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NAMM 2016: Top Products To Look Out For

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The NAMM show is upon us once again, and we are absolutely thrilled. For those who are unfamiliar, NAMM is the largest music industry trade show, taking place twice a year. Virtually every company in the music industry is there in some capacity, and many companies hold off on all gear announcements for the year until they debut the products at the show. NAMM is a time when gear heads from around the world come to check out what the industry has to offer for the year, so, naturally, there is always quite a bit of speculation and rumors about new products coming out.

Luckily, we have filtered through the rumors and speculations to compile a true list of products that are actually going to be on display at NAMM 2016 Read more

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NAMM 2016: Pioneer CDJ-2000NX2 and DJM-900NX2

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Just in time for NAMM 2016, Pioneer has taken a giant leap forward with updated versions of its two quintessential pieces of hardware, the CDJ-2000NXS and the DJM-900.

The CDJ-2000NXS makes a “giant leap forward,” outdoing its predecessor (CDJ-2000NXS) with an even bigger multicolor touchscreen, featuring a QWERTY keyboard and filterable searches to help find your next track more easily. Additionally, the unit includes two quad banks and a built-in 24-bit/96kHZ interface.

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The DJM-900NXS2, successor to both the DJM-900NXS and DJM-900, is Pioneer’s first-ever 64-bit mixer, and reportedly delivers a “warmer, more nuanced sound.” In addition to new, adjusted EQ and fader curves, the DJM900NXS2 also features enhanced controls for FX, an independent send/return, two USB inputs, and four phono jacks.

 

The DJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2 will be available beginning in February for  £1,699/€2,299 (2,900 USD) each. For more info, visit Pioneer DJ

CDJ-2000NXS2 new features

  • 96 kHz/24-bit sound card
  • FLAC and ALAC support
  • 32-bit D/A converter
  • Full-colour touch screen with Qwerty keyboard, Track Filter search, Needle Countdown multicoloured wave display and Wave Zoom
  • 2 banks of 4 colour-coded Hot Cues
  • MIDI controller interface to connect to the DDJ-SP1
  • Fractional beat Quantize
  • Pro DJ Link
  • Improved beat grids
  • More detailed Phase Meter
  • Colour-coded Memory Cues
  • Supports rekordbox dj HID control
  • Lever for Slip Reverse, Forward and Reverse

DJM-900NXS2 new features

  • 64-bit mixing processor
  • 96 kHz/24-bit sound card
  • Improved EQ and fader curves
  • More accurate clip indicator
  • 6 Sound Colour FX with a new parameter knob
  • 14 Beat FX with a bigger X-Pad and OLED screen
  • Separate Send/Return to connect external hardware and software
  • 2 USB ports and top-loaded input switch
  • DVS control
  • 4 phono inputs
  • Pro DJ Link via LAN or USB
  • Magvel Fader
  • 2 headphone jacks: ¼-inch stereo and 3.5mm MiniPin
  • Gold Plated RCAs
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iPhone 7 Will Not Support Your Headphones

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In typical fashion, it seems as if Apple is making moves to put the squeeze on its customers, says Forbes. Apparently, the company will be abandoning the standard 3.5mm (1/8″) headphone ports with the upcoming iPhone 7, forcing customers to purchase either dedicated “lightning” plug headphones or bulky adapters to be able to use their existing headphones.

In addition to the enormous amounts of money that consumers will have to shell out, this move will literally create tons of electronic waste in their overseas factories, which most likely will not be recycled. While this move is a big disappointment, it should come as no surprise.

Apple is notorious for arbitrarily changing its cable connectors for new Mac and iOS devices, rendering millions of car chargers and other accessories obsolete every couple of years.

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Coachella Will Feature Despacio’s 50,000-Watt Sound System All Weekend Long

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When Coachella released its line-up this week, a few discerning audiophiles noticed that right at the bottom, it read “DESPACIO All Weekend Long”. With no further information, plenty of chatter began on Facebook speculating what that could really mean.

In late 2013, 2manydjs’ David Dawaele explained in an interview with Wired UK that, “with most gigs, people are turned toward the DJs looking at what you are doing. It becomes a performance. With Despacio, the sound is the star. In Manchester, people didn’t want to take pictures with the DJs, but with the stacks.” The star in question was the 11.5-feet-tall stack of speakers built by LCD Soundystem frontman James Murphy together with sound engineer John Klett and both members of 2manydjs.

Despacio’s 50,ooo watt sound was initially built for a special vinyl-only performances in Ibiza. The purpose of the audio project was to showcase an eclectic mix of music, combining new wave, pop and flamenco that would embody the signature Balearic sound Ibiza is famous for. It is with this in mind that the four audio aficionados began to put the system together, initially sketched out based on the infamous sound system of New York’s Paradise Garage.

The drawings continued over the next 6 months and when the opportunity to use the ever-growing sound system in Ibiza fell through, the artist trio found the opportunity to debut it at Manchester International Festival. McIntosh Integrated, best known for the Grateful Dead ‘Wall of Sound,’ was called in to help finish the system with 4.5 tonnes of amps. When all was said and done, all four involved ensured that the aesthetics of the amps matched their quality of sound, finalizing a project that is arguably one of the best sound systems in the world.

