MIDI controller + Macbook + Audio Interface
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Default MIDI controller + Macbook + Audio Interface

    Apparently there is no intro section, so I'm just gonna dive right into the discussions .

    The 'problem' at hand is this:

    I have a Macbook (the last black model, with Firewire), which I love a lot. However, it only has 2 USB ports and 1 FW. I am going to purchase a VCI-100 and a soundcard very soon, I'm getting tired of the internal mixer. At some point in time, I want to use more MIDI controllers with Traktor and possibly Ableton Live. If I buy a USB soundcard and the VCI-100, my ports are filled up, and I haven't seen many MIDI controllers with FW.

    My proposed solution was buying the Edirol FA-66 or FA-101 and the VCI-100. This leaves room for e.g. nanoKONTROL by Korg or something similar. USB hubs generally create latency, so I didn't see this as an option (or is it?). Because if USB hubs are an option, for example putting the USB soundcard and the 2ndary MIDI controller on 1 USB port, my problem is solved.

    I like the idea of controllerism, but I want to move back to a DVS at some point in the future. My question is, how does a FA-66/FA-101 play with current DVSs? I understand that Traktor Scratch doesn't work with anything but the Audio 8, correct? But a program like Mixxx (which I don't really like...) would work with DVS, right?

    Also, can I use the XLR-in's at the front of both the FA-66 and the FA-101 as RCA inputs with a XLR (male)==>RCA (female) cable?

    Sorry about the large amount of questions. I know some of these things have been brought up seperatly in different threads, but I couldn't find anything that put questions about this working together. Also, it is a lot of money to drop on gear and I just want to be sure!

    ~moloch

  2. #2
    Tech Guru
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    AFAIK DJTT is working on a guide for USB hubs. Given the things you are listing, you will quickly run into issues even with a firewire audio interface. Then again even if there are good USB hubs, the lest devices hooked up the better. I was in the same situation, but ended up going with an USB audio interface (AK1) because I felt that most digital DJ's are using USB hubs and if it works for them, I will be able to work something out by the same I need more USB ports (I assume my next laptop will support USB3 for example).
    Traktor Pro 2.5.0, Mixxx 1.9.1, Massive, Ableton Live 8
    MBP 15" 8GB RAM OS 10.7.4, Audio Kontrol 1, Audio 2 DJ, Sennheiser HD-25 II
    DJTT VCI-100SE Arcade, Akai LDP8, M-Audio Pro Keystation 88, Novation Launchpad, iTM DJ
    ifnotwhynot.me | soundcloud.com | fairtilizer.com | digitaldj planet | digitaldj music

  3. #3
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    Moving this to the General Discussion board.
    It's the FAQ. Read it.

    My Mixes, Mashups and Rants

    Divided we stand
    United we fall

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor Krome's Avatar
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    Moloch,
    I got one of these FA-101s. I used a headphone-jack to RCA adapter, then just attached a normal RCA cable. This worked because my turntables have line-level output. I have *heard* of people using Input 0/1 and 7/8 of the FA-101 with cranking the (mic-)preamps up to use phono-level with that sound card but honestly, it smells like trouble..
    So with my setup, I have tested pretty much every DVS out there (minus Mixxx which I didn't consider because it was missing a decent time-stretching algorithm) and most of them worked just fine, however after comparing them all side-by-side, especially looking for good support of MIDI, timecode, clear GUI w. good readability, stability, good track browsing, extended ID3 tags and a decent keylock, I'm pretty much back at SSL vs Traktor Scratch Pro... both needing a proprietary sound card

    I personally think that the Deckadance folks are on a really good track though and in a year or so should be at a point where they can challenge SSL / TSP.
    Just PM me if you got additional questions ... or if you're interested in my FA-101

  5. #5
    Tech Convert
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    @DvlsAdvct
    Sorry about that!

    @ lsmith
    That is a good point! I'm looking forward to that guide already! I agree with you, if it is good enough for pro-DJ's, it's good enough for me! I just don't want to run into a massive latency problem, just after buying all this expensive equipment...

    @Krome
    The 1/4" --> RCA is brilliant! Have the RCA output run to 1 channel, the headphone to the other and just cue on the mixer. That would even allow me to use the FA-66 with 2 turntables, if I were to use a phono pre-amp on the turntables to the mic-inputs.

    I like the look of Deckadance. Haven't really looked into them, but I like one of the quotes on there website:

    "Of course, if you suck as a DJ, you will still suck using Deckadance, but you will suck better, faster, harder and more creatively than ever before!"

    :P

  6. #6
    Tech Mentor Krome's Avatar
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    Just had a short look at the FA-66. If you put the 1/4" to RCA adapters in input 1 & 2 and just use the input 3 & 4 the way it is, along with the phone preamps of course, you should be fine. On the output side, you can use output 1 & 2 for the headphones and 3 & 4 as master out (for internal mixing) or just route all 4 outputs to your mixer for external two deck mixing. What I really don't like about the FA-66 though is that even with this setup, you're at your limit. You can't attach a Mic, if you ever want to, you can't play more than 2 decks and mix externally, you can't run one of your mixer's outs to an input and record the mix.... and so on.
    Considering the amount of money you've spent already (and will be spending), at least consider going for the FA-101. I'm not saying that because I wanna get rid of mine, it's just my opinion

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