Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 261: How to get your tracks on iTunes, Amazon etc

This is something that gets asked all the time, and there are a number of answers. We will be running a short series of articles in the coming weeks documenting exactly how to do this, with a real world example you can follow.

We have considered many options, and believe we have found the best solution, and are starting the process of working with it already.

The articles will be set up in a very step by step manner making it as easy and transparent to follow as possible. All the upsides, downsides, successes etc will be covered, all in a bid to make the process of self publication as simple as possible.

Make millions online selling your music... hopefully.

This I hope will inspire other people to take the step into the wild, and urge people to consider doing it for themselves.

If anyone has any track submissions they would like to be considered for the guide then please submit them using the drop box on this page.

Looking forward to it myself!




Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 260: CDJ2000 features and video.

Yup, here it is... even though Pioneer have been hyping the release of this up manically (thus risking a major let down on the actual reveal...) I must admit, I am still frothing at the mouth after having actually seen it.

All the usual additions are there, but they have actually made it all work very well together. Also, what I like is that it is making DJing harder again. Yeah I know that sounds weird, but with all these clever features now you have to actually do something interesting to use them. Blending from one to the other isn't enough now!

This is definitely going to push the creative envelope!

Also nice to see that they have made for easy integration with Traktor/Serato/Ableton etc, AND Pacemaker, that's pretty sweet (I'm wearing my recently won pacemaker headphones as we speak :P)

So below is a short video outlining the main developments, be sure for much more to come. I am still interested to know the price point on release.

One other thing that almost went unnoticed was the release of another player, the CDJ900... touted as the replacement for the 800, the 900 looks remarkably like the 1000, and seems to boast as many, if not more features. This could well be the ideal solution for bedroomers, providing an impressive feature set, but at a lower price one would assume to the 2000. I'll be looking into this shortly and updating here once I know something.




Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 259: Dawn of a new species arrives.

Good morning early crew!

Today Pioneer launch their hotly anticipated, er, *thing*. It's been kept so much under wraps that we don't even know what it's called, or, really what it is.

We do know it is their new flagship DJ controller/Deck, so it is safe to assume that it is the successor to the CDJ1000.

We know it is likely (ok certain) to allow USB storage attachment instead of (or actually as well as) CDs. Also we know there is a software element, that allows for set preparation, looping and I suspect effects.

So in short it looks like they are directly aiming at removing the need to bring a laptop into the equation, replace all that functionality, and tighten up the CDJ1000 with all the new features that DJs expect these days. Sounds pretty good to me!

The unit launches today, sometime after 8, hence the early post, as for once I gotta work :(

So no doubt will dissect the deck fully tomorrow, in the meantime here is the last in the series of teaser videos!




Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 258: How to mix harmonically.

You all know about mixing right... like beat-matching. We've all seen the DJ concentrating intensely as he counts "1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4" over in his head. So that's pretty much it right?


Beat matching is essential, but there is something else going on that you also might not be aware of. That is 'Harmonic' mixing. So wtf is that then?

Simply put in means mixing in key. You don't have to know loads of musical theory to know what that is. All songs have a key, and harmonic mixing is mixing two tunes that are in the same or complimentary keys.

If you are still unsure, think about the key as being the musical "centre". In many tunes the first note defines the key, and the rest of the notes are related off from that.

Ok so how does that work then? Well, you may well have already done it a few times and not realised. You know those long and perfect mixes, where the tunes just seem to work so well together? Chances are that they were in key!

How do I work out what key a song is and all that then? Well fear now. Some people can instinctively do it all the time, many of us most of the time, and even some of us some of the time. Some confuse this with 'knowing tunes that work' but it's not as simple as that. Loads of tunes will work well together that are harmonically different. Maybe the intro/outros work particularly well etc... loads of things.

Harmonic mixing however is a little harder to nail just by ear. Especially when dealing with underground dance genres like Dubstep etc!!

There are some solutions available though. Notably our trusty friend, software. Yes clever bods have gone and made software that will scan your tracks and tell you what key they are in, and also there are guides showing you what matches harmonically.

Mixed in Key is a commercial solution, and probably the most well known, find out more here.

There is however also a free solution thanks to Rapid Evolution's Mixshare. I have tried this software myself, and it's really quite good. Scanning tracks can tame a while for large libraries (tho this is true for mixed in key also) but once it's done you can see the key, and bpm for all your tracks.

I quickly tested it by sorting my library by key, then picked random tracks that had the same key. The results were impressive, I felt the mixes were definitely harmonically matched, and had that something extra.

Another positive side effect is that it indirectly makes you try mixes that you might not have considered before anyway (maybe an older tune has the same key as a new one you just bought). This itself adds life back in to some mixes.

The next tool you will need is the guide wheel which will help you see what keys are complimentary, The basic rule is same key, neighbouring key (left or right) or relative minor/major key (inner ring/outer ring).

I'd say check out one of the solutions mentioned above, try a few mixes and see what you think. You don't have to worry about switching to all harmonic etc, but it's definitely another tool for your arsenal that is worth knowing about.




Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 257: Free Ableton DJ tutorials

...and more. These videos are the real deal, from Ableton themselves. Nice to see the Software companies putting the hours in to truly enrichen their own product.

If you have a youtube account, it's worth following "AbletonInc" as they do sneak out handy videos now and again.




Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 256: Kanye West thinks we care (VMA outburst).


You are an asshole. Let's get one thing straight, the VMA's along with any other self celebrating award ceremony isn't really all that important. A nice night out maybe, and who doesn't like to receive awards?

So why take it so seriously? We know the music industry at that level is run by manipulative men in suits... so why get so upset that your friend Beyonce didn't get the award?

"Best video of all time" you chirped, maybe you should watch it again, cos, seems to me that it's just a black and white video with three ladies running around in it. Not really all that special is it?
Worst of all, you ruined someones moment. I've never heard of Taylor Swift, but she seemed nice, pleasant, and humble. You could learn a lot from the poor girl who's moment you crushed.

Anyway, yeah, I am giving this more column inches than it deserves, but there is nothing worse than a silly ceremony, than someone taking it, and themselves all too seriously.





Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day 255: Paul Woolford's Pioneer teaser.

The latest in the (slightly drawn out not) series of product teasers for Pioneers new CDJ/Digital turntable.

I'm still pretty excited about finding all about this new bit of kit (and if, fingers crossed, it might cause a drop in price for the CDJ1000), but just want to get into the detail and nitty gritty now!

Anyway, here is the latest video, enjoy!