Worries about buying controllers/laptops.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,818

    Default Worries about buying controllers/laptops.

    So within the next two weeks I will be buying a controller. I have little experience other than playing on friends turntables, and I've decided that controllerism is the route I want to go. So here is me typing out my personal thought process and hoping you guys can help me decide where to go.

    Thank you in advance for taking a look at my wall of text and helping me clear up a few questions before I spend a lot of hard earned cash.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So here is what I have at the moment:

    Cracked Version of Traktor Scratch Pro - works fine, no problems that I've encountered. I plan on buying software as soon as I buy a controller, I only downloaded it to check it out since I was only familiar with Torq/SSL in the past. So before you bash me about this, it's just a learning experience and no one I know uses it, when I get a controller I plan on buying the software I will use with it (and whatever the case, I'll be cleaning my computer out when I feel I can really mix).

    Logitech Surround Sound Speakers

    Korg nanoKey and nanoPad

    Decent PC with 4gb ram and a healthy hard-drive (and a couple externals) running windows Vista Home.

    I used to download crap MP3's without buying them, but I basically trashed all of them and am starting fairly fresh with buying my own music, generally from Beatport. I'm not really that interested in driving an hour to the closest record shop to try and find vinyl, and I really want to pursue something in a digital fashion with MP3's.

    I know it's not much, but I don't have a high paying job. I'm 25 and scratching by, and have decided that I /need/ to get into this as a hobby. I listen to music all the time and this would give me a great outlet. And don't knock on me too hard, I'm really trying to reform my ways of pirating music and software (I'm the reason NAPSTER got shut down the first time >.>).

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now I'm thinking about dropping some $$ in the future, and I've been on this forum and a couple others for a bit now, without actually having any real hardware of my own. And man, it's burning a hole in my soul seeing what I could do and not being able to do it.

    I basically want to keep things inexpensive as possible, while maintaining quality.

    I do not really like Traktor. It just doesn't do it for me honestly, I'm just not a big fan of the GUI. I'm sure I could overcome it if I wanted to, but at this point I'd just be wanting something else.

    I'll elaborate on this a bit. I don't like Traktor compared to ITCH/SSL. I like the waveforms better, and while I know that isn't something I should use forever, as a learning tool I find that trying to get a mix on target it's a big help, and I'm a nub at the moment.

    I haven't messed with the sync button much to be honest (in Traktor), but I kind of have an "old school" mentality. I want to learn how to beatmatch by ear, and I don't feel that I would be able to do that well on a VCI-100 persay with Traktor. I know with any controller that is difficult, but the HID on the VCI-300 makes me lean toward that with better platter control.

    The setup I am most familiar with is SSL with two Technics 1200 MK5's and Gemini 3 channel mixer. My friend has that at his apartment, and it's probably the place most of us go to hang out all the time. He's always spinning when people or over, and very welcome to having other folks play around with it. I really like the Serato layout, and from what I have seen, it does exactly what you expect of it without any bells and whistles.

    Another friend also runs Torq, and I'm not quite sure of the tables he is using. But I don't mind it, but reading about all the inconsistencies, it's made me really want to focus on either Traktor or a Serato product. So I am not planning on using a Torq product.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am looking to spend about $700ish on a controller package. That would be including audio interface, cables, software, and controller.

    I've limited my options in software to Traktor Pro and Serato ITCH. I want to have an easily mobile setup in the future, and so going with a controller is the way I am thinking. I like CDJ's, but they are cost prohibitive. And turntables are just too bulky. I really want to be able to take my setup and be able to play with it well at home, and also bring it to friend's houses easily.

    Right now I am honestly looking at the VCI-100 and the VCI-300. It really comes down to picking between ITCH and Traktor for me honestly, and that's a really tough call.

    I've read the forums front and back, and watched youtube videos until my eyes bled. What I really want is a VCI-100 with ITCH, but that isn't going to happen. I am amazed at what the DJTT guys here have done with the VCI-100 and Traktor, but I just can't get over not liking the GUI/Layout of Traktor compared to ITCH.

    Costs:

    VCI-100SE + Audio 2 DJ + Traktor Pro = ~$450 + ~$100 + ~$140 = ~$690
    VCI-300 (All inclusive but no effects) = ~$650.00

    So right now, as I'm leaning toward ITCH anyhow, it seems like the cost of a VCI-300 is tipping me in that direction. I have played with the effects in Traktor, and I like them a lot. But it's something I could see that if I wanted, I could get in the future with ITCH in buying that separate controller.

    The only thing holding me back right now is a couple questions I have about the VCI-300 that I haven't been able to find solid answers for, and that's what I'm hoping you guys can help me out with.

    1) The headphone jack in the VCI-300 is said to be "quiet". Can anyone really elaborate on that? Would I be okay using it in a bedroom environment and smallish house parties?

    2) I have heard ITCH has problems with windows machines. I have a windows PC that has an AMD processor. I am running Vista 32 bit and know my way around a PC, but if it's a compatibility issue, this is a killer for me. Is this true?

    3) Is there a newer version of the VCI-300 going to be released in the near future? I read somewhere about folks talking about a VCI-300A that had an improvement to a couple things, but I haven't been able to find any hard facts to clear that up. I would hate to buy a controller and then realize a month down the road that they just came out with a new one that fixed all the bugs.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now I have a PC at the moment, and was wondering if anyone was using ITCH on an older macbook. I've never owned a Mac before, but in planning this out, I just want to get a solid laptop dedicated to DJing, and so that's what my plan is for the moment. Honestly all I would have it do is host the ITCH software and my music files, nothing else.

