Noobie Starting Out...Recommendations?
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  1. #1
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    Default Noobie Starting Out...Recommendations?

    Hey everybody,

    Firstly I just want to say that I used the search function to try to find my answers first but I still have some questions so I decided to make one thread. If this is not appropriate for this section please feel free to remove it of course. I wanted to post this in the introductions thread but I felt it wouldn't suit the post format.

    Alrighty so, I discovered this whole music mixing/DJing thing about 3 weeks ago and I gotta say I am really enjoying it. I have been a big fan of progressive trance/house/electro house for the past almost year and a half now and I never even thought about the idea of mixing music until 3 weeks ago when I was contemplating whether or not I should get a new hobby. My past computer hobby was playing competitive starcraft...which lasted about 4 years on and off haha. I have been losing interest in the game as of late and was really looking for a new hobby when one day I thought about the idea of mixing music. I have been making playlists and cds for people and myself for years so I figured why not. Since then I have been fiddling around with virtual dj and reading articles endlessly.

    Anyway, since this hobby doesn't seem like a hobby in which one can just get into and then just do whatever with it (unless that person is loaded), I have decided to make a little schedule so I pace myself, not spend too much money right away, and make sure this hobby is definitely for me. I am just curious what you guys think and what recommendations you would give me.

    So the first thing I plan on doing is buying the cheapest version of virtual dj (virtual dj home edition which only costs 50$) and use only that for 3 months before I purchase anything else. I have been making small mixes and I am enjoying it so if I am still interested in 3 months then I feel like I am safe to make a bigger purchase. I also plan on getting new headphones, probably those sennheiser hd-25s because my sony mdr-700s are really unreliable and have caused me a lot of problems as well as the fact that I am tired of constantly buying new headphones/earphones etc. because the old ones somehow broke or aren't good.

    Next thing I plan to do is to get a vci-100 se. I am definitely planning on going the digital route simply because of cost and convenience (as well as space!). Of course I will have to get used to traktor for the vci but that seems okay considering the program looks quite nice. That would be my main piece of equipment and I would use it until I am very comfortable with DJing in general and the vci itself. Let's say that takes about a year and a half or so of just being a bedroom dj and making my own mixes.

    Then lastly I would buy any other little features as well as a laptop, a sound card, a laptop stand, maybe some small speakers as well. Any equipment that would allow me to play for a group of people. I'm very excited actually for this (if it does end up happening) because my city of Vancouver is really lacking in progressive trance/house!

    Anyway this is my current plan, just so I have goals and I don't decide a couple months in that this isn't for me and I'd have a good 1,500$ worth of useless equipment. How does this sound? Am I being realistic? Any tips?

    By the way can somebody explain to me what is so good about these arcade buttons on the vci? I am assuming they are easier to use but 300$ extra? Just curious.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Go for the VCI 100 SE and Midi Fighter over the Arcade Edition (just my opinion). Check the FAQ out:

    http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3545
    BlackBook, MidiFighter, Traktor Kontrol S4, AIAIAI TMA-1, Raw Passion

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor bmo's Avatar
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    honestly get a vestax spin like I did. $280 canadian, and it comes with a full version of djay software, the controller has a built in soundcard so you wouldn't need anything else other than speakers ofcourse. a map for the vestax spin has been created for traktor if you wanted to use it with that program (I currently do). If you don't have a mac, vestax is about to release the typhoon which is a pc version of the spin althoguh you could very well just use the spin as is on your pc, jsut the included software is mac exclusive. So you could probably use the spin with that $50 version of virtual dj.

    regards,

    -BMO

  4. #4
    Tech Guru BradCee's Avatar
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    you need to move soundcard up the list alongside headphones imho. if your pcs current card is anything like the 99.9% or cards out there, it won't support a master out and headphone out - even though it has essentially the correct holes, but headphone socket takes over from master on pcs, which is where the external units come in.
    i could be wrong, and it might be worth experimenting with audio routings in vdj. but i'm almost completely sure it won't work.

    Win 7 / 2x Reloop Contour / Numark M6 /Traktor Pro 2.5
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru BradCee's Avatar
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    was wrong, this is mac related (kinda) but will work with pcs to
    http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12694

    not the best solution, but hey if it works

    Win 7 / 2x Reloop Contour / Numark M6 /Traktor Pro 2.5
    SoundCloud

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckyDonePun View Post
    Go for the VCI 100 SE and Midi Fighter over the Arcade Edition (just my opinion). Check the FAQ out:

    http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3545
    Yeah was planning on this, seems like a good combo of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmo View Post
    honestly get a vestax spin like I did. $280 canadian, and it comes with a full version of djay software, the controller has a built in soundcard so you wouldn't need anything else other than speakers ofcourse. a map for the vestax spin has been created for traktor if you wanted to use it with that program (I currently do). If you don't have a mac, vestax is about to release the typhoon which is a pc version of the spin althoguh you could very well just use the spin as is on your pc, jsut the included software is mac exclusive. So you could probably use the spin with that $50 version of virtual dj.

    regards,

    -BMO
    I thought about that. The only issue I have with a typhoon (and yeah I have a PC) is that eventually...assuming I stick with this, I will want to upgrade to something better (i.e. a vci-100). It kind of seems expensive to keep upgrading and buying new things when I could just buy one VCI-100 and be settled (I can't imagine I would need to upgrade after that considering I do not want to use cdjs or vinyls).

