Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Friday Music: Go Home DJ

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  • Russell Brown,

    Another from Darcy. For all that he's doing it in a comedy accent, this is a great cover of 'Jolene':

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    The local Devonport rag, The Flagstaff, has a hilariously nose-out-of-joint article about Lorde, mentioning that while she was happy to grant them an interview in 2009 when she won the Belmont Intermediate School Talent Quest, she didn't respond to their more recent requests for comment.

    If you don't mind, I'll be over here in the corner sobbing for my wasted youth.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    The local Devonport rag, The Flagstaff, has a hilariously nose-out-of-joint article about Lorde, mentioning that while she was happy to grant them an interview in 2009 when she won the Belmont Intermediate School Talent Quest, she didn’t respond to their more recent requests for comment.

    We just fell about laughing to this news. Bless the Flagstaff.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    We used Algoriddim Djay for the radio show last year. Made things pretty sweet for simpletons like us to be able run the show although we never tried anything too fancy. Things I also never tried - queueing up several tracks in advance. Would've been useful but I'm not sure it can be done? Also, recording the whole mix for podcasting later, several people asked for it but I never got around to it.

    As far as music goes, if you like where the dancehall gets ravey, the new Major Lazer EP Lazer Strikes Back Vol 2 is available at

    http://www.factmag.com/2013/03/12/major-lazer-drops-second-free-ep-lazer-strikes-back-vol-2/

    JStar has his Summer Bass Badness reggae d'n'b mix on Mixcloud and download here

    http://www.mixcloud.com/Jstarmusic/jstardigsmusic-17-summer-bass-badness/

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    I use DJ Mixer pro on the pad... its fun, simple to use, freemium and can do turntables or CDJs (god knows why one would go for the latter)..

    and for those old fashioned whom blending, mixing or mashing of two tunes is sacrilegious I love AirVinyl by Air Studios (George Martin, Beatles connection)... a single virtual turntable or cassette tapedeck for playing back those over compressed files

    course nothing beats the real McCoy (says he whose just setup his decks after a year due to space limitations)

    in short - playing records, real or not is a lot of fun... add booze and bad dancing for regrettable times

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    The setup I went for in the end, after trying several DJ apps and progs, is Media monkey backed up with Unified remote for Andriod. That way I can control the player from anywhere in the house over wireless, volume, next track etc. With the paid version ($5) it will load your playlist info onto the phone so you can choose any track from the playlist at any point and it auto fades from track to track. With a little practice you can do a reasonable impression of an average DJ mixin' it up large annat.
    I am not sure if there is an iPood version but I thought use Apple guys let Steve Jobs choose your music for you.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • sonja yelich, in reply to Russell Brown,

    yeah - at first i thought - oh, Flagstaff, don't be so bubba chubba - & then i thought - ooo, spiteful.

    New Zealand • Since Mar 2012 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I am not sure if there is an iPood version but I thought use Apple guys let Steve Jobs choose your music for you.

    Heh. I fucking hate shopping at the iTunes Store, but the Apple ecosystem does playback pretty bloody well. I either AirPlay music from my phone (including Soundcloud, Hype Machine and Spotify apps) or, more often, use my phone as an iTunes remote. The iOS djay remote is quite handy too.

    But I was sure I used to be able to set iTunes to automix from track to track and I'm damned if I can see how to do that now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But I was sure I used to be able to set iTunes to automix from track to track and I’m damned if I can see how to do that now

    Setting up Crossfading

    On the iTunes main screen, click the Edit menu tab and choose Preferences. Click on the Playback tab to see the option for crossfading. Now, put a check in the box next to the Crossfade Songs option. You can use the sliderbar to adjust the number of seconds that crossfading should occur between songs; the default is 6 seconds. When done, click the OK button to exit the preferences menu.


    There, that should do it ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The most fully featured app I tried on the 'droid was Droid DJ, substantially better for anything tricky than anything else, other than a remote control of desktop app, none of which I tried. Mostly the difference was that it didn't crash or lock up. But the most actually useful app to me just did crossfading with a decent screen for track selection.

    In other words, a media player, rather than actually DJing with beat matching, looping etc. In the end, Winamp does it, so I've gone back to that. The most important part of the app ends up being the way you search your music library. If that's poor, then you can't find the music you want to play. After you've found it and queued it up or made a playlist, the playback of it is pretty much done well by any kind of media player.

    I wrote my own app to do this, too. It works, but computer programming ain't my bag no more.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    FWIW, my opinion on the best interface is that a turntable metaphor is a wasteful gimmick. It doesn't really act or feel like an actual turntable, having no weight, and potentially high input latency, it uses a lot of CPU cycles in a process that is already very hungry for them, and it wastes large amounts of precious screen real estate, very important on small devices. I'd rather have a good readable list of the tracks to play and some buttons that can easily be pushed than something that looks like a record taking up most of the screen, tiny little controls, and an unreadably small, or uselessly short list. But then again, it hardly matters - most of the time is going to be spent searching the music library anyway, so that main screen ends up being the least annoying thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm curious whether the Apple devices solved the key problem with effective DJing on a 'droid I ran into, which is that there aren't 4 channels for the sounds, so you can't do audio cueing on a headset. Do they have a solution for that, or are they stuck with visual or automatic beat matching from the waveform, or just forgetting about it and covering it all up with a rapid crossfade?

