Pushing the bleeding edge of music production and performance

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May 22, 2005 As DJs become the rock stars of the 21st century and digital technology takes music far beyond the realms of individual and assembled instruments, it kinda makes sense that there should be some new musical instruments for the new technology music artists who wish to take live performance beyond sitting behind a mixing desk. Such a prototype emerged at the mega Musikmesse Show in Frankfurt, Germany last month from Vestax, a high-end designer/manufacturer of musical instruments and DJ mixers, turntables, CD players and installed club sound errr … things. The STC-V1 stands for “stage controller” and combines a Vestax CDX-05 turntable and a Tascam TT-M1 controller in a guitar form factor so the front man can strut around with “style, grace and attitude” according to the Vestax. The guitar-look stage controller wasn’t the only mind-bender on display at the Vestex stand at Musikmesse – the company also had an audio recorder which takes an sound source and burns it onto vinyl. That’s right folks, the VRX-2000 enables you to create your own classic wax and the sound quality and durability of the final product is apparently superb and similar to commercially pressed vinyl.

Vestax was founded in 1977 as a designer and manufacturer of high-end electronic instruments. An OEM manufacturer for many top Japanese electronics firms, Vestax has since diversified to introduce a comprehensive range of installed club sound and DJ mixers, turntables, CD players, specialized signal processing units, loudspeakers and DJ accessories.

The VRX 2000 is a real time acetate cutting machine, allowing any audio source to be duplicated on to vinyl. Apparently the idea behind creating a vinyl “cutter is that it will enable scratch DJs to record breaks and loops from other sources and prepare their set on to one record – the corollary is of course that all those people who long for the richness and tone of vinyl can now make their own. Aaah, the ways of the digital world are many.

The most significant feature of the VRX-2000 is reported to be the durability of the records it creates which is apparently well beyond traditional acetates and almost as long as traditional vinyl. The blanks use a plastic known as "Harmodisk", which offers excellent reproduction quality and durability previously unheard of.

Needless to say, this new invention could prove to be disruptive technology in the dance music industry.

MusikMesse runs for four days in Frankfurt each year at the beginning of April. This year there were 1,533 exhibitors from 50 countries, and 69,797 international visitors.

VRX-2000 Features Summary

• Vinyl cutting at 33 1/3 or 45rpm • Quartz control _speed selectable • Original Vestax cutting head VCH-1 • Integrated cutting equalizer and amplifier • Special limiter for cutting head protection • Recording time up to 14 minutes per side • Playback facility with ASTS tone-arm

Vestax web sites can be found here for the United States, here for Japan and here for the UK.

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