Need Help with first piece of gear
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  1. #1
    Tech Student
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    Default Need Help with first piece of gear

    Hello Everyone,

    First time posting, so thanks to everyone in advance.

    I've been using Reason 4 to make music for about a year now, and after coming up with a 10 song demo cd over that course of time I started teaching myself the basics of Virtual DJ. Anyway I really want to start improving my djing and I figured a midi controller would be a good start.

    Someone in my city is selling a Behringer ddm4000 for $200, and I am dying to trying and pick it up. From what i've read it's specifically a mixer, but apparently with the use of a soundcard and midi to usb cable I could possibly make it work. Im fairly decent with computers and such, but I have no idea if that size mixer will effectively connect to a computer. If anyone could give me a general idea of what i'll need that would be a great help.

    Thanks Again

  2. #2
    Tech Wizard
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    yo bbayley, i'm still real new at this too but maybe what i'll say can help a little bit.

    i pieced my gear together from craigslist as well. my "main" component right now is a BCD 3000. it's all midi, so i can customize it completely, but it also has a built in USB sound card with 2 RCA inputs, a mic input, RCA output, and headphone out. i don't think it's a "great" controller, but for me, just starting out, it's been easy enough to learn on. getting a unit like this eliminates having to get a standalone audio interface AND a controller.

    so basically all you really need is an audio interface that has multiple outputs (so you can monitor via headphones). then the next question is how do you want to control your program? i like midi and buttons so i supplement the BCD with my korg padkontrol.

    the best part is, with midi, it's completely up to you. you can configure any midi button to do pretty much whatever you want. the kinda bad news is that you will have to spend time (and i'm still doing a lot of this) trying out different configurations, and teaching yourself how to 'program' the midi, which in traktor, isn't very hard to pick up at all.
    15" MBP, BCD 3000, Korg PadKontrol + farmpad
    barely scratching the surface

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the input.

    I was actually looking into the bcd 2000 and 3000, and was interested in getting the 3000 and learning on that, but ive been fairly short of cash since the holidays. So I was planning on getting my controller in a month or so, but when I saw this mixer/controller I thought it might be a solid investment (where I would borrow the $200 for the mixer from a friend and buy the soundcard/midi cable myself) considering I could hook it up to cdj's down the line.

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor DennisHuiberts's Avatar
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    I think that Behringer mixer is the best way to go. As you said, in the beginning it will be a bit more expensive, but it will be more future-proof, I've looked a bit in the specs of the mixer, and the only thing that the midi offers you is to midi-sync it with another device (your computer in your case). This will sync your effects on the mixer with the software on the computer, but you might as well tap the tempo in directly on the mixer.
    You can start off mapping the basic functions of the software to your keyboard, and when you get some more money, you can get something like a Korg Nanopad to map the functions to that.
    Check out my work!

    Vestax VCM-600 (for sale!) - Allen & Heath Xone:62 - Focusrite Saffire LE - Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 Pro - Traktor Pro 2.1 - Ableton Live 8 - MacBook Pro 15"

  5. #5
    Tech Guru charo's Avatar
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    my opinion is buy an actual jog-wheel type midi controller and a soundcard. with that ddm4000 you will be buying a used piece of equipment from a brand notorious for their cheap low quality mixers just because it has limited midi control....with no jogwheels (which are pretty important to learning the basics of djing IMO)

    now someone named ddm4k4life will prob come in and say no i'm all wrong, that you can do this amazing thing and that with the ddm. It does have midi after all and you are often only limited by your creativity, but that's not for beginners toil over in my mind, they should concentrate on the basic fundamentals.

    I mean the vestax spin is like 250. that's prob less they the combo of soundcard and ddm. to me that makes much much much more sense.

    good luck
    We don't believe in the star system. We want the focus to be on the music. If we have to create an image, it must be an artificial image. That combination hides our physicality and also shows our view of the star system. It is not a compromise-daftpunk

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input guys.

    Because this was just a Craigslist ad I happened to come across, I wasn't really working with much of a budget. So last weekend I purchased a USB to Midi cable and took it along with my Macbook and Traktor to the sellers house. I spent like 2 hours trying to see if I could get any sign of connection, but it never worked. I've read some different forums/posts on a bunch of sites that all have differing ideas as to what is needed to use the DDM as a midi controller. I then asked the Behringer support staff (who were absolutely no help) what I would need to get set up on a limited budget and he told me I to buy the $500 audio 8 soundcard/interface thing. Im sure its amazing, but if I barely have 200-300 for a midi controller, how am I going to have 500 for that?

    If anyone knows any kind of cheap soundcard/interface product, and/or can explain in english what i'll need to hook up the ddm. Once again, working on a limited budget, so if im thinking unrealistically on hooking up the ddm feel free to let me know.


    The Vestax Spin looks kinda like what im going for, but I think a few more knobs would be ideal. I've been a drummer for years and have spent the last year making a 10 song demo cd with Reason 4 (sickest program ever) and ive been playing with virtual dj for a few months, so if I buy a midi I really want to have like 20-30 buttons/knobs (IMO)

  7. #7
    Tech Wizard
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    I had the Behringer BCD 2000 (which is the same as the 3000 except for it's lack of offical Mac OS X support and other color choice).
    I bought it used on eBay for 70 € and it was worth the money, as I had fun for it for like ~6 months, even played on a few parties, and then sold it for 50 € again.
    It's a very cheap unit though. Audio quality / drivers suck, and even if you just use it as a midi controller you will begin to fear that thing breaks apart when you are rocking it.
    I wouldn't spend more than 100 bucks on it. It's a great controller for a beginner, but if you want to control more than 2 decks and simple effects you are basically screwed, as mapping the same buttom multiple times with several shift buttons is not really ergonomical nor fun.

    If you can get it used cheap, I would go for it. If not, wait a few more months and buy something you're going to have a lot of fun with (VCI-100 e.g.)

  8. #8
    Tech Mentor DennisHuiberts's Avatar
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    I already told you that the mixer had very basic midi-options. The only thing that midi does on that mixer is sync the bpm with your computer. This can come in handy if you use the effects on the mixer with Traktor. Traktor can then send a midi clock that your mixer listens to. That way the effects on your mixer are in time with Traktor. So for short: that mixer is not a midi-controller.
    Check out my work!

    Vestax VCM-600 (for sale!) - Allen & Heath Xone:62 - Focusrite Saffire LE - Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 Pro - Traktor Pro 2.1 - Ableton Live 8 - MacBook Pro 15"

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