Archive for the ‘Music 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…)

BPM 2014 Kontrol S49 Review

September 16, 2014

Komplet Kontrol Review

Native Instruments Komplete package is a set of sampler instruments powered by the Kontakt 5 virtual sampler and a series of virtual synthesisers and effects such as Massive and Reaktor. It has become an industry standard set of plug-ins used to create all sorts of popular music and film soundtracks. I have been using Komplete for a number of years on music and film projects and I was quite keen to try out the new Kontrol S49 keyboard and Komplete Kontrol software at the BPM Show 2014. I spent half an hour or so trying out the keyboard and scrolling through sample sets and instruments using the Komplete Kontrol software. The Kontrol S49 is part of the Kontrol S-Series of keyboards, which also includes 25 and 61 key versions. (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…)

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…)

Das Weekend and Transmediale 2011

March 7, 2011

I went to Berlin for Transmediale again this year and also checked out the Pre-festival Festival – Das Weekend. Which co-ordinated a host of events across Berlin, mainly in independent galleries and performance spaces. The picture above is of my friends Andrzej and Tikul’s setup for live AV noise performance. (more…)

Sound.Son soundcape Project

May 22, 2009

I’ve been working on an international sound exchange project called Soundson this week. I worked with students from The Lancaster School in Leicester, where we recorded environmental and voice sounds. Students composed with these sounds by chopping them up, looping, pitch shifting and time stretching. We then took part in a live exchange with Collège de la Petite Camargue in France. Exchanging sounds over the web to create a new composition. It was a fun project.

BBC Radio Leicester came along to do a feature on the project.

The sounds and compositions are on the Sound.Son website