Thursday, 29 September 2011

Mark de Clive-Lowe (Tru Thoughts, LA) Dubspot Video Interview + Maschine Training

Los Angeles based multi-instrumentalist producer, composer, DJ, and performer Mark de Clive-Lowe recently dropped by Dubspot NYC to check out Native Instruments Maschine and discuss his approach to music production, performance, and workflow. The New Zealand-Japanese keyboard extraordinaire is an incredible live performer, known for bringing the studio to the stage utilizing drum machines, keyboards, and effects.  He sat down with Dubspot Instructor Heinrich Zwahlen for a session on workflow and beat making with Maschine, NI’s versicle groovebox which is currently redefining the intersection of hardware and software, production and performance. Mark has lent his unique sound and production techniques to artists ranging from Lauryn Hill to Leon Ware. He has collaborated with musicians including Sheila E and Pino Palladino, and released music on labels such as Louie Vega’s Masters At Work Records and prestigious jazz imprints such as Verve and Impulse! MdCL has a forthcoming album titled Renegades on Tru Thoughts. 

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

This Weekends Activities

Groove Odyssey 2nd Birthday @ Proud2, Saturday 1st

Line Up


Louie Vega (4hr set)
Groove Assassin
DJ Leo
Plus – Sheyi on Percussion
Live Performance - Peven Everett
Performing "How bad i want you - sexy make up - feeling you - burning hot"
Plus a Groove Odyssey showcase featuring - Shelly Nelson - Wyen Solo and MR D 

Other rooms also.

Time:10pm - 7am
Venue:Proud2/ The O2, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DY
Cost:Early bird ticket price: £12.50 (Including BF – Available till 1st Sept)

Jaded Hosts Phonica 8th Birthday Afterparty @ Cable London, Saturday 1st

Line Up

Benoit & Sergio (Live)
Matt Tolfrey
Sam Russo
Joy Orbison

Soul Clap
Simon Rigg
The Vangelis

Mathias Kaden
Waifs & Strays

Time:5am - 1pm
Venue:Cable London/ 33 Bermondsey St, London SE1 2EG
Cost:£6 for RA readers / £8 advance / £12 OTD

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Resident Advisor Podcast: RA.278 Mike Huckaby

RA.278 Mike HuckabyA Detroit favourite plays his favourite house records. 

Mike Huckaby is one of electronic music's teachers. Here's a man that 
recently told usthat he'd prefer to stay in his home city of Detroit tutoring kids on music production at the city's Youthville centre than playing festivals in Europe. A deep house producer who spent years honing his synthesis and programming skills only to publish his knowledge in the form of a sample CD. ("I just have a sense of compassion to help others not to be stuck regarding the music making process like I was in the past," he told LWE last year.)

Machine Love feature with him last year was full of anecdotes concerning this struggle to succeed in music making, yet it always ran parallel with his desire to share all he'd unearthed. If this is all beginning to sound a little too feel-good then we should also emphasise that Huckaby is pretty badass DJ and producer in his own right. He's been releasing grade-a deep house since 1995 and despite his statement to the contrary regularly finds himself touring throughout Europe among other worldwide destinations like the upcoming Decibel festival in Washington state.

As for Huckaby's mix for us? "These are the records that I want to hear for the rest of my life."
What have you been up to recently?

I'm quite busy these days. I've just finished 
Tresor's 20th Anniversary mix CD; remixes for Vladislav Delay and Pole; a limited release for Sushitech; Sun Ra Edits Vol 2; a sample CD for Red Bull Music Academy in Australia; a lecture and workshop there; the Decibel Festival in Seattle; as well as a European tour that starts in October. In addition to that I have several workshops in Europe and Russia too. So yeah, I'm quite busy these days.
How and where was the mix recorded?

At home in Detroit with vinyl and turntables.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?

These are the records that I want to hear for the rest of my life. This is also my last podcast for 2011. So the best has been saved for the last, so to speak. I found an old reel tape when I was on the Electrifying Mojo's show, so I crafted a nice little intro, and mixed from there. That was one thing my reel-to-reel came in handy for.
It's impossible to capture a city in a film. What did we miss that you think is important about Detroit in Real Scenes?

I think coverage of Ron Murphy's contribution to Detroit should have been discussed, as well as Archer's vinyl pressing plant in Detroit. Those things should have been included. J. Dilla's influence and popularity in Detroit could also have been discussed.
Has there been much of an upsurge in interest in Youthville since its premiere?

Absolutely. I am overwhelmed by the amount of feedback I have received about the documentary. People from all over the world have begun to contact me and make contributions towards my Ableton and Reaktor classes at Youthville. People have donated computers to students in need, and as well as financial donations to help students in need of purchasing software for the classes.

But the greatest thing that has been achieved after the documentary's premiere has been landing a sound design opportunity for the two students featured in the video. Being able to do sound design for Reaktor at 11 and 14 years old is mindblowing!

When the concept of the Detroit / Berlin connection is being discussed, Tresor and Hardwax is often the source of the conversation. But the next Detroit / Berlin connection beyond the millennium is a technological one that exists between Native Instruments, Ableton and the work that I'm doing at Youthville. Those companies have lent a tremendous amount of support.
What are you up to next?

I'm trying to get 
My Life with the Wave Vol. 2 done, and I'm soon on my way to Russia.
Photo credit: Walter Wasacz

Download RA.278 Mike Huckaby

Filesize  /  96.12 MB
Length  /  01:20:02
RA Podcast XML link  /

Monday, 26 September 2011

Tech: Line 6 Turns Your iPhone into a POD

It’s small, but I think it’ll be pretty huge. We’ve seen plenty of guitar audio interface adapters out there. Here’s the dirty little secret: they’re pretty awful. Because they connect to the audio jack of the iPhone or iPad, there are issues with impedance matching and noise / signal-to-noise. (Read: they don’t sound great. I’ve tried them, and since they all use the same in/out jack, they all sound more or less the same.)
The Mobile In from Line 6 has three things going for it. First, it works with Line 6′s POD effects and guitar amp modeling, which is already popular with guitarists. Second, the app that it works with the audio interface is free. No paid app, no add-on fee for presets – you buy the hardware and get all of the software for free.
Third, and most importantly, the Mobile In connects to the proprietary Apple 30-pin connector, so you get digital audio I/O rather than relying on the jack. That means the quality of the Mobile In is, well, the quality of the Mobile In. Without a test unit, it’s impossible to say for sure, but Line 6 at least claims a 110 dB dynamic range on the guitar input and a 98 dB range on the stereo line input. There’s up to 24-bit/48 kHz support, but I’m happy just to get a portable device with line and guitar ins. They’ve even tossed in a 6-foot guitar cable. Total price: US$79.
The Mobile POD app, while free, is no slouch, either: you get 10,000 presets, a built-in tuner, 64 amps and effects and more, even with a neat iTunes play-along mode. And it’s free for everyone, whether or not you have the hardware. And if you want to use a different mobile app, of course, you can do that, too, if you do use the hardware.
With specs like that, this looks like a must-have for the iPhone and iPad, even if you use them exclusively for practicing guitar. Now, I just wish the beautiful New Signal Process accessories, which turn iOS gadgets into stompboxes, had a MIDI-only version. Maybe there’s a MIDI-compatible controller that could eventually be compatible with these. (Line 6, you listening?)
There’s only one catch. Stereo line in. Guitar in. There’s something missing here – output. That means that the Camera Connection Kit with a USB audio interface could be a better option if you have an iPad. You’re still limited by the headphone output jack here – no other output is available. That makes this fine for practice, but people wanting more flexible ins and outs (well, outs period, beyond the headphone connection) will want to consider a USB audio interface. (Of course, the free app is still cool.)
My other wish? It’d be nice to see the Android platform compete with, well, any of this. Theoretically, there may be a way to do digital audio I/O on that platform, too; sounds like a research question. We’ll see if, Android or otherwise, another tablet/mobile platform starts to evolve these sort of features.
Any mobile guitarists who want to test this out for CDM, and share your music in the process? Let us know.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Production: Exist – Lookin’ At Blue (Atjazz & Karizma)

Exist - Looking At Blue by Atjazz Record Company

Exist is the collaborative entity comprising of two of the finest producer / DJs in House music today. Both Karizma and Atjazz are veterans in this game, constantly pushing boundaries and their respective sound. Exist is what happens when these two progressive talents come together – to devastating effect.

