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The Rambler :: blog

Monday, March 14, 2005

Wired News: The Hewlett-Packard DJammer 

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Alerted by hiphopmusic.com, I'm somewhat sceptical about this development touted by Hewlett-Packard researchers as "the next-generation electric guitar". I mean, surely the real next generation electric guitar has been staring them in the face all throughout this project. If you're looking for an instrument that had the same revolutionary impact as the guitar, and invented an entire slew of genres in its wake, then it has to be turntables. So we've had that next generation Stratocaster for years now - and it works pretty well. The DJammer is just a digital imitation of something that works brilliantly well in its analogue version. It reminds me of that wave of digital saxophones that appeared in the late 80s. Apart from 808 State, whatever happened to those? Sure, there's a place for something that can mix multiple digital tracks live (if there's not already software that can do this), but after more than two years of development, the DJammer isn't it:
The team is currently researching how to let the DJammer mix more than one track at a time, including matching tempos from different songs.
Which would kind of be the main point.

Still, maybe we shouldn't get too worked up, as Bemused comments on Jay's post:
i guess this could be a good example of "talking something up"...

i happen to have a connection to HP- you know, friend of a friend of a friend - because i'm doing research on hip hop and information technology. the long and short of it is: the DJammer is nothing but vaporware right now. the prototype is NOT even close to being in production - it's still only breadboard. apparently the guy who came up with it is looking for talent to help him develop it, but he's on his own - not HP backed.

when it was first developed two years ago HP couldn't be convinced of the market potential...a situation which is unchanged as far as my sources go.


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