LATEST IN DJ, MUSIC AND PRODUCTION GEAR
bpm We review...
Allen&Heath XONE: DB4 Mixer
Traktor Pro 2 Numark DJ2Go Bumper Musikmesse ‘11 Gear news TUTORIALS... Ableton Live The trick to EQ Relative Keys
ALL ABOUT THE
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MAY/JUNE ‘11 EDITION 55
Latest in DJ, Music and Production Gear 3. 4. 5. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11. 14. 15. 16. 22. 24. 25.
EDITORS NOTE & INFO COVER FEATURE - ALLEN & HEATH XONE:DB4 COVER FEATURE - ALLEN & HEATH XONE:DB4 REVIEW: NUMARK DJ2GO REVIEW: TRAKTOR PRO 2 REVIEW: TRAKTOR PRO 2 NUMARK NEW GEAR 2011 MUSIKMESSE '11 GEAR NEWS MUSIKMESSE '11 GEAR NEWS MUSIKMESSE '11 GEAR NEWS PRODUCTION TIPS: EQ TUTORIAL: ABLETON - SETTING UP MACROS TUTORIAL: RELATIVE KEYS TUTORIAL: RELATIVE KEYS
emember that bleak winter a couple of years back when the global markets crashed and the European and the USA economies became dim shadows of their former selves? I recall many returning from NAMM and Musikmesse telling me how dour these events were and dismal the future appeared. Well things seem to be back on track it seems and happily all the big guns have come out with a ton of new and exciting gear. Just page through our Musikmesse ’11 Gear pages and you’ll be left with no doubt... music technology is moving forward at a rapid pace once again... Happily. We’ve also dedicated an entire page to Numark’s new product lines for 2011. Aside from being one of the most innovative of the DJ gear companies, their pricing is simply irresistible for the features available. Check it out and drool! On that note I also wish to mention a faux pas on my part in last edition’s Editors Note. By casually
calling it the Controller Edition I inadvertently omitted to mention several other very strong brands; the aforementioned Numark, the ever popular Gemini and the increasingly versatile American Audio range. In a nutshell folks, when it comes to Digital Dj’ing, the choices you have are vast and I recommend you endeavour to try out as many as possible before making your choice. Luckily you have us diligently testing them all to assist with your decision making. Our front cover features DJ royalty in the form of the Allen & Heath Xone:DB4 Mixer. At over R 25K it ain’t cheap but then neither is a Bentley so if you’re looking for the ultimate in mixers, according to reviewer, Dave Skinz, he’s just found it in this formidable piece of tech. As always, enjoy the read and don’t forget to visit www.bpmmag.co.za for daily gear news. Enjoy. DAVE MAC Editor-in-Chief
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DJ GEAR By Dave Skinz
Allen & Heath with
As iconic as anything British that carries the DB letters preceding a single digit What Is It? Well in Allen & Heath’s own words its “...NOT an analog mixer! And it’s not a controller either! It’s our first fully digital DJ mixer and easily the most technologically advanced DJ product we’ve ever made.” Those are very weighty words considering the company uttering them, with hardcore products like the Xone: 4D rolling off the factory floor every day. So while the Xone: DB4 is spec’d as the replacement for the legendary Xone92, the ambitious folks at Allen and Heath have also earmarked their new addition for the coveted DJ product of the year award. After spending some time on the mixer I am hard pressed to find anything that is going to touch the DB4 on the many levels it operates as well as its appeal. A good place to start would be the FX section which has seen some impressive improvements built around a Quad FX Core DSP to drive a host of insanely good production quality effects, most of which have been taken directly from the acclaimed iLive system. All of these algorithms are replicated by the Allen & Heath team to closely match the dynamics of real world studio and live outboard gear, and manipulation of the FX’s and timing is closely controlled by the DSP to allow for simultaneous use of all four effects engines across each of the four channels. Each channel is equipped
5 groups of effects which cover Delays (x 5), Reverbs (x 19), Modulators (x 9), Resonators(x 9) and seven Damage style effects. Each of the effects can be independently manipulated with a combination of rotaries for expression, dry/wet, timing and a basic adjustment option. On top of these insane DSP effects the DB4 retains the Xone Dual filter system, assignable to any of the channels. The cherry on-top goes to the dedicated looping section, again per channel, which allows ranges from 1/16 beat up to a full 4 bars even when playing as slow as 60 BPM! Unlike other looping systems that record pieces of a loop to play, the DB4 will record the entire 4 bars of audio so you can cut and move the loop markers around at will without having to re-record. All the settings pertaining to presets and effects can be toggled on the LED display which is visible even in direct sunlight. Accessing the DB4’s menu gives you custom control over functions like recording and headphone responses, left and right output phase settings, master trim, USB routing, metering modes and screen brightness. All of these presets and software updates can be moved from one DB4 to another by means of a USB flash. The DB4 is also soon to be Traktor certified with added DVS support on the way as well.