    ETA: Or pre-marking the cut points, if you have the time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Allan Moyle,

    note that the new Ladi6 track is also on Soundcloud here

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Slevin,

    For smooth unattended playback I recommend Radiologik. It's pro-studio automation software but cheap-as for the features and supports Airplay. Software preps all your tracks for smooth transitions based on criteria you select.

    Add iVolume and you get radio-style presentation of your own selection of tracks - also updates play counts in iTunes for smart playlists.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Are any of these apps Ranty Dave's product? Maybe he'll come on here and tell us about it - the different feature is being able to preview and set up your mixes ahead of time.

    Playing tunes at home is truly a different use case from DJing for an audience though. In the former case, you probably want automatic blends and sequencing, with the ability to easily cue anything up from an entire record collection.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    oh, that 'Rush' re-edit is amazing. I've worn out two copies of the original Morales 12" over the years so this fills a hole wonderfully.

    If I was stuck on that bloody desert island a Morales remix or two would find their way there.

    Now if we can have a re-edit of both sides of the Def Mix mixes of Alexander O'Neal's 'What is This Thing Called Love'...

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • mike gemmell,

    Traktor have recently released a dj app for ipads, looks like it might be fun, $25

    Since Aug 2012 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Hugh Wilson,

    I tweeted some thanks to Russell for this post earlier, as I have peered into the world of DJ app's before only to retreat in a fog of confusion - I'm more psyched (if that's the right word) for parting with $25 than previously the case ...

    One alternative I thought of to this route was buying a mini portable mixer to which two ipods (or similar devices) could be plugged into: a simple cross fader, volume control and headphone jack would suffice for that future party (NY's or otherwise) in the middle of nowhere where there's basically stuff all chance of anyone lining up any dj gear. Seems there are quite a few mini mixers about, and heck you could even plug a portable record player in if you were so inclined. Running ipods as inputs means other people can plug their phones or whatever in as well so they can hear their favourite song, which can help keep everyone happy if you know what I mean !

    Melbourne • Since Feb 2013 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Playing tunes at home is truly a different use case from DJing for an audience though. In the former case, you probably want automatic blends and sequencing, with the ability to easily cue anything up from an entire record collection.

    In the latter, you wouldn't use an inferior tool. You'd use a traditional DJ setup, probably. So stuff in the middle kind of suffers from the "that's pretty cool, but it's not much use, really" factor. Like Droid DJ, which I described above. I could crank out some reasonable sounds, nicely beat and tempo matched, slowly up-tempo it, loop it, etc. If what I wanted to do at a party was sit around playing with my phone the entire time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Are any of these apps Ranty Dave’s product? Maybe he’ll come on here and tell us about it – the different feature is being able to preview and set up your mixes ahead of time.

    I don't *think* so. And even if it is, I certainly mean no ill towards Ranty Dave. I saw a talk he gave a while about making his app that was impressive and interesting.

    Playing tunes at home is truly a different use case from DJing for an audience though. In the former case, you probably want automatic blends and sequencing, with the ability to easily cue anything up from an entire record collection.

    All three apps I tried gave you access to your iTunes library and playlists -- I think that's a bottom line for any home DJ software. djay just made a much nicer job of it.

    In fact, a lot of it's in the UI -- it should be fun to use. The virtual turntables are great in djay -- you can use them to scratch and it's good to look at. It's easy to invoke a half dozen different transitions (from simple crossfade to brake), set a playlist on automix, etc. You can sync records for BPM but I honestly don't think that's necessary or even appropriate a lot of the time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Yeah, for "party mix" at home, I thoroughly endorse Media Monkey. Tons of features, and I use it to manage all my media, rip CDs (into zillions of formats) and so on.

    There's even a lock mode so you can cue everything up and no-one can get into it without the password. :-)

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to TracyMac,

    There’s even a lock mode so you can cue everything up and no-one can get into it without the password. :-)

    Yes and very handy it is when you have a certain drunken female guest who insists on changing every tune within the first minute because she wants to play you one of your own tunes but cant remember which one and all the other guests start looking embarrassed and start calling cabs and sneaking the rather nice bottle of scotch they bought with them back in the handbag whilst surreptitiously slipping on their coats and making excuses about having to get up for work tomorrow. Surely they cant all be Vicars?.
    I suppose I should thank their boss for "Party Mode".

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But I was sure I used to be able to set iTunes to automix from track to track and I’m damned if I can see how to do that now.

    Sorry Russ, I misunderstood your point, I thought Auto Fade when it seems you were referring to Auto Mix.
    I did find This
    "iTunes can create playlists—called Genius playlists—from songs in your library that go great together. You can also have iTunes play a Genius Mix—a selection of related songs from your library that play continually like a commercial-free radio station."
    Hope that is what you were looking for.
    BTW I really don't know if 11 is the latest version but...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    the key problem with effective DJing on a ’droid I ran into, which is that there aren’t 4 channels for the sounds, so you can’t do audio cueing on a headset.

    While I am here... ;-)
    I was wondering whether you could use the midi channel with an "on the fly" conversion app to give you effectively, 4 channels. The other alternative could be splitting the 5.1 output but that sounds complex.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    The 5.1 solution occurred to me. It's theoretically possible to do it, but my question is really about whether anyone actually has.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

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