world’s foremost studio plugin for time-stretching and pitch-shifting technology. On the strength of Pitch ‘n Time, Serato moved into the DJ industry, changing
the game with the release of Serato Scratch Live, and later Serato DJ and Serato DJ Intro.

Now, Serato has returned to the diverse world of production with the release of Serato Sample. A high-quality sampling plugin for producers.

Sample website: serato.com/sample

Free Trial download: serato.com/sample/free-trial

Tutorial Videos: serato.com/sample/tutorials

Sample Support: serato.com/sample/support

Sample Facebook: facebook.com/seratosample

Sample Instagram: instagram.com/seratosample or @seratosample

 

 

Pioneer Pro DJ Announces the New DDJ-SZ2

Pioneer DJ has upgraded their flagship Serato DJ controller to create the DDJ-SZ2. Use the new DDJ-SZ2 4-channel controller to get hands-on with the latest additions to Serato DJ, including key shift, key sync, pitch play and Serato Flip. The multi-colored Performance Pads give you instant feedback on pad modes and playing statuses, and thanks to the improved jog wheel latency, scratching is more responsive and precise than ever.

To help you get the most out of the controller, the DDJ-SZ2 comes bundled with the latest version of Serato DJ. The Pitch ‘n Time DJ and Serato Flip expansion packs are also included so you can use several new features including pitch play and key sync.

The DDJ-SZ2 will be available in the U.S.A. and Canada in January 2017, with a retail price of $1,999.00.

Watch the DDJ-SZ2 introduction video.

Learn more about the DDJ-SZ2 controller for Serato DJ.

FREE SERATO VIDEO EXPANSION PACK PROMOTION

Pioneer is putting a voucher for a free Serato Video expansion pack in the boxes of the first 3,000 DDJ-SZ2 controllers that they ship worldwide. This comes along with the Serato DJ, Pitch ‘n Time DJ and Serato Flip expansion packs bundled with the controller as standard, so if you’re one of the first DJs to buy the DDJ-SZ2, you’ll have full control of audio and video performances.

KEY FEATURES OF THE DDJ-SZ2

 

  1. Layout mirrors CDJ-style set-up

Mix and scratch instinctively on the controller, which looks and feels similar to a full professional CDJ + DJM set-up.

  • Big Jogs: Scratching feels natural on the big jog wheels taken from the CDJ-2000NXS2, and the illuminating On-Jog Display gives you information about the current playback status and position for more precise performances. Jog Feeling Adjust, also from the CDJ series, lets you customize the resistance and backspin time.
  • Multi-colored Performance Pads: Use the large, multi-colored tactile Performance Pads to trigger Hot Cues, samples and FX. Hit the pads harder to increase the volume of samples and watch their colors change as they indicate the selected pad mode and playing status.
  • DJM-style mixer section: Stay in control at all times thanks to the simple layout of the mixer section which mirrors the design of the DJM series.

 

  1. Dual USB port for smooth DJ changeovers

Dual USB ports lets you hookup two computers at the same time and use the top-loaded A/B switch for seamless DJ transitions.

 

  1. Native support and dedicated controls for new Serato DJ features
  • Key shift, key sync and pitch play: Use dedicated controls to trigger the new key shift and key sync functions in Serato DJ, which let you adjust the key of tracks and sync the keys of tracks during mixes. Pitch play lets you play your Hot Cues across a range of different keys and assign them to the controller’s Performance Pads.
  • Serato Flip: Create and save Hot Cue sequences to make custom edits of your tracks and use the dedicated Serato Flip controls to play them back at the touch of a button. Get even more creative by skipping or repeating track sections on the fly.

 

  1. Professional performance features and FX
  • Sound Color FX: Spice up your sets with the four popular Sound Color FX from our DJM series; Echo, Jet, Pitch and Filter. You can sync Echo with the BPM of the track that’s playing.
  • Oscillator: Add texture and tension to your tracks with the four oscillator sounds; Noise, Drop, Laser and Siren. Turn the oscillator parameter knob to create new tones.

