DJ Gear questions
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. #1

    Default DJ Gear questions

    or the ubiquitious "build my rig" type thread.

    First the background on myself. I have been a bedroom DJ from long ago and played a few clubs when I was stationed overseas, so basically I can beatmatch and scratch a little bit. Had a child and had to basically get rid of the gear and records to make room (and money) for the little guy. Fast forward to now and I have come into a good bit of money and we will be moving into a new home by October so I get to have an "office" which will basically be my playland. I have quite a few questions about some stuff (and I glanced over the FAQ but didn't read every single article so if things are answered elsewhere, I apologise in advance.

    1) Traktor or Ableton and please don't skimp on the why behind it all. If it helps I'm going to be playing mostly breakbeat oriented stuff (ie HipHop Drum and Bass and breaks) with the occasional trance electro and house stuff for my wife's sake. Also the "DJ guy" at the local guitar center says he uses both???

    2) Mixers (or controllers I guess they are called these days) I like the S4 deal for traktor that is coming out in the winter. The only problem that I see with it is the size of the jog wheels, I've got big hands and they look pretty small so would it be possible to hook up some sort of CDJ to use for the scratching aspects with it? The "DJ guy" was pimping some new Pioneer deal with a touch screen on it and he also showed me some beastly Allen and Heath deal that he said will cost about 2000 us that can act as a soundcard for 2 computers??? I'd like to hear from those of you that don't get a commission from my purchase on what's good and what's not.

    3) Mac or PC and please don't skimp on the why. Macs are hella expensive but it seems that every video that has someone showing anysort of digital DJ rig uses mac. Please explain the why

    4) Is there such a thing as too much stuff where it gets in the way of the fact that ultimately what I have figured out is that when I DJ I essentially just play other people's music anyway, so the song's the thing (as my father said to me when explaining why peter green is a better blues/rock guy than Eric Clapton -at least before he thought he was Jesus leading the crowd to the promised land, god the acid must have been fantabulous in the 60s)


    Any Feedback is very appreciated and any questions that I don't know to ask go ahead and answer

  2. #2
    Tech Guru BradCee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Amazingstoke, UK
    Posts
    4,435

    Default

    if it helps, i started with breaks (evolved into some housey stuff now) on vinyl and now run a vci 100 with traktor.

    found it worked perfect for me personally. especially when you consider some breaks and dnb is a pretty straight forward bassline and drum beat affair with the odd synthy bit the possibilities for layering loops across the 4 decks are great.
    i find i get on fine with just a couple of controllers (vci and dicers) and have no real need of an external mixer, occasionally it would be useful but no big deal in the grand scheme of things.

    it comes down mainly to budget and how you want to use it. don't have much experience with combing traktor and ableton. only thing i'd use it for is firing additional loops/one shots, but the s4 (and subsequent TPro update) will provide that ability with in traktor itself.

    on the mc vs pc thing, both are fine if they have a decent spec, but with a pc you will have to do some tweaking to get a smoother performance from the machine. it comes down mainly to how the drivers are put together in each OS on both platforms. there was an article on the homepage about it (Drivers Wanted).
    However the only real problem with windows is that with some devices that have LEDs that are more complex than just on/off, say they have varying brightnesses or can change between several colours, you will get some audio interference. this can be reduced, but not totally removed (yet). however i read rumour that a future TPro update might have seperate processing threads for audio and midi, instead of one for both, so this should remove that issue on windows machines. btw i use windows, so this is completely unbiased

    and you can never have too much stuff, as long as you use it properly

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

  3. #3
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    58

    Default

    if you like djing with records, go back to the old school w/ traktor scratch pro and some turntables. Thats what I'm doing. I play out a bit and i trust my setup. I have 2 controllers that i just use to practice at home or take to a house party or whatever, but unless you are really good at controllerism, i find its not nearly as fun as 2 turntables and a mixer.

    besides, controllers are cheap and you can add one down the road and use it as an effects/looper device within traktor.

    I used PC laptops for a while, but I ran into some money and bought a macbook. Not even a macbook pro model and it runs traktor waaaaaay better than my pc did. My advice is to use a macbook strictly for djing and use a cheapo laptop to get your tunes, and use as a personal computer.

    so, I think you should go two turntables, mixer, macbook and traktor pro. Fairly big initial investment. so mabye start w/ macbook and traktor and a little POS controller.

    tim
    newest TSP, late 2009 macbook (2 gigs ram, 2.13 cpu), 2 x technics 1200 mk2, allen & heath xone 32, herculese stealth...guitars, pedals, amps......

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks much for the advice brad and tim. I have a few more questions.

