CDJs – Commonly Asked Questions

There’s a moment in your DJ life when you’ll be confronted with CDJs.

These big, futuristic devices can be daunting at first, but getting to understand them will be an important step in your career and will open new opportunities for you.

Let’s jump right in to the CDJs FAQ you always needed!

What are CDJs?

CDJ is the generic name (inherited from the original Pioneer CDJ 500) given to CD and digital media players that are designed to be used in professional situations like DJ sets.

CDJs allow DJs to apply several manipulation techniques directly derived from vinyl, like playing a track slower or faster or navigating the track and a lot of others that are not possible with just a turntable, like looping a section and analyzing the track’s BPM.

Modern CDJs allow digital audio playback from CDs, USB sticks and SD cards.

Why should I use CDJs?

World-wide, CDJs are the standard gear on clubs and serve as a common platform for DJs.

They are reliable, sturdy, professional and in general, serve as a good inversion for a club to make. Since DJs are not expected to bring their CDJs, and you know that you’ll find them almost everywhere, why shouldn’t you get familiar with them?

Also, a good DJ should be able to get through the night with any piece of gear available!

Once you start getting the hang of using them, you’ll see that all the different models are fairly similar, and you’ll know the pleasure of arriving to the venue with just a USB stick and your headphones!

Are CDJs hard to use?

Disclaimer: Most CDJs don’t have sync capabilities, so if you rely too much in it when doing digital DJing, you may miss it at first.

That being said, mixing with CDJs is like a hybrid between laptop and vinyl DJing, since you are beat-matching by ear -turntable style- but with tons of visual feedback and digital mixing capabilities, not unlike you would find on software.

Pioneer CDJs use Rekordbox, a software that analyzes BPM and key of your tracks.

This information will then be displayed on the screen of the CDJs, along with the cue points you decide to set as reminders.

This could be useful since if you know the BPM of the tracks you need to mix, you’ll be a step nearer of beat-matching them successfully.

Another useful facility CDJs have is the possibility of linking them via ethernet cable, which will allow you to navigate the USB stick or SD card you connect on one of units from both of them.

Is buying CDJs worth it?

I know, I know, they are expensive. But if you are considering getting serious on this DJ thing, you should learn how to use CDJs, and the best way of achieving this is having a pair.

Maybe you can look for used CDJs, specially for cheaper models, since lots of the functions on higher tier CDJs are secondary.

A few older models like the Pioneer CDJ 800mk2 have CD-only support, which could be all you need if you are a CD guy.

The Pioneer CDJ 850 are USB compatible and although they feel plastic, remember that you are not expected to bring your CDJs to the venue, so build quality is not as important as in regular gigging gear.

In case you absolutely can’t buy a pair of CDJs, it’s not rare for DJ schools to let DJs practice for a fee.

If you can arrange a few sessions and do your homework (reading manuals, googling, asking questions), maybe this is a decent way to start.

Are CDJs better than controllers?

I don’t know, are hot dogs better than burgers?

CDJs are just another way of mixing music: If you are a wonderful selector on laptop, you can be one on CDJs as well!

The point is that knowing and understanding different techniques and technologies will help you professionalize and will make you more versatile.

Imagine getting offered a gig but there is no room in the cabin for your laptop and giant controller. Would you let the opportunity slip?

What audio formats can CDJs play?

From the very first Pioneer CDJ-500 launched in 1994 to Pioneer’s current flagship model CDJ-2000NXS2, CDJs have come a long way in terms of features, design and digital audio capabilities. In terms of audio formats, older formats are ubiquitous among CDJs.

These boil down to two types of formats: Lossless and compressed. Lossless formats like WAV and AIFF offer “full quality” audio since these are the formats in which music is recorded and worked on.

Generally, lossless audio offer you best audio quality with the trade-off of bigger files. These formats the way to go for clubs with very high-end PAs and all CDJs are compatible with them, so you might want to use them.

Compressed formats like MP3 and AAC offer you best size ‘value’ and are OK most of the times, if you use the higher settings. Most CDJs can read these compressed formats.

Some modern CDJs can read FLAC and ALAC, which are compressed lossless audio formats that offer a little reduction of file sizes without compromising audio quality.

Take a look at this chart for more info.

Model Plays Sources
CDJ-2000NXS2 MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC, FLAC, ALAC USB, CD, SD, Mac, Win, iOS, Android
CDJ-2000NXS MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC USB, CD, SD, Mac, Win, iOS, Android
CDJ-2000 MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC USB, CD, SD, Mac, Win
XDJ-1000MK2 MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC, FLAC, ALAC USB, Mac, Win, iOS, Android
XDJ-1000 MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC USB, Mac, Win, iOS, Android
CDJ-1000MK3 MP3, CDA CD
CDJ-1000MK2 CDA CD
CDJ-1000 CDA CD
CDJ-900NXS MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC USB, CD, Mac, Win, iOS, Android
CDJ-900 MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC CD
CDJ-850 MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC USB, CD
CDJ-800MK2 MP3, CDA CD
CDJ-800 CDA CD
XDJ-700 MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC USB, Mac, Win, iOS, Android
CDJ-400 MP3, CDA USB, CD
CDJ-350 MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC USB, CD
CDJ-100S CDA CD

KEF LS50 Wireless Pro Audio Speakers Review – An Audiophile’s Dream!

Today I’ll be reviewing the KEF LS50 wireless speakers, which are high end pro audio speakers that are best appreciated by audiophiles such as myself. 

Hence, I’ve been saving up for these speakers for months and they finally shipped last week. So, I’m excited to talk about them, as you can imagine. 

These speakers are by no means cheap – I bought mine for around $3000.  But when you know what these speakers do, you’ll understand why someone would spend that kind of money on some audio speakers. 

Here is what they look like, if you’ve never seen a pair.

KEF LS50 wireless pro speakers review

Mini KEF Comparison with Dynaudio and KRK

First let me say that I’m used to high quality audio.  It’s gotten to the point where if I hear lower grade audio, I run for the hills.  Which means I basically can’t go anywhere, as most audio and specifically the devices that play audio are build for non-audiophiles. 

The speakers I was using before I got my new KEFs, and which I still have, are high end Dynaudio studio monitors with an extrenal dac.  To your average music buff, these would be quite enough.  But not for me! 

Before the Dynaudios, I had some sweet KRK speakers, that had great sound, but I sold them in an effort to upgrade, which is when I got my Dynaudio speakers by a stroke of luck when a friend of mine sold them to me for a song. 

