Pioneer DJ: XDJ-RX [Review]

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The XDJ-RX: Dancing Astronaut Review

One of the biggest challenges for aspiring DJs is how to make the transition from home practice to the club environment. While one can easily build a solid foundation with a standard MIDI controller, getting access to professional gear is difficult to do without breaking the bank. Thanks to Pioneer DJ, however, the transition just became a lot easier.

With their newest development – the XDJ-RX — Pioneer DJ has created what very well may be the perfect all-in-one system. The XDJ-RX is the seamless marriage of two CDJs & a DJM mixer in a MIDI controller format. Perhaps most compelling of all, it’s USB flash drive compatible — in other words, no laptop necessary.


The Industry Standard

When it comes to DJing equipment, Pioneer DJ is the industry standard. We need not extol the virtues of their professional line of CDJs and mixers — at this point, it’s more than common knowledge — but it is worth reiterating their dedication to beginner and intermediate hobbyists as well. Since 2011, the company has been putting out top-of-the-line controllers from the original DDJ-S1 to the ultra-advanced DDJ-SZ.

The XDJ-RX is not as much an evolution of this lineage as it is its own separate beast. In fact, it’s possibly the first standalone MIDI controller with this level of functionality to run completely laptop-free. The XDJ-RX works simply by plugging in a USB drive, iPhone, iPad, Android phone with one’s music loaded onto it.


Intuitive organization

Users of Pioneer DJ’s CDJs and mixers will feel right at home on the XDJ-RX. The layout recalls two CDJ-900NXS models stacked alongside a DJM-NXS in a compact fashion. For those unfamiliar with the signature gear, the XDJ-RX will serve as the perfect transition to Pioneer DJ’s professional line when the time comes to step into the club environment.

The unit is organized around a central LCD display with a dual waveform view — a first for Pioneer DJ products. With the tracks stacked on top of each other, it’s similar to the view afforded by software like Traktor and Serato, albeit in a much more condensed format.

The actual construction of the unit is very solid. While not as robust as the professional line of CDJs and mixers, it’s a considerable step up from the build of its plastic-framed competitors. Our only gripe here is that the jog wheels feel a bit amateur in comparison to the real ones, but then again, Pioneer DJ only had so much space to work with.


Packed With Features

The XDJ-RX is packed with features — and this is where the fun comes in. With rekordbox™ built into the system, the waveforms are displayed in brilliant color, with the ability to zoom in and out with ease. The performance pads at the bottom — similar in function the ones on the DDJ-SX — offer the ability to set auto-loops on the fly, slice beats, and manage hot cues.

The effects section is as creatively stacked as the DJM-900NXS, with 8 Beat Effects (including the awesome Spiral) and 4 Color Effects (filter, noise, etc). Slip mode, quantize, and the Beat Sync mode all find their way onto the unit as well.

Most satisfying of all, recording a mix is as easy as hitting a button at the start of the session. The resulting mix automatically transfers to one’s USB or phone.


The Bottom Line

With the XDJ-RX, you get exactly what you pay for: a reliable all-in-one system that prepares one for the professional world of DJing. Perhaps best of all, it feels like an authentic Pioneer DJ experience. Everything is where it should be, and everything sounds great.

The bottom line for the XDJ-RX is that it just makes sense. DJs have been longing for this kind of equipment for years. The fact alone that it functions as a standalone system without the need of a laptop should be enough to win over most aspiring DJs. Double that with Pioneer DJ build quality and intuitive setup and it’s the perfect setup for keeping your skills sharp or taking that first step in the professional mixing world.

Purchase: Pioneer DJ

Pioneer DJ: XDJ-RX [Review] was posted by Michael Sundius, and appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

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Alibaba launches its own music division, Alibaba Music Group

Dancing Astronaut - EDM, trap, techno, deep house, dubstep

Earlier this year, Chinese e-commerce platform, Alibaba, struck a major deal with music publishing company, BMG, for the distribution rights to 2.5 million song copyrights. Looking to plant its feet firmly in the music industry, Alibaba has now launched its own subsidiary, Alibaba Music Group.

With both international and domestic music markets being highly competitive, the company’s CEO, Song Ke, and chairman, Gao Xiaosong, will be in charge of the division’s launch. The tycoons both have previous experience in the music industry with Song Ke previously founding a subsidiary label, Taihe Rye Music, under Warner Music and Gao Xiaosong being a singer-songwriter.

Although the department is still in its early development, Alibaba Music Group revealed that one of its preliminary endeavors will be to merge two of China’s most popular streaming apps – Xiami, of which Alibaba already owns, and Tiantian. With China’s streaming market still young yet already highly competitive, it will be interesting to watch how Alibaba will stack up against its biggest threat will be Tencent – another power player in mobile Internet technology who has distribution deals with Warner, Sony, and YG Entertainment – and other international services like Spotify, Beatport, Apple Music, and SounCloud.

Via: Billboard

Read more about Dancing Astronaut’s tech news here


Alibaba launches its own music division, Alibaba Music Group was posted by Austin Evenson, and appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

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This is how Richie Hawtin performs live

Dancing Astronaut - EDM, trap, techno, deep house, dubstep

Anyone who has seen a Richie Hawtin performance can attest that it is no ordinary spectacle. Hinging on moments of madness at times — absolute bliss at others — his live sets careen like a vessel at sea, taking one on a tumultuous journey with new surprises at every turn.

