Hercules DJ Controllers (Guillemot)


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About

Guillemot Corporation is a designer and manufacturer of interactive entertainment hardware and accessories, offering a wide range of diversified products under the Hercules brand name for audio devices.

For over 30 years, we have focused on innovating and developing digital audio solutions which continue to inspire users with endless new ...

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Contact

Publicist
Ali Scott
812-339-1195 x 204

Current News

  • 10/06/201910/06/2019

Teaching AI to DJ: How Algorithms Can Help Beginning DJs and Add Unexpected Creativity to Their Sets

Creating a great set is about more than mastering the hardware and technique. It’s about something you can’t pick up quickly: musical knowledge. This knowledge goes deeper than finding awesome or popular tracks. A great DJ can gauge music’s danceability in a flash and define the next big sound.

 

This deeply human and intuitive judgement call can be supported by AI, as a machine can analyze certain track parameters and suggest novel ideas for what to play next. It can...

Press

  • RouteNote Blog, Article, 03/30/2020, Mix on Algoriddim with Hercules DJ Controllers Text
  • EDM in A Soda, Article, 03/28/2020, Hercules DJ controllers can now be used with Algoriddim’s award-winning djay app Text
  • Home Theater Hobbyist, Video feature, 03/27/2020, Hercules Monitor 5 | Studio Monitor Review Text
  • GearSlutz, Article, 03/27/2020, Hercules DJ Controllers now compatible with Algoriddim’s djay app Text
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News

10/06/2019, Teaching AI to DJ: How Algorithms Can Help Beginning DJs and Add Unexpected Creativity to Their Sets
10/06/201910/06/2019, Teaching AI to DJ: How Algorithms Can Help Beginning DJs and Add Unexpected Creativity to Their Sets
Announcement
10/06/2019
Announcement
10/06/2019
Creating a great set is about more than mastering the hardware and technique. It’s about something you can’t pick up quickly: musical knowledge. This knowledge goes deeper than finding awesome or popular tracks. A great DJ can gauge music’s danceability in a flash and define the next big sound. MORE» More»

Creating a great set is about more than mastering the hardware and technique. It’s about something you can’t pick up quickly: musical knowledge. This knowledge goes deeper than finding awesome or popular tracks. A great DJ can gauge music’s danceability in a flash and define the next big sound.

 

This deeply human and intuitive judgement call can be supported by AI, as a machine can analyze certain track parameters and suggest novel ideas for what to play next. It can alleviate a major pain point for all DJs, but particularly for those new to the practice. 

 

To make an effective AI assistant for DJs, you first need to understand how exactly DJs make decisions, and that requires talking to expert DJs with long histories of killer sets. “When we looked at the history of DJing, we realized that beat matching was the first technique you need to master if you want to be able to mix properly,” says Victorien Bourreau, a working DJ who’s also part of Hercules’ development and design team. “But it’s not just about finding two tracks with a similar BPM. Francis Grasso, one of the DJs who invented the beat matching technique, found that music needs to be danceable while having a similar speed, rhythm, and tonality.”

 

These principles inspired the development team at Hercules, who set out to create an AI-powered tool that would guide beginner DJs and inspire them to craft better sets. As they worked on an algorithm within Hercules’ popular DJUCED software, they noticed some subtleties that went beyond Grasso’s rules. The team turned to scientific literature and DJ common sense to figure out how to capture what made tracks fit well together.

 

“You can have two songs with the same BPM in the same key, but one is danceable and the other one isn’t,” explains Victorien. “This is why we developed a proprietary analysis algorithm in DJUCED than can tell if a song is no fun to dance to or if it’s freaky danceable: we call it Energy. This complex algorithm takes into account the repetitions in songs, rhythms, frequencies, song parts, loudness, changes of structure, type of sound, among other things.”

 

A complex algorithm that encompasses a wide range of musical features demands extensive testing and training. The team reached out to working DJs, asking them to let Hercules analyze their libraries, crunch the data, and see if they could get it right. Though beginners remain their core audience, they needed experienced DJs to make sure the suggestions worked. “DJs have really cool ways of organizing their libraries, and they have ever-changing musical preferences,” Victorien notes. “So that’s why in DJUCED, you can specify where the Assistant should look, your entire music collection or in a specific folder or playlist, and tell the Assistant how many suggestions to make.”

 

You can also access the AI assistant directly from your controller, as you mix. The IMA is linked between hardware and software with dedicated buttons, so the DJs doesn’t have to use a mouse on a computer screen. The DJ has direct access from the controller, so they can keep their hands on the controller and focus and what’s important when DJing: the music.

