October 2011

ABLETON BLOG & UPDATE

Ableton Blog

A new community based blog has been set up by Ableton called Ableton Blog……genius!

Well actually it is, the idea behind the blog is for Ableton users to share everything Ableton, from free max for live plug-ins to tutorials and free instruments.

One of my favourite items on the blog at the moment is a free drum rack using a Casio Rapman keyboard and you have Florian Blauensteiner to thank for it. You can download the drum rack here.

Ableton Update

If you use a Mac for Ableton then you’ll be please to know Ableton have recently released Live 8.2.6, which among other things promises to fix the issues with the Lion operating system.

The latest version of Ableton is now ready to download now.



Read more →

Marco Nastic Interview

markonastic_interview_dj_producer

We catch up and interview Marko Nastic the head honcho of house and techno labels Recon Warriors and Traffica.

Marko discusses his DJ set up, his essential pieces of studio kit, what to do if you are getting into digital DJing and what to do if you are producing your own tunes plus much more!

What’s does your DJing set up consist of?

My performance components include records, cds , c – loops sampler and delay, boos digital delay dd-7 and Traktor Scratch Pro. Depending on the performance, I do make variations to my set up, including extra fx , like corki, which happens to be one of my favorites. Specially because of the noise it produces and as it is so easy to use.

How has digital technology changed your DJ sets?

The digital technology movement actually totally stopped me from buying records. I used to buy lots of records, experimenting with them a lot. However now because of the move across to digital music I only buy really good old classic records.
When recording my “Music is for a Body and Soul” radio show I don’t use vinyl anymore mainly using cd’s and Traktor.

faderfox_lv3_controller

Which midi controllers do you use and what do you like about them?

I love the Native Instruments X1 controller, but i also use a Faderfox controller a lot, where i actually have customized my own setup. So it’s now really easy to work with. It’s also a really good size for producer/dj traveling on the go 24/7

Do you have a piece of DJ kit that you can’t live without?

Turntable!

You’ve been producing and releasing tracks quite frequently over the past two years, how would you describe your sound at the moment and where do you see it heading in the future?

I am trying to find myself between techno and house, also in the same time not to be to trendy, trying to avoid fx and noises and to make simple stuff with big beats. I like to use old school beats with analog sounds.

I’ve actually just had two releases in recent weeks.

“Morocco” – Marko Nastic Drumpunch remix on Estrada Records. On this track i collaborated with one (in my eyes) of the new wave of upcoming producers – Igor Krsmanovic. The 2nd release “Meltin Point”. This is ia an original track of mine and is being released by Amazing Records on their 2years Amazing Compilation album.

Can you give any advice to any up and coming producers on how to get their music heard and signed to a successful label like Recon Warriors?

Recon warriors was really successful in the era of tribal techno and in that time it was a bit different to today’s scene because we printed a whole lot of records and we would send those records all over the world to promote the track, the artist and the label.
Now a days in my eyes with the digital music culture and how easy it is to make music, lots of people are setting up labels selling the dream to producers and artists; however aren’t putting any or very little time, work or money promoting the releases properly.
I would suggest in today’s market if you are getting music released on a label don’t just leave the promotion to them, get out and about with the tunes, network with other DJs give them a copy to play out. Put (un-downloadable) snippets of the track on Social media platforms like Souncloud.com and Facebook. Help promote the track yourself. If you do that, other bigger labels will take notice of you.
At present the direction of Recon Warrior and Traffica label, we are open and growth minded to new music but in same time its hard to listen to the multitude of demos we receive on a daily basis. Our main focus now is on our niche crew and network of upcoming and accomplished producers and their referrals of new producers or more or less a friend of ours :)

FATSO_COMPRESSOR_front

What are your key bits of studio kit and what is your most essential piece?

