What is missing from Digital Djing?
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  1. #1
    Mr. Golden EanGolden's Avatar
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    Default What is missing from Digital Djing?

    Would love to hear your thoughts and comments!

  2. #2
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    Well I have elaborated on this a few times. Being a software developer by day I really miss the easy collaboration solutions I have there when it comes to MIDI mapping. All the available solutions leave a lot to be desired in flexibility (I have to fall back to bome MIDI translator .. and even that is limited in a lot of ways) and worse yet in ease of collaboration (how can I give Ean a fix for his mapping without me having to write him down instructions how to apply the fix one by one manually? .. its impossible right now with Traktor). I am also serious contraint in layout or how to interface solutions with other apps (like why on earth can Richie Hawtin's Twitter "hack" generate so much buzz? simple .. because we are all jearning for this kind of flexibility .. yet Traktor constraints us .. even VirtualDJ is limited .. to exactly the things that they give you access to ..

    The bottom line .. all proprietary software companies in the music business have a mind set of constraining their customers, killing a lot of potential for innovation at the edges. And what does NI do? They binary encode the MIDI mappings in 1.2, which kills off the chance at making it possible to write a TSI merge tool that Rainer wrote with 1.1 with a lot of blood sweat and tears. We are moving backeards!

    Most of the innovation is done on the MIDI controller level .. and MIDI is a constraint and outdated protocol too ..

    We need to push these companies to open up. We need to flood them with feature requests, we need to applaud companies that do move forward (VirtualDJ), but remain critical. But we should also explore whats going on in the open source world. Many of us have already embraced Audacity. Its very capable of competing with many commercial tools, but more importantly it tries to enable and not constrain. I am hoping that Mixxx can soon take this role for digital DJing.
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  3. #3
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    Honestly, everything that lsmith said is pretty much spot on to what I was going to say, just said infinitely better.

    Competition is a necessity, of course, and proprietary information is required to hold onto a brand, but at the same time, it shouldn't restrict the users as much as it does right now, especially being, I think, the first company to truly embrace the users with a real solid, compatible, easily used interface will probably blow everyone else out of the water.
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  4. #4
    Tech Guru Nicky H's Avatar
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    Yeah even if NI or Serato or whoever didn't want to release a developer kit, a really cool idea would be a scripting enviroment similar to Adobe's or Maxscript for 3D Studio..

    You could acheive a lot when mapping with just a few simple if-else statements. 8 built in modifiers is not enough..
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru Fatlimey's Avatar
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    Remove the illusion of scarcity.

    If I want to add a breakbeat sample to a mix, I have to use the "deck" metaphor and set aside one of my four precious playback units to the sound, and if I want to add an effect that has to be be "routed" through a fixed and limited number of FX slots. Ableton Live shows how adding another sound source is essentially zero cost, as is associating it with an arbitrary chain of effects and controls.

    There has to be a middle ground where you get the interactivity of a deck - playback, instant looping, instant cue drops, direct audible feedback on your controls, the direct touchability of a jog wheel, while allowing the virtualization that allows you to fire as many loops, samples, tracks and sound sources as you like. All of this without having to mentally map the end result you are looking for into the "4 decks" metaphor the program forces you to use. Looping and cue points easily selected, saved, recalled and manipulated in real time without having to map your desired end result into another "slots" scarcity metaphor.

    That's my goal - keep the good bits of the "deck" idea and extend it to the digital world of drop cue, bounce, jump, loop, lock, shuffle, nudge, hit and layer.
    Last edited by Fatlimey; 09-01-2009 at 03:25 PM.

  6. #6
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    +1 Fatlimey .. I keep dreaming that this is what http://bitwig.com/ will create. They are a couple of ex-ableton developers ..
    Traktor Pro 2.5.0, Mixxx 1.9.1, Massive, Ableton Live 8
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  7. #7

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    Wow. These are all amazing ideas. I agree with the idea of scarcity being an issue. Let us be free to mix/chop/sample/loop as many tracks as we want..not simply 4. In terms of Traktor: why are we limited to 4 decks? It seems this is an attempt to satiate those who *are* mixing 4 decks..but what about beyond? It seems they've developed a product that caps out where the norm does. How are we supposed to expand creatively when we are constricted to the status quo?

    My answer to "what is missing": Flexibility. Dynamic interfaces.
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  8. #8
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    yeah i'm also eagerly awaiting a truly flexible digital dj software that takes the best of both worlds from traktor and ableton (or any daw software really) and combines them.

    I love how Traktor offers the user different options for approaching the mixing process, like if the user wants to beatmatch manually or decides he wants to beatgrid/sync the option is there. It also has a feel very similar to analogue djing which is why in my opinion rivals Ableton for a dj software solution. What I don't like about Traktor is how it's constricted to a limited amount of decks, effects, routing options etc. etc.

    Think about what the strengths of digital DAWs vs analogue DAWs are. It's all about freedom and flexibility that makes digital DAWs more appealing. So it only makes sense that a digital dj software should strive for those strengths rather than trying to emulate the weaknesses/constrictions of the analogue world by setting unnecessary limits.

  9. #9
    Mr. Golden EanGolden's Avatar
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    What about in the hardware department? What are you wishing a company would come out with already?

  10. #10
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    Default I've got some more ideas, but to geet the ball rolling...

    Software:

    - fully modular. I want to be able to manipulate the layout of my application (whether it be Traktor, Serato, Ableton) to display as I prefer
    - multi-display support. Using Traktor as an example, I'd like to be able to isolate two decks to a monitor and the browser and effects to a third


    Hardware:

    - modular rears its head again. Vestax (I'm a fan; they produce tank equipment) to produce a single deck in a form-factor lying between the eKs XPS-10 and Stanton SCS.1d, as well as a four-channel MIDI (or 14-bit, or HID) mixer that these single decks plug in to. Have these decks available at two prices points, where one is motorised and one is not
    - physical browsing. I miss being able to flick through my crate. Vestax (again) to produce a Rolodex-type piece of hardware that you can flick through to find the track you want


    *sad face*

    I've got some plans laid out (I won't say schematics, as I haven't looked at the internals yet), but my electronic engineering skills as just below average, and I'm lacking a workshop. Would love to hook up with a manufacturer to get some concepts going.

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