Wednesday, June 8, 2011

ARTICLE: Stepping into the Digital DJing Void: Part 2 | The Process

If their was ever a daunting task, converting the record collection I had amassed over the last 11 year was a pretty epic task indeed. Over those last 11 years I could speculate that I've bought about 15-20 records a month. Thus a conservative estimate would be around 2000 records. So roughly 4000 tracks at mins in length would mean that I will encode 333 hours of music.

With this in mind, if I'm going to do this... I want to do it right. This way I don't have to re-encode my music again. So the research began, what I found (or did not find) surprised me. Basically an epic lack of information on this topic. I really expected instant gratification on the "best practices" for vinyl conversion. Some audiophile's essay on the topic, maybe so youTube videos, heck I would take a thread on the Serato message boards.

Lacking guidance I took it on myself to start experimenting with hardware & software.

Numark TTX-USB

Adobe Soundbooth
Apple Soundtrack Pro
CD Spin Doctor

Originally I was using the record output from my DJM600, keeping the EQ flat and importing into an Digidesign Mbox. This worked for a while, but its work flow was annoyingly slow. Import track to ProTools, bounce the track, import the track to itunes, add the *meta information, analyze with XONE Mixed in Key 4, import it into Serato.
*(track name, artist, ect.)

These 5 steps took me on average 10+ mins per track, but the real kicker was the DJM600 sound output really pushed / distorted the low end.

Needless to say I needed a new device top play and transmit a raw unaltered copy of my beloved tracks. After shopping around I finally choose the Numark TTX-USB.

Now armed with the TTX-USB, sampled a series of softwares to encode my tracks with. Adobe Soundbooth, Apple Soundtrack Pro, & Audicity.

All of these had similar workflow issues. How many steps does it take to get to the center of a Jungle record collection. On average it took about 7-9 steps. Then I happened on "CD Spin Doctor" a program bundled with in Roxio: Toast 10.

CD Spin Doctor allows you to encode vinyl, edit, add meta information and export to itunes. This revolutionized my work flow.

However using CD Spin Doctor has meant that I had to change my encoding format. Up until this point I had been using WAV or AIF in an attempt to collect as much frequency spectrum as possible. Thus trying avoiding the trappings of MP3s and their shrill, hallow sounds when played on a large sound system.

After a series of in the field testing I choose AAC for its sound, file size and all around compatibility with iTunes, Serato, Traktor & XONE Mixed in Key. Side note sorry to all the Jungle heads at SR2 that got to hear me testing WAV, AIF, AAC, & MP3 and the variety of setting for each.

My current work flow is simple, easy and very streamlined:

1) Import the track using the UBS input on the TTX-USB in to CD Spin Doctor
2) Find the meta information on Discogs & add to my Discogs "collection"
- Title
- Artist
- Catalogue Number
- Year
- Album Art
3) Export to iTunes
4) Analyze file using XONE Mixed in Key 4
- Common Key
5) Add to my Serato library
6) Copy all the metro information to pre-made sticker and apply them to the vinyl

Start to finish takes only 3 programs, one web site and on average I can work through a in roughly 8 mins. Often these steps are done simultaneously. So while I'm adding the meta data, i'm encoding my next record.

This work flow takes the boredom out of waiting for your record to encode. You can also do other tasks (like write a blog post). In the time it took me to write this (Part2) out I've encoded 22 tracks, drank 3 cups of coffee and tormented my cat with a lazier pointer. LOL.

When we continue this story in part 3, I will talk about how I've adjusted to DJing. The tools, the technics and methods I've created to handle the untangle madness.

OTHER EVENTS: 6.17.11 MEGA at Ibiza in DC



TNT/VA Pressure/Manila Ave present...
(the official WASTED GERMAN YOUTH party in the U.S.)

[drum and bass]
VA Pressure D.C.

THE VENTURE BROTHERS [drum and bass]
VA Pressure RVA/DC

R.O.E. techno
VA Pressure HRVA

BRIAN J Vs MOOQI [house]
VA Pressure HRVA

VA Pressure HRVA

18+ FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FREEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Manila Ave Lounge
1064 Lynnhaven Pkwy
Virginia Beach, VA

9-10 R.O.E.