Another positive on the DB4 is the EQ section, and while moving away from the much loved four band EQ on the 92, Allen & Heath have gone for a 3 band setup that can be configured either as a standard asymmetric EQ (+6/-25dB), an isolator (+6/OFF with a 24dB/octave slope) or High-Pass/Low-Pass filter system with adjustable resonance. The backlit EQ rotaries will change colour depending on which EQ system you have selected via the selector switch in each section. If your jaw hasn’t hit the floor yet I haven’t even touched on the MIDI component yet. Nearly everything on the DB4 can function simultaneously as a USB MIDI controller turning your faders and knobs into encoders, assignable to any software you’re using. This even applies to the effects controls and loop encoders which can be disconnected for additional control knobs. Although why would you really want to get rid of those DSP effects? The inputs on the DB4 are nothing short of amazing with four analog inputs via RCA (two of which are phono/line switchable), four digital inputs and USB access to the 4 stereo inputs available via the DB4’s built in 24 bit/96 kHz audio card. All of these 12 inputs are managed with Allen & Heath’s newly adopted matrix-style assign system so any of these can be assigned to any one of the four channels on the DB4 by using a selector switch for Analog, USB or Digital and then a rotary to decide what you want where. For guys combining an analog and digital set-up this can save you extensive safaris to the back of the mixer to track down input cables and their destination...in the dark...with a countdown. And for the digital-only DJ this allows for a single USB cable to control all the I/O and still allow for simultaneous connection of other devices without interfering with the audio. The output is just as cool with balanced XLR master outputs, balanced ¼” Jack for the booth output, RCA record-out and a Digital record out for making it easy to hook up ADAT or any other S/PDIF equipped interfaces. If transporting, and wear and tear is an issue, bear in mind the entire DB4 body housing is made of aircraft grade aluminium to safely house all those insanely good faders, pots, effects and circuitry. Now, if that still isn’t enough the kind folks at Allen and Heath also supply the DB4 with a custom padded carry bag. Nice.
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Who Should Own One? This is aimed at those DJ’s that want to integrate multiple analog and digital sources in their performance without the need for extra MIDI controllers, soundcards and RAM. With everyone looking at using better quality effects the need for processing power to run those effects through your laptop is often in short supply. The DB4 responds to that by providing this processing power within the mixer, saving you having to funnel vital resources away from the running of the computer and your software. The price tag definitely tilts the Allen & Heath DB4 towards the upper echelons of the DJ market, but as the old adage goes “he who buys merely based on price alone has no concept of the true value of the thing.” Anyone that has played on an Allen & Heath can attest to the fact that no other mixer on (or off) the market sounds quite like it. The better the system it’s being used on, the better it’s going to sound. It’s going to be tremendously challenging to find anything else on the market that combines capability and quality as astutely as the Allen and Heath Xone: DB4. As with any piece of gear this isn’t going to make you an amazing DJ but it will provide the correct tools to allow you to grow into one, and for those guys who are already in that headspace it will afford you the best set of tools to express yourself aptly. After all if you believe DJ'ing is about performance why would you want to limit the power of your instrument?
The Verdict It’s as iconic as anything British that carries the DB letters preceding a single digit. In fact a great analogy would be that if James Bond was a DJ in his spare time (who’s to say he isn’t?), then the Allen and Heath Xone: DB4 would be his choice, and it would be a great fit alongside the Walter PPK in his holster and the Aston Martin in his driveway. Just routing a simple audio feed into one of the DB4 channels, looping it and then effecting it sometimes twice over is comparable to a religious experience if
that’s your thing, and the quality of the effects and the looping system have to be heard to be appreciated. Like any piece of great design the Xone: DB4 solves problems and opens doors that simply weren’t there before. But where it truly excels is in integrating multiple DJ setups while offering studio grade effects to the digital
performer without compromising on processing power. There are so many levels to this mixer that I struggle to see why an artist wouldn’t want one, unless they were bringing their own that is.
Supplier: Audiosure (Pty) Ltd | Price: R 26 995.00 Tel: (011) 790-4600 | Web: www.allen-heath.com | www.XONE.co.uk | www.audiosure.co.za
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DJ GEAR - PREVIEW By BPM Reports
What Is It? Numark’s new DJ2Go is a nifty little DJ controller designed to offer one all the basic functions required to control your DJ software without having to use the mouse and keyboard. The idea, and heck even the look of it, reminds me a bit of Korg’s Nano series. Weighing in at a mere 13 ounces... yep you read correctly that’s 0.8125 pounds, this compact little gadget is super light but as you can see from the image it fits nice and snugly in front of a regular 15 inch laptop which is petite but not ridiculously so. This USB driven device has two identical sections which comprise of all the basic functionality you’ll find on a DJ deck, namely; tempo sliders, pitch bend buttons, channel volume, sync and monitor button, play, cue and even a jog-wheel. The mid section hosts a cross-fader, master and headphone volume and a really nifty browser navigation section which enable one to load tracks into either A or B deck as well as scroll though your library. Now if that ain’t enough goodies packed into one little stick of dynamite the DJ2Go comes bundled with Virtual DJ LE Lite Software which is of course auto-mapped and ready for use straight out the box. Which brings me to the next question...
Who Should Own One? I’ve witnessed countless international DJ’s do their ‘Live’ shows (in other words perform their own selfcomposed tunes from their laptop... not actually play live instruments – we all know that, don’t we?) using mini controllers like the Korg Nano series gear simply because it works and is super light to throw in their backpack when travelling. I don’t think the DJ2Go is quite going to be used for big shows although it would not surprise me entirely to see it popping up. The fact is it works and it does tick all the boxes for basic Dj’ing. However the two most likely candidates are firstly the beginner DJ and secondly I foresee this being very, very popular amongst any DJ who is looking for a quick, light and compact solution for small gigs, private parties etc. If you are a beginner or just dipping
“...if that ain't enough goodies packed into one little stick of dynamite the DJ2Go comes bundled with Virtual DJ LE Lite Software.”
