Tag Archives: dj

Pacemaker mixes are ago go?

The Pacemaker in use

For a long while now I’ve had a problem with my pacemaker… The problem is I can’t reliable use the internal mix recorder. It records like midi by recording the actions and tunes then when you export from the editor it flattens the whole thing into a flatten Ogg Vorbis file.

Problem is it seems to screw up the mixes even though I know the mix was correct. I posted details on the unofficial pacemaker forum but people were blaming Linux, 64bit, Wine or Firmware problem.

Well I’m happy to say since I upgraded the Pacemaker with the new official beta it seems to be better (not perfect). I’m going to give it a proper test soon… If its correct, then it was the firmware all that time, and I should be able to rescue the old mixes, which would be fun. Because the Pacemaker is just a linux device, I’ve also backed it up a few times to my server and then to the cloud.

Expect more travels with pacemaker soon including my airplane mixes…

Pacemaker device upgrade

Pacemaker Device

If you’ve not seen the Pacemaker Device (pmd) had a official firmware update over the last few months. This is great news because this shows pacemaker device isn’t dead, and there might still be a lot more life in this ground breaking device.

The firmware is beta but to be honest it feels very stable to me just like the leak pacemaker firmware from over 3 years ago. One of the major additions is the ability to scratch which I’ve not played with yet, but theres plenty more stuff…

  • Scratching (Vinyl Mode) – Enable it under (Settings, Mix Control, Vinyl Mode). Simply touch the edges of the navigation pad on the Pacemaker to scratch your music.
  • Beat Lock/Sync Mode – Enable beat lock by holding the P-Button down and pressing Play on the second deck. The second deck will be synced to the same tempo as the first and held there until this process is repeated.
  • Sync Tempo – Hold the P-Button down and press Cue on the second deck. The second decks tempo will now match the tempo of the first deck.
  • Beat Jump – Enable beat jump by holding the P-Button down and pressing ‘REW’ on a deck. ‘Beat Jump Enabled’ will be displayed. Repeat this process to jump backward in time in the track or hold the P-Button down and press ‘FWD’ to jump forward in the track. You can change the length of the jump by holding the P-Button down and pressing the ‘REW’ and ‘FWD’ buttons simultaneously. Great for creating a ‘stutter effect’.
  • Fixed Loop Length – Set Fixed Loop Lengths in (Settings, Mix Control, Fixed Loop Length) and all loops you create will default to that length.
  • Snap Loops – Set this on under (Settings, Mix Control, Snap Loops) and all loops that are created will be snapped to the nearest beat.
  • Digital Output (Play mode only) – Requires an A/V cable (Digital out where video should be) and this mode only works on the line-out channel (Hardware limitation)

Its quite easy to upgrade and on Linux, you just need to follow the Mac instructions.

Ensure your Pacemaker has at least 20% charge before starting this process. Download the firmware by clicking here

  1. Connect your Pacemaker Device to your PC via a mini USB cable.
  2. View the Pacemaker drive so you can see the folders on the device (like you would with a memory stick)
  3. Find the .Pacemaker folder (it might be a hidden folder so you might have to enable viewing of hidden folders).
  4. Copy the firmware you downloaded into this folder.
  5. Safely Eject the Pacemaker Device
  6. Your Pacemaker should now reboot and install the firmware – this might take several minutes. Do not unplug your device during this process.
  7. Once completed the device may either need to be ejected again from the computer, or it may display a screen as if it has just been turned on and is ready to mix.
  8. You’re done – Let’s Mix.
  9. Be sure to post your comments over in the official forum thread here, to show your support to the team.

Pacemaker upgrade complete

Here’s my pacemaker with the latest Firmware updated…

New Mix: Summer is brewing a storm

Been a long time but I have decided not to upload every complete mix I do, just the good ones.

So here’s the Summer is brewing a storm mix, which is very true up here in Manchester right now

  1. Lotus – Shogun
  2. Constellation (John O’Callengham remix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
  3. Gouryella (extended mix) – Gouryella
  4. Never say never (Myon & Shane 54 remix) – Armin Van Buuren feat Jacqueline Govaert
  5. Nothing but you (Super8 & Tab remix) – Paul Van Dyk
  6. Shadow World – Thomas Bronzwaer
  7. Out of the Blue (2010 remix) – System F
  8. Turn it around – Alena
  9. Hold that Sucker down – Jerome Isma AE
  10. Shnorkel (dousk exclusive gems remix) – Miki Litvak & Ido Ophir
  11. First time (Funabashi remix) – Markus Schulz
  12. Wonders of Life (F&W remix) -Tukan Light
  13. Above the Cloud – Airwave

Pacemaker under glass…!

