DJ’s usually trash other DJ’s who eschew turntables in favor of iPods and laptops–the idea being something like: “Man, to feel the music, you gotta have old school skills and really feel it.”
Bullshit. That’s like saying to really experience the essential genius of the wheel, you shouldn’t power your car with an engine; instead, you should punch a hole in the floor and use your feet.
But maybe a little tech could step in and bridge the divide between old-school snobs and next-gen DJ’s. For his senior thesis project at the Kansas City Art Institute, designer Gerg Kaufman created a supremely slick touch-screen interface, which would allow any traveling DJ to carry their entire equipment kit in a carry-on:
As you can see from the video, the interface design is remarkably simple–and far more intuitive than other concepts out there.
Beat-matching–the main thing that paired turntables are useful for–which is otherwise really complex can be accomplished with a couple taps. The blob-like depicting each track gives you a visual cue about what portion you’re looking to loop and sample; and a number of complex music-making tools are available via tappable icons.
In short, this does the work of both a pair of turntables, and digital mixers that allow DJ’s to build complex tracks on the fly via densely layered samples and loops.