Deep House News - Deep House Radio, DJ Mixes, Interviews, Record Label and More - Deeper Shades of House Sat, 29 Aug 2015 07:16:03 -0700 Deep House Radio en-gb (Deeper Shades of House) djay Pro Update Introduces Multi-touch Control

When it comes to DJ software the most under-utilized piece of hardware is the track pad which is often only used to select and drop tracks onto decks. The folks at Algoriddim recently announced a new update to their budget friendly DJ software, djay Pro, that introduces multi-touch control which is the first of its kind to leverage the OSX Multi-Touch and Force Touch capabilities. They’ve also expanded to more Pioneer products with an extensive list of supported hardware. Read more below and watch a video demonstrating the new updates.

Multi-Touch for DJs

In our last update on djay Pro I discussed how Algoriddim incorporated Force Touch to let DJs trigger multiple actions with one click such as previewing tracks, activating cue play, killing EQs, engaging a high pass filter, and resetting sliders. On top of that Algoriddim has leveraged Multi-Touch to give DJs a range of two fingers to control nearly every main screen control which includes controls such as the mixer, tempo faders, filters, FX, and EQ knobs. For DJs, this means we have more accuracy when it comes to controlling these parameters and it may feel more natural as we are already used to using the trackpad’s multi-gesture features to control our computer.

Extensive Device Compatibility

djay Pro Pioneer

Algoriddim also boasts a continued support of Pioneer products with the added support of the consumer line of DJ controllers: Pioneer DJ’s DDJ-SB, DDJ-SR, DDJ-SX, DDJ-SX2, and DDJ-SZ. Now owners of the popular Pioneer controllers have the option of utilizing djay Pro for the Spotify integration, video mixing, 4 deck control, and more. (This also includes the club standards such as the CDJ-2000nexus, CDJ-900nexus, and XDJ-1000 players.) In addition to the Pioneer support there will also be support for Numark controllers including the Mixtrack 3, Mixtrack Pro 3, and N4. djay Pro also supports any MIDI controller however ones that are not natively supported would have to be mapped before the could be used properly.

Still at only $49.99, djay Pro is one of the most affordable DJ software solutions that comes filled to the rim with features.

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]]> (Administrator) tech feeds Fri, 28 Aug 2015 13:28:00 -0700
Watch a 1986 TV story on house music, plus too many documentaries

In our last episode of “watching things on the Internet instead of doing real work,” we were enjoying a full-length 90s electronic music documentary and a bunch of music videos.

Well, here we are at yet another weekend. And hopefully we can give you some video watching pleasure yet again, in those moments when you aren’t, well, hopefully, making music.

Leading the pack is a 1986 story from Chicago TV news back when house music was in its early days, as spotted by Dancing Astronauts. And it’s an astounding document, featuring Danny “Sweet-D” Wilson, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Steve “Silk” Hurley, and Keith Nunnally. Two big takeaways. One, it’s interesting to note that London was already catching onto house even when these artists were relatively obscure in sweet home Chicago. Europe and the UK, always ahead of American audiences when it comes to American music – note the British announced proudly wearing an enormous American flag shirt.

Two, it’s fantastic to see this stuff being made live. Why that shouldn’t be more commonplace in 2015, I have no idea. Steve Hurly and Jackmaster Funk constructing a track is inspiring and fresh nearly two decades later.

But there’s more, of course. With no particular theme, here’s a bunch of documentary stuff to queue up.

If you’d rather go to pioneering electronic composition in place of 80s dance music, here are two documentaries on the incomparable Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, via OpenCulture (which just happened to pop into my inbox today):

The Delian Mode (Kara Blake, 2009) von anaimiaktion

And the classic:

Better Living Through Circuitry is a 1999 documentary, available for full-length viewing (and spotted in comments).

Generation of Sound also covers the 90s dance scene:

And it seems every genre has its own YouTube documentary:

As does Berlin club Tresor:

And Richie Hawtin:

Returning to pioneering electronic music, it’s fascinating to get the 1983 perspective on electronic process (and perhaps it’s a sign of the maturity of the field now that a lot of this is today readily accessible):

And this seminal UK electronic doc:

And here’s a playlist with some of those, plus many more.

