Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year MMXI !!!

Just wanna say a short HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011!

So today will be 1/1/11 - its not gonna happen for another 1000 years so I might as well post this!!!

Again, Happy New Year, 2010 was awesome, 2011 will rock!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Native Instruments / Traktor Scratch Stickers!!!

Lookie lookie! I just received in the mailbox from native instruments:

hmmm an envelope from Germany? I wonder what's inside...


Is this... the infamous APPLE Native Instruments Sticker!!???

Yes They Are! And this is it on my Macbook Pro : Nice right? :D

Native Instruments have kindly sent me a huge set of Traktor Scratch stickers, The best one of all is the one i showed above : A clear, apple shaped Sticker, with a BLACK Native Instruments Logo in the middle of it, specifically made for Macbook / Macbook Pro's - Very nice!

How did I get them? well rumor has it that if you e-mail them and be nice (and have a few of their products of course) , they MIGHT send you some...  Feel free to try! :D

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World : MOVIE OF THE YEAR!!! (ok maybe not but its pretty damn good)

I actually didnt know about this movie until my friend told me about it, for some weird reason they didnt play this movie in Singapore?? I watched it - and i must say THIS MOVIE IS BLOODY BRILLIANT!! That's all i can say about it - if you havent seen it - GO SEE IT NOW!!! Yes - It's that good :D


its now available in DVD/Blue ray

Kurzweil KS-40A reference monitors (mini-review)

I have been reading positive reviews about the Kurzweil KS40A speakers, at the same time I was on the hunt for a pair of monitor speakers but since i just spent a fortune on a brand new Macbook Pro, I either have to cope with a cheap speaker or Go rob a bank.

Fortunately, i learnt that you dont have to rob a bank to get really good quality speakers!!

Check out what i just bought today:

The packaging

Dont let the packaging fool you! These are probably the best speakers you can buy for below $100 SGD, thats right, i bought them for just SGD$95! (equates to USD $70) from Citymusic (singapore). Of course if you have the cash to spend then i would recommend getting the Yamaha HS50M instead (which costs more than 4 times!) but if you want something NOW that's cheap and is worth every cent - This is it!

Inside the box

Before i started studying audio engineering, I was one of those guys with I-WANT-MORE-BAAAASS syndrome , meaning i didnt care much about the clarity of the sound that was being outputted and bass was all that important, today as I learn about audio mixing and production, I realized the importance of CLARITY and Flat frequency response , well for $95 SGD these bad boys are flatter than kate moss' boobs!!

These speakers are very clean, very balanced, and just sound AWESOME! They simply outperformed every other speaker in its price range, and even the ones which are more expensive! I compared this to the Creative gigaworks T20 (about the same price), even outperformed the Gigaworks T40 (about twice the price) and the kurzweil kills the creative speakers hands down!!  FATALITY!!! FINISH HIM!! *electronic blood splatters everywhere*

This is how they look like - plain and simple!

The speakers are 10W each only, meaning there wont be much bass, but at the same time its a good thing because the sound wont be drowned in all the bass like those typical creative 2.1 speaker + sub combo! You can still hear substantial amount of bass, not too much, just right, and there's a knob at the back to adjust if you want more, but personally i recommend leaving it at the default setting

If you are looking for a decent, super cheap speakers that are worth their price, then you should try to locate a dealer that sells these and give them a listen - chances are you will love them! Again for mixing purposes i will still recommend the Yamaha HS50m over this anytime for its clarity, but the Yamaha costs about four times as much as the Kurzweils, which is understandable! But for the price & value thing, Kurzweil KS40A's ROCK!

I have tested the kurzweil KS40A's for listening to music with really nice results, I also tried hooking up my Traktor S4 dj controller to the KS40A's and the combination of NI Soundcard + Good speakers gives a really nice clean output! So Traktor S4 owners looking for a cheap speaker for bedroom practicing~ This is a good one!

This will do fine until i get my hands on a Yamaha HS80 :) which i will do get in a few months!

Kurzweil KS-40A / KS40A Mini Review By Ivan Zilch

Kurzweil for specs and more info

For those in Singapore you can check

Friday, December 3, 2010

Review: Sega Arcade Nano by AtGames! Pocket sized Retro gaming!

Look at how small they are!!!!

The AV Cable plugs right at the back of the unit

The kind guys from AtGames (the creator of SEGA Firecore Gopher i reviewed in the past) have sent me some samples of their new products : Arcade Nano series. They come in several different flavours, the one i received were Virtual Fighter 2 , Sonic the Hedgehog , and Ecco the Dolphin. Yes, all are Sega's famous mascots and each "nano arcade" contains 10 Games: 5 authentic sega games and 5 bonus mini games.

Ecco , Virtua Fighter 2, and Sonic Nano Arcades!
The back of the packaging

Arcade Nano?
At first glance the arcade nano series looks like a retro style, miniature joystick we used to find at the arcade centres. Most people at first would simple think that they are novelty keychains for retro gamers. One cool thing is that : yes they are keychains, but they also play FULL SEGA GAMES when connected to a TV!

Compared to my hand : so small!!!
Comes in many fruity flavors!!

The list of games available:

Nano Arcade Sonic Set :
  • Sonic
  • Sonic 2
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Alex Kidd

Nano Arcade Virtua Fighter Set :
  • Virtua Fighter 2
  • Shinobi 3
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe 3
  • Alien Storm

Nano Arcade Ecco the dolphin set:
  • Ecco the dolphin
  • Ecco Jr
  • Flicky
  • Puyo Puyo
  • Columns

As you can see they all have a good range of titles on each set, plus on top of them you get 5 extra mini games with each set (all different) making a total of 10 games per set. I personally find the mini games passable compared to the full blown sega games, but that is just a personal prefference

I must say that each set has their own classic games that a lot of people love, most people would be familiar with the blue hedgehog's set, as it has a lot of the sonic games and also the classic game ALEX KIDD!

Action game addicts would find the virtua fighter 2 set appealing, with included classics like golden axe and shinobi included!!

Those who love the classic puzzle games Columns and Puyo puyo might find the Ecco set very interesting

They are powered by one AAA battery, which will last you many hours of gameplay (so all you need is a tv) , the thing i can think about with these is when you are travelling overseas and find a tv in you hotel, by hooking up the included av cable you can enjoy some retro gaming on your hotel tv to kill time!


