Traktor DJ on iPhone, Waveforms and Touch, and the Phone As Desktop Companion

Not long after its debut on the iPad, Traktor DJ is available for the iPhone and iPod touch. The surprise is that more or less all the functionality of the bigger iPad version is there, only reorganized visually for the smaller screen. In fact, zoom in on a waveform and it’s the same height in your hand as it is on the iPad mini. You get the same 3-band EQ and filter sections, waveform loop and cue points, time analysis, scrubbing, library browsing and management, and even the same eight effects. NI has been fairly clever fitting that onto a …

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In Drawings, A Producer Looks at Big Acts’ Live Laptop Rigs, Deadmau5 to FlyLo

In a charming set of schematic doodles, self-described hip-hop producer deejers has assembled an exquisitely-researched compendium of live laptop rigs from top music acts. In the lineup: Flying Lotus, Skrillex, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Daft Punk – a reasonable sampling of artists playing big shows live on the US circuit. And, oh, yes, deadmau5, who despite claiming that everyone just presses play, has put together a fairly impressive controller setup with monome, Maschine, Lemur, and Pioneer EFX-1000. (Just one of those four controllers could let you assemble a track from scratch, let alone all four.)

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A DJ App for iPad That’s Modular, For Exactly What You Want: d(- -)b from touchAble Creators

d(- -)b brings the colorful, visual, touchable waveforms that are part of the draw of iPad DJing. But to that, it adds another trick: custom, modular layouts, letting you choose up to six decks, for instance. Two decks, or more decks? Horizontal, or vertical waveforms? Which controls? DJ app designers normally have to make such decisions for their users – and users must, more or less, take what they’re given. Not so with the odly-named, just-released d(- -)b iPad DJ app. Using a grid to neatly-align elements, it lets you choose what you want on-screen, and whether two decks or …

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A Full Traktor DJ App on iPad, Syncs – or Replaces – Desktop App; First Impressions, Tour

It’s not a controller app. It’s not a “my first DJ app.” Native Instruments has released a full, two-deck version of Traktor, built from the ground up for the iPad, that nonetheless does essentially what the desktop app can. The same team behind the desktop Traktor has reconceived the library, effects, looping, sample navigation, and mixing around touch. CDM has been testing the result with the developers and in release candidate builds. You can use Traktor DJ for iPad on a bus, or – if you’re Richie Hawtin or on vacation – on the beach. You can then turn around, …

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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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Connect Four: 4 Decks, 4 FX Units, Advanced Traktor Mapping [Video]

DJ tool makers keep working on integrated hardware/software solutions – as they should. But meanwhile, creative DJs and hackers keep rolling their own, personal solutions – as they absolutely should. Here’s one of the latest in action. Stewe on the DJ TechTools forums rigs a four-deck, four-effect mapping for the CNTRL:R, the Livid Instruments-Richie Hawtin collaboration. It makes for some intelligent, performative DJ setups here – and four of each, to me, is often more than enough musical elements to get creative. (One might argue that not only about DJing, but live electronic musical elements in general. There’s something about …

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Phoebe in the studio. Photos for CDM courtesy the artist.

Listening, Behind the Scenes: Phoebe Kiddo, Traveling Through Earth and Space

The enchanting, carefully-handcrafted music of Phoebe Kiddo is yet another example of the wonders coming from under-the-radar digital artists in the production Renaissance now underway. We got to host Phoebe on our MusicMakers party last month in Berlin – full coverage of that show, with video, coming soon. Now, Phoebe tells CDM a bit about making music as a globe-trotting nomad, and how she works with monome live and in the studio. Phoebe’s music mixes taut beats and delicate, low-fidelity timbres with dense arrangements and spacey dubs. Her voice cuts dreamy melodic lines across introspective grooves that can then accelerate …

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It's not a monster combining everything in a giant, coffin-sized case. Instead, the Z2 focuses in on 2-channel mixing and controls, and integrates with Traktor.

A Mixer, A Soundcard, a Controller: NI Traktor Kontrol Z2, Examined [Gallery, Details]

Native Instruments is continuing their hardware attack with a new device that combines three tools: controller, mixer, audio interface. Those knobs and faders control software, as an integrated controller for Traktor, but internally, the Kontrol Z2 is also a mixer and computer soundcard. It’s geared primarily for Traktor users, of course, but with pricing under a grand and support for MIDI and audio with any software, it’ll be interesting to see if this sort of all-in-one design appeals to users of other DJ and performance tools. The Z2 is unique in that it’s a 2+2 mixer. It’s not the first …

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NI Combines 2-Channel Mixer, Control Surface; Pondering a Category of Tools

Well, you have to give some credit to NI – they’re teasing a new product on a day when people’s attentions may be turned elsewhere, electronics gadget speaking. The “sneak preview,” in the fashion of some previous previews, actually reveals a whole lot about what they’re doing. It’s a 2-channel mixer that can evidently operate as a standalone mixer, but also doubles as a control surface. That puts NI in competition with the likes of Pioneer, Denon, and Allen & Heath, moving the software company more squarely in a horse race with manufacturers associated with the physical stuff you see …

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The new CDJ. Works like a CDJ, but does things you might expect of a computer. Photos courtesy Pioneer.

CDJ, The Next Generation: Pioneer Reimagines DJ CD Player in Networked, Mobile Age of Software

In DJing, it seems, everyone has a banner to fly. There are the turntablists, the vinyl die-hards, the scratch artists. There are the digital DJs, the laptop users. The controllerists. DJing seems to go hand-in-hand with advocacy, and it’s hard to find a middle path. Even the DJ press outlets online often tend to a side. Of course, this is CDM, where we fly the banner of things like tangible music made with fruit JELL-O. (I’m telling you, it’s the future.) So, perhaps it’s worth stating the obvious: none of these things seems to be going away in the immediate …

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