Tag Archives: VJing

Pioneer has designed a new standalone DJ sampler: the DJS-1000

Pioneer has designed a new standalone DJ sampler that enables you to create unique sounds and phrases using an intuitive DJ-friendly interface: the DJS-1000.

Many of today’s professional DJs use electronic instruments and production gear in

live sets to help make their performances creative and unique. With an easy-to-use interface, 16 multicolored step input keys, 16 multicolored Performance Pads, a host of inputs and outputs, plus various other performance features, the DJS-1000 is the ideal musical instrument to take into the booth and propel your sets to the next level.

Add the DJS-1000 to your DJ set-up and you can intuitively create unique sounds and phrases in advance of your set, or on the fly, then sequence and loop them as you wish. Improvise a new groove by syncing and mixing with tracks playing on other equipment such as CDJs using the Beat Sync1, tempo slider and nudge features. At a glance, the 7-inch full-color touch screen gives you all the information you need to perform, thanks to easily recognizable sequence patterns and instrument icons assigned to the Performance Pads.

Other features installed on the DJS-1000 include Live Sampling, which enables you to easily sample input sounds and immediately use them as independent tracks or as FX to add to your mix.

The DJS-1000 will be available from late October 2017 at an MAP of $1,199.

DJS-1000_prm_top_low_0926

Watch the introduction video or find out more about the DJS-1000.

KEY FEATURES OF THE DJS-1000

  1. Intuitive user interface

Step sequencer

Easily create a new groove by tapping the 16 large, multicolored step input keys. You can keep an eye on sequence information on each track thanks to the keys’ changing colors.

Multicolored Performance Pads

Use the 16 large rubber pads to trigger the tracks you’ve assigned samples and loops to. Each one is equipped with multicolored illumination and highly accurate velocity detection, so you can increase or decrease volume with the amount of pressure you apply.

Touch strip

By simply touching the strip, you can quickly change the pitch when using the pitch bend feature, or play a drum roll by using the note repeat feature. Customize parameters for even more creative options.

  1. 7-inch full-color touch screen

Tap the LCD display to instantly access the screen of your choice:

  • Home screen: View information on the sample assigned to each track thanks to the instrument icons and colors which are linked to the pads.
  • Sequence screen: View the sequence pattern currently playing.
  • Mixer screen: Adjust the volume balance of each track.
  1. Accurate syncing with various external devices and systems

In addition to clock synchronization with MIDI devices, the DJS-1000 includes the Beat Sync function which can synchronize a performance by beat/bar with a track playing on a CDJ-2000NXS2 or XDJ-1000MK2 set-up using PRO DJ LINK. Use the tempo slider and the nudge buttons to quickly adjust tempo and beat position manually, just like you would on a turntable.

  1. Powerful performance features

Live Sampling

Easily sample input sounds and immediately use them as individual tracks. The sampled sounds are automatically synchronized with the current sequence to play in a loop, so they can be dropped straight into a live remix. You can sample any input source, including audio from a turntable, via your mixer.

FX

Add various FX to tracks with ease, changing the tone on the fly. You can apply FX such as echo, reverb and filter to individual tracks, a group of tracks, or all tracks.

  1. Perfect fit in the DJ booth

DJS-1000_set_A-2_low_0926

The DJS-1000 is designed to fit perfectly alongside the CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2, creating effortless unity in the DJ booth.Other features

  • Support for USB devices – manage your projects and samples easily
  • Over 2,500 on-board Loopmasters samples – start performing with the DJS-1000 straight out the box
  • Support for DJS-TSP Project Creator2 easily create projects and SCENE3 files on a PC/Mac
  • Support for project files created on the TORAIZ SP-16

*1 Beat Sync works with compatible DJ systems when playing tracks that have been analyzed by rekordboxTM

