Managing a DJ Investment
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Managing a DJ Investment

    I recently got a $200 tuition reimbursment from work, $75 worth of amazon giftcards, and I won a beer pong tournament last weekend with a $200 purse that I split with a buddy. It seems to me that fate wants me to invest $375 or so into some DJ equipment, and I could use some advice to spend it wisely.

    About me. I have been using traktor 3 for some time and was fairly good at using a BCD3000 before it was stolen a year ago (I assume this was fate punishing me for torrenting my dj music and software).

    I currently mix at home and am working on putting together as lively sets as I can with my keyboard and mouse. In the future I want to expand to work at clubs and parties. My computer is a netbook, with less than ideal processor speed, and all of my mixes so far have been at high latency with occasional pops and crackles.

    My Dilemma. I am wondering if I should

    A) purchase an audio interface (Audio 2 dj, Numark I/O)
    and a cheaper interface (numark total control, M-Audio Xsessions, or even M-Audio Oxygen 8)

    or

    B) purchase a controller with audio interface (numark omni control)

    or

    C) Look into getting a more advanced laptop with firewire, and perhaps room to install an onboard audio interface.

    Either way, I will save for a more advanced interface (VCI-100, EKS Otus, or the M-Audio Xponent) and other equipment when I start aggressively pursuing gigs about a year from now.

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor
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    if you are really thinking of investing, the keyword is invest. dont buy something that you will end up wanting or needing to replace in 6 months.
    that being said, it depends on where you are right now and what you want to be doing. since you know the software, but dont have a controller, you need to get something to get your rolling live. when looking at that, thinking of how you actually use the software, not how everyone else uses it. dont go vci 100 just because everyone has it. the bcd might be just the thing for you.
    after that, you need to look into getting sound out. a good sound interface is a must. dont go cheap, youll just be shooting yourself in the foot. especially if you know this is the route you want to take. i bought a 99USD interface when i first started and wanted to replace it after the first club gig. its headphone output was incredibly soft.

    also, get legit copies of music and software. pirate copies are for cheapskates. keep it legit and write it off as business expenses on your taxes.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru charo's Avatar
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    IMO start with a new computer, let the netbook do its little netbook thing and get a "standard" notebook for music.

    that atom processor just isn't made to be a powerhouse, its meant to be energy efficient.
    We don't believe in the star system. We want the focus to be on the music. If we have to create an image, it must be an artificial image. That combination hides our physicality and also shows our view of the star system. It is not a compromise-daftpunk

  4. #4
    Tech Wizard
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    Thanks for the advice.

    So far I don't really mess around with scratching, so I don't think I need to buy anything with a platter. Definitely not anything like the BCD where it doesn't even feel like real scratching anyways. The only thing controller wise that I need are some realistic knobs and sliders.

    I will look into getting a new computer first though, Any idea about where I could find information on what specs are good for djing?

    If I get a PC is there a way I can integrate a high quality audio interface into the laptop?

  5. #5
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    get something with high ram and intel processor.
    you wont be able to get an internal interface that will work. you need something with multi channel ability. at least 2.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru MaxOne's Avatar
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    a dell laptop (probably the cheapest and best spec) - i'd say get a mac but pricewise is unrealistic and is a luxury rather than a necessity

    an audio 2 dj

    an m audio x session pro - and set up loads of keyboard hotkeys for loops and beat juggling.

    That's a cheap and pretty decent set up.
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  7. #7
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    Whatever you do don't get a device with an audio card built in, all we hear is complaints about the sound quality of these devices. I am yet to hear about one device with a good soundcard in it.

  8. #8
    Tech Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by BentoSan View Post
    Whatever you do don't get a device with an audio card built in, all we hear is complaints about the sound quality of these devices. I am yet to hear about one device with a good soundcard in it.
    i agree , it is the kind of gear you'll have issues with.
    buy a nice separated soundcard.
    go for the vci100 as a controller i think it is the best , and get the os 1.3 with it that will solve a few midi issues.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the advice for how to spend my $375. The VCI is bad ass, but it is out of price range, and I imagine plugging that quality of a controller into my computer would be like putting a lamborghini engine inside of a hyundai.

    I'm going to go buy the x-sessions, unless I hear some giant argument against it in the next few hours or so. My thoughts are based on a doubt that cheap controller with cheap jog wheels equal pain and sorrow so I will try to keep it cheap with the x-sessions. This controller kind of sucks because there are no programmable buttons for beat juggling, but I can use my keyboard for that.

    With the remainder I want to by the bomb-inest audio interface that I could buy. A $100 interface (audio 2 dj) might be good, as I am beginner.
    But I think my old computer has a firewire connection.
    I could get a good firewire one with just a pair of inputs (audio fire 2),
    or a usb equivalent (Maya ex5 CE???) that will allow me to buy a computer in the future without a firewire port.

    Any controllers I should look into for below 275?
    Are there USB audio interfaces that compare to the audiofire 2?
    Last edited by tads; 09-22-2009 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Just started looking at the Maya ex5 CE and wondering why it is so cheap?

  10. #10
    Tech Guru Lambox's Avatar
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    Other than the fact that I didn't stumble across the money I had (and never owned a BCD), your situation sounds a lot like the one I was in a couple months a ago.

    I ended up buying the X-Session and and the DJIO, and I still use (and enjoy using) both of them. Like you, I wasn't interest in any kind of scratching, and I use the mouse to scroll through songs.

    For the price tag, it's not a bad deal at at. A lot of people whine about the DJIO, but I haven't had any problems with it. And it's done exactly what I've wanted to. If you're at all interested, all of the mixes I have on SoundCloud I did with my X-Session and DJIO.

    Granted, now that I have a better paying job, I'm thinking about buying something new. But that's also just my personality, I always want something better.

    In conclusion: buy the X-Session and DJIO. With your budget and what you want to do, you can't go wrong.
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