Instead of the DJs being a focal point of the performance, the trio’s booth was positioned at the back of the room with the crowd. The purpose for this was to give them the opportunity to listen with those they were playing music to and for, rather than take the attention away from the music.

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Despacio played other gigs after Manchester but the project seemingly died down since. The project, designed to encourage DJs to alter the course of the growing “show-spectacle” scene is now returning for a special all-weekend-long performance at Coachella 2016.

No further information has been made available and while we do not know if the speaker system has been upgraded, how it will be run or if it will replace the sound system of an extant stage such as the Yuma Tent, it is safe to at least speculate that other artists might be involved with performing on it. At best, it can be assumed that this may be the case when James and the Dewaele brothers perform as the front-man of LCD Soundsystem and 2manydjs respectively.

In the meantime, we look forward to hearing more about Despacio and how the project will play out over both Coachella weekends in April.

 

 

 

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Return Of The Technics: SL-1200G

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The Technics SL-1200 (discontinued) is the undisputed heavyweight turntable champion, cherished and sought after by vinyl DJs of all ages and genres. For the 50th anniversary of Technics, the company (a subsidiary of Panasonic) will be releasing a pair of “Grand Class” models, engineered with the audiophile in mind: the SL-1200G, which features an aluminum exterior, and the limited anniversary edition SL-1200GAE, housed in a gorgeous magnesium casing. Unfortunately, Technics will only be producing the latter model in a one-time run of 1,200. (See what they did there?)

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In addition to beautiful exterior casing, these new, turntables include a three-layered turntable and high-dampening tonearm, two features that audiophiles old and young will get especially excited about. They even added a brand-new direct-drive system, controlled by microprocessor, to eliminate “cogging,” which they explain in-depth in their press release:

“Vinyl record sales have been booming lately, so it’s not at all surprising that Technics is capitalizing on the SL-1200’s mystique here — we’re actually expecting to see a few high-end turntables at CES 2016. No word on pricing, but expect these to be crazy expensive when the 1200GAE arrives in summer and the 1200G hits late in the year. (Also, 50 years’ worth of SL-1200s are also available on eBay and Craigslist in virtually every city in the world, if you’re that impatient.)”

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Guitar Hero? Nah. Roland’s TR-REC Is Here.

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Nowadays, essentially any activity can, and likely already has, been made into a mobile app for iOS, especially in the form of a game.

Roland, producers of the iconic TR-808 drum machine, is nothing short of a household name. In the past several years, they have released updated reissues of many classic synths; even more recently, however, they have plunged deeper into the endless capabilities of digital technology, with over a dozen iOS mobile apps.

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We’re beyond ecstatic to announce the newest addition to Roland’s line of apps. Just in time for the holidays, they have released TR-REC, a free game for iOS which presents a TR-style drum machine interface. The game challenges you to create beats with a visual guide within a set period of time. As you progress, the rhythms get increasingly difficult. Essentially, it’s “Guitar Hero” for drum machine. 2009 saw Activision’s DJ Hero follow-up, ultimately a let-down to many DJs and dance music aficionados; however, this game (created by a company that actually understands dance culture) focuses on the production of dance music rather than the DJ stardom that so many up-and-comers long for.

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Perfect for the inevitable winter-break couch slump, TR-REC instantly won our hearts, and we bet you’ll love it too; grab the app now from the Apple App Store.

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Discogs Relaunches VinylHub Record Store Database

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Last year, Discogs launched VinylHub, a database documenting vinyl record shops around the world for those oft times when your wanderlust and crate-digging overlap. We are pleased to announce that VinylHub has received a major site overhaul, relaunched as a catalog of, in addition to record shops, pop-up stores, one-time vinyl sales, and noteworthy defunct shops. As if that all wasn’t enough, Discogs has announced that they will be launching their new iOS and Android app next year.

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Bright Sparks: Historicizing The Synths We Love

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If you’re anything like us, you’ll be especially excited about a special new documentary; although may know a bit about the history of the synthesizer and various developments, there is ALWAYS more to be learned, and this film is a solid reminder of that fact. Read more

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Moogfest 2016: Synthesis of Music, Art, and Technology

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 11.50.37 AMSince its inception in 2004, Moogfest has brought together the brilliant minds of entrepreneurs, philosophers, scientists, artists, musicians, engineers, and forward-thinkers for a weekend of progressive exchanges and inspirational demonstrations and presentations with regard to art, music, and technology. Read more

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Free Samples For Magical Layering

Layering, now ubiquitous in the electronic music scene (due to the introduction of computers in production), is one of the most critical steps in the production process. However, it is important to realize the limitations of layering. Firstly, it is important to choose samples that don’t clash with each other; be sure to keep pitch in mind (easy to transpose the samples to make them work), that the frequency content isn’t too similar, and that the sample start times line up (to avoid nasty phase cancellation). Layering can definitely be a tedious job, but you’re in luck today!

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