If you talk to DJs both old and new about the Technics 1200 turntable, you'll quickly realize just how legendary the deck truly was. Last year, Panasonic revived the Technics brand, and customers the world over had one question: "Where's the 1200?" Passionate fans even went to far as to sign petitions to let Panasonic know that they wanted to see the iconic record player make a triumphant return. At CES 2016, they got their wish, as the Technics SL-1200G and SL-1200GAE were announced, and they've been improved over all of the previous models.
Have you always wanted to be a DJ, but didn't have the skills? JAKKS Pacific introduces the EZ Pro DJ, a $50 accessory that works with your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad that allows you to mix beats while sounding like a pro. You get the two turntables and fader in a unit that connects to your device over USB. It can pull in tracks from your iOS device, letting you manipulate them to your hearts content, even automatically matching up the beat of both songs. There's also an optional microphone accessory that lets you bring your voice into the mix, and a headphone jack so you can sport the right cans to complete the look.
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Turntable.fm is climbing the charts. According to a story from Betabeat, the Facebook phenom has hit 140,000 active users after just one month. Not a bad showing for a semi-closed beta with a spotty security record.
The popular service effectively combines (free) music-streaming, chat rooms, and voting, all through a Facebook portal. It's similar to Web apps such as Pandora. Turntable.fm allows you to discover new music and create your own custom playlists, only that playlist isn't just for you—you'll share it with other Facebook users in real time.
Add to the exchange a note of gameplay. After you create your DJ avatar, you can create your own room or enter someone else's (if you get overwhelmed there's a randomizer) and interact with other avatars through a chat feature. Each room supports up to five DJs. Take a seat on the stage to share your playlist, created from your own uploads or from the Turntable.fm library.
The Beats Pro by Dr. Dre. at $399.95 (direct) is a serious pair of headphones designed for the modern DJ. The ear cups flip backwards to free one ear, the cable is detachable, and jacks on both ear cups act not only as inputs, but as outputs to send audio to a friend's headphones. The Beats Pro sounds excellent—there's plenty of bass, but the high frequencies are accurately reproduced, as well. The potential deal breaker for standard users and DJs alike: they're heavy and not comfortable when worn for long periods.
Weighing in at nearly a pound (15.2 ounces), the Beats Pro comes in black or white models that each feature healthy doses of brushed metal on the ear cups and headband. The lowercase Beats logo is emblazoned in red on each ear, and the interior of the headband and ear cups is a cushioned black material. There's a 3.5mm jack at the bottom of each ear cup—it doubles as both an input (from your sound source) or an output to send audio to another pair of headphones. The connection for other headphones, however, is loose and could easily detach if you move around (this is because the jacks both have a twist-to-secure feature that only seems to work with the included cable). The cable itself is the signature Beats red, thick, and coiled at the bottom. Not only is a ¼-inch adapter included, but it comes fastened to the coil so you never have to go looking for it; just snap it on to the 3.5mm tip whenever you need it. Also included with the headphones: a protective pouch and a cleaning cloth with "advanced Aegis Microbe Shield technology" so microbes will never come between you and your music.
In this episode we open up the DJ Hero Renegade edition set. DJ Hero is the new turntable-based rhythm game featuring hip-hop, electronic, and rock music, and the Renegade Edition has a bunch of premium touches, and is also available just for a limited time. We show it all in this edition of Unboxing Live.
By the way, if you like music and haven’t played DJ Hero, you owe it to yourself to check it out. In our opinion, this is better than any Guitar Hero or Rock Band game that has come before it, in the way that you interact with the music, and the totally unique pairings that they throw at you. We are definitely DJ Hero believers! You can pick up DJ Hero on Amazon.
Read More | DJ Hero
Clearly, there is a whole world of DJing that I am really not down with. Fortunately, my geek self is in love with this little DJ Mouse, guaranteed to turn me into DJ TechBlogger, yo!
With a jog wheel and scratch knob (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg,) you’ll easily have crowds pumping. This is a full MP3 mixing software kit, and it’s compatible with Windows and OS X. You get the DJ Mouse, scratch mat, and software, all for $79.
Read More | DJ-Tech
I had no idea that there was a market for audio interfaces for DJs, but there is a whole world of DJing that I am completely oblivious to.
Native Instruments has come out with the Audio 2 DJ, a pocket-sized audio interface for DJs that “boasts the ultra-loud, professional sound quality needed to rock the world’s biggest clubs”. It should be available in September for a price of about $119.
Can’t wait? Watch the YouTube video of this guy free-running to get into the groove.
Tonium has released an updated version of their Pacemaker. The V2 DJ System, at a size of 164 × 69.6 × 22.8mm and weight of 200g, has 60GB of built-in memory and supports MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, FLAC, WAV and SND files. The device has a new interface that makes blending tracks and crossfading simpler, and you can save your work for later upload. A display tells you when are out of sync with the beat, although if that happens often, it may be time to find another line of work/hobby. The Pacemaker V2 comes with desktop editor software and is available for $499.99.
Read More | Tonium
The Mix Tape Portable DJ Mixer may resemble a cassette tape, but you can be a boss jock with the compact mixing device for use with your iPod, iPhone or other audio device. It is both Mac and PC compatible, and features a cross-fader, dual 3.5mm stereo inputs and a headphone monitor jack. The Urban DJ, at a size of 4 x 2.5 x .5-inches, is encased in plastic and needs 2AAA batteries (not included.) Get your tunes on for $30.00.
Read More | Urban Outfitters
Now anyone with an iPod, MP3 Player, laptop or other audio device can be a mini DJ. The Dreams6 DJ Speaker plays your tunes and has 3 variations of mixed scratches to really impress the crowd. Small enough for a pocket or backpack, it comes with a USB cord for recharging through your PC. The DJ Speaker is available in red, black or white at a price of $45.99. We are thinking that this may be one of those gadgets that’s fun for the first 10 minutes, as evidenced by the demonstration.
Read More | Audio Cubes