DJ QBert and Intel Aim to Rid DJ Booths of Laptops

DJ QBert
A Vestax PDX-2000 MKII turntable connected to an Intel Edison computer. (Thud Rumble)
DJ QBert’s company Thud Rumble and semiconductor maker Intel have teamed up to eliminate laptops from DJ booths.
The project is based on Intel’s Edison module, which is the size of a postage stamp and retails at around $55. It includes a CPU, memory, USB ports, storage and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Thud Rumble’s press release explains their mission:

“As computers have gotten faster, DJs have replaced crates of traditional vinyl with two records that contain timecode, allowing them to manipulate any sound without using physical media. Traditionally, these setups have required that a laptop or desktop computer be plugged into the instrument being utilized. The use of the computer has often created a disconnect between the DJ and the audience. With the use of Intel technology, Thud Rumble has returned the art form back to its roots and is reconnecting the DJ to while still utilizing the convenience of digital audio files. In lieu of a computer, the artist simply inserts their USB drive of personally selected music they wish to use in the live set.”

Aside from eliminating the need to connect a traditional computer to DJ equipment, Thud Rumble has also inserted a sensor into a turntable that records the record, platter, and tonearm movement. The captured soundwave data can then be translated in sets or manipulated by the user in an experimental fashion.
QBert said in the press release:

“This is next level. Intel’s technology is enabling us to connect the power of computing directly into our gear which is opening up new frontiers for us as DJs. We’ve already dreamed up a few applications, but we’re barely getting started on what is possible with this innovation.”

Thud Rumble showcased experimental prototypes at the world-renowned Maker Faire last weekend in California. The technology was seen plugged into Native Instruments’ Maschine controller and Kontrol S25 keyboard, as well as controlling a digital DJ setup with a Vestax PDX-2000 MKII turntable and Native Instruments Kontrol Z2 mixer.
Watch a video of the event below.

Related: DJ QBert’s Album Artwork Doubles as a DJ Controller

  • DJ Clinton

    Video won’t play for me. I have the newest flash/shockwave player with the newest version of Firefox. I don’t get it. Cheers

    • DJ Clinton


  • Mitch Gurowitz

    I have no luck watching on a Mac (Safari) or iPhone or iPad. What is the video encoded with? Great story though!

  • Mitch Gurowitz

    It took 5 minutes to load, but eventually it did!

  • Kelly Myers

    It’s still digital DJing. So how about no? Get out of my booth and take your wack tech with you!

  • housemusiclover

    Must been nice having your own record press Kelly… you know… for all the stuff that doesn’t make it to vinyl these days. This tech is what will bring vinyl back to the forefront. Your lack of vision is disturbing…

  • stankinaz

    It’s crazy how Intel has advanced so much. I’m still waiting for their HDMI compute stick to sell in the market – basically a computer the size of a pen that makes HDTV a huge desktop. A lot of the media devices out there still can’t compete with a laptop.

    Now there’s this. But people will still need a screen. Now I’m curious to know if these DJ hardware can work with the Intel’s compute stick.

    This tech is getting ridiculous.

  • deejdave

    Add a screen, Mouse and keyboard and you have ……………………… a computer!!! Are laptops really that large. The claim of the laptop is the disconnect from the crowd. Let’s add two really small monitors and have the DJ leaning in and squinting as he is choosing his tracks now. Furthermore with certain DJ apps nothing but Mac works (well) so unless these will support a “mobile” version (and iOS wont work here UNLESS they release an iOS version) of Mac OS I don’t know how far they will get. Let’s be honest this has a slim to nil chance of actually coming to the masses (or being accepted at least) but I do appreciate the vision and am personally willing to try anything once…………………. within reason.