Ever thought about how to do your bit for charity using your mad DJ skillz? Neither did I, but that’s what Dance Aid is all about. Set up by two DJ’s, Wayne Eldridge and Mete Alpsakarya in 2006, the charity aims to help under-privilaged children in London by putting on exclusive club events and celebrity nights.
Phil from digitaldjtips.com doing his part...
So when I was invited by Phil from digitaldjtips.com to the event at Ministry of Sound on 27 May, I was quite surprised to have a form and a badge shoved in my face. I was going to take part in the attempt to break the Guinness Book world record for “the most DJs to consecutively mix one record each”. The last record was set by BBC Radio 1 Xtra back in June 2010. We needed 83 to beat. We had 100. No pressure, guys! Even the MoS cleaners got involved!
Me, holding the official certificate
Well, in one fell swoop, I managed to cross two items off my bucket list: breaking a world record and DJing the main room at Ministry. The only thing going through my head as I stepped up for my turn was “please don’t let me be the guy that messes up!”
I didn’t… and neither did the other 99 people taking part.
This will always be a signature track for the upstairs room at Sankeys, Manchester. Such a great bassline that kicks in and changes the pace. Blurs the line between Techno and Progressive House! Now time to put my shades on so the massive strobe light doesn’t blind me!
001. HEFTY – No Escape (Original Mix)
002. Mario Miranda, Daniele Petronelli and Audiocut – Aqua Marcia (Ricky Stone and Mikael Jonasson Remix)
003. Moenster – This Is For You (Robag Wruhmes Chukka Boot Rekksmoe Remix)
004. Marco Resmann – This Song feat Soucie Six (Original Mix)
005. Kane Roth – Souspicious Mind (Monoloc Remix)
006. Edit Select & Alex Smoke – The Retainer (Original Mix)
007. Alan Fitzpatrick – A Small Decline (Mark Broom Dubbed Mix)
008. Emptyset – Altogether Lost feat Cornelius Harris (Original Mix)
009. Kaiserdisco – Aguja (F.Sonik Remix)
010. Booka Shade – Regenerate (Pysh Remix)
011. Masomenos – 9 Balloons (Original Mix)
012. Amyn – Moonbird (Original Mix)
013. Tony Rohr – Sweat On My Tabla (Original Mix)
014. Paul Kalkbrenner – Sky And Sand feat Fritz Kalkbrenner (Original Mix)
So, it’s that time of year again where you re-examine your life and make promises to yourself which you probably won’t keep. After reading this article by my esteemed colleague, Phil from digitaldjtips.com, it got me thinking about how to do more with my hobby/passion. So here’s a rundown of some of my thoughts on 2011.
Record and upload a mix a month – Mixcloud is a most non-heinous website for uploading and listening to mixes. The site is very easy to use and unlike Soundcloud, you can upload as many mixes as you want, they just can’t be downloaded. Every month, so much great new music lands on my hard drive that never really gets a look in. Let’s get that shown off!
Mixcloud: good for DJs
DJ out more – Sort of related to the above, I love DJing, but I’ve never been bothered about doing it as a job. Doing parties and small events is much more personal and you don’t have to deal with customers and bothersome bar owners. The excitement as you start your first track is a rush I will never get bored off.
In my element?
Devote more time to new music – So much great stuff out there! The web makes it easy to listen to mixes!
Buy some Technics 1210s – The DJs Life Towers is currently a postage-sized overpriced flat in South West London. As such, my setup had to be streamlined and the excess equipment packed away. A wedding and bigger ambitions on the horizon means that moving is inevitable and more space to use. I’m looking forward to building some proper studio space without hundreds of wires littering the room.
Like this, but bigger. And real.
Finish producing a track – I learned a lot about Ableton Live and production in 2010. It’s time to put this stuff to use.
Own a hardware synthesiser – even if it’s just this Korg.
Do more with this place! This website doesn’t get enough love. I’ll do more, promise!
Over to you! Have you got any new year’s resolutions? Did you manage to keep any you made for 2010?
A funny thing happened to me the other day. I received an email from a friend last Thursday with the subject line “potential gig”, asking if I could take part in a competition the following Tuesday. The email continued: “The set is only 15 minutes long and the theme is mash up – so you have to mash at least three genres in a mini set.”
So far so good…
Curiosity got the better of me so I tried to find out a bit more. Turns out the event was the Red Bull Thre3style competition. 15 minutes, three styles, two turntables and a mixer.
I don’t even own a pair of turntables.
Luckily after making some more enquiries I was told that:
YES, I was allowed to use Traktor Scratch,
NO, I couldn’t use a MIDI controller,
YES, I could go on early.
I can honestly say that I don’t remember ever being as stressed as the days leading up to the event. With such a short time to prepare, I was panicking. Nothing in my set was coming together, and I scrapped my entire set and started again at least twice. But you know what? Once I arrived at the venue and saw the stage, my nerves disappeared. Even though I had maybe three or four tunes in my playlist, the moment I put the needle on the record, I knew I was ready.
That night, I learnt an important lesson: there is such a thing as too much preparation. Trust your skills and talent.
Native Instruments have finally revealed their latest bit of DJ kit which was teased a couple weeks ago. The new package is a combination of MIDI hardware mixer and software, very much in the vein of Serato’s ITCH packages.
Some musings of my own as well as from other respected sites:
The system is effectively two MIDI channels and two analogue channels, with the samplers using wet/dry control. This means it is stuck with two virtual decks and two sample banks along with turntables or CD decks.
Ean from DJTechTools had a hand in designing the system, meaning controllerism is at the heart of this mixer.
The audio interface uses the guts of the Audio 4 DJ, meaning rock solid performance and great sound quality.
The hardware use HID for control. This allows for much higher resolution, meaning smoother jog wheels and filters.
The software features will eventually feed down into the original Traktor [Scratch] Pro software, giving current owners the chance to use Samplers and some of the new streamlined interface tweaks.
This thing is true Plug n Play meaning no messing about with settings. SIMPLES!
There has recently been a slew of new 4-deck controllers from some of the biggest hitters in the industry. Allen & Heath launched the DX/ITCH package at BPM 2009, Denon have just announced the DN-MC6000, American Audio have the VMS4 and I’m sure there are other just around the corner from the likes of Vestax, Reloop and Numark.
Pricing and availability
The Traktor Kontrol S4 system will be available this winter for a suggested retail price of $999 / 899 EUR or around £750. The case will be available at the same time for $189 / 169 EUR or around £140.