In my last blog post I wrote how I was given the opportunity to play with an early build of the Pacemaker app on the Blackberry playbook at Over the Air 2012…

I won’t comment on Over the Air 2012 which looked frankly amazing and how great it was to catch up with old London friends even for a few minutes. That was all great and I look forward to catching up with people in the week when I’m down in London.

This is about the playbook and the pacemaker application.

The top line is… almost unusable, shocking and sadly uninspiring!

First of all it took ages to get the files on to the device, for some reason the playbook wouldn’t mount on my ubuntu thinkpad laptop, even though the machine which the guy was using was the exact laptop. Yes even he had a Thinkpad X220 but was running Windows 7 and had installed some magical playbook driver. So we had to copy most of my collection over to his laptop over USB sticks and my Android phone. That problem I blame RIM/Blackberry for… No mass storage mode, even MTP would have been a start. So I assume no Linux support is coming?

Once the files were loaded on to the Playbook, the guy started the Pacemaker application and I was a little underwhelmed to see they had gone with the two decks and a crossfader approach. I was expecting something a little more clever specially with the pacemaker under their belts. The guy whos playbook it was, didn’t know how to use the application and certainly didn’t know how to dj. However there were common interfaces elements with the pacemaker which made it understandable for me. But there were bits like the legendary P switch which was missing. So it wasn’t till half way through that I found out how to change the EQ and Gain. That problem was certainly Tonium’s.

I started with my pacemaker and tried to mix from the pacemaker to the app and it was the most painful mixing I’ve heard in a long while. The problem was the app not only kept skipping and pausing on beats but there was no monitor/headphone out. This for me make the whole thing pointless to use! Not only that, unlike on the pacemaker which showed every beat using an highly efficient system to show you the next 4 beats of both tracks, so you can almost dj without monitoring with some knowledge of the track structure. Tonium opted for the Virtual Dj/Tracktor/etc whole track waveform (forgot to add how long it took to render each wave form, although you can play it blind while it renders). Not very useful when your beats are galloping like some runaway horses. I even tried to use the sync feature but frankly that was rubbish too. The mix was all over the place. Once again Tonium’s fault, as I’m sure the playbook is capable of playing two tracks together at the same time. However RIM/Blackbery need to get 2 discreet outputs otherwise its always going to be a joke (stereo splitters deserve to die, and as I said to the guy. No club is ever going to let you plug in if your splitting the audio! Further rendering it as a bit of fun).

The latency of the touchscreen of the Playbook made the whole thing a total joke. The only time I’ve ever had such bad latency when djing is while trying to mix on a piece of glass during the Thinking Digital conference 3 years ago (by the way the blog about thinking digital is coming soon).

If you don’t understand what I mean by latency go have a look at this great Microsoft research demo where they got the latency of a touchscreen down to 1ms. But it wasn’t just that… As switched back and forth between the Pacemaker and the app, I could feel something was missing. Even with the touchpad of the pacemaker, I could do multiplate it in ways which were just ignored by the playbook. Honestly the interaction rant about pictures under glass was never more apt for this moment. Whos to blame for this? Well both and everyone. Although the trackpad of the pacemaker could be seen as the same as the multitouch screen, its certainly not.

I know a few of you are saying, yeah yeah give it a few weeks and you will also like it But honestly no I won’t. Of course if RIM/Blackberry want to give me one to fully try out over weeks or months then great I won’t say no but I think the end result will be the same. Even if Apple or even Google were to release a Dj app for iOS or Android, I would be saying pretty much the same. The problem isn’t RIM/Blackberry or even Tonium’s, its pictures under glass. You can’t get away from it…

The guy who’s playbook it was, said the later versions he had seen was more stable but frankly if it was bulletproof… Theres far too many other problems…

If I was Tonium, I would scrap the copying Virtual DJ, Tracktor, etc and take advantage of the beat chart system they enabled on the pacemaker. You need to be able to mix without hear the track, because I’m sorry to say the splitter option is a instant no for any self respecting DJ.