Now, with my KEFs, I feel like I’ve levelled up once again.

Why Did I Buy These?

My reason for the upgrade from KRK to Dynaudio is that those KRK monitors I had just didn’t cut it audio-wise, especially compared to my Dynaudios, not to mention these KEF’s I have now.

To touch on Dynaudio briefly, if you’re not too familiar with the brand, yes, they do build high end speakers for audiophiles, but they also make studio monitors for regular folks who don’t want to spend a whole lot.

The studio monitors I had were nearfield, with a small sweetspot, and overall they were not as musical as Dynaudio audiophile speakers, but that’s when I started looking at the KEF LS50’s. 

Dynaudio built to lower price points, for non home environments, and that’s what I had.  They were good, but not great.  They weren’t quite audiophile grade enough to stave me off from wanting something with real hi resolution. 

What I mean by high resolution, is that they will decode and play hi rez digital files, and I can plug analog turntable direct into it. And when I say “audiophile”, its the whole signal path you are trying to protect, and because so much it is controlled at the speakers by one design team, is awesome for me. 

And we are only talking speakers and amps. What I have here with these 2 KEF LS50’s is an integrated system, designed for a full hi end sound reproduction. I was talking to a guy at a fine audio store in Ottawa, and he said that the whole staff was blown away.  If I was a record producer, I’d use these for sure.  Great sound. 

The speaker they have built this system into, is already considered on of the very best standmount speakers ever developed. It’s trickle down technology from that 299,000 speaker system.

KEF have been one of the biggest most legitimate high end speaker manufacturers since the sixties. I’ve had other models from them, and they sang beautifully.  

My Audio Space and Why It Is Perfect For KEF LS50’s

My main living room, being acoustically very good on its own, sounds really really great with the right speakers.  Why?  Basically geometry and materials, ie. thick carpeting, and the room has cubic dimensions.

Here’s sort of how dimensions work as it pertains to pro audio gear and how audio travels in the space.  Generally reflective square rooms are disasters. Sound will reflect and create standing waves, particularly in high frequencies.  Or cancel out. 

Basically depending on where you sit, and where your speakers are set up, you will get various degrees of too much these frequencies, and not enough of those…usually the ones you want because the reflections. 

Say a bass wave is 10 feet long, and you are in a 10 foot cube room. That frequency is going to double and cancel every time it reflects.  So both of the rooms I use to play audio are pretty great that way.

Also there’s and isleway, I have a virtual bass trap in my closet and crawlspace, and a port (if you think of a room like a speaker box) from on level to the other.  Basically they both sound great.

My house would make an awesome fine audio store location.  As such when people drop by to visit, they are quite literally amazed at the audio quality I get with my speakers. 

I’m talking about the Dynaudio’s I had before.  Wait until they hear the Kefs!  I have a lot of gatherings, and music is usually a big highlight of those gatherings, and so next time anyone is at my place, they’re in for a real treat audio wise.

Features of the KEF LS50’s

The KEF LS50’s are not just biamped studio nearfield monitors, but biamped coaxial reference grade audiophle speakers, with build in dacs, dsp and various preamp inputs. 

If you don’t know these terms, like dac, and dsp, a dac is a digital to analogue converter. Its the part of your average pre amp, that takes whats been digitized on your computer, and turns it back to analog.

These KEF speakers do just that, right at the amplification stage with no latency.

You can plug a turntable directly into them, but also stream via bluetooth from whatever tablet or phone is in the room with you (communal sound access, perfect for parties) plug a computer in via usb, inputs for line level..ie cd plare, or mixer I guess, but these are maybe a bit too audiiphile to take a chance on possible hot signals, etc. 

All the room mode dsp, and integration with subs, if I ever buy one, which I won’t because I dont listen to pipe organs or hip hop, is controlled by an android app, which doubles as remote control.  Pretty good, right?

Vinyl VS Digital – They Both Win!

Let’s say you’re like me and you love listening to vinyl.  What will make you a bigger fan of these LS50’s, I suspect, is hearing vinyl properly done. If the phono preamp stage of these speakers are at the same level they say the system performs at. We are talking amazing.

However, hi rez digital, can be just as good. What the mainstream echo of the industry insiders repeat, are opinions of non optimized vinyl vs non optimized digital.

Digital now has changed a lot since it was demonized in the late 80s and 90s by audiophiles. Now the software and hardware is so much better, it will out perform vinyl, if it’s not a good table, arm, cartridge, phono preamp combo.

So if I can just plug this in without a decent phono preamp and it sounds like I remember my old system I had in the early nineties i’ll be astonished. I’ll even buy the same turntable!

Music Therapy

I need audiophile grade gear to maximize therapeutic effect listening to music. Time coherency at low level details reconstructs recordings in much more natural ways. 

The trouble for me was, how can I ever afford the gear?  On the second hand market, which holds its value, it would still cost me a couple grand per component, at least 10 grand to get to this systems performance, and then not have the versatility this has. 

That said, these KEF LS50’s integrate everyone into the speaker, and so my music therapy sessions are going to be a lot more rewarding from now on.  (I’m both the therapist and the subject, so this was a prescription from me to me – I needed these LS50’s!)

Design Aesthetics

From a design point of view its almost flawless. They are using analog amps for high frequencies and digital for low, but its all tuned through dsp. 

Digital signal processing to fine tune crossovers, amps, room position, dimension, and subwoofer integration. The tweeter sits in the middle of the woofer, so the sound-staging integrates immediately, which means, the have a huge sweet spot for listening, and you don’t have to be on axis for balanced sound.

When set these up a foot from the wall, they intelligently adjust for neutral.  Quite impressive. I’ve mostly been reading about them up until recently on some of the audiophile sites, but if you even read the purchasers comments on that article, you see the continuity. 

All in all, I think I’ve made a very solid purchase here.

Feature Pick

Ls50 Wireless Powered Music System (Black, Pair)

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ION Audio Road Warrior Portable Speaker Review

Today we review the ION Audio Road Warrior Portable Speaker, which is everything you could possibly need in a speaker, more or less.

It’s got an FM radio, the ability to stream music from any device, a microphone input for karaoke, performances, speaking engagements, or backyard parties. It can be carried easily and be used as a powerbank for your devices, too.

There’s almost nothing this speaker can’t do.

