Pioneer DJ’s intention of being the one stop shop for DJs is slowly but surely happening. At Pioneer DJ HQ, there’s probably a huge wall chart like a jigsaw puzzle with DJ and related market sectors, and piece by piece the jigsaw is being completed. One area that Pioneer DJ has yet to make any noise about is lighting, but today’s announcement about hooking rekordbox into TC Supply’s ShowKontrol software is the first step in moving into this growing area.

Many words follow:

Pioneer DJ co-develops network system with TC Supply, enhancing DJ performances with coordinated lighting and visual effects

Our flagship products – the CDJ-TOUR1, CDJ-2000NXS2, DJM-TOUR1, and DJM-900NXS2 – are used by DJs at festivals and events around the world, often in conjunction with visual effects such as lighting, video displays and pyrotechnics.

To bring DJ performances alive with visual effects, we’ve collaborated with TC Supply – a company with extensive expertise in using visual control equipment at music events – to co-develop a network system that uses rekordboxTM1 information to coordinate sound and visuals.

The new network system will enable DJs, event producers, lighting designers, LJs2, video creators, and VJs3 to make the synergy of sound and visuals more effective, enhancing the overall quality of performances and creating a more engaging show for audiences. For example, the timing of lights, lasers and videos can be matched with particular sounds from a DJ’s performance. The brightness, colours, and directions that lights point can be synchronised with the beat, and smoke and pyrotechnics can be triggered precisely when the music hits a peak.

We plan to further extend the use of rekordbox information to help enhance the cohesion of visual effects and DJ performances to create more impactful shows for audiences. Using our products with a system that allows the use of rekordbox information will enable more immersive experiences not only at music festivals and events now, but also at clubs and other kinds of shows in the future4.

We’ll start licensing the use of rekordbox information to partner companies for use with show control software over PRO DJ LINK in spring 2018. TC Supply’s ShowKontrol will be the first official software available. To use the CDJ-TOUR1, CDJ-2000NXS2, DJM-TOUR1, and DJM-900NXS2 with ShowKontrol, you’ll need to update the firmware of these models to the latest version.

About TC Supply

TC Supply is a branch of Event Imagineering Group focused on bringing creative solutions to creative people. ShowKontrol is the 2nd generation of TC Supply’s DJ/Club software solution for bringing feedback and/or synchronisation methods to creative professionals. The software was co-developed with Pioneer DJ.

Founded in 2004, Event Imagineering Group is an entertainment technology company specialised in creating powerful tools and applications for real-time synchronisation of show elements including video, lights, lasers and pyrotechnics. The company is currently led by its founder David Moor and his business partner Koen De Puysseleir and its products are used by DJs, venues, festivals and theme parks around the world.

Website:

www.tc-supply.com
www.showkontrol.com

For more information about TC Supply and ShowKontrol, please contact Event Imagineering Group Communication Department: contact@eiglive.com

1 rekordbox is Pioneer DJ’s free music management software. It supports every aspect of DJing for a creative, hassle-free experience: from music management and set preparation to performance reviews. rekordbox analyses tracks to obtain elements such as waveforms, BPM, and the location of bars and beats. When Pioneer DJ equipment is connected via PRO DJ LINK, rekordbox shares information about track elements among CDJs and DJMs over the network.

2 & 3 LJs (lighting jockeys) are artists who perform with lighting effects. VJs (visual jockeys) are artists who perform with visual effects. At many music festivals and events, DJs, LJs, and VJs collaborate as a team, performing together to enhance the show.

4 Pioneer DJ will extend the PRO DJ LINK network system to enable show control software to read information from Pioneer DJ equipment. TC Supply will develop show control software to use the information from PRO DJ LINK to communicate with visual effects equipment. TC Supply’s show control software, ShowKontrol, will be the first official software enabled to read rekordbox information. To use the CDJ-TOUR1, CDJ-2000NXS2, DJM-TOUR, and DJM-900NXS2 with ShowKontrol, update the firmware of these models to the latest version.

A logical step

For me, lighting is the next big thing in DJing. It’s a filter down effect where superstar DJs need something more than just standing in from of tens of thousands of people with little more than some CDJs, so they put on a dazzling light experience. Various technologies have been used to deliver this spectacle, but it has always been done separately to the music. The set is fixed and the light show choreographed to match.

