Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 198: Beatmatching fundamentals.

So yesterday we did scratching basics, this made me think that it's been a while since we covered the fundamentals of regular DJ skills.

This reminded me of every time I try and explain what DJing really is. Sometimes I think it's actually easier to explain what it's not and then go from there.

Either way, this video is a brilliant tutorial in the fundamentals, and even worth revisiting for those that are a bit further down the line.




Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 197: How to Scratch - Basics

Hey people.

Scratching is to DJing what elaborate solos are to guitar playing. You don't have to be a scratch DJ, much like you might be a rhythm guitarist, however deep down inside, all DJs wish they could scratch.

Me included.

This tut is one of the better ones I have seen. Fairly simple, without being overly drawn out ("First put the needle on the record" etc).

Sadly as I am all digital I really cant practise this. My Numark fails horribly at it's imitation scratch facility. I have been meaning to by a cheapo direct drive turntable for a while though, so this maybe just the reason I need!




Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 196: Want to work for Ableton?

Like, hell yeah please.

I found this video today, and was in two minds about posting it. I thought I might just keep it for myself, and try and prevent anyone else seeing it.

But, hey, that's not the kinda guy I am. The Ableton team have weirdly made a video trying to convince you how much you want to work for them. Frankly I wouldn't need any convincing. Without doubt one of the most important things in life is to do something everyday that you care about, that interests you. So if you make electronic music, imagine working for the very company that makes the software you enjoy using.

It's really just a bunch of German engineers telling you how much the love coding, but still very interesting to see the inner workings of such a well respected company.




Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 195: Tweak your PC for DJing & Audio production

If you are a serious pro, or just plain rich, you may well have a dedicated PC/Laptop for all your audio stuff. This for sure would be the ideal solution, but hey, for most of us it's a luxury we just cant afford.

So, what can we do then to make sure we get the most out of our PC when it comes to running our favorite DAW or DJing software? Below are some tips that can go a long way to improving things. A warning however, do some of these AT YOUR OWN RISK.

And please, if you ever meddle with stuff like the registry, do make a back up first!

Make a new account

Creating a new user account is pretty straight forward in most versions of windows. Navigate to the control panel and open the “user accounts” option in either XP or Vista and create yourself a “DJ” User account. This will help distinguish your DJ rig from the space where you visit DJTechTools.

Create a Hardware Profile

Copy your current hardware profile rename it to “DJ Only” and while you’re running the new profile reduce as many devices as possible, turning off everything from the CD-Rom to the Wireless card. Reduce those DPC latencies. You can check what helps your latency with the DPC Latency Checker. Additionally in the new hardware profile/account you can reduce the amount of services running. Navigate to #run > services.msc and you can eliminate any unnecessary services (like network services). This will help assure that the maximum amount of resources is dedicated to your software. REMEMBER: Hardware profiles are chosen at start-up! So you will have to reboot if you want to switch!


Be sure set your computer to focus on background services. This may seem counter intuitive, but experience has shown that you will see less audio dropouts and raised MIDI performance in this case.

Eliminate rogue software

Once you are in your newly modified DJ account you can start customizing even further. Run msconfig and eliminate any non-essential processes starting up. The extremely geek literate may want to use Microsoft’s autoruns.exe to take it to the next level running only your DJ software and csrss.exe.

Kiss Explorer.exe Goodbye!

Finally for the ultra hardcore we have the tweak to end all tweaks. Making your chosen software into the new Windows shell for your DJ account! Remember, edit the registry at your own risk, and don’t blame me if your laptop blows up in your face.

  1. Open the registry by going to START -> Run and then typing “regedit” and clicking “OK”.
  2. Navigate to ”HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\system.ini\boot”
  3. Find the String named Shell and change its value from: “SYS:Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon” to: “USR:Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon”.

This tells Windows to look in the User key for the shell rather than the Machine key. If you don’t set this Windows becomes confused and Windows will see both Traktor/Serato and Explorer as your shell.

  1. Next, go to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon”. (Be sure you’re logged into your newly made DJ account!!!)
  2. Either find or create a string named “Shell” with a value containing your Software’s EXE (for example, “C:\program files\Rane\Serato\Serato.exe”). This sets Serato as your username’s shell.

At this point your DJ Software is set up as your shell. In order to continue using Explorer as your file manager you must complete these steps:

  1. Navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer” and create a DWORD with the name DesktopProcess and a value of 1.
  2. Navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced” and, again, create a DWORD with the name DesktopProcess and a value of 1.

And that’s it! Tear up the dancefloor with your new LEAN DJ account!




Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 194: Ten Tenori-on alternatives.

Made popular by the cutsie Blackpool singer songwriter Little Boots, the Tenorion has brought the midi controller to the public conscience...

Tho be aware that just cos it's all spangley and that, doesn't mean that there aren't other serious, yet also visually appealing controllers out there. Music Radar (the kings of the listicle) have made a top 10 listicle (surprise) about it. Read the full article here.




Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 193: Free Dance music video tutorials

Video tutorials are priceless when it comes to learning dance music fundamentals. I've read some text's on subtractive synthesis and bar a few they are generally drier than a ryvita at an AA meeting.

You may remember I was praising the tutorials at Sonic Academy. I can't emphasise enough how helpful these have been, they have probably saved me years (literally) of learning sound design techniques.

For those who don't want to pay to subscribe for their videos (tho that really is false economy in my eyes) you can check out 440tv. It's a site I stumbled upon the other day while looking for tutorials for Native Instruments' 'Massive' (an incredible, yet more complex synth).

Loads of tutorials for all aspects of sound design/DJing and music production (including non electronic).

Have a butchers, definitely worth it.




Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day 192: How to Scratch,Juggle and be COOLER

In a perfect follow up to yesterdays video of pure turntablism, we take it one stage further. Pure Reel to Reel-ism.

You know how all those turntablists scoff at today's digital DJs, well imagine what these guys think of those pussy Vinyl guys..!

However truth be known that they are probably of a different breed, these are the sort of guys that do what they do for the love of it, and not for one ounce of beardy purism.

Impressive to say the least: