Episode 104 - Summer 2017 Hardware Updates

August 14, 2017

For Episode 104, David and Trip do a run down of the year’s biggest gear announcements, before the Summer NAMM event. We have mentioned some of the gear, throughout the year as it came up, but now we can revisit the highlights and put the spotlight on some of the other gear that we overlooked.

Kicking things off, Pioneer introduced Rekordbox Interface 2, which is a 2 channel DVS audio interface for Rekordbox. These units will allow a Rekordbox user to connect two turntables or CDJ’s and a mixer, in order to use timecode vinyl or CDs with their Rekordbox DJ software.

Also from Pioneer, we see the MKII version of their stripped-down 2-channel DJM250 mixer. It comes Rekordbox DVS ready, which is really nice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly 2-channel mixer with DVS functionality.

However, if Rekordbox isn’t your thing, or you’re just not into Pioneer, Mixars UNO has a very similar 2-channel stripped down battle style mixer, as well. Instead of Rekordbox, it comes loaded with Serato DVS functionality, and comes in about $50 cheaper than the Pioneer DJM250 MKII.

If you need something with more bounce to the ounce, however, Reloop has dropped the new RMX-90 on the market, this year, and man...is it sexy! In the same vein as the DJM (but definitely not a knock-off), this is a 4 channel, Serato DVS ready mixer with a separate AUX channel, and is Innofader compatible. Even cooler, though... is that it has a powered active USB hub BUILT IN to the mixer, so if you’re running low on USB ports on your laptop *coughMacUserscough*, this could help to alleviate that problem.


Gemini is also coming out swinging this year with the SDJ-4000 and the MAS-1.

The SDJ-4000 is an all-in-one, standalone controller. While the aesthetics leave David and Trip with a 1950’s Star Trek computer kind of vibe, the feature set is full and Gemini is looking to compete. With dual decks, full color 7” high-res display, routable effects, and two USB ports, this unit is a likely contender for those who are looking for features on a budget.

The Gemini MAS-1, however, is a different type of controller, as it is geared for the Ableton Live user experience. With the layout of the sliders, pads, and knobs, it looks to make the DJ experience a little more intuitive with Ableton, which is not necessarily an intuitive DJ experience.

DJ Tech Tools has made 1,000 of the HUGE Midi Fighter 64, and they are now for sale. The big brother to the original Midi Fighter controller, this one has 64 arcade style buttons, laid out in an 8x8 grid. Finger drummers will love this one, as well as DJs/producers who want to add the ability to trigger sounds from a LARGE, brightly lit unit. Gorgeous, and very fairly priced for a limited run unit.

Akai, following their tried and true path, have released the MPC Live & MPC X. Both have multitouch displays, touting 16gb of onboard storage, and are BATTERY POWERED. However, even better than a lot of the sampler workstations out there, MPC has made these units STANDALONE, meaning you do NOT have to have a computer to make music on these units. They’re both expandable using SD cards or Sata connections, and they’re even Ableton Link compatible. The only decision you have to make, is which one is the right size for you, and fits your budget. Go MPC Live for more mobile friendly and budget conscious, go MPC X for the big, bad boy, studio version.

Now, we realize that the Toraiz AS-1 is a monophonic analog synth, which doesn’t actually classify as “DJ Gear”, but it’s made by Pioneer DJ, so we made an exception. It’s another synth in the Dave Smith line of incredibly amazing gear, so we felt it was worth the honorable mention.

Finally, we know everyone is talking about Denon, and their new Prime line, and trust us… we are, too! But, we also talked about it so much, this year, that we intentionally didn’t go too deep on it, but it’s hard to have a conversation about the hot new gear in 2017 without talking about the top contenders. With the rich and impressive feature sets and aggressive marketing campaigns, we’re duly impressed with Denon and wish them the best of luck on the uphill Battle to replace Pioneer in the booth, even from the most die-hard Pioneer fanbois amongst us.


Episode 103: Will Robots Take Our Jobs?

August 6, 2017

In Episode 103, David, @TripTurlington, and @MoDingo open the show with some banter about recent gigs and life happenings, and address a recent email where a listener gets shafted the day of a gig. Always remember: "Practice safe DJing - Always wear a contract!" For the meat of the episode, we discuss trends that aren't necessarily directly related to DJing, YET, but that technology is definitely moving us in that direction. The trends? Automation. Artificial Intelligence. Big Data Analytics. We touched on some of these topics back in Episode 33 (https://soundcloud.com/passionatedj/episode-33-pyro-mania) when Serato dropped their new mp3 beat matching iOS app, Pyro. But for this episode, we dig a little deeper in to the possibilities and implications of the future of technology and its possible effects on "the human element" of DJing.


Episode 102: Pick 3 – Crate Invasion (Mo Version)

July 31, 2017

For Episode 102, we take a dive in to Mo's digital crates for the next iteration of our "Crate Invasion" series. Knowing he's likely holding on to the most eclectic collection of all of us, we hold his feet to the fire, while also learning a little more about how he organizes his music.