*2 To be released on the Pioneer DJ website in mid-October

*3 Information on how the 16 samples are assigned to a track on the DJS-1000

DJS-1000 Specifications

DJS-1000_prm_rear_low_0926

Playable media USB Storage device(flash memory/HDD, etc.)
Playable file WAV、 AIFF (16 bit / 24 bit、 44.1 kHz)
USB storage support file systems FAT、FAT32、HFS+
Input ports INPUT x 1 (L/MONO and R、 1/4 inch TS jack)
Output ports OUTPUT1 x 1 (RCA)
THRU / OUTPUT2 x 1 (1/4 inch TS jack)、
PHONES x 2 (1/4 inch stereo jack、 3.5 mm stereo mini jack)
Other ports USB (Type A) x 1 、 USB (Type B) x 1
MIDI IN (5P DIN), MIDI OUT / THRU (5P DIN)
LINK x 1 (LAN 100Base-TX)
Power requirements AC 110-220V (50 Hz/60 Hz)
Electricity consumption 20 W
Max external dimension
(W x D x H)
320.0 mm x 421.6 mm x 110.1 mm
Weight 5.4 kg

 

 

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

5 MORE Tips To Guarantee A Great Event

By Brian Buonassissi:

I may have misspoken at the end of my last post. I had said that the first five tips were the foundation and made it sound like these aren’t as important. After thinking more about my own process, they all carry equal weight and I pay just as much attention to #10 as I do to #1. With that in mind, here’s the rest of my playbook for a great event.

Tip #6: CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP…Never put your event on auto‐pilot or take a time‐out. From the time it starts until the time it ends, make every moment, every song, every announcement count. I often hear how some DJs will play the same cocktail hour for the season or they’ll put on a mix for dinner while they go eat — or worse play the same dance sets at every event. The longest wedding I’ve ever had was 8 hours but generally they are between 4‐6 hours. That’s a relatively small amount of time to be “on.” You owe it your clients to stay completely engaged the entire time. You ask your clients and their guests to be engaged for the full event. Shouldn’t you be leading by example?

Tip #7: JUST EAT IT? The pushback I get for not eating at the event is that you get hungry (especially if you follow one of my first tips of arriving super early). For me, the cocktail and dinner music I play is critical and if I do it right, it makes the dancing portions easy. Every event is different and even if I know the couple extremely well, I am constantly tweaking in real time what I’m playing based on the dynamic of the room. The guest count, weather, time delays, energy/mood of the crowd all play a part in what selections I chose. I can’t afford to take one song off to eat. The other pushback I get is that the client paid for your meal and it would be rude NOT to eat. Here’s what I do – I eat a protein filled lunch and then an energy bar 10‐15 minutes before the event begins. Not only do I stay full but it keeps me away from eating non‐ healthy foods. If the main course looks amazing, I’ll ask the catering staff to make me a “to go” plate. I’ve never had a caterer not offer to do that for me. Bonus: I get an amazing meal the next day.

Tip #8: I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU…I’m referring to your vendor partners. Make sure you support them as much as possible. Never let anything happen (you control the mic, right?) without making sure they know what’s happening and that you’re about to do something. Also, if you can help them out with something (even outside of your job scope), do it. Help a planner/venue staff move chairs, corral the family/wedding party for the photographer if they ask, be flexible with their requests, etc. DJs have a terrible reputation of being hard to work with, on a power trip and not willing to do anything that is not in their job description. I’m constantly fighting against this stigma and the vendors I work with comment that they love working with me because I consider us all on the same team. Not only will they refer you when asked for recommendations by potential clients, but they generally offer to give you professional images/video to use for self‐promotion, give you an early load‐in time, etc.

Tip #9: YOU’RE THE BEST AROUND…This is the separator between the good and great DJs and has nothing to do with your skills. I call it “surprise and delight.” It’s customer/client service. A week before the wedding, I call both sets of parents to see if there’s anything I can do to make the day extra special for their son/daughter. The morning of I send my clients a quick text (separately) just letting them know I’m thinking of them and excited for their day. At the reception, I bring them mints during dinner because I know they’re going to be talking to a lot of people. I try and snag a quick pic of their first dance and e‐mail them a thank you with it attached immediately after the event. I may create a snapchat GEO filter at no cost to them. Sometimes, those things mean more to clients than what I do DJ‐wise because it’s unexpected and something I don’t telegraph until I do them.

Tip #10: GIVE ME EVERYTHING TONIGHT…This also doesn’t have to do with your skill‐set necessarily. It’s about effort. I treat each event like it’s my last and I leave it all out on the floor. I don’t want there to be any regrets on my part. I am going to use every tool in my arsenal (as the events call for them) to put on the best event I possibly can. A successful event to me is where I’m so worn out that I need the next day to recover. Never short‐change your clients or the guests attending the event. That’s the reputation you should strive to have.

