One hot night with the VCI-400 EGE quick review!! (Previous S4 owner)
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor groovemixer's Avatar
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    Default One hot night with the VCI-400 EGE quick review!! (Previous S4 owner)

    First off the unit is solid, knobs and faders feel very nice but the encoders fill a bit plastic.
    Line faders feel better than the S4, a bit stiffer.

    Player buttons are rubbery which are nice but the other pad buttons are plastic. Not a big deal but would have been nice to have them all the same feel.

    Funny thing is most things feel very good and sturdy but then some knobs (jog wheel touch adjustment knobs, encoder knobs, cue/mix and headphone volume knobs) feel very cheap and plastic. Would have been nice to have the same feel for all the knobs.

    Jog wheels take a bit of time to get use to but they do have lots of adjustment and can be tweaked to your liking. Scratching improved with some midi map setting tweaks but not as tight as the S4. (not a big deal as I don’t scratch.)

    Also a back spin is possible with these where the S4 you can’t.

    Ok so a lot of good stuff here until I tried to beat mix by ear, here’s where I found my biggest issue:

    Tempo faders are not as fine as the S4!!! This is annoying!!! I tried all sorts of adjustments with the midi mapping but it looks like the hardware is what the problem is. Basically if I set the S4 tempo faders to 8% I can get really fine increments for adjustments, I’m talking .01% or so!!! I was able to adjust BPM by .01 depending on the BPM of the tracks getting mixed. Best I can get with the 400 is .1%. For nice long house transitions this is a pain to always adjust with the jog wheel.

    I kept on playing with the settings and did manage to fine tune to .01 but that only gave me a maximum tempo adjustment of +/- 1%!!! Not cool.

    What I then did was to use the loop jump/loop fine move encoder for fine tempo adjustment. This works and is actually more precise to use instead of a fader but it’s annoying to now have to use a fader and encoder to beat match.

    Maybe we can upgrade these faders to one with more increments?

    Another issue I have with the faders is the center position. Once the fader is in the center the red led lights up!! Nice!!! But to move it from center and make an adjustment you have to move it off this led switch section. So basically there is dead adjustment space in the center of the fader. Good to get the fader easily in the center but bad if you want to make very fine adjustments close to the center unless you watch for the led to turn off.

    Anyone feeling this pain?

    I will be posting more soon.

    ***Update: here are some vids I posted on Youtube.
    Last edited by groovemixer; 06-01-2012 at 11:35 AM.
    ::: mixing music that feeds the soul ::: iTunes | House-mixes.com | Mixcloud
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  2. #2
    Tech Mentor groovemixer's Avatar
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    Just to add to this I set my latency to the minimum, lower than what I had the S4 set to on my MBP and the CPU load did not redline at all!!! I didn’t actually do intense operation of the software but for what I was doing the S4 would redline my CPU at ther lowest setting and the 400 didn’t come close!! Nice!
    ::: mixing music that feeds the soul ::: iTunes | House-mixes.com | Mixcloud
    "If the music you're listening to doesn't give you goosebumps, you're listening to the wrong genre."


  3. #3
    Tech Mentor groovemixer's Avatar
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    Performance update: So last night I went crazy trying to crash the software with the 400. Had the latency set to the min, had all sample decks running, FX on all channels, decks looping and scratching. Got it to red line but no crash after about 5 mins of doing this. No pops or crackles either!!! The S4 would have sound issues and redlined like crazy doing this. (edit: Im using a 2011 13" MBP with this setup)

    So to me the 400 seems more stable than the S4......but.....I am very disappointed with the tempo faders. It's a pain to beat match by ear with these faders because of the dead space in the middle of there travel and they cannot be adjusted as fine as the S4.

    Wondering if the tempo faders can be replaced?

    The jog wheels for bending are not as good as the raised wheels on the S4.

    Couple of other issues are the gain knobs and the headphone CUE/MIX knob do not have a center position. I don't get why they designed it like this??? Wasn't this new design made with real DJ's????
    ::: mixing music that feeds the soul ::: iTunes | House-mixes.com | Mixcloud
    "If the music you're listening to doesn't give you goosebumps, you're listening to the wrong genre."