Tonium claim they used Blackberrys’s QNX platform because it was quicker and more responsive then others out there. If thats true, then make it so! Right now I’m not seeing anything advantages over the other platform. Even having dual outputs would have put Blackberry well ahead of the game and made the platform much more attractive to djs and artists but right now it looks no different to the rest except there are few apps, few developers and fewer buyers. If RIM/Blackberry really want to do something radical, getting Tonium to build the pacemaker software for them isn’t going to fly unless theres serious hardware changes too.

It hurts me to say it because I really wanted Tonium to go on to a winner and heck if the blackberry platform was the place to do that, then great. But instead what they have done is aped DJ software already out there, added a few bits from Pacemaker and done an very disappointing job.

The thing which is never meant to happen while djing happened! Yes the Pacemaker software crashed and left me scrambling for my pacemaker. Not only that, there was clear machine/software distortion through out when you feel the system was under-stress.

I believe nothing can save this pacemaker app unless its a new blackberry playbook (with low latacy  and 2 outputs)  its going to run on?

The late night mixes

A few mixes I’ve recently posted to MixCloud recorded from my Pacemaker… Both mixes are on the darker tip hence the late night titles… Looks like I’m going to have to consider switching back to laptop djing in the near future, as the pacemaker gets older and older. In the meanwhile I have 2 mixes for your listening pleasure…

This mix is both dark and light, a little something for the winter nights. Recorded on a cold late night in December

  1. Spotlight – Jornvan Deynhoven
  2. Ultracurve – Cosmic Gate
  3. Intruder – Armin Van Buuren vs M.I.K.E
  4. The Labyrinth (Part One) – Moogwai
  5. Circles (Andy Blueman Remix) – Robert Nickson
  6. Constellation (John O’Callaghan Remix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
  7. Surrender (Sneijder vs John O’Callaghan Remix) – Full Tilt Feat Deirdre McLaughlin
  8. Intution (Mathin Roth Remix) – Marninx Pres. Ecco
  9. Comet – Skytech
  10. Frozen – Dogzilla
  11. Turbulence – Klauss Goulart
  12. Body of contact (cosmic gate club mix) – Cosmic Gate
  13. Rheinkraft (extended mix) – Oliver Klein
  14. Everything’s Been Written – 8 Wonders
  15. Nothing Else Matters (Aly & Fila Remix) – Max Graham feat. Ana Criado
  16. Casino Fire – Matias Faint
  17. The string which binds us (8 Wonders mix) – Arnej
  18. From the Earth (Breakfast Remix) – Andrew Bayer

The late night ear killer mix by Cubicgarden on Mixcloud

This mix is pretty dark and moody, its full of crumbling tech beats and progressive cycles. You certainly want to take it easy with the volume control on this one. Recorded on a late night like the late night intruder mix.

  1. Body of Contact (Cosmic Gate club mix) – Cosmic Gate
  2. Kalopsia (Monogato’s Filth remix)- The Blizzard
  3. Strike – Signum
  4. Intruder – Armin van Buuren vs MIKE
  5. Rheinkraft (extended mix) – Oliver Klein
  6. One Night in New York City (Chris Leibing mix) – The Horrorist
  7. Transponder – Mauro Picotto
  8. Casino Fire – Matias Faint
  9. One for you (Oliver Klein remix) – Oliver Klein
  10. Ninety – Sander Van Doorm
  11. Strange Bends (Kyau vs Albert mix) – Sebastian Sand
  12. Joy Energizer (Psycho mix) – Joy Kitikonti
  13. Shnorkel – Miki Litvak & Ido Ophir
  14. Panic Attack – Simon Patterson

Imagine if you could remix books?

Cooking for Geeks cover

There is something about Simon Lumb, something that everytime we chat creative juices start flowing (wipe that smile off your smutty face, you know what I mean)…

Off the back of a conversation in Wagamama about Richard St John’s 8 Traits to be great, which I have a physical signed copy of after a TEDx. We got talking about how I tend to own a physical copy of most books although I also own the ebook version. Then we got talking about Instapaper and Readitlater, how they give you the ability to pull together elements from a range of sources…

Imagine if you could do the same thing as a published book? Remix books!

Books right now are like Albums, but imagine if they were more like singles and EP’s?

They could be like the Mixtape of the written word? Fits perfect with the self publishing trend.

