Richie Hawtin brings Twitter into the DJ Booth and invites the world to see what’s happening in real time! It’s often the case that the advent of one idea heralds unexpected benefits and developments in other areas, and so it goes with Native Instruments’ Traktor Pro. Having already revolutionized the art of mixing, it could now be about to have a profound effect on the relationship between a DJ and their audience, not to mention the world of performing rights by making sure each and every artist, large or small, is properly compensated for the use of their work.
Twitter DJ is the latest brainwave from Richie Hawtin, who’s already spent much of his career pioneering new technologies as a DJ, producer and label owner, from the development of Midi enabled DJ mixers such as Allen & Heath’s Xone92 & 3D mixers, to Final Scratch DJ technology. At this year’s Time Warp event Richie built on ideas first explored during 2008’s Contakt tour, testing Traktor Pro with a new background application that allows for real time broadcasting of all tracks played during a DJ set. The new application, developed in-house by Bryan McDade at Hawtin’s Minus label, works as a conduit between Traktor and the online messaging utility Twitter. Minus and Native Instruments worked closely together to optimize the Traktor software for this special use.
The Twitter DJ application utilizes feeds from an updated version of Traktor’s standard broadcasting technology to send 30 second updates during Hawtin’s set of what’s currently playing to a designated Twitter account, allowing anyone following the Twitter group to obtain a unique insight into how a DJ builds the atmosphere and dynamics of a set, track by track, and in real time. The track information is freely accessible from any Twitter configured personal mobile devices (even from the dance floor) and archived online on the Twitter page. This concept is also a significant step towards helping smaller independent record companies and artists to gain further recognition and free promotion when their releases are played as digital files.
However, the real potential comes to light when considering the benefits for performing rights societies: “By providing the necessary information to track what is really being played in clubs, the Twitter DJ application would not only drag the likes of GEMA, PRS and SOCAN kicking and screaming into the 21st century, but make sure the real artists get paid instead of performance payments simply being carved up between the Madonnas and U2s of the world. If record sales are slowing down and performance is now the key area where artists can achieve financial stability, better solutions need to be found and a workable structure put in place as soon as possible. We hope that our Twitter DJ application is a step forward in the development of these types of systems.“