• Former DMC Champ Kypski Discusses New Technique, ‘Syntablism’

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    Thomas Elbers a.k.a. Kypski started out as a turntablist, becoming a three-time DMC Netherlands champion. Eventually, he followed his heart and entered the realm of sound design, music composition, and production, where he has collaborated with artists in almost every genre.

    Now, Kypski is experimenting with “syntablism,” a new technique that enables turntablists to create and manipulate sounds on the fly using a turntable, mixer, and modular synthesizer. It was introduced by Luigi SirCut Comito in 2016.

    DJcity’s DJ TLM recently spoke with Kypski to learn more about the technique. The Q&A coincides with the release of Kypski’s new routine, which is a syntablism flip of his remix of Fatima Yamaha’s “What’s a Girl to Do.” The video was praised by his fellow Dutchman, Laidback Luke, who tweeted that it “mesmerized” him.

    Watch the routine and read the interview below.

    How did you get involved with syntablism?

    Luigi SirCut introduced it to me. It was so inspiring! When I realized the potential it opens up for turntablists, I was hooked and dived in right away. It also came at a time when I was kind of bored with manipulating samples and pre-producing my own sounds to scratch with later, which is something so many people do. Syntablism is all about creating sounds in the moment, and scratching and playing them at the same time.

    The system I have now is far from finished. I doubt I will ever really finish it. I have many more features I want to add to it and then release a full syntablism album. Until that time comes, I will be releasing a lot of singles and videos. Luigi and I have just finished another syntablism live video in which we will be playing and scratching our systems together in a more Q&A fashion.

    If Luigi hadn’t introduced it, someone else might have, because the concept is so brilliant yet simple. It’s great to see more and more people trying out syntablism all over the world now.

    What equipment do you need to start experimenting with syntablism?

    A modular synthesizer is ideal because it’s not prewired like a regular synth. However, a semi-modular like the Korg MS-20 will do the job. Also, I consider an envelope follower, comparator, and pitch to be key modules. You can build the rest around them. My system is set up so that my Traktor control signal plays a sine wave, which is converted to pitch control voltage. I send that voltage to many different destinations. For example, at the beginning of my new video, I scratch the tail of the reverb. It can be anything! Also, the crossfader is set up so that it produces gate signals, another signal which the modular synth is happy to receive. Together, it gives one the possibility to scratch the core elements of the synth in real time.

    You’ve done turntablism collaborations with DJs such as D-Styles and musicians like the Matangi Quartet. Do you have any syntablism collaborations planned?

    Yes, this year I will be collaborating with the Amstel Saxophone Quartet from Amsterdam, with whom I will be playing a live show honoring Kraftwerk. I will also be bringing my syntablism live set to the Eurosonic festival in Groningen, Netherlands, and to the Superbooth festival in Berlin, which I’m really looking forward to. For collabs and shows that need a more traditional DJ approach, I use my Native Instruments Maschine setup which still works like a charm for that purpose.

    Related: Watch: Turntablist and Singer Asian Hawk Performs His Track ‘Fire’

  • DJ Tech’s Handy Kutz Portablism Mixer Reviewed

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    DJ Tech’s Handy Kutz isn’t a traditional DJ mixer; it’s a tool for turntablists with portablists in mind.

    A two-channel device, the Handy Kutz is equipped with a mini Innofader Pro and internal battery for true on-the-go use.

    Watch Mojaxx‘s review above.

    Related: Upgrade Your Portable Turntable With the 1.2.4-C Pulse Fader

  • Reloop Announces RP-8000 MK2 Turntable

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    Reloop RP-8000 MK2

    Reloop has announced its latest turntable, the RP-8000 MK2, which it bills as “the most advanced turntable of all time.”

    Like its predecessor, the RP-8000 MK2 is an official Serato device, enabling control of the software directly from the turntable.

    It features seven new RGB color-coded performance pad modes. It also has a heavier design for vibration damping and isolation, more powerful starting torque, and the new MK2 tonearm base, as previously seen on the RP-7000 MK2.

    The most exciting feature of the RP-8000 MK2, however, is the addition of Platter Play, which enables the performance pads to control the platter speed.

    Platter Play enables DJs to select from 22 musical scales, with the option to create nine custom ones, for advanced turntablism performances. And because the pitch changes are done with the platter, the same controls will work with both Serato DJ and regular vinyl.