    So going off the specs on the ITCH website, it says:

    Mac

    * Intel processor, 1.6 GHz or better
    * 1 GB RAM
    * 1024 x 768 screen resolution
    * OSX 10.4.11 or higher
    * Available USB Port
    * Hard disk space for music

    Does anyone have experience running itch on the basic bare minimum requirements? I plan on getting something a bit better, but we all know that macbooks aren't cheap.

    I've been thinking about picking up a used macbook and wiping it clean except for ITCH/Traktor and the music files I put on it. And I've never bought a "used" computer before, I've always built PC's out of parts on newegg.com so that's new to me as well. But I can't afford a new macbook.

    I'm a bit of a computer guy, always a PC diehard, so this is pretty new territory for me. I'm taking the plunge into the unknown for reliability over familiarity.

    An example is this:

    I found this ad on my local craigslist listed for 525 OBO for a black macbook with these specs:

    2.20 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4 MB shared L2 Cache
    2 GB (two SO-DIMM) 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-5300); 160 GB 5400 rpm Serial ATA hard drive; 8x Super Drive
    One FireWire 400, two USB 2.0 ports, Mini-DVI port with support for DVI, VGA, S-video, and composite video output (requires adapters, sold separately)
    Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit); built-in 54 Mbps AirPort Extreme (based on 802.11n draft specifications); built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
    13.3-inch (diagonal) glossy TFT widescreen display, 1280 x 800 resolution


    Those of you whom know Macs well, would something like that be able to run traktor or ITCH well? That would be the only thing it would be doing. I don't even plan on having the internet connection on with this machine.

    Getting the second machine isn't a "must have now" thing, but a couple paychecks down the road, it's next on my list really. It would allow me to setup the VCI-300 in my living room instead of my office, and that's key for me.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basically right now I'm planning on getting a VCI-300 pending those couple of questions above. I'd also like to get a used macbook in the future, but I'm not sure how much better than the minimum requirements I would have to go for rock solid performance.

    So thank you for reading through all of that, and hopefully you can help answer some of my questions/worries. I don't like spending large amounts of cash, and so this is BIG for me lol. But I want to do it once, and I want to do it right.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru eastcoastams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    549

    Default

    IMO, It's definitely worth the money to grab a vfx-1 if you do go with the vci-300. They complement each other well...and wait on the new laptop

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,818

    Default

    Yeah I was planning on getting the VFX-1 once I got a little time under my belt with being able to mix decently without effects.

    I mainly listen to Dubstep, DnB, and House (mostly Electro), so I'm not too worried about scratching at the moment. I really want to focus on not being a trainwreck before I go too wild I guess. I could easily see myself playing around with effects too often.

    Why do you say wait on the new laptop? Just to get the VFX-1 quicker?

  4. #4
    Tech Guru eastcoastams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    549

    Default

    There are some pretty good tutorials on youtube on how to create a pretty decent wobble bass effect with the vfx-1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH9ID...eature=related , if you haven't seen this already). I myself use a mac, but am not afraid to say they are a little over rated. It seems like you have adequate ram and memory...It's just my opinion. There are so many options for DJ's these days its difficult, it took me about 6 months to decide on a setup that was right for me. I apologize if I make this more difficult for you! haha

  5. #5
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,818

    Default

    Naw I hear you, and I honestly hadn't seen that video so thank you.

    I'm just looking to get a laptop so I can become mobile. I'm an ex-gamer, and so I know my computer is pretty beast... but it's also quite stationary. So having a little machine to bring around with me with the VCI sounds like it'd be a good thing.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru eastcoastams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    549

    Default

    If you're planning on being mobile having a second laptop would definitely be nice, I guess I missed that part in your behemoth of a post haha. I hate taking mine out sometimes after I read the horror stories of spilled drinks and drunks crashing into a setup and knocking down a laptop eek

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor Gr0wTesK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Queens, NYC
    Posts
    266

    Default

    2) I have heard ITCH has problems with windows machines. I have a windows PC that has an AMD processor. I am running Vista 32 bit and know my way around a PC, but if it's a compatibility issue, this is a killer for me. Is this true?
    you gotta be careful, it's hit or miss with an AMD processor. I have a turion X2 and itch runs like shit on my computer, so I'd really try it and see. Maybe install itch on your laptop and bring it to a guitar center if they have a NS7/VCI-300 and try for yourself

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,818

    Default

    Yeah I have an Athlon X2 at the moment, and reading about it does make me worry a bit.

    I actually downloaded itch and it doesn't make me happy that I can't actually DO anything with it to see, unless I'm hooked up to the hardware.

    My PC is a Desktop, which is why I'd want to get a laptop. I don't mind having everything in one place for learning/to begin with, but I definitely want mobility.

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor Shane Says's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Providence
    Posts
    459

    Default

    As of right now I do not have my controller in yet. But I bought a used 13" Macbook off a family member that needed some extra cash. The specs are:

    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 3 MB
    Memory: 2 GB
    Bus Speed: 800 MHz

    I don't have my controller yet. I've been waiting for awhile now I guess they are on back order. I have no problem running Traktor while I'm messing around. (But I don't have much hooked up to the laptop and anything could change then). The only problem that I can see is that it only has 2 usb ports and 1 firewire port. So if I want to have two controllers plugged in as shown in that sweet wobble bassline video and an external soundcard that means I will need a firewire soundcard - which doesn't seem all that common, but they are out there.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru charo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    i AM the cookie
    Posts
    935

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BigC View Post
    I actually downloaded itch and it doesn't make me happy that I can't actually DO anything with it to see, unless I'm hooked up to the hardware.
    as a copy protection it works, you're using cracked TSP so I think you'd use the cracked itch if it was possible without hardware....

    from the sounds of it, you'll be more happy with the vci-300, provided you can get it to work right with the computer you are using.

    good luck.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •