S4 vs VCI-400 Special Edition question (i.e. continuing to flog a dead horse)
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default S4 vs VCI-400 Special Edition question (i.e. continuing to flog a dead horse)

    Okay, I posted a while ago about the Midi Fighter Spectra and 3D and I've been swayed towards the 3D, this was when I had looked at the S4 and gone "that would do me pretty well".

    However...

    I've been having a look at the VCI-400 EGE and the discussions about which is better, and the VCI just lowered in price...

    SO... HELP!

    Basically I'm DJing at least weekly at a club, looking to potentially do more while I'm a student before I move (and no-one will take me in my new town) or have to give up the night shifts. I don't like the idea of that but, hey, it's a possibility. I'm really new to this and this will be my first controller (in tandem with the MidiFighter 3D)

    I'm spinning whatever people want to hear at the moment, the nights and the room I do are fairly subject to punters choice throughout the night. It's a mix of everything from rock to dubstep/dnb, everything up to but not including IDM (which I love, but other people don't for some reason...)

    I'm comfortable with Traktor Pro 2 already and I've got limited funds (because I've still got to eat, right?).

    At the current pricing there is about 100 difference between an S4 and MidiFighter 3D and a VCI and 3D.

    Do I need all of these extra VCI mappings and functions if I'm getting a 3D (I want a controller for production workflow as well as DJing)? What are peoples opinions on the jog wheel qualities of each (good and bad, I want to get more into tactile control)? What are the audio ins and outs of both, do they support CDJs as well? General sturdiness and build quality? 1 to 1 mapping in Traktor and any bugs on mac (I like Tractor Pro 2 and don't think I'll move software)? How much extra mapping would I have to do for the VCI (I've never mapped in my life and don't have much time in which to map anything properly)?

    So generally, for a poor guy who needs a controller to let him play music, work nicely with Traktor Pro 2 and a MidiFighter 3D, who might not be in this for the long haul and just cannot make his mind up...

    Which would you say is better suited for me?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrick View Post
    Which would you say is better suited for me?
    Everyone's going to moan at me for saying this, but as the resident Reloop fanboy it's my duty to point out this news article from 2 days ago: http://www.digitaldjtips.com/2013/03...o-far-in-2013/

    Just saying

  3. #3
    Tech Wizard
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    I'd ideally like 4 'full' channels so I have something to potentially grow into or have something to fall back on. But it looks like a sick controller! Definitely a good shout

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrick View Post
    I'd ideally like 4 'full' channels so I have something to potentially grow into or have something to fall back on. But it looks like a sick controller! Definitely a good shout
    Cheers Yeah, I kinda wish they did a 4 channel version of the Jockey... would be a true S4 killer then. I ended up settling on the Terminal Mix 4, which would probably do you nicely, but the fact it's got 3 FX knobs and 1 rotary encoder (Serato-style) instead of 4 knobs/4 encoders just bugs the hell out of me.

    With that said, it's REALLY sturdy. My mate tagged along to my Thursday night gig to warm up for me, and brought his S4, and I was shocked at just how light it is. I suppose if you're regularly moving it about that's probably a good thing, but the plastic body felt kinda flimsy in comparison to the TM4 I was using.

    From what I've heard (and seen on the VCI-380), the Vestax gear seems to use the same metal-bodied approach that Reloop does; so for a bit of extra weight, you much better build quality and sturdiness. With that said, I'm not sure the VCI-400 is worth the extra 250 compared to the TM4... not to mention the VCI-400 has that same issue with the bloody 4th FX control being a rotary encoder :-\

    Ah screw it, just get the Terminal Mix 4 :P

    Might wanna check out my review first though, just in case you notice something that might bug you about the design.



    EDIT: Just remembered, the S4 is the ONLY one of the (so far) discussed controllers which supports timecode. The VCI-400 and the TM4 both provide a "Direct Through" AUX input which you can hook a single "backup" source to, but neither work as timecode interfaces.

