Archive for the ‘DJ Technology’ Category

James Kelly DJ Workshop at R10 Leicester 27.01.18

January 17, 2018

Ableton User Group Leicester Mark Towers James Kelly

I will be delivering a DJ workshop focused on the use of locked grooves at the Ableton User Group meeting at R10 in Leicester. Details below:

Ableton Certified Trainer Mark Towers will be on hand to guide you through some of the new features of Ableton Live 10. This workshop will include techniques for composition and performance with a focus on some of Live 10’s new devices, workflows and Push integration. more details on the upcoming release of Live 10 can be found here:

We are also very please to invite James Kelly along for a very special workshop:

As a turntablist for the last 15 years, James Kelly’s music explores the remixing of vinyl using DJ scratch techniques for the creation of new music. James will discuss how he takes influence from both Hip hop turntablism and experimental music practices when approaching the turntable for composition and performance. The workshop will explore locked grooves in DJ’ing and composition. A locked groove on a vinyl record is a closed groove, which traps the turntable needle creating a short repeating passage. They have been used by a range of artists from the Musique concrète of Pierre Schaeffer to the Detroit Techno of Jeff Mills. Participants in the workshop will experiment with mixing locked groove records and creating new locked grooves, by placing stickers onto existing records causing the sound to loop.

After both workshops, we invite you to take part in a Link jam. Simply bring your Link enabled devices, plug and and get your groove on. What is Link? Details here: (more…)

BPM 2014 Trends Numark NV Traktor S8 Novation Launch Control XL

October 4, 2014

Native Instruments Kontrol S49 Demo

For the last few years I’ve been using the BPM show as an opportunity to look at the latest offerings in DJ technology and see if I can identify any new trends. It’s also good fun talking to the manufacturers and trying out all the gear! This year, it seems that two general trends are; screens on midi controllers displaying data from software and a tighter integration of software and hardware compared to general third party midi controllers. (more…)

iPad DJ and the post-laptop era of DJ’ing continues. BPM 2013

November 22, 2013

Traktor Kontrol Z1

At BPM in 2012, it was clear that the iPad was going to become a serious option for DJ’ing. I wrote a lengthy blog post discussing the post-laptop era of Dj’ing, brought on by controllers such as Numark iDJ Pro, Vestax Spin 2 and the Pioneer XDJ – AERO. A year on at BPM 2013, it seems that the iPad is gaining traction in the DJ market. (more…)

Open DJ Tools a community for DIY and open-source DJ tools

October 12, 2012

The community for diy and open-source DJ projects

I have started a network for DIY and open-source DJ tools, such as mixers, midi controllers and software. There are some really interesting projects being developed, but they are spread across the web. I’m hoping the Open DJ Tools website can serve as a hub for this community and provide an opportunity for people to collaborate on new projects. I will be using the site to blog about my own work with DJ equipment and share interesting projects I find during my research. I’m also looking forward to collaborating with other member of the network.

iPad DJ and the post-laptop era of DJ’ing. Thoughts from BPM 2012

October 8, 2012

I visited the trade show BPM this week to check out the new DJ technology offerings from the big manufacturers. I didn’t go to see what new toys I should buy, but to see if I could pick up on trends and see where the DJ industry is heading. It’s noticeable that a number of manufacturers are releasing controllers for ipads to enhance their functionality for use in performance. Some controllers such as the Numark iDJ Live are toyish, but there are a number of more rugged controllers including the Numark iDJ Pro, Vestax Spin 2 and the Pioneer XDJ – AERO which offer increased functionality and control for ipad DJ’s.

The idea of using an iPad to DJ is not new, there are many iPad apps which allow users to DJ at parties, but these are not aimed at professional users. Ipads are also commonly used as multi touch interfaces when connected to a laptop to control elements of programs such as Traktor and Ableton Live, by artists such as Richie Hawtin. What is new it that these controllers now remove the laptop completely and use the iPad as media player and controller with increased functionality for audio outputs and headphone cueing.  This post is not a detailed product review, but gives examples of the new controllers which suggest a trend leading to a post-laptop era of DJ’ing. (more…)

Modular Analogue DJ Mixer

November 8, 2011

I use DJ equipment to create and perform original electronic music and I have been working on an approach to performance where I cut my music to vinyl and use three turntables to remix stems. I have also been experimenting with three deck mixing/scratching as part of Pure Phase, where two DJ’s perform together at the same time. I am looking to create a modular DJ mixer that has a range of analogue filters allowing me to sculpt the sound during performance. (more…)

Dubstep performance with turntablism and controllerism

November 21, 2010

This video is of a recent Pure Phase live jam. The performance set up is based around a turntable and DJ mixer, but the audio is powered by one Mac Book Pro running Ableton Live, Reaktor 5 and Traktor Scratch Pro, using a Korg Zero4 as audio interface, mixer and Midi controller along with Novation’s Dicer for added control of  Traktor.


Electronic Music Improvisation: James Kelly and Adam Weikert

November 6, 2008

james kelly and adam weikert live turntablism performance

I recently completed my masters in Music, Technology and Innovation at De Montfort University. My research explored the use of foot pedal controllers in turntable performance.

Here is the organ pedal I used and a video of my performance with laptop musician Adam Weikert.


Live Electronic Music Improvisation: James Kelly and Adam Weikert

November 6, 2008

In this video I use my feedback pedal created during my MA in Music, Technology and Innovation at De Montfort University, Leicester. It’s an appropriated guitar expression pedal, used to control an internal feedback loop within the DJ mixer to create noise textures.

More experimental turntablism on this blog:

From the Archive: Experimental Turntablism

James Kelly and Adam Weikert – Green Ep

Live Electronic Improvisation with Adam Weikert

Janek Schaefer Performance, Leicester

Dirty Electronics Ensemble with DJ Sniff

Stench 4