I love mixing with my Pacemaker but I have to admit there are some limitations like the crossfader and effects are a little tricky to do at the same time. So when I bought another pacemaker off ebay cheap and upgraded the battery and HDD to a SSD, I also upgraded that Pacemaker firmware, to include other features like beat-aware loops. That firmware can’t record mixes in the same way unfortunately.
So I’ve always thought maybe I could use the pacemaker with a mixer and record the mix over analogue means. Si gave me one of his old mixers a while ago, so for ages I thought about it but done little about it.
Ok its not great but I was tweaking the setup while I was recording.
So how did I do it…
The pacemaker has two outputs, so I pushed deck A to the main output and deck B to the headphone output. This means the pacemaker crossfader can never be used or touched while mixing. You only use the deck selection to choose the track you want to adjust or play with.
Deck A the main output is cabled to the Channel 1 on my mixer, while Deck B the headphone deck is output to Channel 3 on the mixer. (Channel 2 is mainly for the microphone and other things on the mixer)
I had to adjust the volume and gain on each channel and the pacemaker its self but generally I got it right with some tweaking. I hooked up the output of the mixer to my amp and speakers, while the monitor went out to my laptop with a splitter as its a combined mic/headphone jack.
I recorded everything with Audacity and checked the levels on the laptop.
The results are not bad… It does feel really weird to be using the Pacemaker device and not using the crossfader on the device. In actual fact I messed up a few times earlier on, by using the devices crossfader. I also decided I needed some kind of stand for the device and used a box to mount it half way through the test set.
It was odd but worked, more experimentation is needed…
Its a long mix and lasts about 96mins or through 37.5 kms. The mix is a little rough in parts due to shifting positions and moving for people to get on and off. I took the ring from Prenzlauer Allee clockwise (S41).
Flash (timo maas remix) – Green Velvet
Riff – Sander Van Doorn
Energy Flash – Joey Beltram
My Beat (Ambassador remix) – Blaze
Intruder – Armin vs Mike
One night in New York city (chris liebing mix) – The Horrorist
One for you – Oliver klien
Dj culture – Joey beltram
Jelly Tracks (Rippin and Drippin) – Oliver Klein
My Beat (Jan Driver mix) – Blaze
Nasty (Electric mix) – Re Locate Vs Jonas Steur
Grasshopper (raw version) – Sander Van Doorn
Interstate Emperors – Jeffed
The Redlight (album version) – Green Velvet
Blood Angels (chris liebing mix) – John Startlight
Nackling (tomcraft mix) – Duse
Paperjet – John Tejada
Red Purple – Thomas Schumacher
Ubik (the break) – Timo Maas
Rage Chemistry (Cold Blank’s WMC 2013 Mashup) – Knife Party vs Svidden
Switch (oliver klein & peter jürgens remix) – Beckers
Watch Out (lee coombs back to the phuture remix) – Ferry Corsten
I mentioned in my trance set from July, that I had recorded two trance sets; and was deciding which one I preferred. The full’on classic trance set won out but I wanted to share the alternative one too. It pretty raw and short but I quite like it, especially since I love out of the blue by system F so much that it was played twice!
Another mix, this time recorded mid-flight on the way back from Berlin yesterday. It actually lasts about the time of the whole flight. Its a mix of some tech-house with tech-trance. Straight out of the Pacemaker, not even normalised or anything. Its a odd bunch of tunes but mixed up and enjoyable to listen to.
Afro-ride – Leftfield
Flutes (Sasha remix) – Hot Chip
Watch out (deep south remix) – Ferry Corsten
Switch (Oliver Klein & Peter Jurgens remix) – Beckers
Higher state of consciousness – Josh Wink
Answering machine (album version) – Green Velvet
Special K (timo maas mix) – Placebo
Paper Jet – John Tajada
Shoreside – Streetcleaner
Jelly Tracks (Rippin & Drippin mix) – Oliver Klein
Revolving Doors (club mix) – Ronski Speed
Blood Angels (Chris Leibing mix) – John Starlight
Rewind (Mikkas Remix) – Emma Hewitt
Nine ways – JDS
My Beat (Jan Driver mix) – Blaze
Brush Strokes – Simon Patterson
Whites of her eyes – Simon Patterson
Out of the blue (progressive trance mix) – Future Breeze
This one I have been listening to on and off for the last few weeks on my phone as I wonder around Manchester. Lots of new tunes and a less hectic pace of about 135bpm, but plenty of hands in the air moments and smooth mixing.
I also added chapter marks to give you can idea of what was influencing my tune selections.
Perpetual Motion – Protoculture
Hold that sucker down (Jerome Isma-Ae’s 10 year anniversary mix) – Jerome Isma-Ae
Running up the hill – (Jerome Isma-Ae bootleg) – Placebo
Humming the lights – Armin van Buuren pres. Gaia
Shelter (Photographer remix) – Dash Berlin feat. Roxanne Emery
Hello (Jerome Isma-Ae Remix) – Above & Beyond
Whites Of Her Eyes – Simon Patterson
Stellar – Driftmoon
Brush Strokes – Simon Patterson
Imagineer (Alex M.O.R.P.H remix) – Lange
Seven Cities (V-One’s Living Cities remix) – Solar Stone
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.
I’ve had a problem in the past with the recording mixes on the actual pacemaker using the new but unofficial firmwares.People on the pacemaker forum suggested it might be the fact I’m running Ubuntu and using mainly wine windows emulator or virtual machine technology. I was never really convinced by this argument to tell the truth but couldn’t be sure. So I would use the analogue output to record mixes with my laptop.
