With the advent of more powerful software and controllers, modern DJs really don’t need to learn as much about spinning tracks as they used to. Now beginners are treated to automated cues, loops and beat matching software that take some of the art out of DJing. The latest bit of automation comes from Pioneer and its $249 DDJ-SB3 DJ controller. The unit adds a Pad Scratch feature that gives aspiring club monsters the ability to imitate eight different scratch techniques that were recorded by DJ Jazzy Jeff. Whatever track you’re playing, the scratch will automatically match up with the right tempo with a simple tap on a performance pad.
A gamepad is the part of a game console people have the most intimate relationship with. You’re holding it in your hands for hours on end, and you know it so well you can control its every function without even looking at it. When the action gets intense, your hands start to sweat from twiddling the thumbsticks. For plenty of people, it’s the first thing that comes to mind when they want to throw something out of rage over a cheap death. Microsoft wants to make that connection even deeper by handing you the keys to the factory with its aptly named Xbox Design Lab.