DJ QBert’s company Thud Rumble and semiconductor maker Intel have teamed up to eliminate laptops from DJ booths.
The project is based on Intel’s Edison module, which is the size of a postage stamp and retails at around $55. It includes a CPU, memory, USB ports, storage and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Thud Rumble’s press release explains their mission:
“As computers have gotten faster, DJs have replaced crates of traditional vinyl with two records that contain timecode, allowing them to manipulate any sound without using physical media. Traditionally, these setups have required that a laptop or desktop computer be plugged into the instrument being utilized. The use of the computer has often created a disconnect between the DJ and the audience. With the use of Intel technology, Thud Rumble has returned the art form back to its roots and is reconnecting the DJ to while still utilizing the convenience of digital audio files. In lieu of a computer, the artist simply inserts their USB drive of personally selected music they wish to use in the live set.”
Aside from eliminating the need to connect a traditional computer to DJ equipment, Thud Rumble has also inserted a sensor into a turntable that records the record, platter, and tonearm movement. The captured soundwave data can then be translated in sets or manipulated by the user in an experimental fashion.
QBert said in the press release:
“This is next level. Intel’s technology is enabling us to connect the power of computing directly into our gear which is opening up new frontiers for us as DJs. We’ve already dreamed up a few applications, but we’re barely getting started on what is possible with this innovation.”
Thud Rumble showcased experimental prototypes at the world-renowned Maker Faire last weekend in California. The technology was seen plugged into Native Instruments’ Maschine controller and Kontrol S25 keyboard, as well as controlling a digital DJ setup with a Vestax PDX-2000 MKII turntable and Native Instruments Kontrol Z2 mixer.