I have become totally digital lately! I have only kept a Fatso compressor. As of late, I was and am still testing lots of Summing mixers and to be honest i still have no clue on which one to make a collective action to buy. I always liked analog eq and distortions and mostly now use software plug-ins like Universal Audio’s UAD, Waves, TC Powercore, SSL, Duende and off course Native Instruments. I am very grateful to Native Instruments, the Serbian branch of the company as they have
been very supportive and a huge part of the Marko Nastic brand. I am very much in gratitude for the partnership in working with them and look to build on this relationship going forward!

When you are in the studio making a new tune what process do you follow?
Usually i start with laying down a beat and than start sampling sounds. Sometimes it can be the other way around. I now use a lot of machines to help me craft the different sounds.


What projects are you currently working on?
At this moment I’ve just finished in Ibiza, Spain and have been developing lots of different beats and ideas. I finished most of my latest projects in late June.
My new forthcoming project “Sake &Vinyl Only” on Traffica will be out, hopefully by the end of the year.

What’s your top tip for anyone getting in to digital DJing?

Craft your music folders slowly and concentrate! If u loose that focus on the style you are after it will end in a big mess like no other. Be very careful with the quantity of tracks and sounds you use in a set, make sure they suit the style you are after. An old habit of mine was that I used to find myself cramming in too many sounds into a mix and that actually resulted in me loosing the feeling that i was looking to create. That is why i like vinyl records so much! :-)

ricardo villalobos

Who is your favorite DJ at the moment?
Marko Milosavljevic, he is my long time buddy from Serbia. His unbelievable sense of music and ambient good touch especially with vocals. He is top notch! When we play together we just hook up easily and Rock like no other Tag team you can imagine! Also i need to mention Dejan Milicevic who in my eyes has some of the best technical DJing skills on this planet!
At this present moment having just been in Ibiza, I would say Ricardo Villalobos at Amnesia has been the best. Smashing the dance floors, making crowds jump off the balcony! His style is like no other and he is at the forefront in my eyes in moving the crowds when he performs!

Marko Nastic & Dejan Milicevic @ Dance Valley festival in Amsterdam Part 5
June 29,2011

Who are your favorite producers at the moment?

Koze, Den Anderi, Ricardo Villalobos

Do you have a pre DJ gig superstition?

I always, (after years of looking for the best solution) try to find the best way to spend my time creatively while in hotel’s, plane’s etc. I watch a lot of movies to relax and because of being able to take time out I can relax and find my focus and peace. Which helps me to be purpose driven and allows me to create and plan (like no other) a magical presence with the exact right music for the people on the dancefloor.

What do you like and dislike about DJing?

I really dislike it when i can’t provide what actually i do best. Playing at parties that have horrible sound systems, bad mixers etc is terrible. I can get super irritated and pissed when these things are not working as they should be. Note to all promoters, if you want to run a successful party you need to make sure your equipment is in good working order and allows the DJ to perform at the top of their game.

The best moment I love is when i can be at my best to show what i am made of, taking my fans on a musical journey.
I totally love the best tropical gigs. You can’t beat the atmosphere as they are always great fun; Ibiza, Brazil and Columbia. Hint to all!!!! :)

What is your top tip when making a mixset?

My advice would be to really recognize the mood of the dance floor or style you are trying to create for a mix set and then play what u feel feels right at that moment in time!

You can check out Marc Nastic and his music productions at these sites:

http://www.djmarkonastic.com
Beatport

Myspace
Listen To

Related Articles

Marco Nastic in the Mix

Interview with DJ &Producer Mr G

Interview – Ross Evana, Omerta Recordings (Formally KOS)


Read more →

Serato ITCH: What’s it all about?

FunkNaughty.com have been asked a lot about Serato recently, so to help everyone out, we thought we’d prepare the following post.

The three topics we’re going to cover are:

Serato ITCH, what’s it all about? which controllers are best? and where’s the best place to get some hands on experience?

First up, what’s it all about?

Well Serato ITCH is the laptop digital DJing software from Serato. It’s controlled via dedicated ITCH controllers, more about that later.

The software includes standard EQ tweaking, FX’s, as well as iTunes playlist intergration, which is a must for any digital DJing software.  In addition, the software offers auto tempo matching & beat syncing, cue point saving and the cherry on the cake, free upgrades.