Game selection: This is what you see when you turn on the unit

Emulation :
The arcade nano series does a good job of emulating the sega graphics, even on bigger screen tvs, i personally tested this on a 32 inch flatscreen tv and the result is good, of course you cant compare 16 bit games to BLACK OPs! (LOL) but the graphics are comparable to the real sega, the only downside is the audio, the audio seems a bit slower than that of the original sega genesis, but other than that they are reproduced quite well, in mono (it comes with a mono cable only).

The mini joystick and buttons are pretty responsive, although they can be a tad small for people with massive handz like me), but even so i was able to throw special moves on virtua fighter quite well with this small joystick, they are pretty responsive, although very small! Also the av cable they supplied is a tad too short for people with very large tv like mine, you might end up holding the joystick too close to the screen,  if only they give a much longer cable then it would be really really awesome!

Well this is what the arcade nano is good at , they seem to pack some quality titles with each arcade nano, classic such as SHINOBI 3, Golden Axe, Golden axe 3 and alien storm are all present on the Virtua Fighter set, for example, i personally loved those games many years ago as a kid and its good to be able to play them all over again now.  The sonic set will prove to be popular as well, as it contains many classic sonic games (no sonic 3 though? ). Due to the small size of the unit, there is NO two player option.

This is how gameplay looks like on a big screen tv!

Value for money:
They are selling for USD $15 to $19 on amazon or the internet, so they are pretty damn cheap, if you have any retro gamer friend that you wanna give a christmast present to, these would be great! Remember that each set has 5 full games and 5 bonus mini games - not bad!

Who is it for?
The label at the back says "Age 6 and above" but while they are fine for little kids, these nano arcades will appeal the most for those who lived thru and survived the 8bit/16bit era (Like me!). For example, my older sister, whose first experience with gaming was the ATARI 2600, loves these Arcade Nano machines, she is one of those many who find the newer generation of consoles too complicated and too much emphasis on HD Graphics etc, For her retro gaming was what's its all about. I am sure we all know a few people like these, if not ourselves!

  • Small nano-sized, cute looking and doubles as an uber-cool retro keychain!
  • Good selection of Games on each set, many awesome classics!
  • Low price, packed full of retro goodness,  makes an AWESOME gift for retro gamers!
  • Awesome novelty item for sega hardcore fans!!

  • AV Cable supplied a tad too short
  • although acceptable, Sound emulation a bit slower than normal sega

(you can find them for as low as $15/$16 usd on amazon or the web!! If you decide to buy one, make sure to compare first and get the lowest prices possible!)
Sapphire Ar8101 Arcade Nano Vf2
Sapphire Ar8102 Arcade Nano Sonic
Sapphire Ar8103 Arcade Nano Columns

AtGames Sega Arcade Nano Review by Ivan Zilch

AtGames (The creator of Sega Firecore Gopher) told me they are releasing the new and improved GOPHER 2011 very soon, which I've been told has been fixed and way improved than the previous version. Are we finally going to see the ULTIMATE Portable Sega genesis gaming? We shall see in about 3 weeks time - review coming up soon!

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Review: Linkin Park : A Thousand Suns , Album of the year??

    Okay, I know this album is pretty old by now, but i just wanted to take my time to listen to it over and over and over so that I can give a proper review on it, in fact I have been listening to this album on a daily basis lately and I think that justifies a review!

    So is this album any good? Well I honestly I think it is one of the best Linkin Park album I ever heard! If you don't like it, then you really need to just sit down and have a listen to the whole album, and then listen again, this is one of those album that gets better and better with each listen! personally when i first bought the album i was skipping through most of the tracks and was puzzled by the amount of "fillers" in the album, from the whole album there's probably 9 full length tracks and about 6 "interludes"

    Well i said interludes instead of fillers the second time because the interludes themselves are pretty damn awesome if you actually listen to them!
    Aniways - i was skipping through most of the tracks at first and thought "uh... this album's not so good" but later on i took the time to actually sit down and listen to each and every one of the tracks in the album, and realized how good they actually are!! This album just grows on you, it might not make such a big impact if you just listen to short parts of the songs or a little bit here and there, you actually have to listen and digest it at least once, and then the goodness just flows in!!

    The whole album is EPIC, although there are many stand out tracks like the drumbeat-happy "when they come for me" , the super-epic soon-to-be-anthem "Iridescent", "Burning In the Skies", and "waiting for the end" were among my favorites. The only bad thing about this album is that there aren't enough songs!!!

    I was hoping for at least 12 to 13 full length tracks instead of just 9, but i guess quality matters more than quantity?  We just want more stuff to listen to, now we'll have to wait for the next album for more LP material!

    So the verdict : This is one of the best Album EVER released, its a masterpiece! Its a definite must have either if you are an old time Linkin Park Fan or if you never heard of them before (Is that possible?? lol)
    If you think you did listen to it and didn't like it, give it a chance and have a listen one more time, you'll be surprised how they get better with each listen!!! Im not kidding!!

    Score: 9/10
    (If they had put more tracks in then it'd be a perfect 10!! Even with the interludes the album is too short!!)

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Linkin Park Gundam Collector's Edition!


    What happen if you combine two of the most awesome things into one : Linkin Park + Gundam?

    The Limited Edition A Thousand Suns Gundam Model Kit + CD set!!

    I have been listening to A Thousand Suns over and over and i must say that is is a MASTERPIECE! It took some time for me to digest the album, but after a few listens, I think I'm loving the new Linkin Park Sound!!

    more on article HERE

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Sunny D and Rum! Yum Yum!

    This song has been stuck in my head, its SOOOO FUNNNY !!!!

    L O L !

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Dead Pixel, I hate you!