  • Example 1: Custom cookbook. Pick a your favourite menu items and self publish your own cookbook. A bit of Jamie, dash of Heston and a lot of Nigella (yes please). Arrange them into a new type of cook book which is custom for you, or reflects your cooking style. It could be a cookbook for you or for someone else…
  • Example 2: The best of… Many times in the past, people have said the best way to learn about Z is to read chapters Y & X of book W and chapters A, B and C of book D… Want to know the best to learn how to skateboard or surf? I recommend reading my custom book which is made up of… you get the idea
  • Example 3: The best places in the world. Could be a nice mix of places you’ve never been to before, places you inspire to go or places you have been to before. Actually it kind of reminds me of off beat guides, but instead of building it from raw components its from previous decent reviews.
  • Sure there are many more including books for young children, books for different learning styles, etc, etc…

The remix methodology is actually very apt, because instead of building your own from the components, your remixing parts of others. Like a Dj remixing other peoples tunes.

The copyrights framework will be a nightmare to work out (we’re not kidding ourselves about that) but to be honest it could be something like the music rights framework for albums and singles? Might even increase the amount of readership for some books? It could be massive changes, or little changes like the art work in the book. Instead of lovely glossy pictures of food in a cook book, it could be technical diagrams for those more interested in seeing those? Maybe the remixes will cost more than the originals but to the person who gets it, its worth so much more. You get the idea…

Crazy idea? Tell me and Simon why? Maybe you love it and want to run with it? Well all we require is attribution… This idea is open to the world… Run with it and tell us when you get rich by changing the publishing industry. This is what places like Lulu have been crying out for right? Just like… My lifestreaming dating idea and my dreamscape idea. Go get them, change the world or go Lazy web make it so…!

Stem based mixing coming your way soon?

Dj Challenge in progress

One of the killer ideas which came out of the Mozilla Festival in the Dj challenge was the idea of Stem based mixing

The idea is great and I think there’s plenty of momentum behind it. Daniel James and Fin Stamp worked this idea through and now there’s a post on the Mixxx forums. Here’s the details of the post…

At the Mozilla Festival in London last weekend, I took part in a Hack the DJ workshop, looking at ways to take digital DJ’ing to the next level. One of the ideas proposed was stem mixing, using multichannel files in DJ applications. A proprietary implementation of this idea is Fireplayer but this app is built with the intention that users will buy remixable versions of (a very limited number of) well-known songs from an in-app store. I would like to work towards a new open standard for stem mixing, something that is compatible with sharing our mixes on the open web – legally, of course – but could also be used by record labels that sell tracks to DJs.

For example, eight channel Ogg Vorbis files where the first two tracks are a stereo mix of the drums, third and fourth stereo bass, fifth and sixth stereo vocals, and seventh and eighth tracks everything else. This means that you can mute or solo individual stems in the mix, giving you the versatility of four-deck or eight-deck mixing but without the problems of keeping many decks in sync, since the stems within a single file are locked on the same timeline. Also, it makes using the mixer a lot simpler than for many-deck mixing, because you don’t need to keep assigning the crossfader to the various different decks.

Of course this means that the eight channel .ogg file has to be prepared specially for DJ’ing, but this is already possible in Audacity. So we have a file format, and an editor, but what we don’t yet have is full support for stem mixing in open source DJ applications. Sweep supports scratching on eight-channel files, but it doesn’t have a mixer. Mixxx has a mixer, but doesn’t support multichannel Ogg files (yet), as far as I can see.

So, what do you think? Is stem mixing a genuinely useful feature that will allow DJs to be more creative, or will it fail if the best music continues to be available in stereo only? Please add your comments below

I like to think this could be massive thing because although you might be able to get the Stem’s of a tune if your a international superstar dj and have contacts in high places. But if your just a bedroom dj or even play out quite a bit but not a popular name, getting access to the stems of a tune is near impossible.

In fact what were trying to do is standardise the format, so it means the bedroom producers and the massive music businesses can compete on a level platform. This might strike fear into some but when the stereo track is no more and everyone is expecting the Stems of the track as standard, then you will have to go along with it.

Ogg Vorbis is a great starting point and knowing it can support up to 200+ tracks is great for future capability. There are a ton of questions of how it works for a Dj but its certainly a challenge which will be fun to have. I just hope we can stay away from the logic/alberton type interface…

Can’t wait to mix with Stem’ed Ogg Vorbis files…!