Tell your friends and family I’m really sorry.

The post Watch a 1986 TV story on house music, plus too many documentaries appeared first on Create Digital Music.

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]]> (Administrator) tech feeds Fri, 28 Aug 2015 11:54:00 -0700
iPhone app for making cover songs, a sign of a changing music world


The music industry is fantastic at hindsight. We’ve obsessed over the spread of online piracy, the death of the CD, then the impact of streams. But every measure of the business model is somehow framed around acquiring records. And it’s about passive consumption.

We have to remember, though, that passive consumption is itself really the outlier. Until the dawn of recording, music only existed when you played it. Our current copyright and licensing system was first structured around sheet music. And that world never went away. Precise recordings can give you the experience of listening, but no technology can give you the feeling of singing.

So it’s time to start thinking about business models that involve active participation. We saw that earlier this month with label Ninja Tune embracing remixing in an app and Launchpad sound packs. Here’s a more conventional approach.

Wurrly is an app for recording covers of popular songs. It starts with a song store (and links to the originals on iTunes), but instead of tapping to download, you tap to sing. Choose a pre-made accompaniment (full band, piano, or guitar), set the key and tempo, and record. The cleverest part of the app is probably the interface for adding finishing touches: you get a simple fader for mixing and Instagram-style effects. (I’m sure we’ll keep hearing about an “Instagram for music” or “Instagram for sound” until someone really nails it.)

Of course, this is all paired with social sharing features and featured songs. I’m impressed, some of the recordings are pretty good – there are some talented singers, not just karaoke fare. I find the arrangements themselves to be a little dry; I think the app would benefit from original stems coming from the artists.

And yes, theoretically, this sort of thing could be a revenue stream – though again rates set for statutory licensing are key. A spokesperson for the developer tells CDM:

We have deals with all of the majors and we have blanket licenses on their content. As you know, songs these days can have multiple co-publishers, so we go directly to the stakeholders to get permission. We pay them royalties based on the seconds of usage in the app, quarterly. We also have encryption within the app so that users cannot manipulate it.

Think of this as the pop song / singer analog to Native Instruments’ Stems, and you begin to see where the landscape might shift.

It’s tough to tell what will be a hit and what won’t, in apps as in music itself. But looking beyond just acquiring music directly is wise. The beauty of the shift from devices like the iPod or Walkman to those like the iPhone or tablet is that it’s far easier to engage the user in a creative, active experience. And just as the phone made people feel better about taking more photos by making them look better, there’s no question that making people happy with the way they sound is a key motivation for encouraging musicianship.

Of course, in the past I made this prediction about music games, and that trend lost some steam. But I think we’re still in early days. Watch this space.




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]]> (Administrator) tech feeds Fri, 28 Aug 2015 10:56:00 -0700
Uploading DJ Mixes to Mixcloud: Best Practices

We’ve continued to cringe nearly weekly at new stories of Soundcloud’s demise as an ad-free place to safely host DJ content. For the sake of their content, we’ve heard from many who DJs are moving their mixes to Mixcloud. We asked the Mixcloud team to share exactly how best to prep a DJ mix for their platform, as well a few other bonus tips in today’s article.

Soundcloud to Mixcloud Transfer Tool

Mixcloud's simple import screen

First up is this handy tool (we mentioned it at launch earlier this year) that lets you instantly move all of DJ mixes from your Soundcloud account with just a few clicks. If you’re looking for the fastest and easiest way to throw a life-preserver to your Soundcloud content, this is it.

Click here to try the Soundcloud-to-Mixcloud import now.

All of your tracks that are over 10 minutes in length are instantly snatched up, with much of the metadata transferred as well. You’ll still need to add a tracklisting if you’ve got one.

