I'm trying to be a little more active on the ol' blog, so I'm going to start posting things I like in addition to things I'm trying to do. I wandered onto Australian DJ Flume's soundcloud profile today, and it's really good. I like his mixes and remixes the best, with his hour-long Triple J radio mix being my favorite. I've got it shared below - enjoy!
When I was packing for London, there were several sidelong glances at the various pieces of DJ gear lying around my room as I tried to estimate how far over the 50 pound luggage limit such an accessory would put me. I eventually decided not to bring my trusty all-in-one Kontrol S4, but to go modular. The two main ways people approach digital DJing are with either big slates of hardware that combine a sound card, a mixer, and an arsenal of deck controls, or an array of smaller, specialized controllers that combine their strengths to provide all the buttons and knobs necessary to bring the house down. The first class of controllers are usually referred to as all-in-ones because it's all you need to hook up to a sound system and play music. The second type of setup is modular, allowing for a whole range of creativity using several specialized devices.
I wanted to pack light, but I also wanted to bring some DJ stuff so I can practice, and maybe even play a little event or something. So I've brought with me my Midifighter Pro (with the newly finished FXB mapping), an Audio 2 sound card, and my iPad. I have an app called TouchOSC that lets mobile devices broadcast MIDI signals over a wifi network. So if my computer and my iPad are on the same network, I can use it as a controller in traktor. The really cool thing about TouchOSC is the editor, which lets you design your own interfaces and specify which midi notes they produce.
Prior to leaving I'd made a couple of single purpose layouts and mappings for my iPad, but only as a supplement to my S4. Now I'm using it for all the cueing and mixing, with my Midifighter pro handling effects. These past couple days I've been struggling to come up with a cool, usable design for this template. I was reading a review of the new Electrix Tweaker on DJTechtools, and was inspired by its funky design. I've just finished making/mapping this baby:
The controls are split into two halves, told apart by color. The left side can be toggled between decks A and C, and the right side between B and D. The outmost columns are EQ knobs, volume, and play/pause. There's a section for hotcues, mainly intended for setting up decks, the buttons are a little small for cue juggling. This mapping was created to be a companion to the Midifighter Pro mapping I just finished, which has much better cue controls. There's also a section for loops - a 2 x 4 grid for selecting the size, then a button to drop the loop, and two for shifting it left and right. If no loop is active, they work like beatjump buttons using the same value as the loop size. Up top, there's a little seek wheel, a shift button, a monitor cue button, and a switch for toggling sync. The center jog wheel scrolls through the tracklist, and there are buttons for loading to each deck. There's also a fullscreen browse button. The filter by default is only active while you're touching the knob (for sweeps), but if you hold shift and use the knob it leaves the filter on after you release the knob. I've considered reversing that functionality, but I'll see how it works in the moment. All the knobs jump to the correct positions when you flip between decks too, which is pretty nifty.
Last night my girlfriend Maggie helped me change the strings on the beat up guitar I bought off Craiglist a while ago. Once the strings were off she started cleaning the fretboard and we decided we should draw something rad down the neck. So we got out some markers and set to it. A couple hours later it was done.
That night I had a dream I was on an RV with Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips. He said my guitar was cool. I tweeted at him this morning but he hasn't responded yet...
A couple months ago, Maggie started teaching me to play on her guitar - a really nice electric acoustic she uses to play gigs. Then I began casually browsing Craigslist to see what guitars go for these days. Weeks later, during a particularly leisurely lunch, she and I spent a solid hour poring over For Sale postings, reviews, and advertisements. That weekend I stepped off the train in a Philly suburb, handed a very nice lady $30 cash in a parking lot, and walked away with a well-loved but still functional electric guitar.
Just the other day Maggie and I found out we could plug a guitar into the back of my Kontrol S4 (the DJ controller I use with my computer), and record samples live. While she was playing, I could process the sound with effects, record loops, and overlay other music. Some exciting stuff.
I've always wanted to play with watercolors, so I finally bought a little $10 set at Flax in San Francisco this summer. I've been doing some experimenting. Start to finish, this might have taken two or three hours. I think it came out pretty well, I want to try more. Also I need to track down a camera that's better than my phone.
Welcome to my website! I've been meaning to carve out my own piece of the internet for a while, and now I've finally done it. There are some samples of art work that I've done, along with DJ mixes, programming projects, and a variety of other things I've been working on. This isn't going to be a daily blog sort of thing, but more of a place to document all the stuff I'm trying to do.
I have my resume posted here as well, in case you're visiting the site in a more official capacity.
I'm about to start my Junior year in UPenn's Digital Media Design program. I'm actually studying abroad at University College London for the first semester, and I expect that will be an awesome experience. Digital Media Design is a hybrid major joining Computer Science with Fine Art. The classes that land in the middle of that Venn diagram are Graphics Programming, 3d Modeling, and Information Design (for example). Further from the center are more traditional programming classes like Computer Architecture and Software Design, and more traditional art classes like Painting Techniques and Digital Illustration. The major allows for a lot of freedom in terms of class choices, and every student's curriculum ends up having a unique twist. I like what I've been able to do so far, and I'm excited about where I'm going.
Now I'm back in New Jersey working on some personal projects (which I'm sure will end up here), and preparing for my semester abroad. So welcome to the site! Feel free to bookmark it and check back daily.