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DJ Software



 Digital 1200SL: The Power of Simplicity

Bob Nahas - Technical/Editorial Writer for the Industry

It could be stated without reservation that great technology breeds great ideas. And though history shows that many creative minds have contributed to making the latest technology more accessible to the world, only one product usually stands out as being "the right stuff" that the world at large is looking for. As far as mp3 technology and DJing is concerned, the Digital 1200SL from VisioSonic is the giant among the crowd of mp3 players.

The software offers instant start, exact cueing to a fraction of a millisecond, pause with "audio looping" so you can hear exactly where the cue is in the song, visual graphics of cue points for further adjustment and the ability to test listen to cue points when adjusting them. In addition, the software has the ability to "auto cue on stop" and skip the silent part at the beginning and end of a track. It offers a "match pitch to BPM" conversion button on the players, making beat matching extremely easy and incredibly precise. There are also pitch controls on each player adjustable from 4% to 52% plus or minus. And as the music industry does not supply BPM (Beats Per Minute) information for most music, a metronome assisted BPM counter with a mini player that plays through the monitor speakers/headphones allows you to find the exact BPM of a track. Users can step cues in BPM steps, moving up or down to find the right beat.

The software features an extremely fast CD ripper, with jitter correction, for quick and easy extraction of audio from CDs. Quality sound is ensured with a 10-second sound buffer and a high-tech MPEG decoder with a unique de-click DSP which suppresses 90% of unwanted digital noise from corrupt MPEG (MP3) files. The software also dynamically changes the priority of PC jobs, depending on the processor load to ensure skip free playback.

Simplicity = Power

Any artist would agree that having command over your instrument is key to attaining the freedom of creativity because you don't have any attention on the mechanics of handling it. Probably one of the major factors for the Digital 1200SL's mass appeal is how simple it is to operate. It features an intelligent interface that is so easy to use even a child could run it. Within a very short period of time, you become so comfortable with the entire Digital 1200SL system that your creative levels quickly build.

"It's a sensation of power when working with a system that is as technologically intelligent and simple to use as the Digital 1200SL is," says Electronic Music Manager from mp3.com and DJ, Evan Bartholomew. He also had this to say: "As a musician and a DJ, I am constantly searching for tools that allow me to express myself in new and efficient ways. The [Digital] i200SLs establish a channel for control and creative flexibility, which I have not seen any software or hardware match yet. VisioSonic takes the MP3 revolution one step further and gives the electronic music movement it's most powerful ally yet. I've been able to provide 5 hours of continuous music at a desert party, keep the crowd ecstatic, and didn't have to pack a single piece of music or worry about sand getting into my needles. Truly a groundbreaking addition to the art of DJ'ing."

Drag and drop support, a message bar that talks to you (in writing), supplying information about whatever your doing with the player and images that you're already familiar with in those heavy-to-carry real world players are just a taste of how simple this player is to use.

The software makes setup quick and easy by auto testing the PC's soundcard(s) and selecting the appropriate card set up as well as generating a list of PC settings that can be sent to technical support if problems exist.

The Digital 1200SL can hold an unlimited number of tracks in the recordcase and can have up to 20 independent cue points set for each track. It offers seven different interface options of setup to suit anyone's desires. For example, if you already have a mixer, the Digital 1200SL will display on the computer screen without the virtual mixer. DJs can fast listen to tracks in headphones when searching for tracks before loading them, and songs can be placed in a wait list for temporary storage of tracks before playing. The wait lists can be saved for future use. So get this; you can have a group of wait lists saved of completely arranged tracks for different types of events that will play for the entire night. And if the DJ can't make it back in time to do the next mix, the Autopilot function takes over and will automatically play tracks from the recordcase never allowing any gaps of silence.

When it comes time to mixing on the fly, no other system compares. The search, labeling, grouping and find capabilities make this the best solution for organizing the repertoire. It contains a search engine for the track database, and users can create an unlimited amount of groups and sub-groups in the recordcase to store links to tracks on both the hard drive and removable media. Sub groups can then be sorted by BPM, title, artist, version or comment. DJs can easily tag edits with the new ID3v2 Version 3.o tag standard, which is compatible to both WAV and MPEG files, to store all information about BPM, cue points and other track highlights. The software also allows users to put individual names on cue points.

The system is password protected while in operation, and has password protection against changes in music selection while the program is in operation. Encryption of the encoded MP3 files makes it safer from theft and piracy.

The Digital 1200SL supports WAV files, MP3, the new Xing VBR MP3 and Encrypted MP3. The product has MIDI control support and can connect to any external MIDI controller. The software is available through the Visiosonic Web site and has a suggested retail price of $680.

History in the Making

VisioSonic is a an enigma in itself. It has only been formed since March of this year and has grown in value so quickly that investors have been practically beating their doors down to own a piece of this jewel of Tampa Bay. Even the CEO and co-founder, Joseph Vangieri "Joe V" is amazed. "We had great ideas and big plans, but no one ever imagined it would grow as quickly as it has," Joe said with his big friendly smile that he brings with him everywhere he goes. "We've had close to 2 million hits on our web site since we put it up in March and it's all been basically done over the internet. And what blows my mind even more is; the downloads of the professional software [Digital 1200SL] is not far behind in numbers as the free PCDJ software downloads. That just blows my mind!"

The company's inception first began with a handful of individuals who had good ideas, big dreams and possessed unique talents which each of the others lacked. "This created a unique team." says Laura Betterly, "Momma B," President and co-founder of VisioSonic, "When we all came together, everything fit into place and a powerful [business] machine started running at about the speed of light and has never stopped since."

It was quite interesting how these co-founders sort of tripped over each other. Another co-founder from Sweden, Jorgen Hedberg - Product Developer, had bumped into Joel Betterly - who created the first Web site and runs the Technical Department, on the internet. And then there's the fourth co-founder, Chris Connell - Hardware Engineer, who knew Joel Betterly. Each founder saw the need for each other's expertise and talents. All of them were willing to contribute and devote to the same cause.

In Sweden, Jorgen sold his car and any other possessions that he could and walked to work in the snow and Wind in order to begin programming immediately and to pay for his airline ticket to the United States; to Clearwater, Florida where the company is located.

Minimum system requirements:

  • AMD K62 300+Mhz or Intel Pentium II 233+Mhz Processor

  • 32 Megs of RAM
  • 10MB hard disk space
  • 12X CDROM
  • Supported Sound Card (Non Emulated)
  • 800x600 SVGA Resolution at 256 colors or better
  • Windows95™, Windows 98™ or Windows NT™ (with SP5)

What VisioSonic suggests:

  • AMD K62 400+Mhz or Intel Pentium II 350+Mhz

  • AGP Video Card /mb VRAM
  • The minimum of 10MB of hard disk space is for the program only.(The more storage you have, the more MP3 songs you can load on it.)
  • Two Sound Cards, Turtle Beach Montego™ A3D Xextreme (with latest drivers)
  • Any one of the following CDROM drives:

  • Kenwood True 52X

  • Pioneer 32X or higher
  • NEC 32X or Higher
  • Panasonic 32X or higher
  • ANY PLEXTOR drive.





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