Beam us up!
Stargazing apps like Pocket Universe ($3) and Star Walk ($3) are now available for junior astronomers and Orion enthusiasts. You just point your phone at a star, a planet or constellation and it will tell you details, like how many light years it is from earth.
Google Sky Map (free) will do the same for Android users. For IPad owners, Star Walk ($5) doesn’t even require a starry night.
What would happen if we pointed our iPhone at Phil Collins? He’s a star. And he has access to plenty of hi-end equipment in his studio—the envy of any DJ/producer, except Larry Tee. “For a beginning DJ/Producer, I say leave the high-tech equipment to Phil Collins,” says DJ Larry, proprietor of DJs Are Not Rockstars Records. “Good dance music is about ideas, and grooves and you don’t need a million dollars worth of equipment to have those.”
Larry uses a 24-channel mixing board, “with all the boxes you could ever dream of and samplers, several keyboards, and big speakers. But I took it down and rented the room out because I was making more exciting music much easier and quicker without anything but a laptop and an occasional mic hookup.”
His favorite piece of gear is Ableton Live. “I can download beats and experiment before I go into Logic and create songs or tracks. I can discover grooves by chopping drum sounds from old records, or sampling 808s, which is a necessity for me these days.”
“Dance music has always had formulas and sounds that everyone used, so to me any way that you make dance music work and sound smoking hot, is the right way. Don’t ever listen to the purist DJ/producer snobs tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, because a lot of them break their own rules. This new technology makes producing music so much more democratic and I think that’s why dance music is so hot right now…Bring on the pirates!”