By Rebecca Bulnes
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By Chuck Strouse
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Rane and Serato revolutionized the DJ game — and lowered chiropractor bills — with the introduction of their Scratch Live software. The new club standard, it allows DJs to play a hard drive full of MP3s in real time on a pair of turntables through a piece of hardware and coded vinyl.
This year the two companies have done it again and gone even more multimedia, with the new Video SL application. It creates a full multisensory experience, allowing audio and video to be mixed simultaneously through a similar program, while still using turntables and vinyl via the Rane TTM-57SL mixer. Total Recall, Back to the Future, Demolition Man — it's all here.
"There's nobody that incorporates it into a single mixing system like we do," explains Rane's national sales manger, Michael May. "So many people understand Serato already. Here you can manipulate video in real time just like you manipulate audio using the same controls in Serato." No need to carry around tons of equipment or a bag of DVDs; all a DJ will require is his or her basic gear, a TTM-57 mixer, and a laptop, and it's showtime. Debuting at the NAMM Show last year, and already in use by select DJs including Mike Relm, who is currently on tour with Blue Man Group, the software is brand-new and can be demoed at the Rane website if you have a TTM-57 mixer.
For the uninitiated, this means you can cut up George Bush giving his State of the Union address, or take the latest Kanye West video and swap his lyrics for Billy Idol's, while juggling a James Brown boogie and Shakira's salt-shaker. The creative options are endless. According to Rane/Denon-sponsored, Miami-based DJ K-N-S: "It's changing the game to make it more accessible for DJs to step their game up and be more of a one-man show. Now with Serato video, more DJs can incorporate video into their sets without breaking their pockets." It will be only a matter of time till this technology fully transfers over to the nightclub scene, where DJs will be able to take clubgoers' eyes and ears on a trip through their record and DVD "crates."
However, while most disc jockeys are just getting acquainted with this new software, Columbus, Georgia's DJ Roonie G has been repping for Pioneer and its DVJ setup for more than four years, garnering the title the world's premier video turntablist. With close to 25 years of experience on the decks, Roonie holds down residencies for his video sets in Vegas, Los Angeles, and Atlantic City, and has been nominated for VJ of the year at the Club World Awards this WMC. "Five years from now, you're going to walk into a room and if you don't have video, people are going to be like, 'Where's your video?' You have to believe in the music first and foremost, but you have to embrace the future, and video is where it's at," Roonie says.
Going from Halloween clips to Chris Rock stand-up and Matrix special effects, Roonie will be debuting Pioneer's brand-new mixer at the company's booth at the Remix Hotel, from March 27 through 30. The SVM-1000 features a touch-screen monitor and framework that allows you to mix audio and video simultaneously on DVD decks. But with a $6,000 price tag, it's definitely the Bentley of the bunch. "This mixer combines everything into one. Pioneer has worked for me; Serato really just came out with video," says Roonie. "We're in a multimedia society, so its only natural to be DJing with visuals." DJs, you know what to ask for come the holidays.