ITCH MIDI Controllers

The Serato ITCH software has been developed in conjunction with a number of hardware manufacturers, most notably, Allen & Heath, Numark, Novation and Vestax. The software is free to download, which you can do here but you can only access the full range of features but connecting a dedicated controllers.

FunkNaughty.com’s personal favourite ITCH controllers are:

Allen & Heath XONE DX

Numark NS6

Novation TWITCH

Vestax VCI-300

Hands-On Experience

FunkNaughty rate all the courses offered by PointBlank college in London.  They have expert tuition and if you’re looking to get ahead in the world of digital DJing, then you could do a lot worse than a PointBlank Serato course.

You can attend their courses in person at their college or you can complete a course on the web, the choice is yours.

Mention FunkNaughty when booking a Serato course and you’ll receive an exclusive discount.


Read more →

Win A Set At We Love – Space Ibiza 2012

So then, you’re bang in to DJing and think it’s time the world heard your skills, well this could be the opportunity for you.

James Zabiela and Tid:Pro are looking for the next big DJ, who can scratch and bring something extra to the mix.

The competition is run in association with The Warehouse Project, Air Amsterdam and We Love and they’re offering you the chance to win a set at Space in Ibiza for We love in 2012! This is a hugh prize and everyone at FunkNaughty.com wishes you the best of luck.

Click here for further details.


Read more →

Pioneer DDJ ERGO V DJ Controller Review

Pioneer DDJ-ERGO_ v Review front_laptop

Whilst at this years BPM Conference we checked out Pioneer’s new DDJ ERGO V controller. A entry level controller aimed at the younger budding DJ.

The DDJ ERGO V has two channels with options to control 4 decks. It’s comes with Virtual DJ Limited Edition, a slimmed down version of Virtual DJ. However the software comes with a few little tweaks so that it compliments the ERGO especially. Using Virtual DJ the system is ready to play straight away, simply load virtual DJ, connect your laptop and start playing. Nice and easy!

The first thing that grabs you when you see the DDJ ERGO V is it’s look. With a crisp shiny white body, black interface, two phat jog wheels and lots of flashing red and blue lights the DDJ-ERGO-V looks like the cool, trendy little brother of Pioneer’s DDJ-S1 and DDJ-T1. We must admit we quite like the look and it definitely has an appeal that draws you to it. With it’s spaced aged rounded sides, you could imagine it in a futuristic Manga movie. Saying that, the minus to this is that is doesn’t look entirely professional. However as this is aimed at younger budding digital DJs this doesn’t really matter at all and to justify matters we’re pretty sure if you are 16 or so and whip this out at a house party you’ll have the ladies falling all over you.

Pioneer DDJ-ERGO_v review

The DDJ ERGO V boasts plentiful dedicated knobs and buttons for all your favourite functions, with a range of filters, FX, Hot Cues and sample banks with loop sampling functions. Plus the MIDI output makes the DDJ-ERGO compatible with most other DJ software on the market. Pioneer have released a Traktor TSI. file which comes with the system and will allow users to use Traktor if they prefer.

A cool new feature the DDJ ERGO V boats about is it’s ‘Pulse’ control, which adds a visual dimension when performing.

The newly developed Pulse Control uses light to give a visual representation of pitch, beat, effects and which decks are in being used. Built-in LEDs further enhance your mixing experience and add a new angle to the art of DJing.

The features of Pulse Control include:

* Mix Pulse: A blue LED on the jog wheel shows how close the phase of the mix is during a mix. The bigger the difference in pitch, the weaker the light. The closer the match, the more brightly the light shines.
* Beat Pulse: LEDs in the channel faders match the beat of the track in play. Plus the strength of the light reflects output levels, so you always know if a track is still in the mix.
* Launch Pulse: A red light travels from the Load button towards the Jog Wheel to indicate when a track has been loaded.
* FX Pulse: Various light patterns on the Jog Wheel clearly show which FX DJs have applied.