* Laptop not included
your toe into the world of digital DJ’ing, the DJ2Go is a brilliant starting point at what I expect to be a very, very affordable price as seems to be the case with most Numark products available in South Africa. Whilst nothing is confirmed I am guessing R 800 or less for this piece of gear. This is a super affordable way to learn the ropes and have a massive jam session in your room with the added bonus of knowing that the DJ2Go is quite capable should you wanna jam for real at a party. Many DJ’s tend to carry their tunes around with them as a matter of course when out and about at braais, gatherings, house parties, etc. so why not stick one of these babies in your bag with your laptop and wam bam, you’re ready to jam.... at a moment’s notice!!!
The Verdict The fact that DJ2Go comes bundled with Virtual DJ LE is the real winner for me. This takes care of two very important things, namely the DJ software and the unit to make DJ’ing off computer a tactile experience. What you will still need though is obviously a computer or laptop, a set of headphones and a DJ compliant soundcard such as the Numark Dj|iO, all 3 of which (aside from the computer) you could pick up for around two grand in total. Not bad for a beginner setup that offers pro features and certainly a rad little controller for those quick fire little gigs.
Supplier: Viva Afrika | Tel: (011) 250-3280 Web: www.numark.com
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DJ GEAR By Dave Skinz
What Is It? Traktor Pro 2 is the latest in the line of award winning products from German software gurus Native Instruments. NI have been involved with the complexities of DJ technology since its inception back in 2000, and besides consistently delivering the best package out there, they have always listened attentively to the voices of its huge fan base. The Pro 2 package is going to be a big step up for those on the original Traktor and it’s going to be a somewhat familiar one to those already running the Kontrol S4, as Pro 2 draws a lot of its new improvements and architecture from the S4's software. So, those guys lucky enough to be working on that particular beast are not only upgraded to Pro 2 gratis, but they also should be familiar with a couple of the Pro 2 features but certainly not all of them. The first thing Native Instruments examined when they developed Pro 2 was the user, which is arguably the best place to go when you've won consecutive awards for a piece of software that everybody loves. So NI have enhanced the entire user interface by improving how we interact with the screens. The previously bland waveforms are now lit by TruWave which allows you to differentiate between the kicks, snares, and hi-hats
by the brightness or tone of the waveform, and all the zoom functions have been augmented to allow for tighter cue markers and beat grids. This translates into concise beat grids that are easier to read and predict, hence tighter mixes even if you mix with the sync button locked on. The track overview window now also accommodates the entire track and there are some new layout choices too, so it’s easier to see whats going on when you (inevitably) attach some controllers. One of the best exports from the S4's software setup is the sample and looping sections. Any of the four channels in Pro 2 can be turned into a sample deck and it’s the same four slot sampler taken directly from the S4's software but in the Pro 2 version you are given individual filter and volume control for each of these channels. All loops can be set to trigger as one shot or locked loops and if you don't have any content to start off with, a bunch of material is included from Loopmasters, as well as some scratchy stuff from DJ Craze. What really sets the sampling and looping area apart is when the four slot loop section is combined with the Loop recorder to allow you to record any incoming or playing audio and create a locked loop out of it. So any audio or
loop can be overdubbed and overdubbed again till you are happy with it, then tweaked some more, and then saved to your library to retrieve for the next set. It is this type of thinking when applied across all of the functions in Pro 2 that indicates a movement towards a DJ program which allows you to do more than just play two songs; you can now create layers upon layers and start to introduce live remixing and production into the equation. One of the best features of the original Traktor software was the rich and diverse selection of effects on tap. These are further enhanced with the addition of Tape Delay, Ramp Delay, Bouncer, and Auto Bouncer bringing the grand total of effects to 32! If you want to hear how the new effects sound you can check out the new videos on the NI website. Another new brainwave was to include an effects send and return channel for hooking up external effects units, and when paired with its new recommended sound card the Audio 10, you already have the extra stereo channel to handle that. The guys at Native Instruments have also added lots of support for the connection of (in my opinion) mandatory external controllers because if you haven't hooked one up yet you might as well be playing with only one deck. For example plug in a Kontrol X1 and you can now export a loop and the control of it directly to the X1 and use it like a 5th deck to open up that channel for more audio or loops. For heftier kit like NI’s Maschine, Pro 2 can now send triggers to lock Maschine to the timing you've set up in Traktor. And as always our friend the Set-Up Wizard is there to help you through tweaking the system from one set-up to another and new Auto Detection makes routing the connections a much easier prospect. The final additions to Pro 2 come in the form of more prominent use of album artwork to provide a better way to remember your record collection when browsing through, and the internal mixer has been beefed up so those running software only have a 3 band EQ and filter per channel, as well as fader curve adjustments.
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Traktor Pro 2
Raising the bar, and setting the standards. Grabbing the reigns of the DJ software market and riding off into the sunset. beat maps were tight in Pro are going to be astounded when they remap their libraries and then listen to the way new mixes hold and sound in Pro 2. My favorite part has to be the way loops and samples can be combined, recorded and then saved. This really allows you creative control of tracks and loops to manufacture a much more personal set of loops and give you that individual sound and character that so many DJ's strive for. The effects section is magnificent and the introduction of TruWave really does improve your ability to manage your mix and timing thereof with a quick glance at the display. I don't think I can place enough emphasis on how good a system Pro 2 is. It is as indispensable a tool for software DJ's as a ball is to a football match. Anything else would just be playing with yourself. Death to Traktor Pro and long live Traktor Pro 2.