Hope these tips give you some things to think about. Have great events. You can do it!

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian B is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury private events. He runs a multicity mobile DJ/event business with offices in Southern California, Destin, FL and New York City. You can check him out at djbrianbofficial.com or bboyproductions.com

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

 

 

5 Tips To Guarantee A Great Event

By Brian Buonassissi

I know this seems like quite the guarantee, but for years I have lived by these 5 tips and I can’t remember the last bad event I had. If you don’t do these five things you put yourself behind the eight ball. Since I do a ton of weddings, I’m going to tailor this post towards that, but it could really work for any private event.

Tip #1: I WANNA KNOW, I WANNA KNOW… Doing your homework before the event is critical. I could spend hours on this one tip. What I mean here is that you need to know everything you possibly can about the event (which means asking a ton of the right questions) — where your clients and their guests are from, make‐up of their crowd (college friends? first time both sides of the family are meeting?), what your clients like/dislike about weddings they’ve seen/been to, a site inspection of the venue, the hot buttons of the vendors you’re working with, equipment you’re using, and the music/mixes you’re going to play are all just a few of the many questions I ask. For the last one, I don’t necessarily mean come in with a prepared set-list, but never play a mix of a song (or any song in general) that you’ve never heard or played before. That used to burn me in my early DJing days more than I care to admit.

 

Tip #2: BACK THAT THANG UP… I can’t emphasize enough how important multiple backups are: I have all my formality tracks on 3 different backups (iPad, Phone, and thumb drive); I carry a duplicate external hard drive with all my music; I travel with 2 computers. I am over the top on this on so many levels. You don’t get a do‐over for private events (especially weddings). Having as many fail‐safes as possible is just smart business. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ you will need to use one.

 

As I like to say, the event is often won or lost before you arrive.

 

Tip #3: BUT I’M ALWAYS ON TIME… This is about giving yourself a wide margin for error. By getting to the venue on time, I mean get there early – WAYYYY early (for me, I arrive a minimum of 4‐5 hours before the event). From not having to rush on set‐ up, to being able to test and check all gear, to rehearsing your important moments, playing through every formality track in its entirely, to putting your event planner/Maître D’ (and potentially the clients) at ease, this is just a best practice.

 

Tip #4: WORK, WORK, WORK, WORK WORK… In a perfect world, I would just mix my favorite tracks and the dance floor would be packed all night. Since we’re talking weddings, the dance floor would start during cocktail hour and it would be hard for them to stay seated for the meal because the music is that good. That happens at a lot of my events but not ALL of them. I have had a few tough ones. Sometimes it means I must go to a genre that I don’t particularly like or I may even have to go into cheese mode (assuming the client wants it). I never let my personal preference take precedence over what’s best for the event. I’ll keep grinding and do whatever it takes until I find the right formula for my crowd.

 

Tip #5: P P P POKER FACE, P P P POKER FACE… Playing off the tip above, let’s say your event is going terrible. Maybe your crowd is just a non‐dancing crowd or you just can’t seem to please anyone with the song selection. You’ve put in a ton of work but it’s just not happening. What’s the remedy? Smile and look confident – like you know exactly what you’re doing and that you meant for it to be like this. Never let the crowd know you’re struggling. Show that poker face. Make them believe you’re having a great time (even if it’s killing you inside) and often, it’ll get them out there. If nothing else, I’ve found it makes me feel better about the event at hand.

 

I’m going to post a Part 2 to this because there are many more things that I believe can ensure a great event. The ones above are the foundation. Follow them and you’re on your way to success.

 

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian B is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury private events. He runs a multicity mobile DJ/event business with offices in Southern California, Destin, FL and New York City. You can check him out at djbrianbofficial.com or bboyproductions.com

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

5 Must-Have Apps That Have Made Me More Money

By Brian Buonassissi:

As a small business owner, I’m all about finding the best way to maximize my time and my revenue. Thanks to ever-evolving technology, I’ve come across a few things that have allowed me to both gain some “time back,” without having to hire someone, and make more money along the way.

In no particular order:

TINY CALENDAR

This is an app that syncs with Google Calendar. Google’s calendar app is not user-friendly so I prefer this app instead. I have all of our employees on it and we share our calendars with one another so when we need to schedule meetings, etc., we can manage it all very easily without having to e‐mail, call or text repeatedly. It also keeps me personally organized. With everything being stored online, I never have to worry about losing a paper calendar, journal, etc. I use the free version and it suits my needs perfectly. They have a pro version that you can get if you need it.

WUNDERLIST

This free app is amazing! It’s a to-do list. You can have as many to-do’s as you want and since I have 30 or so employees, I can easily assign tasks, etc. You can also use this online from a computer rather than your phone, if need be. I have multiple lists going and it is a perfect complement to Tiny Calendar.

SLACK

I wanted to find a communication tool that allowed my team and I to communicate easily without having to do so through e‐mail on everything. Enter Slack. I use the free version and it was a game changer for my business. The standalone app is fantastic but also has a desktop app for those who stare at a computer screen all day. If you are a multi‐op, this is a MUST for you and my #1 recommendation.

HOOTSUITE

Wanna be a social media ninja without having to stay online all day? This will manage all of your social media content and will allow you to pre‐schedule posts on all the major social networks. I usually schedule all of mine for a week prior. If something needs to be added last minute, I can jump in and post via the social network of choice. I use the free plan with this as well. To date, this has saved me from having to find a social media person and makes it appear as if I post regularly.

LIVECHAT

This is one the paid service I use. This is a stand‐alone app and works with just about every website type out there. It’s a sales tool and you can capture leads immediately. If you aren’t using this, you need to start. You can turn it on/off at any time. I’ve booked too many shows to count with this service.

These are my Top 5. What about you? Are you using something not on this list?

 

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian B is a successful internationally traveling private event DJ/MC. He runs a multicity mobile DJ/event business with offices in Orange County, Calif, Destin, FL and New York City. You can check him out at djbrianbofficial.com or bboyproductions.com

Mixing as a DJ

By: Tony Fernandez

First, a DJ must have a passion about music. That’s what usually gets us going down the path of becoming a DJ: a love of music. Along the way we learn programming matters. We figure out that if you line up certain songs in a certain way, you have great crowd responses. We learn to read a crowd; another skill that once developed is indispensable in being able to command a floor / room.

Which brings us to an often-overlooked skill set every DJ should have in their arsenal: mixing (and to a little venting about those DJs who, sadly, couldn’t care less about it).

I believe mixing is something intrinsic to being DJ, a skill so fundamental, so integral, so elementary, and so organic (I’ll lay off the thesaurus now…) that I can’t fathom being a DJ without the ability to blend songs together. Why would anyone shun the ability to make themselves better, make their work better, and to set themselves apart from other DJs?

Mixing allows for a smooth, harmonious and melodious transition from one song to another. Mixing ensures there’s no “dead air” from song to song. Mixing grants your floor / crowd an uninterrupted progression of the musical journey you’re working so hard to create.

Do you want to represent yourself in the best possible way and let the music / mixing speak for your endeavors? Would you rather sound like a bunch of sneakers in the washing machine, or worse — like the local Clear Channel radio station? (Yes, I know Clear Channel is a thing of the past. That’s why I used that name. My lawyers said it was kosher.)

I once had a gentleman point out to me the “history” of DJing, going back to the 1930s. He mentioned prominent names and cited historical dates as hallmarks to bolster his position that these early pioneers were perfect examples of why it wasn’t necessary to concern ourselves with a trivial 3-5 seconds of meshed music.

Well, that is all well and good, but doesn’t mean squat. With all due respect to those pioneers, mobile DJs and club DJs aren’t partying like it’s 1929; today those “deejays” would be called radio personalities. I’ll acquiesce that I can’t do what they can do. I also say with 110% certainty, most radio personalities can’t do what today’s DJs can do.

I’ll challenge ANY DJ to pick 10 songs, that’s 9 segues.

Test A: Don’t mix a lick. Blend, don’t blend, and try to avoid having 4 out of 9 of those segues sound like straight up train wrecks that would have even Marlee Matlin grimacing.

Test B: Mix the tracks in a linear, harmonious fashion.

Then tell me how the floor reacts to each test.
I’m not a betting man, but I’ll lay heavy money the people in Test B are going to have a better experience than the people in Test A.

