Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 226: Felix from Hot Chips explains why he uses Ableton

Nice simple video post today, whilst I can sneak it in before heading off down south.

Felix from awesome Electronic indie whatever band Hot Chip explains how he uses Ableton in their live set up:




Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 225: iPod DJ Application - Here it is!

Month by month we have been waiting for a full feature, high quality DJ application for the iPhone.

Many have mentioned various things in the pipeline, somethings have come close, but always a full solution has eluded us. Could this finally be the answer?

Well, ok sorry, this one isn't ready yet either, but it's tantalizingly close, and it looks like they really have put some effort into this one.

I'd love to see a full working version of this, and get a chance to go over the spec (features etc). Good to see some creative use of the multi touch interface too with pinching in (and I assume out) to change the pitch of the tracks.

P.S. There will be a break in regular service on the blog whilst I rave it up this weekend at Creamfields Andalucia, but fear not, as I will make daily DJ reports for each day for some field report action upon my return.





Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 224: Free Open Source DJ software.

Ok, this is something I had been thinking about for a while now. With the likes of Traktor and Serato having been established for some time now, and various tin pot imitators, why hasn't the open source community got on this.

Also, recently I seem to be seeing more and more articles about Linux audio set ups, and GNU studio software etc. I don't think it's come of age yet, but it's encouraging that it's making progress.

However, it seems 'they' had been working on it all along. I present you Mixxx. Actual proper open source DJ software. What's more it works with your existing DVS hardware if you already have Serato for example, you can use your pitch vinyls right off the bat.

I've only had a quick play, and without and pitch vinyl, it takes a bit of getting used to, but so far I like.

There doesn't seem to be too much fuss in the way of effects and features etc at the moment, but it's got everything you need, pitch, eq, and even a phaser.

I think this is one to watch, and also excellent for people who want to experiment with digital DJing, without having to pay out loads of money.

More details on the official web here...

The mixxx site was down at time of writing, but the software can be nabbed here. Check out googles cached version of their site if you wanna read the info.




Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 223: The only Social Network a Musician needs?

A while back I posted about Social Networks and how it was all getting a bit silly. The vast number out there, with their increasing complexity or specialism, made the whole thing seem daunting.

It seemed like the whole thing had been done to death. No one was actually using them for networking socially... the whole time was just spent signing up for the next one, adding all your friends, then realising that wasn't the place to be anymore, repeat.

That and obviously continually checking them through out the day, the F5 culture.

Well... no don't worry, I'm not going to announce the newest network, however it is a site that might solve some of the problems mentioned above.

I recently came across the rather clinically title 'Artist Data' site. In their own words:



Well there you go, about sums it up doesn't it. However, if it's still not clear, effectively I think they are offering a social network aggregation solution, at least outbound (ie the stuff you post). I've not had chance to play with it properly yet, but I think the basic idea is that instead of logging in to your imeem/myspace/facebook/bebo/twitter etc to pimp your new track on Beatport etc, you can just do it from here, et voila, done.

I'm sure there are a bunch of other features too. I'll be giving it a proper workout over the next few weeks, and may well report back my findings, in the mean time take a look and see what you think.




Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 222: Free DJ Workshops (NYC) area.

One for the US readers (which google analytics advises is most of you). DJ and production educators DubSpot are throwing free DJ workshops for kids at the Sound Liberation Festival this weekend.

This blog is all about learning to be a DJ in all its many forms, and this is the sort of thing we fully endorse.

I've never wanted to be a 9 year old in Brooklyn as much in my life.

Full details can be found on the excellent Dub Spot site here.




Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 221: Bassnectar - Punk DJs I've newly discovered #1

I love discovering new music, and new DJs. It's easily one of my favorite things. I have a 60gb iPod, but, to be honest I only ever use it to listen to new stuff I downloaded. Of which, there is always a massive backlog I might add.

Discovering exciting new music I find surprisingly difficult. In this modern information age it's simply a matter of numbers. Weirdly, because I can literally find out about any old garage band from Idaho, in milliseconds, and devour their entire back catalog on youtube, this means there is just too much music to wade through in any organised manor.

This poses a weird problem, which is both good and bad. More choice is always good, but sifting through it is infinitely harder. The internet has tried to simplify this by creating things like Last FM and Pandora. However with things like this, I find the recommendations are far too incremental. To close to the thing they are basing a recommendation on.

This may work fine for bands, but not really for DJ/Producers. If I like Fake Blood, chances are I have heard of MSTRKRFT, or, if not, I have heard a load of the tunes they play already etc.

So it really is a mine field. Every now and again though, an interesting recommendation comes from the least suspecting place which is far enough away to not already be in your musical microcosm, yet close enough to interest and excite you.

Enter Bassnectar. Randomly over the weekend I caught a tweet from Diplo mentioning Bassnectar, so I scooted off to youtube to see what he was about. Really good things is the answer.

Not really sure how to describe it, but if I have to use words then kinda mash up, cross genre, DIY punky madness is a good starting point.

It sounds like he chops up tunes he likes, adds chunky hip hop beats, then goes into some dub step, before melting back out into some other organised chaos. Brilliant. The DJing style is very broken, yet fluid at the same time, I like that. Not too preoccupied about going left to right from track to track etc, a lot of it on the fly, or using new mash-ups straight from the laptop.

Definitely a bit of an American 90s vibe here, combined with new ideas and modern technology. It's like an audio version of something that was on late night drug infused MTV weirdness. But better than that sounds.

Sooooo here are two clips, both actually involving Beatles tracks, but I just happened to like them. Also a DJ swigging booze and chatting to the crowd is definitely on a different tip to many of the 'super cool' crew!

I present you Bassnectar:




Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 220: Hard Fest Cancelled before mid-night fiasco

Ok, so I've been to a fair few raves in my time, and seen some pretty mad shit go down, that's just how these things roll, and most of the time the Security/police manage to deal with it to minimal disruption.

This includes fairly serious stuff too, like ass holes letting off CS gas, brawls and obviously a catalog of drug casualties, sometimes fatal.

How then, 15 years on from all of that, can Hard Fest's big summer Rave in L.A. last night, with all the high production levels, and new skool more aware ravers get cancelled barely hours into the event, leaving many stuck inside for long periods, people outside trying to get in, riot police, and all sorts of general chaos.

The video below (watch from 2:10) shows kids bailing off of the top tier down to the main 'pit'. It's hard to tell, but I am assuming those with top tier tickets were forced to spend the rave 'seated' which as you can imagine at a rave isn't really too much fun, and therefore started eloping over the side down into the main hall, this obviously being pretty fucking stupid when you see how full it is.

All this combined probably with an over panicky L.A./Inglewood police department (and, let's face it, the U.S. police force not noted for it's calm and considered approach see this video).

Even though it's the other side of the world from me, nothing makes me more disappointed and angry that this sort of clumsy handling of a small group of idiots, ultimately getting a whole rave shut down.

All this info is based on the tweets and videos on you tube, if anyone has any more solid info then I would be interested to know what went down.