Who should own one?
Well with all the different versions of Traktor 2 now out, including Duo 2, Scratch Duo 2, Pro 2 or Scratch Pro 2 anyone using Timecode or a computer to mix at any level would be hard pressed to find any other piece of DJ’ing software that even touches any of the versions of Traktor 2 out there. Even starting your computer DJ’ing experience on Duo 2 is a great route to follow bearing in mind that NI will allow you an upgrade path to the Pro 2 system for a small fee once you feel you are ready to step up. Registered users of Traktor will be able to upgrade to Pro 2 via the Native Instruments Upgrade centre for a price that definitely beats purchasing a whole new system.
Traktor Pro 2 is an amazing and powerful piece of software that is going to stay at the top of the pyramid amid a horde of similar DJ products for a very long time to come. In my opinion there is no competitor to the Pro 2 system and the long list of features and extended functionality on the new version lend credence to my humble views. As with any new software release there are going to be some teething issues, especially with the host of configurations out there, but Native Instruments are sure to post some updates in the next couple of weeks which will put a stop to all the internet chatter regarding some small bugs. Bugs aside you can’t go wrong with the Traktor Pro 2 system; anything else is going to be a huge step backwards. The new audio engine is spectacular and any users who thought that their
Supplier: Tuerk Music Technology | Tel: (011) 792-8402 Web: www.tuerkmusic.co.za / www.nativeinstruments.com
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NUMARK MUSIKMESSE '11 NEWS
American specialist DJ gear company, Numark seems to be on a serious marketing offensive this year with a ton of new gear about to be released worldwide. Most of what you are seeing on this page should be available by June or July in South Africa so look out for reviews on selected items in future issues.
NEW GEAR 2011
MIXDECK QUAD: Mix and Control…Anything Perform with CD, MP3, USB, software, and iPad. Fans of MIXDECK will be blown away by the features in MIXDECK QUAD. A 4-channel analog and MIDI mixer, integrated beat-synced DSP effects, inputs for CD and USB flash drives, plus added support for core MIDI on the iPad and iPod touch make MIXDECK QUAD the standard for DJs who want to control and mix virtually any kind of media. MIXDECK QUAD gives you the ability to perform, mix, remix, and record with virtually any popular music media. Whether you play parties, clubs, events, or in a group, MIXDECK QUAD also gives you the freedom to DJ from nearly any source all in one unit, with the flexibility to add on and expand as much as you like
M8: Four Channels of Rock-Solid Versatility
* laptop & iPad not included
Four channels to mix, match and effect all your music. The M8 is a four-channel mixer with integrated Beatkeeper technology that ensures seamless development of your mix. Built-in beat-synced effects put amazing transitions at your fingertips to keep your mixes fresh and the music moving. Mix CD’s, vinyl, a microphone, or any other line level source. Convenient RCA inputs on top, integrate your iPod or smart phone to quickly add a track to your mix. Housed in tough sheet-metal and built like a tank, M8 is designed to withstand the most raucous performances and still make the next night's gig.
MOBILE DJ: An Instant DJ Gig, Anywhere Party to go. Perfect for DJ’s on the move that want to bring their sound anywhere, MOBILE DJ can turn any location into an instant DJ venue. MOBILE DJ comes standard with dual docks for iPod or iPhone, aux inputs, dual microphone inputs with 8 built-in effects, and a powerful speaker system, all in one box. Add to all of this a 12 hours battery life and it’s clear that MOBILE DJ is prepped to make your mix mobile and agile, ready to go. MOBILE DJ is an all-inone sound system for iPod, microphone, and other audio sources. You can perform for more than 12 hours on its internal, rechargeable battery or wall power. The full-range speaker and built-in 20W amplifier ensure clean, clear sound up to 150 feet away. Sturdy construction and portable design with wheels and a telescoping handle make MOBILE DJ able to go anywhere and everywhere with you.
Rack-mountable solution for installations and DJs using CD and USB media. MP103USB offers DJs of all kinds, a professional CD/MP3/USB playback solution that can be rack mounted in a DJ rig or installed permanently at any venue. Perfect for DJ’s who use both CDs and MP3CDs, MP3103USB also features a front-facing USB port for direct flash drive playback and comes loaded with pro-quality effects and transition capabilities. There simply has never been a rack-mounted deck that offers so much for so little.