 

Victorien is also a working DJ, and he’s found the Assistant fun and intriguing as he puts things together live. “It suggests combinations of songs I would never have found by myself,” he enthuses. “It’s a great way to improvise and explore.”

 

The discovery aspect is perhaps one of the coolest parts of AI, how a machine can find connections humans may not imagine, and do so very quickly. Though the Intelligent Music Assistant and DJUCED want to get beginners rolling, the Assistant is built to leave them lots of room for creativity as they grow and improve. “You are still making all your own choices,” Victorien reflects. “The technology makes it easier and faster, but it’s all about you and what you want to play.”

Announcement
10/06/2019

01/16/2019, Start Easy: Hercules’ “Miraculous” DJ Learning Ecosystem Will Get You DJing in Under an Hour
01/16/201901/16/2019, Start Easy: Hercules’ “Miraculous” DJ Learning Ecosystem Will Get You DJing in Under an Hour
Announcement
01/16/2019
Announcement
01/16/2019
You have an hour, shorter than a typical club set. Hercules can get you DJing in that time. Seriously. “It may sound like one of those ridiculous viral challenges, but it’s really possible,” laughs Francois Garet, DJ and music project director at Hercules. MORE» More»

You have an hour, shorter than a typical club set. Hercules can get you DJing in that time. Seriously. “It may sound like one of those ridiculous viral challenges, but it’s really possible,” laughs Francois Garet, DJ and music project director at Hercules.

Hercules wants everyone to have a turn in the booth and has built an entire ecosystem dedicated to helping the aspirational DJ. Its groundbreaking approach to this overlooked segment of music makers led TechCrunch to call its controllers “miraculous.” Its controllers recently won a glowing review from Tom’s Guide, which lets you “
master the basics in a flash with Hercules.

Here’s the breakdown, from box open to beat drop.

00:00 Unbox your Hercules DJControl Inpulse 300 controller and open up your laptop. Connect the two.

02:00 Start up DJUCED, Hercules’ proprietary mixing software. The included DJ Academy tutorials give an overview of the fundamentals of DJing.

10:00 Familiarize yourself with the toggles, faders, and buttons on your controller. You’ll need to focus most on the crossfader (allows you to fade from one track to another), tempo pitch fader (adjusts track tempos to match rhythms across tracks), and jog wheels (the turntable-like controls that let you speed up, slow down, and synchronize tracks).

Tech perk: You’ll be able to tell what to press next thanks to Hercules’ light-up controls. Your hardware will guide you, until you don’t need the support.

25:00 Find your tracks. Start with music you yourself can’t resist dancing to. Thanks to deals with  high-quality MP3 library BPM Supreme in the US, your controller gets you access to a world of cool club tracks, with moods from hot fire to chill.

Tech perk: Hercules’ AI-powered Intelligent Music Assistant can help suggest tracks that work great together as you learn. It can also help you find the right tracks to match the energy you’re looking for on the dancefloor or in the club.

45:00 Listen to your tracks a few times. Use the toggles to match the beats (or let DJUCED do it for you, for now) of the two tracks you want. Listen for a cue point, usually the first stressed beat in a measure (often a kick drum). Let the first track roll and as it’s heading toward its end, drop the second track’s cue point on the one.

Tech perk: Turn on the Beat Match guide to help you match beats until you master the skill manually. The guide lights up to indicate the sweet spot on faders. Turn it off once you get good.

60:00 Drop the beat! It’s your turn.

Okay, so you’re not quite ready for the Boiler Room or Ibiza---yet. But you just made the first big step in mastering the basic skills it takes to heat up a party. The rest is practice and ongoing refinement, and Hercules will support that learning, every step of the way.

“Getting really good at DJing is hard, but getting started should be easy,” notes Garet. “This idea has guided every step of our product design, and we’re proud to have our innovation recognized at CES.”

Announcement
01/16/2019

01/16/2019, Start Easy: Hercules’ “Miraculous” DJ Learning Ecosystem Will Get You DJing in Under an Hour
01/16/201901/16/2019, Start Easy: Hercules’ “Miraculous” DJ Learning Ecosystem Will Get You DJing in Under an Hour
Announcement
01/16/2019
Announcement
01/16/2019
You have an hour, shorter than a typical club set. Hercules can get you DJing in that time. Seriously. “It may sound like one of those ridiculous viral challenges, but it’s really possible,” laughs Francois Garet, DJ and music project director at Hercules. MORE» More»

You have an hour, shorter than a typical club set. Hercules can get you DJing in that time. Seriously. “It may sound like one of those ridiculous viral challenges, but it’s really possible,” laughs Francois Garet, DJ and music project director at Hercules.

Hercules wants everyone to have a turn in the booth and has built an entire ecosystem dedicated to helping the aspirational DJ. Its groundbreaking approach to this overlooked segment of music makers led TechCrunch to call its controllers “miraculous.” Its controllers recently won a glowing review from Tom’s Guide, which lets you “master the basics in a flash.”

Here’s the breakdown, from box open to beat drop.

00:00 Unbox your Hercules DJControl Inpulse 300 controller and open up your laptop. Connect the two.

02:00 Start up DJUCED, Hercules’ proprietary mixing software. The included DJ Academy tutorials give an overview of the fundamentals of DJing.

10:00 Familiarize yourself with the toggles, faders, and buttons on your controller. You’ll need to focus most on the crossfader (allows you to fade from one track to another), tempo pitch fader (adjusts track tempos to match rhythms across tracks), and jog wheels (the turntable-like controls that let you speed up, slow down, and synchronize tracks).

Tech perk: You’ll be able to tell what to press next thanks to Hercules’ light-up controls. Your hardware will guide you, until you don’t need the support.

25:00 Find your tracks. Start with music you yourself can’t resist dancing to. Thanks to deals with high-quality MP3 library BPM Supreme in the US, your controller gets you access to a world of cool club tracks, with moods from hot fire to chill.

Tech perk: Hercules’ AI-powered Intelligent Music Assistant can help suggest tracks that work great together as you learn. It can also help you find the right tracks to match the energy you’re looking for on the dancefloor or in the club.

45:00 Listen to your tracks a few times. Use the toggles to match the beats (or let DJUCED do it for you, for now) of the two tracks you want. Listen for a cue point, usually the first stressed beat in a measure (often a kick drum). Let the first track roll and as it’s heading toward its end, drop the second track’s cue point on the one.

Tech perk: Turn on the Beat Match guide to help you match beats until you master the skill manually. The guide lights up to indicate the sweet spot on faders. Turn it off once you get good.

60:00 Drop the beat! It’s your turn.

Okay, so you’re not quite ready for the Boiler Room or Ibiza---yet. But you just made the first big step in mastering the basic skills it takes to heat up a party. The rest is practice and ongoing refinement, and Hercules will support that learning, every step of the way.

“Getting really good at DJing is hard, but getting started should be easy,” notes Garet. “This idea has guided every step of our product design, and we’re proud to have our innovation recognized at NAMM.”

Announcement
01/16/2019

09/27/2018, It’s Your Turn: Hercules Launches Complete System to Turn Aspiring DJs into Masters of the Booth
09/27/201809/27/2018, It’s Your Turn: Hercules Launches Complete System to Turn Aspiring DJs into Masters of the Booth
Announcement
09/27/2018
Announcement
09/27/2018
Hercules, the DJ educational hardware heavyweights, are launching several new controllers, AI-powered software features, and educational resources to create a wholistic learning environment for aspiring DJs. MORE» More»

DJ educational hardware heavyweights launch several new controllers, AI-powered software features, and educational resources to create a wholistic learning environment for aspiring DJs.

Hercules has an extensive history of commitment to DJs just starting to master the techniques to keep the dance floor packed. Where the first stages of a DJ’s development often feel like afterthoughts in other controllers’ lines, Hercules keeps this crucial phase center stage.

With its new line and reimagined educational resources, it has reaffirmed this devotion with a complete system for learning to master beats, elevate the energy in the room, and get the crowd dancing. As they progress, DJs can ease away from the guides and suggestions, as they become more fluent in the art.

New controllers out this autumn (preorders start September 27, 2018; available late October) include:

Inpulse line: The Inpulse controllers guide learning DJs where to go next, at a great price. The line includes the compact Inpulse 200 ($99.99; 16.6 x 7.7 in) and the larger, more advanced Inpulse 300 ($199.99; 18.9 x 11.2 in).

Both Inpulse controllers set DJs up for rapid progress, ditching crutches like the automix function in favor of real learning. The design is laser-focused on cultivating good DJ habits and super skills, so that users can move to more sophisticated controllers or analog DJing whenever they’re ready (or keep creating great sets with their Inpulse).

These controllers feature a coordinated set of unique features, including generously sized jog wheels that mimic the feel of vinyl records to help teach scratching, lighted dials and buttons that aid in beat matching and track selection, and carefully designed recessed features that prevent accidental bumps.

The DJ Starter Kit: It’s a ticket to DJ mastery in a box. The Starter Kit comes with the compact  DJControl Starlight controller, DJuced 40 software, Hercules HDP M40.1 headphones, and two DJMonitor 32 speakers, ready to plug and play at a price point ideal for gift giving ($179.99). Weighing in around 10 pounds, the Starter Kit impresses with its substantial sound and fun lights. It can be set up in minutes and is the first DJ starter kit to include a full version of Serato DJ Lite.