Feature Pick

Ion Audio Road Warrior – 500-Watt Portable Bluetooth Stereo Speaker System With Twin Lighted Speakers, On-Board Fm Radio, Rechargeable Battery And Ac/Dc Power Inputs

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Features

  • USB powerbank
  • Microphone input
  • Transmits 100 feet
  • Portable
  • Rechargeable battery
  • 70 to 20000 Hz frequency response
  • Wired or wireless

ION Audio Company

The company has been around since 2002 providing electronics to customers. They strive to provide innovative, fun products to their customers.

After their first USB-conversion turntable, they realized they could take vinyl records to the next level. That’s the kind of electrifying products they like to give the world.

Since that time, they’ve taken conversion to the next level as well as providing products like the advanced speakers we’re reviewing here.

Portable and Wireless

You can use these stereo speakers absolutely anywhere. It has recessed handles, so it can be carted anywhere you need it. Along with being portable in terms of weight and bulkiness, it can work wirelessly, too.

It can plug into the wall or be used with the included battery. Some people use this in the trunk of their car and when it’s needed, they pull it from the trunk and port it around to their destination.

Uses and Specifications

The speaker can be used with your favorite device to project and stream music from your phone, tablet, or computer. It has a built-in FM radio, so you can listen to the show while sitting in the parking lot.

It’s great for use with other applications coming from your favorite podcasters, radio announcers, or music sites. The angle of the speaker is perfect for projecting the sound into the crowd, too.

Along with your favorite music and sounds from others, you can use this speaker to project your own music or voice. This is a perfect speaker for karoake and performances in public where you’re making your own music.

This is a great speaker for the stage you erect in your backyard to perform for all your friends. It’s a terrific speaker for parties since you only need the sound to reach within your own property. The 100 feet of range is perfect.

Output Power

These 10-inch lighted speakers have incredible bass. You’ll be able to bring this to any event and project loud, clear sound at the crowd.

It’s built with enough power at 500 watts to really transmit sound over 100 feet. The design elements of the speaker provide even more power and projection since it’s angled for that purpose.

ION includes the ability to plug this directly into your car’s 12 volt input jack. They also send the wiring you’ll need to marry this speaker to your car. If you don’t want to power using the car, or want to have mobility in your speaker system, use the ION Warrior’s battery.

Rechargeable Battery

When you’re ready to break out the speakers at your next event, you’ll want to ensure they’re fully charged.

At full capacity, they can last for hours. If you plan on having an all-night party with this speaker, it can be paired with another power source to extend the life and music of the party.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the battery actually last?
The manufacturer boasts a 12 hour battery time, but customers have said it’s between 4 and 6 hours. After that, it has to be plugged into a power source.

Is it water resistant?
This isn’t splash resistant, so it’s important that you’re careful at the beach or around the drink table at the party. Consider placement before setting up the speakers.

Can it be paired with an MP3 player?
Hook up the cable from the MP3 player to the speaker. It works great for streaming from many devices. It’s not limited to MP3 players.

What kind of microphone can I plug in for karaoke?
You can use any microphone that needs to be plugged into a speaker.

Conclusion

This ION Audio Road Warrior Portable Speaker is a great portable option for times when you want to carry an easy sound system with you.

It’s terrific for parties and places where you might not be able to easily find a PA system.

That could be the beach, the back of your truck, your backyard, or a meeting room without its own system.

Yamaha Club V Series S215V Dual 15″ Loudspeaker Review

Today I am going to review the Yamaha Club V Series S215 Dual 15″ Loudspeaker

At just over 100 lbs and with dimensions of 19.5 x 23.5 x 45.9 inches, the S215 is the kind of speaker you might typically see getting unloaded off of a truck by some sweating roadies when it’s time for a rock concert or giving your future brother-in-law a minor back injury as he tries to one-man (“don’t worry I got this bro.. AHHH! my back!) it onto the stage for your sister’s wedding. 

Feature Pick

Yamaha Club V Series S215V Dual 15″ Loudspeaker

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At just a glance, it’s a solid unit.  In fact, I have seen these speakers used at various musical events, from church events, to open mics, to rock concerts, to live DJ sets. 

These puppies get around, and understandably so.  The Yamaha Club series of loudspeakers are what most consider to be all purpose speakers, so you can use ’em for almost any type of event, and they excel at producing what I might call a “lively” sound. 

The ones I have are definitely not small. 

Here is an example of these particular loudspeakers in action.  The sound quality of this performance is bad, but you can get a sense of the size of event you might use these for.

Don’t you just wish you were there?  Anyway, I have been using my pair of S215V’s for a couple of years now as they sit in the music room at my high school, where I am the teacher. 

We use them mainly for, well, various types of playback during classroom exercises.  Quite often, I’m playing things for my students and I don’t know if they know this, because kids these days are so entitled, but they’re getting treated to some very good quality sound that they probably don’t deserve. 

I’ve been known to play them Bach on these babies, or sometimes on lunch break I throw on some Orbital and let that bass vibrate my chesticles. In the ’80’s, my teachers used to play things on a boombox and it sounded like crap.  Big step up here with these S215V’s. 

Occasionally we use these speakers for assemblies, and I usually have to lug them down to the gym on a dolly or with the help of a strong student.  Since I’m the music teacher, they expect me to be an audio engineer as well, which I’m not. 

That said, I’ve used them for a few concerts myself with my band.  In my classroom, this pair of speakers are currently hooked up to a Behringer Eurodesk SX3242FX Mixer, and coupled with a Yamaha MSR800W 15″ Powered Subwoofer. 

We do a lot of ensemble pieces, using a wide variety of instruments, and often more than one vocalist, so having all of this equipment at our fingertips is very useful! 

Even the shy kids can be boosted so you can hear what they’re actually doing.  Nowhere for the shy singers and guitar players to hide when I crank this baby up!

High Quality Sound From Yamaha

Loud or quiet, the sound quality from these units is overall great.  I’m sure there are people with better ears than me who work in the music industry, but my ears work ok, thank you very much! 

In the classroom environment that I use this speaker in, the S215V provides quality sound, and a real punch.  The classroom I work in is fairly large, and these speakers have no trouble filling the room whatsoever. 

At fair-sized venues, these speakers are really in their element.  In fact, I’d say these speakers are a bit big for my room, but hey, they were there when I got there. 

They tend to stay in one spot, too, because they’re not the lightest speakers to move.  They do have nice handles, but that’s more for when you have to carry them down the hall, not drag them a few inches here or there.  

In our class, it’s not hard to point them in one direction or another, as they are somewhat directional in nature, but moving them around the room is a bit of a task.

Aesthetically, what you get with these Yahama Club V Series S215 Dual 15″ Loudspeakers is a trapezoidal cabinet design, a black carpeted surface, and a real rugged, utilitarian look overall. 

