The industry standard. (CC-BY) Dave Walker.

Let’s talk about laptops in the DJ booth

Last week stirred up something of a fracas in the DJ community, as Los Angeles club The Cure and the Cause announced a ban on laptops in the DJ booth – the announcement of which then went perdictably viral. That much turned out to be brilliant publicity: club trolls DJs, magazine trolls DJs, “controversy” generates social media traffic. Here’s the problem, though: once you get past the nonsense about “talent” and laptops, I think there should really be no controversy here. What The Club and the Cure said about laptops and controllers I think is dead-on – and hard to …

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Now you can practice getting into Berghain in your browser

Well, it’s official: viral online jokes about Berghain, Berlin’s club venue, occur with the same frequency as its Klubnacht. But this deserves some mention, in that it says perhaps less about Berghain as it does about Berlin’s culture of obsessive-compulsive technologists. Because this throwaway joke about getting into the club is actually a pretty impressive interactive video game.

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A photo series documents clubs after the party

DJs, electronic musicians, and true fans know a side of clubland that is anything but glamorous. They know the brutal boredom of dressing rooms, the glaring reality of clubs with all the lights on. And DJs and staff are all too familiar with the wrecked landscape of clubs after the patrons have left.

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This Movie Clip Sums Up the SFX-Beatport Vision of the Future of Dance Music

Synergy. That’s the direction you can expect from Beatport and SFX Entertainment. And the speech above from the film In Good Company more or less fits. (The plot of that 2004 movie even includes an acquisition by a conglomerate.) Basically, SFX may have solved the problem of how to make money in the streaming business – by making its money elsewhere. Or, it seems that’s the plan. Here’s the problem: music streaming has razor-thin margins versus sales. The artists and labels eek out fairly small bits of change, generally. They can blame the streaming services, but with those services having …

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Could You Someday Wear Speakers? Wearable Tech and Expression

Wearable tech so far has often tended to dresses that light up or wristwatches that act as remote controls for your smartphone. But what if wearable tech actually produced sound – and it wasn’t a pair of headphones? That’s the question posed by SubPac. It’s a sort of backpack subwoofer aimed both at improving tactile bass response for consumers and allowing proper bass monitoring for DJs and producers – you know, when they can’t just try their latest mix on a big club PA. We’ve covered wearable tech on CDM before – we’ve even hosted workshops and labs on the …

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At MusicMakers, Experiencing Music Through Design, As Community of Doers Collaborates [Listen, Watch]

Making connections with people – creators and audience alike – sometimes means going beyond the virtual, and actually getting people together in the same room. For MusicMakers, Create Digital Music teamed up with curators and artists in Berlin to make some of those connections across disciplines, to get closer to the processes of design and music creation. Making and listening in the age of overabundance could feel diluted. But as makers keep making, and really listening, they can find their music comes to mean more, not less. With support from Moog Music, on the 14th of September we launched our …

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TouchAble for iPad, in Update, Comes Closer to Controlling All of Ableton Live; in Action

There are simpler, more minimal interfaces, and more tangible interfaces for Ableton Live. But when it comes to all-stops-pulled, touch-everything control of the full depth of Ableton Live, it was already hard to beat TouchAble for iPad. Now, with an update, that app closes even more of the gap between what you can do on the iPad and what you can do through the standard Live UI. The standard computer model – mouse, keyboard, display – places some distance between you and a graphical user interface (even if that mouse is quite precise). The advantage of something like an iPad …

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Fitting Tributes: Billie Jean, NYC Saturday, with Claude VonStroke

Claude VonStroke plays Billie Jean, NYC from Dancetracks on Vimeo. Michael Jackson fever may have already put you into overload, but 24-hour news channels aside, there’s still something powerful about the musical legacy people leave and the way it can become a shared experience. It’s something ineffable, well beyond the reach of words – but it can be something you get from a musical moment. So you can imagine the feeling in the room Saturday night at New York’s summer-only Water Taxi Beach when Claude VonStroke played his own edit of Billie Jean. dancetracks got some video footage, but they …

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Comment of the Week: “I don’t want play in the club”

Photo: Home Taping Is Killing Music, (CC) andy in nyc. This is a profound comment on so many levels. I’ll let it speak for itself: Yes, you can contact with me. But, if you would want that I played on your party on cassettes, then I refuse. I do not play on cassettes any more. In general, I don’t want play in the club, because people come there to drink and to search partner for copulate. This is bad. – Artjom, Russian DJ and alternative interface researcher, commenting on Homemade Cassette Tape DJ Mixers + Max/MSP PC We feel you, …

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