Torq is a software extrapolation and extension of tried-and-true DJ tools and
techniques for your Mac OS X or Windows XP computer. Torq is not bound by the
limits of hardware—it embraces the technology of today’s most advanced audio
production applications and integrates with them in a fashion that makes you
part of the music. Exercising this level of control upon your collection of
songs is a task that has many facets, and Torq addresses each of these with a
specialized array of controls and features. This section provides an overview
of these features and how they contribute to your arsenal of digital mixing
tools and techniques.
DJing begins with music, so you will get to know Torq’s Decks very well. A
Deck is what Torq uses to play back a single digital music file and is
analogous to the turntable or CD player used by DJs. The Deck allows you to
play a track, change its speed and its key, as well as rearrange the track by
looping and jumping to new locations within the song. Torq is equipped with
two of these Decks—one on each side of the screen.
Main Waveform Display
One of the wonderful benefits of computer technology is the ability to
visualize audio. While interesting to the eyes in their own right, waveform
displays are an invaluable tool when DJing. Torq’s user interface is dominated
by two such waveforms at the top-center of the screen, with one corresponding
to each of the Decks. Use these scrolling waveforms to check the
synchronization of tracks, locate sounds, predict breakdowns, and much more.
It’s all in the mix, or so they say, and Torq’s Mixer delivers the goods. The
Mixer takes the audio from the two Decks and gives you control over what can
be heard by means of volume controls, audio equalizers, and a crossfader. Two
Decks and a Mixer: the essential tools for a DJ.
DJs commonly listen to a track on their headphones without letting their
audience hear it. This allows them to match the tempo of the new song to the
current one, along with finding the correct starting position for the song.
Torq allows you to monitor either Deck on headphones, and also features a
stereo headphone split normally reserved for high-quality DJ mixers.
There is a third ingredient to DJing, and that’s music—lots of music. To help
you stay on top of your massive music collection, Torq features a Database for
cataloging and searching tracks. It monitors your favorite folders and allows
you to create playlists for future performances.
Effects are a great way for you to manipulate (or mangle) your music in unique
ways to enhance your mix. Torq has a collection of built-in effects that are
specifically designed for DJ use: Tempo-synced delays and strobes. Shimmering
phasers and flangers. Glitchy repeats and distortions. Ten effects are ready
to go and full of creative potential. You can use up to three of these effects
on each Deck, and you can also expand your collection using widely-available
DJing is done with the hands, but you may find that your mind wants to hear
more than your two hands are capable of. To surmount this obstacle, Torq
allows you to combine multiple movements, such as button presses and knob
tweaks, into one grand gesture called a Snapshot that can be triggered by a
single keypress. Torq manages a collection of Snapshots that can be recalled
interchangeably, even in rapid succession. The Snapshots can even be layered
together to create massive changes in your mix.
When all is tweaked and mixed to perfection, the resultant audio is sent to
the Master Output. Torq features an automatic output limiter that will keep
your music from distorting as well as a module for recording the final mix to
a file as you play. You can then burn the results onto a CD or convert them to
MP3 for podcasts.