Every once in a while, I remove the odd hair or two from the speakers, or I give it a good vacuum, because they do collect dust.  I want them to be presentable when I take them out, and they’re not hard to keep clean, honestly. 

These speakers are big, black, and they stand there like monoliths in my classroom.  They appear to be more normal-sized in the gym, or at an outdoor event.  People have asked me if they have any XLR jacks in the back.  Nope, just 1/4″ jacks.  Here’s what the back looks like.  Sorry it’s blurry.

There has been one or two times where I really crank them up, but there’s no way I could max them out at school.  Windows would break. 

Using my Behringer, I can easily keep things in check in terms of volume, and I can do some EQ’ing as well to make the sound better depending on what is playing through the speakers. 

The bass is very clean, I will say.  And it’s deep as well, even on it’s own.  As I said, we have the MSR800W’s as well, and their inclusion in the setup wasn’t my choice. 

The two were purchased together, and sometimes I don’t even use the subwoofers as the S215’s have a great subwoofer.  When it comes to the bass of the S215’s, the crispness of the low end comes in handy in certain venues which can get muddied up by an overly bassy sound. 

As far as longevity goes, I think these speakers were in my class for a year before I arrived.  I’m honestly not sure how long they’re supposed to last, but they seem fairly invincible to me. 

I’ve never noticed anything that makes them seem like they’re old except maybe some dust.  A quick vacuum and they look new again.  I feel like these speakers will most likely outlive me, but we’ll see.  Highly recommended!

PS: I also used these speakers to mix an album I produced recently.  The sound coming from the speakers is fairly honest, so it was useful to listen to tracks on these speakers both quiet and loud.

PPS, and here’s a video I found online that shows how they make these speakers.  I showed it to my class, and they thought it was pretty cool.  Check it out.

Korg Triton Studio 88-Key Synthesizer Workstation Keyboard Review

This is going to be a fairly unorthodox review of the Korg Triton Studio keyboard synth workstation (88-key version), because I will admit to you off the top that I am basically a newb.  As such, I can’t say that I know everything about this formidable beast of a workstation / sampler / keyboard, but I do have some experience with using it, as it happens.  In fact, I recently made a full length album with the help of the Korg Triton, as well as several DAW’s like Reason and Ableton Live, with the help of my buddy Curtis Maranda from Tiger Suit (pictured right).  The album we made is called All The Rad Snakes and I will link to it at the bottom of this review, if you’re interested.  For the record, I am Young Coconut, musician and recording artist for Fauxtown Records.

So, rather than pretend to be a tech geek, which I’m not, I will try to keep this review on the level to what I actually know about the Korg Triton Studio.  So let’s get started.

Korg TRITON Studio 88-Key Workstation Keyboard review

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One thing I can tell you about the Korg Triton off the top is that it is heavy and long.  And it takes up a lot of space.  I’m going to guess that it’s about 4 feet long, and frickin’ heavy.  Drop it on your foot and see.  Triton is a fitting name for this thing, because it is sort of all powerful in terms of what it can do.  In fact, I don’t even know all of what it can do – this machine is probably smarter than I am.  My familiarity with it comes from recording my album, and how I used it in particular.  I do know that this is more of a “retro” synth at this point, coming out in the ’90’s sometime, and possessing the ability to sound exactly like Fresh Prince of Bel Air if that’s what you’re after.  Many people use the Triton for beat making in a more serious and contemporary manner, such as this dude, King David of YouTube (BeatClass).

See, now this guy knows what he’s doing.  I couldn’t do that kind of thing by myself.  I still have miles to go when it comes to understanding all the ins and outs of this machine.  Be that as it may, let’s continue!

The Keyboard

Now, the Triton is foremost I would say a keyboard, and authentic one at that.  The one I used has the full 88-keys like a legit piano, and the keys are weighted like any good keyboard should be if you’re going to use it properly.  I’m not even a “real” piano player, but when I’m composing musical parts on a keyboard, I would say that the Triton has got to be one of the best I’ve ever used.  The keys are fully weighted as mentioned and when you bang something out on it, the sensitivity is there which you will need for certain dynamics in your song or playing.

Coupling the Triton with the Reason DAW in this case, I came up with many parts which we were able to make sound great just simply through performance on the Triton, and then in Reason we could make them sound even better by shifting a few notes around and changing the entire instrument sound as we are talking about MIDI notes here.  Here we are working on a new track and doing just that.  Playing stuff on the Triton and then fiddling around with the notes in Reason.  

For the album I did using the Triton, we did a lot of the changing of the sounds in Reason because it has some pretty good VST’s, but Triton also has countless synth samples that can be accessed, and you can refer to those in the guide which comes with it that shows your options for sounds, and there are a vast number.  I actually feel bad I didn’t use more sounds straight from the Triton, as you are definitely spoiled for choice in that department.  If you happen to get the manual along with this thing, it’s basically a monster tome of like 100-200 pages.  It’s not even called a manual, it’s called the “parameters guide” or something.  These guys at Korg back in the 90’s seriously expect you to be living the Triton life by handing you this guide.  You can put down the Bible or War and Peace because you will be too busy reading the guide to the frickin’ Triton and basing your life around that from now on.

Aesthetics and Body

Another thing I can talk about re: the Korg Triton is just the way it’s set up, and the overall look of it.  It looks great, IMO.  I love the silver grey body, and all of the switches and buttons are a uniform colour.  

This is sort of the opposite of a lot of synths and samplers today which light up and kind of look like the county fair.  The Triton is basically black white and grey, and I think it benefits from this utilitarian look.  You just get down to business right away – no distractions.  Even the computer screen it has sort of looks like a Gameboy – grey on grey.

Here’s a little joke video we made giving you a little tour of the Triton.  Sorry about the colour of the video – I accidentally turned the contrast all the way up and hit upload.  I kinda like it, I guess.

If I was shopping for a keyboard and I was a real piano player, I’d do well to have this thing because it can be a keyboard or it can be anything you want it to be.  It is durable as you can ask for in a synth keyboard, and I’ve had a couple others in my time, such as a very hefty Yamaha which was somewhat similar to this, with less functions.  Now, take a look at the back of this thing for a second…

This is where my non-tech background comes into play.  I know it has lots of places to run things in and out, but this isn’t really my area of expertise to be honest.

