decoded_ Something for your mind… Something for your mind…

September 4, 2008

No more turntables?

Filed under: Music — decoded_ @ 3:56 pm

Richie Hawtin @ Open Air Kiesgrube 29.06.08

Each now and then (when I’m on-line and bored), I spend a bit of time in the Track ID forum on the site. I get a little buzz out of helping people out with IDs for any tracks I know/remember. I like exercising my musical memory as well. Until recently it was always track ID requests via short/small mp3s cut out of recorded DJ live sets, these days it’s mostly all links to YouTube clips, everyone has a camera in their phone these days!

There’s always lots of track ID requests from Richie Hawtin sets, which is how I came across the clip above. Track IDing the music Richie plays is often difficult, because he plays a lot of promo/un-released music, tracks from within the Minus crew and friends, and tracks that are months away from release, or possibly never released. I actually wonder if Richie requests producers and labels to delay releasing tracks sometimes, so that he can play them out exclusively for a while, it wouldn’t surprise me. A good way to keep ahead of the pack I suppose, and help build hype for a track.

Anyway… back to where I’m going with this post. Have a look at that YouTube clip above.

Notice anything? No, not the trashy crowd… He’s not using turntables!

Richie has stopped using vinyl turntables, which he was using for controlling Traktor Scratch software with, and is now a laptop DJ, digital DJing. He’s using Traktor 3 software, and letting the software do the beat-mixing too.

I don’t have a problem with this myself, I think it’s pretty cool. I like how Richie continues to challenge himself as a DJ, using new technologies. I’m sure there may be some laptop DJ haters who will have a problem with this though. Is this the future of DJing? I believe Chris Liebing and Speedy J have been doing similiar things with laptops and controllers for their ‘DJ’ sets as well.

Richie’s pushing Traktor 3 to it’s limits, running 4 decks, using 2, 3, or 4 tracks or loops from tracks all layered together, then adding effects from within Traktor 3 and from another laptop. Some would argue if you need to layer that many sources of music and add effects as well, then the music isn’t very interesting to begin with.

He’s using two Allen & Heath Xone:1D MIDI controllers, mapped to various functions/effects in Traktor 3, and for control over various paramaters/knobs in audio effects software/plug-ins from the other laptop. I heard he uses a foot-pedal for turning something on/off in effects software as well, taking little grabs of audio to mess with using modulated delay effects would be my guess. I imagine he’d have to be using more than a single NI Audio8DJ USB audio/MIDI interface for all those channels of audio, and effects sends/returns, 2 perhaps.

I believe he’s running Ableton Live on the other laptop, and have read that he uses the Lexicon PSP 42 plug-in effect a lot. That’s probably where a lot of those crazy modulation/delay effects that have become a bit of a Hawtin trademark sound, come from.

So track IDing Hawtin stuff is going to become even more difficult, as he creates new music on-the-fly from loops of multiple tracks, could make for some interesting mixes and moments on the dance floor, keeping positive. I know the Hawtin sound is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Essentially he’s now doing with DJing live what he began with his software created DE9:Closer To The Edit and Transitions Mix CDs. I think that’s pretty cool.

Some short little Native Instruments video clips, with Richie explaining his new way of DJing, and some of the features of Traktor 3 that he uses, popped up on the Minus podcast the other day, check them out at the links below.

Just found an interview about it all here…

Those Allen & Heath Xone:1D units are sexy… I want! Would look great alongside an Allen & Heath Xone:92 mixer, I want one of those too! Need a fair amount of dosh for all that though.

Allen & Heath Xone:1D

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