    Im sure we've all heard this before: you just bought a brand sparkling new Macbook Pro, spent heaps of money on it, took it home happily, turned it on, and a single dead black pixel smack in the middle stares at you. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

    That's what happened to me the other day actually, weird coz i have never had any dead pixel issues with any electronic devices before (except for some cheap chinese PMP but i suppose apple should have a higher standard??) so this really made me angry

    So i went to the shop that i bought it for and they refused to give me a replacement unit at first, instead they asked me to go to apple directly and sort this out. So i did. Apple refused to replace my unit because "i didnt buy it straight from there, therefore the reseller is responsible to replace" . What the??? Basically i was just bounced around like a PingPong Ball between these two places

    so  i called apple service centre again, and this time i was SHOUTING like a mofo, screaming and told them i paid full price for a professional product yet they failed to provide me with one, instead i got a product with a visible dead pixel in the middle of the screen and its driving me crazy

    after hours on the phone and shouting, they finally approved to replace my unit with a brand new unit (they offered a refurbished unit but i told them i paid for a brand new product and i shall receive one, i will not accept some refurbished bullcrap)

    at the end i did get my brand new, sparkling Macbook Pro, DEAD PIXEL FREE!

    So lesson learned: When you buy a Macbook (or any kind of electronic device in that matter) , make sure you turn it on and inspect for dead pixels immediately BEFORE PAYING, and REFUSE to pay if there's a dead pixel and demand a new unit! My biggest mistake was hastily taking home the Macbook Pro and installing Traktor S4 on it (hahaha) and then noticed the dead pixel later on.

    So yeah, NO ONE SHOULD Have to cope with a single (or more) dead pixel staring at you , especially if the product is brand new!

    Apparently Apple has a very strict policy about this, a leaked document shows that they are not willing to replace units with less than 5 dead pixels....

    Anyway, Apple makes good products (i love my iMac, iPhone 4, and the dead pixel free macbook pro!) but just make sure you get what you paid for, apple products arent cheap and you should not receive a product if it has any kind of defects, even if its just a single pixel!

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Technics being Discontinued, the next DJing icon: The Macbook???

    Just something that came across my mind~

    As we all heard already, technics is apparently being discontinued, as the sales of turntables are declining sharp (most of the kids these days go for the pioneer cdjs or straight to digital).

    As more and more options becoming available to dj, turtables arent so popular anymore, with the rise of digital djing, midi controllers, and Pioneer CDJs, now you dont even have to own a piece of vinyl to be called a dj~ hmmm...... sad!

    Perhaps one of the contributor to the rise of digital djing, and the downfall of the spinning black plate is... yes that's right, STEVE JOBS!!! (apple)

    of course pioneer CDJs have a part in being the "industry standard" but after awhile people got sick of burning cds, and that's when DJ softwares came in and offer DJs a method of organizing everything easily... Digital vinyl systems became pretty much a standard, but as CDJs are getting more "industry standard", less and less clubs have working turntables coz most people use the turntables merely as a stand to put their heavy CD WAllets!

    Thanks to apple macbook's reliability, more and more dj's are switching to digital over the years, and the once iconic djing icon such as the technics turntables have been replaced by a glowing apple logo in the dark club, from such DJs such as Steve Aoki, Dubfire, Pete Tong, whatever software they use, they have one thing in common : They all use Macbooks! The macbook is slowly becoming a standard in DJing,  as digital djing becomes acceptable, just as how cd djing becomes acceptable to vinyl djs in the past. What will the future hold? We can only wait and see

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    DJ Zany on Traktor Scratch Pro!

    Wow, this is new, i really didnt know that the legendary hardstyler DJ Zany used Traktor until today, he's running four decks on two Kontrol X1's - Nice! It's interesting to see more of the hard dance DJ's switching to digital!

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    Daft Punk to do Tron: Legacy soundtrack!!!!

    It's official!!! Im probably the last one to know about this: the uber cool duo DAFT PUNK are doing the Tron: Legacy soundtrack!

    Can't believe i didnt know about it till last week!!


    The soundtrack will be officially out on December 7th 2010: Watch out!!!

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    Native Instruments Kontrol S4 : Review!!

    So i got the Traktor Kontrol S4 Today!!

    One thing i must say : AMAZING! I feel like this is THE hardware incarnation of software, everything works in harmony with the software!

    I actually sold my Traktor Scratch Pro set and my Kontrol X1 and put some money on top to get the S4, it was probably the best decision I ever made, if you love Traktor then THIS IS Traktor as it meant to be experienced! 4 Deck madness with 4 Dedicated Upfaders , 4 Sets of EQs and Filters on each decks!

    Here is my comments on the Kontrol S4 unit:

    Buttons/Pads: A little stiff, they are rubbery and decent sized, but they really are a bit stiff! perhaps in time they will get better as i wear them out (maybe??), but for now they need some pressure to register the press, trying to smash the buttons wont rapidly dont work too well! (If you think you will hate this - PLEASE try before you buy!!!)

    Pots/Knobs: Awesome! Similiar to the X1, the knobs are really nice,  its good to have filters on all 4 channels, although the position of the filter kinda takes some time to get used to , i kept on thinking to lowest knob is the LOW eq!

    Upfaders: A bit  Stiff! I suspect they will get smoother over time,  it could be good or bad, for me its good because i mix mainly on upfaders so some resistance is good for control, but if you plan to scratch with the faders maybe its kinda hard, then again this unit was not built for heavy duty scratching!

    Pitch Sliders: KINDA SHORT - Nice smooth with a fair bit of resistance, no ZERO click (why???) - personally i like pitch faders to have that zero/center click so that i can neutralize the track (put it back to zero) without looking at it . For those who are used to mixing on cdjs - you will find the pitch slider a tad too short (compared to the standard cdj pitch slider length)

    XFaders: Nice! INSTANT CUT on the sharpest curve! Woohoo! And the fader cap is very Rane TTM56ish! (me Likey!!) although its a shame it seems like it is not user replaceable?

    Jogwheels: For scratching they are okay (kinda like the CDJ400 jogwheels - smaller and a little bit less responsive though) but the size means you wont be able to scratch as good as the full sized decks

    BUT..... For pitch bending the jogwheels SUCK BALLZ!! Seriously they are too loose when pitch bending, when comparing the pitch bending with the cdj400/350 the S4 pales in comparison (even though they are kinda similiar sized) , i hope the future update can fix this!! If you grid your files properly and use sync, you probably wont need the pitch bending, but for some of use who actually like to do manual beatmatching, the sensitivity is really terrible!

