Friday, August 10, 2012

Pioneer’s New DDJ-ERGO-K For Traktor

Pioneer DJ Division has made a new announcement this morning in the form of a Brand new iteration of their latest DJ controller called the Pioneer DDJ-ERGO-K "Limited" Edition. This new version of the popular DDJ-ERGO now sports a new black-on-black color scheme and comes bundled with a version of Traktor 2 LE instead of the original Virtual DJ LE based model. The DDJ-ERGO-K is still basically the same controller but now sports a new refined look and a new software choice to boot. Since the DDJ-ERGO-V and the new DDJ-ERGO-K are basically the same controllers, I'm on the fence as to whether or not I'll give it another review. In the meantime, you can check out our original HD-Video review found here, which should give you a very good idea as to whether or not this new release will have you jumping for joy.
 
I think it's a good move by Pioneer. I like the all-black styling cues of the newer DDJ-ERGO-K as opposed to the white outline on the original model and the inclusion of Traktor LE right in the box is sure to entice a few who may have been on the fence before. There's rumors going around that there will be a free Traktor 2 upgrade included, but I haven't seen anything official just yet. As always, I'm sure you will be able to go and download Serto DJ Intro for free on this unit too if the user wants, so it's also got some versatility as well. Check out the video below while we search for pricing and an official press release!

PIONEER MAKES A COLOR SPLASH WITH DDJ-ERGO LIMITED
AVAILABLE IN A NEW PREMIUM BLACK COLOR
Pioneer DJ will be offering its affordable DDJ-ERGO DJ controller in a new premium black version to provide consumers with another cosmetic option.  Along with the color transformation, the play/cue button was changed to a chrome finish, the jog platter to black, the four jog dial lights converted from blue to white for a more dazzling appearance, and now includes Native Instrument’s TRAKTOR® LE 2 DJ software.  Dubbed the DDJ-ERGO LIMITED, the premium black version will be available starting in September with a suggested retail price of $599. 

Pioneer DDJ-ERGO LIMITED Controller includes:
• Pulse Control – Integrated Pulse Control provides users with visual prompts.
o Mix Pulse – As the pitch of songs begin to match, the intensity of white LED lights of the jog wheel increases. In conjunction with the music, the pulsing of lights enhances beat matching skills. 
o Beat Pulse – The embedded LEDs in the channel faders illuminate along with the beat of the current song playing. The illumination intensifies and weakens based on the output sound level.
o Launch Pulse – Triggers a red light to illuminate on the jog wheel to signify a press of the track load button.
o FX Pulse – The lights on the jog wheel identify which FX is applied.
• DJ Software – Includes Native Instrument’s TRAKTOR LE 2 DJ software.  When used with TRAKTOR PRO 2 (upgrade fees apply), the controller can also operate as a 4-deck controller and sampler.  In addition, the unit supports Serato’s “Serato® DJ Intro” software (downloadable at no charge from http://serato.com/dj-intro.


• Laptop Dock Design – The DDJ-ERGO LIMITED is designed to accommodate the placement of a laptop computer below the unit to save room and bring the laptop screen closer to the user.  The controller also features removable legs, enabling it be used in angled or horizontal flat positions.
• USB Power – Utilizes the host computer’s USB port for power, eliminating the need for an external power supply.
• High Quality Audio – Employs the same audio technology used in Pioneer’s professional DJ mixers for clear, powerful audio output.
• Other features
o Employs a P-LOCK Fader Cap locking mechanism to prevent the channel fader knobs and crossfader knob from slipping.
o Built-in audio interface for high quality sound input and output.

 ENJOY DON'T FORGET TO POST YOUR COMMENTS DOWN THERE :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pioneer Announces XDJ-AERO DJ Controller

Fresh off the heels of yesterday's new announcement made by Pioneer DJ Division regarding the release of the new DDJ-ERGO-K (Limited Edition); Pioneer has kicked it up another notch by announcing the new Pioneer XDJ-AERO Wireless Digital DJ Controller which can playback and DJ music from any Wi-Fi device such as smartphones, iPads, laptops, or any other device that is capable of using Pioneer's music managing software Rekordbox. The XDJ-AERO can also function as a standalone mixer, as a HID controller for Virtual DJ, and as a MIDI controller for Traktor or Serato. Check out the introductory video below and I'll add a quick breakdown of the main points below...
 
