In the UK, there’s no shortage of music industry trade shows, but until recently if you wanted to check out the latest DJing kit, you were faced with a choice between PLASA (the main focus of which is sound and lighting for concert tours and large installations, making it 95% irrelevant to the average DJ) and a handful of shows targeted at musicians and producers. Last weekend though, the landscape changed, as DJs took control at BPM, a brand new show organised by Marked Events.
Sponsored by Pioneer Pro DJ, Bose & Thunder Ridge and with IDJ, Ministry of Sound, Pro Mobile Magazine, Don’t Lose The Music & Hard to Find Records as its media/retail partners, it was certainly pushing all the right buttons…and, for that matter, crossing all the right faders, but the list of names didn’t end there, as pretty much every major DJ related manufacturer (and some minor ones) was out in force, lending their support to the event by showing not just their latest ranges, but in some cases, fully working prototypes of future releases.
Pioneer took centre stage in this respect, by showcasing their forthcoming 4 channel AV mixer, the SVM-1000 (previewed here). Two were on show. The main one, hooked up to ’nuff plasma, DVJ and CDJ decks, was masterfully demoed throughout the event, by DVJs Kriel and Dan Tait.
DVJ Kriel demonstrates the Pioneer SVM-1000. Photo: Lisa Loco
DVJ Dan Tait demonstrates the Pioneer SVM-1000. Photo: Lisa Loco
A second SVM-1000 (hooked up to a pair of DVJ-1000s and a huge Pioneer Plasma screen) was available for everyone to play with. Unsurprisingly, this drew the assembled masses like DJs to a honey trap, ensuring that Pioneer’s stand was the busiest and buzziest at the show.
Crowds at the Pioneer stand. Photo: Lisa Loco
Audio Innovate AEM 100i.
Having noticed its built in Pro X crossfader (one of the best) and two seriously killer oscillators, I just had to give it, and the two turntables to which it was connected, a spin…well it would have been churlish not to…and the next thing I knew, I found myself doing an unofficial product demo…as the distributors turned it up and people stopped to check out, photograph and video me and my legendary turntablist skillz. Stay tuned for a full review soon.
Talking of turntablist skillz, over at the DMC stand, the equally legendary Cutmaster Swift was drawing a large crowd of his own and watching him up close and personal, going to town on a pair of original Planet Rock 12″ was a real privilege.
Several stands featured iPod controllers, the most convincing of which was the Cortex HDTT-5000. Resembling a CDJ, but without the CD, it enables you to plug in an iPod/USB stick/hard drive, then select, loop and scratch your tracks.
Two HDTT-5000s can be connected together (one as the master, one as the slave), allowing you to mix two different tracks, from the same iPod, which is pretty handy. Unfortunately though, the decks don’t allow you to control software on a laptop, which, as I told them, is a missed opportunity.
Denon‘s DN HS 5500 (due out next month), on the other hand allows you to do just that. Based on their DN S3500, it features a CD sized, direct drive, spinning platter, with 2.5KG torque and full vinyl emulation.
Denon DN HS5500.
Because it outputs all platter movements as MIDI data, it can be used to control hard drives, computer software and MIDI devices (in fact everything but iPods) and will ship with a choice of two interchangeable modules. Exactly what these will be, Denon are remaining tight lipped about, though one might reasonably expect a CD player and a hard drive. However, judging by their reactions to my questions, a DVD player module is not on the cards…or at least it wasn’t until I asked… Nor are they currently planning to include with it, a CD containing MIDI maps for popular pieces of software such as Traktor, Live, Reason, Resolume, etc., though I think I may have convinced them that it is a good idea for them to do so.
M Audio Torq.
It can be controlled by a variety of hardware surfaces, including the award winning Exponent (which they also distribute). Stay tuned for reviews of these soon.
M Audio Xponent.
Finally, Mixmash, Europe’s premiere supplier of legal music videos on DVD, were launching their innovative new Clipmash service, which enables VJs to go online and compile bespoke DVDs, which are then delivered to their door.
Clipmash by Mixmash.
In addition to stands, there were seminars, some of which were relevant to club DJs, others to mobile DJs. Since these are, for the most part, two very different market sectors, with only minimal crossover, it would probably make sense to arrange them into two separate tracks at next year’s event.
Of the ones I attended, Roger Brooks, smoothly and knowledgably presented “Getting On The Air,” contained sound advice for DJs seeking to get into radio. Mark Luvdup‘s “The VJ, Past, Present & Future,” won the award for most amusing seminar, courtesy of his co-presenter, who took every available opportunity to explain, in detail, how to do everything illegal that it’s possible to do with video; and DJ Academy‘s Andy King & Damien Deighan got the prize for best seminar, thanks to their excellent presentation ‘Self Promotion’…something they do almost as flawlessly as myself…
Mark Luvdup. Photo: Lisa Loco
So in answer to the question I got asked most at the event, yes you can have your photo taken with me…and in answer to question I was asked second most…PLASA is dead! Long live BPM!
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