Donna Summer - Hot Stuff Crystal Waters - 100% Pure Love Daft Punk - Da Funk (E- Rock Cover) PM Dawn - Set Adrift on Memory Bliss M.O.P. - Ante Up!

As an added bonus, Mo Dingo does a phone interview with Rob Holtzman, who is also a Passionate DJ that provides the soundtrack for women's body building shows, where his wife is a competitor!


Episode 101: Soundcloud… and Other Headlines

July 24, 2017

In today's episode of the podcast, we wanted to explore some of the biggest headlines in the DJ and dance music world this summer. Of course, the hot topic right now is SoundCloud and their latest woes, so much of our time is spent speculating about the struggling streaming giant.

SoundCloud - July 12: TechCrunch reports that “SoundCloud sinks as leaks say layoffs buy little time.” - July 13: SoundCloud responds with confidence via Resident Advisor - July 14: Do they have a Chance (the Rapper)?

Spotify - Is Spotify creating fake artists? - Profiles with no external presence that have millions/listens

Piracy - Stream-ripping is now the piracy method of choice - Research finds stream-ripping now overshadows all other methods of illegal music piracy

TomorrowLand protection methods - Screens 400k ticket-holders; rejects 38 - Increased security as a defensive reaction to terrorism, according to Dancing Astronaut - 38 people were refused entry; other security measures were taken. (Your EDM) - Those 38 may have been rejected due to potential for “radical behavior”

Sony returns to pressing vinyl - Sony resumes pressing records for first time in almost 3 decades - Japanese sales of vinyl records have roughly octupled from 2010 levels to 799,000 units in 2016. - Vinyl sales outpaced digital music sales at one point last year in the U.K. In the U.S., 17.2 million units were shipped last year, with consumers 35 and younger accounting for 70%.

Dubspot accused of scamming students - In an article by THUMP, it is stated that Dubspot have accused its CEO Dan Giove of fraudulent activities and erratic behavior. - Teachers aren’t even showing up - Physical locations have closed

Age 37 is “too old” for clubbing - Why is this going viral? This “research” was done by some electronics distro in the UK - Magnetic Mag has a few suggestions for raving past 37


Episode 100 Live!

July 17, 2017

We finally hit the triple digits! In this special episode of the Passionate DJ Podcast, you’ll hear the replay of our exclusive livestream from July 08, 2017. We were joined by previous guests Mike Donovan, Mister Shifter, and John Chapel.

Not only did we have some great conversation about our struggles and successes in the realm of DJing and promoting, but we made several big announcements:

• We’re launching our online shop! Get Passionate DJ logo merch, exclusive t-shirt designs, and even shop for all your DJ hardware needs.

• We’re launching the Passionate DJ Ambassador Program! Are you down for the cause? Give us feedback and help us spread the word about Passionate DJ. Earn points for some friendly competition, and win rewards! Apply here for this limited-access program: http://www.passionatedj.com/survey

• We have new theme music for The Passionate DJ Podcast! Produced by our own Trip Turlington. A full new intro will be coming soon! We also collected several polls from all you dedicated listeners who were hanging out with us in the chat room, and had a terrific live Q&A session to wrap things up.

P.S. – big apologies to Kilma and Joe Pardo, who were supposed to join us, but couldn’t due to technical problems on our end!

Special thanks from David:

Stacey, Tracea, Kate, Mel Dingo, Marin, and The Ginas ™.

Thanks to Nick Gwozdz for the awesome decals, and Noel Serrato for his thoughtful voice message.

Huge props to my team. Through their hard work, The Passionate DJ Podcast is becoming something truly special. Love you guys.

Finally, thanks so much to you – our listeners. You are the reason we do this. Keep on spinning, and here’s to the next hundred!


Episode 99: Five Mixes That DJs Should Hear

July 10, 2017

It's the last of the double-digits!

In Episode 99, I (David) bring in five different mixes which I thinks that DJs should listen to. These mixes have a lot to offer, especially to DJs, because of their mixing style and programming.

(full mix) > http://passionatedj.com/5mixes/danny The first mix is Danny Howells' Essential Mix from 2007. This mix covers a lot of ground, representing loads of different styles while somehow making it all work together. From start to finish, it's loaded full of interesting dance music. After you're done listening, you get the feeling that you've just listened to a "house mix"... yet, I would categorize few of the songs as simply "house". The standout track, for me, is right at the beginning: "Shinkansen" by Tom Middleton (though, it's pitched down in this example).

(full mix) > http://passionatedj.com/5mixes/holden For the second mix, we explore Balance 005, mixed by James Holden. Back in 2003, this mix (especially disc one, which we will hear clips from) almost helped wrap up an era of beautiful and dark progressive house. There are a few "light and fluffy" moments, but overall, the mix has a somber tone. "You are Sleeping", Luke Chable's remix of the PQM track, is the highlight here: an entertaining (yet somewhat depressing) tale of a lonely man and a young woman in need of saving.