    I get the impression though that's what people tend to do, buy a less expensive product and slowly move up and up but that just seems so expensive because it will be the cost of the typhoon (300) + the cost of the next gadget (vci for 600) which would be almost 1000 when I could have put that money into a laptop let's say. My budget isn't exactly HUGE, that's why I want to spend the least amount as possible while still having good products.

    Good idea/not?

    Quote Originally Posted by BradCee View Post
    you need to move soundcard up the list alongside headphones imho. if your pcs current card is anything like the 99.9% or cards out there, it won't support a master out and headphone out - even though it has essentially the correct holes, but headphone socket takes over from master on pcs, which is where the external units come in.
    i could be wrong, and it might be worth experimenting with audio routings in vdj. but i'm almost completely sure it won't work.
    Oh I actually already put in another sound card lying around into my PC, so I can use headphones and the master just fine. The future soundcard would be for the future lappy (assuming that happens).

    Thanks for your responses guys.

  7. #7
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    You may want to consider the Behringer BCD-3000. Its a MIDI controller with two decks and has a built in soundcard. Costs $320 aussie so my guess is like $300 american. It comes with Traktor LE (same as traktor but with fixed loop length, only two decks, and only four effects). Its fairly cheap, but will allow you to really get a handle on digital djing and get the basics under control. Its what I started with and I loved it!

    You'll also really need heaphones. And the good thing here is that you'll use them even if you do decide to give up djing. Good luck, hope all goes well!

  8. #8
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    2 things:

    1. look at traktor, its a little more expensive but the le version comes with many controllers also its just as easy to do basic stuff with but has more advanced features.

    2. the numark omnicontrol is pretty good if you're starting out

    3.(bonus) you shouldnt spend too much on a laptop stand instead buy a pair of half decent headphones early out

  9. #9
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    any decent box will serve as a laptop stand.

    Funny enough, I used to play WC3 melee competively (stayed around top 50 on US east). It was hard to do better than that, because of the maphackers, and everthing. Eventually I got tired of the constant updates wiping me back to 0, but making no actual changes (except letting hackers exploit even more).

    You will be really happy with the vci. Its a great piece of hardware. Arcade buttons are nice, but for trance and prog and the like... not really necessary (alot more friendly to electro/nu disco/ glitch hop / the like). I'd pick up a copy of traktor LE maybe, and start with a cheap controller like the lpd8, and work on mapping (its a lot of fun, especially if you are into comp sci) while you learn to do basic mixes. I rocked a keyboard and a mouse for months before making my first purchase, and it worked out alright. Everything changes when you get a quality controller though imo.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sine143 View Post
    any decent box will serve as a laptop stand.

    Funny enough, I used to play WC3 melee competively (stayed around top 50 on US east). It was hard to do better than that, because of the maphackers, and everthing. Eventually I got tired of the constant updates wiping me back to 0, but making no actual changes (except letting hackers exploit even more).

    You will be really happy with the vci. Its a great piece of hardware. Arcade buttons are nice, but for trance and prog and the like... not really necessary (alot more friendly to electro/nu disco/ glitch hop / the like). I'd pick up a copy of traktor LE maybe, and start with a cheap controller like the lpd8, and work on mapping (its a lot of fun, especially if you are into comp sci) while you learn to do basic mixes. I rocked a keyboard and a mouse for months before making my first purchase, and it worked out alright. Everything changes when you get a quality controller though imo.
    Interesting!

    Well I was considering getting something small just like that lpd8 but one of the reasons why I want something like the vci (or a controller similar) is mainly because the jogwheels. Now I know it does a heck of a lot more than that but I find it quite difficult to beatmatch by scratching the picture of the vinyl back and forth on virtual dj with my mouse, it just feels kind of off. I am sure I can get used to it to do an OK job but having a hands-on jog wheel seems very helpful for beat matching.

    The problem I am finding is that if I want something with a jog wheel that is HALF decent, I am going to be spending about 300$ or so. I would rather instead buy a vci as a first purchase after I am tired of online software only and put that 300 into the vci instead so I save money, which is probably what I will be doing. I just don't wanna invest in something that costs a fair amount of money which I know I will only be using temporarily ya know?

    Anyway, good point about the arcade buttons for progressive/trance/etc, you're right I can't see TOO much use for them that a midi fighter can't do. I wasn't planning on getting that add-on but was just curious about all the hype.

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