    If I wanted to go the traktor route, but not use the S4 deal (because I don't want to wait till winter, the wife might spend the money before then) could someone reccomend some other controllers that are top level stuff that could be expanded upon, like that allen and heath beast he showed me (which I have found out is the xone 3d) and if anyone knows about the DJM 2000 (the guy said If I buy my Mac from him and the DJM 2000 he will give me a substantial discount) I don't want to waste my money on crap but I don't want to go overkill with it, I just want to be able to plug in some sort of timecode (that's what yall call it right, where the vinyl/cd plays through the computer) to be able to do a little bit of scratching, and possibly go either ableton or traktor without any trouble, but right now I'm leaning toward traktor.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru BradCee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Amazingstoke, UK
    Posts
    4,435

    Default

    you don't need a djm2000 or xone3d to do this, timcode will run through a budget $100 mixer with no problem using an audio 4 or 8. also don't let all the built in effects blind you either. i'll admit they're nice mixers to have, but not completely necessary.

    if you're looking at the TC route, then the obvious purchases are a pair of decks and a mixer, given that you started on these i don't think i need to make any suggestions as you should know what you're looking at.
    on the effects side of things though, don't worry about buying a mixer with them built in as you can use Traktors with something like an X1 (designed by NI with this use in mind).

    Traktor Scratch Duo (2 deck version) is about $400 (using a converter here from uk prices) and an X1 is about $240. from there you just need a mixer and decks you're happy with and all this can be done for the price of a djm2000

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

  6. #6
    Tech Guru Nicky H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Leeds UK
    Posts
    2,480

    Default

    1) Traktor or Ableton

    I would recommend traktor to you if you are coming from a traditional dj background - it's laid out similar to decks and you will pick it up in no time. Ableton is cool and I love dj'ing with it but it really does feel like you are just pushing buttons.

    2) Mixers

    If you want to use timecode then you will need turntables or cd-decks and a traditional mixer. CDj2000's would be awesome but gonna cost you a fortune mate - have a look at the CDJ350's.
    Good thing with these is you can use them as cd players, with timecode cd's in traktor scratch, directly as midi controllers in traktor without the timecode or you can use pioneer software to arrange your music then play from a usb drive - no need for traktor.

    If you are just gonna be mixing 2 decks go for the matching DJM350 mixer.

    3) Mac or PC

    Well I use pc and have never had any problems, but if I was buying new I'd get a mac - they're just better

    4) Is there such a thing as too much stuff

    Yeah totally - if you want to use the fx in traktor you're gonna need a controller for that as well for instance so it starts getting a bit messy.
    So it might be worth spending a bit more on a mixer - get a 4 channel one with midi functions like the Denon DNX1600 or a Pioneer DJM700.
    SC | MC

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicky H View Post
    4) Is there such a thing as too much stuff

    Yeah totally - if you want to use the fx in traktor you're gonna need a controller for that as well for instance so it starts getting a bit messy.
    So it might be worth spending a bit more on a mixer - get a 4 channel one with midi functions like the Denon DNX1600 or a Pioneer DJM700.
    So I would have to have another controller for the effects in Traktor, I couldn't just "map" (If that's the right term) the effects onto whatever controller I get?

  8. #8
    Tech Guru BradCee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Amazingstoke, UK
    Posts
    4,435

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bigheadmikelove View Post
    So I would have to have another controller for the effects in Traktor, I couldn't just "map" (If that's the right term) the effects onto whatever controller I get?
    if you went with the controller [only] route, then whatever you get would have knobs/buttons assigned for effects already. assuming it's something along the all in one kind of controller, e.g vci 100/300, numark total control, xone dx etc...

    if you went timecode and wanted to use traktors effects you'd need either a controller or a mixer with midi capabilities that you can map up. problem with the mixer route is if you play out and they don't have the same mixer you're stuffed, unless you take your mixer with you.
    personally i think a couple of 'TC' vinyl, a soundcard and a controller is easier to lug around than a couple of 'TC' vinyl, a soundcard and a mixer.
    also the X1 is pretty much plug and play for effects

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

  9. #9
    Tech Guru BradCee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Amazingstoke, UK
    Posts
    4,435

    Default

    may i ask how much you plan to budget btw? and are you leaning more toward the controller or timecode route?
    the ubiquitious "i'll spend your money" type post

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

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BradCee View Post
    may i ask how much you plan to budget btw? and are you leaning more toward the controller or timecode route?
    the ubiquitious "i'll spend your money" type post
    Umm without getting too into my personal story, I finally got my Veterans Administration benefits, so quite a bit (after the laptop, probably between 6 and 7 k, I'd like to get everything I want in one shot.) It seems like alot (to me) but if I'm gonna do it, I may as well do it right. And my other justification is that I've spent so much more on records through out the years that I may as well get what I want....

    Also another question, where can one obtain High Quality (320, but I'd settle for 256 kbps) mp3s of older stuff (Drum and Bass and breakbeat mostly)

    and on the controller or timecode route, can't I use some of those big controllers for the mixer for the time code?
    Last edited by bigheadmikelove; 09-01-2010 at 01:21 PM. Reason: correction

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
  •