(full mix) > http://passionatedj.com/5mixes/irish Then, I take you way back into my past, with a 140 - 145 BPM example of what got me into this whole dance music thing. This hour of ravey, trancey goodness is called "Essential Trance 4" by DJ Irish. It represents all the aggressive, synthy, melodic music that I was looking for as a teenager. It's a vinyl mix (which can be detected by the scratches and pops), with excellent transitions and harmonic mixing. Buckle up, and be ready for some cheesy 90s goodness.

(full mix) > http://passionatedj.com/5mixes/nintendub The fourth mix is entirely different than anything else in the list. "Nintendub", by Squincy Jones, was a weirdly awesome mixture of dubstep, 90s hip-hop, and 8-bit Nintendo sounds. There are a few other nods to the 80s and 90s as well, such as music from The Lost Boys, and the Unsolved Mysteries theme (aka, the stuff of nightmares). Overall, this 2008 shows extreme creativity through its use of heavy beats, rap acapellas, video game music mashups, sound effects, and more.

(full mix) > http://www.passionatedj.com/5mixes/northern Finally, I wrap up the show with one of the best recorded DJ mix albums of all time: Northern Exposure, by Sasha and John Digweed. If you listen to only one of these mixes in full, make sure this is the one. The whole thing is just chock full of beautiful music, ethereal soundscapes, and dance music that originates from a time before most people had heard of a "rave". This 1996 mix album will be very revealing about where electronic DJs come from, as well as where it can go.

Cheers, take care, and we'll see you next week with the recording of Episode 100 Live!


Episode 98: American Made

July 3, 2017

In Episode 98, we wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate the United States Independence Day holiday to honor the American contributions to DJing.

Find out more about the following advancements in DJ technology and culture from American innovators: - Beatmatching and Slip-cueing - Beat juggling (aka 'the funk') - Scratching - The invention of the phonograph, itself! - The term “DJing” - The classic American radio DJ/American radio

And, of course, some of the quintessential genres in dance music: - Hip-Hop - Disco - Chicago House - Detroit Techno - Florida Breaks - Miami Bass - Funk Music (with some focus on our hometown: http://passionatedj.com/daytonfunk)

Don't forget, we are just 2 episodes from Episode 100! There's still a few spots on our interactive live webinar, so go to www.passionateDJ.com/100 to get signed up!


Episode 97: Disaster Preparedness

June 26, 2017

In Episode 97, we investigate the worst of the worst: What can go wrong?

What do you do if your computer becomes damaged, unbootable, or is stolen?

What about when USB media or hard drive can become corrupt or lost?

How about when you encounter user errors like accidental deletion, occupational hazards like beer being dumped in mixer, software and firmware updates that cause unforeseen problems, or getting screwed by a promoter, employer, wedding planner, etc.

We don’t always know what will go wrong! But, with a little preparation and a proactive attitude, there are some steps we can take to mitigate some of the most devastating of issues:

* Computer and music backups * Redundancy planning for the gig * Make a checklist to reference on day of show * Prep your DJ bag (or make a “first aid kit”) * Comprehensive set of RCA/quarter/XLR adapters & cables * Have a second method to DJ (CD wallet, extra USB key, etc.) * An “in case of emergency” mix * Arrive early for extra reaction time * Contracts can keep you from legal or financial trouble * Insurance: For events and for your gear * Protecting against theft * Know how to play on anything

Episode 100 is coming up SOON, so consider leaving us a voicemail to give us your comments and congratulations, or tell us why PDJ Podcast is important to you!

What are some disasters you've encountered, and what can you (and others) do to avoid it?


Episode 96: Pet Peeves

June 18, 2017

Before we let loose about all of the things that aggravate us in Episode 96, first we have to let everyone know that Episode 100 is coming upon us, FAST!

We will be live streaming, with guests, and interaction from YOU! So, if you'd like to be in on the fun, go to www.passionateDJ.com/100 and sign up!

For the next 80-something minutes, though, we're going to go through a list of things that just plain gets our goats. Maybe you'll connect with some of these, maybe you're guilty of some of these. Either way, we're getting it off our chest!

Maybe you've got some things that irritate YOU that we didn't mention? If so, SOUND OFF! Hit us up in the comments, or shoot us an email or voicemail!


Episode 95: Recording Mixes (And Why We Don’t)

June 12, 2017

In Episode 95, we tackle the subject of creating mixes.

Why do we do it? -- Promote ourselves, obviously. If you're a DJ, but don't have a mix, how do you promote yourself as a DJ? Having a mix is part of the foundation of your brand. -- Self reflection. To listen back and find our own weak points, as well as take pride in our strengths. Continue to accentuate the areas in which we do well, and work on the things we don't, that way we are better prepared for the live gigs.

How do we do it? -- Digital DJ's have it easy...just press the record button on your digital DJ software. -- Could always go old school (might have to if you're a vinyl junkie) and record to outboard gear or another computer.

Why DON'T we do it? -- APATHY. Aren't we just adding to NOISE? -- Not enough feedback, people ignore mixes. -- We are our own worst critics.

What are your reasons for recording mixes? How do you record? What are your tried and true methods for promoting those mixes and getting listeners engaged?

Send us a voicemail, email, or leave a comment!