Mixcloud Upload File Specifics


One of the interesting things about a lot of sites like Mixcloud is that they apply their own compression algorithm to the files that they get. This often means a different format and a different bitrate than what’s been uploaded. We asked the Mixcloud team what file type is best to upload to their site to limit quality issues and delays – their response:

We usually tell people to go MP3 at least 192kbps CBR because VBR can be flaky. MP3 because AAC/MP4/OGG all need conversion before they can be streamed so there’s a delay before it becomes available

In the immediate/short term, there’s no major advantage going >192kbps.

Additionally interesting is that Mixcloud does hold on to all original copies of the DJ mixes that are uploaded – so even though you can’t access or play it, your full 320kbps mix is on their servers. Which leads us to…

Tell Mixcloud To Raise Their Bitrate

At DJTT we do our best to advocate for DJs and improve their experiences in booths, clubs, websites, on hardware and in software. In this case, we’ve learned something interesting about Mixcloud’s bitrate limitation (192 streaming audio at present): the streaming bitrate isn’t limited due to copyright licensing, but rather based on user demand.

It’s not limited due to licenses. Our streaming bitrate is based on a combination of factors to deliver the best user experience to the listener, taking into account platform (e.g. Apple bandwidth limits), data restrictions, file size and sound quality. We have also done a number of tests with listeners to learn where they can discern the difference.

We will consider higher bitrate in the future if we get clear feedback and user requests from our community for such a feature. Simple!

While distinguishing between 192 and 320 kbps might not be easy for a lot of people, for DJs (whose ears are constantly listening for “is this right?”) it’s often very noticeable. Retweet the below post and let them know you want to up the ante on their streaming:

Ready to record your DJ set? Here’s our guide on how to do it right. 

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]]> (Administrator) tech feeds Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:16:00 -0700
Get physical modeling sonic powers, free, in Max starter kit


There is a powerful world of sound exploration in your hands. But sometimes the hardest part is just starting.

So the quiet launch of a site called Maxology is very good news. It’s evidently a place to go for tutorials and projects and more.

And right now, you can grab a bunch of free and open source objects for physical modeling, built for Max 7 and Max for Live. That opens a window into a world of realistic and impossible sounds, built on algorithms that mimic the way instruments work physically and acoustically.

The Percolate Objects Starter Kit is a reissue of one of the classic libraries for this form of synthesis, updated and refreshed and newly documented, even with tutorials for beginners. Percolate is something special – it’s built from the Synthesis Toolkit by legendary synth scientist Perry R. Cook with Gary Scavone, adapted by the also-legendary Dan Trueman (pioneer of the laptop orchestra, by many accounts) and R. Luke Dubois (pioneer of lots of other things). And it covers a range of techniques – physical modeling, modal, and PhISM, for those of you who are aficionados of these things, are all there.

Together, you can built realistic-sounding instruments, wild new instruments and experimental sounds, and effects.

What does it sound like? Well, kind of like whatever you want – but here’s one example, by axxonn:

Produced using only the following; Two instances of Gen Random Synth, 909 Samples in Gen Wave Synth, Scrub Face Delay and Reverb.

These devices are all made by Tom Hall using objects from the PeRColate collection, recently updated and made available by Maxology (including the MFL devices) for Max7.

There’s a bunch of stuff there for free. (Max 7 isn’t free, but recently-adjusted pricing and subscriptions – plus the inclusion of Max for Live – mean that price of entry isn’t so prohibitive, given the amount of value that’s there. And see my note about Pd below; I’m researching.)

For Max 7:
1. PerCOlate objects
2. Starter patches
3. Full help documentation
4. Tutorials
5. A pitchtracker, so you can try playing along with real instruments, too

For Max for Live:
1. A wavetable synth with built-in randomness
2. A wavetable generator
3. A granulator, for transposition and special effects
4. A scrubbing delay-line effect

And because it’s all built in Max, you can combine objects modular-style to build your own special instruments. In fact, while I love modular hardware, a lot of what you do with a physical modular is really inter-connecting boxes that are already built for you. Working with Max in this way allows you to go much deeper, if you so choose, and really get deep into the logic and construction of what you’re doing.

