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Posts Tagged ‘Serato’

Lukas Graham

My daughter is obsessed with the Danish singer Lukas Forchhammer….who performs as Lukas Graham. If I am driving her somewhere she says, “Dad, put on the playlist.” That means, play “7 Years.”

Last week in Las Vegas, my wife and I heard a remix of “7 Years” and I thought…huh, that song *could* work punched up a bit. Little search on the old soundcloud and I found a few mixes. Here are two that I dug.

I liked that T-Mass trap style take. And here’s a tropical house spin by Mulshine that is ever more popular on soundcloud with over 9 million plays because hey… tropical house!

***

Oh god…new toys. I don’t *need* another controller…but I sure do want one!

On the weekends at the Starlight Casino, I actually DJ two venues. I set up my Numark NS7ii in Red Bar and an older Numark Mixtrack in Match. The Mixtrack is fine. It was cheap and still works buuuuuuuuut, it isn’t as fun to DJ on it and I mostly just use it blend some tunes. That works as it hasn’t been too busy in match and people aren’t dancing. But what if one day there iS a big party in there to rage? WHAT IF!?! OK, you’re right Blogosphere, I need this new NVii. NEED. If my new contract comes in and I feel solid I’ll be there for a bit, maybe I’ll make the investment.

TOYS!

Go with yourself.

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Feeling like a little ball of energy lately. Building on some radio ideas and I think I’ve hit on a podcast idea.

I’ve been struggling with my Numark NS7ii DJ controller. I was about ready to light i ton fire this past weekend. The machine has never really worked as advertised. On my old Intel 2 Duel Core Macbook Pro…it glitches, or locked up. The Serato and Numark people were both like, “it’s your computer.”

I bought a new Macbook three weeks ago and the second time I use it, glitches hard. Sunday night, it wouldn’t even play a single song. I plug in my old Macbook, works the best it has ever worked. I don’t know. It is frustrating especially now as I am thinking of trying to DJ a lounge night somewhere in Vancouver. I’ll need it to work. I’ve been on with the tech support people at Serato, and yapping with my friend Tyson (who programs hardware for a different music company) and we (they) think we have it figured out. I hope. PRAY. Tyson thinks it’s a software conflict too.

“The best controller ever built. period.” Jeeeeezus. To be fair…when it works…it works so gloriously that if I get this thing sorted out, I am sure I’ll change my tune and be singing its praises.

Which brings me to today’s song. Four Tet. I’ve been thinking of my lounge set lately. And all the great chill wave and downtempo artists I used to play at the Veneto Lounge like Four Tet. In Victoria on the weekend I stumbled into Ditch Recorts (to buy Kurt Vile…well actually I wanted Titus Andronicus‘ new album but it was $40!) and I found a 2015 record from Four Tet. Four Tet’s new album is called Morning/Evening. Keiran Hebden inherited some Indian music from his grandfather and pulled some samples out of a 1983 song called “Main Teri Chhoti Behana Hoon” by Lata Mangeshkar.

Toro y Moi happens to have some new sounds too…and I always enjoyed his stuff.

***

I was putting my kids to bed tonight when it dawned on me that one day I won’t. Sometimes it’s a chore. Sometimes I don’t want to do it. But then when I don’t have to, I’ll miss it so much.

I was talking to my Dad the other day about how funny and great little baby babble is. I kinda wish I could record it all the time and save it for when I’m an old man. My Dad said I really should make a pint of recording. The thing is, as soon as I pull out my phone (so far at least) Jack stops babbling. Like he knows…or he gets distracted by the phone. I strapped him in to the car seat today on a quest to buy more coffee beans and I got 15 seconds out of him before he saw my phone and was more interested in swiping at it.

Go with yourself.

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My man Ryan from The Paper Cranes left a comment on my blog from the other day about which computer program might help me master the beat production.  he recommended the Mac program Logic.

Ryan Awram from The Q! also rocks Logic so what I would like about that is that we can share knowledge at work.  I think Logic also has some similar attributes to Garageband which comes standard on the Mac.  That might allow me to learn the Garageband as I already have it, then graduate to Logic if/when I get the hang of it.

I went down to Simply Computers on Quadra, where I normally go to stare at Apple stuff, to look at Logic.