    4DECK Layout: Excellent: Apart from having to share pitch sliders, the 4 deck dual layout is pretty damn easy to get used to, when you switch the deck mode the writing DECKA or DECK C lights up, so if you are ever in doubt which deck you are controlling you can always very easily see the S4 for reference! This means controlling 4 decks with the S4 is pretty damn SWEEET!
    Of course adding an X1 on top would probably work better, but if you can bear with working with dual layer layouts, the S4 is THE COMPLETE Package!

    Overall hardware quality: Really nice! Not as heavy as i thought it would be, but feels really great and solid!

    VERDICT: AWESOME!!! The Native Instruments Kontrol S4 is perhaps one of THE BEST midi controller at the moment, very few can compete with its Price/Features/Build Quality etc, and the portability is just awesome, although it is rather large, its not really that heavy at all so carrying them around wont be much problem.

    -No midi mapping, just plug and play! (tested on a mac, 10 min installation and i was up and mixing!!)

    -Awesome Audio Quality, as usual by NI products!

    -FOUR DECKS! (Or two + 2 sample decks) and filters on each deck is a major plus, having dedicated filters on each deck is just SIMPLY AWESOME!

    -Build quality is  great , as usual by native instruments, although the jogwheels can be a bit "fragile" as noted by some users who reported in forums that the jogwheels fell off during transport - in my case i had no problems whatsoever though?

    -Awesome all-in-one solution , awesome hardware integration with all the new features

    -Nice crossfader, for those scratch fanatics : The cut-in is nice and sharp!!

    -Scratchable jogwheel (although its rather small!)

    -Nice Pitch slider, a bit short but pretty smooth (and not too loose like the torq xponent!) If only they put standard length (ie cdj/technics length) pitch sliders with a zero-click then it would be perfect!

    -Jogwheel sensitivity for pitch bending is terrible - too loose! (as of V1.01) - i hope this is fixable!

    -Buttons are a bit stiff, they are responsive but they do need decent amount of pressure to be applied, i have to be honest with this but my Akai LPD8 pads are much more responsive than the S4's! Hmm.. perhaps its just my unit?

    -No centre click for the pitch sliders, some may like it but i do like to now if my track is at 0%! Plus it would be great if they put longer pitch sliders for more controlled pitch adjustments

    -Only two fx banks although im sure they can fit another two somewhere!

    -Middle portion of the controller has a shiny surface, while it looks cool when brand new, very soon fingerprints, smudges, and dirty stuff is gonna ruin that shiny surface!

    -Gain encoders take some time to get used to - they move in such a small increment that adjusting gain is kinda troublesome

    -Faders are not user replaceable - you most probably have to send back the unit to Native Instruments if you need them serviced!

    Who is it for?
    -If you dont scratch and love having 4 full decks at your disposal , the S4 is the ultimate all in one solution! This is perfect for mixing 4 deck styles (hawtin style!) If you were one of those people running 2 X1's and an analog mixer with audio8DJ - this is basically the whole thing combined into one, it does everything!

    -If you do skratch you will have to live with the fact that the S4 is no technics and have a small platter, while you CAN scratch on it, the performance wont be on par with a large spinning plate, but compared to any other midi controller at the moment (except for the VCI300MK2 and the NS7) - this is probably one of the best you can get for midi platters

    -If you are switching from CDJ's to the S4 and are used to manual beatmatching: Keep in mind the jogwheel pitchbending sensitiviy has not been fixed as of version 1.01 and also the pitch slider needs time to get used to for manual beatmatching

    Tip: if you are in singapore, Valentine Music Centre has them in stock and at probably the lowest price in SG!!!

    Native Instruments Kontrol S4 Review by Ivan Zilch

    Sunday, October 31, 2010

    How Young are your EARS? (hearing test)

    Ever wondered how good your hearing is?

    Go to this link below:

    (or click HERE)

    There's a square at the middle of the page that plays frequencies from 11 KHz to  18KHz....

    Can YOU hear all of them?

    to be perfectly honest i can only hear up to 16 KHz... (FAAAAAAARK!) 
    So 17KHz is barely audible to me (i can hear it very very faint and i have to increase the volume a bit). 18KHz does nothing whatsoever to me (and i done this test using proper studio monitors!)

    too much djing and loud music when i was younger has probably effected my hearing to some degree , im 26 years old so an 18 year old could probably hear all of them!

    one thing to note as well, on the higher frequencies (17KHz and above) some pc speakers probably cant generate them, i actually use a studio monitor speakers to listen to them, so if you cant hear 17 on your laptop speakers, do not panic!!! its probably the speakers :D If you have a pair of good dj headphones, you can use them, just make sure to put the volume low as a safety precaution!!!

    if you can hear 18KHz with no problem then your ears are FRESH! Please keep them that way by not over-exposing yourself to extreme loud noises :D

    there are other sites where they go up to 21KHZ but im sure mr google can help you with that  :D

    Saturday, October 30, 2010

    How to move iTunes library from PC to MAC - including all ratings, playlists, tags etc!

    Now that im officially a converted Apple Fanboy (i know!!! shame on me for investing in an iPhone4 and an iMac!) 

    Most of us use iTunes as some sort of song organizing program, its good to keep our tunes neat, tidy and organized! Moving them around though, might look scary to some... The thought of losing all our neatly organized playlists, ratings, tags etc can be pretty scary!

    But worry not! From personal experience, its actually VERY VERY EASY to do!

    So if you are thinking of converting to apple as well and wonder - how do you move your ENTIRE library from PC to Mac  (and vice versa!), Here it is!

    You will need: An external hard drive, formatted at FAT32 for maximum compatibility, how big would be dependent on how large your music library is.

    Step 1: Download iTunes on your mac (doh!) Make sure its the latest version. Also make sure you update your pc's itunes to the latest version for maximum compatibility

    Step 2: Make sure you tick "copy files when adding to iTunes" and then CONSOLIDATE your library so everything is in the iTunes folder!!! This is very important!!!

    Step 3: Copy your whole "iTunes" folder (the folder which contains the folders "album artwork", "iTunes Music" , iTunes Music Library.xml etc 
    on windows they are usually at:

    WIN7: YOURNAME/My Music (locate the "iTunes" folder inside here)

    VISTA (ugh!)  :  YOURNAME/Music/ (the "iTunes" folder will be inside)

    WINXP: Documents and Settings/YOURNAME/My Documents/My Music/ (locate this folder and find "iTunes" inside)

    copy the whole "iTunes" folder into your external hard drive (make sure its FAT32 so that your mac can read it!!!)

    and then after it's done, eject the hard drive from your pc, plug the external hard drive into your mac and drag that very same iTunes folder...

    into "users/YOURNAME/music" (on your MAC!) , make sure iTunes is not running while you are doing this! If it is running, quit first!