Banging the drum for Media Freedom and the Web

I was very excited to invited to the Mozilla Festival which this year was in London. Not only that, it was in South East London.

The Mozilla Festival use to be the Drumbeat Festival but got a rename. The event is something between a un-conference and a hackday. A whole series of challenges which people can duck in and out of. Challenges ranged from Data Journalism to Disc Jockey hacking (ironically both DJ).

Dj Challenge

I headed up the DJ (disc jockey) challenge which was first formulated quite some time ago on behalf of BBC R&D and FutureEverything.

The challenge was to reinvent or at least evolve dj’ing. We started the challenge on Saturday afternoon and it kicked off with a little stimulus from myself and others in the form of a modified presentation. On top of that, we pointed to the Google Doc, which was an aggregation of thoughts from not just myself but many others including BBC staff.

That list is still available if your interested in getting involved in the challenges.

Andy

But what came out of the challenge were 2 very strong ideas…

  1. Can we create a format which supports tracks or layers in songs, then build Dj software which takes advantage of them.
  2. Can we build a club environment which makes use of sensors to feedback to the Dj and Vj in real-time through meaningful visualisations
More were talked about but these were the strongest ones, and these are the ones which will be taken forward hopefully into the Future Everything festival next year.
The theme for the conference/hackday was around media & web freedom and there was a question how does the Dj challenge fit into this? Well I gave the example of my pacemaker…

Dj Challenege

A few of us were looking at the problem of what you do with mixes once there finished? Actually one of them was from Mixcloud.com and we were exploring the idea of licensing, etc but we started to think what other ways can you experience mixes? One idea was to map locations to places in a mix.
On my pacemaker, I’ve done mixes walking through locations such as the wrong end of irlam mix. Imagine if it had GPS, so you could map sections to a location. When the mix is uploaded, it could lead people through an artificial version of my journey. So you could experience that moment when the bus streamed past and almost knocked someone over :) How exactly this works, we don’t know, but that’s the challenge…

Hugh

This for me is the effect of the web on Djing, perfecting fitting into the media and web freedom ethos.
The challenge asked a lot of the people who did attend and frankly if I was to do it again I would size down the challenge down to a few core areas and work on things which can be done in the 90mins we had. Mozilla did allow us to run over 2 days and we have some ideas did run through-out them.
Moving away from the Dj challenge for now, I didn’t get much of a chance to attend the other challenges, but they sounded great. There was a real feel of excitement in the air and the location of Ravensbourne added another layer to it all.

Mozilla Festival

Here’s some of the other stuff which looked very interesting to me…

This Javascript library is looking very impressive and the documentary combining Popcorn with WebGL was impressive. I can only imagine what Adam Curtis could do with this… I’ve made a note to check it out in detail soon. I also think it could be useful in the area of Perceptive Media.
Its another one of those Javascript library’s (seems to be a trend). This one is a nice gaming framework, its still in alpha but it slightly crosses over with the BBC R&D universal control spec from what I saw in the demo.
Hyperaudio links written text with the spoken word. This means you can edit a audio file like how you edit text. Its quite magical when you see it, and would make a great tool for remixing
Teaching young people through standard web technologies how to change the web and make it there own. I think of it like One Laptop Per Child’s Sugar but less programmatic…
Although this wasn’t in the event, I found them from one persons suggestion and then when I went to look up the Eatery I found it again. Its like Creative Commons for privacy, interesting…

Mozilla Festival

Unlike Hackdays where everyone gets a chance to demo there hacks to everyone else, the Mozilla festival had the challenge leaders stand up on stage and give a brief overview of the best ideas and prototypes. On the Saturday night there was keynotes from a whole bunch of people including Tim Hunkin. Everything was good till a guy from the Tech City commission or something started going on and on… Wrong place and wrong time to do a pitch for how great silicon roundabout and techcity are… Frankly I would have liked to have thrown a popcorn.js rubber toy at him because it was so out of tune with the rest of the event. Of course I didn’t do that… but it was bad. Honestly if I caught his name, I would be naming and shaming…

Luckily all the rest of the keynotes and presentations were actually good to excellent.

The event finished with the Dj challenge taking control, because we didn’t have anything built I Dj’ed on my pacemaker along with the Alphasphere guys putting on a performance on stage. If we had thought about it a bit more, we could have Jammed together but alas maybe another time? Maybe at the Future Everything festival…

Congrats to the Mozilla crew, it was great and certainly a highlight. Mozilla’s mission is a good one and something we can all get behind. I was surprised how many people I know from Yahoo, Ebay, etc who are now working at Mozilla. Although it was very adhoc it kind of worked…

I look forward to next year…. Excellent work Michelle, Dees, Alex and a whole host of other cool Mozilla people. It was a honour…

The end of #Startupbar, for now…

Startup flyer 1 at Arcadia BarStartup bar AB RemixStartup flyer 3

It started so well but ended quickly when one of the 4 owners of Arcadia bar decided to give it up… Unforgeable we’ve were talking to the owner who decided to pack it in…

So that means no more lovely ladies doing there make up as they start there friday nights… (you got to love Creative Commons licensed images on Flickr) I’m sure they will be back in the future…

Now the future of Startup bar is in doubt but fear not, its not over… We’ll be looking for a new venue to host Startupbar… Till then you can sign up to the growing community on Facebook.

Startup your night in the best possible way

Startup bar AB Remix

Were at it again… The startup bar is back in full force.

This time we have 4 djs, starting up at 9pm and finishing at 2am. This Friday (22nd June) and every Friday (except maybe next week, 29th July TBC).

If your in Manchester and out on Friday night, you can’t do much better than experience the House, Electro and Trance played by some great up-shots in the Manchester scene… Feel free to RSVP here.

Hope to see you all there…

Mozilla Media Festival meet Dj Hackday?

Mozilla Festival — Media, Freedom and the Web
London, November 4 – 6, 2011

A gathering of passionate, creative people using the web to bend, hack and reinvent media. We’re solving real problems and building prototypes with talented designers, world-class journalists, resourceful media-makers, and cutting-edge developers.

The prolific Desigan Chinniah who now works for Mozilla and the always ever so sweet Michelle Thorn came to Manchester recently to kick start one of Mozilla’s Drumbeat projects. This one was centred a collaboration with the Knight foundation and trying to change the Newsrooms of the best companies with a good harsh look at Comments, People powered news and Better Video. The badly named Mojo project, is now in its closing stages and all the efforts are being judged. I am a little ashamed that more of the Manchester digital lot didn’t turn out but I’ve already made my feelings be known on Twitter. I did also say to the guys that I would write a blog post but never got around to it, so hopefully this will be a good sub for that.

The Mojo project was and is a very interesting open innovation project but more about this in a later to be written blog post…

When Desigan and Michelle were up in Manchester, I showed them around a little. We ended up after dinner having a late drink or a night cap if you prefer. So on a late night Tuesday we headed into the Northern Quarter for drinks ending up at Noho in Stephens Square.

We talked for ages  about many things including the idea of me Djing on my pacemaker at the Mozilla Media Festival in London in November. Of course I agreed… So if you want to see me djing live and you don’t live in and around Manchester, you can see The Cubicgarden working the dance floor with his pacemaker in London.

I’ve been thinking also as part of the media festivals innovation challenges it could be possible to run Dj Hackday as one of the challenge?

I’ve contacted many people regarding the concept of Dj Hackday including SoundCloud and MixCloud. And although there behind the idea and even see the point of having a hackday just for djs oppose to a music hackday. They seem less eustatic about coming up to Manchester for it, even with the great venue we may have for it. So this could work out quite well for everyone interested… I also like the idea of “a gathering of passionate, creative people using the web to bend, hack and reinvent djing

Rights holders take down on dj mixes

I got this in my email today from Soundcloud.com

Hi cubicgarden,

Your upload "The pulse of a nation mix" may include content that is owned or licensed by Moist Music ("By Your Side (Martin Roth Rmx)" (The Thrillseekers;Gina Dootson)) and has been made inaccessible on SoundCloud by request of the rightsholder.

If you are certain that you have all necessary permissions from the rightsholder to upload and share this content, you can submit a claim here:

http://soundcloud.com/settings/disputes/

Thanks,

The SoundCloud team

Moist Music can get lost up there own ***** and have this one. I would fight this copyright take down (the very first one I’ve personally ever had) but since I’ve all but switched over to Mixcloud.com, its not worth fighting. Either way, it was interesting to see Martin Roth himself talking about Mixcloud and Soundcloud on his tumblr site. I might have to send him a link to this post and the mixcloud/soundcloud posts.