I asked the sales rep about Logic and he steered me toward Ableton… again.  Always with the Ableton.

Ableton is expensive, BUT the sales rep said I don’t need the super duper version… the basic $500 package would be good for me.  And he said that Ableton is working with Rane (they make Serato mixers) to be compatible with Serato DJ software (and I hope my Numark???).

yeesh.  brain hurts.

Its all pretty amateur for me right now and will one day require me to make a decision and jump in.  The issue I mainly have is money.  Coral is hoping to go to University or college in the fall and will need tuition/computer/earn less money for the family.  I’ll need close to $1,000 to rock the wedding fair in the fall and that has to be the priority as success there will guarantee me the opportunity to earn the money I need for fun toys (and to pay the mortgage).  Fun toys now… wasted chance at future business.

man, being an adult sucks.  Garageband for now.

***

In other news, my set for the party Friday Night is taking shape and I like the direction.  I am stressing about it as I don’t really know what people will want to hear.  But I think if I play what I like, I’m opening… no harm no foul and like any performer… all I can do is what I do.

I’ll practice it tonight before bed and if its a good hour, its gold for Friday at Sugar. It’ll be some Brooklyn meets Ibiza chillwave and blisscore beats with some classic soul/funk/R&B.  Might be a trainwreck, but last night at 2AM… it sounded good.  I’ll try it again on the decks tonight, if I can mix it together and the story makes sense in my brain, it’ll be what you hear as you file into Sugar. if this mix that is my head doesn’t come together I was also feeling a modern rocky/remix/local beats set.  Maybe I can do both… a side A and a side B kinda dealio?

Details >> – Well Served – @ Suagr Nightclub

Lastly… I still love Four Tet.

Go with yourself.

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A mix of songs of music I generally found as free downloads off http://pitchfork.com .

I presented them at the Veneto Lounge (http://hotelrialto.ca) on the weekend. I normally pick songs that have similar BPM when I craft a mix because that is all I can do to blend them together. These songs are all over the map, so the best I could do on the Vestax VCI 300 was fade them in and out. I am considering getting an effects add-on for my Numark NS7, I think that might allow me to create some more interesting transitions, but I am not sure. If any DJs stumble on my mix, maybe you could post some ideas in the comment section as I am still learning and could really use the advise.

I hope you like the songs, that Pallers cut, “The Kiss” absolutely crushes.

Click to Listen: MIX – 5 Candies

***

DJ Notes

01) The Books – “Beautiful People” (mp3)
02) Kisses – “Bermuda (Active Child Remix)” (mp3)
03) Fol Chen – “In Ruins (Baths Remix)” (mp3)
04) Pallers – “The Kiss” (mp3)
05) Kraftwerk – “Neon Lights”
06) Spirituals – “Wanderings” (mp3)
07) Twin Sister – “I Want a House” (mp3)
08) Woodsmen – “When Morning Comes” (mp3)

***
Look at that, so much free music from the Pitchfork Forkcast!

The Books start the set with some trippy reversed singing and then a bunch of math?

I dived into some Fol Chen just for Huckdoll who loves them.

Pallers are changing my world right now. “The Kiss” is an incredibly romantic song.  It definitely is a day-dream song that for me personally takes me into a kind of fantasy world.  I kinda wished I lived in this song.

I decided on some Kraftwerk because Pitchfork used their song “Neon Lights” to describe the style of Pallers.  “Neon Lights” comes from the 1978 record The Man-Machine.  I never really listened to much Kraftwerk which is a bit of a shame, there music is pretty interesting, and to hear what they did with far more primitive sequencers and processors is kinda neat.

This record does feature a #1 single in the “The Model” which actually didn’t chart so high till 1982 when it was included as the B-side with “Computer Love.”  DJs started jiving on the b-side so it was re-issued as an A-side and climbed the charts to number 1.

A song for Coral, Twin Sister sounds like a band you might hear on the Juno Soundtrack.  “I Want a House” is something Coral says to me all.the.time.  maybe if we lived in Texas where they give them away…

The set ends with my theme song for the morning after… when morning comes.  nice.

***

The title for this set comes from a conversation with Madelyn Friday morning and doesn’t have anything to do with the music.  Lately my two-year-old has become completely driven by candy.  One morning she just started on a baby babble train and I pulled out “five candies” and “three blue ones.”

