Software ahead of the curve: Virtual Turntables

VTT virtualturntables

I was reflecting on my move to digital music after the on the beat conference. I’m sure I mentioned it elsewhere before.

The speed and progress of digital djing has been reasonable but frankly it could be better. Yes its the perfect setup for a DJ Hackday, but regardless. I was talking to somebody about the Pacemaker device and started to reminisce about Digital Djing. Now I know I’m going to sound like grandad but I think its interesting to remember where we came from.

I was saying I remember VTT (Virtual TurnTables) which from my memory was the first commercially available Dj software I was aware of. I had a copy and installed it on my 200 MMX desktop computer. It ran ok but frankly it was super basic, no auto BPM, very laggy pitch control and the cross-fader slow to react.

However I have to say it did support multiple sound cards and configurations which would make it actually usable in a real DJ environment. It would play Mp3’s, Wav’s and Aiff’s. Unlimited playback (which on a 200MMX is about 2 songs max). Special effects, very basic sampling and looping.

The thing to remember is this is about 1997, this is 2 years before the height of Napster. The advancement in Digital Djing was CDj’s at the time. For Carrot Innovations to rock up with a DJ application so early and for it to look like something the Djs was use to was mind blowing. Heck Mp3’s wasn’t even legally available outside the darknets! So we had to rip CDs using one of the darknet dodge tools. It was only recently you could do it legally in the UK.

Crazy times…! But thank you Carrot Innovation for creating VTT.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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