Pioneer’s DDJ-SB2 Controller and Serato DJ is the perfect Set-Up for Beginners

Pioneer are a top of the range DJ Software company and until a few years back there low range equipment hasn’t really received any praise until the release of the DDJ- SB2 in Mid 2015. This low cost controller works with Serato to combine the best beginner DJ experience to learn and improve on.

The DDJ-SB2 is loaded with features such as; filter fade, Serato DJ FX, manual and auto loop, slip mode and a talk-over function amongst many other things. You can lay your hands on one of these bad boys for around just £200 and at that price, this controller is definitely the best thing on the market. Being a DJ myself I have a number of decks and controllers and actually out of all the controllers including much more high range decks, I prefer the SB2.

Some of the major benefits of this deck is that its small, light and easy to transport, this makes it great for just being able to turn up at gigs or friends party’s and plug in via usb with just this and your laptop. The controller is compatible with both Mac and Window’s and is easy to set up within minutes.

There are a number of options with the Serato software, you can either use Serato Intro which enables you to use Basic FX Pack, 4 Samples and Cue Points, Basic Sync, 2 display modes and 2 or 4 deck control. If you wish to upgrade to full ‘Serato DJ Suite’ it then boosts these functions giving you such upgrades as Full FX packs, Slip Mode, Remote Support, Quantize and Serato Video for just over £10 a month.

One thing I find i really enjoy about the full package is ‘Slip Mode’, this allows you slip back and forth between your cue points without the track stopping, so after releasing your cue your track continues to where it would have been if the cue had not been enabled. Here’s a link to a Slip Mode Tutorial – Slip Mode Youtube Tutorial.

The SB2 in whole is a great controller especially with Serato DJ, the versatility of the controller of brilliant and very responsive, I would thoroughly suggest every aspiring DJ having a go on this controller. If you want to learn more about the DDJ SB2, I will leave a few links below to videos and websites to get you started and up and running.

Pioneer DDJ-SB2 Official Introduction

Serato DDJ SB2 Walk-through

Pioneer Official Website

BMG’s CEO says major labels need ‘wake-up call’ on artists’ streaming percentages

BMG’s CEO – Hartwig Masuch says it’s artist take more than 75% of all online streaming revenue and that major labels need to address the situation that other artist’s are still receiving nothing from online streaming.

In the last few years, major music labels have posted higher financials then ever before, this is due to the massive spike in the use of online streaming services such as Spotify and Napster. So if the labels are getting so much money from this new era of music then why are artist still getting paid very little or nothing from this massive market.

Spotify currently contains over 20 million songs from all over the world and is one of the largest streaming services. So with all this new music being listened to in the new digital world surely the artist should benefit as times move forward.

Artist’s are now starting to wonder why this is, and for a simple reason, the argument of production cost cannot be used because compared to CD’s, uploading music to streaming services is considerably lower than the cost of warehouse’s and production line’s. Masuch stated “Scale is not working.  You have to massively bring down the cost base.  Digital is portrayed as very complex… but if you take that cost out, how do you justify such a low rate?  Why in the hell would an artist decide to take less than 75 per cent?  That becomes a very hard discussion.”

He also says “Next-generation artists know what they want and they know how to get it.” Masuch thinks that all artist should be getting over 50% revenue on streaming services and doesn’t know why this isn’t already happening. By releasing stats saying that BMG are paying their artist’s over 75% of streaming revenue, this should set the bar on where other major label’s should be working towards.

A good example of this is the lead singer ‘Chris Difford’ from Squeeze who co-wrote ‘Up the Junction’ and ‘Tempted’ but only receives £1.50 for every 6000 streams. Head of Kobalt ‘Paul Hitchman’ however argues that traditional record deals offer something very different to streaming platforms and that streaming platforms are a good way for up and coming artist’s to make their own way and a decent wage. He did then say that labels should not underestimate the power of online streaming services and that major labels should expect more artist’s to be turning down contracts due to this low revenue via streaming.

So if artist’s push for the higher revenue via digital streaming will they succeed and will labels move with the times and realise that changes might be necessary to keep them alive.

Get a 50% Discount on Spotify Premium Plan via their Student Plan in 33 New Countries

Spotify has opened up their student pricing option to students in 33 new territories are in Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Oceana.

The Student plan allows students to receive 50% off a Spotify premium plan. This has been live in the US, UK and Germany for some time.

The full list follows:

  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey

Apple Makes All iWork, iMovie and GarageBand Apps FREE for All on Mac and iOS

Apple has quietly made all of their iWork, iMovie and GarageBand apps on Mac and iOS free for all customers on both platforms.

iWork is a suite of productivity apps – Numbers, Keynote and Pages — meant to rival Microsoft Office and Google Docs. Making these apps free now lifts the barrier to entry, so it will be very interesting to see if adoption rises at a rapid pace.

Below is a list of the now free apps, along with the software version requirements needed to run the latest versions:

  • iWork Mac: macOS 10.12 or later
  • iWork iOS: iOS 10.0 or later
  • iMovie Mac: macOS 10.11.2 or later
  • iMovie iOS: iOS 9.3 or later
  • GarageBand Mac: macOS 10.10 or later
  • GarageBand iOS: iOS 10.2 or later

Facebook Announces Spotify Music Bot for Facebook Messenger

Facebook has announced that Spotify has a bot for letting friends discover and share music directly in their chats. The Spotify bot will be able to serve up music recommendations based on mood, activity, or genres, or you can search across Spotify’s catalog to share songs, albums and playlists with your friends in your Messenger chat.

The new bot, however, brings the search and discovery features into Messenger itself, instead of being an external experience.