My point in all this: Learn your craft. Get your fundamentals down pat. If you don’t know how to mix, learn. It’s not that difficult. If I can do it, you can do it. You don’t have to be the Michael Jordan of mixing. Kevin McHale had a Hall of fame career off the bench.

Any mixing is better than no mixing, kinda like sex. Something simple, clean, quick and musical. It doesn’t take much. If you’re not mixing, you’re not DJing (yeah I said it.) Heck, there are apps on your phone that can mix.

There’s no excuse for a professional DJ not to mix. That’s what the Sync button is for.

Now go out there and learn something.

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

5 Life Hacks Every DJ Should Know

Sticky Fingers Free

By Glen Ervin

It’s a fact of DJ life: software crashes, hardware fails, cables fray; things go wrong – typically at the worst possible moment. No doubt you have your own Plan B in place when the inevitable happens; but just in case you missed that episode of MacGyver, here’s a look at a few essential seat-of-the-pants fail-safes.

  1. Ground Hum

If you’ve DJ’d for any length of time, especially with a laptop, midi-controller and a flat screen or two, you’re all-too familiar with the fingers-on-chalkboard sound of 60-cycle hum bleeding though your speakers.

For many the solution seems simple enough — drop the ground; lose the hum. But what you may not know is that simply removing the ground is never a safe option. A far better solution, one that won’t require routing through a ground lift (and the resulting loss of volume and tone), can be easily arrived at with the Ebtech Hum X Ground Loop Hum Exterminator. Easy to use, easy to install, can be used with any device with a 3-prong outlet and will not affect your audio signal.

Kill the hum, not the buzz (or your gear).

  1. Laptop Crash

If an RCA to 1/8” cable isn’t the first cable you run when you’re setting up, it should be. Routinely hook that bad boy up to your smartphone and the emergency playlist of party favorites you have at the ready and you’ll never have more than a few moments of downtime while you reboot.

For an extra layer of prep, keep your emergency playlist on auto play to completely eliminate any chance of dead air.

Also good to have for that pesky laptop switch.

  1. No Mic? Use your headphones!

Here’s something might have missed: If you’re ever in a pinch for a microphone you can always use a pair of headphones. Geek-speak aside, a microphone is pretty much the same as a speaker: both use a diaphragm and magnetic driver to convert sound to current.

How do you do it? Simple. Just grab the nearest pair of headphones and plug them into your mixer’s headphone input. Oddly enough, this seems to work best with cheaper iPhone type earpods, but typically whatever cans you’re wearing will do the job.

  1. Mixer Meltdown

Ouch. This is toughie to bounce back from: Your mixer craps out and you don’t have a back up.

Solution: A 1/8 to dual XLR male cables will let you bypass your new doorstop and route directly from your laptop to most powered speakers.

Have ‘em ready to run and your downtime will be minimum.

   5. The Ultimate Hack

While dead air might not be a matter of life and death, it can sure feel like it when 100 or more people are staring you down.

Remember: There is no panic button on your keyboard.

Stay Calm. It’s the ultimate life hack.

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.

Meet the Pioneer DDJ-RZX Audio and Video Performance Controller

 

Pioneer DJ is introducing the new DDJ-RZX flagship controller. Designed to make the most of the new rekordbox™ video Plus Pack for rekordbox dj, the DDJ-RZX builds on Pioneer DJ’s heritage of making innovative video DJ equipment like the DVJ-1000 and SVM-1000. The DDJ-RZX is a 4-channel professional controller for mobile DJs and anyone who wants to bring videos into their performances.

 

The DDJ-RZX features three touch screens for viewing track information and applied pad effects. Video previewing and monitoring is sharp on the 7-inch screens, and they give access to all the key features in both rekordbox dj and the new rekordbox video Plus Pack. You only need to use your laptop to browse your rekordbox library and select tracks. Two XLR combo input jacks give distortion-free Mic output and the 3-band Mic EQ and Mic FX let you tune each voice. Plus, the extensive FX unit includes Combo FX, Sampler Repeat and Release FX, as well as the studio-quality Sound Color FX from the DJM-900NXS2 mixer. The DDJ-RZX inherits traits from the CDJ-2000NXS2 multiplayer and DJM mixer series including large jog wheels, multi-colored Performance Pads and high-quality sound.