Souce: Patrick Currier & VA Pressure

RANDOMNESS: Amon Tobin DJ Booth...Wicked

Sounce: DJ TechTools

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

OTHER MUSIC in the DMV: Expansion Broadcast #337 Drum & Bass mix

The Boys at Expansion Broadcast have done it again.

Podcast 337: Plus Good “Blazing Summer” mix Drum & Bass

Track List:
001) The Burbs – Organic
002) Random Movement – Please Don’t Leave Me
003) Beta 2 & Lariman – Fool in Your Eyes
004) Gulfway Cartel & Lost Prophet – Harvest Dub
005) Calibre – Section Dub
006) Command Strange – U Can’t Do This
007) Dave Owen – Great Scott
008) Dave Owen & Dave Scheiman – Tight Polite
009) SpectraSoul – Reminiscence
010) J Majik – Your Sound
011) Serum – Bad Boy
012) Serum & Bladerunner – Chalice
013) SpectraSoul – I was 10
014) Ink & Loxy – Amazon
015) Beta 2 – Lip Service
016) Fred V – In My Head (VIP)

Monday, June 6, 2011

ARTICLE: Stepping into the Digital DJing Void: Part 1 | Reasoning

August of 2008, I set myself some goals. Start DJing again, reconnect with the DMV DJ community and digitize "the Annex". These are the lessons learned during the past three years while trying to create a digital Annex.

I love vinyl nothing sounds, feels and smells like vinyl. My wife and family complain I have an unhealthy obsession with vinyl records. I would agree with my hart and soul. I dream about music, I will subject friends and family to hours of waiting while I dig in record shops or talk to locals about there scene. I've suggested to my wife about moving to a large house or acquiring a second storage unit for music equipment and vinyl storage (I'm only partly joking).

When I started fiddling with digital DJing it was with mixed emotions. I had just completed a thinly valid year tour of all the finest snowboarding resorts in the Swiss, German & French Alps. During which I was separated from my record collection for the first time in 6 years. I fell into a bit of a funk, which I pried out with the help of 2 local record stores, a lot of snowboarding and an independent radio station. When I got back state side I was hell bent ever to leave my record collection again. Around this time Serato made its debut and its adoption by the turntablist community gave me the motivation to give it a try. I had head of Final Scratch and seen ads for what would later become Traktor, but at that time I was a vinyl purist and looked down at CD, or any other media format.

I remember when I got Serato my computer at the time (and old macbook) was unable to handle the software so I had to use my fathers iMac. I remember him watching as I hooked it up to turntables and showed him how these "time coded" records could control the MP3. Both of us amused about at how old school technology was being used to control cutting edge technology.

I would be almost a year later that while working for a company in DC I would get a computer fast enough to handle Serato. At this point I had forgotten the pain of separation from my music and only lightly tinkered with Serato here and their. I had a hard time trusting new technology to not fail on me in the middle of a set. Especially as I had witnessed it happen to countless other DJs in small and large clubs through out DC. Plus I had 3 amazing record stores to pick up new tracks from (DJ Hut (R.I.P.), Capital City Records(R.I.P.), & Crooked Beat).

So I sold Serato to finance new DJM600 mixer, and for a few years I was back to my old vinyl purist self. Giving touring DJs hell when ever they busted out their CDs or computers.

Then the unthinkable happened Capital City Records closed its doors and DJ Hut followed suite soon after in 2007. My vinyl life line was cut off. I was left to the world of mail order vinyl. NYC shops online interface sucked, West coast distributors stoked a lot Junglecore that never really excited me much. I started importing records from Japan, France & England (the lions share came from England). This got costly fast and turned me off for a while.

Now we can pick up where the whole story began in the summer of 2008. I had just traded a Rane TTM56 Mixer for a used Serato SL1. Fair swap but I would later regret selling my beloved TTM56 (thats another story).

When we continue with part 2 of this story, I will regal you with the trials and tribulations of how I eventually found my work flow for converting vinyl.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Friday, June 3rd 2011
FREE // ALL Ages // 7-10 PM
Richmond, VA

Encore art show with Terence Slattery from Controlled Chaos arts.If you missed the graffiti exhibit last month on the Artwalk, you still have a chance to see & purchase this local artists graf canvases. Don't miss out!

Celebrating TURNSTYLE's 8 Year Anniversary
Live VINYL performances outside from:

(8:30 - 10PM)


(7- 8:30PM)


102 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220

phone: 804.643.8876