DJ controllers are the most hot items of this moment. And with every new one they start more and more to look alike. When Native Instruments (NI) announced their new Kontrol S8 they said it was ‘The future of DJing’. Quite the statement, so you expect something very interesting. They did deliver something interesting. NI put displays in the unit and removed the jog wheels. The latter caused some uproar amongst DJs regarding it as a vital part of a controller. Many ‘Sync’ DJs are fine with it. We tried the S8 to see if in fact this is ‘The future of DJing’.
Today on the menu is Bazille by one of german’s finest The U-HE team, well known for Zebra2, Diva & many other gems. Bazille is a beast of a modular system that can be quite overwhelming when you look at the GUI for the first time. Because everything is modular you can connect parts of the system together in many ways. Unlike a regular synth where all the basics are in fact already connected for you, with Bazille you have to do that yourself. Opening creative possibilities but also with quite a steep learning curve.
Today we are gonna take a look at the new Pro-Q2 EQ, the successor of the populair Pro-Q by masterminds FabFilter. The original Pro-Q was already a big hit with producers and studios all over the world but with Pro-Q2 the Fabfilter team knocked it out of the park. New to this update are : Natural Phase mode,Full screen Mode, Spectrum Grab,EQ Matching,Notch filter, Bandpass Filter, Tilt Shelf,Q factor till 96db/oct, Improved linear phase mode,Autogain,Gain Scale, Gain q interaction, Piano display,Phase invert option,Improved spectrum analyzer and optional output metering.
Effect processors today are part of the standard tools DJs use. Many DJ mixers have them build in and DJ software features effects as well. Overall the available choice is overwhelming. Yet as DJ hardware effect processors Pioneer is the market leader. Build in to the DJM900 and DJM2000, which are also the default standards in most clubs. Also the standalone RMX-1000 effect processor is well known amongst DJs and even producers. So Pioneer came with the RMX-500 its little brother. Because we like the RMX-1000 very much we were keen to check out the RMX-500 and put the results in this review.
The new generation of DJs uses controllers, especially the DJs playing at home. They don’t buy an expensive CDJ set anymore but start out using a controller and a laptop or tablet. In the stores these controllers are the big sellers. Advantage of this is that there is an abundance of choice. Budget wise, style and possibilities you can make the choices you want. Especially for the people that start out you can start with a modest budget because playing can be an expensive hobby. So the majority of manufacturers will enable this like for example with the Beatmix4 of Reloop with recently a reduced price. Does the Reloop Beatmix4 give value for money or should you save money for something else? Our opinion about this controller with a limited price tag will follow.
There are a lot of DJ headphones out there, a new brand from Sweden, NOCS is entering this market as well. Let’s testdrive there latesed headphone: the NS-900.
In the line of analog products Elektron recently release the Rytm 8 voice drum computer. It not only features analog drum synthesis but also can play samples. In addition you can create patterns and songs including parameter automation.
Today we are going back into time to the beginning of the 90s. One sound changed a whole part of the dance music scene. It’s patch title was: What the F.., for those in the know immediately know what i’m talking about. One of the very first records i heard it’s sound on was Mentasm by Joey Beltram. But that one sound got very famous with the release of Human Resource’s Dominator. This sound was later dubbed a Hoover since it sounded a little like a vacuumcleaner. This massive sound came from a small synth called the Roland Alpha Juno 2. Audiorealism took on the big task of recreating this old love of many of us into ReDominator.
The Atmegatron is the first product of Paul Soulsby that create a small and relative simple and fairly cheap monophonic digital synthesizer. You either can buy the PCB kit and build yourself or get the fully build synthesizer. The unique thing is that users also can get the Arduino development platform themselves and start altering the firmware.
Kush Audio’s Clariphonic DSP is a parallel high shelving eq, which in itself it’s a quite unique proces. The DSP code behind this plugin is made by Studio Devil. It’s an emulation of the hardware Clariphonic made by Kush Audio themselves.
Two of the larger players in DJ land are Native Instruments and Pioneer. Their DJ software programs Traktor and Rekordbox are widely used by pro’s as well as the amateurs. They have a lot of similar functionalities, although Rekordbox is only used for preparing dj sets and not for playing them. There are a lot of djs (like myself) who use Traktor as well as Rekordbox. For me it is Pioneer CDJ’s on the road and a nice timecode setup at home. Maintaining the same collection within Rekordbox AND Traktor is tedious work, with a lot of duplicate actions and wasting time.The logical question at that moment is: Can’t I just sync those libraries!?
Working with electronic music can be a very static experience, whether you are a dj or a producer. During performances it can be very difficult for the spectator how tracks are created and what the performer is actually doing. With the Midi Fighter 3D a live performance dimension is possible, comparable of that of a guitar. Next to the live aspect, the MidiFighter 3D is also a valuable midi controller within your studio.
The amount of near field monitors is vastly overwhelming for anyone who’s looking for a set of monitors. Especially in the price range of these Turbo 5 there are various different brands and models out there. Lately there seems to be an up rise of the models that are esthetically pleasing to the eye. To that regard the Turbo 5 stands out by its not typical square shape and availability to have them in yellow, red or black colors. Somehow these red ones remind me of not standing out on the set of the Barbarella movie with their 70-ies look. The logo that lights up when powered on does look a bit odd though.
Last year, Novation released the Launch Series. In order to further expand their popular controller line they have now included a compact controller line. It consists out of two nifty small controllers which are aimed at the travelling artists or that home studio where space is not available in abundance. The controllers are called Launchcontrol and Launchpad Mini. Both are full functional controllers in a small package. How serious can we take these compact units? Read it here in our review:
Solid State Logic (SSL) recently came out with 3 new plugins in their Duende Series: the X-Valvecomp, X-saturator & X-Phase.Time for a test drive!