Tag Archives: technology

More Ableton Controller and other things happening this week.

Welcome to our weekly roundup. Anything you’d like me to feature? Hit me up on twitter.

LK Gives Your iPad or Android Tablet Easy Control of Ableton Live


Here’s another contender to the crowded Ableton Live controller. I always stand by my statement that nothing beats physical controller such as PUSH, APC or Launchpad but unfortunately they are pricey. Well, pricey relative to apps alternative. At the moment, the leader of Ableton apps are TOuchable 3 and Lemur. But even by apps standard, they are quiet pricey at $20 and $50 respectively. There have been some FREEMIUM alternative such as Conductr and ths recently released LK by LivKontrol. According to Create Digital Music,

First, if you’re an Android user, LK’s Android tablet support alone means it just became your go-to choice if you have a tablet that isn’t an iPad.

Second, LK’s simplicity and modular design I find appealing, as you’ll see in screenshots here. LK’s narrower focus in its main controller view make it particularly accessible. Devices open below the clip/mix view and expand and collapse just as they do in Ableton Live. And dedicated views for MPC-style pads, an X/Y viewer, and MIDI control are clean and easy to understand.

12 ways to Stereoize and Control your Mix in Ableton Live

Staying with Ableton live topic, Askaudiomag have great tutorial on how to stereorize and control your mix. There are awesome tutorials here and you shouldn’t miss it.


‘DnB can be whatever it wants to be..’ Interview with Digital and his latest Dispatch

If you’re into Drum & Bass, there’s a great interview conducted by my old friend Ryan Origin with the legendary Digital. He touch on how DNB is basically wide open and I think he meants to say DNB is awesome . Read the interview at Inflect.


Chemical Brothers – Go ft. Q-Tip [Video]

Last but not least, here’s the latest single from Chemical Brothers featuring Q-TIp “GO”. The video is directed by Michel Gondry.

touchAble 3 is out now

I have yet to mess around with it but this new update looks promising. Looking forward to it.

What’s New:
You can now use a simple USB cable to connect 🙂
Access to devices in racks in racks in racks in racks in racks…..!
The new Live Device Template Pack (available as an in-app purchase) provides 42 well designed layouts for nearly every device in Live.

The device module can now follow the selected device in Live (Blue Hand)
Devices can now be loaded to any place of a track’s device chain using the browser and drag and drop.
You can now play notes with the keys of the piano roll within the MIDI Clip Editor in the scales tab.
Devices can be stretched to take 3/4 of the screens real estate.

Completely recoded Server. (Goodbye Java!:) From now on, the Server is running in the background as a System Service.

New Settings, including:
– Follow currently launched scene option.
– choose and assign different MIDI channels for Drum Pads, Keyboard, Isomorphic Keyboard and Piano Roll (MIDI Clip Editor).
– iPads & iPhones Link Mode: combine several Devices to one big control surface.
– Rotary controller sensitivity setting.
– Snap and Timed Snap Mode 4 different envelopes: Exponential, Linear, Logarithmic, Hanning.

Countless of bug fixes, optimisations and enhancements.
Get the latest installer at http://www.touch-able.com/downloads/ and follow the instructions in the quick user guide included in the app

Device/System Requirements:
* Compatible with all generations of iPad.
* Requires iOS 5 or later
* Ableton Live 8 & Live 9
* Mac OSX 10.5 and above or Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.
* touchAble PC or MAC server software (downloadable for free)

Combined with its strong integration in Live, its seven different modules (Clips, Mixer, Devices, Keys, Pads, XY Pad, Template Editor) and a MDI Clip Editor touchAble 3 covers every control element of Live’s session view.
touchAble opens up a wide range of creative performance techniques beyond the typical knobs and faders paradigm. It takes a musical and seamless approach to controllerism, with all areas of the interface carefully designed and optimised for intuitive and efficient touch-screen operation as well as Ableton Live workflow. In short – it makes Live Sessions touchAble.


First look at Traktor Kontrol S8

Here’s a first run through of Native Instruments’ Traktor Kontrol S8 courtesy of http://www.djtechtools.com

Mark Ronson: How Sampling Transformed Music

This not new but something that’s worth sharing. In this episode of Ted Talk, Mark Ronson (producer of Amy Winehouse) talked about how sampling transformed music, creating a whole new generation of musician.

Are CDJs still relevant in today’s dance music culture?

Recently, Pioneer release a video to celebrate 20 years of Pioneer DJ. The video talks about how CDJs change the whole industry and interestingly, this coincide with an article I’ve been wanting to write on how I love to DJ with CDJs.

Before Pioneer entered the DJ industry, we DJs used to play vinyls using turntables. That was basically the only way to do if you want people to take you seriously. Back in my days, we always wait for Thursday or Friday. In California, those are the days when new records comes in at your local record stores. You don’t want to miss those days because once those new records are gone, the chance of getting them again are pretty slim. I used to spent all my money on records and nothing else. If I have to choose between eating out or saving my money for records, the records will win.

CDJ-500II_thumbIn 1994 Pioneer announce the CDJ 500. I got excited about it because now we can burn CDs. But, at the time when you DJ on CDJ people will not take you seriously and CDJs were not a common setup at most clubs. Most of them still stick with the more traditional set up of a mixer and a pair of turntables. Plus, CDJ 500 was pretty clunky to use. When we play vinyls, we are able to tell where we’re at in the records by looking at the groove. With the 500 you basically flying blind, not knowing where you’re at. Most of them still stick with the more traditional set up of a mixer and a pair of turntables. In other word, the CDJ 500 didn’t catch on.

stanton-finalscratchAround 1998, there was this new technology that allows you to use your laptop and use vinyl as your controller. It was called ‘Final Scratch’ and it was the first time code technology that we are now familiar with. Around that time I started to produce music and the prospect of being able to play my own track  is great. Prior to this, if we want to play out our own track we have to cut a dubplate (acetate) that cost you $40 and you can only play them for about 100 times before it deteriorate.

