Planning a headlong dive into controllerism, any tips?
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  1. #1

    Default Planning a headlong dive into controllerism, any tips?

    So, I've been djing now for a rough half a year now with a pair of cdj 100s and a denon mixer, got a few parties small and bigger under my belt. I feel like I've got the basic beatmatching (+ correcting with jog) and mixing skills now in place and lately i've been wishing for the ability to juggle with cue point and loops and play around with effects to enchance my mix and just generally use my creative whims while djing. As true quality DJ hardware is pricy as fuck (and i mean investing ~3k just to get cue juggling, loops and efx is a bit questionable), I've decided to embrace the path of the digital DJ. Also I hate dragging some heavy ass CDJ's around to parties when I could just bring a laptop, mixer and a controller.

    My MAC arrived today (IC2D 2.0ghz, 2GB RAM, 120GB HD) and my traktor pro will follow quite soon i hope. The only thing i haven't purchased yet for my set is the controller. I have examined the selection on the market quite extensively and have come up with a two really strong options:



    OPTION A: The EKS OTUS

    I'm a native finn, so embracing my inner patriot would be a sane choice with the economic downturn and all that and this controller looks rad as hell! A few questions for owners of this controller, or people who have actually used it enough to answer:

    1) Is the 2 deck system actually practical? Some people have called it shite, others praised it to high heavens, you're controllerists, you know best.

    2) Asking this because I couldn't get clarity anywhere. When using external mode (=i have my OTUS hooked up to a hardware mixer), are the EQ and gain controls still mapped to the OTUS(too), or are they replaced as efx controls?

    3) Is the touch sensitive pitch slider any good? My own hunch is that it really doesn't matter as i can check on the bpm in the software as i do the adjustments on the slider.

    4) Is this bugger really worth the whopping 600 I might be about to dish out on it?



    OPTION B: The VCI-100

    The VCI-100 idea really grew on me when i stumbled upon this website. The controller's vastly more affordable than the OTUS, but for some reason I dislike the idea of controlling my EQs and line levels (+cross fader albeit i don't use it much) in a crammed up controller.

    1) Is there a way I could get my mixer hooked up to the traktor pro thus controlling the EQ and volumes with my mixer and the music with my controller? What kind of an audio interface will I need?

    2) So you can get the VCI-100SE mapping and layout for the absolute friggin normal VCI-100, right? RIGHT? What kind of steps does it require to get it all working (you can start with "buy a VCI-100")?

    3) Is the VCI-100SE easy on the demi-beginner? I am no pro, so are the basic functions still easily accessible and not sacrificed at the altar of controllerism?

    4) Will you ship them VCI-100SE overlays to Finland?

    I did this topic AFTER making serious internet researchwork, but didn't come up with satisfactory answers to all my questions, so decided to ask. The best help would be if I can gather from your answers a good selections of PROS/CONS for both options so I can make a decision that is right for me. Using nearly half a K of dough on a piece of midi controlling equipment and finding it to be non-satisfactory would be enraging.

  2. #2
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    I wish all n00bs posted questions like this

    I can't speak to the Otus, but I think there are a very small group around here who might have them. Can't be sure.

    As fro the VCI

    1) Yes. If you want to be mixing on 4 decks eventually you need to get a mixer with 4 stereo outs. The Audio8 is a great sound card, sturdy, loud and crisp. I would definitely recommend it. What you'd do is run the outs from the interface into the ins on the mixer, and then use the VCI-100 for controls. I believe this is what B33Son does.

    2) You can get the VCI-100SE mapping and layout for a normal VCI-100, you just need to upgrade the firmware. This is cheap, easy, and quick.

    3) I think that the VCI-100SE should be used after a marginal understanding of MIDI mapping has been procured. You will want to fine tune the mapping to your specific style and it's a lot easier to do that when you know what you're looking at.

    4) Can't speak to this, but I'm pretty sure they ship all over the world.

    As far as the VCI-100 goes, if you have ANY music stores out there that sell the VCI, I'm sure they will let you try it out. The controller is not cramped at all, and with the right MIDI setup it can do pretty much anything. I was going to phase it out in favor of a keyboard but realized one day that I really like it. heh

    So yeah, wish I could speak more to the Otus, but all I got is that it looks fuckin sexy.
    It's the FAQ. Read it.

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  3. #3

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    just a quick additional question,

    can i do the VCI-100 firmware update on my windows PC and the it'll work just fine with my mac?

  4. #4
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    The firmware upgrade is on the hardware itself and has nothing to do with the OS (AFAIK).
    It's the FAQ. Read it.

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    Tech Mentor DJPhaidon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaques LeNoir View Post
    just a quick additional question,

    can i do the VCI-100 firmware update on my windows PC and the it'll work just fine with my mac?
    Yes. The firmware can only be updated using a Windows machine, but will work on a Mac with any firmware.

    13" MacBook Pro 2.7 i7 w/dual Raid0 OWC SSDs - S4 - Ableton Live 8- Lemur- iPad 2

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    Tech Mentor Krome's Avatar
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    In regards to the Otus: I didn't like the touch pitch fader when checking it out at Musikmesse. I guess the same would go for the crossfader on the SCS 3M coming out eventually. I just need something to hang on to... it's personal preference though.

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    get a UC-33e .. nuff said.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DvlsAdvct View Post
    1) Yes. If you want to be mixing on 4 decks eventually you need to get a mixer with 4 stereo outs. The Audio8 is a great sound card, sturdy, loud and crisp. I would definitely recommend it. What you'd do is run the outs from the interface into the ins on the mixer, and then use the VCI-100 for controls. I believe this is what B33Son does.
    Just for clarification:

    Will the Audio8 interface work right out of the box (minus the possibility of having to install some drivers) with my traktor pro, so it's not just a traktor scratch pro thing?

  9. #9

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    yup .. ive just bought the audio 8 and plugged it in and watched it go !! easy as pie!
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    Tech Mentor Drimachus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krome View Post
    In regards to the Otus: I didn't like the touch pitch fader when checking it out at Musikmesse. I guess the same would go for the crossfader on the SCS 3M coming out eventually. I just need something to hang on to... it's personal preference though.

    The touch CF will feel very foreign at first.
    It was only days before it felt very natural, though. It can also do some things that a traditional CF could never dream of. Namely, it allows you to be in 2 places at once(there's some quantum mechanics for ya). I'm practising with some motions that are in 3 and 4 places, it's like a crab but without the thumb pushing back against the CF. My new favorite is a cue point juggle where I use both hands (oops just typed "nads", that would have sounded weird), anyways, I use both hands on the CF. One tapping on the far left or right side of the CF, and the other going from right to left(or VV) in a normal CF motion. Now let's see ya do the with a regular fader. Or how about this one; Imagine moving the CF from left to right, left to right, left to right; never having to do any of the traversing from right to left. You simply jump from the right side back to the left side and then slide across. The stuff I'm describing with the CF is, very likely to be, the tip of the iceberg as the saying goes. There will be many new CFing techniques discovered using the touch fader. They will become the new standards for turntablist folks and for dance folks that like the "effects" feel to these new CF tricks. I love the way "multi-touching" the CF and regular "side to side" movements exist on the same device.

    I get what you're saying, it's a personal pref. Not trying to argue about it. I just thought since you had given it some thought yourself, and since you hadn't had your hands on one, you were thinking "Why?" right?
    So there's the whys. Hopefully, I'll soon be reading and practising many other multi-touch tricks that everyone else has discovered.

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