Create Digital Music » Record as Record Player: DIY Turntable, Donuts for Serato in New Releases
Record giant Universal Music Group is cutting prices on the CD, as analysts clamor for still-lower prices. But as for actual records – the kind made of vinyl – odder and odder innovations flourish. If the CD is dying, the vinyl record is an undead, sexually-alluring vampire.
Two recent releases not only treat the record as “delivery mechanism,” but also tools for playing the record.
The late hip hop great J Dilla (aka Jay Dee) gets a well-deserved tribute from his label Stones Throw, complete with some fantastic, unreleased instrumentals (“Safety Dance”, “Sycamore”, “Bars & Twists,” and remastered cuts for Mos Def, Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes). But, working in collaboration with Serato, this release also takes note of the people actually buying records these days: DJs. There are beautiful, donut-themed slipmats. (As far as I’m concerned, anything featuring donuts earns automatic bonus points. Mmmmm… donuts.) The records themselves, meanwhile, are dual-sided. When you want to hear the record, play it face up. When you want to use DJ software, flip it for Serato control tone. (Officially, that works with Serato Scratch Live DJ, but it’ll also work with the open-source Mixxx and Deckadance apps, too.)
It’s a fascinating idea: make the record itself friendly to vinyl and digital turntablists. Of course, if you’re a digital DJ, I imagine you already have the control records you need, but — you still get those tasty donut slipmats. And it is a reminder (as if you needed one) that DJs are keeping the record format alive. Massive CD sales may have been the domain of the m