My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

MP3 DJ

Name: PCDJ • Rating: Cool • Format: Executable Software • Info

Spin multiple MP3 files. A great, fun tool for novitiates and pros. Available in a variety of formats, from a fun demo to a rack-mounted setup. Visit the company’s site at PCDJ.com.

Understand that the demo version of PCDJ, much as it resembles the sort of mixer upon which today’s turntablists depend, doesn’t allow for one of the most basic of functions: cue-ing up one track in your headphones while another other plays through the public-address system.

What PCDJ has proven especially good at, though — with mesmerizing results, frankly — is playing two copies of the same MP3 file at the same time. The average techno track, say something by the Orb or BT, creates un-foretold sonic moiré patterns.

This entertainment value also proves true with the work of minimalist classical composers. Rip MP3 files of a movement from a Philip Glass opera and then set one running a split second after an exact copy, and listen to the beading, the way certain tones extend unnaturally and pleasurably. Now, initiate the copy a full meter, or bar, after the first begins, and wait for the work to unfold. It’s quite hard to tell what is echo and what is “original.” (Come summer 2007, it seems strange, in retrospect, to have considered PCDJ, which is today a fairly full-featured program, a game, but that’s what it was once upon a time, and perhaps still is; entry updated July 7, 2007.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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