Distributed by: Viva Afrika | 011 250-3280 | www.numark.com
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GEAR & INDUSTRY NEWS
A look at some of the exciting new DJ and Studio gear from our advertisers launched at Musikmesse '11 American Audio VMS4™ Traktor Just when you thought the VMS4 Digital MIDI Work station couldn’t get any more popular, American Audio have followed it up with a new version that comes bundled with an exclusive version of the legendary and universally acclaimed Traktor™ Software from Native Instruments that supports 4 decks. The VMS4 Traktor has unique 4 x MIDILOG™ Channels that are compatible with any MIDI learn software or analog inputs. Cross-fader curve adjustment, assignable touch strips, 2 x mics with gain, treble, mid and bass control are just a few of the other great features you´ll find in the VMS4 Traktor™. SA Distributor: Legacy of Sound | Tel: 082 535-5548 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Reloop Jockey 3 The Jockey 3 is perfectly matched to the vast operation of Native Instruments' Traktor PRO and its 4 decks. However, the Jockey 3 is ideally applicable with any other MIDI compatible software, e.g. Virtual DJ. The ample layout which is optimized for the ergonomic operation methods of DJs, offers intuitive control for a fast and secure performance without the need to touch a computer. The newly developed, extremely flat jog wheels with adjustable drag and high resolution with 4096 steps per turn offer unequalled opportunities. Outstandingly precise handling that facilitates control to the split second of every imaginable track during fast-paced club gigs. The Jockey 3 is a fully featured controller with a 24 bit / 96 kHz audio interface. SA Distributor: Tradelius | Tel: 031 502-3080 | www.tradelius.co.za
Gemini CDJ-700 Inspired by the latest technological trends, the CDJ-700 literally puts professional features and innovative design right at your fingertips. The innovation behind Gemini’s new CDJ-700 focuses on two key elements of DJ performance: versatility and control. Due to the incredible variety of modern media, DJs can’t be restricted to a single format, so the CDJ-700 offers incredible flexibility, allowing playback from CDs, SD cards and USB memory devices in a variety of file formats (MP3, AAC, WAV and AIFF). Key features include; a large, high-resolution jog wheel with three selectable modes allows you to operate Cue, Scratch, Slip and Loop Adjust functions. A vibrant and convenient LCD touch screen display, a 24-bit / 192 kHz sound card and full midi capabilities. SA Distributor: Audiosure | Tel: 011 790-4600, 021 555-1617 031 569- 9260 | 051 430-4455 | www.audiosure.co.za
Pioneer DJM-T1 Pioneer formally announced the release of the DJM-T1 at Musikmesse this year. The DJM-T1 is a 2 channel Traktor certified mixer, complete with a copy of Traktor Scratch DUO 2 and a heap of other stuff too. Key Features Include: TRAKTOR Series Control – Control TRAKTOR software from mixer without the need for an additional external controller or soundcard. Scratch Control Capability – The DJM-T1 is a TRAKTOR SCRATCH CERTIFIED mixer. High Quality Faders – New channel and cross-faders that feature a slide construction supported by two metal shafts for the fader knobs. Clean and Powerful Audio Outputs – The DJM-T1 inherits the high sound quality design features found in all of Pioneer’s DJM series of products. Internal USB Soundcard – An internal USB soundcard enables the user to connect directly to a PC/Mac with a single USB cable. SA Distributor: Pro Audio – SA | Tel: 011-873 9666 | email@example.com | www.proaudio.co.za
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Imported and distributed by: JHB: Tel: 011 790-4600 | Fax: 011 466-3855 | CT: 021 555 1617 | Fax: 021 5552-9514 DBN: 031 569-9260 | Fax: 011 790-4593 | BLOEM: 051 430-4455 | Fax: 051 447-2183 email: firstname.lastname@example.org | website: www.audiosure.co.za
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GEAR & INDUSTRY NEWS
Korg Monotribe Analog Synth + Analog Rhythm + Step Sequencer = Analog Electribe Korg’s fascinating combination of the Monotron and Electribe gives rise to the Monotribe launched at Musikmesse ’11 amidst huge anticipation. In a world seemingly ruled by digital, Korg created an analog sensation with the palm-sized Monotron Analogue Ribbon Synthesizer. Korg has once again raised the analog banner with the amazing Monotribe Analog Ribbon Station; a new form of synthesizer that packs an amazing array of features and technology into its compact body. Korg’s Monotribe shares the Monotron’s analog DNA, yet quickly delves deeper into the rich, organic, and often chaotic world of analog synthesis. In addition to analog synthesis, Monotribe brings together intuitive ease of use and a three-part discrete analog rhythm section, plus the proven appeal of Electribe-style sequencing. Complete with a built-in speaker and battery power, Monotribe is self-contained and highly portable. SA Distributor: Tuerk Music Technologies| Tel: 011 792-8402| www.tuerkmusic.co.za
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Yamaha moX 6 & 8 Synthesizers
Yamaha has introduced two new synths at Musikmesse ‘11, described as offering “heavyweight professional performance with lightweight price tag” - the Yamaha moX 6 and moX 8 music production synthesizers. In other words – the Motif XS Sound Engine on a budget. Both models offer over 1200 voices and over 350 MB of waveforms from the Motif XS. These sounds can be edited with Yamaha’s XA (Expanded Articulation) technology and their Virtual Circuitry Modeling capability. Both models are designed to be ‘complete’ music making instruments, with a real or step time multi track sequencer, combined with 6720 arpeggiator patterns. Other notable features include bundled YC-3B Organ Emulator soft synth, Steinberg Prologue analog synth, Cubase AI and fullyweighted (moX 8) pr semi-weighted (moX 6) keys. SA Distributor: Global Music | Tel: 011 259-7700 | www.yamahaproaudio.co.za
Avid TORQ 2.0