“Lookin’ At Blue” is soulful dance music like you’ve never heard it before. The elements of soul, jazz and house are present and blended to make a track that simultaneously compels you to dance while stimulating your soul.

In addition, Atjazz has provided one of his future soul astro dubs, flipping the concept for the glitchy electronic dancefloors.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

This Weekends Activities

Toi.Toi.Musik London @ TBA - East London, Friday 23rd

Line Up

Delano Smith (Mixmode, Third Ear, Sushitech- Detroit)
Le loup (Hold Youth)
Lamache (PMTL)
Voigtmann (Toi.Toi.Musik) 

Time:11:00pm - 6:00am
Venue:TBA - East London  / East London
Cost:£10 adv, £15 otd

Free! Shur-I-Kan, Justin Harris and Gimmick Residents @ 93 Feet East, Saturday 24th

Line Up

Shur-i-kan (Freerange)
Justin Harris (Freaks)
Dado Rey
Victor FL
Dani Junquera
Testsuya Ura
Db 24
Joe Roberts


Time:3 pm - 4 am (13 hours non stop)
Venue:93 Feet East/ 150 Brick Lane, London, E1 6RU

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Scratch Live VS Traktor Scratch: The 2011 Update

Saw this over @ Tech Tools thought it might interest y'all............
The last time we did a comparison between the two juggernauts of the DVS world feels like a lifetime ago. Considering that each side is sporting both new hardware and new software, it seems apt for us to revisit the debate and update the situation.
On one hand, we’re not going to reinvent the wheel today – many things from our mid 2010 piece hold true so there’s little need to restate them. That said, since our last article Traktor’s undergone a major release and now boasts a new look, sample decks, and yet more effects. Scratch Live remains at version 2, but a couple of point releases have tightened up performance, added effects and further extended the super knob concept with ultra knobs and advanced macro mapping. Let’s dive in!


One of the biggest updates is the audio interfaces on offer, with both sides getting a refresh. In this generation, Native Instruments offer a choice between two audio interfaces with the Audio 6 and 10, superceding the 4 and 8, Rane between three with the discontinuation of the SL1 and the introduction of the SL2 and SL4.
Rane’s interfaces feel like they’re built to withstand a beating, and their matt black industrial design means you won’t shed a tear if they take a couple of bumps. Native Instruments’ offerings don’t feel any less sturdy and the SL2 and Audio 6 and SL4 and Audio 10 are roughly the same weight, but the lightly brushed steel and high gloss black plastic fascia are liable to tempt you into carrying a cleaning cloth in your DJ bag. Of course, which style you prefer is an entirely personal decision – but a design aspect that I think really works is Rane’s decision to put ins and outs on opposite sides of the box rather than right next to each other, which is really handy in stressful changeover situations.
Something slightly more involved, however, is the feature comparison between the NI and Rane Serato products. Because Scratch Live just comes in one flavour, it doesn’t matter which box you get when it comes to software features (except for physical number of decks supported) – unlike NI, who have Traktor Scratch Duo for people who buy the Audio 6 and Traktor Scratch Pro for those who opt for the Audio 10. Of course you can upgrade Duo to Pro, but that then impacts the buy in price.
Traktor Scratch Duo with the Audio 6 is the lowest price of the pile, closely followed by the Rane SL2. Both have two DVS enabled phono/line ins and outs, but the Audio 6 also has an aux in/out to complement them. To get the same number of connections from Rane you need to jump up to the SL3, but that sits at the same price point as the Traktor Pro enabled Audio 10, which gives the SL3 a sound thrashing when it comes to features: four DVS enabled ins/outs plus a fifth aux channel with optional ¼” mic input and 5 pin MIDI I/O. Rane’s cream of the crop, the SL4, features five inputs and two USB sockets which allows two computers to share the inputs or hot swap between them – considerate clubs could install one of these for the ultimate in Scratch Live convenience, and the colossal price tag indicates this might be Rane’s target market.


