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Torq is cheap - $50 upgrade actually
Torq is cheap - $50 upgrade actually
Posted by Gizmo on January 18, 2008 :

M-Audio Torq v1.5 upgrade NAMM 2008

Coming dangerously close to running out of witty wordplay headlines, M-Audio have announced details on the next major upgrade to their Torq software package. Addressing some of the concerns of users and also coming up with a load of digital goodness all on their own, M-Audio's bargain priced DVS system will be available for a $50 upgrade fee, which I'm sure many of you will be cursing about, but I'll get to that later.

First the extensive PR words:

M-Audio Torq v1.5 upgrade NAMM 2008
M-Audio Torq v1.5 upgrade NAMM 2008
Click for outrageously huge screen shots
M-Audio Announces Torq 1.5 DJ Software for Mac OS X and Windows
Software upgrade delivers innovative new creative tools and workflow enhancements for digital DJs

ANAHEIM, Calif., NAMM Convention, Booth #6700, January 17, 2008 — M-Audio, a leading provider of creative tools for musicians and a part of Avid Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: AVID), today announced Torq™ 1.5 DJ software. M-Audio® Torq 1.5 brings even more creative options to the only digital DJ workstation designed to merge live DJ performance and advanced music production. New features in Torq 1.5 software include Tempo Anchors, Tempo Master, zplane élastique time stretching, send/receive MIDI clock, a new toolbar and a variety of workflow enhancements.

Torq DJ software takes DJs beyond simple beat matching and crossfading by offering a host of real-time creative options previously unavailable in the industry. The software’s new Tempo Anchors allow users to set the phase grid exactly on the beats of the song, even if the song changes tempo. The new Tempo Master function assigns a playing track to serve as the master BPM for everything in Torq, so looped samples, VST effects and other tempo-based features will follow in perfect sync. These new features are enhanced by the addition of zPlane Elastique time-compression/expansion technology, a powerful new algorithm designed for stretching full music tracks without rhythmic anomalies.

As a full-featured virtual workstation, Torq 1.5 software allows performers to incorporate outboard MIDI hardware into their audio production setups. Torq 1.5 software can send and receive MIDI beat clock for total synchronization with drum machines, effects boxes and other computers. Multiple DJs can connect with each other and share the same tempo across systems, which improves collaboration between artists.

The initial release of Torq software revolutionized digital DJ performance and production by introducing a broad assortment of cutting-edge effects. Torq 1.5 goes even further by adding new features that improve effects processing and inspire creativity. The built-in effects can now be formed into Effects Chains, facilitating greater innovation than ever before. Torq 1.5 also supports VST Tempo so external effects can be automatically synchronized to the playing track.

In addition, Torq 1.5 incorporates several refinements to the user interface. The Hide Mixer option conserves screen space by removing the mixer from the user interface and expanding the file browser window. The Browser Preview function allows DJs to preview songs in their headphones before loading them into a deck. Torq 1.5 also displays a warning message when exiting the program or loading a song onto a deck that is already playing in order to prevent accidental set interruption during a live performance.

“The initial release of Torq changed the definition of DJ software by combining studio production tools with a robust DJ performance solution, blurring the line between DJs and producers,” said Adam Castillo, marketing director at M-Audio. “Torq 1.5 goes even further by delivering a host of innovative new features. With a compatible hardware interface like Conectiv™ or Xponent™, Torq 1.5 DJ software becomes a powerful performance rig that enables DJs and producers to explore new creative directions.”

Torq 1.5 combines digital DJ software with an unparalleled set of creative tools including built-in effects processing, automatic beat-matching and a 16-cell tempo-synced sampler. Featuring advanced looping functionality, automatic beat-matching and seamless integration with select M-Audio hardware, Torq provides the production power to set you apart from everyone else.

