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Music News

Rails Rumble is a 48-hour hackathon for folks all over the world using Ruby on Rails and related frameworks to create web applications. 500 teams participate and, over a course of 48 hours, code their way to a web app. There were numerous music entries though none of them made it into the top 10. Most but not all are listed in the Music category. Here are the 12 most focused on music in alphabetical order:

Ambience – “Makes it easy for venues to play background music [and give you a say] – you simply register with a venue name and email, and we take care of the rest.”

Crowdly Sound – “Creating music around the world.”

Encore! – “A personal journal system for live events.”

Garage – “A community for musicians, bands and music lovers to get together and share their love.”

List Me – “Create and share lists of your top five music albums.”

Mind Peace – “This is an effort to allow people to spend few minutes and relax their mind and body by using power of classical music.”

MMGC – “Find movie, game and music covers.”

Musical Battle – “A game where you can create a playlist and challenge your opponents, two playlists will battle for votes in a limited time, the most voted is the winner!”

Songabilly – “Songabilly is our version of…a TV show where people have just a fixed amount of time to listen to a number of tracks and guess as many songs as they can.”

timeTune – “Music timeline. Albums visualization. Search your favourite bands easily.”

Trackcha – “Takes any YouTube or Vimeo video and magically finds out what songs are playing in it. Then it suggests to follow iTunes store to buy them.”

WhereToSing – “A tailored search engine for nearest Karaoke places around you or a cheapest one.”

 

DJ News

In this podcast, Billboard writer Kerri Mason talks about the rise of EDM to prominence over the last few years and how it has changed the musical and business landscape. Mason is recognized as one of the leading experts on the business of EDM — she has written features on major EDM festivals, Baauer and his rise to the top of the Billboard charts, and Robert FX Sillerman’s world domination attempts. They discuss the continued investment in EDM and whether or not there is a bubble. Definitely worth a listen…

 

 

Gear

French synth-makers Arturia have unveiled their latest piece of hardware, the MicroBrute. It’s based on its big brother MiniBute, but scales down some of the features into a smaller package. It is a 100% analogue monophonic synthesizer with a two-octave keyboard that comes with most of the same features as the MiniBrute. Some of its standout features include the Steiner-Parker Multimode Filter (LP, BP, HP), Brute Factor™ delivering saturation and rich harmonics, and a step sequencer.

It will begin shipping in November and comes with a proce tage of $349 USD. Check out their promo video to get a better look.

 

Top Mix

Machinedrum (aka Travis Stewart) has been pumping out forward-thinking bass music for quite some time now. He recently released his latest album Vapor City (on Ninja Tune) and it is arguably his most ambitious project to date. He recently made a podcast/mix for Resident Advisor where he blends all of his influences from footwork to jungle to DnB. I highly suggest you check it out here (you’ll need to login to RA to download the .mp3).

 

 

Top Download

Following in the vain of Rustie and Hudson Mohawk, Ganz (Netherlands) brings his remix of “Shoulda Known” by Louis Futon (Philadelphia). Pitched vocal samples with filtered sparkling chords builds into a feel-good banger that works as both a dancefloor starter as well as a lean-back head bobber.

 

 

 

 

If you want to learn more about DJing and gear we highly recommend you check out our online DJ School Spin-Academy.

Getting your first club gig
It seems like a big step for a lot of people to get your first club gig. I want to break down some of the steps you should take and how to go about doing them. You may approach this in a different order or have different results at each of these tips, but this is a general idea of some of the things you should try when going for a first club gig.

Know your venue
Go to your venue nights before. If you are trying to get a crack at a specific night say a clubs weekly Friday night go to that. If you are trying to just get a shot at the club itself go to a couple of their nights and get a feel for them.

I’ve said to do this in other articles but here do it differently, you want to absolutely get a feel for the music being played. You also want to schmooze. Meet the bartenders, get their names maybe meet the promoter and just introduce yourself. Don’t try and pitch a promoter on some random introduction, they are busy running their night and don’t have anything to offer you then. If anything you just want to introduce yourself and exit politely.

