You can now create live acapellas and instrumentals during your DJ sets thanks to a new AI technology created by Algoriddim, ’Neural Mix’, a feature of djay Pro AI. Neural Mix enables DJs to separate drums, instruments and vocals in real time.
How to use Neural Mix
The isolation of track elements is achieved with three new faders per deck: Drums, Harmonics (instruments) and Vocals. There is also a solo button above each fader, meaning you can instantly isolate one stem, or element from the track, without having to fade down the other two.
Using any track loaded on the selected deck, Neural Mix separates the music into two or three channels, depending on the track itself.
A three channel system is made up of a drums channel, a harmonics (instrumental) channel and a vocals channel.
A two channel system gives you just instrumental and vocals channels.
Each individual channel has its own volume fader. They also have three shortcut buttons; Solo, Mute and Switch.
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What is Neural Mix?
Djay Neural Mix uses the advanced technology of the Bionic processors of the iPad Pro and iPhone 11 to analyse specific aspects of the track.
The system works best with more modern songs – pop, dance and R&B – due to the digital mastering of the tracks, allowing the Neural Mix AI to better identify the stems. Older genres work less well and have poorer isolation of the elements, often giving the DJ the basic two channels (instrumental and vocals) to play with.
While you can use all the features directly on the iPad or iPhone, you can also control Neural Mix on your compatible DJ controller to mix the elements from up to four tracks at once. The features can also be managed with your controller using MIDI mapping, so you can, for example, press Shift before selecting each EQ to access the elements.
Previous options for remixing
DJs have been creating remixes and mashups for decades, mixing with the instrumental from one track and the vocals from another. Or they could play an instrumental track on one vinyl, the drums from another and then scratch a vocal sample on another deck or MPC.
The problem with this is the DJ would have to buy the track as the individual element (the instrumental or vocal track) separately, and that’s only if they were available. Though they were made available more widely for DJs with the increased demand.
More recently, you would have to use a separate piece of software to isolate the stems. But the mixing would have to be done in advance – not in a live gig.
Native Instruments released the technology of Stems, allowing DJs to mix with four separate elements of a track. The issue with that was the Stems were only available if the track was recorded in a specific version.
XTRAX STEMS was later released, which allowed DJs to extract the instrumentals, vocals and drums from a track. But these would then have to be exported into the DJ software, Traktor that had Native Instrument’s Stems, or as separate files that could be played in a DJ set.
The future of DJing
Djay Pro AI takes mixing with stems so much further, as you can mix with any combination of the elements in real time, whenever you want. DJs can create a mashup, remix or simply play any element of the track at the touch of a button, or combine them all in one new mix.
“Neural Mix™ is a revolutionary technology to deconstruct and mix music in real-time. Instantly isolate beats, instruments, and vocals based on cutting-edge AI.”
Think about playing a ‘singalong’ song and being able to remove the vocals during the chorus to allow your crowd to chant to their favourite part. Looping a well known riff instrumental over the drums of a classic hip-hop track, with the vocals of a modern pop song. The possibilities are endless!
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Djay for iOS can be downloaded for free on the App Store. Neural Mix is available via an upgrade to djay Pro AI, where you can also access sounds, loops and visuals, as an in-app purchase subscription.
Price: USD $4.99; GBP £4.49; EUR €4.99 per month.
Djay 2 users are currently eligible for a free upgrade to djay 3 (djay – DJ App & AI Mixer).
You can also test out the new features with a free trial of Djay Pro AI.
Neural Mix is designed for use in the A12 Bionic chip-featured Apple devices, including the following;
- iPhone XS or later
- iPhone SE (2nd generation) or later
- iPad Pro 11-inch
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) or later
- iPad Air (3rd generation) or later, and
- iPad mini (5th generation) or later.
It is also supported from the following devices, and those released later; iPhone 7, iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPad Pro, iPad (6th generation), iPad Air (3rd generation), iPad Mini (5th generation), and iPod Touch (7th generation).