 
The Pioneer XDJ-AERO is the first DJ controller that can actually stream music directly from almost any smart device including iPads, iPods, any smartphone, any laptop, and any desktop that can run a version of Pioneer's Rekordbox Music management system. The XDJ-AERO can connect with up to four devices simultaneously for ultimate control of playback options. The DJ can switch between these Streaming connections over to the actual USB connection at the push of a button. There are also two RCA inputs on the back that can accept either LINE level inputs for CDJ's or PHONO level inputs for vinyl decks. The XDJ-AERO looks and feels a lot like the other DDJ Pioneer controllers out there, but there is a bit more metal to the construction this time around and there are more options and features here than on any other DJ controller they currently create. The XDJ-AERO also boasts an excellent 24-bit High-Resolution soundcard The XDJ-AERO will be available sometime later this month, but we'll have a first-look at these next week when we go to the Atlantic City DJ Expo! Stay tuned, because I'm sure I'll get one of the Pioneer Dudes to give us a very in-depth walkthrough in anticipation of my Real review video which should grace our pages shortly!

So Pioneer checks almost every single box for DJ's with this new TRULY VERSTATILE device... The XDJ-AERO works as a stand-alone Mixer, HID for VDJ, MIDI for Serato and Traktor, can Stream music over any WiFi device, and can playback music on a USB flash drive or hard drive. The only thing missing is the playback of CD's, but in 2012 I doubt many will miss it... Kudo's to Pioneer for doing something brand new and Fresh! Now all we have to do is see if the market agrees! At about $1099 retail suggested price, anything's possible...
 
 
Pioneer presents ­the XDJ-AERO, the first-ever wireless all-in-one DJ system, and the first native player for rekordbox™ music management software
31st July 2012: Pioneer has broken the mould yet again with the XDJ-AERO, the industry’s first[1] Wi-Fi enabled all-in-one DJ system and native rekordbox™ player.
The groundbreaking DJ system is set to change the way DJs play by liberating them from endless cables and connections. In an industry first, the XDJ-AERO allows DJs to load music wirelessly from smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs, instantly taking the hassle out of set up. A multipurpose unit, the XDJ-AERO also works with Pioneer’s new mobile application, functions as a standalone mixer and can be used as a MIDI and HID controller.
The XDJ-AERO creates its own private Wi-Fi network, allowing DJs to connect to up to four wireless devices at once. The audience can even get involved by sending tracks from their own smartphones or tablets to the XDJ-AERO for a more interactive experience.
And, as the first native player for Pioneer’s rekordbox music management software, the XDJ-AERO puts all of the software’s features and functions right at DJs’ fingertips. rekordbox allows DJs to create and edit playlists on the fly; view beat grids; analyse BPM; and load wave forms during their sets.
Compatible with Pioneer’s new mobile application[3] for smartphones and tablets, the XDJ-AERO makes DJing truly mobile. DJs can use the mobile application to manage their music on the road and then wirelessly load their tracks and playlists to the XDJ-AERO.
DJs can switch between the XDJ-AERO’s mobile and USB inputs at the touch of a button. And the DJ system boasts all of their favourite features, including sample banks, Sound Colour Filters and rekordbox quantized beat sync.

The XDJ-AERO also functions as a 24-bit audio interface, MIDI controller for Traktor and HID controller for Virtual DJ software. And it can be used as a stand-alone mixer when connected to CDJs and turntables.
A premium piece of kit both inside and out, the XDJ-AERO has the look and feel of a pro-DJ product with its classic black finish and sleek aluminium faceplate. And, at just 45 mm thick, the portable, lightweight XDJ-AERO is the world’s thinnest combined player and mixer.
The XDJ-AERO: the world’s first wireless all-in-one DJ player, mixer and MIDI controller.
The XDJ-AERO will be available from August 2012 at an SRP of 869 GBP/999 EUR, including VAT.

Key features of the XDJ-AERO
  1.    INDUSTRY FIRST: Wirelessly connect up to four devices
By creating an ad hoc network, the XDJ-AERO can sync with up to four Wi-Fi enabled devices at once, without the need for any extra equipment. For the first time, DJs can use smartphones, tablets and computers to wirelessly load rekordbox music to their decks.
DJs can use the XDJ-AERO to control wireless devices remotely so they can browse tracks and load them directly to their decks even if the device is not in their hands.
And the new mobile application allows DJs to use their smartphones and tablets as remote controls for the XDJ-AERO. With USB source selected, DJs can browse music and load tracks on the XDJ-AERO using the devices’ bigger, touch-sensitive screens.
The audience can send music from their wireless devices to the XDJ-AERO, though tracks will not load until the DJ accepts them. If a device goes out of range while a track is being played an emergency loop is created so there is no break in the music. And if a call is made on a smartphone mid-track, the music will continue to play as long as the device supports multitasking.
Plus, by switching the XDJ-AERO’s music source from wireless to USB, DJs can play tracks on both decks from a single rekordbox-ready storage device.
  2.    Includes all the popular features from Pioneer’s pro-range
The XDJ-AERO brings together all of the most exciting features from Pioneer’s most popular multi-format players and mixers, including:
  Beat effects[4]: the XDJ-AERO boasts the most user-friendly and popular effects from Pioneer’s DJM range – Trans, Flanger, Roll and Echo.
  Post-fader: the effects are applied to the sound after the fader, allowing the sound to fade out naturally rather than stopping suddenly when the DJ cuts the source audio with the faders.
  Sound color effects: borrowed from the DJM series, the Sound Color Filters add high- and low-pass filters to the beat effects for even more creativity
  Sample banks: pre-loaded with four samples.
  Auto Loop: tracks can be automatically looped at specified positions.
  Quantize: DJs will never miss a beat again as the quantize function automatically synchronises the beat of rekordbox-ready tracks and effects.
  3.    Automatic features that make perfect mixes a breeze
  Beat Sync[5]: automatically syncs all tracks to the beat to the master deck using rekordbox beat grid information.
  Auto Mix: automatically mixes each track within a playlist if DJs need to step away from the deck during long sets.
  4.    Performance features and sample playback
  INDUSTRY FIRST Jog Drum: a more DJ-friendly way of engaging samples. DJs simply load a sample onto the deck and press Jog Drum; they can then trigger and scratch the samples by drumming directly on the jog wheel for more control and creativity.
  Sample Launch: with four samples pre-loaded onto each deck, DJs simply push Sample Launch once to perform with the currently engaged sample. By holding down Sample Launch, they can select another sample to perform with. Samples can also be launched using the XDJ-AERO’s effects, loops and pitch controls.
  5.    One-touch recording of popular mixes
Inherited from Pioneer’s DJM-350 mixer, the XDJ-AERO allows DJs to record their creations directly to USB as uncompressed CD-quality WAV files.
  6.    MIDI and HID control for ultimate flexibility
The XDJ-AERO can be used as a MIDI controller for Traktor and HID controller for Virtual DJ software.
  7.    Connect external hardware to use as a stand-alone mixer
For maximum flexibility, the unified player and mixer unit also has inputs to connect external hardware, such as CDJs or turntables, so DJs can use it as an independent mixer.
  8.    Premium design and build looks the part every time
With its classic black finish, sleek aluminium faceplate, blue LED lights and Pioneer’s industry-standard interface, the XDJ-AERO looks professional in any venue.
  9.    High-end components for superb sound in any environment
The XDJ-AERO’s audio circuits are the same as those used in Pioneer’s pro-DJ equipment to guarantee pristine sound reproduction. And full digital processing has been used to minimise distortion and noise from A/D-D/A conversion.
  10.  Other features
  Onboard 44.1kHz/24bit high resolution soundcard
  Independent three-band equalizer
  Dual headphone output ­–minijack for inner-ear headphones and standard jack for full-size headphones
  Four-colour LCD displaying 18 languages
  Mic input and balanced TRS output
Main specifications – XDJ AERO
Playable media Smartphones, tablets, USB storage devices (Flash memory/HDD, etc.), computers (Mac/Windows PC)
Playable file formats USB connection:MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF up to 24 Bit/44.1kHzWi-Fi connection:MP3, AAC
USB storage formats supported FAT, FAT32, HFS+ (read-only, when journaling)
Recording file WAV, 16bit/44.1kHz
Number of channels 2
Wireless communications format IEEE 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz band)
Sampling rate 44.1 kHz
A/D, D/A converter 24 bit
Frequency response 20 Hz~20 kHz
S/N ratio 105 dB or above
Total harmonic distortion Max. 0.003 %
Head room 19dB
USB ports A port x1, B port x1
Inputs Phono/Line ×2(RCA)Mic ×1(1/4-inch phone)
Outputs Master out ×2 (1/4-inch phone ×1, RCA×1)Headphone monitor out ×2 (front 1/4-inch phone, minipin)
Enclosed AC adapter Power: AC100 V(50 Hz/60 Hz) Rated output: DC12 V
Maximumexternaldimensions(W×H×D) 623 ×289.5 ×65 mm
Unit mass 3.7 kg
rekordbox™ music management software (included):
Supported OS Mac OS®X (10.5.8 or above)Windows®7 Home Premium/Professional/UltimateWindows Vista® Home Basic/Home Premium/ Ultimate/Business (SP2 or above)Windows® XP Home Edition/Professional (from SP3)(Windows® XP Professional x64 edition is not supported)
Playable file formats MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF 
ENJOY DON'T FORGET TO POST YOUR COMMENTS DOWN THERE :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sander Van Doorn Interview