Prior to this, if we want to play out our own track we have to cut a dubplate (acetate)

Final Scratch got bought by Stanton and it became widely available for about $500. I jumped into this technology because I figured if I cut 10 dubplates I’d spend the same money as buying Final Scratch. I and looking forward to converting my vinyl collection into mp3 and starts playing out wthout carrying those heavy record crates. Of course as it turned out, Final Scratch was not that great. Setting it up before playing is a pain in the ass, it was not reliable and you need to run it of Linux.

cdj1000mk3In 2001, Pioneer released CDJ-1000. This was a game changer. Suddenly DJing on a CD player feels like playing a vinyl and this time the CDJ 1000 was adopted in no time at almost every clubs out there.  As soon as I tried it out, I ditched the Final Scratch and starts playing with CDJ. Of course my problem with CDJ 1000 was its price, therefore I never got around to buy them. Eventually though I started to get disillusioned with CDJs.

Now we’re not forced to go to records store because now we can just buy our music at home, download them, then burned them on CD.

Now we’re not forced to go to records store because now we can just buy our music at home, download them, then burned them on CD. But I have new problems. I’m one of those DJs that never remember the tittle of a song. I used to rely on the artworks of a record. When you started to carry 100 cds with 10 songs on each, it becomes impossible to find a track quick.

ableton-live-sessionAround 2004, Ableton live started to mature and several premier DJs like Sasha and Richie Hawtin started to play out using Live. I tried my hand on Live and it was fun that you’re able to manipulate all those tracks live. Basically the possibility were endless. But, just like everything else, it’s not perfect. To DJ with Ableton Live requires you to do a lot of preproduction. Mainly, you are required to warp all your track in order to take advantage of Ableton’s time stretching capability. And those warping takes a lot of time.  Also, when you DJ on Ableton you ended up staring at your laptop 90% of time.

traktorscratchpro1Also in 2003, Native Instruments partnered up with Stanton and they developed Taktor DJ to be used with Final Scratch. With this partnership, now you can use Final Scratch on Windows and Mac. In 2006. This partnership ended and Native Instrument renamed their latest software Traktor DJ Studio 3 into Taktor 3. In 2008, Traktor Scratch Pro were released and this have support for both Vinyl and CD time code. I was hesitant to try it out until a friend give me one as a present. This time around I was sold on the DVS system and decided to ditch the CDs. Traktor Pro is very stable andd they have simplified the setup process.

cdj2000_large2In 2009 Pioneer released the CDJ-2000. This is a game changer because now you can DJ of a flash drive and you can include artwork for the tune. Around this time though, I’m a 100% Traktor user. by 2010 I’ve ditched the DVS system and starts to use controller. It was easier to set up and I started to rely on building playlist. It took my laptop died at a gig for me to start reconsidering using CDJ again.  It started with me bringing a flash drive to a gig as back up to my laptop. Then I discovered Rekordbox. With Rekordbox, you can tag, set up cue points and do basically anything that Traktor can do. Eventually I started to play out using my flash drive and have my laptop as my back up.  I must say, going back to using CDJs (without the CD) is probably one of the best thing I’ve done. I rediscovered the joy of DJing. I stopped relying on playlist, I don’t really rely on key detection. My sets suddenly become more spontaneous. And the best of all, I stopped using sync button. And that was somewhat feels liberating.

Ultimately though, it’s a matter of personal choice on how you want to play out. So choose your own poison.

I’m not knocking on people who used DJ software. Even till today, I still use them. I can’t afford a pair of CDJ 2000s and mixer. Therefore, I use Traktor at home to try out songs. Traktor or other software like Serrato have their advantages. You can carry as many song as your hard drive allowed and the best of all you can type a song to search. When you’re playing at a club with dodgy monitors, those sync button will save you. If you’re the creative kind of DJ, there are way more possibility on how to go crazy on your set with Traktor. Those Remix decks are awesome.   At the moment, I really enjoy going back to basic and DJing with CDJs (If there’s a vinyl revival at clubs maybe I’ll join that too) .Ultimately though, it’s a matter of personal choice on how you want to play out. So choose your own poison.


Step Sequencing in Traktor, The Next Big Thing?

I really love the whole community based project development that’s been going on with the whole Native Instruments’ Traktor community. More and more people are developing things that push the limit and changes the way we use Traktor completely. The latest trend happening now is people building new controllers that turn Traktor’s remix deck into step sequencer.

Continue reading Step Sequencing in Traktor, The Next Big Thing?

To SYNC or not to SYNC?

To Sync or not to sync? That has become one of the hottest topics in the DJ world lately. With the advance of technology DJing has become easier. Even I agree that the art of DJing is nothing special nowadays. If people ask me about learning how to DJ I’ll say that “it’s easy, I’m confident that I can even teach a monkey in a couple hours to DJ on a laptop!” Yes, it’s that easy. Of course the next question is so what makes being a DJ special and isn’t using a sync button technically cheating? Before I put my own 2 cents on this matter, let me me give’s you a few examples for your thought.

Continue reading To SYNC or not to SYNC?