    And that's it!

    Now open iTunes and you will see all your PC library, complete with all your complicatedly sorted playlists that you spent hours and hours doing. 

    That wasnt so hard wasnt it? :D

    TIP: If you are a traktor/serato user, all your tags will be intact as well, so your beatgrids and hotcues will be right there where it was! 

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Mixed In Key DJ Contest: Win Awesome Prizes!!

    Follow the above link for the Mixed In Key DJ Contest where you can win many awesome prizes such as the Rane Serato SL3 unit, Allen Heath XONE DX , Ableton Suite 8, and many more!

    All you need to do is submit a mixtape of your fav genre - 10-15 minutes!

    check the link for more details!!! The deadline is NOVEMBER 25 2010, take part so you can win awesome goodies!

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    DJ Shiftee: The Golden Years Video

    This is a really AWESOME and funny vid by Shiftee!!! Basically he re-creates DMC moments from 1988 up until now - EPIC and must watch!!!  - Especially if you follow DMC and have actually seen the original performers being parodied by Shiftee :D

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    So i finally bought an iPhone 4 32GB...

    I was one of those people who thought that "meh - i dont need an iphone"... The only experience i had with the iPhone was with the old iPhone 3G - the battery was pathetic and the camera was a shameful 2MP, plus i already have so many iPods so while other people went nuts over the 3GS - I skipped it altogether and bought a Nokia E72 instead. I liked the ironman battery of the e72, the physical qwerty keyboard, and the 5MP camera.

    However, one day, i went to my local telco Singtel to check on something, and by accident....

    Phone Company Staff: Sir, your phone contract is about to expire! Would you like the iPhone 4 32GB at a ridiculously low price of just SGD $300? *wink wink* If yes you can have it right Now... Now... Now... Now.. (echoes...)

    Me: Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............................  *Long Pause*
    (watching the super long queue of people trying to get a hold of an iPhone 4 in the singtel shop)

    Note: *in singapore iPhones are constantly sold out, even months after it was released, they still sell like hot cakes and gone within seconds!*

    Me: (thought to self: Ah Fudge it!!!) YES PLEAAAAAAAAASE! *cheeky grin*

    and so that's how i ended up with an iPhone 4....

    So far my feedback:

    -Battery is definitely awesome, on VERY HEAVY USAGE (constant youtube vids, facebook, very long browsing, wifi on, playing a lot of games) i still have about 30 percent battery by the end of the day so Yes if you are a heavy user you will at least get though your day with some battery left when you get home!

    -Interface is super fast and zippy : I have yet to experience ANY kind of slowdown whatsoever! Opening apps, opening vids, opening whatever, they load up relatively INSTANT!

    -The Screen is UBER-Awesome! Everything is displayed Razor-sharp!!

    -5 MegaPixel Camera is really good! Takes good quality movies at 30FPS which is a sure win!

    -Awesome APPS! many are free! Now i get why the apps are all the craze!

    -FINGER PRINT MAGNET: Make sure to get a MATTE screen protector and a silicone case! The front and back is GLASS - finger magnets and also pretty FRAGILE! Make sure you dont sit on it, step on it, put it on your backpocket etc - they WILL break!

    Bottom line: YES, THEY ARE GREAT!!! I have yet to experience the whole "signal drops when you hold the phone a certain way blah blah blah" - maybe the fixed it with the newer units? The phone in general is REALLY fast and does not lag at all, even when opening multiple pages at the same time... Im impressed!! I am now officially a converted iphone fanboy :D 

    I also bought some cheap cases off ebay (epik cases) they are not too bad, but they dont fit THAT good, not happy with my el-cheapo case i decided to invest in a nice SPECK FITTED iphone 4 case - they are awesome! they fit really really well and have a nice matte rubbery texture on the sides and a classy fabric at the back - Nice! I really recommend the SPECK cases - they are really high quality!

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    This video made me pre-order a Traktor Kontrol S4... :D

    Ok so i put my pre-order for one of these bad boys... As soon as i receive them a review is in order!!!

    Been thinking bout getting them for awhile, but that video above sort of made me pull the trigger - im extremely happy with the build quality of the NI Kontrol X1 (what a tank!), that also convinces me that Native Instruments stuff are bulletproof (except for that X1 tea-time glitch thingie, which was a software thing by the way) so - what the heck, pre-ordered!!!!

    DJTECHTOOLS is selling the S4 at $899 with a free ean golden tutorial DVD , The NI Shop is selling them for $999, you can make your pre-orders if you want to , they will ship from early November i think...

    Cant Wait!!

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Native Instruments Kontrol X1 'Tea Time' FX knob bug!!

    I just came across this weird glitch in the forums, i tried it and realised that my X1 also had the same thing, SHOCKING!!! Try doing it and see if you also have the same glitch:

    Native Instruments refers to this glitch as the "tea time" glitch, as it happens when the knobs are at arounbd 5 o'clock position (hahaha get it? tea time!)

    There are 8 fx knobs in the NI Kontrol X1 (4 for FX bank 1 and 4 for FX bank 2), fire up Traktor Pro, turn all 7 knobs (any 7 knobs will do) to MAXIMUM (5 O'clock position) and then watch the knobs indicator on the computer screen while you slowly increase the 8th knobs to maximum... if you have a "defective unit" then once the 8th knobs hit maximum, all 7 other knobs are gonna jump around frantically like you just pressed a non-existant "randomize" button!!!

    If you can successfully turn the 8th knob to maximum (5 o clock position), back and forth without any glitches, then you got the "Good Batch" !!!

    Do not worry, if you own one of these defective units, Native Instruments will gladly replace them for you - free of charge, they will give you a brand new unit, they'll even refund you the shipping fees! (you need to either send it back to them or bring it back to the retailer - i chose the latter). You will need a proof of purchase/receipt for this replacement, as Native Instruments would want to see your receipt before sending you a brand new unit, so if you bought an exported set from ebay, you MAY be stuck with a defective unit!!