New Features in Torq 1.5:
  • Improved Tempo/Pitch Alteration
  • Tempo Anchors allow marking tracks with varying tempos—Torq’s effects and samples follow the tempo changes in the song
  • Tempo Master assigns a playing track to serve as the master tempo source for all tempo-related functions
  • Plane Elastique time-stretching/compression technology for sophisticated beat matching and pitch alteration

Advanced MIDI Control
  • transmit/receive MIDI beat clock for sync with other hardware/software and easy switching between DJs
  • MIDI soft takeover prevents parameter jumps when using external controllers

New User Interface Features
  • Hide Mixer option conserves screen space
  • preview songs in headphones before loading to deck
  • new databse categories for bit rate, file type, year and label
  • select multiple files to add to playlists
  • Musical Style Preferences improve results when analyzing tracks
  • drag and drop songs into decks while in browser max view
  • warning message if loading a new song onto a Deck that is playing
  • warning message when attempting to exit Torq
  • optimized control locations
  • intuitive toolbar buttons and MIDI/tempo indicators
  • Global Tempo metronome can be monitored in headphones
  • Auto Gain feature matches the gain levels between decks

Enhanced Effects Processing
  • internal effects can be grouped into effects chains
  • VST effect tempo synchronizes with tempo of playing deck
  • effects can be used in a post-fader configuration

Rock-Solid Integration with Traditional DJ Hardware
  • Skip Protection keeps the music playing even if the Control Vinyl or CD skips
  • True Key Lock keeps the pitch constant when adjusting external turntable speed

New Looping Functionality
  • Loop points can be set after a section plays
  • new QuickLoop option for CDJ-style loop division
  • Quantize function for start/stop accuracy

Pricing and Availability Torq 1.5 DJ software is currently expected to be available for Windows® XP-, Windows Vista®- and Mac® OS X-based systems in the first quarter of 2008. The cost of upgrading from any previous version of Torq is USD$50. Upgrades will be available online at

But despite the extensive list of new stuff to get giddy about, many users will just see "$50 upgrade" in huge neon letters. In fact, all I see on so many forums is people complaining about how companies dare charge for software upgrades. The argument seems to stem around how buggy the original software is so they should issue them for free, but also how Serato don't charge for upgrades.

Taking point 1 - I wholeheartedly agree that if a company issues software that is essentially flawed, then they should fix it. These are maintenance upgrades and as such should be passed onto the user for nothing. But when a whole heap of new functionality is added, somebody has to pay for all that development time.

When you think about the 18 months or so since Torq was released, the developers and coders have been hard at work keeping the current version up to date as well as developing the next version. This all costs money, and it's only fair that if you want some of this hot new ish, you should cough up for it. Not stupid amounts of course - there has to be a balance between your original investment and getting new functionality. $50 in the whole scheme of things is peanuts. Think back to a time before DVS systems - do you honestly think you could buy this type of functionality for this price? You're getting next level features for nothing in comparison to having to shell out for heaps of hardware to do the same thing.

About Serato's free upgrades - there's a $300 purchase price difference between SSL and Torq, and yet Torq's feature set is just as extensive as Serato's. That's quite a lot of breathing space in terms of revenue, especially when you consider the likely big difference in terms of sales numbers. So it's easy for Serato to knock out small upgrades on a regular basis. It's also easier to put out feature rich releases for free as well when you have such a strong money earner.

Then again, you get what you pay for. SSL's rep is worth the price difference alone to fee earning DJs. One crashed set can cost you a residency and your entire income and this is why people keep coming back to SSL over and over again. IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO SOFTWARE VENDORS: Concentrate on stability above everything else. Bells and whistles are meaningless if your laptop needs a reboot every hour or it groans under the extensive processor loads. Serato's feature sets is beginning to lag behind the competition, but you can rely on it to perform flawlessly - and that's what sells. "It always crashes" or "it runs slow" will kill any software product dead, regardless of how fantastic the sales sheet reads.

Sorry - I vented a little there, but it needed saying.

NOTE: No further comments are being accepted.
22 comments to this story

On January 18, 2008, DrJonez said this:
Well stated. Thanks for the info

On January 18, 2008, Kart said this:
You guys tested serato,FS etc. but what about Torq?

On January 18, 2008, wakka said this:
Does Torq still suffer from ridiculous sticker drift?

On January 18, 2008, Andy said this:
Totally with you on the SSL thing. I've tried Torq and it was interesting and fun, but not in the same league as SSL. Stability and large volume variations with effects were the issue with me and Torq. The difference in cost is not that important to DJs who are earning money and therefore have to be reliable. I've got a TTM57SL so use SSL. It never ever ever ever lets me down. Sounds great and always works. An expensive solution, but much cheaper than losing 1 regular event or customer.


On January 18, 2008, Louis D said this:
Ha. $50 upgrade.

I bet all of the people who bought Torq because it was less expensive are singing a different song now.

I'll stick with MixVibes DVS thank you very much. They know better than to try to bleed their customers.

On January 18, 2008, maskrider said this:
Now we know why it is cheaper.

On January 18, 2008, Rosta said this:
I have Torq its a great little bit of software for me the recent update 1.06 addressed alot of shit I hated about it Like the browser now works pretty dam fast (well for me anyway) it doesnt just close the program when you hit the close you get alittle box saying are you sure , analizing ect is better ( for me any ways ) you can HIDE the bloody mixer HOLLA to that !!!! ONE THING that fooking crossfaders still there WHY OH FUCKIN WHY you cant hide that FUCKIN amazes me its BLOODY ANNOYING!!!!!and makes the interface look cheap ,the sound to me is abit better than it was esp with scratching ( mind you im NO Qbert ) sticker drift I ant checked yet

Genarally the 1.06 update that they released a few days ago is very stable on my PC and kicks the shit out of 1.05

would I pay for the 1.5 update answer is yes $50 is fuck all I smoke more than that each weekend smile.gif

I dont agree with how M-audio has delt with shit and think they are Bastards but if you on a budget scratch dj wise go for Torq but still save up for serato

most of the features in torq are better or should I say aimed at more of a Dance music thing ( where I am from )its great for dance and hiphop alike though everyone to there own though

there is alot in torq that is good shame m-audio SUCK

On January 18, 2008, percy said this:
I am more than happy with Torq. A lot of people didnt buy it based on cost but because of the features. The fact that lots of people run it without problems must mean that not all the problems are down to Torq. Also the fact that a lot of the functions are the same or work in the same way as SSL doesnt mean they are wrong or no good. Also anyone who thinks that all the other systems dont have any problems must not read many forums. Its all about what is right for you. There are x SSL users that use Torq & x Torq users that use SSL or Traktor. There are also lots of people on the Pioneer site that have variouse problems with very expensive (industry standard) gear. Doese that make it useless, a rip off, I dont think so.
As for people complaining about stuff like the user screen looking toy like, have a word with yourselfs. Ive also heard people complain that Traktor's is a little bit boring.

On January 18, 2008, ROGAN said this:
None of the updates offered in this latest version seem to be amazing upgrades or additions to the software, hence justifying a 50$premium. They all seem like features that should be standard in any update that happens after several quarters of a year. They didnt add video or some amazing sampler or something that you would expect to pay for. i just dont get what the price point for this update is for. Thank you serato for keeping everything free. accept video.

On January 18, 2008, aRKei said this:
There are still plenty of issues. But I guess even though that it's promoted for turntablists, a lot of stuff isen't working in external mode, which is the prefered mode for Turntablists. I don't want to speak for the rest and their experiences, but they did not live up to their own marketing gibber gabber, which was to me that you get a serato-like system, but for half the price. On the other hand I gotta give them props for including midi, which forced the competitors to react.

On January 18, 2008, dudeman said this:
many djs reccomending serato scratch live when mixvibes has a lower latency and better price!! smile.gif

why tie your self in with serato a company selling a scratch amp that is just a sound card wake up.

On January 18, 2008, coulda had a mixvibes said this:
hear that? that's the sound of torq flying out my window. kinda nice.

i disliked it so much i haven't used the shit in months, if i could pirate the upgrade i would

On January 19, 2008, Rex said this:
For this of you complaining a out Torq you must use it on a crappy PC?
I have been using it on my macmini and it been stable as hell.
If you want to spend more money on Serato then go for it.
Torq does way more for way less.
I have already seen it popping up in certain clubs and parties.
I have used both Torq and Serato and believe me its the same shit.
What gives the other company the right to charge more for the same shit?
i'm through paying for over priced dj equiptment because of the brand name.
just give two turntables and a mixer and I will tear the roof off the mutha.

On January 19, 2008, X-ACTO said this:
I'm sad for not reading anything about the .tqd files that are created on the SAME FOLDER as the media files... these .tqd files should be on a completely separated folder!

On January 19, 2008, blackavenger said this:
"if i could pirate the upgrade i would"

Damn! That's some funny shit!

"As for people complaining about stuff like the user screen [Torq's] looking toy like, have a word with yourselfs. Ive also heard people complain that Traktor's is a little bit boring."

Glad I chose SSL from the get-go. Best GUI of the lot of 'em. Most Reliable that I've tested (haven't messed w' TS but played on FS, and that blew).


On January 19, 2008, me said this:
The only way I'm paying for this is if they open it up to any soundcard.