I don’t think one approach is better than another; they’re just different. But I think maybe the reason people haven’t played so much with this sort of digital depth is that it does require a little more learning – and this sort of complete documentation can at last make it friendly for those of you ready to embark on that adventure.

For more:

Physical modeling primer for Max Users by Gregory Taylor
Physical Modeling Explained by Martin Russ

Also, since the objects themselves are open source, I’d love to see them ported to Pd. Max is a very friendly desktop environment and has this unique Ableton Live integration, but then also having Pd opens up things like developing physical instruments on mobile devices.


Don’t miss Starter Kit #1, either – a computer vision library that updates some classic visual tools in Jitter:


The post Get physical modeling sonic powers, free, in Max starter kit appeared first on Create Digital Music.

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]]> (Administrator) tech feeds Thu, 27 Aug 2015 09:29:00 -0700
What if we used stereo minijack cables for MIDI?


“It was acceptable in the 80s…”

The standard MIDI DIN cable – that’s the big honkin’ connector you use on most of your MIDI gear – has become the bane of music hardware makers. The problem is, as gear has gotten smaller, the standard DIN connector hasn’t. And that’s a big problem, literally. To add a MIDI port to a device, you need to not only have enough clearance for the connector itself, but the whole around the port and the physical assembly that contains it. Speaking as a hardware maker, that takes up space you can’t even see from the outside.

As a result, a lot of hardware that should have had MIDI in and out doesn’t, to save room. Or it’s forced to be thicker than it needs to be. Or it squeezes out other useful ports.

It doesn’t have to be this way. S-Video could have become a replacement in the 90s, back when we used such things. (It has the same 5-pin arrangement, but smaller.)

Now, you may have noticed a lot of gear includes minijacks onboard. A stereo minijack (3.5mm “miniklinken”) connector has three pins – and MIDI also has three pins. (Okay, it has five, but two are unused.) Look at the breakouts included in the box, and what you’ll see is a standard 3-pin stereo minijack on one end, and then a horse-drawn buggy taped to a telegraph machine DIN connector on the other.

But here’s where things get interesting. Imagine you have two pieces of gear, each with these minijack-to-DIN breakouts. And you want to connect them together. What would happen if you skipped the little DIN dongles and ran an ordinary stereo minijack cable between them?

Well, whether it worked or not would depend on how that minijack connector itself was wired. So, I asked a few manufacturers, off the record and unofficially, what they were doing. It wasn’t hard to convince people to talk about it; anyone who has ever dealt with this problem dreams of ditching DIN.

It turns out most of them are using the same wiring – seen above.

Pin 1 – Tip
Pin 2 – Sleeve
Pin 3 – Ring

So long as you have two pieces of gear wired this way, you can connect them with a standard stereo minijack audio cable (that’s a single stereo minijack at both ends). It’s exactly the same as using a MIDI cable.

In this category:
IK Multimedia (iRIG MIDI – that’s the diagram at top)
Novation (such as Launchpad Pro)
Arturia (such as BeatStep Pro)

See this discussion of the iRIG MIDI on Sound on Sound, from way back in 2011 (meaning it’s time to do this, folks):
D.I.Y. MIDI/5-pin DIN to stereo mini Jack leads

Unfortunately, one other key maker is an outlier. Korg, which uses minijacks on its SQ1 sequencer and new ElecTribes, swaps sleeve and ring, unless I’ve got the wrong information. As long as you’re comfortable soldering your own cables, you could solve that, but it means there isn’t an immediate de facto standard.

On the other hand, it’s already pretty terrific that a lot of the stuff you’d immediately want to use hit at the same wiring at random. (No one, to my knowledge, has ever published something like this.)

So, rather than wait any longer, I think it makes sense to go public. Rather than wait for a standard, all you really need is for manufacturers to start using this same wiring. And by all means, don’t eliminate MIDI from a product just because DIN won’t fit. The “post PC” age is turning out to be more reliant on MIDI than the one before it, from iPads to all-hardware live rigs.

If nothing else, if you make DIY hardware, you can start doing this now. And you can plug your custom synth or whatever directly into a Launchpad Pro or BeatStep Pro (just to name two) and start playing it.