    I personally bought the unit from Valentine's Music Centre in singapore - great shop with excellent customer service , i went thru two other Kontrol X1's in the shop (both had the same problem) until i found the proper one - so im pretty sure there are A LOT of X1s out there that are affected by this same problem, i checked the other forums and seems like a lot of other people have the same issue. Native Instruments seemed to handle this professionally and quickly by replacing all units affected - so just make sure you check if your unit is one of the bad batch and get your replacement!

    To be perfectly honest, if no one had pointed to me the "tea time glitch" i wont probably notice it at all, like who would turn on all effect knobs on maximum? Not many! You cant probably hear the song anymore with that many effects in one song! Im also thinking that many of the people with the "bad batch" of X1 probably dont even know that they have this problem, as they probably have never maxed up all the fx knobs at the same time - but its always good to know that you have a good batch rather than the bad ones :)

    Weird K1 effect knobs problem

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    AKAI MPK Mini - Very affordable AKAI Goodness in a small package!!

    ZOMG! This looks really good! I own a pair of Akai LPD8's and for the price, they delivered a product that works very well and also very very well built - much better built than the KORG Nano series. This awesome looking new product seems to combine the goodness of both AKAI LPD8 and the AKAI LPK25 into one very small affordable thing - say hello to the The AKAI MPK Mini!

    If you dont already have the Akai LPD8 or the MPK25, this will be on the Mega-Awesome-Value MUST BUY list whether you need a midi controller for your DVS, for your DAW, or a bit of both! The street price is said to be around USD$99 only! These babies will be out by Q4 2010 - this will be a solid purchase!

    I can already imagine the possibilities of mapping this with Traktor Scratch Pro, so many buttons and knobs in one little device!

    Link: Akai Website

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Allen & Heath Xone:DB4 mixer unveiled

    From A&H Website:

    Quad FX Core
    The heart of the Xone:DB4 is the powerful Quad FX Core DSP engine, enabling each channel to have its own FX bank and BPM detection system, which automatically adjusts all time-related FX and loops to the tempo of the music. There are 5 studio quality FX types optimised for DJ use - delays, reverbs, modulators, resonators and damage - plus each FX type has a patch library of different effect variations. Each FX bank has a dedicated expression control and a rotary pot to set the wet/dry level, whilst further tweaking can be performed using the global controllers in the FX master section.

    Each channel has a built-in looper, with selectable loop length from 1/16 beat to 4 bars.The :DB4 will always record the full 4 bars, so the loop can be expanded or shrunk at will.

    Xone:DB4 comes equipped with the Xone dual filter system.

    Source select
    Each music channel can select any of the available stereo music sources: Analogue Line 1-4 (switchable to Phono on 2-3), Digital 1-4 or USB 1-4.

    EQ / Filter
    Each music channel has a 3-band EQ that can be configured as standard asymmetric EQ (+6/-25dB), Isolator (+6dB/OFF with a 24dB/octave slope), or reconfigured as a
    High-Pass/Low-Pass filter system with adjustable resonance. EQ knob pointers change colour to show which type of equalization is active.

    Mic/Line Input
    The Mic/Line input has 2-band EQ, gain, cue and mix level. This can also be routed to
    channel 1 for adding FX.

    Integral Soundcard
    A built-in, high quality (24-bit / 96kHz), multi-channel, fully patchable USB2 soundcard allows replay and recording from audio software for 4 stereo sends and 4 stereo returns.

    Suggested Retail Price is £1,933.37 + VAT

    Availability: December 2010

    What....? £1,933.37...???
    What's with the crazy price tag?!


    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Essential Traktor Pro Tips : Features that you probably didnt know (but should!)

    Here are some stuff i found out about Traktor Pro that makes life so much easier! These little things might seem simple but they can become an essential tool to make the maximum use of Traktor Scratch Pro's uber awesome features. Some of them you might know already, some you might not, if you are new to Traktor or considering to switch to traktor, you can see why Traktor is so feature-packed!

    If you love doing 3/4Deck live-remixing, live mash-ups of songs or harmonic mixing, you will find these next tips quite useful in your sets! For key detection i recommend Mixed In Key Ver.4.01 but some people have find rapid evolution or others to be about as accurate. Or if you dont mind, for maximum accuracy you can always use a keyboard to find out the actual key of your tunes, although this takes so much time and effort!

    "Beats to Cue" in the Deck Heading 

    This is a really really nice extra information that lets you know exactly how many beats/bars until the next hotcue - Perfect for Live Mash ups when you wanna line up parts of different songs PERFECTLY! 

    If you see the example above, on top of the waveform you can see the number "-4.8.4." This means from this beat onwards to the next hotcue, there are exactly 4 LOOPS in which there are 8 Bars of 4 Beats each , putting it simply, there are exactly 4 LOOPS (4 x 32 beats) till the next hotcue. Beat counting made easier!

    How to setup:
    Go to File > Preferences > Deck Details > Deck Heading >
    in which you can choose which of the deck headings you want for the "beats to cue" function to show. Choose your preferred slot and choose the "beats to cue" from the drop down menu. Remember to make the most of this you will have to mark the sections in your songs with a hotcue, eg. Intro/MainPart/Choruz/Outro etc, this way you know how many loops there are till the next important part of the song. Another cool feature of traktor is you are able to NAME each of your 8 Hotcues! Eg. You can put silly comments such as "The good part starts now" or "MEGA SICK DROPZZZ" to remind yourself why you put the hotcue there in the first place :) More on this later...
    Getting Organized with your HOTCUES!
    Traktor gives you 8 Hotcues (actually more but you cant map them). This is really awesome compared to Serato's 5 hotcues or CDJ1000MK3/CDJ2000's 3 hotcues. If you are considering mixing on more than 2 decks (which is what Traktor is really all about - live mashups and editing on-the-go), you need to have some sort of CONSISTENT SYSTEM with your HotCues so that you dont get confused when you are jumping around between hotcues on 4 decks with 4 different songs. This makes sure you can launch different parts of each song AT WILL at anytime without confusion. 

    Remember again that you are able to name or put a descriptive comment for each of your hotcues for reference, which is neat! :D Of course, the benefit of hotcue-ing your tracks is that you can see how many beats there are till the next hotcue in the deck heading (above tip!)

