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Midi Fighter Spectra: Crazy-Sexy Arcade Buttons, US$175.99 [Live+Serato+Traktor]

If you want to mash on some arcade buttons for your DJ or live set, your perfect hardware may have arrived. Sure, okay – you’ve seen this before. DJ TechTools followed up on their original, DIY-centric Midi Fighter with the swanky-looking Midi Fighter 3D. The industrial design was gorgeous, replacing the homebrewed original with a crisp-looking case, subtle side buttons, and features like a custom USB cable. But we heard from plenty of readers who weren’t interested in waving the hardware around to take advantage of the gyroscope features. At a lower price (US$175.99 to the $249.99 3D model), and …

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DJ Views, Any Way You Want Them: Next-Gen Serato DJ UI, In Screenshots [Gallery]

Now that DJ tools do a lot of the same things, part of what would prompt you to use one is what you see. And what you see is a lot of what a DJ tool offers. Serato announced earlier this month that it was overhauling its somewhat fragmented offerings and replacing them with one next-generation alternative: Serato DJ. But the one thing we couldn’t do was see it. We could see the Pioneer hardware designed to go with it, but not the new UI. That change today, as Serato releases a slew of images of the software, which is …

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New Pioneer hardware may look like other offerings - but there are some twists on controller mappings, and velocity-sensitive pads. You also get an impressive integrated 4-channel mixer. The bad news: without this gear, you aren't running Serato DJ until at least spring of 2013.

Scratch That, ITCH: Serato DJ the Future of Serato, First Integrated Hardware from Pioneer [Gallery]

The story around digital DJing increasingly seems to be controllers built around specific software. As Native Instruments pushes their Kontrol line for Traktor Pro, Serato has rebooted both their software and their hardware approach. Serato DJ is the new generation of Serato software, with some much-requested features making their way to the tool. But whereas Native’s software (and other DJ options) work with any hardware, you’ll need specific hardware to use Serato. Initially with Serato DJ, that means the new Pioneer DDJ-SX; even users of existing ITCH hardware will need to wait until 2013 for support in the form of …

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As Battle to Define Digital DJing Heats Up, Dubspot Tests Novation Twitch

The evolution of what we now call “DJing” is inseparable from the turntables and mixer. So, what happens when you enter the digital domain and you really don’t need to refer to either device? Many digital DJ controllers have simply mimicked those previous inventions, with virtual tables and a mixer-style layout. To some extent, they must, not only for familiarity but to even make it possible to perform the kind of tasks DJs expect. Then again, the computer, endless shapeshifter that it is, can do whatever you like. And so we’re beginning to see mass-market controllers marketed at DJs – …

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Turntable Meets Cello, Sax, Laptop: How Archie Pelago Uses The Bridge and Ableton Live

With laidback, exotic grooves and richly-coordinated interlaced cello, saxophone, turntable, and electronics, Archie Pelago’s music relies on some serious technological savvy. To be sure, all you really need to play instruments and computers and turntables together is to get into a room and start jamming. But to realize their specific musical vision, the trio of Hirshi, Cosmo D and Kroba have turned to an advanced Ableton Live rig, centered around The Bridge to couple Serato and Live. Here’s a look at their music – and all the gory details that combine to make their setup tick. Grab the free EP …

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Experimental Turntablism with dj sniff – Inside the Rig, Process, Playing Technique (CDM Video)

Behind records, dj sniff hides a no-display computer-based rig running his own software, extending the possibilities of what turntablism can be. Photo by Tanya Traboulsi. dj sniff, aka Takuro Mizuta Lippit, has been a leading figure in experimental turntablism and experimental music in general. Following studies in New York and Tokyo, he’s been a key artist and curator in the scene, as well as a top practitioner of turntable technique that pushes the envelope of what the record player can do. I got to spend some time with him in the basement of STEIM, the cutting-edge “electro-instrumental” research center in …

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New Performance Controllers: Midi-Fighter Pro will Face Grid+Fader Rivals

With game-style arcade buttons – and the pre-mapped combos to match – DJ TechTools’ latest wants your pocket full of quarters. Midi-Fighter images courtesy DJ TechTools. What should DJing with a computer look like? We’ve seen over a decade of products that can emulate the vinyl turntable experience, of course. But a native hardware interface for the computer – with all its internal looping, slicing, and effects capabilities – by definition must be different. DJ TechTools, led by DJ Ean Golden, has mixed writing about technology with designing custom solutions to that problem, interacting with the community on the DJ-centric …

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Novation + Serato Touchstrip Twitch; Pics + Inside Details on the DJ ‘Controllerist’ Collaboration

The question of how to build controls to fly today’s live laptop music sets – whether “DJ,” “live PA,” or something else – remains open. We’ve got an inside look at the newest entry, the most recent device to explore just what should be mapped and tactile, and what should be left behind. Amidst various look-alike mixer-and-deck controllers, it fits in with those pushing to make computer control a hybrid of traditional DJ metaphors and new computer ones. Meet the Twitch. The result of a collaboration between New Zealand DJ software developer Serato and UK hardware maker Novation, Twitch deviates …

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Virtual DJ Controllers: New Hardware for Serato, Traktor from Pioneer, Numark

What should digital DJing look like? It’s an open question. If you aren’t willing to contend with the (potentially-unreliable) combination of real vinyl control records with computers, the question becomes what DJing technique hardware should embody. Writing for CDM, Ambivalent of Minus Records was most enthusiastic about advanced hardware mixing in Allen & Heath’s Xone:DB4. Boutique manufacturer Faderfox focuses instead on advanced, four-deck effects and control, minus the big, record-mimicking platters. The big players, though, are focused on a kitchen-sink approach that combines turntable controllers with integrating mix, effect, and transport controls with software. We saw Native Instruments’ Kontrol S4, …

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The Bridge, Ableton + Serato, Available; New Mixtape Video

The Bridge, the software resulting from collaboration between Ableton and Serato we first saw in January, is available today. The integration is free, provided you have the right software: you need both a copy of a full version of Ableton Live or Live Suite 8.2 or above and Serato Scratch Live 2.1.1. (Live LE, for instance, is not compatible.) You need the Serato Scratch Live hardware in order to run Scratch Live, for those of you unfamiliar with the Serato side. Check out our past coverage for more details of what The Bridge is about: http://createdigitalmusic.com/tag/the-bridge/ At top, Ableton has …

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