Help with my CDJ-850 Setup
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  1. #1
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    Default Help with my CDJ-850 Setup

    Hi there! So, I'm graduating (or downgrading, depending on your views) from a controller to CDJ-850s. Now, opinions on whether or not it's taking two steps back or being a more "legit" dj aside, I have to say that life with a controller was a lot simpler as far as things needed for Serato goes. On to my questions. From what I understand, I NEED a Rane Serato Box in order to use my CDJs in HID mode to control Serato DJ. So first off, is this accurate? Do I NEED one? Is there a better substitute for the SL that serves the same function, but has pads and knobs on it that I may use to control cue points, loops, fxs, etc. on Serato? I'm thinking something like the new Akai AFX or something, but I heard that the Akai AFX and AMX can't substitute the SL box (granted, not a very reliable source). Do I need to buy both a SL box and some type of midi pads to make my setup work the way I want to? Sorry for the noob questions; I'm just trying to wrap my head around CDJ/Serato setups. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Tech Guru SlayForMoney's Avatar
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    Yes, you need a "Serato box". Get a used SL2 or Denon DS-1.
    Akai AMX would be a good substitute but only if you don't already have a mixer. You do get portability with it but that doesn't matter much when you have 2 CDJ's that you need to lug around with it.

    Akai AFX is NOT a substitute for SL/DS1 because it won't "unlock" Serato DJ but it will control cue points, loops, fxs, etc. so it will be a good pair with CDJ's in HID mode and SL/DS box.

    You get Serato DJ licence with all of the above hardware (AMX, SL2, DS1) but with SL/DS you get DVS straight away (if you wanna mix with TT's & timecode vinyl) while for AMX you can purchase the DVS add-on for 99$ later.
    Denon X600 - 2x Denon SC-2000 - AKG K181DJ - NI Audio 2

  3. #3

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    I really don't get it, why you would buy CDJs when you only ever want to use them with your laptop.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru SlayForMoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheikyerbouti View Post
    I really don't get it, why you would buy CDJs when you only ever want to use them with your laptop.
    I always said: "buying CDJ's to use them with timecode is like going to a hooker for a hug." But THIS is not timecode, it is for HID control where you get to use ALL of the CDJ's buttons, screen and knobs + you get a CD/USB backup in case your laptop fails.

    Budget CDJ's are actually a good choice if you want a single platter controller, especially if you buy them used. It's just shame that CDJ-850 is not a HID controller for Traktor.
    There are a few single platter controllers (Denon SC-2000, Reloop Contour, CDJ-101) but they are only for Traktor so this makes perfect sense for a SeratoDJ user
    Denon X600 - 2x Denon SC-2000 - AKG K181DJ - NI Audio 2

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlayForMoney View Post
    Yes, you need a "Serato box". Get a used SL2 or Denon DS-1.
    Akai AMX would be a good substitute but only if you don't already have a mixer. You do get portability with it but that doesn't matter much when you have 2 CDJ's that you need to lug around with it.

    Akai AFX is NOT a substitute for SL/DS1 because it won't "unlock" Serato DJ but it will control cue points, loops, fxs, etc. so it will be a good pair with CDJ's in HID mode and SL/DS box.

    You get Serato DJ licence with all of the above hardware (AMX, SL2, DS1) but with SL/DS you get DVS straight away (if you wanna mix with TT's & timecode vinyl) while for AMX you can purchase the DVS add-on for 99$ later.
    Got it, thanks man! I really appreciate the info. Follow up question for you or anyone who may be able to answer it: Would a Traktor A6 serve the same function. Like, could I control Serato in HID mode with a A6 or just Traktor?

  6. #6
    Tech Guru SlayForMoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progreser View Post
    Got it, thanks man! I really appreciate the info. Follow up question for you or anyone who may be able to answer it: Would a Traktor A6 serve the same function. Like, could I control Serato in HID mode with a A6 or just Traktor?
    No, you cannot use A6 with SeratoDJ.
    If you're thinking of using A6 & Traktor - CDJ-850 are not supported with HID on Traktor.
    Denon X600 - 2x Denon SC-2000 - AKG K181DJ - NI Audio 2

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