    This is just an example of how i setup my hotcues during prepping:
    HOTCUE 1 : First beat of the song
    HOTCUE 2 : Start of the "meaty part" of the song - eg. when the bassline fully kicks in or a sick twisted beats that you can combine/mash with other songs start
    HOTCUE 3 : The Choruz / Main part of the song, in trance this is normally after some EPIC BreakDownz (lol, seriously!)
    HOTCUE 4 : The Start of mixable Outro, just plain enough to be mashed with the beats of other songs but not "DEAD" as in it would kill the dancefloor, you'd wanna mix in key between meaty parts of two or more songs, not just boring intro/outro mixing (that is for cdjs!) 

    The other 4 Free hotcues can be used for hotcue juggling (if that's your thing), at least you know what each of the 4 hotcues of each songs are, this way you can really do live mash-ups and phrase tunes in harmony. A midi controller is also recommended for you to map the 4 main hotcues (or if you can, all 8 hotcues!) This is of course just an example, people have different methods in mixing this is just an example of how i'd get organized in prepping my tunes, im sure you can come up with something that suits your needs, this is just an idea :)

    You can really go crazy here and dissect all your songs into, lets say, isolating 8 different parts (one for each hotcue) with bass, kick, snare, lead, etc, but hey this is starting to go into ABLETON LIVE isnt it? hahaha... Just another idea!


    The Mega Useful BEATJUMP Button!
    Most people probably already know this but there are a lot of people who arent aware of how awesome this functions is! Basically it allows you to jump around in the track, from 1 beat all the way to 32 beats (One full loop!). Best part about this is if you enable the QUANTIZE option at the top (and you have a properly beatgridded track), They WILL ALWAYS JUMP IN TIME! 

    Example Possible Scenarios of Use:
    • A song that you are playing has only 64 beats Outro (2 full loops) , The song that you are about to drop has only 32 beats Intro, you want to make sure that the new song starts exactly when the first song finishes but you got all excited and dropped the new song way too early. What to do? Right At the end of the first 32beat intro, BEATJUMP 32Beats Back on the new track! Repeat as needed! Now you have a 64Beat Intro (or whatever you need) - you can phrase your songs perfectly!
    • A song that you are playing has a very boring part where it all sounds the same, the crowd is getting bored and starts to leave the dancefloor. And you forgot to put a hotkey on the "good part" of the song. Oh Damn! What to do? Use the beatjump function to "SKIP" to the good part of the song, if you turn on the QUANTIZE feature (and again  - have a well beatgridded track), the jump will be seamless and perfectly in time! Now you can on-the-fly skip those boring bits in the songs! 
    • Remember how we used to count how many loops are the intros/outros of our songs to memorize them? Especially in Trance/HardDance, intros vary from the usual 4 loops (4x32beats) up to 8 loops and anywhere in between. Back in the vinyl days i used to actually sit down and count the beats! Nowaways, you can just set the beatjump to 32 Beats, start on the first downbeat of the song, and BeatJUMP till you reach the main start of the song. If you did BEATJUMP 4 times, thats 4 loops intro! So easy! Now put a hotcue marker on that section of the song and name it appropriately!
    TIP: Make sure you map the beatjump button in your midi controller! A Cheap, reliable one for example is the AKAI LPD8
    TIP #2: If you have the NI Kontrol X1, by default the beatjump button on the controller is set at "1 Beat" Only, i recommend you to change this value to "4 Beats" or "32 Beats", you dont wanna tap that button 32 times everytime you wanna jump one loop right? :D

    The "Key" info Column in the Browser
    As of TSP 1.2.6 by default you wont see the "KEY" column in your music browser, to enable this right click on the top bar of the browser and you'll see the list of available columns that you can disable/enable, one of them is KEY. Easy!
    Why do you want to do this? Well other than being nice to see, now you can sort the tracks in your browser by key (ascending or descending)!
    (NOTE: The order should have been from 1A to 12A but in the current version of Traktor it is sorted from 10A to 12B and then starts at 1A... not a big deal but its just kinda funny, they will probably fix it on the next version)

    By the way, you can turn on/off other tags. You can even disable the cover arts if you want to! (if you run slower laptops, this could give you some performance boost).

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Off-Topic: Castlevania Lords of Shadow - Hideo Kojima Special Trailer

    FAAAAAAARK! This trailer is pure EPIC!  

    But Wait a minute - is this a video game or a movie...? I guess the line starts to blur... :D

    Once upon a time, before the 1080p high-definition videos, there was GAMEPLAY... Lets just hope the next Castlevania is not all-fmv but lacking in gameplay!

    Remember how Castlevania used to look like this.....?  :D

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Retro Gaming Goodness: Dingoo A320 Review

    Dingoo? What the heck is a Dingoo A320 anyway???
    In a Nutshell, Dingoo A320 is a "china-made" nerdy little portable gaming device which plays... pretty much any of the retro console roms such as the Sega Megadrive, Nintendo NES, SNES, neo geo, capcom CPS1/2 arcade systems, pretty much anything! It has a form factor of a gameboy micro, a built in 4GB storage, 2.8 inch color screen, TV OUT and mini sd card for storage expansion. Sounds too good to be true? After watching countless video reviews on youtube, i wanted one, so i decided to hunt one down for myself...

    The hunt for a Dingoo
    Unlike the PSP or DSi which are commercially available everywhere anywhere, the dingoo is more like an underground device (being an emulator!). I've always wanted one but couldnt find any shops that sell them  (and i didnt wanna order online for it - i hate waiting hahaha). Tried looking for it in Taiwan (Guangho market in taipei - no luck! couldnt find any!) Luckily one day i stumbled upon one in the notorious sim lim square in singapore. So if there's anyone out there in singapore who wants to buy a Dingoo : go to sim lim square! Its priced at SGD$120 (USD$90?) which is pretty much the same price that you'd pay online - minus the waiting. Watch out tho, that place can sometimes overcharge people if they think you dont know your stuff!