Pioneer DDJ-ERGO_V Review Rear

The controller is designed with two screw feet that can be taken off if preferred, so the controller can lie flat on a surface. If you decide to keep the feet on, the DDJ ERGO V is designed like the DDJ T1 & S1 so you can slide your laptop under neath the controller, allowing you to DJ in tight places.

The controller is fairly light as well so it can be carried around easily enough, although it is fairly big (not as big as some controllers currently on the market) so you may find it difficult fitting it into your rucksack. The controller is made of plastic which we imagine will damaged easily with any knocks or if you drop it on the floor. We don’t recommend doing this!

The DDJ ERGO V Review Verdict

All in all we really liked the DDJ ERGO V. It’s not the cream of the crop, however it is a very cool entry level controller. The controller definitely has the WOW factor with it’s trendy looks, and it comes packed with plenty of features that you would only find on more advanced controllers. Plus it does boast the new ‘Pulse Control’ technology. The only stumbling point is the price, at €499 euros there are other more solid controllers out there in the same price range, which will give the ERGO a run for it’s money.

If you are starting out or looking to upgrade from an older entry level controller (and you have the funds,) then definitely check out the DDJ-ERGO-V. With it being produced by Pioneer you can guarantee the quality of the controller and it’s last-ability. Something that other cheaper alternatives may not have.

Check out the Pioneer DDJ ERGO V official launch video here.

Related Articles
Novation Itch DJ Controller & Serato Itch Review

NI Traktor: It’s all about the S2


Read more →

Interview with DJ and Producer Mr G

An interview with DJ and producer Mr G, courtesy of the team at Sounds To Sample

Mr G interview

A stalwart of house music for more than two decades with releases on Defected, Skint and Rekids and with remixes of everyone from Roger Sanchez to Miss Kitten, Mr G is a genuine house legend. Now he talks exclusively to S2S about his studio methods.

The term ‘legend’ is often banded around willy nilly in the dance music realm, but Mr. G, aka Colin McBean, is one of the few who can rightfully lay claim to this accolade. Having been in the game for around two decades now, Mr. G is widely considered to be one of the most under-rated artists about – with only true music fans appreciating his vast contribution to dance music. We caught up with the living legend to talk shop…

1.What is the prognosis for the music industry: terminal decline or steady recovery?

Terminal decline. People aren’t going out there and digging for new beats. They’re relying on being spoonfed instead of going out there and looking for a sound of their own like my peers always used to do. It’s not good that so many people don’t dare to try and do things that are out of the box.

2.Does the industry these days dictate that artists need to be both creative artists and businessmen in equal measure?

Definitely, and for people like me that’s hard because I’m not a business man – I simply love making beats. So for people like me who don’t have the time or understanding to do that it’ll seem like we’re not at the top of our game, which I find sad. You work so hard as an artist and go through so much but if you’re not that way inclined you can go unnoticed. That’s why I’m grateful to both Rekids (James and Matt) and Bass Culture (D’Julz) for believing in me and working so hard to put me out there.

3. As an international touring artist who can regularly find themselves on different continents in the same week, how do you strike a balance between your touring schedule and time in the studio?

I’m not on the road as much as I should be so finding a balance is easy – it’s a way of life and I’m just built that way.

4.Who’s currently rocking your world as a producer and why?

The greats are always rocking my world – Jeff, Joey, Luke, Matt, Moody, Theo, Moritz, Carl. These guys love or hate ‘em have all been around a good while and they still continue to evolve while still retaining their own sound.

5.What one piece of kit or plug-in can you not live without?

My dear mpc200xl that’s been modified to the way I work and sound.


6.When building a track how do you normally work? Do you start with the drums and build from that?

It’s just whatever I’m feeling on that day. It can start anywhere – it’s the final destination that rocks me. If I’m dancing away in the studio then that’s me and I’m happy. Oh, and don’t forget the workings off a great RUM. ?

7.Do you prefer to use loops or one-shots? Do you use samples or sound design from scratch, or a mix of both? Do you like to record your own sounds?