Woven into the new releases is the AI-based Intelligent Music Assistant, part of Hercules’ DJuced software, a unique feature to Hercules products. The Intelligent Music Assistant offers just the right track recommendation for a seamless set. Its suggestions are not only based on simple audio parameters like BPM, but also on more contextual “vibe” and energy, to help DJs shift the set’s mood. No other controller/software combination has this power.

The Intelligent Music Assistant and helpful hardware features get you started, but Hercules wanted to take DJs instructions to the next level. To get them there, the company crafted a series of instructional guides and videos to make learning DJ techniques like beat matching a breeze, as part of its robust DJ Academy. The Academy’s video resources are incorporated into its DJuced software as tutorials. This reduces distractions and makes them perfect for offline, on-the-fly education.

Hercules controllers have long been the place to start for those dreaming of DJing. Their functionality, budget-friendliness, and compact size make them an easy choice for first (and second and third) controllers. Now the France-based company has fully embraced its support of a DJ’s first steps, launching a complete DJ educational solution.

“We’ve incorporated educational resources into everything we’ve built, into the hardware, software, and tutorials,” explains François Garet, a DJ and music project director at Hercules. “We use our own experience and the challenges we have faced mastering the techniques of DJing to inspire our education of others. This is where we have really innovated, pioneering a series of new features for beginners that have now been imitated across the market.” Hercules continues innovating as the leader of DJ educational hardware, with one goal: turning fans into DJs, so everyone can take their turn.

Announcement
09/27/2018

09/27/2018, Hercules lights up the DJ scene with a new controller to help you get started with Serato
09/27/201809/27/2018, Hercules lights up the DJ scene with a new controller to help you get started with Serato
Announcement
09/27/2018
Announcement
09/27/2018
Hercules has teamed up with Serato to launch a new compact DJ controller with a unique backlighting feature to get started DJing: the DJControl Starlight. This ultra-compact, ultra-light and ultra-practical device packs all the features needed to mix and scratch with Serato DJ Lite. MORE» More»

Hercules, a leading manufacturer of DJ controllers and audio solutions, has teamed up with Serato to launch a new compact DJ controller with a unique backlighting feature to get started DJing: the DJControl Starlight. This ultra-compact, ultra-light and ultra-practical device packs all the features needed to mix and scratch with Serato DJ Lite.

The essential at your fingertips

With its built-in audio interface, the DJControl Starlight offers a pre-listening mode in the headphones so you can then play your mix on speakers, which is perfect for learning or creating new mixes. The system is so comprehensive for its size that it boasts all the essential features such as bass equalization/filter knobs for smooth transitions or touch-sensitive jogwheels for easy scratching. And all of that is boosted by the Hercules touch: a clear and powerful RGB backlighting with a unique strobe effect!

A unique light signature

Hercules has leveraged its creativity to develop a new and entertaining light system that makes it easier to learn how to mix. You can control the lights either from the controller or right in Serato DJ Lite, thanks to seven new modes that let you keep an eye on the rhythm and find your way through your mix.

A quick look at the top five:

Two exclusive modes for a better understanding of the 4-beat bar and count the beats in a song:

- Beat 1 Program: the LEDs light up red with the first beat of the main track and blue with the following beats, turning off between each beat.
- Beat 2 Program: the LEDs light up in red with the first beat of the main song and blue with the following beats, without turning off.

A volume-synced mode:
- Master Volume Program: the LEDs light up in white (strobe effect) and their intensity varies with the volume.

Two modes to cue and navigate within the tracks:
- Waveform Color Program: 2 LEDs per turntable mimic the waveform colors of the respective tracks.
- Cue point Color Program: 2 LEDs per turntable light up gradually depending on the color of the upcoming Cue Point.

Hercules DJControl Starlight

The DJControl Starlight is the ideal controller to get into DJing with Serato DJ Lite:

- Plug-and-play with Serato DJ Lite (free download)
- Integrated audio interface: Master output (speakers) + headphone output
- Touch-sensitive jog wheel controls pause/playback
- 4 pads × 4 modes (Hot Cue, Loop, FX, Sampler)
- Fader Tempo (pitch adjustment)
- Bass EQ/filter knobs + deck volume knobs
- Crossfader, for mixing on both decks
- Master volume knob

The DJControl Starlight will be available for sale from October 26, 2018 at the recommended retail price of $79.99.

Announcement
09/27/2018