Bring friends come often and show promoters your interest in their night, same goes for just going to the club often.

A mixtape
Lots of people will tell you giving a mixtape to a promoter club owner is an important step, and it is so I will discuss how you should think about doing it. The mindset I recommend is be fresh, don’t reinvent the wheel.

Residents get stale or behind on trends. Always make a mixtape towards the venue or nights crowd, and maybe add in some more current or new sounds, but don’t do something totally left field. If you give a mix CD to an open format club night that isn’t playing any trap, maybe through a couple mainstream tracks on there, don’t go and just make a whole trap CD and give them that. Give them something fresh, but that still fits within their night.

In terms of the content and pacing of the tape. Come out swinging, first impressions still hold here if you start your mixtape with some 5 minute long song everyones heard you won’t impress anyone. Start the mixtape with some cool technical stuff or some really interesting music, something to wow whoevers listening. Maybe have a not too cheesy name drop at the start just to remind them who’s CD it is. In terms of pacing make sure your mixtape tells a story, and follows a clear pattern.

When I say tells a story, a way to picture this is think about the arc of music that’s played a t a club. Maybe at 12 o’clock a rowdy hip hop set it played to get the crowd started, then at 12:45 the DJ moves into more high energy 128 bpm type stuff, electro house, maybe some big room house. Then finish the night off with some progressive house Before people go home. You don’t need to necessarily follow that by any means but it’s just having a clear idea of what genre and energy the CD will follow helps it sound more professional.

Giving out the mixtape
Giving something in person is the best way to do it. Clubs are open in the day if you can find a day they’re open drop in quickly see if a manager is around and if he will take your mix CD, and thats when you want to pitch him. Again do it politely and non intrusively, and don’t take up too much of their time, come up with some idea of what you would like to say before hand. Let them know you will bring some people out is always an important starting point. Also it doesn’t hurt to dress half decent. You might not be going in for a job interview but looking some what professional may be what you need to set you apart from all the other DJs wanting the job.

If you are trying to get the attention of a promoter the only time you might catch them is at the club, drop by often chat quickly with them and only once you get to know them a bit tell them you are a DJ, see if they want to take a copy of your CD, don’t force it on them.

Once you have the gig
Show up early, know your room and play it properly. Most importantly bring your friends, this is again a first impression and the more bodies in there the better a crowd you will have and the happier the promoter/ club owner will be for bringing in some more bodies to the club. Know your set time and play it properly, if you want a call back don’t blow the place out on an opening set. For more information on getting ready for your first gig read here.

If you want to learn more about DJ’ing and gear we highly recommend you check out our online DJ School here at Spin Academy.

Music News

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its 2014 nominees. The 2014 inductees are chosen by a secret ballot of over 600 individual voters consisting of all past inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, musicians, historians, critics and members of the music industry. Some of the notable nominees are;

  • Deep Purple
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Hall and Oates
  • KISS
  • LL Cool J
  • Nirvana
  • N.W.A.
  • The Replacements
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Cat Stevens
  • Link Wray
  • Yes

The 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held in April 2014 in New York City. Venue and public ticket sale information will be announced at a later date. The Induction Ceremony will be presented on HBO in May.

To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. The 2014 Nominees had to release their first recording no later than 1988.

All inductees are ultimately represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, the nonprofit organization that tells the story of rock and roll’s global impact via special exhibits, educational programs and its library and archives.

 

DJ News

In the last Roundup I mentioned the UK club that was implementing an on-site drug testing lab to make it safer for party goers after a string of deaths related to “molly” at EDM events. It appears that “molly” might be the least of your worries if you’re attending parties in New York and some other major cities because the infamous “Krokodil” has now made an appearance on the scene. “Krokodil” is arguably not a drug, it is a chemical wastepit conjured up by the worst kinds of junkies that is made from cheap dirty opiates, gasoline, and rubber (to name a few ingredients). Users shoot it to get a slight opiate high, but it also cause your skin to turn scaly, rot, and fall off. Vice did a great investigation into Krokodil and its effects in Russia, which you can check out here.

