If you produce electronic music in 2015, chances are you will need to apply sidechain compression to some of your instrument tracks. It's the technique that makes the bass get out of the way of the kick drum in a mix and when used to the extreme, creates a rhythmic pulsing and pumping to the music that has moved dancefloors since at least '97. Three affordable short-cut plug-ins to sidechain compression make the process easy. Ride the waves of their results after the jump.
Years after their first appearance, many Thunderbolt ports still go unused. If you're running low on USB ports for your DJ rig, live show or studio, a Thunderbolt audio interface can free up a USB port while providing crazy fast bandwidth for pristine high-resolution audio at near zero detectable latency. We put two portable, DJ-appropriate Thunderbolt soundcards through the paces for your consideration: the Universal Audio Apollo Twin with onboard DSP and included plug-ins, and the Resident Audio T4 with MIDI I/O.
Most DAW's and Maschine ship with a collection of drum samples but there are lots of drum collections out there for producers to expand on the stock sounds. Beat junkies forever crave more fodder for their rhythms, is there one drum collection that could leave the thump-thirsty quenched? Today Markkus runs through the sounds of four popular drum content bundles—priced from smaller budget to baller budget—to find out.
LANDR is a new online service that offers to master your music files in just moments. Whether you use it on finished stereo productions, individual song tracks, samples or full DJ sets, the LANDR algorithms master WAV or MP3 files. But is that really possible, or is it too good to be true? We test the service and invite a professional mastering engineer to pit his results against the automated LANDR results. Hear the results and enter an Ellen Allien remix contest for a chance to win a free year of LANDR and other huge prizes.
There's something in the air around the Naonext Crystall Ball MIDI controller: your hands, coaxing any parameter you assign to its five infrared sensors. The accompanying 24-button pad grid either assigns parameters to the sensors or works like traditional pads. With 24 banks of 5 control sets each, there are thousands of programmable controls to give your airborne hands plenty more to do than just pump up a crowd. Let's see how it performs with software like Traktor and Ableton Live.
Portable MIDI mini-keyboards have become a dime a dozen, but Reloop’s Keyfadr tries to give you a little more bounce for the ounce. Without sacrificing mobility, it packs in some healthy channel-strip controls, Ableton Live integration, and internal Arpeggiator and Chord modes. Is it worthy of your twiddling fingers? We gave it the once-over to find out.
Today's the day that you can DJ with music streaming from the 20-million-track-plus Spotify library. Algoriddim has partnered with Spotify to give Spotify Premium subscribers access to Spotify's music—as well as their playlists, starred tracks, and Inbox—from Algoriddim Djay 2 for iPad and iPhone. The launch also includes Match, a track-selection tool based on the Echo Nest's analysis of Spotify's library, a new Automix Radio features, and optional new effects for Djay 2 created by Sugar Bytes.
With Native Instruments' recent Maschine 2.1 software update, there's never been a better time for experienced Maschine-ists to work—or for curious newcomers to explore the Maschine world. There's some very cool new Drumsynth features, like the Grit Kick and Shaker Performer mode. Many workflow enhancements also help you make your music faster and smarter. Check out our videos to see what you need to know.