    Don't quote me on it, but I'm pretty sure the Jockey 3ME/3 Remix has a 4-in/4-out audio interface built into it, which could theoretically support timecode control, but isn't Traktor Scratch certified so you'd be stuck using Torq/VDJ/Mixxx - NOT Traktor or Serato.
    Last edited by mdcdesign; 03-17-2013 at 09:12 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrick View Post
    Do I need all of these extra VCI mappings and functions if I'm getting a 3D (I want a controller for production workflow as well as DJing)? What are peoples opinions on the jog wheel qualities of each (good and bad, I want to get more into tactile control)? What are the audio ins and outs of both, do they support CDJs as well? General sturdiness and build quality? 1 to 1 mapping in Traktor and any bugs on mac (I like Tractor Pro 2 and don't think I'll move software)? How much extra mapping would I have to do for the VCI (I've never mapped in my life and don't have much time in which to map anything properly)?

    So generally, for a poor guy who needs a controller to let him play music, work nicely with Traktor Pro 2 and a MidiFighter 3D, who might not be in this for the long haul and just cannot make his mind up...

    Which would you say is better suited for me?
    The VCI 400 and S4 both have two inputs whereas the TM4 only has one, and the S4 is the only one that supports Timecode through its inputs, whereas the VCI is the only one that can be used as a two-channel standalone mixer.

    All 3 controllers come with pre-made Traktor mappings so you don't need to do any mapping yourself to get started.
    VCM100 / X1 / DJM250 / DJM900 / CDJ2000s / Maschine / Audio2+4 / 2i4 / HS8s / TSP 2.6.8
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  6. #6
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    I don't think I need stand alone mixer functionality? If I attach a CDJ to the S4 will I still be able to send the CD audio through it on something like channels C and D for instance, or it is purely only timecode they can be used for?

  7. #7
    DJTT Mapping Psycho
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    An S4 and a MF3D (both with proper mappings) is all you need to get most out of Traktor.

    I have both the S4 and the Vci400 SE and they're both really different.
    Sure, you can get used to every layout, but which device comes closest to your natural way of doing things?
    Words can not express the feeling you get while operating a device, so try them both.
    Looks might be deceiving but it's mixing and fun what it's all about.

    The S4 is much easier to master, its work-flow is much more straightforward than the VCI400SE.
    Though the VCI has many options with all the extra buttons and switches, this doesn't mean the layout is great (to me).
    Personally I don't find the VCI switches for the jog/crossfader effects very useful, and I don't like the 1 shift button approach.
    I rather pay more for something that feels better than pay less and be frustrated.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrick View Post
    I don't think I need stand alone mixer functionality? If I attach a CDJ to the S4 will I still be able to send the CD audio through it on something like channels C and D for instance, or it is purely only timecode they can be used for?
    You can use the S4 input C to send CD audio through Traktor, and only through Traktor. Input D can be set to Direct Thru which sends the audio straight to the Master Output.

    The VCI 400 and the Reloop TM4 are much better built than the plastic S4, which is only worth it if you need built-in timecode and aren't willing to settle for an external timecode sound card.
    VCM100 / X1 / DJM250 / DJM900 / CDJ2000s / Maschine / Audio2+4 / 2i4 / HS8s / TSP 2.6.8
    Macbook Air i7-3667U+8GB 10.9 / Win7x64 i5-3570k+24GB


  9. #9
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    I need something simple at the moment, so it looks like I'm leaning towards the S4? I feel quite intimidated watching the VCI 400 demo trailers and stuff, but then again I would feel that if I watched Ean have a proper crack at the S4...

    I think the thing I'm worried about is the jog wheels moving when the club is loud, and the general build quality of the S4. What is the customer service like here at DJTT and at NI?

  10. #10
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    The S4 build quality isn't great:
    http://forum.djtechtools.com/showthread.php?t=68550

    NI seem happy enough sending you more and more replacement units until your warranty is out.
    VCM100 / X1 / DJM250 / DJM900 / CDJ2000s / Maschine / Audio2+4 / 2i4 / HS8s / TSP 2.6.8
    Macbook Air i7-3667U+8GB 10.9 / Win7x64 i5-3570k+24GB


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