When it comes to sound quality, it’s a dead heat. Pushing the same track out of the Audio 10 and the SL4 into a mixer, I couldn’t hear a difference. The SNR of the NI cards is marginally higher, so to get the Rane interfaces to equal volume requires a miniscule gain tweak on the mixer, but clarity and sound reproduction differences aren’t so much subjective as they are conjecture: I consistently failed to identify which was which in a gain adjusted blind test, even when pitting the NI card’s 96kHz mode against the Rane’s 44.1kHz (although the SL4 also supports 96kHz). There’s a subtle difference in sound that I could probably train myself to identify, but the important part is that objectively the two manufacturers’ interfaces don’t sound better or worse than each other. Arguments for higher resampling rates are better placed when it comes to internal mixing and playback effects, and the jury’s still out on whether it makes a perceptible difference in the real world.
Input quality is the same.  There’s nothing really in it, and although NI’s Audio 10 features a nice sounding mic input and its MIDI I/O make it a better fit for part timing as a production interface, at a pinch I’d be happy to use either and any to record audio.
As you might expect, there’s not a hair between the two camps when it comes to latency. We’ve gotten to the point where modern computers have the grunt to drive tiny buffer sizes and interface manufacturers are squeezing the last drop of leeway out of internal efficicency, so differences are so miniscule that for real world application they’re not there. It should be suffice to say that whether you go for Traktor or Scratch Live, you’re getting excellent, responsive performance.


Both pieces of software have a constantly expanding list of devices that plug and play with native mappings, and although we’ve been over the difference in the styles between Traktor and Scratch Live’s mapping systems, something we didn’t touch on before that counts in Traktor’s favour is the Native Instruments developed NHL, a proprietary interface for NI controllers and Traktor that allows for around four times the resolution of MIDI. It’s currently put to use by NI’s Kontrol range, and Scratch Live doesn’t really have an answer right now.
We’ve also seen a clash in the certified mixer world, principally between Rane’s Sixty Eight and the Pioneer DJM900 nexus. If anything, the DJM900 is the more likely candidate for club installs due to Pioneer’s existing stronghold on big club DJ booths, but they’re both very impressive beasts that our separate reviews (Pioneer here and Rane here) go into extensive detail on. The Rane TTM57SL finally sees some competition in the form of the Pioneer DJM-T1, too.


Traktor’s sample decks are very different from Scratch Live’s SP-6 sampler, and each methodology has its pros and cons. Scratch Live excels in number of available samples (four banks of six are available) and benefits from a separation from the decks, whereas Traktor’s integration of sample decks into the actual mixing paradigm makes it easier to send loops into sample decks for a continuous mixing experience. We love being able to save a battery of samples in Scratch Live, enabling us to load up a drum kit for some live beatmaking, but at the same time Traktor’s loop recorder is a mean feature for live remixing. Which one you prefer will depend largely on your mixing style; I find Serato’s approach to fit in better with a hip hop mentality, whereas NI’s is very smooth and suits electronica perfectly.


Traktor 2 added some more effects to NI’s massive list, and Scratch Live refined the Super Knob principle even further with Ultra Knobs. Ultra knobs are essentially single knobs that control three super knobs, giving huge power to a single dial. For all this power though, and indeed even Traktor’s new effects, the big differentiator between the Scratch Live and Traktor effect is the Traktor mapping system’s modifiers. The capabilities of the Traktor mapping system enable the weird and the wonderful customisations that DJ TechTools has been developing over the years, and honestly speaking even though Scratch Live is making excellent progress, Traktor’s effects are where the real power is.


One place that NI definitely takes a victory is in the audio interface standoff. The Audio 10 is a great card with a plethora of ins and outs that Rane just can’t match. That said, the two USB inputs on the SL4 is a great idea that NI hasn’t got an answer for.
NI has also given Traktor a real boost with the sample deck concept, but like so many differences between Traktor and Scratch Live, it’s play style that will really decide whose methods you prefer – and that includes the controller and effects implementation. Like we’ve said before, it’s likely that one or the other will just seem to make more sense. One thing we will say is that whilst NHL counts in Traktor’s favour, we think a standard that hardware and software manufacturers can agree on is, in the end, better for the consumer.

Monday, 19 September 2011

John Beez and the Fretless Fader

Every now an then you see some cool shit..... heres one or two of those moments......