Network: All mixed up, but still wondrous
My Technology; DJ Carl Cox tells why his sounds will never be `phased' out
Monday 05 October 1998
Most people have trouble using the left and right, up and down and the EQ - the graphic equaliser, bass and treble - and concentrate on what they are doing with the mix. I have that down to pat, so I'm looking at other ways in which I can be more creative.
This machine costs between pounds 800-pounds 1,000. Although a half-decent mixer without the special effects box would cost you about pounds 400, it could cost as much as pounds 2,000-3,000 to get all the effects separately. An example of built-in effects is a function to delay two records (a delay is when one record is a beat behind the other record). Normally, you would do this manually. But you can make the mixer do the work - it's like automatic driving.
There is also a phase effect which joins two signals together so you can flange two records at the same time. A flange is when a signal goes into the playing record and the flanger changes the frequencies, so you get a swirling effect. There are different styles of flanging. For example, with two records exactly the same, if you move one forward or back on a turntable, you can create an effect. Again, it could be done by hand, but it's hard.
The pitch shifter is the one thing you don't have access to on the decks. With this machine I can take a voice and pitch it down two octaves to make someone sound like Barry White, or up an octave for a Pinkie and Perky effect. The pitch shifter means you can have great fun with beats, rhythms, bass lines and sound when playing the record out. It changes the whole concept of the sound people are used to hearing. No other mixer has this effect. It's amazing. It allows me to push myself a bit more and be more wondrous.
I use the mixer according to the nature and aura of that particular night. Because of the my status, I can play Des O'Connor and they still dance. They know what to expect. But if I really push the elements and overuse the mixer, a lot of them aren't used to it.
When you DJ for an hour or hour and half, you get the feel of the crowd and can then start to get more creative. You never know what to do, but at some point it starts to feel comfortable and you might begin flanging or delaying a few things. People pick up on it, especially when listening to records they know.
As soon as I heard about the DJ500 mixer I got on to it straight away. Normally I would think "not another mixer on the market". For instance, Pioneer has these CD players called CDJ500 which allow you to loop, sample and mix CDs.
You can DJ with CDs, but it's so much fuss. It's like operating a box of number configurations and it's very cold and calculating. Unless you are that way inclined, what comes out is quite mechanical. I have never seen anyone use CDs in a live situation when it worked well, and they tend to struggle. I just wouldn't be enjoying myself, which is the bottom line.
So this mixer in a sense has changed my perception of what a DJ can do live. And for me, having got used to it, it takes me a little bit beyond what many DJs can achieve.
If someone hears a record they know and you have done something to make them hear it differently, then people get interested in what you have created. It makes people think you are working for a living, and not just being a DJ who stands there.
Carl Cox will be appearing at the Lynx music event, Location Apollo, on 17 October. Further information is available on the Lynx hotline (0845 6000260)
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 2 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
- 4 Yes, the iPhone 6 is a miracle, but it's Apple's tax affairs that deserve a double take
- 5 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Before They Pass Away: In pictures
Kylie Minogue, Kiss Me Once tour, London O2 - review: Pop princess still reigns supreme
Miranda Hart and Sarah Millican lead female comedy breakthrough
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'
The Simpsons death: Character killed off - but not the one you thought
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >