Both DJ hobbyists and serious controllerists have a ton to look forward to in Native Instruments‘ revamped hardware and software offerings, including a tasty new S4 controller and Traktor Pro 3 DJ software. After almost four years, the beloved DJ ecosystem was beginning to lag a bit as competitors added hefty features — but NI is out to remedy that. The updates to the company’s flagship pro controller and software are just a handful of an entirely revamped product lineup. New goodies on the production side include new versions of favorites like their Komplete virtual synth bundle, and Maschine sampler hardware. NI CEO Daniel Haver put the changes in perspective, saying:
“This announcement marks a new chapter in NI history. For music-makers of all styles and abilities, there’s now an ideal entry point to the NI ecosystem—from inspirational starter kits that guide first experiences to pro-grade products that enable our users to push the boundaries of music production and performance.”
The impressive new S4 alone is must-see tech for DJs. The biggest news? The S4’s new jogwheels are motorized and equipped with new Traktor tech they’re calling “haptic drive.” The jogs promise tactile weighted feel for improved scratching and beat matching, as well as lightning-quick access to song search, cue point setting, and more. The S4 is set to ship in November at $899, while Traktor Pro 3 drops this October. If two decks and ultra-portable fun is enough, NI’s updated S2 entry level rig can be had for $299.
Spotify is once again working to change the way we listen to music. The streaming service exploded in popularity over similar competitors like Soundcloud and Pandora through offering the largest library of label released music as well as curated playlists. The thousands of curated playlists soon became the focus of many Spotify users as it
German virtual reality gaming imprint EntroPi Games is blending old school technique with new school technology with the reveal of the world’s first vinyl mixing DJ application. The app, dubbed Vinyl Reality, simulates the look and feel of a vinyl DJ setup in virtual reality, equipping the user with two VR controllers and a VR headset, designed with the help of professional DJs. Once inside the app, users are presented with two digitally modeled turntables and a two-channel mixer with volume controls, EQs, and PLF.
Vinyl Reality even provides a realistic digital record crate next to the booth so users can sift through selects between their mixes. The application allows users to record their mixes and export mixes, and it also supports separate audio inputs, which means we’re likely not too far away from live streamed virtual DJ sets in the near future. What a time to be alive.
The music production landscape may be at a major crossroads, with production DAW capabilities now stepping into the emerging realm of virtual reality. Soon we may be able to discern answers to questions like, “would some songs be bigger hits in virtual reality?” as Ableton Live’s production software can now be experienced in VR.
The app allows musicians to explore Ableton Live in a VR atmosphere—visualize a fully 3D interface complete with a giant Push and Launchpad—AliveinVR, places the conventions of modern music production in a different dimension. AliveinVR is somewhat of an update to 2014’s Pensato, an app that previously made Ableton Live available in VR. Steam, the entertainment platform that conceived the application, utilizes the HTC Vive platform, an immersive headset that meshes real world elements with virtual components.
To produce music in 3D, those interested need only to purchase AliveinVR at $10.63 from Steam. AliveinVR allows producers to trigger clips, mix tracks, and play instruments in scale mode, all in virtual reality. What a time to be alive.