The Tech Selection Section # TTSS002

Words by: Lady GGGadget
Posted: 1/3/10 7:28

The Tech Selection Section # TTSS002Moving on with more techy news and this month we're looking at Traktor's new controller, Rane's new mixer, Wacom's nextbeat and Future Audio Workshop's Touch Mix DJ app for the new iPad - so plenty to get your teeth stuck into here!

Oh and, please, no more jokes about Apple's mad iPad. We can no longer mop up our tears of laughter at this particular vowel movement. Even though you still may be thinking, what were they thinking? (Perhaps we all just need to drop another tablet?)

Anyway, tech-heads, a key date for your digital diaries this month is Germany's massive Musikmesse, in Frankfurt. Yaar. Truly, it's enough to send you gaga, because nothing screams freaky mooozik geekery like this ‘mission for music'. The magical messe eclipses much of its tradeshow competition, and will go boldly from 24th - 27th March. However, in the meantime, taste our brand new quartet, right here in TTSS MKII.


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Kwality Kontrol
Native Instrument's long-awaited plug in (via USB) ‘n' play controller - the Kontrol X1 - is now widely available. Like the missing piece of a jigsaw, Kontrol completes the picture for a host of jocks, especially those working with the kompany's Traktor software. This nifty piece of kit means that DJs don't need to glare at a screen to operate software, which in turn has gotta look ‘n' feel better to the crowd.

Digital vinyl system and software spinners can use Kontrol to direct decks, looping ‘n' efx just as it comes (configured to Traktor), with a Serato overlay, or re-map it suit their own system. There's a bevy of knobs and LED buttons, and you can double ‘em up, to manipulate four decks. It can also be used as a MIDI controller and even comes with some software to get you started. Bargain.
Rane's new mixer confronts the trickiness of DJ switches and the cable labyrinth conundrum. For not only is this four-channel beast compatible with Serato Scratch Live but it also boasts two separate USB ports. This means DJs can connect two laptops simultaneously, which equals up to four virtual decks, so they can easily swap in/out of the driving seat, play at the same time, or go solo for a four-way show.

SIXTY-EIGHT has its own built-in effects, is MIDI mappable and can control oodles of Scratch Live library, cue and loop features. The latest Scratch Live 2.0 software then opens up fresh screen modes, various snazzy plug-ins, and access to Ableton Live via The Bridge. Sure it costs a packet but it's mostly aimed at clubs, and a tonne of new flexibility potentially hangs in the balance.

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nextbeat: Wacom or wacoff?
Wacom makes graphics tablets but has recently moved into the DJ market with the nextbeat  NXT-1000. Further blurring boundaries between DJ deck and musical instrument and coming across like a giant Pacemaker, this paradigm-changing piece of touch-sensor technology stands alone to allow spinners to create sets using only one interface. Simples.

The NXT-1000 is compatible with compact flash cards or you can hook it up to a PC to transfer tracks in such formats as WAV, AIFF, AAC and MP3.The mixer, decks and efx-type elements are all recreated digitally within and the main tactile component is detachable from the base unit. This means nextbeat is portable, thanks to a wireless connection, and can therefore be used as a kinda DJ ‘guitar', potentially ramping up a rockin' performance in some rather wild ways. Different, huh?

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i app. Therefore i is... etc.
Oi, oi... What's ‘appening ‘ere then? Well, Touch Mix is a sweet DJing app that's made for the iPhone, iPod Touch and now, with the new Deadmau5 Edition, the iPad. Created by those innovative folk at Future Audio Workshop (FAW), the collective has already ‘touched up' such top labels as Get Physical, Rekids, Toolroom, Mobilee and Cocoon, and, apparently, among its upcoming editions is Gigolo Records.

As a result, for just a couple of euros, there's plenty of music to score via the iTunes store. So let your fingers do the talking and get hooked into re-mixing your favourite grooves and applying such effects as filters, flangers and delays. With more beats ‘n' pieces in the pipeline, stay tuned as these guys continue to live up to their name. In fact, rumour has it that they're even collaborating with Soundcloud on an embedded player that you can add to your social networking sites.

Well, that's me. I'm done. So chow4now, until next time, and thanks for your time, as off I trot to explore some more final frontiers. Yes, it's a strange ol' world. But someone's gotta do it!


Roberto Capuano
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