That said, it’s not too hard to understand.  You’ve got your in’s, your out’s, and they do what they do.  It’s all labelled quite clearly.  We had the Triton routed to some very large speakers – a Yamaha S215IV, as well as a Yamaha MSR800w.  This was for playback.  We also had it routed into the computer where we were using Reason and Ableton Live to put our tracks together.  We definitely weren’t using the full functionality of the Korg Triton.  For instance, we didn’t once use the SCSI port.  On the top side, we often used the toggle dial or the note-bender or whatever it’s called.  The thing on the left – definitely a cool thing.  What we didn’t do is play around with the ability to store samples and actually use this beast as the true workstation that it is.  You don’t *need* to route the Triton into your computer, but most DAW’s people use now are on laptops, so you’re probably going to have to.  That said, the Triton can be self contained.  If you use discs, it allows you to pop those in and save and load things that way, which we never did.  

Conclusion

Sure, I know there’s a ton more that can be said about the Korg Triton Studio.  But at this point I’m too ignorant to be the one to say much more.  I would say if you have access to this studio workstation, do use it.  I can’t see how you’d regret it.  If you get the chance to buy one, I’d recommend that also if you have a music production studio with all the trimmings.  This thing calls itself a “studio” and it is not kidding. 

If you have any comments about your experiences with the Korg Triton, please let us know in the comments below.  We love to hear from people!  Also, here’s my album that I made with the help of the Triton.  I can answer more specific questions if anyone has any.  Thanks for reading!

AKAI Pro MPC2000XL Review

The AKAI Pro MPC2000XL was a sampler that could really hold its own.

Sure, it was limited to 32mb of sample time which equated to about 40sec mono or 21.9sec stereo, it was big $$ to expand the RAM, get the 8 output board and the fx module, or to add a snazzy ZIP drive, let alone a compact flash drive.

You knew you were ballin’ when you had it tricked out with all the options. Still some magic lay in the limitations and the flexibility of working so closely with one device.

You would often happen upon a slice of audio when chopping things down to 16ths, like a snare roll, a dead bit of air or a reverb tail.

These little things which seemed like nothing at the time often made the song tick, bang or swing.

Feature Pick

Akai Professional Mpc2000Xl Midi Production Center Sampler Sequencer Drum Machine, Blue

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I remember having an Akai S2000 (rack mount version without the sequencer) and dreaming of slapping away on those pads.

Little did I know that once I bought the MPC2K I would spend the next 5-7 years crafting every beat I made on it, running my live show from it and knowing it like the back of my hand, so much so I now have a custom painted black one with no decals or annotations for the button functions.

Some might say the 16-bit sound contributed to a grainy sound but I never noticed it, in fact for the time it sounded quite good, if you drive the inputs with signal you could get quite a punchy sound with this unit and there was no shortage of bass.

The filter is a dynamic resonant 12db/octave low-pass that is surprisingly useful; in fact I believe a lot of the filtered bass loop production that featured on J Dilla beats (MPC3000) included this.

You could assign a slider to the cut-off frequency and use midi recording to automate your filter movements, pretty cool for a unit in those days.

As I said, there is only 21.9 seconds of full stereo recording time via the 32mb (yes mb) 72pin simms when its expanded from the internal 2mb (Yikes!) but when sampling in mono you essentially double the sample time.

Using this and a few other tricks like sampling a bass tone or a sample and chromatically assigning it across all 4 banks of 16 pads, you could have a playable tone that could be pitched, filtered and edited for some variation using the ADSR envelope.

The original unit was white and consisted of a floppy drive but later versions included a 250mb zip or an MCD card reader capable of SD, compact flash etc, and there are some third party applications for making programs on your PC like the http://www.mpc2000xlapp.com/

The Akai editors were pretty clunky and not much use. But I found in using the menu system in the MPC2KXL was perhaps one of its best advantages, you could easily sample something from a source, jump to the edit page, chop and assign it in the programs page then hit home and you were ready to record a sequence.

Using the slice function you could easily chop up a break into 16 slices and automatically assign them to the 16 pads, this would give you a nice range of kicks, snares, ghost notes, hi-hats and so on that would be really conducive to creativity.

Some of the best MPC beats I’ve made have included little snippets that at the time meant nothing but took on a whole new vibe when assigned and ready to roll.

Sometimes I’d even find a little guitar chk or a bass or horn stab that I would then pluck out and assign chromatically to use as a melodic part across the 4 banks.

In performance you could do some cool tricks with changing assigned pad/programs to different sequences so your pads would change as your songs do, this combined with some NOTE REPEAT and live overdubs made the unit a great production centre of your live show.

I remember my first live rig consisted of the MPC2KXL running individual outs (8) with 4 stereo banks, the elements I wanted to effect like pads, synths, samples etc, went out into a crossover and then the rest of the mix went straight out to the PA.

After the cross over (which basically did a broad high pass filter when engaged) I had a Boss DE-200 delay feeding back to create tension and builds. This system worked great and was really fun to perform with.

Thinking back now It was an easy way to make a simple but effective device run the whole live show and sound really punchy and solid.

You can pick these units up now pretty cheap and If you are after something that will inspire you but also make you work for it then I’d take a look at the MPC2K, it’s a beast that needs some love but it’s great to get off the laptop sometimes for inspiration.

Akai Professional MPC X MIDI Controller Review

Today we review the Akai Professional MPC X MIDI controller.  The MPC range has gone through many changes over the years, but Akai’s decision to keep the fundamental workflow within the MPC X as familiar as possible, is a testament of loyalty to their core users. Dispensing with the notion of radical overhauls to suit an increasingly cloud based user set, Akai have taken the hardware bull by the horns and have produced, arguably their finest flagship digital music workstation. The MPC X does away with the need for any computer interaction whatsoever, but that being said, it also seamlessly multitasks as a USB controller and audio interface for the MPC2.0 native software, or controller for most 3rd party plug-ins within your DAW, all with the flexibility to move projects back and forth on the fly.

Feature Pick

Akai Professional Mpc X – Fully Standalone

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Moving on from the MPC Live, we find a lot of commonality here with the MPC Touch. The main focus of which, being the beautifully responsive 10′ AMOLED touch screen in the centre of the console. The screen has an adjustable viewing angle, and can comfortably maintain its position upright thanks to a sturdy metal bracket, or it can just as easily be laid flat into the recess of the console. This makes it perfect for live use when you’re standing up, and the screen’s brightness and accuracy won’t let you lose sight of what’s happening, even for the more physically enthusiastic.