This isn’t exactly ‘DJ News’, but I think it’s important to acknowledge that there are harmful things happening in the DJ/dance/EDM/club scene. It’s no secret that dance music and drugs have a long history together, but I personally think that anything that makes your skin rot off has no place at a party.

 

Gear

Synth-legends Moog have announced a new line of affordable analog FX pedals. The “Minifoogers” will come in five different varieties; the MF Delay, MF Drive, MF Ring, MF Boost, and MF Trem. Each of these pedals will feature a 100% analog signal path, true bypass design, optional battery power, and a single expression pedal input that can also be controlled via CV. While the pedal-style design is familiar to guitar and bass players, the internal goods that these compact FX units are packing should appeal to a wider group of producers and gear-heads. They are slated to be priced at under $200 and will be released soon. You can check out all the tech specs on the Moog website and watch the video below to get a better look.

 

Best Mix

Check Yo Ponytail 2 is an open-genre, open-format party held monthly at the Echoplex in Los Angeles. The event has become known for highlighting some of today’s top performers, with a few tried and true legacy acts in between. This week’s top mix is a promo mix for Check Yo Ponytail and comes from Frite Night owner Salva, who brings the heat with a combination of booty shaking hip hop, club beats, and lots of bass.

 

Free Download

My top pick for this week’s free download comes from London’s Om Unit. While known for a lot of his bass-heavy dance tracks, Shine Your Light is a long rhythmic build up that takes you into space. You can hear a lot of his different influences coming together on this one, from old UK house to footwork, it chugs along at a methodically melodic pace.

 

 

 

 

If you want to learn more about DJing and gear we highly recommend you check out our online DJ School Spin-Academy.

There is a lot of debate about the Turntable vs CDJ preferences many DJs have. I’ve used Tech 1200s very consistently for the last 3 years as well as a pair of CDJ 900s at my weekly residencies for the past two years. I have training scratching and doing some basic turntablism. With this in mind I wanted to offer my thoughts on the Turntable vs CDJ debate for someone thinking of getting into either one or just looking for a new opinion. I will mostly focus using these mediums with a DVS as this is where the majority of my experience is.

Also when I discuss CDJs Im referring to any CDJ models 850 and higher. These all have HID support in them allowing you to use all the CDJs features with a DVS. CDJs using control vinyl are extremely lacking in features however CDJs having HID support are extremly robust.

Mixing
The CDJ is extremely accurate when it comes to mixing. Being able to get your pitch change down to such a specific number and allow it to play without having to worry about it drifting forward or backward makes mixing so much easier.

I’ve heard people say that they enjoy the drift on a Turntables pitch (due to the fact many turntables are older the pitch might drift a little bit up and down more). But I find that the long pitch slider on the CDJ is very usable regardless.

Build Quality
The Technic 1200 takes the cake here. I’ve had my Technics for 3 years and they are in just as good condition as when I got them. They might be heavier to carry around but they are so rock solid compared to the CDJ.

This isn’t to say the build quality of the CDJ is necessarily bad. For the fact many parts are plastic they still are pretty solid units. I carry mine around in a large case every week and they have held out okay thus far. If you had to compare, the Technics are a far stronger build.

Turntablism
The Technics again are far better here. Although you can scratch okay on a CDJ, they just are not as comfortable to scratch on as a Turntable. Nothing beats the feeling of scratching on vinyl. On top of that any kind of beat juggling is infinitely harder to do on a CDJ than it is on a Turntable.

Cost
I got my Technic 1200s for 700 dollars each, Canadian. The two of them together cost less than one of my CDJ 900s. And the 900s isn’t even the highest model if you want to fork out more you can get better models like the CDJ-2000s. Whether its worth the extra price is up to your preference, but starting out the Technics will last you longer for less price.

