IK Multimedia has announced the availability of iRig Micro Amp, a battery-powered, ultra-compact combo amplifier with three on-board analogue channels plus a high-quality digital interface for direct connection to iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC. Introduced at last January’s NAMM Show , the iRig Micro Amp allows users to expand their tone palette by unlocking a […]
Antelope Audio has announce availability of its previously introduced Edge Go, the world’s first bus-powered modeling microphone. Antelope Audio’s all-new Edge Go is a studio-grade, large-diaphragm condenser USB microphone that provides producers, travelling musicians, podcasters, music vloggers, and tech reviewers with unprecedented access to Antelope Audio’s industry-leading microphone-modeling technology. The question is: what would recordings […]
TC Electronic has introduced the BAM200, an ultra-compact 200 Watt bass head with Class-D amp technology. The BAM200 sports a specially designed high-voltage MOSFET preamp for a warm sound and immediate feel of an actual tube amp. Its responsive 3-band EQ provides a broad tonal palette. With 200 Watts of Class-D amplifier technology, a virtually […]
IK Multimedia has introduced the iRig Micro Amp, a battery-powered, ultra-compact combo amplifier with three on-board analog channels plus a high-quality digital interface for direct connection to iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC. This allows users to expand their tone palette by unlocking a variety of amp and FX models in the included AmpliTube software/app bundle, […]
Roland has announced the GO:PIANO88, a new addition to the lineup of fun and innovative GO-series instruments and devices. Offering 88 full-size keys and natural sound derived from Roland’s premium digital pianos in a portable cabinet, the affordable GO:PIANO88 provides a solid foundation that’s ready to support years of musical growth and playing enjoyment. With […]
If DJing originated in the creative miuse and appropriation of hardware, perhaps the next wave will come from DIYers inventing new approaches. No need to wait, anyway – you can try building this scratch controller yourself.
DJWORX has done some great ongoing coverage of Andy Tait aka Rasteri. You can read a complete overview of Andy’s SC1000, a Raspberry Pi-based project with metal touch platter:
If you’re wondering what portablism is, that’s DJs carrying portable record players around. But maybe more to the point, if you can invent new gear that fits in a DJ booth, you can experiment with DJing in new ways. (Think how much current technique is really circumscribed by the feature set of CDJs, turntables, and fairly identical DJ software.)
Or to look at it another way, you can really treat the DJ device as a musical instrument – one you can still carry around easily.
The SC1000 in Rasteri’s capable hands is exciting just to behold:
Everything you need to build this yourself – or to discover the basis for other ideas – is up on GitHub:
This is not a beginner project. But it’s not overwhelmingly complicated, either. Basically…
System-on-module (the brains of the operation)
Jog wheel with metal capacitive touch surface and magnet
Free software powers the actual DJing. (It’s based on xwax, open source Linux digital vinyl emulation, which we’ve seen as the basis of other DIY projects.)
You need to assemble the main PCB – there’s your soldering iron action.
And you’ll flash the firmware (which requires a PIC programmer), plus transfer the OS to SD card.
Assembly of the jog wheel and enclosure requires a little drilling and gluing
Other than that it’s a matter of testing and connection.
Full open source under a GPLv2 license. (Andy sort of left out the hardware license – this really sort of illustrates that GNU need a license that blankets both hardware and software, though that’s complex legally. There’s no copyright information on the hardware; to be fully open it needs something like a Creative Commons license on those elements of the designs. But that’s not a big deal.)
It looks really fantastic. I definitely want to try building one of these in Berlin – will team up and let you know how it goes.
This clearly isn’t for everyone. But the reason I mention going to custom hardware is, this means both that you can adapt your own technique to a particular instrument and you can modify the way the digital DJ tool responds if you so choose. It may take some time before we see that bear fruit, but it definitely holds some potential.
ROLI has announced the release of a new kit that helps beat-makers of all abilities improve their skills, play with hundreds of mind-blowing sounds, and produce tracks. The Beatmaker Kit is a hardware-software package that takes a track from start to finish. It centers on the high-powered Lightpad Block and Loop Block — two ROLI […]
Akai Professional has announced the immediate availability of its all-new MPK Mini Play portable MIDI controller. Based on the popular MPK Mini MIDI controller, the new MPK Mini Play comes packed with 128 sounds and its own built-in speaker. With 8 backlit MPC drum pads and a 4-way joystick for simple control, players have all […]
Sterling Audio has announced it is shipping its new MX Black Series active studio monitor speakers. The MX Black Series powered monitors are bi-amplified and built for optimal frequency dispersion, delivering clear, articulate sound within a wide “sweet spot.” The new MX Black Series speakers offer outstanding features and performance and sport a matte black […]
Twisted Electrons’ small, fun-looking boards with acid and Nintendo chip sounds are one of the sound toys we’re most eagerly anticipating this year. And now they’re adding some connectivity: clock, USB MIDI, and an editor.
Here’s the story so far: Twisted Electrons have already been making some pretty powerful desktop synths and sequencers. But then they were inspired by Teenage Engineering’s dirt-cheap, impulse-buy tiny boards, the Pocket Operators. (It’s okay to say that; they’re open about the inspiration and it sounds like those crazy kids up in Sweden are more than happy about it.) So, they took the 8-bit acid bass wavetable sounds and step sequencer out of their acid8 synth, and added a new synth inspired by the chip from the classic Nintendo Entertainment System console.
We saw these boards first at Superbooth in Berlin. They look like fun little gadgets, especially if you’re after some chip sounds.
And oh wow does the NES board sound great. Plus, I like that this takes a hands-on approach to sound and step sequencing – nothing against trackers and the program-the-sound approach, but it’s nice to have the same sound set with a different approach:
The “acid” uacid8 instrument is sexy, too – love child of a TB-303’s squelch and the grittier sounds of chip music:
If you were already waiting for them, there was a manufacturing delay as they moved manufacturing into Europe. But now we get extra features:
1. MIDI clock compatibility
2. USB MIDI support
3. VST editor for desktop
Ah-ha! So now, instead of having some fun toys you play around with for an evening that then collect dust, you can be sure you’ll be able to wire these into your existing setup, sync them up, and be productive actually adding them to projects and make some finished songs.
DAW integration looks like so:
The soundtrack for that video game you dreamed of as a kid can now be a reality. Get making and become the chip composer legend you never were.
Or, at least, get ready to do that around October when these ship. We’ll be waiting. That’s €99 for the world that isn’t in the Eurozone, plus a little more with VAT if you’re on the inside of the Fortress Europe walls.