Rane SL 2 for Serato Scratch Live The Rane SL 2 for Serato Scratch Live is a compact, professional two-deck interface packed with creative features to give DJs a competitive edge. Boasting high quality 48 kHz, 24-bit audio, the Rane SL 2 outputs a warm, punchy sound that you have to hear to believe. With high speed USB 2.0 connection, ASIO and Core Audio drivers, and galvanic isolation to ensure interference-free signal; the Rane SL 2 packs a massive punch. The Rane SL 2 is the replacement for the Rane SL 1. The Rane SL 1 is no longer in production, but owners will continue to receive technical support and free software updates. Key features; 1. Inputs for two deck mixing on turntables or CD decks. 2. Two software-switchable analog thru connections for regular vinyl or CD. 3. Studio-grade phono preamps, and 48 kHz 24-bit audio processing for superior sound quality. 4. Advanced, low latency USB 2.0 drivers 5. Built-in galvanic isolation to eliminate computer noise and interference. 6. Compact and ultra rugged hardware for portability and simple setup. 7. ASIO and Core Audio Drivers for studio production with third-party software. SA Distributor: Prosound (Pty) Ltd | Tel: 0861 4SOUND | www.prosound.co.za
Torq® 2.0 DJ software takes you beyond beat matching and into the future of DJ performance and real-time production. Don’t just spin tracks - reinvent them. Take advantage of all four decks to create unique, complex, and dynamic mixes. Develop your own sound using high-quality, innovative effects and a powerful built-in sampler. Go beyond cross-fading by transitioning between tracks in exciting new ways using the innovative new Traq Morph™ feature. You can easily integrate Torq 2.0 with turntables, CD decks, and a variety of popular DJ controllers - or run the software on its own. Designed for rocksolid stability and peak performance, Torq 2.0 gives you unlimited ways to create your own sound on the dance floor, in the studio, and beyond. Torq software’s patent-pending Traq Morph™ feature is the biggest innovation in fading since the cross-fader itself. It allows you to perform exciting transitions that would otherwise be impossible - short of having six hands and a rack of studio gear. Select between four flavours - Cut, Filter, Duck, and Morph - and Torq intelligently applies effects as you fade between songs. Note: Everyone purchasing Torq Xponent or Torq Conectiv from January 13, 2011 to June 30, 2011 will receive a free upgrade to Torq 2.0 when it becomes available. SA Distributor: Midi Music | Tel: 011 417-3400 | 031 564-3886
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Akai RPM3 Studio Monitors
GEAR & INDUSTRY NEWS RPM3 monitors provide full-range frequency response to ensure audio reproduction that is pure, yet compact. The lightweight and portable design means the RPM3 system can be easily placed in a carrying case and taken on the road, allowing for reference monitoring anywhere. Combining compact monitoring with a USB audio interface, RPM3 monitors enable you to simultaneously play audio from and record audio to a computer through the included USB cable. No special drivers are required. The monitors can easily record professional-quality audio directly from a mixer, keyboard, microphone preamplifier, guitar effects processor or other audio component. They have also been magnetically shielded to prevent interference when placed close to computer monitors or magnetic media. The RPM3 monitors provide a host of options to accommodate audio recording directly into a computer including a stereo ¹⁄₈" jack, a pair of balanced ¼" TRS inputs and stereo RCA inputs. Volume control, power-switch and ¹⁄₈" headphone jack are also located on the front panel for quick access and easy adjustment. SA Distributor: Musical Distributors | Tel: 021 799-4950 | www.bothner.co.za
The cutting edge Citronic MPX10 is USB DJ controller specifically designed to become the ultimate all in one DJ unit. It can be used in 3 ways eliminating the need to choose between either a PC software and MIDI controller, or the traditional two media players and a mixer set-up. Firstly, the unit can be used as a stand-alone player. Simply plug in a USB flash or hard drive and access the music on either side of the player by the MP3 track and folder search buttons, viewing the ID3 tags on the large VDF display. You can then mix and add effects between each player using the built-in 2 channel mixer. Secondly, the unit can be switched into MIDI mode, which is compatible with many popular DJ software packages. This feature allows you to control your music and the sound set-up with the built-in sound card driver. Finally, the versatile MP-X10 can be used as MIDI controller on one half and stand-alone player and mixer on the other. Simply access a song on your PC and control it using the DJ software, then cue up your next track on the USB storage device and mix across. This unit is easy to transport, quick to setup and simple to use, making it ideal for mobile DJs. SA Distributor: TV Audio | 011 805-9910 | www.tvaudio.co.za
JBL Professional Introduces Its Best EON Loudspeaker Ever JBL Professional introduced its EON515XT active loudspeaker. As the flagship of the iconic JBL powered portable speaker collection, the EON515XT was engineered for durability, high performance and ease of use. JBL has extended the reach of the current EON technology by improving input sensitivity, lowering the noise floor, adding user selectable EQ control and re-voicing the system for peak performance and enhanced audio precision. The 2-way EON515XT incorporates a JBL 2414H high-frequency neodymium compression driver and a 15-inch JBL 265F-1 Differential Drive® dual-voice-coil woofer perfectly matched to a proprietary Crown® Class D amplifier. The system has been re-voiced from previous models for better clarity and frequency balance and now delivers a stout 132dB maximum SPL. “We've raised the bar dramatically,” noted Richard Ruse, JBL Director of Marketing for Portable PA. SA Distributor: Wild and Marr (Pty) Ltd | 011 974-0633 | 021 787-9378 | 031 564-3877 | www.wildandmarr.co.za
