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In-depth Feature:  M-Audio Torq Conectiv
It talks the Torq, does it walk the walk?
Shorn Rah writes: .


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8:50 mins
DJ Jay spins the choons
M-Audio have embraced DJ culture with the setting up of their Synchro Science department headed by Chad Carrier, the boffin who brought us the Trigger Finger pads. He's also the guy who invented the TORQ software too.

Indeed, his demo at last years Summer NAMM was a real eye opener and demonstrated the power and ease of use of the system. But of course, he's the bloke who made it. So what happens when you dump the package onto a DJ who's never used this kind of DJ software before....

Enter DJ Jay, AKA Jay Hughes who's been doing gigs with a Macbook and Ableton up to now and has no experience of DJ styled software.

The package we're looking at is the Conectiv/ Torq combination which is the USB audio interfcase with two sets of stereo ins and outs. Using the 1.1 standard it's capable of 48kHz 24-bit audio and gives you the ability to mix between two sets of phono inputs from decks or CDs and blend with the USB audio from the Torq software which adds a futher two virtual decks.


Get Connected
Conective and Torq can work in a number of setups, incorporating timcode vinyl and CDs to give you real-time control should you wish it (the timecode discs are not inlcuded in the basic Conectiv package).

    Features (hardware)
  • 4 x 4 USB 1.1 audio interface with 16-bit/48kHz
  • 4 RCA inputs configurable for line-level or phono signals
  • 4 RCA line outputs with +10dBV peak output level
  • 2 mix knobs for blending between the audio input and computer output
  • ¼â€� TRS headphone output with volume control
  • crossfadable cue source with headphone split function
  • 1/4 inc TS microphone input (dynamic mics only)
  • USB bus-powered
  • Core Audio and ASIO compatible
  • Pro Tools M-Powered compatible

Torq screen (click to enlarge)

The Software
It's a colourful, user friendly piece of software set up very much how DJs perceive theworld; 2 decks [virtual] a crossfader, some EQ's and 2 faders. Torq plays MP3, AIFF, WAV, WMA and ACC. You can use the 10 included effects and/or any VST effects you have. It even functions as a ReWire slave. Software specs:

    Software specs:
  • cue, beat-match and mix digital audio files (including MP3, AIFF, WAV, WMA and AAC)
  • works instantly and seamlessly with Conectiv
  • organizes digital audio files (including iTunes libraries) into easily searchable database
  • automatic beat-matching and integrated time-stretching/compression
  • 2 virtual decks for loading and playing files
  • 2-channel mixer with 3-band EQ, level control, headphone cueing and crossfader
  • supports two inputs for source music, microphones and more from compatible interfaces
  • includes 10 effects including filter, phaser, strobe, delay, flanger, reverb, distortion, repeat, brake and reverse
  • supports optional third-party VST effects
  • 16-cell, tempo-synced sampler
  • QuickScratch feature allows instant scratching with two loaded samples
  • performance recorder
  • snapshot function for instant recall of mixer and effects settings
  • instant looping
  • vinyl, CDJ and hybrid emulation control modes
  • controllable via mouse, keyboard or MIDI controller
  • controllable with traditional DJ hardware using Torq Control Vinyl and Torq Control CDs
  • multiple operating modes for emulating turntable, DJ CD player or a hybrid of both
  • functions as a ReWire slave

Pretty much the only thing that DJ Jay had to say against this system, was that it was limited to two decks only, so coming from Ableton it meant he had to plan the set a little more tightly.

Prices
The TORQ/Conectiv package
$299.95/£169
With Vinyl/CD pack
$349.99/ £229.99
TORQ Mixlab - Torq LE and X-Session USB hardware
$129.99/£72.99
Xponent DJ Control system (with Torq)
$749/£458.99

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • M-Audio DJ products
  • Torq creator demonstrates @ NAMM

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