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my mix.  If you like it, please share it with a friend.

Go with yourself.

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Vestax VCI-300 with Serato.

Friday night at Veneto, my sound started glitching out.  Very stressful thing to have happen to a DJ.  Saturday I took my Numark NS7 in to Long and McQuade for a check up, and while they cut her open to operate they lent me the Vestax VCI-300 Serato Itch controller.

When I was shopping for an Itch controller last winter, it was between the Numark and Vestax and I ended up with Numark, so it was neat to see what could have been….

The Vestax is cheaper… and L&M they’ll run you about $1,100 vs. north of $1,700 for the Numark.  The Numark is also huge in comparison.  I chose the Numark because it is closer in feel to record turntables and I like being able to “grab” my songs and fly around a track.  The Vestax to me feels more dainty.  But I love that it is so small and easy to carry around, set up, takes way less space and is just… well less.

I already think, when I have the Numark paid off, maybe I’ll get a Vestax too!  I’ll need some practise with the Vestax, because right now, I am awkward on it.  If the Numark is on the DL for an extended period of time I can get some practise in on the Vestax.

If I am going to be able to get a new mix up this week for Huckdoll, it’ll need to be on the Vestax!

Go with yourself.

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Fail, Fail, Fail yesterday.

Coral decided to bring her relationship with Bell to a head and some words were exchanged and the next thing I know, I’m at a Telus store in the mall.

That’s all good, except it took hours to go through the process of finding a new phone.

When we got home, it was late, but Madelyn Oh Yeah! still needed a shampoo/tub.  Then snuggles in the Mommybed… and then … well I KO’d as well.  I woke up to Coral carrying Mads into her crib and her crawling into bed late after she played with her new phone and transferred contacts and all that fun stuff.

I just just couldn’t find the energy to wake back up and get to what I had hoped to do.  Oh well, maybe it was good to go to bed before 10PM for a change?  Obviously my body needed it if I just shut down.

I am slowly learning (or trying) Garageband on the Mac.  I thought it would be fun to make some podcasts and try to craft some audio when I am at home.  Another thing I want to try is recording some mixes on Serato.  I think I had read it was a feature of my ITCH program but hadn’t tried it yet so last night was going to be a test of that feature.  Looks like I’ll wait to the weekend to play.  I want to put something up on MixCloud soon.  I personally find the best way to get better at something is to do it, and perform it and suck and take some licks and then jump back in the fire (with hopefully a little less suck next time).

I’ve downloaded and discovered a ton of great new chillwave and indie rock that I wanted to share.  normally I’d type a “playlist” but that doesn’t really do justice.  Type out a song?

So adding a fun mix might something people can listen to and enjoy.  I’ll get on that this weekend as sadly, Wednesday was my last chance before a weekend of live performances.  Clubhouse tonight and I’ll see you Friday and Saturday in the Veneto Lounge.

In other news, I bought a pretty rock star Expos hat.  meh, I shouldn’t be buying baseball hats, but it was $22… so whatever, I’m weak.

I used to love, LOVE baseball as a kid.  I watched it all the time and followed it and everything.  I don’t know what happened but now I could barely tell you which cities even have teams anymore.  Its like one minute I was 14 and the Montreal Expos were dominating the National League and the next… they moved to Washington DC and I stopped caring.  I try to pay attention during the World Series… but it is hard to get jazzed on the stories when you haven’t followed the drama all season.  Same goes for NFL.  After the second week and Seattle is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, I’m all Who Dat is what?

The worst part of all this, I’ve seen a pretty bad ass vintage Mariners hat that I kinda want.  But its $40!  Holy moly!

Go with yourself.

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My man James from LoadingReadyRun came over today to help me with the new Mac and to resurrect the Toshiba.  Success n both fronts… and we got to talking about podcasting.  I’ve been podcasting for many years now, and being a radio mucky muck, I have access to a professional audio studio, a tech guy, music, and production libraries.  Good times.  BUT I find it has left me a little ignorant on the hows and the whys and the whats.  I can make a podcast, but I feel that without this support from the radio station, I could never crank one out myself.