Sander Van Doorn stopped by the DJ TechTools office for a quick video interview a few weeks ago. We asked him about his production and DJ tools, how his mixes change from country to country, and his thoughts about the DJ Mag Top 100 list – on which he currently holds the number 16 slot.


 
Sander has a new single, “Kangaroo”, dropping in mid-to-late August exclusively on Beatport. To learn more about him and upcoming releases and shows, visit the official Sander Van Doorn website

Mixify – Turntable.FM for Live DJ Streaming


When Turntable.FM launched last year, online media outlets   hailed it a new online club experience, allowing individuals to chose their favorite tracks and play them for an audience. In the DJ community, we all were waiting for the day when we could actually DJ online in this context. Almost exactly a year later, Mixify is on the scene with a very similar service to Turntable with one big change: the ability to live stream actual DJ sets. Read on for our thoughts on their beta and exclusive details from Mixify themselves!

Site: Mixify.com (Public Beta) 
In A Nutshell: The streaming simplicty of Mixlr combined with the fun of Turntable.FM’s interface
Cost: Free! No charge to stream or to listen.
Best Feature: Simple, fun context in which to stream live or recorded mixes
What It’s Missing: Track detection, multiple DJ-events, more audience participation
As a company, the team behind Mixify has been building online music experiences for a few years – starting with Breakout Band - a website targeted towards aspiring music producers who don’t have real tools yet. The core idea of Mixify came out of that platform – with the major increase of interest in EDM and DJing, Breakout Band’s web-based DJ app (think Flash-based turntables) got significant use and attention. Mixify started with “Clubs” – selected DJs playing one-off events using the company’s DJ application. The primary feedback from those DJs was that they wanted to use their own equipment and livestream any audio they wanted in the same context, whenever they wanted. This formed the basis for Mixify’s events feature, which was officially launched into a public beta about two months ago.

HOW IT WORKS


As a listener, the structure and aesthetic of live events on Mixify feels very similar to Turntable.FM’s social listening parties. But while similar in design, the base function couldn’t be more different – instead of democratizing the listening and song selection process, Mixify events are centered around allowing DJs to stream whatever they want to their fans and potential fans.

 Unlike many traditional streaming services, Mixify encourages you to set up events ahead of time, asking you when you create an event to provide a specific date and time, write a short description, and make an image for your event to show up on the Mixify site. Speaking of scheduling events, the service currently doesn’t seem to always have a live stream happening, so it’s not over-saturated with hundreds of folks trying to share their livestreams. This is one of the key advantages at the moment, since the streaming ability is specifically targeted for DJs and not crowd-sourced selectors like on Turntable or any type of broadcast like on Ustream, it makes it more likely that random visitors will click into your event and check out your mix.
From a technical perspective, you’ll have to make sure you have your master audio running back into an input on your soundcard or computer – Mixify allows you to choose any input that your computer detects as the sound source. In our test streams, we had no problems getting this set up quickly, with all of our listeners reporting clear and decent quality audio.

WHAT WE LIKE

Mixify’s streaming DJ experience is a step above a lot of the other streaming services for DJs. Simply because it’s designed to be a fun community experience focused on DJs. Setting up an event and starting the actual stream was a snap, and we didn’t experience any major quality drops (aside from our own internet cutting out for a minute during the stream).

The aesthetic of streaming on the site is just plain fun – when you start a stream, it counts down from 10, and slowly turns up the sounds of a crowd cheering and an air raid siren. During an event, DJs and fans can click a “HYPE IT!” button – flashing the entire virtual club with wild colors and lasers – and adding a point to the number next to the button – designed to give the DJ some sense of how well they’re doign. When you end an event, fanfare and cheering fades up, and a sign above the DJ booth prominently declares “You just heard (DJ Name)!”, along with a nice call to action that encourages the folks who are still in the room to add you on Facebook or Twitter. The social media integration is on point – with plenty of opportunities for users to fan / follow / favorite / like the DJ playing in a room.

ON THE ROADMAP: MIXIFY’S FUTURE

We got a chance to chat with Mike Vosters, the product manager for Mixify, to share some of the upcoming features for the site and some of the intents and future focuses of the project. The specific items in the immediate pipeline that he mentioned were:

  • Mobile support: Allowing listeners to be on their mobile devices listening to the same stream.
  • Recording mixes: Enabling DJs to record their entire livestreamed event and save it for future playback.
  • DJ Analytics: Giving feedback for DJs as to how well their mixes and livestreams go-  how many listeners, what sections of stream had the most presses of the “hype” button, who the people are that are attending the events and for how long.
Mike was also explicit in letting us know that they see their intent as to build one of the best marketing platforms for professional DJs, and as a result, they’re prepared to listen to feedback from communities like ours:
“We’re looking at Mixfy as a way [for DJs] to build fanbases, and we’re letting DJs build the roadmap.” – Mike Vosters, Mixify Product Manager
Additionally, Mixify features different communities and genre-based events on their site. For instance, they’ve got a few curated weeks coming up in August, including a Drum and Bass week and a few partnership weeks with blogs and music labels.

WHAT COULD BE BETTER: DJTT COMMUNITY SUGGESTIONS

 During our test livestreams last week, we had a chance to chat with a number of you all to see what feedback you all had. The service is obviously still a work in progress (it’s still in Beta!), but only in terms of features and functionality: the site itself was very solid and free of any apparent bug, even when we tested the load with >50 listeners.

First on our feedback list, we all felt that aside from chatting, there’s a bit of a disconnect between the DJ and their audience. Especially with a live stream without any video- it’s not always clear if a DJ is playing live and what they’re doing. This is a clear area in which a video streaming service like Ustream wins out. A great example of this disconnect was the number of times we got the same questions in our streams:
What equipment are you using? Who is playing? Is this really live?
Some of these questions could be easily solved with just a in-window updatable description from the DJ. We found that listeners always wanted to find out what the playing track was – a simple connection to Richie Hawtin’s Twitter.DJ would solve this without DJs having to type in every song manually, as is currently the case. This disconnect goes both ways – as a DJ, without monitoring the chat, it’s hard to tell how the crowd is feeling during a mix – one of the most important indicators that DJ has to determine their next action. Allowing the audience to express their enjoyment is crucial – some form of live feedback would be great.
Another major piece of feedback from us is to fix the lack of support for multi-DJ events. Being able to switch off to the next DJ in a single event would allow events to keep the same crowd without making a new event, and would have the ability to feature multiple DJs – effectively allowing for communities like ours to build up a constant live stream of DJs in a “channel” format.
One closing observation: the aesthetic of Mixify does comes off as a little cartoonish and cheesy, which not everyone will find endearing. Mad Zach especially noted that he didn’t like how strange the avatars looked – I’m guessing it was the broccoli avatar wearing sunglasses that weirded him out. A few additional and more customizable avatars and venues might go a long way in making the experience seem less toy-ish.

MIXIFY’S RESIDENT DJ PROGRAM

 Finally, hot off the presses, Mixify is launching a resident DJ program. This could be a great opportunity for some of the budding stars in our readership looking for a regular online gig. This could be a pretty great chance to get some exposure, especially if Mixify takes off in the coming months. You’ll host a weekly or monthly gig, and the requirements are pretty simple:

  • Mix and produce electronic music
  • Available to host weekly or monthly events on Mixify
  • Upload all your mixes to Mixify
In return, they’re promising to promote their resident DJs heavily across the site. For more information and to apply, visit this page and fill out the application.
Learn more about Mixify and use it for yourself here- and let us know what you would change to make it a way cool service. 
Special thanks to Mixify’s product manager, Mike Vosters, for chatting with us and adding perspective to this article.  Additionally, thanks to everyone who joined us in our livestreams in all forms last week – yes, we’re planning on doing more. Watch our Twitter account to stay apprised!