Tools of the Trade

With user-friendly technology, everyone and their mothers think they can easily spin to a crowd or create the next big blockbuster. While the capabilities are readily available, picking the right gadgets and software to get you on the road to fame and acclaim is a different story altogether.
We spoke to an upcoming DJ and filmmaker to get the lowdown on the tools of the trade that have worked well for them.
, Tools of the TradeThe DJ
Johnson Ong, 30, Managing Director of Projects at Big Kid Productions & Communications.
Spinning for around a year at corporate and private events.
PreSonus Firebox Multi-Channel Sound Card
This splits the audio signals, allowing one track to be played through your headphones and another through the main speaker.
The Details: $490, Steinberg Media Technologies Asia (#02-06 Redhill Forum, 16 Jalan Kilang Timor, 6274-3577).
Native Instruments Traktor 3
Helps you synch and match the beats of your MP3s right off your laptops.
What Johnson Says: “It’s extensive software that’s great for anyone new to DJing. It’s so easy to use that you can synch the incoming and outgoing tracks at a click of the mouse.”
The Details: $430, Team 108 Technical Services (6/F, 33 Tannery Lane, 6748-9333).
Sennheiser HD 205 Headphones
These help you to monitor the incoming track as yoou prepare to mix.
What Johnson Says: “It’s perfect for DJing, because it’s got a swivel that allows me to comfortably listen to just one side of the headphones for the next song without cramming my neck, while keeping track of the song that’s still playing.”
The Details: $109, Best Denki (#09-06 Great World City, Kim Seng Promenade, 6319-9922).
NuMark iDJ
Similar to old school turntables, this is used to mix tracks but with two iPods instead of vinyls. However, it can be used independently of the iPods and with the Traktor 3 instead as a basic mixer console.
What Johnson Says: “I prefer using it with [Traktor 3], as the software is more flexible than the console in terms of functions like manipulating tempo and looping. Also these days, DJs need to put on a show, so operating from a console like the NuMark, as opposed to a simple laptop, just looks better!”
The Details: $450, Sinamax Electronics (#B1-24 Parklane Shopping Centre, 35 Selegie Rd., 6338-8657).
, Tools of the TradeThe Filmmaker
Kelvin Sng, 32, film instructor.
Has been making short films for around six years and is currently working on his first feature film.
Panasonic GS60
Kelvin uses a Panasonic NV-DS15, but since this model is rather old and a pain to find, the Panasonic GS60 will serve your cinematic needs just as well. A simple digital video camera, its features are basic, but perfect for budding filmmakers.
The Details: $499, Courts (#05-38/39 Funan DigitaLife Mall, 109 North Bridge Rd., 6338-6500)
Celtx Script Writing Software
A software that simplifies scriptwriting, Celtx is a step-by-step program designed to make getting ideas down as easy as possible for anyone unfamiliar with a script format. Options for storyboarding are also available.
What Kelvin Says: “This software makes it so easy. It’s probably the best place to start for beginners.”
The Details: Free to download from
Ulead VideoStudio
This software is designed to ease the editing process. Like Celtx, it’s a step by step process that’s foolproof. While Kelvin is using version six of the software, the most recent edition is the Ulead VideoStudio 10 Plus.
What Kelvin Says: “A lot of schools are using this software, because it takes the students through the stages.”
The Details: $199, Challenger Superstore (#06-100 Funan DigitaLife Mall, 109 North Bridge Rd., 6413-0121).