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DJ & Studio Equipment: What’s hot in 2010

From turntables to headphones, synthesisers to software – there really is a plethora of DJ and studio equipment on the market. So what’s right for you? Here Juno staff guide you through some of the must-have items for 2010… We’ve tried to include something for everyone, whether you’re a bedroom enthusiast or stadium-filling superstar.

Ableton Live Intro (DJ/Production Software)

Live Intro is Ableton’s latest replacement for Live 7 LE, and is a great choice for those looking for an inroad to Ableton’s world. Live Intro has got what you need for writing songs, making beats, recording, remixing, DJing and performing your music live on stage. With an impressive 7GB of audio content, multitrack recording up to 32-bit/192 kHz, powerful and creative MIDI sequencing, advanced warping and real-time time-stretching, full ReWire support (slave or master), 500 built-in Instrument Racks and Drum Racks plus Simpler (a sampler) and Impulse (a virtual drum machine), 200 built-in audio and MIDI effects, a new groove engine, VST and AU support, and support for AIFF, WAV, MP3, Ogg Vorbis and FLAC files; Live Intro is hardly lacking in features. Find out more at Juno Records

Behringer U-Control UCA202 USB Audio Interface

Behringer’s U-Control UCA202 USB Audio Interface is a cost effective solution for recording and playing audio back through your computer and is a marked improvement over the built-in soundcard. It features high-resolution 48 kHz A/D and D/A converters for high-end audio quality, a stereo headphone output with dedicated level control to let you monitor both input and output, an S/PDIF optical output for direct digital conversion and it is USB bus powered so no external power supply is needed. Perfect for recording DJ mixes, connecting to a hi-fi for playback or using it with the included EnergyXT2.5 Compact BEHRINGER Edition, KRISTAL Audio Engine and Audacity software for making music, recording, editing, mixing and mastering. Find out more at Juno Records

Sennheiser HD 25-II Professional Headphones

With the headphone market so heavily saturated it’s often difficult to know which DJ or studio headphones are a trustworthy purchase. Sennheiser’s HD 25-II Professional Monitoring Headphones are robust, reliable, lightweight, comfortable, provide excellent attenuation of background noise and are a fitting choice for both DJ & studio applications. These dynamic, closed headphones feature a rotatable capsule for one-ear listening, a nominal impedance of 70Ohm, a frequency response of 16 Hz to 22 kHz, and are capable of handling very high sound pressure levels of 120 dB. They come with a 1.5m tough, detachable steel cable and a ¼ inch (6.3mm) stereo jack adaptor plug. Sennheiser also manufacture replacement parts for these headphones so they really will last you a lifetime. Find out more at Juno Records

The A Class Series 15: Planet Drum Machine Sample Library

Containing 45,250 individual drum hits, Digital Redux’s Planet Drum Machine is an absolutely enormous collection of the last 40 years of electronic drum machines. Over 4.49 GB in size and Recorded in 44.1 kHz/24 bit audio and presented in both dry and processed form, this sample library is the definitive amassment of classic, vintage and more obscure drum machine sounds. Consisting of samples from over 100 different machines from influential companies such as Akai, Alesis, Boss, Casio, Elektron, EMU, Kawai, Korg, Linn, Roland, Simmons, Vermona and Yamaha among others, you’ll never need to search for another drum or percussion sample again. Find out more at Juno Records

Spectrasonics Omnisphere Power Synth VST Virtual Instrument

Omnisphere is Spectrasonics flagship virtual instrument based on their newly developed STEAM Engine. Their epic ‘Power Synth’ breaks completely new sonic ground by combining a wide variety of hybrid real-time synthesis techniques, an epic library of remarkable ‘Psychoacoustic’ sounds, and many innovative features that have never been seen before in any hardware or software synthesizer. Already a favourite go-to synth for many musicians and sound designers, Omnisphere has been used extensively on soundtracks to Hollywood blockbuster movies, including Avatar. It has a vast 40GB core library with thousands of cutting-edge sounds and is an inspiring choice for all types of music production. Find out more at Juno Records

Faderfox Micromodul DX2 DJ MIDI Controller

The variety of DJ MIDI controllers on the market can make choosing the right one all the more difficult. The hugely popular Faderfox Micromodul DX2 DJ MIDI Controller is a wise choice for a number of reasons. Apart from being compact, extremely well-built and stylish, this user-friendly controller can be chained to any other Faderfox device via MIDI connection for limitless configurations to suit any DJs needs. The DX2 features 5 push-encoders, 36 freely re-assignable double-function buttons, 4 rotary pots, an LED battery control and an Independent power supply using standard or rechargeable batteries (3 x AA cell, lifetime about 100 hours), however there is a socket for an external power adaptor should you prefer. All Faderfox controllers are designed and built in Germany using high-quality components. Find out more at Juno Records