 

  1. Magvel crossfader

The Magvel crossfader – taken from the club standard DJM-900NXS2 – is the ultimate to mix and scratch with. Accurate and smooth, it’s durable for more than 10 million movements and is liquid and dust resistant.

 

  1. High-quality sound

Hear your tracks loud and clear thanks to the audio circuit inherited from professional Pioneer DJ gear. Contact resistance is reduced by the AC inlet, and the high-performance D/A converter made by Cirrus Logic, Inc., and low jitter oscillator mean the DDJ-SZ2 reproduces clear and powerful sound that’s faithful to its source.

 

  1. Other features
  • Plug and play: Simply connect your laptop and start mixing via Serato DJ. All buttons and controls, as well as the built-in sound card, are Serato DJ-ready.
  • Aluminium-finished top panel and jog wheels: For a quality look and feel.
  • Slip Mode: Silently keeps a track playing during a loop, scratch or Hot Cue. Release the jog wheel and the track comes back at exactly the right place.
  • Needle search pad: Instantly jump to a specific part of a track with a simple touch of the pad.
  • Peak limiter: Controls clipping of the master output.
  • P-Lock Fader Cap: Locks all fader knobs to prevent dropping

 

 DDJ-SZ2 SPECIFICATIONS

 

  DDJ-SZ2
Software Serato DJ
Input ports CD/Line x 4 (RCA)
Phono x 2 (RCA)

MIC x 2

(XLR & ¼-inch TRS Jack x 1, ¼-inch TRS Jack x 1)

Output ports Master Out x 2
(RCA x 1, XLR x 1),
Booth Out x 1 (¼-inch Stereo Phone Jack)

Headphone Monitor Out x 2
(Front ¼-inch TRS Jack,

3.5 mm Stereo Mini Jack)

Other ports USB (Type B) x 2
Sampling Rate 44.1 kHz
D/A Converter 24-bit
A/D Converter 24-bit
Frequency response 20Hz ~ 20kHz (LINE)
Total Harmonic Distortion ratio 0.002% or less (USB)

0.004% or less (LINE)

S/N ratio 111 dB or above (USB)
Headroom 19 dB
Maximum dimensions

(W×H×D)

870 x 98.4 x 419.5 mm (34.3 x 3.9 x 16.5 in)
Unit weight 10.7 kg (23.6 lbs)

 SERATO DJ SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Compatible OS
(Windows®)
Windows® 10, 8.1, 7 (The latest service pack)
Compatible OS
(Mac)
macOS Sierra 10.12, OS X 10.11, 10.10, 10.9 (Updated to the latest version)
CPU (32/64 bit) Intel® processer CoreTM i7, i5 or above
Memory 4GB or more of RAM

Serato Video requires a graphics card with 384MB of dedicated video memory

Display resolution Resolution of 1280 x 720 or greater

* Serato DJ is a registered trademark of Serato Audio Research Ltd.

* Windows is a registered trademark or a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

* Mac and Mac OS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

* Intel and Intel Core are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

* The names of companies, product names, and technology names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

 About Pioneer DJ

Pioneer DJ Americas, Inc. is the subsidiary of Pioneer DJ Corporation responsible for sales and marketing in North, Central, and South America. For more than 20 years, Pioneer DJ has been a market leader in the design and production of innovative DJ equipment and software. The company works closely with DJs and clubs to deliver next generation products that inspire and shape the global dance music community. Its portfolio includes brands such as Pioneer Professional Audio and Pioneer DJ Radio, rekordbox dj software, as well as social platforms KUVO and DJsounds. Pioneer DJ Corporation is a privately held company headquartered in Yokohama, Japan.

Is Facebook Live the end of the DJ Mix Tape? Part 1

By Tony Fernandez

Mix tapes and DJs go together like peanut butter and jelly. The mix tape is a DJ’s calling card. A DJ’s sonic resume. Personally, I come from a point in time when you actually used tape to do a mix tape. But we’ve all made mix CDs… for our girlfriends, boyfriends, travel tunes, business cards, promotional showcases — the uses are endless.

