Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of DJ Earworm

DJ Earworm

Music producer

Posted in mac, musician

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Jordan Roseman, AKA DJ Earworm. I produce music, being best-known for making music/video mashups. I do live DJ-ing too.

What hardware do you use?

I use a MacBook Pro, but sometimes a PC laptop as well. I'm pretty platform agnostic. For the kind of production I do, the exact computer hardware doesn't matter that much. Having decent speakers and headphones is useful. I use Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones, which seem to be a good compromise of quality, price and durability. The headphones get a lot of use and travel, and they are comfortable, and can easily be listened to via one ear while DJ-ing. For speakers, I have some KRK Rokit 8 monitors, and I usually also listen to mixes in my car which has a Harman Kardon system of some sort. my desk is an Ergrotron Workfit-C sit-stand workstation, which is pretty ugly TBH but has awesome functionality, and lets me work for long hours without hurting myself physically.

For DJ-ing I use a Xone:K2 controller, or if I want to travel extra light, I'll just just use a Korg nanoKONTROL2 controller. For DJ-ing I also use an RME Babyface Pro audio interface, which has given me years of reliability and great sound. It offers XLR as well RCA outputs which is ideal for connecting to most sound systems. I also count on my Crane universal DJ stand, which is rugged and solid and adjustable, and gets my laptop to the exact right height. All my DJ setup fits in a normal-sized carry-on bag, so I don't have to worry about my equipment when traveling.

And what software?

I use Ableton Live for both production and DJ-ing. It's easy to work very rapidly in Ableton, and that it can easily alter the pitch and tempo of any audio independently while maintaining good audio quality is probably one of the biggest selling points for me. Ableton Live was one of the first software platforms to do this, and I started using it and just stuck with it!

For vocal/instrumental isolation, my first technique now is to use some of the recently-developed AI algorithms. My current go-to method for quick extractions is Spleeter. This is free software. I use a locally installed version, which is a command line program and is NOT terribly user-friendly, but it has also been implemented online as ezstems.com. Sometimes if those results are not satisfactory I use the pay-per-use service PhonicMind. Each of these methods produces different sounding extractions with different artifacts. In recent years, these algorithms have mostly replaced my older techniques.

My older techniques include using Adobe Audition's Center Channel suppression/isolation functions, for audio where there is good stereo separation of the sources. Sometimes I use this by itself or sometimes to pre-process the audio before sending it to one of the AI algorithms.

I also traditionally use the sadly discontinued SonicWorx Isolate by Prosoniq to manually get rid of any troubling noises left over, although the newer AI algorithms often take care of this MUCH more easily.

For video, I mainly use FCPX, which has plenty of functionality for the kind of editing I do.

What would be your dream setup?

I'm actually pretty happy with my setup! In a perfect world maybe I'd build a soundproof room with bigger speakers. And get a maxed out Mac Pro! And I look forward to the day where algorithms like Spleeter can be improved even more!

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