 

The DDJ-RZX will be available in the U.S. and Canada from July 2016, with a retail price of $2999.00. The DDJ-RZX will come bundled with license keys for rekordbox dj, rekordbox dvs, and rekordbox video Plus Packs (a $377.00 total value).

 

rekordbox video is a Plus Pack for rekordbox dj that adds video performance features to our rekordbox dj performance software. Its key features include:

  • Native control of videos – scratch and add FX to videos as if they were audio tracks
  • Transition FX – use the crossfader to mix two video sources with a choice of 20 built-in FX, or add up to five effects to your favorites and recall them
  • Touch FX – trace on the display’s x and y axes to add FX and adjust parameters
  • Slideshow – create slideshows of still images in advance or on the fly
  • Camera output – show the live feed from a digital camera connected to your computer

 

To buy the rekordbox video Plus Pack for rekordbox dj, follow these steps:

 

  1. Download and install rekordbox music management application version 4.2 for free (available from July 1, 2016).
  2. Purchase a rekordbox dj Plus Pack license key for $129.00 (if you don’t own one already) and activate the Plus Pack.
  3. Purchase a rekordbox video Plus Pack license key for $149.00.

 

If you’re a rekordbox dj monthly subscriber, you can use the video features without buying a license key (included as part of the subscription). Find out more about the rekordbox family.

 

Watch the DDJ-RZX introduction video.

Learn more about the DDJ-RZX rekordbox dj controller.

 

 

KEY FEATURES OF THE DDJ-RZX

 

  1. Layout mirrors a CDJ set-up

Mix audio and videos instinctively with features inherited from the CDJ and DJM series including large jog wheels and multi-colored tactile Performance Pads. The 4-channel controller has an independent sampler section for intuitive control of Beat Sync, Quantize and Trim on the sampler.

 

  1. High-quality sound

Hear the true sound of your tracks thanks to AC inlets for reduced cable contact resistance and a high performance 96 kHz/32-bit D/A converter made by Asahi Kasai. Plus, low jitter clock IC and the 96 kHz/24-bit USB sound card ensure powerful, high-quality sound.

 

  1. Three touch screens for complete control

Take your performances to the next level by using the three 7-inch touch screens to preview/monitor video and image files, and to trigger Beat FX and Release FX. Plus, Touch FX lets you add FX and adjust parameters by tracing on the x and y axes on the display. Use deck display mode to check track information such as titles, BPM and key. Additionally, use mixer display mode to see enlarged waveforms for each track, as well as loop and Hot Cue information. Create instant doubles by simply touching the display.

 

  1. Professional Mic section

Hear voices loud and clear thanks to two XLR combo input jacks for Mics. Control the output with the 3-band Mic EQ and use the four Mic FX – Echo, Reverb, Pitch and V Tune – to add texture and to tune each voice.

 

  1. Extensive FX unit

Add the following FX to your tracks from rekordbox dj or external players and sound sources:

 

  • Combo FX – control Sound Color FX and Beat FX at the same time using the touch screens
  • Sampler Repeat – change the length of a loop just by touching the display and apply Sound Color FX when using the rekordbox dj sampler
  • Sound Color FX with sub parameter control – use the studio-quality Sound Color FX from the DJM-900NXS2 mixer including Sweep, Filter, Crush, Dub Echo, Noise and Space, and fine-tune them using sub parameter control
  • Release FX – exit complex FX patterns by selecting Vinyl Brake, Echo or Back Spin and twisting the dial

 

  1. Other features
  • Active Censor – intuitively control the new Active Censor feature in rekordbox dj. Set in and out points and apply Reverse Roll, Trans, Echo or Vinyl Brake FX to disguise explicit words in tracks. The FX will then be heard whenever the track is played from rekordbox dj.
  • Three bundled license keys – comes with license keys for rekordbox dj, rekordbox dvs and rekordbox video
  • Newly developed crossfader – highly durable and capable of over 10 million movements
  • OSC sampler – four oscillator sounds
  • Dual USB port – for smooth transitions between DJs
  • Brushed aluminum faceplate – high quality and professional design
  • P-Lock fader cap – locks fader knobs to prevent dropping

 

A protective case for the DDJ-RZX will be available. Made from lightweight, durable materials, it has a robust, black metal frame to keep your controller safe during transit. It also features built-in carry handles and wheels for easy transportation (to be sold separately).