That’s a pretty cool accidental standard. So maybe we should make it less accidental.

Comments welcome. And if you have hardware with minijacks, I didn’t cover all of them. I’d love to hear what you’re doing.

The post What if we used stereo minijack cables for MIDI? appeared first on Create Digital Music.

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]]> (Administrator) tech feeds Wed, 26 Aug 2015 10:45:00 -0700
Here’s what happens when artists meet up with Launchpad on iOS

Launchpad meets Ninja Tune and Brainfeeder

We used to talk about the home studio. Then the bedroom producer. Then laptop music. Now it’s more like the everywhere studio – and the computer may be nowhere to be seen.

Tools like Launchpad for iOS tend to exist in some sort of alternate dimension from the world of music tech writing, even when it comes to this site. But quietly, a lot of people are making music with them. (It doesn’t hurt that there are a lot of iPads and iPhones out there, or that the apps are often given away for free.)

But just because this is a category that’s friendly to newcomers doesn’t mean the music is any less serious.

This week, Novation is promoting its Launchpad with some heavy artist collaborations. Kicking off a new soundpack set are Machinedrum (Ninja Tune) and Lapalux (on Brainfeeder, the label most associated with Flying Lotus). I find these to be really nice choices. Vapor City is really one of my favorite electronic releases of recent years – and I will be the first to admit I’m completely biased by the fact that Travis Stewart (Machinedrum) is a lovely gentleman.

Let’s have a listen to the music:

The Ninja connection is interesting, too. As we noted last week, Ninja Tune – and co-founder Matt Black – are committed to this notion of remixes and sound packs as a different way for artists to reach fans, seen in their own iOS and Android remix app. Brainfeeder have likewise been innovative in looking at different ways of reaching fans, with attention to the ways the technology around music changes.

Now, it may sound like I’m “shilling” for Novation. (I saw that delightful term of endearment applied to me a few times this week in comments.) But you can only shill if you don’t disclose. Full disclosure: Novation brought me to their London office last week to work on a hackday on their Launchpad Pro. I had a lovely time and some pints with the Novation folks and the men and women working on their hardware, and am indeed left with warm, fuzzy feelings about them. One of the things in their London office is the team responsible for mobile apps. And to be perfectly frank, I was really curious – like, who is actually using these things? They seem cool, but a lot of us remain entirely in the Ableton Live / Novation hardware controller scheme and don’t pay them much mind.

So, who’s using the apps, and how?

Launchpad came to iPad just over two years ago, and iPhone last year in May. Now, Novation tells CDM, they’ve got roughly equal usage of iPad and iPhone users. There are 3.5 million users, they say – meaning this is one of the leading music-making mobile apps, full stop.

It’s nice to have these sounds, but you can bring in your own sounds, too. You can now use Audio Import to take sessions from laptops and work on them on the go – a good way to get away from your computer, finish stuff on the go (or reclining in bed, or whatever), or even adapt a session to live use.

More recently, performance effects open up other possibilities:

And so users are responding, making jams like this one:

– or doing iPad ‘cover’ versions, like this one of Madeon’s ‘Pop Culture’:

In short, there’s an obscene amount of activity. You can, if you so choose, make the Launchpad app the center of your workflow – and augment it with MIDI hardware (from Novation, or not from Novation). There’s a terrific Tumblr blog full of this stuff, with tutorials and videos and so on. It’s eye opening – I’m meant to be an expert, and I might now dig in to an app I’d otherwise ignored, now that I see this stuff. That’s sort of the way the Internet and YouTube feel these days – you’re kicking the a** of us ‘experts’ sometimes. And thank you for that, seriously!

Launchpad for iOS on App Store

CDM readers, anyone using this app? We’d love to hear how. Or maybe you’ve found something else that fits your needs better (especially on Android, which doesn’t have it)? We’d love to hear that, too.

The post Here’s what happens when artists meet up with Launchpad on iOS appeared first on Create Digital Music.

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]]> (Administrator) tech feeds Wed, 26 Aug 2015 10:10:00 -0700