16 | BPM TUTORIAL
Tricks from the Pro's:
PRODUCTION TIPS By Jonathan G Shaw
So, Sir, is it 50 Hz or 75 Hz today? The trick to EQ is to first get the sounds you are working with right. For electronic sounds this is relatively easy because no one really knows what they are meant to sound like anyway, but for live productions this all depends on the equipment you have and where you record. The sound should be pretty good on its own already and recorded so that certain “unfixable” problems are avoided. A sound that is dull and booming may never come right and always sound a little cheap. It is important to understand the frequency spectrum and learn what each part of the spectrum offers for different sounds:
“keeping” the frequencies you want and removing those you don’t. This is called subtractive EQ, where you only reduce the volume of certain frequencies. Additive EQ is just the opposite. Cutting away sounds is easier on the ear than boosting frequencies, but for a little brittleness additive EQ is fine. I often cut away what I don’t want in the lower mids to bass and add some clarity in the upper mids and presence bands if the sound is indistinct. That said this principles can also be applied in micro amounts. This is important when working with similar frequency sounds. You’ll want to remove frequencies in one sound while leaving or boosting them in
Understanding the sound you are working with in this spectrum can guide your EQ choices. Every sound may have a characteristic which falls into the spectrum and may need to be emphasised or cut. Certain sounds have more of one part of the spectrum than another. Bass sounds, for example, will have far more emphasis on lower mids and down. I say “emphasis” because the bass sound may have frequencies all the way up to the highs, but these only add to the sound and not the main part of it. Generally, in a recording environment you will want to “EQ” the sound by moving the mic around and doing some general EQ changes to record. Then, you will want to balance the sounds in the mix by
another. A trick to help find what this may be is to cut the sound, say the kick, with a very tight notch filter and sweep around the bass band until you find that the
“thump” of the kick disappears. This may be at 120 Hz, for example. Reset the EQ on the kick and then cut this frequency out of the bass guitar with a mild notch filter around 3 to 6 dB. Bearing in mind that the bass guitar can mask this frequency, the kick and bass will now fit around each other better with a warm surrounding bass and a nice thump from the kick. This concept can be applied to the lower mids allowing clarity from your bass guitar. You can do this all the way through the spectrum. The more sounds you add the more complex it gets – that’s why arranging instruments for use in the spectrum helps your mix incredibly. Other general tips for improving clarity is to apply high pass filters with a low Q (bandwidth) on all sounds which are not obviously part of the bass spectrum. Things like vocals, piano, brass and general sounds which have their fundamental frequency (their pitch range) above the lower mids. This lets the bass and sub bands have more space. Doing a general lower to upper mid cut with a broad Q on background sounds can help them take less dominance. Similarly pushing the mids can help lost sounds sound bigger p r o v i d e d t h e y d o n’ t muddy the mix. Adding a gentle rise with a mild Q at 6 kHz on most sounds help get them to cut through. At the end of the day there is no silver bullet for EQ, train your ears to know why you are pushing the buttons you are. Good luck! Play long and prosper! Resistance to better sound is futile!
Jonathan Shaw is a professional record producer who has worked with a multitude of artists and record labels in a freelance capacity. Outside this, he lectures music business at the University of the Witwatersrand and provides business consultation to the music industry. email@example.com
Versatile mixing with computer intergration. M6 enables you to step up to a four-channel mixer. This club-style design not only works with any standard audio sources including turntables and CD players, but it also has a USB computer connection.
M6 USB FOUR-CHANNEL USB DJ MIXER FEATURES: • Four input channels, each with gain, three-band EQ, and LED metering • USB computer connection for playing and recording with Mac or PC • Play music from music-player software • Record your mix to your computer • Multiple phono, line, and mic inputs • Dedicated XLR mic channel and additional mic input on channel 4 • Replaceable crossfader with slope control • Assign any channel to either side of the crossfader
NDX400 TOUCH-SENSITIVE SCRATCH MP3/CD/USB PLAYER FEATURES:
Play and scratch from MP3s, CDs and USB flash drives. NDX400 is an advanced, touch-activated scratch MP3/CD player that can also play from a USB flash drive.
• Rugged, tabletop, slot-loading MP3/CD player • USB input for performance with flash drives • Perform with CDs, CD-Rs, and MP3 Cds • Touch-sensitive scratch and search wheel • Text display for navigating folders on MP3 CDs and USB flash drives • Auto BPM with tap override for instant BPM (tempo) analysis • Start/stop-time adjustment for for vinyl-style braking • Reverse mode for special effects • Three hot cues for quick access to key points in the track • Seamless looping with stutter start for easy loop creation and integration • Pitch tracks up or down by up to 100% • Anti-Shock™ buffered skip-protection technology • Master Tempo maintains key while shifting pitch • Three fader start settings: Play/Cue, Lock, and Tact
24-BIT DIGITAL DJ MIXING.... Numark, creator of the first 100% digital DJ mixer, continues to develop digital mixing with X5. This two-channel, 24-bit, high-resolution mixer contains high-end analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog circuitry and powerful look-ahead limiters at the master, booth, and headphone outputs to deliver virtually lossless, clip-proof audio performance.
