Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 346: Mixvibes VFX DJ/VJ Controller.

A while back we took a brief look at VJing and some kit that went with it.

VJ kit has always been a bit more varied than the DJ side of things where you tend to have an obvious industry standard (Technics/Pioneer etc). Complying with VJing's cavalier nature, the scene as a whole seems to be made up of various creative and personal set ups.

With such a variety of styles and techniques within the discipline it's not hard to see why it has remained fragmented like this.

Mixvibes however have come up with a smart looking piece of kit that might go a long way to bridging the gap between the DJ and the VJ. There have been attempts before to merge the two, but they normally end up being a DJ tool with visuals, or a VJ tool with audio.

It's hard to tell just how much of each is in this box, but from the spec it seems to hold a lot of promise.

For example, there are 20 audio effects on board, and each one corresponds to an visual effect. I imagine this means you can have a tune playing, entirely separate visuals, and apply the effect to the audio, and the corresponding effect is applied to the video. Importantly keeping the effects in time. Hell it even says you can scratch video.

The trouble with these things will always be adoption. This may win the hearts of many avid users, but there will always be purists of either side that will see additional functionality as muddying the water.

I however think, done correctly, this can be a way to take things to the next level. A mad full blown audio visual sett with context, performed with dedication and practise could really be something.

Check the promo video below, and then head over to the web-site for more info. In the meantime I'm itching to get my hands on one for a road test.




Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 345: DJ Hero for the iPhone...? Delicious Vinyl DJ!

Well kinda...

Now that everyone has rinsed out DJ Hero completely, no doubt they will have twitchy fingers. Well fear not as the answer is here, and you can even take it with you. All this providing you are and iPhone/iPod Touch owner.

Delicious Vinyl have managed to cram in all the fun of the "Hero" franchise of games into the tiny confines of the iPhone. We've got real scratches, classic hip hop, and samples. It's all there.

I can actually see myself getting more out of this than some of the 'real' DJ emulation applications. This one just allows you to rock out and get your fix, simple as.

What's more it;s a snip at £1.79, a fraction of the price for DJ Hero on your favorite console. Also i might be wrong... but DJ hero doesn't have Young MC does it.. this game certainly does, so Bust-a-Move!

Head over to the App store on iTunes now and look for "Delicious Vinyl DJ". Video demo Below:




Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 344: Zenhiser - Twisted Electro House Basslines

Ok, lots of talk of samples recently. So continuing on with the theme here is a review of Zenhisers new "Twisted Electro House Bassline" pack.

Zenhiser have been in the sample and loops game for some time. They also happen to have some of the best Old Skool loops and stabs I've ever seen, which is an easy way to gain my complete respect.

However, back to those Electro bass lines. First up, lets get straight into it. Below is a quick mini demo I made using just their loops, and some simple beats. This should give you both an idea of the quality and the sounds going on in the pack:

As you can see the quality of the audio is spotless, and the bass lines really pack some punch. Rather than just flat loops made from a dry midi file, it really feels like the audio has been treated as if it were 'track ready'.

For example, in the demo, the first loop sounds like it's been sidechained against a trigger kick drum. You can hear it throbbing slightly in time giving it that shifty groove which makes a track so much more funkeh.

The other key point worth mentioning about this pack is that, while smaller than some other "uber complete xxx" packs, what you do get is quality, and is fairly reflected int he price. At just 5€/£ (about $8) this leaves a remarkably small dent on the pocket. So much so that you have to be careful not to keep adding more and more packs to your cart under the illusion it's no money!

There are larger packs available too for those that do want a comprehensive library quickly, but this pack is and ideal starting place for a number of projects, all for the price of a beer and some crisps (or chips, depending where you are from I guess).

Get it here...




Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day 343: QBerts Skratch University

Possibly one of the biggest names in DJing, definitely so in the world of Scratch DJs. QBert has been a pioneer in turntable artistry for a long time now.

Anyone who has ever seen him at work will know exactly what I mean when I say this guy is good. Very good. Beyond good. OK, so I think this really deserves some video to hammer this point home:

Good stuff huh. Well scratching is probably one of the things people associate with DJing the most. Yet the percentage of DJs that can actually do it, or do it well is very low. I for one am certainly not capable in this area.

Recently though I have been thinking about how cool it would be to master this dark art, and who better to learn it from than Qbert himself. I present to you the Qbert Scratch University! Yes, you read it right. The main man himself is offering to show you his skills, and even provide custom and personalised feed back (via the exchange of videos).

What's more is that you get all this for 3 months, for the stupidly low price of $60, just $20 a month, peanuts. Below is a promo video from the site, there are some sample lessons on offer too.




Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 342: Free Samples - Go get 'em

Loops are great fun, and can be life savers at times. Every self respecting producer should have a substantial library that you can dip into now and again when you want an instant creative starting point/new directions/sound etc.

They do cost money though, that much is true. And if like me you are a collector at heart, this can become quite addictive.

Sometimes though there is such a thing as a free lunch, and or samples... The guys at Sample Pack have been generous enough to give away some juicy looking collections.

I've given some a listen, and they haven't skimped on quality that's for sure.

Check them out here.




Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 341: 20 Ableton tips in 8 Minutes...

The excellent Cuepoint tv dropped this smart video the other day. I didn't get round to watching it right away, but am sure glad I did in the end.

I've been using Ableton for about a year now, and thought I was starting to get under it's skin. So when at the beginning of this video he said that current users might roll their eyes at a lot of the tips, I wasn't expecting to learn much.

I was surprised then to find that almost all of the tips were either new to me, or added on things I knew, but obviously hadn't been getting the most out of.

This video should be compulsory viewing after someones had Ableton a month or so, it could save you hours.