Laptops Go Live

Sasha Frere-Jones in The New Yorker, on the growing use of computers in live music performances:

Last December, a friend and I went to a release party for Mary J. Blige’s “Growing Pains” album. Near huge screens showing Blige videos, a d.j. was playing records on two turntables. The d.j.’s eyes, however, were trained on an Apple MacBook on a shelf above them. As a succession of Blige songs faded from one into the next, the d.j. never changed the records. My friend asked, “Is there a new Mary medley I don’t know about?”

The answer was no. The d.j., like many today, was using a program called Serato Scratch Live, which uses a turntable as a knob or a switch.

Monday, 8 September 2008