But new technologies are emerging that takes information from the DJ’s music and are triggered automatically. This means that a DJ can play what they want — let’s say the crowd isn’t really feeling your performance, but your carefully managed set depends on the sound and light being in perfect sync. Previously you’d have to stick to what you’d designed, but with lights being triggered by track info and cues, DJs can change up their sets however they like and know that the light show will follow.

Pioneer DJ isn’t alone in this — Serato hooked up with SoundSwitch to use Serato track data to trigger DMX lighting via a small hardware interface. And Denon DJ teased Stagelinq with the launch of the MCX8000, but has yet to deliver anything more than a demo at NAMM.

WHAT IT MEANS

As mentioned before, Pioneer DJ is keen to offer everything a DJ might need. And if they can start from the top down and have VIPs create not just music sets but also their full lighting performance inside the Pioneer DJ ecosystem, then the trickle down will occur where rekordbox is the software that delivers all of this cool tech, and then allows Pioneer DJ to dip its toe in the vast market of lighting hardware too, or at least hook hardware manufacturers into rekordbox licensing deals. This can neatly bring Pioneer DJ and Pioneer Pro Audio together as one coherent supplier for a very large industry indeed.

To emphasis the scale of the product, the base version, ShowKontrol Live costs “1999,-” which I take to mean the same price for dollars, euros, or sterling , with ShowKontrol Pro being lease only. These are the features of Live:

  • Generates realtime SMPTE (LTC/MTC/TCNet) on 3 layers (A/B/Master), matrixed to the 4 connected Pioneer DJ CDJ’s

  • Generate Show lists that keep track of SMPTE offsets and triggers

  • Realtime BPM data sync (MidiClock, Clicktrack)

  • Fully controllable from ArtNet devices

  • Realtime waveforms and overview waveforms of tracks being played

  • Realtime metadata view such as; track names, artist names and artwork

  • Realtime fader positions and audio level monitoring and output (Midi)

  • Export of playlist history information

  • Monitors your DJ setup network and warnes in case of any problems ahead

  • Fully integrated with Pioneer DJ’s PRO DJ LINK, ArtNet, TCNet and Midi

And for ShowKontrol Pro:

  • Supports up to 4 PRO DJ LINK enabled DJ setups and unlimited ShowKontrol slaves for monitoring or daisy chaining

  • Fully programmable CUE lists that can trigger ArtNet, TCNet, Midi or any other supported IO and visible/spoken cues

  • Generates realtime SMPTE (LTC/MTC/TCNet) from all connected devices (1:1 Direct Output)

  • Generates realtime SMPTE (LTC/MTC/TCNet) on 3 layers (A/B/Master), matrixed to the 4 connected Pioneer DJ CDJ’s

  • Realtime metadata output (Stream via HTTP/TCNet) for monitoring or live feeds

  • Generate Show Lists that keep track of SMPTE offsets and triggers

  • Realtime BPM data sync (MidiClock, Clicktrack)

  • Fully controllable from ArtNet devices

  • Realtime waveforms and overview waveforms of tracks being played

  • Realtime metadata view such as; track names, artist names and artwork

  • Realtime fader positions and audio level monitoring and output (Midi)

  • Export of playlist history information

  • ArtNet tools for monitoring ArtNet networks

  • Monitors your DJ setup network and warnes in case of any problems ahead

  • Fully integrated with Pioneer DJ’s PRO DJ LINK, ArtNet, TCNet and Midi

  • ShowKontrol PRO users receive custom made and dedicated support

For many people this is a bit of a yawn announcement, if only because they have no interest in lighting at all. But at a time when DJs need to do more than just stand behind their decks throwing heart hands, the possibility of adding lighting and video to their sets it something to take notice of. DJing is becoming more than just back to backing music, and technology like this is likely to be a major part of being a successful DJ in the future.

I can see it now – #realdjsuserecordsnotlights, being smashed full cap into keyboards by DJs who failed to keep up to date with what the scene demands. If I’ve learned one thing across my assorted careers, it’s that if you operate in a technology led industry, the ones that proper are the ones that embrace new tech. Your vinyl and Technics will only take you so far.