The theme in this week's wrap up of production and gear news lands us firmly in the grey area between hardware and software, as Serato, Pioneer, and Native Instruments continue to work towards the future of DJing, and Chicago vet Hieroglyphic Being takes us through his personal combination of the digital and analog worlds.
The future of DJing appears to be just around the corner:
- From Serato, the company that has largely defined the realm of digital DJing with its Scratch Live, comes the announcement of a new piece of software aimed specifically at mixmasters who utulize MIDI controllers to get the job done. Simply referred to as Serato DJ, the software for controller users will incorporate full MIDI mapping to utilize with its four decks, looping and cue-point functions, and new iZoptope-devloped effects. For the full details on Serato DJ, which is set to be available next month, head here.
- In conjuction with the announcement of Serato's latest software venture, Pioneer spreads news of a new dedicated controller for the forthcoming DJ program, the DDJ-SX. Ostensibly a hybrid of the existing—and largely industry standard—Pioneer mixers and CDJs, DDJ-SX is the first piece of hardware to be fully supported by Serato, and features a full standalone, four-channel mixer, two jog wheels capable of "dual-deck mode," two sets of eight velocity-sensitive pads, and much more. You can get a full overview of the unit, which is set to cost around $1,199, via the video below.
- After an inital tease of the product, Native Instruments has officially shared the details surrounding the Kontrol Z2, a "2+2 channel control mixer" aimed at balancing traditional mixer options with enhanced software control. The focus seems to be on high-quality, professional sound and seamless control with NI's own Traktor program. Set to be available on November 1, you can watch the unit in action via the demo video below and read our news story from earlier today for more details.
Arturia's hardware/software-hybrid drum machine gets an update:
- This week, Arturia announced Spark 1.5, a new version of its highly regarded drum machine. New to the 1.5 edition of Spark is a tune mode, which turns the 16-step sequencer into a chromatic keyboard, and the inclusion of Arturia's Oberheim SEM V filter (the same one included with the company's excellent berheim SEM V virtual instrument). For a brief look at some of Spark's new features, check the video below.
And a quick recap:
- This week saw XLR8R tap Chicago's veteran avant-house and techno auter Hieroglyphic Being for the latest edtion of the ongoing In the Studio series. Between discussing recording sounds to VHS and the producer's peculiar passion for Akai products, we got a nice picture of what tools the unpredictable artist has relied on over the years. You can read the full interview and check out more photos of Hieroglyphic Being's studio here.
- Finally, we posted Point Blank Insitute's video interview with Ikonika, in which the London producer gave a transparent look into her process of producing the recent "I Make Lists" tune, earlier this week. Proving to approach her tracks in a surprisingly simple—and in some ways ingenious—manner, the discussion is a virtual 30-minute Logic class recommended for any aspiring producers. You can watch the full video below.