To many electronic musicians who were raised in the age of vinyl and analogue, modern DJ software – with its automatic beat-detection and instant sync buttons – can seem like it's designed to remove all skill from the art of mixing. Understandably, there are plenty out there who believe that DJing in the 21st century is less about musical skill than it is the art of posing behind a controller and pretending you're actually doing something.
While it's true that there are DJs out there, including some high-profile names, that take advantage of these technological advances in order to get an easy ride, it's certainly not the case across the board. In fact, not only does digital technology not negate traditional DJ skills, but it opens up a near endless world of creative potential and artistic opportunity, and it's precisely this aspect of modern DJing that we're exploring in this month's cover feature, Beyond The Sync Button.
All of that said, it wouldn't feel like FM if we spent the whole issue dwelling purely in the digital realm, would it? To redress the balance we've got some killer analogue gear on our test bench this month. Check out this month's review section for our verdict on Elektron's Analog RYTM drum machine (spoiler: it's great) and the latest in Arturia's line of analogue hardware, the MiniBrute SE.
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Beyond The Sync Button – In our guide to DJing in the digital age we explore the advanced and creative features of Traktor and Serato, and show you how to use them to take your sets to the next level
Parallel Universe – Get creative with our expert guide to envelope shaping
Producer's Guide To... Maschine – Part 2: Mixing and arranging
In The Studio With Perc – Producer, DJ and Perc Trax-boss Ali Wells, aka Perc, shows us around his London studio
Todd Terje – The Norwegian House producer reveals the synths and sounds behind It's Album Time
Classic Album – Plaid duo Ed Handley and Andy Turner talks us through their classic Warp debut Not For Threes
- Elektron Analog RYTM
- Arturia MiniBrute SE
- Rob Papen Blue II
- UAD-2 Dangerous BAX EQ Collection
- Sinevibes Hexonator
- Korg RK100S
- Pioneer RMX-500
- And more...
Rave Synths – Acid leads, D'n'B basses, euphoric pads and more in this energetic pack of instruments
Alarms and Sirens – Add some drama to your tracks with these unique FX
UK Urban – R'n'B and Hip-Hop sounds with a British flavour