Pioneer CDJ-2000 CD/DVD/MP3 Multi Player

Pioneer’s newest next generation CD deck, the CDJ-2000, is the most advanced feature-rich multi-format player on the market and is definitely at the top of many DJs “most wanted” lists. Among other things the CDJ-2000 boasts a huge full-colour angled screen with a wave display, an illuminated jog dial, a Needle Search/Needle Drop ribbon and the fantastic new Pro DJ Link feature for connecting between 2-4 players together. Unlike some other CD decks, the CDJ-2000 is compatible with most audio file types (MP3, AAC, WAV & AIFF) via CD, DVD, SD card and USB memory devices. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also a MIDI controller and ships with the new Rekordbox music database management software. Find out more at Juno Records

Waldorf Blofeld Virtual-Analog Keyboard Synthesizer

Waldorf continue their tradition of producing fantastic synthesizers with their Blofeld Keyboard Synthesizer. With top-notch audio quality and an almost limitless range of sounds, the Blofeld is perfect for studio or live use and is more than capable of creating fat analog basses, chords, ripping leads, glassy pads or eerie soundtrack-esque soundscapes. The Blofeld Boasts virtual-analog, wavetable and sample-based oscillators, a high-quality semi-weighted keyboard with 49-keys, velocity and aftertouch, a white background LED graphic display (128 x 64 pixels), more than 1000 sounds, 3 oscillators per voice, frequency modulation between oscillators, all Waldorf Q oscillator models, all Waldorf  II/XT/XTk wavetables, 2 independent multi-mode filters per voice, filter FM, 2 drive stages per voice with selectable drive curves, 3 fast LFOs per voice, 4 fast envelopes per voice, and a powerful freely programmable arpeggiator with up to 16 steps per sound. On top of that the Blofeld has a 60MB sample memory, 7 endless stainless steel dials and comes housed in a stylish, sturdy metal enclosure. Find out more at Juno Records

Nixon The Wire In-Ear Earphones

Nixon’s recent foray into the earphones market has produced some sleek, classy offerings and these Wire In-Ear Earphones should definitely not be overlooked. With a custom ergonomic design and 3 sets of silicone tips to customise fit, a soft touch coating for easy handling and a custom moulded carrying case, these earphones deliver big sound in a comfortable little package. On the technical side, they have 8mm drivers, a sensitivity of 106 dB @ 1 kHz, a frequency response of 20-20,000 Hz, a 3.5mm stereo plug, a 1.29m TPE cord and weigh approximately 11.5g. Whatever your style of music these earphones won’t disappoint. Find out more at Juno Records

Akai RPM 8 Active Studio Monitor

Specifically designed for use with MPC music production workstations and production controllers, RPM8 studio monitors are two-way, active, bi-amplified, nearfield loudspeakers made for producers, recording engineers, DJs and other musicians. They are optimized for excellent reproduction of heavy bass frequencies, RPM 8’s feature an 8″ LF driver with 80W RMS and a woven-kevlar woofer. The 1″ HF driver has a silk-dome tweeter and 40W RMS. Other features include an extremely wide frequency response of 39 – 20,000 Hz, active, fourth-order crossovers, a high output up to 113 dB SPL, a bi-color LED clip indicator, a low-resonance cabinet with dual front-panel ports, and combination XLR-1/4″ TRS inputs for compatibility with a wide variety of source equipment. These monitors are manufactured to an extremely high-quality and Akai Professional are definitely a brand name in the electronic music industry you can trust. Find out more at Juno Records

Novation Launchpad DJ Controller

Novation’s Launchpad controller has been causing quite a stir in the Ableton Live community, which is no surprise really considering its reasonable £149 price tag, simple, intuitive layout and sturdy feel. It has 80 backlit rubberized buttons providing valuable information to what’s happening on-screen by lighting up in amber, green or red. It also features rubberized feet so it doesn’t slip about while in use, a Kensington lock socket for security, and a USB socket for connecting to the computer. It’s USB bus-powered so doesn’t require an external power adaptor and boasts a space-saving L-shaped USB cable. Find out more at Juno Records

Rane Serato Scratch Live SL-3 DJ Software

Rane’s latest incarnation, the SL-3 interface, is designed to be used exclusively with Serato’s Scratch Live DJ software for scratching and mixing audio files from your computer, and it certainly excels in that department. Apart from being virtually indestructible, it features an aux input and output, a USB 2.0 high speed audio interface, a dynamic range of 104 dB, a maximum audio output of 3 Vrms, software switchable direct thru connections which require less cabling and 24-bit 44.1 or 48 kHz converters for pristine audio quality. Rane have pulled out all the stops in improving on their already industry-standard SL-1 professional DJ interface. Find out more at Juno Records

Alpine Music Safe Pro Hearing Protection System

Being exposed to loud music for prolonged periods puts DJs, clubbers and music lovers at considerable risk of irreversible damage to hearing and other physical problems. Alpine’s MusicSafe Pro Hearing Protection System is designed to help protect against this damage. Alpine’s earplugs offer three different music attenuation filter sets, providing low, medium, and high attenuation to suit every situation without loss of clarity. These sturdy and stylish silicone rubber earplugs are comfortable and have a great acoustic seal. They have a less noticeable low-profile design and come packaged in a convenient hard plastic carry/storage case. Find out more at Juno Records