Hot on the heels of the new rekordbox 6 is a speedy 6.01 update, on that brings the previously covered Beatsource Link, but more interestingly using AI to show the first vocal position on the track. Oooh AI — should we be impressed or scared?
As usual, official words:
Pioneer DJ Releases Significant Upgrade to Professional DJ Application, rekordbox
Newly-enhanced rekordbox features include AI-enabled vocal track position visualization, Beatsource LINK support and Playlist Auto Upload!
(TORRANCE, CA) May 26, 2020: Pioneer DJ, the market leader in the design and production of innovative DJ equipment and software, has announced an expanded offering of creative possibilities for its professional DJ application, rekordbox, by adding vocal position analysis, support for the Beatsource LINK streaming service for open format DJs and a playlist Auto Upload feature.
“rekordbox is a popular and powerful tool for DJs of all experience levels. We’ve been working with users to deliver the next level of functionality they need, and this update delivers,” said Yoshinori Kataoka, President and CEO, AlphaTheta Corp. “Most significantly, with rekordbox and our Creative subscription plan, artists can see when vocals will drop in a track by simply glancing at the waveform—this is a powerful new feature allowing DJs to never clash a vocal again!”
Kataoka added that DJs interested in integrating new sounds into their sets can update to rekordbox ver. 6.0.1 and use the Performance mode to choose from millions of tracks in the Beatsource LINK*1 catalog. To help ensure playlists stay updated, artists can use the new Auto Update feature to add a track to a playlist on the go, and have it automatically upload to the cloud for use on other devices.
Pioneer DJ’s new rekordbox platform follows the industry-wide transition to a subscription-based software model and delivers artists innovative and real-time updates without added costs. All artists receive a 30-day free trial of rekordbox 6.0.1 and can purchase Core and Creative plans at a discounted rated. (Offer ends July 13, 2020) Artists currently using rekordbox 5 will not lose access to their paid software.
Key rekordbox 6.0.1 features for Mac/Windows:
New algorithm with AI tech displays the positions of vocals
The new music analysis algorithm in rekordbox ver. 6.0.1, developed in partnership with Qosmo, uses deep learning to locate vocal occurrence in tracks. With a high level of accuracy, rekordbox ver. 6.0.1 displays the vocal positions on the entire or enlarged waveform to inform artists when vocals will drop.
Performance mode supports Beatsource LINK
Artists can pick from millions of tracks and hundreds of expertly-curated playlists when browsing the Beatsource LINK catalog in rekordbox ver. 6.0.1 Performance mode, available as part of the free subscription plan. Apart from analyzing the BPM, key and waveform of tracks, Performance mode offers artists the ability to set and save track Hot Cues and loops. Artists can also mix music from Beatsource LINK with music in their rekordbox library and store Beatsource LINK tracks in an rekordbox offline locker. Select a Beatsource LINK PRO (50 tracks) or Beatsource LINK PRO+ (100 tracks) subscription to do this.
Performance mode gives access to Beatsource LINK charts and playlists
Artists can discover new and classic tracks from the artists you love using Beatsource LINK’s expansive catalog, curated specifically for DJs. Browse hundreds of playlists built for every genre, theme, and occasion, and instantly DJ with them with rekordbox ver. 6.0.1 Performance mode.
Auto Upload feature
Playlists can be set to “Auto Upload” when using Cloud Library Sync in the Creative Plan. This feature enables artists to add tracks to a playlist, safe in the knowledge that they will be automatically uploaded to the cloud for use across multiple devices (intelligent playlists excluded).
The new version of the rekordbox app for iOS (ver. 3.0.1) also offers a number of improvements to various functions. Find out more about this in the App Store update history.
To learn more about rekordbox, please visit:
To use Beatsource tracks in rekordbox Performance mode, a subscription to Beatsource LINK is required. Find out more about Beatsource LINK and see a list of countries where it can be used (as of May 26, 2020).
*Users with a Hardware Unlock device can use Performance mode with any plan, including the Free plan. See the list of Hardware Unlock devices here.
ALL YOUR MUSIC ARE BELONG TO US
Since the dawn of the digital DJ age, each small step and giant leap has been met with “the end of DJing” comment. This will be no different, both in predictability and outcome.
Finding the start of the vocal is incredibly easy. You used to use your ears and cue to it. Now you can do the same and add a hot cue, or just look at the waveform and hit and hope with a hot cue. It’s not a skill that’s being replaced unless you class hearing as a skill. “I am a skilled hearer” said nobody ever.
Instead, this technology (we’d argue that it’s machine learning rather than AI) analyses the track and makes an educated guess based on programmed experience. It’s not quite the same as beatgrids and BPM as that’s detecting a pattern, nor is it the same as key as that’s a mixture of estimating and measuring (according to the internet anyway).
Instead, this uses machine learning to identify one important element of the track. I’m sure that algorithms have been tried, but machine learning from God-knows-how-many vocal tracks will give this feature a fighting chance of being accurate.
At best, it’s a timesaver, but it won’t always be right, much like all other analysis features. I have a knack of finding tracks that simply don’t work with software analysis, and I’d warrant that I could do the same with this too.
But it’s a useful tool nonetheless, provided you play music with vocals that it.
IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD, BUT NOT REALLY
The very mention of AI will cause great anxiety for some. I can feel the full caps rants brewing already. Because I’m trying to think of previous releases that tout AI, but none come to mind. So naturally, my mind leans towards the real story of what this means.
This isn’t new technology. As mentioned, BPM and beat grids are prime examples of how algorithms have been developed over time to make accurate predictions.
Track suggestion is another example of how music is analysed and within a number of parameters, matches are made. Automix makes decisions based on what the algorithms compute are the right points to mix into and out of.
You see — all this stuff exists, yet despite the numerous end of days for DJs predictions, there are more DJs than ever. It’s just that each technological step makes the DJ’s life a little easier. And ultimately you don’t have to use them if you don’t want to. You did know that right?
Would I use this new rekordbox? Sure, provided it worked accurately. I don’t need it, but it would help. I’d like to think I’d actually listened to a track and prepped it rather than playing it blind.
But now that AI is being touted as a thing for DJs, we should expect more features to creep in that are truly ML or AI-based.