Val Kolton has a lot of ideas. I know him first as the man who runs V-Moda, but he's also a hotshot DJ. I met with him in NYC last week for a sneak preview of his brand-new Crossfade M-100 over-the-ear headphones. Kolton had just received the first production batch and hadn't actually listened to the completed headphones yet. I had the honor of listening first, even before the V-Man, and the M-100s totally knocked me out. It has a closed-back 'phone design, but the sound was remarkably open and spacious, a rare feat for a closed design. … Read more
We've found the perfect coffee table for that home recording studio you're putting together. Or maybe the perfect display space for that collection of obsolete technology you're so proud of.
Yes indeed, it's the "Mixtape Table," from Jeff Skierka Designs, a 12:1 scaled replica of that cassette mix tape you gave your main squeeze back in high school to profess your love. … Read more
I've had a lifelong love affair with radio. I was a huge Howard Stern fan, back when he was funny, and I'm into political talk, but music has always been the biggest draw. I find most of the new music I buy on the radio.
A great DJ can turn you onto great music. They work as filters, filtering out the crap, and playing stuff you might not hear anywhere else. That's what makes them great DJs.
I've been listening to Vin Scelsa since the early 1970s, starting with, I think, WABC-FM in New York City. His sets, now on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio can go on for 30 minutes or more, and the way he weaves together tunes from rock, jazz, classical, world, strange and wonderfully obscure music is unmatched. His deep knowledge and vast music library (he broadcasts out of his house) should be cited as some sort national treasure. There's something about the way Scelsa makes musical connections I never tire of. … Read more
First off, let me say that any DJ caught complaining about the inconvenience of his laptop audio interface deserves to be smacked in the head with a record crate. That said, less gear to carry is always a good thing, and the fine folks at Native Instruments have found a way to shrink their premium USB audio interfaces down to a pocket-size four-channel dynamo, appropriately called the Audio 2 DJ.
This new little bus-powered breakout box is due out in September, runs $119 list, and uses a pair of stereo 1/4-inch jacks (one for cue, one for master) to … Read more
Last month, Shure announced its first foray into the full-size headphone space, but the scope of availability was limited to the U.K. Now, the company is introducing the cans in the U.S. market--a move that's sure to please Shure fans based in the States.
Unlike the company's established in-ear line, the circumaural sets are geared toward at-home listening, particularly for novice DJs and others who are passionate about music but can't afford the professional models on the market. The new line includes three sets, which are outlined below.SRH840 Professional Monitoring Headphones: ($199.99) Optimized … Read more
After reading to the end of this Boston Globe article about this weekend's Million DJ March in Washington D.C., I was confused. What are DJs protesting?
One DJ interviewed in the article mentions that he had to fight with a club owner to get paid, and that DJs aren't required to fill out W-2 tax forms. I've got news for him: unless you're a union musician with an airtight contract, being ripped off is an unfortunately frequent part of the performing experience. It's supply and demand--there are more musicians and DJs willing to perform … Read more
Here's an amusing song from Chicago-area house DJ Andre Harris: "10 Things Not to Say to A DJ." A lot of DJs hear this song and think "right on." But allow me to add an 11th: can you please stop just playing records and actually make some music?
I'm not a hater or an instrument-snob. (Maybe a little bit.) A good DJ is a pleasure. But too many folks think that a sizeable record collection, turntables, a PA, and a few effects make them a DJ. Case in point, last night I went to … Read more
Distinct from what I'd call art DJs, who boast deep and unique collections and specialize in remixing and blending tracks together, commercial DJs have a straightforward job: play familiar songs that will get everybody dancing. "Dancing Queen" by Abba. "Come On Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners. "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton. If you've been to a wedding in the last few years, you can probably come up with the rest of the playlist yourself. I'm sure a lot of DJs work in both realms, just like plenty of live musicians … Read more