One of the main things I found striking while test driving the MPC X, was how much less I was distracted by what was going on in my computer. After years of editing samples within my DAW, I had become fully accustomed to the less ‘hands-on’ approach, since the last iteration of the MPC range I actually owned was the MPC200XL, and comparatively, working within my DAW was considerably faster. The sample editing within the MPC X is an absolute boon. The UI doubles down on the standalone aspect of the MPC range’s lineage, and the 16 perfectly weighted Q-Link controls in conjunction with the razor sharp interface within the touch screen, allows for immediate and hyper-detailed snapshots of your sample data to be summoned on the fly, speeding up the workflow no end.

One of the best things about the MPC X is how many devices you can connect to it. As well as the standard USB-B port for computer connection, the MPCX has two USB-A ports for peripherals going into the unit, and the USB ports can connect to standard CC MIDI keyboards, pads, and controllers.

Not stopping for a breath, the addition of eight CV outputs represents a real breakaway for modular synth enthusiasts The MPC X, using a CV Program, lets you feed any two of the eight CV output to notes and gates, transforming it into a MIDI-to-CV converter that you can utilize on any track. You can sequence four synths simultaneously, and you can also convert velocity/mod wheel data to CV outputs. Controlling the CV outputs directly from the Q-Links, comes with voltage display on the OLEDs, allowing you to modulate CV and automation in a intuitive fashion. Patching audio back in from your synth to the MPCX is a nice touch, providing simple and straightforward routing, allowing you to sandpit everything back into the core effects, record and sample functions.

The MPC X has two XLR/TRS mic/line inputs on the back panel with another two TRS line inputs and additional phono inputs for hooking up a record deck. For MIDI connectivity, there are four MIDI outputs and two MIDI inputs, and the audio output section boasts a handsome eight TRS outputs – 6 were all that available on the MPC Live. The front panel has two jack inputs for use with guitar or bass and features a very solid mic pre. The myriad of connections all route into to four input channels. The main M/L inputs share pathways with the instrument inputs, and the selections are made through the mixer section on the front hub, where you can also find parameters for gain controls, phantom power switch, master level and a mix control for combining dry input signals with the MPC’s output.

Also on the connection front, we have the ‘long time coming’ addictions of both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluetooth can pair the MPC X with wireless MIDI controllers, and in true Ableton fashion, you can even connect with your QWERTY keyboard. The Wi-Fi aspect gives us Ableton Link, which is the simple-yet-affective tempo-locking system that’s being rolled out at a fast pace across many different platforms.

Despite all the new bravado, I still had a few minor quibbles with some elements of the MPC X. The new style of hard plastic pads are obviously in place to lend a feel of Native Instrument’s ‘Maschine’ to them, but in this regard, they don’t lend themselves as easily to expressive playing as the classic rubber pads – this may well be an issue of taste, but I don’t think I’m gonna be entirely alone in this regard . . . Also, the 16GB internal SSD drive seems somewhat tight-fisted given the price tag on this unit, and considering that it comes pre-loaded with 10GB of that taken up by factory sounds, even more so! The option to install a SATA drive in an internal bay is a comfort, but I still can’t help but feel that this should have come pre-loaded with at least as much internal storage as you would get on a high-end smart phone – say roughly 120GB.

Within the MPC2.0 software, you can custom assign your project controls over the Q-Links for master control over any parameter within your project. This is amazing for live use, and the wealth of controls at your disposal are deep. You can switch between controls for the current program, or you also have a page entirely for the currently selected pad. These overviews are only stored within the project or programs, so you need to get busy making templates to recall your settings.

If you’re an old school MPC user and have felt slightly sidelined by the current rash of alternatives, I’m telling you, you are gonna fall in love with this machine! It is simultaneously the classic MPC we all know and love, designed to keep you tethered while it makes an enormous leap forward into the new school pond. Try it, and you won’t regret it.

Pioneer DDJ-RZX Professional 4-Channel DJ Audio and Video Controller Review

pioneer-ddj-rzx-quick-review

Introduced in June 2016, the state-of-the-art DDJ-RZX DJ Controller is among the newest additions of its kind on the market, with noteworthy improvements brought to the table in contrast with previous models from other manufacturers.

Feature Pick

Pioneer Dj Ddj-Rzx – 4 Channel Professional

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This new bit of DJ gear is specially crafted to work alongside a Rekordbox DJ video pack which allows mixing of videos in the DJ software.

Check out the official demo video from Pioneer on the DDJ-RZX DJ Controller.

Before delving into the key features of this little device, we must make it clear that, unlike the XDJ-RK, the DDJ-RZX comes packed with two USB ports for DJ switchovers and does NOT work without connecting it to a laptop running Rekordbox DJ software.

It is important to keep this aspect in mind before further exploring this impressive device. Although this device cannot really compete with its standalone XDJ-RX predecessor, we believe that it still comes at par with all of the stringent requirements that professional DJs have.

Without further ado, let’s see what makes the brand-new DDJ-RZX a worthy controller for the Rekordbox DJ software.

Enhanced Visual Control

While this controller’s design is not the most minimalistic one we’ve ever seen, its controls are not the most difficult ones to approach either.

ddj-rzx-closeup1

It boasts three 7-inch built-in touch screens which allow you to close your laptop and get intuitive control over audio and video features of the Rekordbox software directly from the hardware. Additionally, the same 7-inch touch screens allow you to:

  • Preview and monitor video and image files
  • Trigger beat/release FX
  • Touch FX that allow use of X/Y controls to change level/depth of the effect
  • Access track info such as titles, BPM and key using deck display mode
  • And many more!

Furthermore, this little fancy device is a direct heir of some of the CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM mixer’s such traits as larger jog wheels, eye-catchy multi-colored Performance Pads and, obviously, high-quality sound for an enhanced DJ-ing experience.

To top off the already-abundant features, the comprehensive FX enables you to trigger Mic FX, Combo FX, Sampler Repeat and Release FX for an even more vivid experience.

Impressive Sound

You just cannot say “DDJ-RZX” without instantly thinking of its invaluable sound. Owing to AC inlets for significantly reduced cable contact resistance and a high-performance 96 KHz/32-bit D/A/ converter made by Asahi Kasei, you can clearly distinguish every nuance of your tracks without any kind of effort on your end.

