My Keyboard Mapping

•March 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

[Started as a comment in djtechtools.com]

 

Here’s my setup (below it is the tsi file for the keyboard only):
 
I used these stickers:
 
My main goal was to fit the physical layout to Traktor’s GUI. There are control for four decks taking up most of the keyboard. The only exceptions are:
`~ = Quantize on/off
‘” = Fx1 On
\| = LFO Reset
up/down arrows = browse tracks
In the upper-right, the blank area (-, =, [, ]) is to load new songs into each deck and uses the shift-key
The spacebar phase-syncs all four decks
Also note that there is no shift-function for the loop on/off buttons
 
For each deck:
Controls = Play (1, 8, A, K), next/prev cue (green), BeatJump +/- 16 (yellow), loop on/off (E, P, C, /), 4 FX-selects (multicolor)
Shift+Controls = Pause, key +/- 1, BeatJump +/- 4, EQ reset (red), filter reset (blue), channel fader max/min (orange/purple)
 
[now for new thoughts]
What can I use the left/right arrows for if I avoid the Traktor crossfader?
Should the spacebar be used for anything else?
WHY does phase sync move the scrubber for a paused deck? 
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A possible residency…

•January 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

…and at Wobblesauce’s Wednesday night bash! It recently became my first choice for a next gig and an opportunity has fallen in my lap.
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I was up last night getting the tracks ready, today was hardware setup and one last beat, and the mix is pressed, by which I mean it’s up at SoundCloud [why are links broken??].

Just scurried around searching, liking, and finding things. Networking never felt this gooood.

It’s Starting Now

•September 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

First gig secured with my new invoice/deposit plan. Getting SoundCloud stocked. And am I really using facebook?

Sound & Software Walkthru

•May 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

First, many thanks to….


1. Screenflow! Best. Video. Editor. For serious, it’s dead simple and an amazing middle-ground between the lame-brained iMovie and the Ivory Citadel of Learning Curves that is Final Cut Pro. Used it to capture the native-mix (and so any limitations of that video are because of its half-assed implementation….not sure what’s playing back, but *key* is altered in playback [!!!] and the master-clock-timing doesn’t show). Also adds transitions in the smoothest way I’ve seen.


2. Audacity, keeping it really really real for reals. A fine, upstanding example of what open-source software is capable of achieving. I use it for all my editing tasks now instead of Cubase 4, which ate up both my wallet (-$500) and a USB port (dongle).


So, the sound:


My ID at the beginning was grabbed from Missy Elliot’s Work It and capped with one of the many, many, many fine samples in Steinski’s Nothing to Fear. A note about each one:


a) Work It totally ties with Lil Kim’s How Many Licks for best explicit lady-rap.
b) Nothing to Fear will have to get its own post, for later, though it deserves a book.





I found that unless I gave about 3 seconds between each scratch, I couldn’t rest the rhythm enough to make the phrasing interesting. So I made a custom track with lots of gaps and they crucial word inserted at the end.


I wanted to start with the bass for the video submission, and I like using the beatmasher to telegraph the build/change. Once the drums were in I realized the bass (Track 2 EQ, not Track 1!) was way too down and then waited for the loops to reset to bring in the scratching. I used the first bars of the acapella track since I really liked all the different shifts in the speech samples and couldn’t find a good loop in the verses.


I switch to the Noize (provided thanks to Ean Golden) as basically another sound to solo on, and this is where one of the limits of my setups get apparent. I can’t pause or cut audio when hitting the samples so it’s hard to really imitate a scratch from it. I can do a sort-of-sequency juggle on it though, and making another edit by flipping the sample into reverse definitely helped (you can hear that lots of the samples build UP, instead of the original which was more like a crash or a fade). Having that down&up made the cue point hits more fun to hold and feel sliding around.


One neat trick with the beatmasher is to grab white noise, or anything with enough highs, and cut it with the gate to sound like a hihat. Once it gets fast, tweaking the rhythm makes it feel more funky to my ears.


I would love to say that here I cut up the bass’s cue points. Or that I had ALREADY done that at the beginning like I had PLANNED. The bass is soooooo fun for that….and I blanked. This is the other side of the setup’s limits: my brain. I really have trouble staying aware of the many things spinning together and the many tricks to put on each track. Often, I have to write taped notes to myself like I’m in Momento. Oh well. The point is to be happy with what I have, so the bass will gets its own redux video. Maybe I can shoot that myself…..


Oh, one more weird thing. I’ve noticed this before, but even though the master clock does rule and rock, the beatmasher is completely not up to task. If you leave it on any fast rhythm for too long, you can CLEARLY feel the beat slide off. It gets to the point where it shifts from the downbeat to an upbeat….does. not. fly. For now I just make sure to be retriggering the length every so often, which seems to reset it. I hope hope hope this is more solid in Traktor Pro.


Up next…can I actually capture a performance from my laptop camera while running Traktor?


NOTE: still have to learn good aspect ratio for youtube…ah well, for next time!

First Video Submission

•May 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment
Many thanks go first:


1. Chris Lawn is certifiably amazing, and slammed out this video like a pro.  Dude gets perpetual props here on out.  Check out his Youtube channel!  Without him, I couldn’t have done this.  I’ll be trying some of my own video sometime, but he is the master.


2. Ean Golden and everyone and DJ Tech Tools are real leaders.  Thank you for getting me off my ass and making this possible.  These contests, and the community growing around controllerism, are way too exciting for me to sit back.  You all come off as provocative, principled DJs who are not shy about squashing genres/sounds.  And you make open-source techie toys!


3. Native Instruments needs all kinds of awards for Traktor.  I found it six years ago when I wanted something to replace Ms. Pinky as my digital setup.  It was the only mainstream product that let me use my own hardware and kept giving me more and more to open up each year.  I’m still using Traktor DJ Studio 3 (I know….I know….) and do hope to upgrade to Traktor Pro soon.  But forgive me, wise musicky Germans of NI, for holding out a little longer.  It took me this long to open it up the whole way, and I’ve earned some enjoyment.  New tools take time, so they have to wait just now.


BTW, this is my first actual entry into DJ Tech Tool’s video contest.  I had cut a previous entry for the last contest….but it was way long and wasn’t ready in time.  So for this one I took the quick and simple approach.  The rules were to use those four samples, and I’d love to have done more, but the only thing I added in was my ID at the very beginning.


I want to next cover a quick walkthrough of my video, and leave a description of my setup for later.  It’s always very chicken-and-egg to me whether I should talk about the setup or the sound.  Sound wins for now.

Enjoy the Silence

•January 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’m not ready to do a “Hi, I’m DJ Silence, and this is what I’m all about” post.  You’ll figure it out as you go along.  Right now, I’m just getting started.