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Ableton/Final Scratch....

New software and new tools for music production.

Postby Dade on 05 Aug 2008 10:38

Ableton/Final Scratch....

I see comments here and there about DJs who use a computer-based system for their sets. It seems like most of you don't approve. Why not?

What I'm trying to get is an understanding of why the use of a computer makes the set and the DJ something less than if he had played all vinyl. I don't DJ but I don't really see a difference. I remember when we made the move away from vinyl toward CDs. We heard the same sort of stuff about DJs who preferred the CDs. People would say things like "real DJs use vinyl."

Isn't it about what he/she plays and how they play it rather than what media the music was on?
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Postby pod on 05 Aug 2008 10:45

Re: Ableton/Final Scratch....

Some people are throwbacks and prefer vinyl. We could start another 30 page debate about analog vs digital.

Some are on CDs and vinyl for valid reasons. I asked OG last week why he hasn't made the jump yet, and his response was that no one has developed a control surface he's comfortable with yet.

But at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what you use.
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Postby musicalmissionary on 05 Aug 2008 11:01

Re: Ableton/Final Scratch....

Dade wrote:It seems like most of you don't approve. Why not?


Not sure where you got that from. From my observations on here the detractors are a minority. Maybe a loud minority, but a minority nonetheless.
Last edited by musicalmissionary on 05 Aug 2008 11:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ryan on 05 Aug 2008 11:02

Re: Ableton/Final Scratch....

It's because it hasn't occurred to most DJs that they can do new and exciting things with the new tools. Or because they don't want anybody to expect them to do new and exciting things.
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Postby pod on 05 Aug 2008 11:19

Re: Ableton/Final Scratch....

Just make it sound good, please. Good at a technical level, I mean.

It's become quite the thing over the past few years. People regard them as conventional, but locals like Ivano Bellini, and international stars like Max Graham, have really embraced the technology.

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Postby jkfunkee on 05 Aug 2008 11:31

Re: Ableton/Final Scratch....

i love final scratch, it brings vinyl into the 21st century and have way enjoyed watchingit used.
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Postby LaundryBar on 05 Aug 2008 11:36

Re: Ableton/Final Scratch....

in my experience, I find that sometimes programs like Final Scratch or Serato can have a very "tinny" sound when played on a loud club system. Maybe it's because the music I tend to focus on relies so much on sound quality and bass frequencies. From what I understand most sound systems are sound checked with vinyl and/or CDs. Dubplates have a similar problem; sometimes you really need to crank the gain and that can make everything distort if the sound check hasn't been done with dubplates.

Also, I have seen computer programs cause numerous problems, from crashing, to the needles not picking up the bass for whatever reason, to faulty cables, not enough space to sit your laptop, forgetting your box, and so on.

Abelton is different from Final Scratch and Serato tho. When Abelton is used correctly to its full capability, the results can be next-level. Final Scratch and Serato seem to be used more for music-cataloging and being able to take all your music with you, while Abelton is used more for its effects capabilities and taking your mix up a notch.

That said, I play almost only CDs. Easy to organize, easy to carry around, no problems with needles, easily replaceable, can finish a tune and have it ready to play at a moments notice, and so on. For me, CDs are the way to go. For now.
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Postby pod on 05 Aug 2008 11:53

Re: Ableton/Final Scratch....

It depends on the format you use as well. A lot of DJs use MP3s at too low a bitrate, hence the lack of low-end and that tinny sound. Storage is as such now that any DJ should keep it at 320 Kbps minimum for MP3s, or hang it all and just store everything as uncompressed WAVs or AIFFs, which for all practical purposes are the same as CD-Audio.

The other weak link in the system is your soundcard. With Ableton, you've got a whole variety of boxes you can use, but from what I gather, Traktor and Serato are locked into their specfic boxes.
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Postby a3buster on 05 Aug 2008 12:30

Re: Ableton/Final Scratch....

Here's a video I made for TRAKTOR SCRATCH during WMC. Although I'm not a DJ...I learned a lot about the motivations behind the technology and what you are able to do with the sound while mixing live once its in the computer is amazing....

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Postby The Honky Tonk Man on 05 Aug 2008 12:41

Re: Ableton/Final Scratch....

Where to begin...

1. It takes talent to mix records, the human is doing it by his god giving talent. Any asshole can press play and mix on a computer, it does the work for you. The allure of the djs is significantly diminished by use of computers and software.

2. Using software allows a dj to carry 214395734598 tracks, and that is a good thing why? No programming is done prior to the set. Most times when I call Denny, he's in his basement putting together his music for the night. Now that djs have gone digital, they always have all their music. There is no pre-production done and you can tell. They simply do not prepare, they show up and play. Plus they never discover older tracks laying around. The human brain can't mentally catalog all that music. When a dj prepares he may stumble upon a gem that is forgotten about, with laptops that doesn't happen simply too many tracks to choose from, so his brain goes to the obvious choice which is stored in his recent memory.

3. Here is an analogy, paddle shifters in cars are much better, but BMW tried to only sell M series cars with paddles and the US market told them to go fuck themselves. Now BMW ships cars with the ability to row your own gears. Hitting a paddle is not driving nor is hitting enter on a key board is djing. Even F1 ditched traction control, F1 was becoming robotic, the driver didn't do much, the computers did it all. Nascar to it's credit has avoided nearly all driving aides.

4. Actually spinning records separates the men from the boys. Laptops and software has allowed minor league djs to compete with the pros, this is a good thing why? You are getting an inferior product.

5. Djs have an affinity for their records, but they don't value mp3's thus why no one buys music any more.

6. Chicks dig vinyl...
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