Equipment Timeline?
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Default Equipment Timeline?

    Obligatory first post disclaimer, if this is in the wrong area please move it, but I think I've got it right.

    I'm 16 and want to learn to DJ, and have decided to go with a controller, mainly because of convenience and cost. I'm thinking of buying a Numark Mixtrack Pro II, having looked around. Is there anything "better" (I get that it's mostly opinion) at this price. I'll be running it off a laptop.

    Also, I want to upgrade/add kit as I grow and get better, so I can take it slow, and also reward myself when I think I've hit the ceiling with current kit, as I'm assuming that can be done. If the mixtrack is indeed the best for the price, where can I go from there? What kit should I be adding at what stage?

    Thanks,
    Jack

  2. #2
    Tech Guru
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    Default

    There are new controllers being released about every 5 minutes. I don't keep up. So, start here:

    http://djtechtools.com/2014/05/04/st...-300-reviewed/

    The Behringer CMD series offers a "modular" approach to the overall controller. If you are looking to "add on" and expand as you go....I would look VERY hard at this series of controllers.

    Longer term will depend more on the style of DJing that you want to pursue. Watch a LOT of videos on youtube to get an overview of the kinds of DJs that are out there. Do you want to beatmix? Are you into making live mashups and remixes? Are you into finger drumming? Are you more about producing tracks in the studio? Are you into something else?

    All of those paths are possible with controllers...but each has it's own specialized hardware and software. Figure out your groove first, then come back and ask about HW that will help to enable that style.
    Denon X1600, NI X1 Mk1 & Mk2, MF Twister
    Kontrol S2, Maschine Mk1, APC 40
    Retired: VCI-100 Arcade (Signed #198/300))
    BFM 10x DR200 & 10x Titan 39

  3. #3
    Tech Convert
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    I meant to mention it, but I would like to beatmix predominately.

    I looked at one of the Behringer CMD models, the studio A4? It appealed because of the use of jogwheels, something I would really like, and it didn't seem reviewed as well as the Numark. Have you any experience using
    it?

    Also, I was planning to buy the upgrade for Serato should the controller I get come with it, but it seems Traktor/Ableton are the preferred programs at the top, so is it worth going through serato or straight to one of those two? Thanks

  4. #4
    DJTT Mapping Ninja Moderator Stewe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackChase View Post
    Obligatory first post disclaimer, if this is in the wrong area please move it, but I think I've got it right.
    Hey JackChase, This is correct sub forum to post anything that's gear related.

    Regards,

  5. #5
    Tech Convert
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    Okay thanks, for some reason tired me disregarded the gear section completely haha

  6. #6
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    I would externally mix and use a modular controller on the side so you can potentially move to CDJs or TTs.

    Use Traktor or Serato.
    Bedroom DJ | Pioneer DJM-800 | Pioneer CDJ2000 and CDJ900-NXS | 2 x Mackie MR8MKII | Sennheiser Amperior

  7. #7
    Tech Wizard
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    I feel like Serato forces you to learn more classical techniques. Traktor is more for controllerism, live remixing, making your own sound; it excels at that capability. Serato's ability to do that is, well, pretty limited at the moment, and you really need to be able to control the software by hand in my opinion. But that plays into learning the skills you need to manage turntables, DVS, CDJs, etc. etc. natively. Serato is also Plug and Play; if you have a friend with a bigger controller built for Serato, or someone with a Rane card and turntables, you can just jack your laptop in and everything will be peaches and rainbows by default. Depends on where you feel like going with DJ'ing

    You might want to look into the Pioneer DDJ-SB. I started on the original Mixtrack, and while it was a great value for the money, the two things I always found awkward transitioning out of where the fact that there were no Filter controls (you need to improvise with the FX knobs), and that the Master Gain is on a fader between the volume fader (can get knocked around, and most high end DJ gear use knobs for master gain, not a fader), both features of which carried over onto the Mixtrack Pro 2.
    Last edited by ablahblah; 08-10-2014 at 09:00 PM.

  8. #8
    Newbie
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    Default Hold up!....wait a minute!

    Used gear is a good first kit. You don't spend full price if you find the DJing is not for you.

    My suggestion would be to save more and get a used DDJ-SR. The Mixtrack Pro II and DDJ-SB are very limited controllers. Both are missing gain controls and have less pad functions and if you find that DJing is your calling, you will outgrow the Pro II and SB much quicker. The SR will hold you over till you wish to upgrade to a premium controller or a club setup.

  9. #9
    Tech Wizard
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    I would go for the Mixtrack Pro. It's enough to decide whether you want to keep DJing or not, and it is pretty complete. Yes, there is the notorious lack of gain knobs, but most software has an autogain feature that can compensate for it, and with a tiny bit of mapping you could eventually fix that. What's good about it is the built in soundcard, which will allow you to use headphones to cue up, and it will let you learn on a basic standard 2 Jogs + Mixer layout. Plus if you buy it used you could even find the original Mixtrack Pro for under $100 easily. That's not a huge investment, and it will give you everything you need for a long while to come.

    Contrary to what some might say, I've found gear is much less important to developing your DJing skill than is time, effort, and practice. Only when you've really, really, hammered down a DOPE track collection, how to properly program a set, manually beatmatch, and accurately EQ, would I say to start thinking about getting something that will give you more bells and whistles (i.e. extensive loop controls, eFX, performance pads, remix decks, etc.). Before then it will only mess with your oversight on a set, and by the time that you've mastered those fundamentals you will have been able to save up enough cash to splurge on a really good controller, or maybe even a basic CDJ or DVS setup.

    Best of luck to you in the future.

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