Now, oddly enough, I feel like I am learning about the nuts and bolts of podcasting again from scratch.  James and his team at LLR jam out a weekly podcast just like Capital Rock City.  Their podcast is a 40 minute yak fest where a bunch of dudes sit around and riff on video games.  I wanted to know how they do it.  James basically explained they use a USB mic called the Samson C03U.  They record into GarageBand which is an audio editor software that comes with the MacBook.  I have been poking around Garageband and find it weird, seeing as I have used Cool Edit pro for a hundred years and Pro-Tools sometimes.  What I like about Garageband is that it seems built for podcasting and will let me do a bunch of stuff that I see on other podcasts that I have wondered about.  Like inserting pictures and having them change during the broadcast.  neat.  It’ll take sometime to figure it out and I’ll need a mic (think I’ll see about a Samson), but you might be hearing some early demo podcasts on here pretty soon.

Another inspiring thing that should help get some new show ideas out there is streaming the shows on this here blog.  Amanda over at the Indie Files was very helpful in explaining how to rock an audio player on the blog. Check out an MP3 post she made that features the songs she is talking about.

Your likely thinking, “holy fuck Jeremy, that is some blogging 101 stuff there.”  But not for me, I’ve seen that on so many blogs and always wanted to do that on my blog when i’m yapping about music, or quickly jam out a little podcast to play some audio for you… and now finally I think I can.

You’ll likely be hearing and seeing some practise over the next couple weeks as I flirt with Garageband, WordPress, Serato and this Mac, creating podcasts and publishing the content.

Thank you James for your computer knowledge and help and to Amanda for the email.

Oh and the Toshiba lives. Nice.

Go with yourself.

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Thank you Linda for the picture.

I am having one of those groovy “Staycations” that poor people are always talking about. No but seriously, I am on holidays but I am hanging out at home because I have no money.

Its kinda nice being at home and not having to do a radio show or DJ for a few nights.  I think I might spoil myself and order the Montreal/Vancouver game in HD tomorrow afternoon.  Baller.

DJ Murge is doing another installment of his DJ class at Long and McQuade starting next week so I think I’ll get up in that for some professional development.

I bought this fancy Numark Serato controller and have picked up enough from Boitano to make it go, match some beats and blend some tunes, but I think I need to learn some more (and I think it will be fun).  Shannon Shields says Murge is the man so it might be good to learn from the master.

Last night was my final night at Sips till maybe the late Spring or Summer.  While there I got the email newsletter from Serato about a product for the NS7.  It is an effects controller for the rig called NSFX.  Its kind of a bad ass piece of machinery that will let me bend and manipulate the music.  Maybe after the DJ course I’ll have a greater understanding of the craft and can incorporate the effects.

What I’ll want to be working on soon… and this might sound weird, but I was talking to Alix last night and it made sense at the time… is crafting a DJ set that incorporates the music of the 1920s with modern beats and also a set that uses country music with a modern sophisticated sound for a few projects she is working on for Sea Cider.  I got some time so that is what I’ll be thinking about for the next little while.  Music of the roaring 20s.

OK well that is all I got for now, I am going to get back to my staycation and take Madelyn to the park to play soccer.

Go with yourself.

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I had talked about wanting to start a financial blog on here awhile back, but I think the reality of that happening right now is low.  It is a challenge enough  to stay on top of this blog and keeping on the news and music for my radio show.  Plus I am DJing more and more these days and I really enjoy that and want to keep growing my performance, so right now, no new blog.

That said, Coral and I are really starting to get into the hang of the “Jar Budget” or basically, living off a set value of cash every week.  Granted, we set a fairly generous amount of cash to live off each week, but its working.  We now generally have a little of last week’s cash in the jar by the time its time to put more in!  Just in time for Coral’s birthday.

The other benefit… and this is one I shared with my buddy Dave, you end up collecting lots of change.  Loonies and Twonies and quartres and all that good stuff.

Its getting to the point where for some goofy things like a coffee or even a lunch or simple groceries, I just take a fistful of change and not even open the cash jar.

We’re not perfect at not using the debit, but its much better than before.

***

Which brings me to my next project.  A new laptop!  huzzah.  But I’m not there yet.  I am still dreaming and pricing and see what I need and/or want.

I need a more powerful laptop to run my DJ software and eventually I want to play around with creating my own lounge beats.  The Toshiba, god bless it, freezes during my sets sometimes (well actually about once a night).