    If you dont mind buying online, websites such as amazon or dealextreme are stocking the dingoo, you can get them for as low as USD$80 (inc shipping), there are also a lot of reputable sellers (with a lot of good feedbacks) in ebay that sells the dingoo with silicon case and pouch included. The dingoo is available in black or white, i chose the white one - although i'd recommend the black one coz the white one gets dirty easily :D

    Out of the box
     The dingoo A320 came with your standard earphones, charger, tv out cable, some manual in chinese and english, and a usb cable to hookup to TV.The dingoo unit itself is pretty decent, it steals the form of the gameboy micro, but bigger, it is quite light. The D-pad is a hit and miss, diagonals can be pretty tricky to press, and the shoulder buttons are a tad too small especially for people with massive handz like me! Executing those akuma infinity combos on X-men vs Street Fighter can be a little tricky! The included earphones are not so good - distorted bass and piercing highs - dont expect audiophile stuff, well at least they threw one in for free :D its more like a bonus aniways :)

    Out of the box, the Dingoo is readily playable, depending on where you bought it they might have loaded the 4GB storage with loads of nes/snes/sega roms and some dodgy weird videos/music ready for you to play - In my case i got nothing but their own games - one of them is like a resident evil / silent hill clone thats actually not so bad, it also showcases the dingoo's 3d capability, something like the old PSX i reckon. The dingoo also plays most formats of videos, although i tried loading a 720p avi video with very bad results - very choppy playback! Then again the dingoo is primarily for retro gaming so this is just a nice extra. The MP3 player is also okay,  for casual listening its pretty solid, although it would be nice if they support album art like the ipods!

    The Native OS
     The native OS (the one that you dont need to do anything - just turn on!) has its own emulators, SNES, NES, Sega Megadrive, neogeo, etc the whole lot. The native emulation tho... is far from perfect. The only perfect emulation is probably the Gameboy Color (very very nice and playable! better than the original thing imo!) and the classic NES also is pretty  much emulated perfect. GBA is somewhat good, runs pretty well with some minimum frameskip here and there (mario tennis slows down a bit!), but most of the time its pretty nice and close to the original thing. SNES and Megadrive emulation on the native is is bad and still needs some improvement, frame skip is too high and also some glitches with certain games. Older Neo-Geo and Capcom CPS1/CPS2 arcade emulation are surprisingly good, although the bigger games like x-men vs street fighter or marvel superheroes has some serious frameskipping issues - hopefully this will be sorted in a future update (unlikely coz the native emu is very rarely updated?)

    Enter: DINGUX! Linux on Dingoo!
     This is where the Dingoo shines the most - Dingux! Dingux boasts some large user/supporter base, with very frequent homebrew apps and games being developed regularly, also SNES and Sega MegaDrive/Genesis emulation improved DRASTICALLY! The sega megadrive emulation on the PicoDrive (dingux) is pretty close to perfect - very smooth gameplay and very very playable! The SNES emulation is lagging a bit behind but is getting there, the recent update for SNES9x (the dingux snes emulator) has shown a significant increase in speed - very nice progress!

    If you really want to, you can even play some old PSone games (without sound at the moment)...  Not bad eh?

    Dingux is highly customizable, with the limit being how willing you are to tweak it. Of course all this means you gotta do some modding, and flashing the dingoo native OS thru some usb cables and a miniSD card - although not too hard to do it could be quite confusing for the less tech-savvy people. There are lots of tutorials online on how to install dingux on Dingoo, like this one right here. Beware though! If you are afraid of re-flashing things (or dont even know what "firmware" means) the whole technical stuff you have to do could scare you away or (in very small cases - unlikely) you could end up bricking your dingoo! Nothing that a quick google reading wont help though, just be prepared :)

    Power in the Community! The Dingoo Paw Clans!
    One of the strength in dingoo is that it has a lot of dedicated websites and forums:
    Dingoonity - Dingoo website, forum and wiki
    Dingoo Web / Sentinel Games - Your one stop shop/noobs guide to everything dingoo! must visit!
    Dingoo Digital USA - Unofficial USA based dingoo info site/forum
    and many more!! Google is your friend here :)

    The Holy Grail of Portable Retro Gaming?
     Not quite yet, but pretty close. The whole concept of Dingoo A320 is pretty damn awesome, but currently it still needs some time to be able to perfectly (if ever?) emulate all the consoles it was advertised to emulate. More and more people are doing stuff and updating the Dingoo which makes the Dingoo really cool and progressively better device. Although its still a question whether your Dingoo would really last that long - the build quality is not too bad, but still there are issues. My dingoo came with two not-so-visible stuck pixels which now i just try to live with. The buttons arent too good to play fighting games with - such a shame considering the amount of awesome fighting games you can play on it! Think KOF , Street Fighter, Samurai Showdown, marvel superheroes, all these old classics - on the go!

    For now - if you are content with being able to play most of the retro games with some limitations (some consoles are very well emulated well but some arent - they are improving overtime tho) and dont mind doing a bit of homework in tweaking the unit (install dingux, install new apps etc, can be time consuming) then the dingoo is a must-have! If you used to play the retro consoles back in the day you'd probably want a dingoo just for the nostalgic value of replaying all the games that we lost our childhood to (lol).

    • Awesome retro-gaming goodness - so many games to play so little time! If you ever need to kill time these will overdo it!
    • Good battery life, 7 hours+ on a single charge is quite normal
    • The nice 2.8inch screen is just the right size for gaming on the go - not too small and pretty enjoyable
    • Very large userbase/community, with many dedicated websites and forums solely dedicated on the development of the dingoo-related stuff, the dingoo has a pretty good future ahead!
    • Awesome NES,GBA, GBC, CPS1, Game Gear, PCEngine/TG16 (on dingux), Sega megadrive (picodrive, dingux) emulation - almost as good as the real thing! Wow thats a lot of consoles!!

    • While the  D.pad is okay, its not too good for complex fighting game movements, plus shoulder buttons needs to be bigger!
    • Video player do not handle very large files too well!
    • No two player action in the A320!
    • The charger that came in the package looks like it might explode anytime soon (and smelt of burnt plastic! yikes!) - Got an iPod/iPhone usb charger? Use those instead!
    • You need to do some technical stuff to get the dingoo up and running with dingux, not exactly hard to do but for some people re-flashing firmwares could be pretty scary!
    • SNES emulation needs a little improvement (but very playable with most games), NeoGeo and CPS2 emulation needs to be faster (too much frame skipping in the native os emu)

    Amazon Link: