Timecoding NDX400s?
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  1. #1
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    Default Timecoding NDX400s?

    Hey guys, so I'd like to eventually go digital, but I love the feeling of having two CDJs as I know that I can always swap over to CDs/flash drives if my laptop dies. I have two Numark NDX400s and a crap Behringer VMX100 mixer that I plan on replacing eventually. I'd like to timecode my system, but I'm not really sure where I need to start. I know I'm going to need an external soundcard, such as the Audio 4 DJ, and timecode CDs. I'd like to run Traktor, but will do VDJ as well. Here are my questions:

    1.) What soundcard would be best? I was looking at the Numark I/O for $58 USD on Amazon, will this be enough? Or should I go with the Audio 4 DJ? This is one of my biggest confusions, as I'm unsure how many Ins/Outs I need.

    2.) How would I go about syncing up my mixer with the program? Will I need to upgrade to a digital mixer like the Behringer DDM4000, or is there a way to do it with a cheap mixer?

    3.) Will all of the features work? I've heard stories that only the basic features will work when timecoded, such as the play/pause, cue, pitch sliding, etc. Will I still be able to get my hot cues, looping, braking, etc.?

    Anyone who's done this before would be great to hear from. Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor Frank112916's Avatar
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    a) You need to have an audio 4/6/8/10 and Traktor scratch or a Traktor scratch certified mixer (like the denon dn x 1600) if you want to run a Traktor rig. With VDJ I have no idea what the requirements are for timecode, I do know that it is a pain in the dick to get working (I've tried, for fun, with my dn x1600 and it sucked big time).

    b)you don't "sync" your mixer with the program. You mix externally with your mixer. You CAN use midi commands if your mixer supports midi i/o but why mix in the box when you have a mixer?

    c) Looping should work, if the CD is being physically looped in the CDJ (I don't know if that is the case, I'm not sure how looping works in a CDJ). Hot cues won't work because CD timecode is always in relative mode - never absolute. Braking...I have no idea what you mean by this.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response!

    Based on this, it's looking like I might want to start looking at investing in some CDJs that double as controllers, such as the big brother to the NDX400s, the NDX800s. I think this might be a better way to fully go about integrating my laptop, unless someone has a raving success story with doing it with the 400s.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru MrPopinjay's Avatar
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    If I were you I would buy the Traktor Scratch DUO 2 option from NI. You'll get the Audio 6 and a Scratch Duo 2 licence which will give you 2 decks + the ability to record your set + drop samples and loops and later on if you decide you want all the extra fancy effects and shit you can upgrade to Traktor Scratch PRO 2 and you just carry on using your Audio 6.

    There's no reason why you can't use your CD player. Hotcues and looping will work though honestly I'd recommend using the hotcues and looping that traktor offers internally when using DVS, they are that little bit better! Braking will work exactly the same on the CD player.

    I would recommend against using a CD player as a midi controller since they tend to make rather poor controllers. They won't be as responsive and you don't get many controls for your money... Midi is a bit of an afterthought with CD players I feel.
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  5. #5
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    That's a bummer Hmm, then would it make more sense to go with a controller to run Traktor, and carry my NDXs as a backup if my lappie dies (which I could see happening, my black macbook and MBP are a little on the older side, and are in bad need of a fresh OS install)?

    Noob side coming out here as well: I see a lot of DJs running these crazy expensive setups with CDJ1000s/2000s and a top-of-the-line MBP. How do they go about using these together? I always assumed they were using the players as a $1200 controller, but after reading on this forum, it seems 90% of the people are using standalone controllers rather than CD players. Are they simply using the laptop for sampling/effects and doing their main mixing with the players? How does the integration work? I'd really like to integrate CD players with a laptop, as I love the aspect of using actual full-size decks with the ability to control them via software, while having the peace of mind knowing that I can always fall back on using the CD function if my computer fails.
    Last edited by DJ Sunshine; 10-18-2011 at 02:38 PM.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru MrPopinjay's Avatar
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    Well just reformat the harddrive and install OS X afresh. Should sort out most problems. Doesn't really matter that it's not the newest hardware since Traktor/Serato isn't very demanding on the system at all.

    I think most top artists are using the CDJs for timecode control of traktor/serato on the fancy MBP and then mixing them with a super fancy mixer, probably a pioneer. It's all a bit wasteful really, you don't need a powerful laptop for traktor/serato as I said.

    Most people are not using stand alone controllers, this forum just has a HUGE bias towards them so you'll see more of them here.
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  7. #7
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    Pretty sure most people are using their CDJs as time code or midi controllers, rather than standalone if they are using them in conjunction with their Mac. I too like the thought of having the CDJs as back up in case the computer decides to get grouchy. But as I always say, a laptop is important to be as dependable as the rest of your gear is. If your amp/speakers/CDJs/cables/etc are unreliable, don't gig with them. Same thing goes with your laptop. It's cool to have a backup, but not to rely on at any second. If so, it would be better to invest in a getting your main rig to be up to par.

  8. #8
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    Considering what I'd like to do, would this be up my alley?

    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Numark-Motorized-Turntable-Software-Controller/dp/B0038YX38Q/ref=pd_sim_MI8"]Amazon.com: Numark V7 Motorized Turntable Software Controller: Musical Instruments@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41hDkp2-FhL.@@AMEPARAM@@41hDkp2-FhL[/ame]

  9. #9
    Tech Guru MrPopinjay's Avatar
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    Just bring some regular CDs in a wallet and then stick them in the club's CD player, ready to press play if something goes wrong.
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  10. #10
    Tech Guru MrPopinjay's Avatar
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    It's pretty cool but I'm not sure I see the advantage over a DVS if you already have CD players. It'd be cheaper to get Traktor Scratch Duo or Serato SL2.

    Also only have one pitch fader for 2 decks looks annoying.

    Still, it is very cool. I wouldn't mind one at all.
    The xwax Thread! - The minimal open source DVS for Linux!
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