Make my own sounds then sample and mangle them. It’s all good. I just make ‘em fit the way I feel and if it sounds right to me it’s good. Also I don’t make the sounds fit too tight, it needs that swing.

8.Any advice on monitoring? Quiet? Loud? Do you prefer flat and boring speakers, headphones or big, phat and chunky monitors? Do you reference on multiple systems?

What! You’re asking a lot here, can’t give it all away… ha ha! No but really, I’m using a bit of every thing. Quiet when building a track, loud when checking the weight and sound and I sometimes mix down using two sets of flat monitors which make me work sooo hard to get things right. I want hear what’s really there unenhanced.

9.What are the biggest barriers new producers face?

There are no barriers in the music world if you’ve got the money. It’s now a place you can do just what you like. Only one thing though – you’ve got to make great music and try to find your own picture to paint. And even then you can’t be sure you’ll get your due rewards…

10.What three pieces of kit / software could you not mix without?

Good old analogue synths my MPC and a great set a monitors. Also, all my mixes are done live on the board, cuts and all. Whether it’s mix one or mix 101, I work until it’s right. Oh, and I also need rum to get me going , haha!

11. If you could give one piece of advice to yourself when you started out in music, what would it be?

That’s a tough one. You’ve got to really love what you do above any fame or money and stay true to yourself. Don’t follow fashions – make your own path. Be humble. Start well, end well. Good in, good out, as they say!

12.What do you find hardest to get right when making a track?

It’s always the balance between the drums and bass, and the weight in the two. I’m an old skool sound boy so the low end is what I’m all about.

Related Articles:
Interview: The UK House Legend Steve Mac


Read more →

FunkNaughty @ BPM Conference, Today – Saturday 1st October

bpm conference

FunkNaughty will be at this year’s BPM Conference in Birmingham.

We’ll be heading up there today, Saturday 1st October. If you are at the conference come and say hello as it would be great to meet you.

You can find us sharing a stand with Danny Rampling who we collaborated with helping to produce his International selling book ‘Everything You Need to Know About DJing and Success’.

BPM is the world’s largest event dedicated to DJing, electronic music production and club culture. It is attended by DJs, producers, performers, promoters, venue owners/managers, equipment retailers/installers, record label representatives, students and many others who simply have an interest in DJing or electronic music.

What to expect at BPM

The leading equipment manufacturers and distributors will present their latest technology for you to look at, but more importantly get your hands on. The BPM exhibition area features everything from DJ mixers to PA systems and lighting effects to production hardware and software. BPM is an opportunity to try out the latest equipment and speak to the people behind it, then if you find what you are looking for – buy it!

The performance and demonstration areas at BPM play host to DJ sets, PAs and live performances, together with product and technique demonstrations throughout the weekend. The event also features a unique programme of educational and inspirational seminars that take place on every day of the event and are available to all visitors at no extra cost. BPM is the place to be inspired to move to the next level.

BPM is also the ideal place to meet and network with other DJs, producers, performers and entertainment industry professionals; share ideas and be inspired to move forward. Plenty of venue owners, promoters and agents also attend the show, which makes it the ideal place to hook up with people who can help you make the next step in your career.

If you are serious about DJing, performing, producing or anything to do with electronic music or club culture, you need to be at BPM!

Read more →

Focusrite VRM – Monitoring by Headphones

We’ve all been there, you’ve been working on a banging tune all day, you’re at the mixing stage but it’s getting late, your neighbours are moaning about the noise and your misses is going to bed……..so what do you do?

The long held belief was that you couldn’t mix in headphones as you don’t get the depth and richness of sound.

Well fear not any more, as the clever people at Focusrite have taken their Virtual Reference Monitoring (VRM) technology and packaged it in a palm-sized audio interface, for use in your home studio.

Focusrite say that VRM overcomes the major obstacle for mixing with headphones by giving you multiple perspectives on you mix, you simply choose from a list of industry-standard studio monitors and speakers, so late night mixing is now sorted!

Click here for more information on this genius product.


Read more →