Mix Videos On-The-Go

The all-new Rekordbox DJ Plus Pack adds the unprecedented ability to mix videos to the software, which takes serious aim at Serato and Virtual DJ. According to their own press release, the feature set includes but is not limited to:

  • Native control of videos – add FX to videos as if they were audio tracks
  • Transition FX – use the crossfaded to mix two video sources
  • Touch FX – trace on the x and y axes to adjust parameters and add FX
  • Slideshow – create on-the-go slideshows of still images
  • Camera output – show live feed from a live camera directly connected to your computer

Unfortunately, this is not an out-of-the-box benefit. You’ll have to buy a license for only $149 or get instant access instantly if you currently have a license to the software. Either way, you’re going to have to pay for access to the Rekordbox DJ Plus Pack software.

ddj-rzx-video-prev

Other Interesting Features

  • Active Censor – Apply Reverse Roll, Trans, Echo or Vinyl Brake FX to censor explicit words in certain tracks. The FX will be heard every time the track is played from Rekordbox DJ
  • Three Bundled License Keys for Rekordbox DJ, Rekordbox DVS and Rekordbox Video
  • OSC Sampler – four oscillator sounds
  • Dual USB port – for the smoothest transition between DJs
  • P-Lock fader cap – this has been introduced to prevent fader knobs from dropping
  • Fader-Start
  • Crossfader Curve Adjust

Minimum system requirements

For the software to decently work, you must have the following computer specifications (and better):

• CPU: 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core’ i5 or higher

• Memory: 8GB or more of RAM

• Hard Drive: 250MB or more of free space (not including space for storing music files, etc.)

• Display resolution: Resolution of 1280768 or greater

Recommended system requirements

For the software to work at the highest level possible for an unprecedented DJ-ing experience, we recommend your computer has the following specs (and better)

• CPU: 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core’ i7 or higher

• Memory: 16GB or more of RAM

• Hard Drive: 250MB or more of free space (not including space for storing music files, etc.)

• Display resolution: Resolution of 1280 x 768 or greater

DDJ-RZX Specifications

• Width: 945 mm

• Height: 119.7 mm

• Depth: 547 mm

• Weight: 15.9 kg

• Soundcard: 24 bit/96 kHz

• Frequency Range: 20 – 20,000 Hz

• Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 116 dB

• Distortion: < 0.002 % (USB), < 0.003 % (CD/LINE)

• Power Consumption: 48 W

• Power Consumption (Standby): < 0.4 W

Summary

Although this device might disappoint some people out there with its lack of standalone-ness, we believe that it is still a very decent device that works well with the Rekordbox DJ software and comes to par with other devices in the same price range.

The features are also abundant compared to the price you pay, so don’t miss out on the offer while it still lasts!

Denon DJ MCX8000 Review

serato-4-channel-dj-controller-review

The state-of-the-art MCX8000 manufactured by the one and only Denon DJ is among the latest standalone DJ players and DJ controllers on the market, and stands firm when it comes to its unprecedented high quality.

Aside from the countless out-of-the-box features that are bound to blow your mind right off the bat, you’ll be impressed by the rather simplistic – but not simple – aspect of the controller, which intuitively combines pragmatism with pleasant aesthetics for a never-seen disc jockeying experience.

denon-dj-mcx8000-standalone-dj-player-and-serato-4-channel-dj-controller-review

The Denon DJ MCX8000 is on our review list of 5 best DJ controllers

What makes this controller so special in the first place?

It doesn’t take much to realize that disc jockeying is pretty strenuous an activity. The MCX8000 controller makes it very easy for each and every DJ out there to undertake his or her job without undermining the mixing complexity which the respective DJ must approach.

How specifically? Let’s pore over the key features for a thorough analysis.

Key Features of the Denon DJ MCX8000

#1 – No Computer Needed to Operate

Take over the DJ booth like never before with the all-new standalone MCX8000 controller and transform a monotonous set into a full concert experience that everyone actively participates in.

Two hi-definition display screens control Denon DJ’s Engine 1.5 software and Serato DJ operation, while a 4-channel digital mixer comes with three built-in instant effects for Engine software and line inputs.

Velocity-sensitive performance pads for cues, rolls, slicer and samples are also present on the sturdy-metal construction for enhanced control.

#2 – Built-in Engine Software

Engine is the revolutionary software which enables you to operate the controller without using a laptop. This obviously allows you to play your sets using media from your USB stick.

On the other hand, if you install Engine 1.5 on your PC/Mac, you can create your own playlists, set cue points and analyze your entire library, though this is optional.

*Watch this video review by DJ Tekneek of the Denon DJ MCX8000 to get a closer look.

Features Continued…

#3 – Quality Sound and Effects for the Best DJ Experience

The MCX8000 delivers a high-quality controller with XLR outputs for both the DJ booth and the PA system. To top off the already-amazing 24-bit sound, there are a total of three sound effects, namely delay, echo and noise for the outset of a vivid atmosphere.

#4 – Let’s Alternate!

If you feel that the atmosphere is too intense for a one-man job, don’t worry, as the MCX8000 enables two DJs at a time to smoothly hand off duty from one to another.

There are no interruptions between sets, as the Engine software allows the DJ to either plug into the MCX8000 visa USB or Serato DJ while in sync with the vibe.

There are two USB ports for flash drives in front of the MCX8000, while around the back there is a powered USB port for external hard drive.

denon-dj-mcx8000-review

#5 – Unprecedentedly-High Performance Media Player/Controller

There is no other DJ controller in this price range which offers its own built-in software, all the while interfacing seamlessly with Serato DJ.

You will be immersed into an impressively-performant standalone technology with high-definition screens, concomitantly-run Serato DJ and a 24-bit 4-channel mixer which essentially means that the atmosphere will reach unconceivable peaks of hotness.

So, to recap, the MCX8000 includes:

  • revolutionary Denon DJ Engine standalone technology
  • 2 USB inputs for Engine playback in standalone mode
  • 4-deck Serato DJ software
  • 2 high-definition displays show Engine and Serato DJ operation
  • Professional 4-channel digital mixer with 2 microphone inputs
  • 3 built-in instant effects for Engine playback and line inputs
  • Velocity-sensitive performance pads for cues, rolls, slicer and samples
  • Ethernet connection to control lighting and video
  • Serato DVS Upgrade ready
  • Metal construction

serato-4-channel-dj-controller-review

Product Specs:

Dimensions & Weight:

  • Unit:
    • 2.39 (W) x 1.42 (D) x 0.23 (H) in feet
    • 28.68 (W) x 17.04 (D) x 2.76 (H) in inches
    • 728.47 (W) x 432.82 (D) x 70.10 (H) in mm
    • 8.34 kg
    • 18.39 lbs.
  • Giftbox & Unit:
    • 2.84 (W) x 1.76 (D) x 0.43 (H) in feet
    • 34.08 (W) x 21.12 (D) x 5.16 (H) in inches
    • 865.63 (W) x 536.45 (D) x 131.06 (H) in mm
    • 10.71 kg
    • 23.61 lbs.