THE PERFECT TWO-CHANNEL MIXER FOR V7 FEATURES: • Looks, fit, and finish match perfectly with a pair of V7s • Ultra-long lifetime CP PRO crossfader, same as in Ns7 • 24-bit circuitry for superior sound quality • Look-ahead limiters on master, booth, and headphone outputs eliminate clipping • Slope and reverse controls on crossfader and line faders • Each channel offers EQ/Kills, gain, Transform • Repositionable phono/line switches • Dedicated mic input with EQ • Master (1/4" pair, balanced), Booth (RCA, pair), S/PDIF optical and coaxial digital outputs • Mini-crossfader cueing with headphone tone control
V7 MOTORIZED TURNTABLE SOFTWARE CONTROLLER FEATURES: • High-resolution turntable software controller • Direct-drive, motorized turntable platter with high and low-torque settings • Includes Serato ITCH software, compatible with Serato Scratch LIVE libraries • Works with all DJ mixers for custom system configuration • Extensive loop, cue, and track-access controls • Strip Search virtual needle-drop control • Complete effects controls for audio manipulation • Premium, rugged, all-metal construction with high-end knobs and buttons • Audiophile-grade audio circuitry with line inputs, system and cue outs • Industry-first handoff between two DJs using two different computers for up to four virtual decks • Link two V7s together or use a single unit to control two decks
R 7,833.00 Price are recommended retail, incl. 14% VAT
For trade enquiries or to find your closest retailer call (011) 250 3280 | firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Fletcher Beadon
20 | BPM
Setting up Audio Effects Racks and Macro Controls
ast month we looked at setting up your tracks for DJ’ing in Live. This time I would like to show you how to build your own audio effect racks and macros on every channel. Live has some powerful inbuilt audio effects which are great tools for any live performance. Add to that the wonderful world of VST effects out there and you have some potent weapons to really F***K up your sound (in the best possible way ;). Our aim here is to set up a combination of effects and then have their most important parameters controlled by a
Macro Control. First let’s look at how to set up an audio effects rack: First add the audio effects that you might like to use onto a channel in Live. For example, for a dj set, I like to add EQ Three (Ableton’s three channel dj style EQ), an Auto-Filter (for instant hi pass and lo pass filter sweeps), beat repeat (for glitch style effects), Redux (a bit crusher effect) and any combination of delays, reverbs, phasers and flangers.
Basically whatever effects work well with the music on that channel. The next step is to Group these effects into an Audio Effects Rack, making them into one giant effects unit. To do that, select all the relevant effects in the chain using SHIFT and click (or CMD/CTRL A to select All). They should all be highlighted yellow. Right click and select the Group command (CMD/CTRL G is the shortcut).
We now have a giant effects unit that has WAY too many possible options for one person to deal with. So make some Macro Controls. What the hell is a Macro Control?It is a group of 8 knobs at the beginning of a Rack that allows you to control the most important parameters directly from your MIDI controller, or using a mouse if you’re old school like that. As soon as you’ve created the Audio Effects rack by Grouping, you will see that a box has been put around all your audio effects, and a device title bar has been created. The button immediately under that device’s on/off button is Show/Hide Macro Controls. Click this button and your Macros Controls will appear.
Let’s use an example of setting up a hi pass filter for Macro Control. Select the Auto-Filter effect, and right click on
the filter frequency. From the menu that pops up, select Map to Macro 1.
The Filter frequency is now assigned to Macro 1, meaning that you control it from the Macro Control tab and not on the effect itself. The beauty of this is that you no longer need to go digging for the parameter you want inside an audio effect, it is clearly laid out for you. Right click on Macro Control 1 to rename it and colour it to your taste. As many effects parameters as you like can be assigned to one Macro. A trick I commonly use is to assign the
filter on/off button and the filter frequency to the same Macro. By clicking the green Map Mode button, I can set from which minimum value to which maximum value a parameter will
be active. For example this setting below means the effect is off in the 0 position and turns on as soon as I move it the tiniest amount to 1.
This is all the info you need to build your own Macros, allowing you to control a whole range of crazy effects from 8 knobs!
MASSIVE MAY MONTH PROMOTION on all our PIONEER products in store
22 | BPM
t's been tedious sleepless nights, a lot of hair loss and not to mention a spasmic jaw from all the frustration and anger you've accumulated due to the fact that you just can’t get that progression you hear on award winning dance hits. I think its due time to introduce you to relative majors and minors; that in essence, will help you write a winning musical progression.
Let's start of by choosing a tonic/root key for our piece. Let's use C major for example. Have a look at the C major scale.
Each major key lives right next door to its relative minor key. In the case of C major, it's A minor. And the figure below shows the relation.
Have a look at C major's 6th, 7th and 8th intervals. They are in fact the tonic, 2nd and 3rd intervals for A minor. This can give the artist a great advantage of taking the listener from one tonic key, into another; causing great tension and release. Which in essence, forms one of the most powerful secret ingredients for music composition. The biggest headache for most musicians is always the question: Where to progress to? You started in C (for example), now to change key... Knowing relative keys is a great way to get a sense of direction for a musical progression. Here are some more examples of relative keys. G major - relative key – E minor D major - relative key – B minor A major - relative key – F minor B major - relative key – G minor
23 | BPM
TUTORIAL By Willie Els (Pziezzo Electric)
The more you practise these relatives, the more you'll be able to hear the relation instead of just seeing it on black and white on paper. Now that we have a sense of the relative keys, here's a great example of the most common chord progressions for C: 1. 2.
C – Am – Dm – G C – Am – F – G
Have a look at how the relative A minor becomes the 2nd progression away from C major. So it becomes clear that knowing each key's relative key, will put you well on your way of writing a hit song; with that power progression you've always wanted. Have a look at the figures below for some great chord progressions to get you going.
Once you feel comfortable with some of your favourite keys' relatives, then feel free to play around. Move up, or even down to a relative. These are amazing direction boards, especially in 'chordy' Urban House', to help you find the next progression. Always remember, a book/tutorial can show you guidelines, but it's very important to listen to what works and what sounds wrong. If the piece gives you a sense of emotional attachment, then obviously it works. Keep it, and build on that. You'll hear and feel immediately if the progression doesn’t work. Get your mates to listen. Focus on their response. Their response is normally a dead giveaway. Another great way to 'ground' the progression (solidify the tonic), is to play a bass note on the same progression. This will give the chord progression a strong backbone and enhance the listener’s experience quite a bit. Once you’re ready, programme a drum pocket, some percussion and off you go!
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