Dependability
This is the big one for me and where a lot of my personal preference shows through. My Technics have held up extremely well over the years but I’m still extremely hesitant to use them in a large venue. Dust on the needle, or loud subwoofers make my life so much harder than it needs to be, and really takes away from what I’m doing.

My CDJs are very solid in large venues, and on the occasion if my laptop crashes I can pull out my flash drive and plug that in and play off that for a while. This is why I depend a lot on my CDJs.

In Conclusion
I think it would be good experience for every DJ to get to use Turntables I really prefer my CDJs over them. The wide range of features the CDJs offer on them is helpful playing live. On top of that the trust I have using them having to not worry about any small issues like dust on the needles.

If you want to learn more about DJ’ing and gear we highly recommend you check out our online DJ School here at Spin Academy.

Music News

Far too many years in the making, YouTube will finally be hosting it’s own music awards show.  Airing on November 3, the voting will be fan driven (as would expected from a social platform) and the nominees will be announced on October 17th.  The first annual YouTube awards are presented in partnership with Kia and will be hosted by Jason Schwartzman.  They will be held at Pier 36 in New York, but will be live streaming from various locations around the globe iincluding Seoul, Moscow, London, and a location in Brazil. It will also feature performances by Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, and Eminem, all of which will be live-streamed under the direction of Spike Jonze.

YouTube has become a major player in the music industry over the past few years and has largely take on the role of new talent discovery.  The amount of music being uploaded and viewed on YouTube everyday is staggering, so it is only fitting that they have a fan-drive, large production event to celebrate.

Check out the intro video from Jason Schwartzman…

DJ News

In the wake of several news headlines related to “molly” and EDM partygoers (including the shutdown of the final day of the Electric Zoo festival due to multiple overdose deaths and a Gloucestershire man that died this past Saturday) one UK party spot has implemented a new drug testing system.

The Warehouse Project venue in Manchester will now have government employed scientists on site to test drugs that have been confiscated or willingly handed in by partygoers.  They will test for any harmful additives that might be a danger to the venue’s patrons and then publish warnings through social media.  The test launch of the project is set to happen on Saturday October 12th, with further dates to follow this year.

Gear

Native Instruments has unveiled it’s new flagship production hardware; the Maschine Studio.  The new and improved Maschine features two large HD color displays, a brand new comprehensive edit section, a jogwheel for precision movements, and some other overall improvements in functionality.  Coinciding with the release of the Maschine Studio is the new Maschine 2.0 software.  The new software will have an upgraded audio engine, a mixer window, five new drum-synths, and a “plug-in strip”.  The Maschine Studio will come bundled with the 2.0 software when it’s released in Novemeber (at and expected proce of about $999 USD), and existing Maschine and Maschine Micro users will be able to upgrade to 2.0 for a small fee.  Check out their launch video below…

Free Download

In a fitting tribute to the passing of former Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi, bass wizard Thundercat has released a track entitled “Bowzer’s Theme”.   The track is what you would expect with a name like that; beautifully moody chord progressions on a theme that takes you back to the golden age of video games.  Make no mistake, this is not a dance track, but music like this is in many ways a precursor to modern EDM.  Now let’s hear some remixes!

Best Mix

This week’s best mix comes courtesy of Montreal’s Kaytranada.  This 30 minute mix was down for the 2013 Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival and is packed full of upbeat dance tunes.  It starts off with heavily sidechained atmospheric swells, which morphs into a feel good 80’s disco flavor.  This theme continues, but flows briefly into 90’s RnB territory which slides into some variations on vocal house.  Overall, a feel good short dance mix that makes you want to smile and move your body.

If you want to learn more about DJing and gear we highly recommend you check out our online DJ School Spin-Academy.

About Spin Academy

Spin Academy is an online DJ and music producing school. At Spin Academy our goal is to give you the necessary skills to unleash your true musical creativity, and carrier potential. We have a huge library of high quality up to date video tutorials featuring some of the most successful DJ’s and music producers in the world.

Questions? Give us a shout at support@spin-academy.com

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