Spectral DJ

What are the most expressive gestures to create and refine live electronic music?
When playing music with live electronics, can you be as reactive and sensitive as a violinist, an electric guitar player or a turntablist?

Spectral DJ is an expressive software musical instrument optimized for live performance with a DJ controller. Common musical studio techniques such as granular synthesis, spectral sound processing, sampling, slicing, looping, and beat shuffling are now available at the fingertips of the musician.


Duet with Ramin Roshandel

All of the electronics in the award-winning album Jamshid Jam were produced live with Spectral DJ.

It embeds a versatile Scratch Delay and two Graphic Decks - the most advanced graphical sound processing environment available.

Scratch Delay

Whereas turntablists perform new sounds out of pre-recorded vinyls and sound files, Spectral DJ enables you to create new sounds directly from a live audio stream: you can apply traditional turntable gestures to music performed live by a musician next to you. You can scratch the delay line, juggle beats with two platters, set and recall hot cues, etc.

For the most organic performances, granular and spectral re-synthesis are tightly integrated to the traditional tape-like playback mode.

Graphic Decks

Two Graphic Decks are dedicated to live sampling. With an exclusive collection of graphic filters, you can pixelate, blur, or spiralize a spectrogram, and instantaneously make music with the new sounds.

Smart Slicer

The ultra-fast Smart Slicer gives you direct access to beats, notes, or syllables. Beyond the automatic mode, you can easily add and delete slices, or edit their positions. Store your custom sounds & slices to Hot Sounds pads and recall them later. Playback modes include reverse, random, and adjustable stutter.

Slices are automatically assigned to pads for direct live playback. Easily record, store, copy, and recall sequences for the most intuitive creative overbud and variation workflow.

Design

Spectral DJ builds on the tradition of one of the most pervasive and powerful interfaces for musical expression invented in the 20th century: the turntable. The software is seamlessly integrated with a hardware DJ controller. With Spectral DJ, the musician literally puts their fingers on the music.


Duet with Will Yager

Spectral DJ provides the most intuitive platform for graphic sound processing. A live visual preview of a filter's effect constitutes an invaluable tool for the musician to adjust a filter parameter before rendering and performing with the sonic result.

Engineering

Spectral DJ is engineered for live music production. The DJ controller's native low latency for scratching is fully leveraged by the software instrument. Audio processing and display loads are optimized at every step, including inside the advanced phase vocoder and granular engines. Spectrograms are processed with the fastest image processing algorithms, for both visual preview and audio rendering.


Duet with Carlos Cotallo Solares

Musical Expression

Three unique musical features characterize Spectral DJ.
First, it brings the tactile sensitivity of the turntable to the world of live sound processing.
Second, it offers the most intuitive collection of graphically-based audio effects. Image processing filters are at the performer’s fingertips, from contrast adjustment to blurring, sharpening, pixelation, geometric distortions, and more. Never before has such a range of graphical filters been available in a live audio performance software.


Duet with Will Yager, 2021

Third, collaborative creation lies at the core of Spectral DJ. By design, Spectral DJ restores the art of listening as the most important of musical skills.

©2020-2023, by Jean-Fran├žois Charles.