I agree with everything except the idea that controllers absolutely tie you to software.
Just because a feature exists does not mean you have to use it. That goes for more than sync.
You aren't just paying for the build though, theres the Ridiculous amount they spend on Sponsorship, Marketing, Reaseach & Development etc etc ...IHNFC how Pioneer can spend that much money building them. I just can't figure it out.
there will always be standalone players in clubs, controllers are never going to be standard in the DJ booth. a controller of high enough quality to be installed in a club and function reliably will cost a LOT. right now, technology and software are moving so fast that there's no guarantee that it'll be a solid investment for more than a year or two. the standalone hardware moves more slowly, is a bit more predictable, and not tied to software so it still functions even when it's outside of its support lifetime. no controller will behave like this, and they're a dime a dozen, so there's no 'standard' that they can just throw in a club and expect people to play on.
i think controllers have already found their niche and are going to stay there (which is fine!) the average DJ doesn't NEED a pair of 2000s in their house (though it's nice!) and they're going to take the place of those numark boxes with the 2 belt drives and 2 channel mixer for newbies and the high end ones are going to serve as really nice home setups for mid-level/pro DJs who don't have an interest in investing the thousands necessary in a CDJ setup. controllers are also for the DJs who really, really like tweaking the behavior of their equipment, and that's fine, but it's not the majority of DJs.
hope this didn't come off as slagging on controllers, obviously we all love 'em around here, but they're a specific tool for some specific jobs. saying they're going to replace standalone club installs is like saying corded power drivers are going to replace screw drivers - there's a lot of ways that the power drills are great and make life easier but at the end of the day for the sake of convenience, reliability and simplicity the screwdriver is definitely the more versatile tool.
Its progress, the cdj replaced the turntable by mimicking and improving on what it could do, the controller will do the same. New cdjs are more controller than cdj anyways. If your cdj plays usb, its a controller
the new cdjs can function as controllers as well, but they still can function without another machine doing the heavy lifting for them; the s4, VCI series, ergo, etc. cannot.
You see my point though? its only a matter of time before controllers have software built in much like the cdj does, alright its not technically a controller then, much like cdj's aren't often used for playing cd's anymore But these are just our points of view, we could argue all day, then tomorrow a something new might come out and replace everything. But the CD is outdated, and its only time before CD is dropped from the players name. I honestly think we will eventually see truly portable setups, like an audio focused tablet and a controller of your choice, it will be much more versatile than separate cdj's or players of any name.
p.s. Im quitting smoking, these nicotine patches make me argumentative, no offence meant anywhere bud
again i'm not at all disagreeing on the portable front, and I think it's going to change a lot of things or mobile DJs and parties and stuff on a smaller scale, my big issue is with the assertion that standalone players like we're currently looking at are going to go away.
i guess the biggest argument i have against that is the current system works in part because there's no one point of failure. if your control dies, you're out of luck. if one standalone deck fails, you're just down one deck (and maybe embarassed mid gig)
i don't disagree that we'll see more controller-like hardware in the future though. i wouldn't be surprised if we eventually got a v2 of pro dj link that let you hook into traktor/serato instead of rekordbox in HID mode and recall all your midi maps/etc from the DJM2000 (or whatever that future mixer looks like) but I don't think it's going to be in the form of an all in one controller, imo.
that would be pretty hot, though. set up traktor however you want it on your home setup, hook up over one ethernet cable at the club and your 2ks/mixer are running in HID mode and using its sound card with all your mappings and effects in your DVS of choice right the way you left 'em. if they upped the requirement for that to gigabit i don't see why it wouldn't be doable.
I started on this forum 2 years ago, and I actually started my DJ'ing "life(? hobby?) on a Traktor Kontrol S4 a week before it's official release (threw that in there for "the cool factor" :P). Anyway I DJ'd on it for 2 years and about a year and a half in I felt my skills plateau. Let me be the first to say that I have a disposable income, however I do not believe in spending where you have no rhyme or reason to, especially when it comes to an expensive hobby - I tend to pick up what I need and try to get the best deal without going over board even where I can afford it. Keeping this in mind I could not for a very long time justify the expense of CDJ's and the mixer when I felt like I was getting the same experience out of my Kontrol S4. After another 6 months of feeling like I wasn't doing anything different and my skills weren't improving I decided to take the plunge and pick up a mixer for CDJ's i had picked up earlier - got them both for about $2000 total (CDJ 850-K's (used in excellent condition) & DJM 850-K brand new).
I can tell you with extreme certainty that within the next week itself I found myself improving in multiple ways. Firstly my beatmatching ability had already increased exponentially. I felt comfortable for the first time being able to go up and play or do anything without sync. Secondly, I found myself not staring at a screen the entire time I was DJ'ing (I do a radio show once a week online) which allowed me to focus more on the music. And lastly, I realized I was actually FEELING my music instead of looking at readouts on my MBPs screen to tell me when to do what.
I just felt SO much more connected with the music. The whole process re-invigorated me and to be honest before I switched setups (maybe it was cause I switched things up after so long that helped?) I was really losing interest in DJ'ing.
Ahh and most importantly now I have the confidence to walk up to any setup and throw down a set. And all of this happened in the last three weeks. I can't begin to imagine how different it'll be in a month or two, or how confident it'll make me.
Coming from a dude who will never bash controllers, but has been there and started there, if you can dish out the cash - CDJ's all the way (or fully analogue with a pair of TT's and a mixer - no DVS).
Jus' my two cents.