The Tech Selection Section # TTSS005

Words by: Lady GGGadget
Posted: 31/5/10 11:40

The Tech Selection Section # TTSS005Undaunted by oil slicks, the faltering €uro-zone, and facing a future as uncertain as Genesis MK2, aka Unnatural Selection - the ultimate new product, of genes, and of life - which could end up making Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' video look like the 'Sound of Music', TTSS is greased up 'n' ready to go!

Yup, as the international technocracy stickily paws over the recently unleashed iPad, why not skip the queues, remove your fingerprints with an iWipe, and peruse TTSS05. Cos' we're here again to help you decide if these diminutive potpourris of technology are the kinda gizmos with which you'd want to have a holiday affair, marry for good, or send packing. And this time around we're taking a quickie look over Pioneer's nifty 350 CDJ/mixer combo, Akai's APC20 controller for Ableton, Numark's all-in-one Mixdesk, and ReBirth re-imagined for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

So, whether it's a goal or offside, let's now kick-off with iVoice's world cup kit for June... where, of course, You are always the ultimo whistleblower...


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Pioneer’s petite performers
This month, Pioneer is back with a new batch of technology, including this double bubble. And although some reckon these nano-CDJs are somewhat aesthetically challenged –compared to their older relatives – right now the set-up is a boatload more reliable than most Spanish ‘cajas’!

Recognising that not all DJs earn a million euros per annum, the DJM-350 mixer and CDJ-350 multi-player deliver some club-class benefits to anyone not using the company’s top-of-the-range series. This condensed kit supplies USB and Rekordbox (Pioneer’s music management software) compatibility via the CDJs, as well as DJM-based effects. Another nifty 350 feature is that DJs can record their sets in WAV format directly from the mixer onto a USB device. Basically, these new budget bangers represent a much more affordable way to access the ‘new breed’ of CDJs.

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The Akai & Ableton alliance
A boxy new controller for Ableton Live, which is smaller than its (ACP40) predecessor, the Akai APC20 has landed. And, with its flashing grid of LEDs and nine faders, it looks as out-of-this-world as Google’s Android music store sounds – like a crazy-ass flight-deck-esque piece of kit. The APC20 comes with a pre-mapped matrix, or, if you prefer, it can be customised, and plugs directly into your laptop, for instant stress-free play. You can even link up to six APCs, if you want a ‘busier’ look.

Co-developed by Ableton and Akai Professional, and designed for club and studio use, this APC rocks up complete with a tailored software package. Here, the software can communicate with the hardware, and vice versa, while the clip view matrix gives an instant visual indication of what’s happening. Check out the clip. |

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Numark’s all-in-one Mixdeck
Play your tunes from traditional CDs, MP3 CDs or from USB devices or an iPod with Numark’s all-new all-in-one DJ system. Featuring two versatile media decks with illuminated touch-sensitive platters, and a mixer with integrated iPod-docking station, through which you can play tracks or record your mix, all in-house. For sure the Mixdeck packs a weighty pound or two on the value punch.

Besides, if you’re still in love with your laptop, you could hook it up via USB and have it function as a controller for software (it is already accompanied by NI Traktor Numark Edition, for which it arrives pre-mapped), plus it’s MIDI-mappable. Completing the offering are several beat-synced effects, hot cues, pitch-bend controls, and seamless looping. Crikey, really quite a package.

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ReBirth revisited, mobile-style
Old skool mixes with new skool via the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, as Propellerhead software brings palm-sized portable production to Apple’s ubiquitous gadgetry. Essentially, it’s a development from the company’s hugely influential computer software, first introduced back in 1997, bringing classic virtual synth and drum components to the masses... And now it’s even closer to hand.

Here, ReBirth, Propellerhead’s first application for mobile hardware, emulates many of those immortal dance sounds we all know and love. Highlights include recreations of Roland’s TB-303 bass synth, plus the TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines, as well as pattern sequencers and effects, including compression, delay and distortion. Now we imagine this performs much better on the more DJ-friendly iPad, and so app tweaks should be made soon. But regardless, get mobile and create your own festival soundtracks, rave cadets – acieeeeeeeed! |

Well, that’s about all for now, folks. Good luck, and bon voyage. Relish the sun ‘n’ enjoy the sizzle… Until the next episode…


Roberto Capuano
Politics Of Dancing
Ralph Lawson