Stem mixing: the future of digital DJ'ing?


5 comments posted
More things for the future...
HI Daniel IN respect of multichannel, 'space dj-ing' - there are many developments coming along in haphazard fashion. We were doing some of this at the university of York in '96, using analogue gear, 1st order ambisonics, a 4-way stack round the dance floor and 12-way round the outside. Naturally, we were short of multichannel stems (they were harder to get at, in those days) so we had to encode stereo to 3d, multiple stereo and mono encoded into a sound field, along with spatial effects. We certainly found that 'precise imaging' was far less important (or interesting) than just 'stuff' flying around, making massive cavernous cathedrals that suddenly get swallowed by a speaker. Much later, whilst we were conducting spatial sound research at Derby, a student of mine (Caryl Jones) did an investigation into what spatial music tools DJs could handle, and would like. Given that it's pretty hectic, there are only so many parameters you could control at one time. We find some good, simple spatial effects that could work, and by this time had more access to multichannel stems, though still not enough. We used straightforward midi interfaces to drive software plugins. Following on from that, another student (Matt Trevor) developed "WII are the music makers" where Wii-motes were used for interfaces to DJ and VJ - whether driving an ordinary stereo rig or a surround rig. More lately, we've done researchy stuff with Funktion One at the Glade festival, on an 8-way 50KW rig. Fun. Now that there is a possibility for the DJ to 'space captain', easy-to-use toys - sorry, interfaces, need developing. However, this won't really initially come out of corporate research and development, as they are having a hard enough time as it is. At the moment, the 'hard-to-use' tools look something like this: though Bruce's tools aren't aimed at DJs - though you could squint and see how they could be...
Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 04/18/2012 - 13:22
maybe, some record producers and musicians don't want to make remixing easy/open?
Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 04/18/2012 - 17:08
You make music for a few reasons. Money, attention, or because you love music. Well, I just happen to love music. It's spiritual. While sometimes I bitch about artists like deadmau5, who sit on his ass all day behind a plethora of high dollar equipment clicking on 'autogenerate' until he hears something he likes.... I do love some of his music. I Remember is really quite beautiful. And as much as some of you reading this would hate to admit it, the observation that an artist really doesn't own their work is true. Yes, computers are taking the skill away from people who don't care about what music is really supposed to be about. Entertainment, yeah. Blah.. Making me feel good? Yeah.. I like that. It's kindah like computers. If you wanna act like your cool and pretend to know tons about computers you simply pay someone else to do it. Like, Apple. If you haven't noticed that is quite the trend in todays world. You know, looking like you can do something. But if you really wanna learn how computers work because you know they might be man's second greatest invention... Plop a linux distro on your machine. Apple owners don't truly appreciate the work that is done on computers because well, they don't have to. And that is exactly what they will tell you. But when you learn from the bottom up you really admire the work done to master BPM's, Tempos, frequencies, oscillators, envelopes, LFO's, filters, PWM, FM, AM and the list goes on and on and on. So, in the end, I'll go to a show with an 'AJ' and wait for a moment that moves me. Just the same as I'll go to a 'DJ'. If you went just to be entertained by his skill you might not be listening to the music. PS. Honestly, I miss the automation, matilde, infektor on Buzz and Buzztard doesn't work for me :(
Posted by Anonymous on Sat, 05/26/2012 - 04:46
very good point!
I agree entirely with your suggestion! Music producers should provide an expensive multy-track version for DJs. Your example ogg & flac files have become unavailable in the mean time, too bad!... Ciao, Nick
Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 11/07/2012 - 09:56
Example files fixed
Hi Nick, the example stems in Ogg and FLAC format are available again, thanks for pointing that out :-)
Posted by Daniel on Mon, 12/17/2012 - 11:41