Fast forward to our current state of affairs: SoundCloud, Mixcloud, Facebook, Facebook Live are all great vehicles that allow DJs to share their talent with the world. However, there is conflict in the air. The waters are churning. There is strife between the DJ world and the digital world. The same vehicle(s) that have allowed DJs to share their vision and skills with the world are now clamping down on the sharing and showcasing of those skills.

I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but I did have the following facts checked by a lawyer (who is also a DJ, producer, and copyright holder), so as to simply and correctly explain why mix tapes and the streaming of those mixes are being removed.

Let’s dig in….

DJs need to realize that the music they mix, play, use, and purchase is not “your” music. It’s natural to draw the conclusion that because you have purchased a song you’re allowed to play it publicly in a DJ set. Well, according to U.S. copyright law, this is incorrect.

There are several types of rights copyright owners must obtain under the law to distribute musical works, all of which are exclusive, including:

  • Public Performance (transmitting or performing the work in public)
  • Reproduction (copying/duplicating)
  • Digital Performance (internet streaming)

With that information in hand, we can move forward and explain why DJs aren’t allowed to post, stream, or share their mixes.

When a DJ spins at a nightclub, it’s incumbent on the venue to make sure they have a license for public performance. This license is acquired from the PROs (performance rights organizations). When the venue has a public performance license, it means that DJs can play recorded music registered with the PRO.

Radio stations pretty much work the same way. The difference is the radio stations license is for broadcast. Their license authorizes the radio station to play music on public airwaves.

Streaming services do not have a clear relationship with PROs. When a DJ creates a live stream and starts broadcasting music on the internet, that DJ becomes, in effect, a radio station. As such, he or she needs to have the appropriate licenses.

No licenses, no stream.

This is, unfortunately, where we find ourselves today – at the crossroads of artistic expression and the rights of copyright holders.

It’s apparent that copyright laws are falling behind: DJ sets are not a protected form of free speech. Our sets don’t generally fall under “fair use”.

As such, copyright takedowns happen.

What can you do about it?

Stay tuned for Part 2…

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com

There’s An Edit For Every Event

By: Glen Ervin

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail: We’ve all seen that DJ who keeps it real by playing unedited hip-hop at all his events — including your college roommate’s daughter’s Quinceanera (true story).

Don’t be that guy.

You can break the habit of over relying on the same tired tool today with the variety of event-specific edits you’ll find available from licensed services such as Promo Only / POOL.

The Tools that Rule:

 Radio Edits – The Swiss Army knife of edits, radio edits check all the boxes for FCC-compliant play, but can include words that while not obscene aren’t suitable for “polite” play. Recommended for mainstream clubs and adult-driven events

Clean Edits – If words that rhyme with “itch,” “pass,” “well,” and “yo” might get your “putt” in a sling, you’ll want to lean on the family-safe play you’ll find via clean edits. Recommended for family events, mainstream venues & middle- and high-school dances

Intro Edits – Need a few extra beats to nail that next mix? You’ll find 32 of them attached front and back to the original version of all tracks that bear the Intro Edit tag.

Recommended for anywhere mad-mixing skills are required

Quick Edits – Featuring the same 32-beat intros and outros found in POOL Intro Edits, Quick Edits are designed to provide rapid-fire delivery for today’s “don’t bore us, get to the chorus” crowds. Recommended for teen events, early night play, and anytime nothing less than a mega-mix will do

Explicit – Unfiltered and unedited, these are the versions your parents didn’t want you listening to, even on your headphones. P.S. Your mom knew. She always knew. She just pretended she didn’t and hoped you’d grow up to be a doctor. Recommended for mature audiences only

Success is all about having the right tool for the right job.

 Be successful.

After being turned out to pasture following a 16-year club residency, Glen Ervin finds himself gainfully employed as Promo Only sales manager, media consultant and staff writer.