On January 20, 2008, Masta Hanksta said this:
I get to demo this bad boy on Sunday Jan 20th at 12pm
Come buy first 15 people to shake my hand get a djscratchdog button.
Hope to see you there Giz...

On January 21, 2008, namm-boy said this:
there's a lot more added than your average 'update' so worth the bucks imo

On January 21, 2008, Freako Suave said this:
M-Audio ought to offer a free upgrade if you purchased within a certain period. A lot of companies do this and it's the proper thing to do, especially since that's specifically for new customers.

On January 21, 2008, Stretch said this:
As a matter o fact it is free to those who have purchased TORQ between 01-17-08 (When it was officially unveiled at NAMM) and 03-31-08, when 1.5 should be available. $50 for the upgrade, well, let's see, I only paid $299 for the program, sound card, 2 vinyl and 2 CD's. Paying an extra $50 for the upgrade brings me to $349, STILL WAY CHEAPER THAN SSL and I get more features! Speaking of features, these are the top 4 reasons why I would pay $50, or $100 if it were the case:

1. Say you have an old school track, like a James Brown song that at the time of recording, the drummer was the only guy to keep a steady BPM going. Of course it would fluctuate and the BPM would rise up and down. With 1.5 you are able to move the down beat anchor and have the song "breathe" and stay in sync with any other track, new or old, allowing you to be more creative with your mixes!

2. Quick Looping after the section has played! Before you would only be able to start a quick loop from the "in" point, now you can also start it from the "out" point and the loop would start 1, 2, 4, or 8 beats back! Come's in handy since you just herd the section and you say, "that part would have made a great loop"...

3. True Key Lock keeps the pitch constant when adjusting external turntable speed

4. Internal effects can be grouped into effects chains, meaning you can have a delay and a phase filter cutting out the low end and creating some funky sounds!

I know there's more that I haven’t seen yet, but that's enough for me. Other than #3, can Serato or any other DJ Program do what Torq does? That's why I ditched Serato and got Torq...

On January 22, 2008, Louis D said this:
If it had the stuff it needed to begin with, paying for the upgrade wouldn't be too bad. But really, this is like eating at a restaurant and having to pay extra for utensils.

On January 23, 2008, Music-Meister said this:
"The only way I'm paying for this is if they open it up to any soundcard."

It is an open system. You can use ANY ASIO sound card with Torq - but you need to have either the Conectiv or Xponent plugged in when doing so.

The features being offered are 'Next Generation' features.

The 'tempo markers' are the equivilent of 'warping' a track in Ableton. Price Ableton lately? Sure you can do it in MixMeister as well, but that's still more than the $50 upgrade price.

What about midi clock out? Tie that right into your DMX controller and now you just synced your entire light show right to your audio. Have an external drum machine? Now you can use it with Torq and it's spot on with the tempo. Tie your midi out, send it to the next DJ and they can sync effects and more directly to your set as you end. What if you have a VJ? Now you can pass that midi clock off to them and allow them to beatmatch the visuals to the audio.

Torq is about creativity. If you want to do a turntablist routine then stick with your more expensive Serato. FYI - nearly TWICE as expensive. But when you want an OPEN system that provides creativity and features that kick ass - spend half as much and try it... you might just surprise yourself.

One more thing.... Torq DEBUTED with MIDI and ASIO drivers. Serato took more than 2 years after I was considering purchasing the product to offer MIDI and the ASIO drivers are sort of available - in other words they don't really work all that well but they love to say they're release! Want to argue that point? Try running benchmarks using those ASIO drivers... You CAN'T!

Complaints by smaller DVS products? How could Torq DEBUTE 18 months ago at the #2 spot? Complaints by Serato users? They're afraid that Torq might become #1... It already has more features...

When you're ready to evolve to the next level of DJ'ing - producing your own tracks, rewiring into Ableton or protools, VST effects, warping tracks, and a lot more then Torq has more bang for the buck than ANY other system on the market.

Am I saying this because I'm a moderator at the Torq forum? No, I'm saying this because I've been pushing my limits of creativity for the last 18 months or so. It's allowing me to grow as a professional DJ and entertainer in ways that most can't begin to fathom. I'm saying this because I'm using Torq with turntables, Cd players, midi controllers and more. And what's slick is that now I can hook up all three setups and send midi clock between all of them. Try that with another product....

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