Allen and Heath DB4 and Pioneer DJM 900 (No, I am not trying to start a forum war)
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  1. #1
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    Default Allen and Heath DB4 and Pioneer DJM 900 (No, I am not trying to start a forum war)

    Hello All,

    I am a newbie here. I was a DJ some 20 years ago and have decided to get back into it as a hobby, mainly just being creative and having fun on my own.

    I recently repaired my two Technics SL 1200s and am looking to purchase a new mixing board. I plan to record all my vinyl into digital files and use Serato. The problem I am running into is to find a good mixing board.

    I have seen tons of options. I am impressed with two models: Allen and Heath DB4 and Pioneer DJM 900.

    I am not trying to start a forum war here, as I am sure there are supporters of both. Let me tell you a little bit of my style of music and effects I enjoy, perhaps you can advise me on which to go with based off these facts.

    First, I enjoy mixing electronic and trance as well as house and breakbeat.

    One of my favorite effects I enjoyed many years ago was breaking down a track between the two phono sources, slapping the fader back and forth to make the classic slap back effect on the song.

    I also enjoyed sampling. I would typically record a phrase and loop back into my two phono sources which I would be already mixing. Sometimes I would add two to three samples on top of the two mixed phono inputs.

    Looking at the Pioneer DJM 900 I like the Roll and Slip Roll effect. I also saw Pioneer's DJS 1000 sampler which looks particularly cool.

    Looking at Allen and Heath DB4, I like the look of the mixer and, from what I've read, the mixer is full of effects. But I've also heard there is no send and return meaning I would be unable to add a sampler to the mixer if I wished in the future. Is this true?

    Any thoughts on which I should go with based on my background and what I enjoy doing in my mixes?

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    With you being new to all this, you have to get your head around one thing:

    Youíre not limited to the FX on the mixer

    Whatever DVS software you go with, it will have TONS of FX. Using software FX and h/w fx in series is a lot of fun, though.

    As long as you get a mixer with a built in Audio Interface, youíll be good. But you might also want a midi controller to go with it for stuff like dropping cue points, adding (s/w) effects, and especially for browsing and loading tracks.

    Iíve used a DJM-850 w/1200ís and a ZOMO MC-1000 for years, and honestly - itís an awesome combination.
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
    Production: Ableton Live 8 and a mouse, Sennheiser HD400, Sony VAIO

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  3. #3
    Tech Mentor ragverp's Avatar
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    unless you are looking at the djm 900 nsx2 , The db4 would be the obvious choice,
    Sound wise it is so much better then the djm. Fx wise, nothing compares to the studio grade fx engine inside the db4, The Djm provides really harsh fx, usable for most but its all the same as were the db4 can be really subtle.

    There are some work around creating a sort of send return on the db4:

    and there is no need to connect a sampler, you can rekord 4 bars on the looper of the db4
    Allen & Heath DB4, Xone K2, 2x Native instrument D2
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  4. #4
    Tech Guru astromech's Avatar
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    Take a look at the Xone:PX5 instead of the DB:4. Less issues with drivers, and you can use Traktor Pro with it.

    I'd also suggest you only try to digitise the music you can't find to buy online, as it's a fucking ball ache to do in large quantities. If you buy a few replacements a month, you can build up over time, and still play your original vinyl.
    A&H Xone:96 | Xone:K1 | 2 x 1210s | Traktor Pro 3 | Apple Macbook Pro (2015) 13" | Sennheiser HD7 DJ | Maschine Mikro Mk3
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  5. #5
    Tech Mentor ragverp's Avatar
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    I run traktor pro (2.0 and 3.0) i even have one as my ableton soundcard... on the db4, driver issues are solved....and the px5 is no match for the db4..Only thing that i would consider instead of the db4 is the Xone 96
    Allen & Heath DB4, Xone K2, 2x Native instrument D2
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    I have read a lot about the Pioneer effects being ďharsh.Ē Can someone please expand on it? Do they sound fake? Is it obvious the DJ is doing something to the music?

    Also, I am embarrassed to say this, but I love the roll and slip roll effect on the DJM900 NX2 which Iíve seen on YouTube. It disappoints me the DB4 doesnít have the slip roll capability, only roll. Is this something I can get later with the DB4 or do in Traktor/Serato itself?

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor ragverp's Avatar
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    What you see is what you get, i don't think they are adding more things to the db4, you can do a roll on the db4


    for the fx on the pioneer, yes you can hear the dj adding those to the music, love or hate them...they are quite obvious....as for the fx on the db4 they are way more subtle if you want and you can destroy sounds also, your choice...
    but if you hear the db4 fx to the pioneer fx then you know what i mean...lots of youtube movies about both mixers...
    Last edited by ragverp; 03-05-2019 at 07:42 AM.
    Allen & Heath DB4, Xone K2, 2x Native instrument D2
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  8. #8
    Tech Mentor ragverp's Avatar
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    and loop with out the K2, but the k2 to makes it way more usable as you can fade in and out the original track (slip mode)
    Last edited by ragverp; 03-05-2019 at 07:41 AM.
    Allen & Heath DB4, Xone K2, 2x Native instrument D2
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