    Other notable features:

    – Reworked control section: more streamlined multi-encoder and intuitive mode section
    – Independent pad modes
    – Reverse function: switch for forward and reverse operation
    – Smart USB link for up to four turntables

    The RP-8000 MK2 will be available at the end of January priced at around $699. Get more details at Reloop’s website.

    Related: Technics Unveils SL-1200MK7 Turntable

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  • Technics Unveils SL-1200MK7 Turntable

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    Technics SL-1200MK7 turntable

    After teasing it last week, Technics has unveiled a new direct drive turntable: the SL-1200MK7. It is the company’s first DJ turntable in about nine years.

    According to the company’s press release, the new model “inherits the traditional design of the same series and maintains the same operating ease, reliability, and durability …”

    The SL-1200MK7 also adds new DJ features, such as reverse playback, +-8%/+-16% pitch control, and replaceable phono and power cables for improved maintenance.

    According to What Hi-Fi?, the SL-1200MK7 will cost $1,200 in the US and £899 and €1,000 in the UK and EU, respectively (where it’s called the SL-1210MK7).

    The announcement was made at the CES event in Las Vegas, where DJs such as Skratch Bastid have taken the turntables for a test drive.

    Additional details can be found on Technics’ website.

    Updated on Jan. 9, 2018

    Related: Reloop RP-7000 MK2 Turntable Review

    Posted in Music Tech
  • The Best Replacement Needles for Shure’s M44-7 Cartridge

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    A year ago, Mojaxx reviewed Jico’s replacement needles for Shure’s M44-7 and M44G cartridges. He found that they were good alternatives to the original styli, but they weren’t essential because the originals were still available.

    However, that changed in May when Shure announced that it was discontinuing its entire range of phono products. Now, with the new-found need for replacements, Mo takes another look at Jico’s styli.

    Watch above on this week’s Tips and Tricks.

    Jico’s needles can be purchased at their website, PLANT RECORDS, and Scratch Pro Audio.

    Related: Shure Discontinues All Phono Products

  • Mojaxx Celebrates 200th ‘Tips and Tricks’ Episode

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    This week’s Tips and Tricks is the 200th episode of the series (and the last of 2018), so Mojaxx is feeling nostalgic. To celebrate, Mo went through his retro DJ mixer collection, which includes classics from Technics, Vestax, and Gemini.

    Watch above.

    Related: Review: Allen & Heath Xone:96 Mixer

  • First Look: Algoriddim djay iOS App

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    This week’s news about Algoriddim’s new djay iOS app generated a lot of attention on DJcity. Now, DJcityTV’s Mojaxx has taken a “first look” at the app for a special episode of Tips and Tricks. Watch above.

    Related: Review: Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 Controller

  • Algoriddim Announces New djay iOS App

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    German DJ company Algoriddim has announced a new, all-in-one iOS app for its award-winning djay software.

    The company previously offered different apps for the iPhone and iPad. However, the new app is compatible with any device running iOS 11.2 or later. It is available as a free download and paid subscription.

    Both versions have Spotify integration and support a number of official djay controllers like the Reloop Mixon 4 and Pioneer DJ DDJ-WeGO4.

    The subscription version, priced at $4.99 a month, offers extra features like:

    – Support for 50+ MIDI controllers from Pioneer DJ, Reloop, Numark, Denon DJ, and others
    – Advanced MIDI learn system
    – Video mixing
    – Advanced media library including Dropbox integration
    – Looper and sequencer
    – Ableton Link

    The new Djay app is available on the App Store. Customers who have purchased any previous iOS version are eligible for a discounted subscription, which is available as an in-app purchase.

    Stay tuned for a first look from DJcityTV’s Mojaxx on Friday.

    Related: Review: Reloop Mixon 4 Controller

    Posted in Music Tech
  • Review: Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 Controller

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    After years of not releasing any DJ equipment, Native Instruments returned to the game in October and unveiled its Traktor Pro 3 software. It also announced two updated controllers: the Traktor Kontrol S2 and S4.

    On this week’s Tips and Tricks, Mojaxx delivers his long-awaited review of the S4 and looks at Traktor Pro 3.

    Related: Pioneer DJ Announces XDJ-RR Controller

  • Review: Ortofon OM Cartridges

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    Mojaxx loved Ortofon’s MkII range of Concorde cartridges when he reviewed them earlier this year. But not all DJs want or can use plug-in style cartridges like Concordes.

    On this week’s Tips and Tricks episode, Mo looks at the company’s OM series of cartridges, which are designed to fit on a traditional headshell.

    Related: Review: Ortofon Concorde MkII Series