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    Tech Wizard itzsaga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by groovemixer View Post
    Couple of other issues are the gain knobs and the headphone CUE/MIX knob do not have a center position. I don't get why they designed it like this??? Wasn't this new design made with real DJ's????
    Why would the gain knob have a center position? Gain is a 0-10 type of level not a -/+ from a zero point. I also do not understand why you would need a center position on the CUE/MIX knob but that might just be me.

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor groovemixer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itzsaga View Post
    Why would the gain knob have a center position? Gain is a 0-10 type of level not a -/+ from a zero point. I also do not understand why you would need a center position on the CUE/MIX knob but that might just be me.
    True some stuff is user preferred.

    I would like to have gain in the center for odb's, easy to adjust new loaded tracks (like the S4 has the encoder button to reset to 0db's)
    For the CUE/MIX it's hard to see if your in the center, I guess I am use to the S4 settings and my EVO5. These are not big issues for me just preferences.

    The tempo fader might be the deal breaker for me, I doubt this is a software fix but more of the hardware they used. Very surprised they didn't deliver as the S4. Gonna map out some changes and see how it works before thinking of returning.
    ::: mixing music that feeds the soul ::: iTunes | House-mixes.com | Mixcloud
    "If the music you're listening to doesn't give you goosebumps, you're listening to the wrong genre."


  6. #6
    DJTT Administrator del Ritmo padi_04's Avatar
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    The S4 talks with traktor via HID, switch the unit to it's MIDI mode and you will face the same issues you are having right now with the VCI. I think the unit uses higer res MIDI for these controls, but HID gives it a smoother ride as you can tell.

    Unless the unit starts talking with this protocol to Traktor, changing the hard fader won't make a difference.
    Last edited by padi_04; 04-18-2012 at 01:36 PM.

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    Tech Mentor kelsey7k's Avatar
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    I think that higher definition tempo and jog wheels were achieved with a firmware upgrade for the VCI-100...is the same possible for the 400?
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  8. #8
    Tech Mentor groovemixer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by padi_04 View Post
    The S4 talks with traktor via HID, switch the unit to it's MIDI mode and you will face the same issues you are having right now with the VCI. I think the unit uses higer res MIDI for these controls, but HID gives it a smoother ride as you can tell.

    Unless the unit starts talking with this protocol to Traktor, changing the hard fader won't make a difference.
    Good point. I just had someone post me on the Vestax FB page, says when the tempo fader is in learn mode move it very little till it picks up 2 midi codes. He says this gives him .03 BPM adjustments using the fader at 8%. Gonna give it a try tonight when I get home.
    ::: mixing music that feeds the soul ::: iTunes | House-mixes.com | Mixcloud
    "If the music you're listening to doesn't give you goosebumps, you're listening to the wrong genre."


  9. #9
    Tech Mentor groovemixer's Avatar
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    Ok so I tried remapping the fader as per above post and got the increments to .05% from.1%. Much better but still not to my liking. Gonna map one of the encoders for tempo fine tuning.
    ::: mixing music that feeds the soul ::: iTunes | House-mixes.com | Mixcloud
    "If the music you're listening to doesn't give you goosebumps, you're listening to the wrong genre."


  10. #10
    Tech Guru squidot's Avatar
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    i saw your vids on youtube and i like the changes you made to the djtt mappings, thanks for putting those up! im currently on the fence between an s4 and the 400. it seems like they both have pros and cons. seems as though you sorted out the tempo issue, but the hid jogs on the s4 with timecode support are mighty appealing...then again the djtt custom mapping and your tweaks, plus the build quality have me debating this again...argggh!

    i'm currently having an issue with my audio 8, plus reading all of the problems people are having with the s4 and ni audio cards on windows machines has me rethinking this a bit. i'm gonna test an s4 out this weekend on my lappy at guitar center and see if i will have the same issue as the audio 8. if so, i may just ditch troubleshooting further and pick up the ege of this bad boy.
    tsp 2.5 | vci-400 ege | mfspectra | kontrol x1s | rokit 8s (ferrari grey) | krk 10 sub | audio 8
    hp dv6 - i5 - 8gb | maschine | mpk49 | apc40 | rokit 5s | technics sl-1200mk3ds | cdj100s
    thread of free music

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