Pretty much all the new mixes in the last few years were done this way. I generally would record the mix on the pacemaker along with the output, making the track-listing easier to put in Mixcloud.
The feature I love the most about the new unofficial firmware is the snap loops, meaning you can just loop with no effort. In the very latest, you can even adjust how big the loops are. I will miss that feature but the ability to record on the go is fantastic and I’ve missed it for a long while.
I’m going to look at the differences in the filesystem and SQLlite DB to see if that reveals something obvious.
I installed the old firmware on my old pacemaker and did a mix. As you can hear its pretty much working as it should recording the mix (its not perfect as I was walking and on the tram).
Time for another one of my mixes, done with the Pacemaker Device rather than the Pacemaker App. Still loving the device and this mix is a slower mix at 135bpm over the usual 140. A few brand new tunes mixed with some older classics. Nice beat friendly mix with plenty to keep you going on those long drives in the mountains.
Tracklist is below…
Breathe (Blake Jarrell Remix) by Anna Nalick
Take me away into the night (purple haze remix) by 4 strings
Humming the lights (radio edit) by Armin van Buuren, Gaia
Stella – Ferry Corsten vs Markus Schulz
The Evil ID – Max Graham
The Spring – Ernesto and Alex Fisher
Orbion (Max Graham vs Protoculture Remix) – Armin Van Buuren
3rd Earth (heatbeat remix) – Solarstone vs Scott Bond
Megalodon – Dash Berlin
Attention – John 00 Fleming Vs Christopher Lawrence
The Storm – Eco
Sundown (Sneijder remix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
Rainmaker – Des mcmahon
Shadow World – Thomas Bronzwaer
Big Sky (Signum vs RAM Remix) – John O’Callaghan feat. Audrey Gallagher
Those crazy pacemaker guys Jonas, Olof and Willem released a ipad app (one of the worst kept secrets to be honest) but they did some great things to make the whole thing much more simple and usable for the people who just want to play. Those guys have always been excellent at interface design, conveying complexity in quite a unique way. One of the reasons why I love the pacemaker device.
Si Lumb was the first to break it to me on Twitter via The Verge. The interface is different from the Pacemaker app which came on the Blackberry. But the massive difference is the Spotify access. Direct access to mix and screw around with any track on Spotify in real time? Thats almost worth buying a ipad for… Don’t worry I’ll be asking the guys when the Android version is coming. But to be fair I have (well my sister has it but its mine) a blackberry playbook for the sole reason of mixing, so why not a ipad too…?
What got me slightly choked up is the commitment to #mixeverything and ultimately the democratisation of mixing and djing. Yes its not virtualdj or Tracktor but its something you can easily pull out at a party and get people dancing.
It all reminds me of my slide (number 17) from the Dj Hackday presentation… New rules, new blood, new ideas… I want my first born (male or female) to want to be a DJ not some pop idiot.
I remember the arguments about dedicated cameras vs camera phones. The best camera you have is the one in your pocket or even your hand at the time. Is this true of djing too? Yes if I had my records and decks, but you don’t… And with the app you can pull up virtually most songs, even those stupid request songs.
I’d still like to know how they are doing the twin output, I assume its using the audio out and the HDMI/Lightning port? If not I’m expecting it will change soon.
Secondly those crazy guys released a new firmware update for the Pacemaker device. Seems not many of the usual suspects know much about this, so I’ll be one of the first to give it a run. Which is great because I’ve been playing with the pacemaker device again. My next mix is going to be something special… But now I want to run home and get the firmware updated.
Its the M1X and on the face of it, it looks like a reasonable DJ device. 399 euros should mean about 299 pounds, which isn’t bad for a 100 watt boombox, with dj controller.
However, you must run it off an Apple ipad or iphone with lightning connection. This your suddenly talking upwards of 599 euros for something you can actually use (on the beach – as Armin said many times). The lightning connector slams the door on your Android devices. It also seems to only work with Algoriddim djay 2! So even if you invested in Traktor, Virtual DJ or what ever, your screwed? The only interesting feature is the ability to hook up multiple M1x’s to the same thing. How this works in practice is a massive question and I look forward to seeing people messing with this in time.
Armin said again and again, you can use it on the beach, but really? Are you going to carry that whole thing down on to the sand? A boombox with good speakers and amp is a lot cheaper that 399 euros. Plug in a Pacemaker and your laughing. Nope sorry its nice in concept but its not going to carve its way out of a tiny niche. That niche is smaller that the pacemaker and thats saying something!
Thumbs down sorry Armin… Either do something different like the Pacemaker guys or make the whole thing real cheap…
Its seems crazy that no one has a better device than the pacemaker, even with all the progression in memory, cpu speeds, display tech, etc.
Its another one of those pacemaker mixes which I’m specially enjoyed doing…
There’s some real classic tunes and plenty of catchy anthems to get you up and dancing or deep into that code if your doing so.
This time it comes into versions, the standard and the extended version. The versions do have slight different bpm and is a little faster and heavier in the extended version, rather than just cut differently.
Its been a long while since I’ve uploaded a mix to Mixcloud or even Soundcloud. So I decided to throw together a mix on the pacemaker and stick it up. Its a strange mix of some classics and some new tunes. Nothing over thought, just good music mixed together…