So how does Hawtin — the mastermind behind world-class techno brands Minus and ENTER — work his magic on the dance floor? It’s actually quite a complex setup. Back in April, on his second CNTRL tour, Hawtin gave an extended look into his gear in a talk with Point Blank Music School at UCLA.

Before diving into his setup, Hawtin gave a brief account of growing up in Detroit and witnessing pioneering techno artists first hand. Artists like Jeff Mills and Derrick May were early influences for young Hawtin. “They didn’t care if they really fucked with the way they were playing,” Hawtin said, describing the often destructive style of mixing that was a radical notion at the time.

While his gear has changed considerably over the last twenty years, nowadays, with the evolution of DJ technology, Hawtin’s setup is quite advanced by anyone’s standards.

At the center of his setup is Native Instruments’ Traktor, which Hawtin controls with NI’s X1s and the new D2s. He uses these to trigger songs and loops which become the foundation of his set. From there, he’s got Ableton running in the background hooked up to a Push controller. He’s got his own custom drum rack loaded up in Ableton which he can then launch and loop samples from via the Push. This allows him to create new drum sequences atop whatever tracks are playing inside Traktor. Most notably of all, he intentionally does not sync the two programs, and instead opts to align the drum sequences from Ableton himself so as to add desired swing or move them perfectly in time.

On top of all this, he’s even got a foot pedal for FX and a Roland TR-8 — not to mention his favorite Xone:92 mixer. The cumulative effect of this extensive live setup is the flexibility for Hawtin to do whatever he desires at any moment, whether it be constructing a track on the fly, or layering three records together to create an entirely new composition.

Towards the middle of the talk, he admits that sometimes things get a bit crazy or overwhelming – but therein lies the beauty of the setup. Just when things seem to descend irreversibly into chaos, Hawtin pulls back on the reigns, taming the beast and inserting his control over the machine.

Read More:

Richie Hawtin’s CNTRL tour: the catalyst for the next generation of underground artists

This is how Richie Hawtin performs live was posted by Michael Sundius, and appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

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Beatport inks a massive deal with Spotify regarding exclusive music and video content

Dancing Astronaut - EDM, trap, techno, deep house, dubstep

With the streaming arms race becoming more competitive every day, Beatport has made a power play by forming an exclusive content partnership with Spotify. Earlier this year, Beatport expanded their dominance into the video streaming space with the launch of Beatport Live, which has already broadcasted SFX events like Mysteryland and Spring Awakening Music Festival. Spotify revealed back in May that they would be adding both video and podcast extensions to their services.

With Apple Music just beginning its ascent and TIDAL crashing quickly, this deal will allow Beatport to reach Spotify’s 75 million subscribers, while Spotify will have access to Beatport’s hand-picked playlists and exclusive video content, such as festival live streams. The partnership is also intended to give Spotify a competitive position against Apple Music’s human-curated features, and comes just following SFX’s recent organizational changes.

The details of the deal have yet to be disclosed in full, but it is clear that this alliance between two of electronic’s leading platforms will be one with a significant impact.

Via: Business Wire

Read more:

Interactive Spotify map tracks what’s playing around the world

Beatport’s new streaming player compensates artists for every play

Beatport launches streaming app

Beatport inks a massive deal with Spotify regarding exclusive music and video content was posted by Austin Evenson, and appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

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A Jack Ü And Big Sean Collaboration Is “Coming Soon”

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Big Sean is no stranger to dance music. The rapper has previously teamed up with the likes of Calvin Harris and RL Grime to create some fantastic tunes. Now, it has been revealed that the Detroit native is working with a couple of the hottest names in music, Skrillex and Diplo.

Last night, Diplo posted a picture of the three on Instagram with the caption “@Bigsean x jack ü coming soon”. Unfortunately, this statement doesn’t reveal much. There is a chance that this is a new single, but we have a feeling that that Big Sean will be providing a verse for a remix of a Jack Ü track that has already been released (similar to the Missy Elliott remix of “Take Ü There”). It’s also worth noting that Justin Bieber and Big Sean previously joined forces for “As Long As You Love Me”, so don’t be surprised if he reworks “Where Are Ü Now”.

. @Bigsean x jack ü coming soon

A photo posted by diplo (@diplo) on

The post A Jack Ü And Big Sean Collaboration Is “Coming Soon” appeared first on EDMTunes.

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This made-to-order service lets you press anything you want to vinyl

Dancing Astronaut - EDM, trap, techno, deep house, dubstep

With a nostalgic look back into the more retro of times, there’s been a resurgence of interest in amassing physical collections of music, with vinyl sales up 800% in 2014 since 2004. A new service, Super Specific Vinyl on Demand, has been launched to meet this upswing in demand, offering limited-run vinyl pressings of anything users order. Super Specific Vinyl lathe-cuts orders, which could include obscure or out-of-print albums, creating your own compilation of greatest hits of your favorite band, or even making a record of your own music without having to put in a gigantic order to sell, because records are made on demand with no minimum order quantity. In regards to the legality of reproducing copyrighted music, Super Specific Vinyl on Demand has stressed that all records would be non-commercial, and have been legally purchased in their original format. The service has the capability of cutting 7- and 12- inch records, and is purchasing additional lathes to meet order demands through crowdfunding. You can check out their launch video and read more about the service on the IndieGoGo page. H/T: Vinyl Factory

This made-to-order service lets you press anything you want to vinyl was posted by Lucy Davidson, and appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

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