(For those new to the column, Forward Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs — or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A Forward Migration Kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as photography, optometry, etc.)
This week we offer the third and final part of our three-part look at Mac OS software that current and budding deejays will find useful.
The folks at
Propellerheads specialize in DJ software for the Mac. They have a nice selection of software to do that special task that you can’t find anywhere else, according to MacCentral reader Brennan Boblett.
“The software packages are professional, and work great,” he said.
Propellerheads’ Reason is a complete studio package with synths, samplers, drum machines, loop players, a sequencer, mixing, effects, and more. ReBirth is a classic synth emulator that reproduces the sound of the classic Roland machines TB-303, TR-808 and TR-909. It comes in two flavors: ReBirth 2.0.1 and it’s little brother, ReBirth One. ReCycle! is a tool for sampled grooves. And ReWire is an audio cable for the virtual studio that lets you connect virtual instruments to each other.
Several DJs really like
Casady & Greene’s SoundJam audio software.
“We have been using SoundJam for over a year now to run a DJ side business,” Mark H. Delfs of
Red Spring Communications told MacCentral. “In all that time, it’s only locked up at two shows, which is a stunning record. We actually run the whole show through a Power Macintosh G3 tower that we bring and feed that into Gemini DJ equipment, including a mixer, wireless mics, and two floor-pounding speakers. It’s a wonderful setup!”
Cory Champion of Fortress Productions, Hillsdale College, said he’s more of a sound technician and recording engineer than a “heavy” DJ, but he’s currently converting all his CD’s to MP3s using SoundJam’s highest resolution in hopes that there will be a compatible DJ suite that will fit his needs.
“Since I have the sound tech background, when I DJ everything has to sound just right,” he said. “I don’t want to lose any quality in the reproduction, including the output from my G4 (presently) or a PowerBook (future). I have demos of MegaSeg and On the Air Home Studio. MegaSeg doesn’t cut it for ease of importing the play list from SoundJam, and On the Air’s interface is exceedingly bland. Both auto fade at either preset time remaining, or preset dB levels. Neither offer any EQ, which means more stuff in the rack.”
SoundApp is a PowerPC native freeware sound player and converter for the Mac. It requires at least System 7.0, Apple’s Sound Manager 3.1 or greater, the Drag Manager (a.k.a Macintosh Drag and Drop, part of System 7.5), and at least a Macintosh with a 68020 or a Power Macintosh. QuickTime 2.0 or greater is required to manipulate QuickTime movies. SoundApp will do multiple play lists, but no cross fading though. It will play and convert almost any type of audio file format out there. And it’s free.
Tactile12000 is a 3D, interactive simulation of a DJ setup: two turntables and a mixer. You can crossfade, backspin, and speed up and slow down music, including full-length WAVE and MP3 songs, on your computer. It’s a cross-platform application for both Mac and Windows systems. You can use it to mix like a DJ or let it mix your MP3 playlist automatically.
“It works great and is very real,” said Craig Blanchette. “I can actually beat mix with it!”
Virtual DJ is designed for DJs to practice using turntables and mixers. Purportedly, anyone can quickly get to grips with it due to user-friendly double click routines and single button presses. The ability to import all kinds of music formats (including the ability to mix MP3s) into the program makes it easy for a beginner to pick up the basic idea of how the program structure functions.
Mixer and full turntable functions emulate the setup used in nightclubs. Virtual DJ has start and stop turntable features, one touch sound, real-time mixing capabilities, looping and reverse functions. Detailed Turntables can feature all of the regular functions of a fully manual direct drive turntable with instant start/stop and no speed up/slow down time. And finally there’s the ability to scratch, cut and free rotate slipmats.
John Sandström of Sweden says
VisioSonic makes the “absolute best in DJ software.” Its products include: PCDJ Digital 1200sl, professional DJ software, which is purportedly used by 12,000 pro DJs and such folks as Nile Rodgers, IceT, Evil E, Bobby Morganstein, and others. Space Opera, a hardware/software combination used by performers on tour and in clubs. PCDJ, digital entertainment software that lets you play and mix MP3 files, video, and more.
VisioSonic has also launched full streaming Internet radio and distributes independent record labels. The company also produces a dual-MP3 player that “enables users to actually mix music like pro DJs.”
Keith Fox owns and operates
Fox DJ Entertainment, a mobile DJ service based in Pleasanton, CA. They’ve been in operation since 1990, and have been almost exclusively Mac since their inception.
“Our current setup is a G4 tower, with an Apple 17-inch Graphite CRT, and a 4X CD burner, a 3400c PowerBook with a 2X CD burning station, and a Bronze/FireWire G3 PowerBook that is being networked with Airport,” Fox said. “I also have a beige G3/233 Desktop with an Apple 1705 monitor in the DJ equipment work area, so the guys can surf the web, get e-mail or look up music.
What’s more, he has also completely customized ACT! Fox DJ Entertainment users it exclusively for their database.
Next week we’ll look at genealogy software for the Mac.