Package Contents

  • 1 X MCX8000
  • 1 X Power Adapter
  • 1 X USB Cable
  • 1 X Quickstart Guide
  • 1 X Software Download Card
  • 1 X Safety & Warranty Manual

Summary

It goes without saying that Denon DJ’s MCX8000 excels in most aspects, the most notable one being that you don’t have to worry about computer-related problems and limitations, which is a huge advantage considering most DJ controllers out there are exclusively reliant on Windows and Mac OS-based computers.

MCX8000, along with the revolutionary Engine software are a completely fulfilling match in this price range: the 4-deck Serato control and Engine-provided freedom from computers, plus the ability to switch to local USB drives when using either Serato or Engine.

There are no obvious disadvantages to using this DJ controller, but it is highly advisable to bear in mind the fact that it is not the most expensive market entry either. Still, the controller is made of great material, looks moderately fancy and gives the best bang for your buck in this price range. Good luck!

Feature Pick

Denon Dj Mcx8000 | Standalone

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Aphex Twin’s Top Gear – The Unknown Facts

aphex-twin-top-gear

Who Is Aphex Twin?

Aphex Twin, also known by his original name Richard D. James, is an Irish-born British musician and electronic music maker. Due to his amazing work in electronic music styles such as IDM and acid techno, Richard has been praised worldwide by critics and loved by fans who seem to get his surreal, unorthodox musical stylings and dark of sense humour.

Some of his first and popular albums were his 1992 album called Selected Ambient Works 85-92 and the one in 1994 named Selected Ambient Works Volume II. However, his popularity skyrocketed with his 1997 EP Come To Daddy and his single “Windowlicker”.

His most recent album released in 2014 “Syro” won him a Grammy Award for the best electronic album.


Richard’s Face

James decided to use his face, grinned or distorted, on his covers and songs because techno producers used to hide their identities.

He explained that there is an unwritten rule in techno, where performers can’t show their face on songs and covers.

aphex-twin kid


Aphex Twin’s Top Gear

PlayerPro Tracker

This is a complete music editing software and player, which is available for Mac. To work with it, you are not required to have a specific hardware. Currently, it is considered as the best music editing software available for Mac devices.  Richard said that he recorded the majority of the album Drukqs with PlayerPro Tracker.

Here is a link to PlayerPro Tracker on Sourceforge that we dug up


Akai MPC60

MPC60 is a music production studio, created by the Japanese company Akai and designed by Roger Linn.

Akai MPC60 aphex twin

MPC60 offers 99 patterns, 99 sequences and 99 tracks per sequence that can be created & edited seamlessly. You can easily edit samples, loop, and transform with the lo-fi Sampler section. There’s also a built-in drum machine. Those who want to create Hip Hop, then there are 18 voices of polyphony available for you.  

Richard has been known to use the MPC60 on a number of occasions, especially live.

Check out the Akai MPC Professional on Amazon for something similar


MetaSynth

This is an electronic music studio especially created for Mac devices. With it, you can create, compose, transform and design music the way you want. You can quickly produce full-length compositions with the six rooms it has to offer.  You will find it used extensively in his song, Windowlicker…

Visit http://uisoftware.com/MetaSynth/


Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer

TR-808 uses analog synthesis to create its drum sounds that are of very high-quality. Many performers use this hardware to create R&B, dance, techno and hip-hop music.

The machine offers 16 drum sounds including low/mid/high toms, congas, rimshot, snare, 808 kick, maracas, cowbell, open hi-hat and lots more. In fact, a large number of these sounds can be easily edited.

You can find some of these sounds on his Ambient Works tracks, or on Polygon Window.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5eRyZPNj1w

Feature Pick

Roland Tr-8 Rhythm Performer With 7X7-Tr8 Drum Machine Expansion Bundle

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Sequentix Cirklon

Cirklon is a MIDI sequencer made in small batches by Colin Fraser. An interesting fact about this niche equipment is that you have to be on a waiting list to buy one.

The quality of this machine is incredibly high, and Colin will help you out in case something gets broken. With Cirklon you can create patterns, which can be either piano roll style with high-res or rigid step sequences.

There are around 64 tracks, and each one of them can play a pattern. All the information, regarding which patterns are played, is carefully stored and organized.

richard d james

Aphex Twin even said himself in a recent interview: “it is the best sequencer ever made til now, in terms of analogue i/o, timing man that box…its got a long way to go but I can’t endorse it enough ! I’ve never been into endorsing anything, I’ve been asked by a lot of people but i hate the idea of it, makes my skin crawl, there can be good combos for sure between artist and maker but when its too business it all goes wrong, people gotta make a living but you can tell easily when people got their priorities wrong anyhow, anyway colin is totally on it and in it for the right reasons.
i hope colin does really well out of it, he deserves to , guys a genius and he’s got my gx1 still for midi -ing! but at the mo id rather he kept o.s updates flowing:)”

Check out https://www.sequentix.com/shop/cirklon-hardware-sequencer

You can hear this slick synth on his album Syro, for which he won a frickin’ Grammeee brah! Watch his tear jerking speech here:

10 Unknown Facts About Apex Twin

  1. What many people don’t know is that Richard took his pseudonym from a single processing equipment brand known as Aphex Systems Limited. “Twin” is in memory of his older brother who died at birth (a story he has trolled the media with on more than one occasion).  
  1. “Drukqs” was released in 2001, even though that he had said that he would compose music only for him. However, his laptop with hundreds of tracks was stolen, and he feared that somebody would upload them. Thus, he decided to release the double album himself.
  1. James once revealed that he had spent five weeks without sleeping because he had to make music. That’s a person who is ready to go the extra mile for his performance.
  1. Once Madonna requested a remix, but he was willing to do it only if she made pig noises on the track.
  1. Richard used to scare his girlfriend by putting his “Come to Daddy” silicone mask in bed. He puts it, cuddles next to her and waits for her response when she turns around. Crazy, isn’t he?
  1. Back in the days, Aphex remixed a Craig David track only with one sole purpose: to irritate him. According to James, he has hundreds of unreleased tracks stored.
  1. Back in the days, when James was a young kid, he used to mess with the wires and hammers of their piano. This had established a special connection to music from an early age

We leave you with this nice interview with Richard talking about God knows what…

https://open.spotify.com/album/1ccn5njCoBKCnaiWJHcp7i