A Gramophone that Plays the Earth Instead of Vinyl, and a Sonic iPhone Epidemic

Images courtesy Olle Cornéer. Used by permission. If you think culture has become too disconnected from the Earth, “Harvest” and the Terrafon instrument surely count as a shock to the system. A traditional ensemble picks up an enormous tone arm and transducer and, through back-breaking labor, drag it across arable fields. It’s part sound art and performance, part agriculture. But it certainly counts as a gramophone – it’s just a really big one that reads the grooves of the earth. Beat juggling with two of these I’m guessing is largely out of the question. One half of the artistic creative …

READ MORE →

Turntablism in the Digital Age: DJ Jungleboy with Stanton SCS.3d; Open Scratch Scripting

Want to reignite interest in DJs who actually use their hands and fingers to slice up and juggle sounds? A cavalcade of “laptopists” is the ticket. Suddenly, at least in some corners, people are again interested in turntablism. It’s nice to see how a controller can integrate digital loop and cue points with a setup that still focuses on scratching. And Stanton’s SCS.3d turns out to be scriptable in the open source DJ software Mixxx. As some live PA musicians revert to a “push play” mentality, DJs can keep it interesting.

READ MORE →

Streaming Tomorrow: Sampology AV Turntablist Set Live in Herovision

This time tomorrow (6PM AEST, 8AM GMT, 3AM New York), I’ll be streaming live with AV turntablist Sampology from the Game Over party at the State Library of Queensland. Following on from our previous Game On Set. Sam will be kitted out with Serato’s Video-SL (review on CDMo), and I’ll be bringing a brace of live camera feeds with the Vixid VJX16-4 video mixer (minisite | on CDMo). Last time it went down something like this: Sampology at Game On – AV Turntablist Set (Part 1) and (Part 2) from Herovision on Vimeo. Video-SL is fantastic fun, and as a …

READ MORE →

New Turntablism Concepts: Touchscreen Decks, Crossfader Samplers, Needles

We’re seeing more and more unique ideas for reimagining DJing and the two-turntable setup. Here are two examples from opposite ends of the spectrum: one employs a non-traditional interface to do traditional DJing in a new way, while the other uses the traditional interface to produce new DJ techniques. To me, the latter is more interesting, but both are meaningful parts of the process. From the excellent PSFK, Dan Gould finds a project by Scott Hobbs, a Dundee University (UK) student, building a project that access sampling, looping, and scratching features via touchscreens, instead of desks. (Via Gizmodo — thanks, …

READ MORE →

Free Turntablism: Open Source Reaktor Ensemble Could Change Scratching

Digital turntablism is nothing new. But Ammobox, debuted at the first-ever CDM Futuristic Music Design Challenge, is unique in a number of ways. What creator Nathan Ramella has done differently: 1. He’s demystified digital vinyl timecode. With no previous DSP programming experience, Nathan created his own custom tool for reading vinyl timecode — and explains how he did it. 2. He’s changed the rules of scratching — it’s now polyphonic scratching. As Nathan puts it, "You get a polyphonic sampler that can layer multiple samples at the same time and scratch them all simultaneously." Yep: no more does digital vinyl …

READ MORE →