I want a Mac Book Pro.

The conflict I have is cost.  I am still putting a jihad on bills and debt so no computer right now, but my projection is to be in a position to buy a computer by April.  Knock on wood, no issue with the Toshiba and it serves till then.

From my wandering on the Serato message boards, the consensus is a Mac.  It might be true that 90% is on PC, but in the creative DJ world, the opposite is true.  It feels like 90% of professional DJs and producers use a Mac.

But when you ask why?  the answer isn’t always clear.  “Its better” is common.  That’s cool, but is it $1000 better?  Coral and I bought our Toshiba two years ago for about $750.  Is a MacBook Pro 17″ monster worth $2,599.99?

My studies have concluded that even if I went Mac, I could get away with a MacBook ($1,000 ish) or the more powerful Pro 13″ 2.53 GHz.  cost: $1,599.00.  wow, for a computer.

That screen is actually smaller than our 14″ Toshiba… and my second major issue after the freezing is the small screen.

Bump up to the 15″ MacBook Pro and now we’re talking $1,799.99.

Scary.

I want it, but do I NEED that?

Coral was watching Olsen on Your Side on CTV the other day, and they said the best PC Laptop for value was the Dell Studio XPS which start on the Dell website for around $1,000.

Get a Dell, save $800?  hmmm.

Is a MacBook Pro worth $800 MORE than a PC?  If you think so, I’d like to hear it.  The biggest thing I’ve heard of the value of the Mac is stability.  At the end of the day, that might be my most important attribute.  One DJ said that “the cheapest used Macbook on Craigslist is better than any PC for operating Serato.”

I figure, if the Toshiba, god forbids, shuffles off the mortal coil before April, I can always find a used Macbook and just get back out there.

*** future project, I want a MIDI controller ($200 ish) and to learn Ableton (Thanks Rozie)!  And start building a stage show for when I DJ.  Maybe my saved up change jar money can buy some lights or what I really want is a screen and a projector.***

Go with yourself.

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A bartender named Holly turned me on to this song from a band called Kyte.  Wikipedia reminds me of the epicness of Explosions in the Sky or This Will Destroy You; but with a wispy vocal melody.  Mighty good.

I met Holly last Saturday at the Rialto where I find myself DJing Saturday nights.  What a great place, it feels good to be at a place where I can really bite into my playlists and find some interesting music.  This gig found me because I sent a cold call email to the Rialto about a year ago when they did their renovations.  I asked if I could DJ, they said no… fast forward a year and there I am.

The evening forced my hand in finally investing in my production.  I headed to Long and McQuade and purchased a Numark NS7.  The NS7 is a controller that lets me use Serato Itch.  It simulates a turn table DJ rig, but I like it because it is smaller (it uses two 45s instead of LPs) and all contained.  I can set it up in our little home, practice, and break it down much easier than the turntables I had from Boitano.  I might have wanted to chose the Vestax VCI 300, it is smaller still than the NS7 and cheaper, but I wanted to play on something a bit more substantial… but I can see myself one day wanted something even smaller, when my skills improve.

My goal right now is practice, practice, practice.  I want to have at least a passable skill at blending and mixing two cuts together.  The NS7 also has lots of fun and user friendly features to create loops and rush around a track, maybe one day I’ll be able to really birth some interesting sonic creations.

In the future, I will need to get an accountant (thank you John!), register the old business up, promotional material and I think we’ll need a new laptop.  I just didn’t have the money or the guts to finance one right now.  Coral and I are hoping that after her layoff is final, we put some money in the bank and my DJ business stabilizes and becomes legitimate I can invest in a MacBook Pro or something equally fancy pants (do I *really* need a Mac?  I mean all the other DJs have one…).  The Toshiba is a temperamental lady these days, but she serves like a wiley veteran of foreign wars and so far hasn’t had any meltdowns or tantrums during a set (well it did the other night but no one really noticed!).

After the laptop, my next goal is a mobile set of speakers to rock a shindig that is not rigged for a dance party and build a visual component for my performance.  Then Coral and I will need a bigger home to store all this stuff and build my studio to make my historical podcasts and Coral was saying something about living somewhere where it snows in the winter and we have a barn… OK, breathe… now I am getting way ahead of myself.

First, practice, practice, practice.

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