Mike and QBert have a long history together, having both been members of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz. They also won the DMC World DJ Championship together in 1992 as the Rocksteady DJs (with DJ Apollo) and as a duo in 1993.
Stream “Channel Zektar” below and download the original and instrumental versions on DJcity.
DJ QBert shared some advice on DJing in a recent interview with hip-hop website, 247HH.
The legendary turntablist discussed letting loose on stage, practicing, eating healthy, and being spiritual. He said his biggest lesson in life was losing the DMC World Championship in 1991.
“It taught me how to be humble. From my experience of not practicing, I gotta practice a lot now. Because if you don’t practice, you know, everything falls apart. I have to stay humble and keep being a student. So I practice even more nowadays.”
Invisibl Skratch Piklz perform on the Boiler Room in Oakland, California. (Photo credit: Tone Def)
The Boiler Room took a break from their usual electronic and hip-hop acts to host a turntablism party on Tuesday night. The show, which went down in Oakland, California, featured sets from the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Cut Chemist, J. Espinosa, and Great Dane. Representing the ISP were DJ QBert, D-Styles, and DJ Shortkut.
The night was kicked off by Great Dane, a member of the influential Team Supreme production crew. The Fullerton, California native put down 45 minutes of trap and future bass.
J. Espinosa, the 2015 Red Bull 3Style US champion, followed with an epic set of Bay Area hip-hop and turntablism. The crowd loved it, and so did Cut Chemist, who performed after Espinosa.
“That’s a tough act to follow,” the Jurassic 5 member told the crowd when he took over the turntables. As one fan on Twitter put it, “I’ll never hear Bay classics the same way after hearing what J. Espinosa did to [them]…”
Cut Chemist lived up to his name by dropping a creative and technical performance using both turntables and CDJs. His set included hip-hop, breakbeats, African music, and a guest performance from Blackalicious rapper Gift of Gab. It was the perfect segue into the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, who took the crowd to outer space and beyond.
Thud Rumble showcased two prototypes of its Intel-powered DJ mixer on Tuesday, reports Engadget. The presentation, which took place at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, was given by Thud Rumble’s co-founder, DJ QBert, and Montreal’s DJ Killa-Jewel.
The devices are the latest prototypes of Thud Rumble’s laptop-free mixer, the “Invader,” which was first announced in May 2015. The company has since showcased prototypes in an video by Intel and at the Maker Faire.
According to Engadget, the prototypes that Thud Rumble showed off at the IDF were equipped with a touchscreen display running Windows 10 and Traktor. However, Engadget says the mixers can use any DJ software that’s compatible with Microsoft’s operating system.
Buyers will be able to customize the Invader with “laser-etching options, various colors and a choice of rubber or old-school arcade buttons.” Thud Rumble’s co-founder Ritche “Yogafrog” Desuasido told Engadget: “We’re doing the Tesla business model.”
So what’s next for the Invader? Engadget writes:
“The next step after IDF will be to finalize the printed circuit board (PCB) designs. Native Instruments, which makes Traktor devices, is working with Thud Rumble to create an audio interface. The final Invader mixer will have the usual audio ports, including the ability to switch to phono so DJs can scratch actual vinyl. It’ll have USB 3 ports and an HDMI socket so DJs can use applications like Serato Video to output moving images. As you might expect, given that the device was shown off at Intel’s developer conference, it runs on Intel i5 and i7 processors. It’s competitively priced at $1,699 (the Pioneer DJ DJM-S9 mixer for Serato costs the same without a built-in computer) and will ship at the end of the year.”
DJ QBert showcases Thud Rumble’s experimental DJ equipment at the 2016 Bay Area Maker Faire.
DJ QBert‘s Thud Rumble company recently showcased their latest experimental DJ equipment at the Bay Area Maker Faire. The gear, which is in collaboration Intel, is part of Thud Rumble’s mission to eliminate the necessity of using laptops when DJing with DVS software like Serato and Traktor.
The partnership between Thud Rumble and Intel was first unveiled at the 2015 Bay Area Maker Faire. This year’s showcase focused on the evolution of their collaboration.
Thud Rumble’s press release for the event says:
“Traditionally, [these] setups have required that a laptop or desktop computer be plugged into the instrument being utilized. The necessity of a computer has created a disconnect between the DJ and their 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.”
“Everyone believes there is only one way to use standard equipment like a turntable or mixer, [and] it’s time for us to change that perception,” DJ Qbert said in the press release. “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.”
Watch Thud Rumble’s recap video of the showcase below, which featured special performances from the Invisibl Skratch Piklz.
The IDA World DJ Championships are going down next month in Poland (December 5). And what better way to promote them than with a video of DJ QBert on the cut? Watch the three-minute visuals above, which also feature DJ IQ, Ritchie Ruftone, and VaZee.
Using Intel’s tiny Edison microcomputer, Thud Rumble has eliminated the need for laptops by embedding the module into turntables, mixers, drum machines, and synthesizers.
Now, three months later, Intel has uploaded a short video about the collaboration, which features QBert and his Thud Rumble team. The piece is only two minutes long, but it’s enough to get us excited for the project.
The description for the video states: “Now there’s nothing between the DJ and their instrument – freeing them to focus on what they do best – create amazing music.”
It continues: “Thud Rumble’s goal is to reimagine the turntable as an instrument of the future, freeing artists to create and elevate scratching as a musical art form.”
Thud Rumble has also put sensors inside of turntables to record the movements of the platter. Using this data, they say they are now able to “write the musical notes of scratching.”
Watch above and check out Intel’s website to see how others are using the Edison chip.
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.