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Tools of the Trade

Finding the perfect budget DJ mixer under $300

By Jason Black
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Hunting for the perfect budget mixer? DJ Tech Tools has got you covered in an extensive new gear wrap-up. In it, the SF-based DJ culture and online community site searches far-and-wide for the best DJ mixers under $300. Pioneer, Numark, and DJ Tech, among others all make the cut. Check out the DJ Tech Tools budget mixer roundup here.

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Tools of the Trade

Review: The XDJ-R1 puts Pioneer's professional features in the beginner's reach

By Glenn Jackson
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Whether it’s the CDJ-2000 decks, the DJM-2000 or DJM-900 mixers, or really any other piece from of the company’s growing lineup, Pioneer‘s DJ equipment has served as the industry standard for some time, making it a ubiquitous presence in almost every club booth worth stepping to. Still, the price tags on the company’s premium units have long kept beginning DJs at bay, forcing them to learn another system only to have to adjust to the idiosyncrasies of Pioneer gear when they finally have their chance to mix in a professional booth. To that end, Pioneer’s XDJ-R1 DJ system is here to help close that gap, offering a streamlined version of the company’s renowned mixers, decks, and FX in an affordable mobile package that comes with a few of its own tricks up its sleeves.

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Tools of the Trade

Producer Nick Hook reviews the Bass Bot TT-303 clone of Roland's TB-303

By Beatport News Editors
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The Roland TB-303 was introduced in the early ’80s to help guitar players have a little buddy to play bass along with them—but they hated it. Then some cats in Chicago picked it up and started making house with it and acid was born. Fast-forward 20 years, long after the original was taken out of production, and we have a million clones on the market: from the plugin, to the one that looks like a pizza box, to the x0xb0x, and on down the list to today’s review subject, Cyclone Analogic’s Bass Bot TT-303.

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Tools of the Trade

Here's what the new Elektron Analog Rytm drum machine sounds like

By Beatport News Editors
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Swedish company Elektron is one of the finest purveyors of analog music-making equipment on the market these days, so it’s no surprise that gear heads everywhere are salivating over the upcoming release of the Analog Rytm drum machine. Few have actually heard the piece in action, though, but now you can—sorta. Elektron just released some of the sounds of the unit onto their SoundCloud page, which you can peruse here.

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Tools of the Trade

Eight turntables that won't break the bank or mess up your records

By Beatport News Editors
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Sure, everyone’s got their favorite killer DJ turntables, but not everyone can afford the highest-end platters. And naturally, some folks aren’t looking to rock a club every night—they may just wanna put on their prized vinyl copy of Selected Ambient Works Vol. II and sit back and zone out. For them, FACT’s sister organization The Vinyl Factory recently wrapped up the eight best budget turntables that won’t ruin your records, and they all come in under £400.

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Tools of the Trade

Bitwig Studio launches today, claims to be "the next generation of music creation software"

By Glenn Jackson
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Long in development, the cross-platform Bitwig Studio production software has officially launched this week. Designed by a team in Berlin (which includes a number of Ableton Live’s original developers), Bitwig Studio 1.0 is said to offer “unprecedented workflow possibilities that breakthrough through creative boundaries, offering a fresh start using the latest development tools of today.”

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Hot Since 82 pays a visit to Dave Smith Instruments in San Francisco

By Ken Taylor
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San Francisco’s Dave Smith is a synthesizer pioneer par excellence, responsible for some of the biggest advancements in musical technology ever, including founding the legendary gear-maker Sequential Circuits and inventing the MIDI protocol. Hot Since 82 (aka Daley Padley) is a house producer and DJ from Yorkshire, England, who, up until now, has produced his tracks entirely in-the-box. So when Padley recently stopped through San Francisco to promote his Little Black Book album, we got the two gear fanatics together at Smith’s lab to compare notes on the analog-vs.-digital world.

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