We are certainly much better off without these stuck in the mud middlemen.

I’ve now canceled my Soundcloud pro subscription, so all my mixes will be moving to mixcloud I’m sorry to announce. Nothing to do with Soundcloud, its just not the place for dj mixes and this latest event proves it.

Soundcloud from a dj point of view

I love soundcloud but it has a few issues if your a dj and are uploading mixes like I am.

Before I run through them, I want to make sure people understand this isn’t a startup assassination, soundcloud is a dream come true but its not perfect for people uploading mixes. Hopefully this will help improve there service after my tweet on Thursday. Its also worth mentioning that Alex Meyers recommended Mixcloud which seems to be a sound cloud knock off but aimed at djs and radio producers. I’ve yet to really try it out, but I’ll try and give it a shot before posting this blog entry.

Terminology and comments

Here is my latest mix, the geometry set. Soundcloud does a excellent job displaying the waveform, and allowing you to add comments to a part of the track but the terminology is wrong. This isn’t a track, its a mix or some would say a set. Which confuses things even further. Also adding comments to a 60mins mix is tricky at this level. Now before you tell me you can zoom in as such, the point is that comments on a 60-180min mix is kind of a bit of a joke when looking at the wave form like this.

Talking about termology again… What record label do you put the mix under? What catalogue number? What Key and even what BPM? I know there all optional pieces of metadata but it all adds up to a service not very friendly towards mixes.

There use to be an option under type for mixes but thats now gone. The best option I can use to put my mixes under a type is recording or live. Why did mix go away?

Sets and playlists?

Unless you were to upload all your tracks to soundcloud and add them one by one, it seems to be frankly impossible to add a playlist. I end up copying my playlist from a my *.nfo file to the comment field. Ideally Soundcloud would have support for the metadata which dcloud, mixccomes from systems like VirtualDj, Tractor, etc. If not allow me to specify when mixes start and finish. The Pacemaker software I use does actually do this but I want to transfer that metadata over to the web. This may be a problem which can be solved while were hacking the pacemaker.

What I see other people do is add comments to specify the areas of a mix, but to be frank its a bit of a hack and not a very good one at that. Here’s Mark Schouls latest and greatest as a example of how the comment area can be used to hack/divide the mix up.

Even the lets mix has this ability to define a playlist/tracklist by using the metadata of the software your using or allowing you to edit it yourself. Here’s me editing my own mix, one step beyond entropy.

It seems like a hassle but to be honest, if I’m uploading a mix roughly once a month, its going to be worth me doing the hardwork of filling this stuff in. And heck if soundcloud can automaticlly work this out by uploading a file of some kind, even better.

Interestingly Mixcloud does the time stamping straight after you upload a mix. I’ve yet to see how effective it is, but at least it has the option baked into its DNA.

Downloads

I love that Soundcloud supports Creative commons licenses but what bugs me is that you can only upload one type of item. So if for example I upload a Ogg Vorbis file, soundcloud will ask you if you would like to allow them to create a mp3 of that file for the flash player. Great but if you go to download that file (rights permitted, you have to enable this) it will only give the person the choice of the file you uploaded first time. Aka you upload a Ogg, you can only download a Ogg, not the Mpeg3. Even worst you can’t upload multiple files, say for example a low quality version for people to download and a high quality version for those on a better connection.

I usually upload a Mpeg3 because its the most universal, although my pacemaker generates Ogg Vorbis files. I would however like the ability for the Soundcloud to generate alternative versions or for me to upload alternative versions of the same mix.

I would really pay to see an option to dump files to Archive.org because although I like soundcloud, I don’t really trust them to host my files forever. Just like Blip.TV, if its a public or creative commons piece of media, the option should be there to send it to archive.org.

My other concerns are so very small and not really worthy airing in this blog post. But to give you an idea of what I mean, the flash uploader certainly winds me up sometimes. I know theres a html (old skool) uploader but its also a pain to use when uploading a massive mix. Tiny things, nothing major.

End of the day

Soundcloud is great but its really not a great place to put mixes, they could almost do another sound cloud site change a few things around including the business model and make it just for mixes. In actual fact when Alex Myers said about mixcloud, I did think it was soundcloud but setup for mixes.