4 usb midi controllers in one laptop...problems?
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  1. #1
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    Default 4 usb midi controllers in one laptop...problems?

    Hello,

    So I am slowly planning my eventual set-up I am aiming for. After what I'd like to think is a fair bit of research, based on my budget and the abilities of the set-up, I would eventually like to have:

    2 X Pioneer CDJ-400s
    1 X Behringer DDM4000
    1 X Akai LPD8 (already own)
    Traktor Pro (already own)

    Reason being is because I would like the ability to use the laptop as well as the ability to do without it (I think it would be good for learning purposes to practice occasionally without a laptop). As for the soundcard, I am not exactly sure what to do because I have an audio 2 which I THINK will work if I am only doing usb connections...I am not quite sure but I am far away from that so I will deal with that later.

    The thing I am concerned about is that when I do use my laptop, since all of these are midi-compatible (and of course the LPD8 only being a midi), I will have 5 usb ports used (5th being the soundcard). Would any problems arise from having this many plugged in? I currently have a Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 7 Port Lighted Hub, so I can definitely support the amount of usb inputs, I am just wondering whether or not all of that will actually work together.

    I plan on upgrading my ram in my macbook from 1gb to 4gb, if 5 ports being used was too much would that solve it?


    TL : DR....Can I use 5 ports worth of usb (4 MIDIs and a soundcard) simultaneously without issues on a Macbook with 1GB?

  2. #2
    Tech Guru eastcoastams's Avatar
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    You should probably upgrade to a powered hub

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastcoastams View Post
    You should probably upgrade to a powered hub
    It is powered actually. "Lighted" is just the name because it lights up :P. But ya with the powered hub would I be ok?

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor Wuz's Avatar
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    ditch the soundcard, use the cdj400's in HID mode as they will install as a single asio soundcard (and also be more accurate than midi mode). The LPD8 should be considered a low power device and won't draw much.

    I think you will be fine power wise since i'm assuming the DDM4000, like the CDJ400's has AC power so it shouldn't draw so much from the usb.

    The real issue here is can the machine itself deal with the usb devices but i'm 99% sure the reason it wouldnt is power, which is covered. but you never know.

    EDIT: if you have 4 usb ports on the machine it will probably work because they are powered.
    I think it is less likely to work if you start sticking some of the devices on a hub (if its a shit hub)
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru HerbStrike's Avatar
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    I have the 1.6 ram 2 GHz duel core macbook I run Tracktor with:
    Akai LPD8
    Korg Nano Pad
    M-Audio Mixer
    UMC-32 connected to 32 arcade buttons
    USB sound card (standard 5.1 surround sound)
    I run the sound card Akai Korg and M - audio on one unpowered usb hub and the UMC-32 directly into the mac .
    Now whilst running traktor i have to shut down all programs, bluetooth, and airport this does help gives traktor more processing power to work with but there are still glitch's when I press 3 separate buttons on 3 separate controllers, glitches show while playing out but do not show up in recordings taken internally on traktor.
    If you want to use the timecoded discs on the CDJ's thats alot more processing power than a midi signal requires. and as i have issues with only midi signals i would suggest the laptop upgrade, I was going to go the CD route but the DIY midi option just seemed the cheaper option after factoring in a laptop upgrade and the CDJ purchase and Traktor, what i saved not getting CDJ's and just buying traktor, my set up only cost about 350 put together over about a year with the money I saved went and got mixed in key and platinum notes now only had it a month still practicing with the melodic scale and a 4 deck set up on traktor with a mixture of indie and electro, If you don't go the CDJ's option there is always a midi option.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wuz View Post
    ditch the soundcard, use the cdj400's in HID mode as they will install as a single asio soundcard (and also be more accurate than midi mode).
    Ok I just did some more reading...

    Now I am under the impression that when connecting this cdj-400 has some noticeable latency. Apparently I would have to get traktor scratch pro to solve this issue and use timecode cds?

    Even in HID I heard there is a fair bit of latency. Would just getting timecode solve these problems? How the heck would I connect it with timecode though? Do I just plug in a usb and put in a timecode cd or...? Will I be able to set mappings/do I get any of the onboard cdj effects?

    Simply put, I just want it so that I can control traktor with very little to no latency with the cdjs and mixer, and be able to unplug it all from my computer and do it with cds without the comp for practice. The main reason though why I want it to be all midi/timecode/etc. compatible is simply because of that snap and quantize feature on traktor...

    Quote Originally Posted by HerbStrike View Post
    ...If you don't go the CDJ's option there is always a midi option.
    I WAS planning on doing this; I was preparing to get a vci 100 and all that. The only thing I didn't like was that I could not do it without a laptop. I want to learn to be able to beatmatch and all that manually (i.e. not adjusting the bpm of the song before I even hear it), not only because I think it would be good to learn the basics, but also it would be good to know incase of an emergency screw up while playing. I also am interested in the hands-on feel of cdjs/mixers.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru HerbStrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rt24 View Post
    Ok I just did some more reading...

    Now I am under the impression that when connecting this cdj-400 has some noticeable latency. Apparently I would have to get traktor scratch pro to solve this issue and use timecode cds?

    Even in HID I heard there is a fair bit of latency. Would just getting timecode solve these problems? How the heck would I connect it with timecode though? Do I just plug in a usb and put in a timecode cd or...? Will I be able to set mappings/do I get any of the onboard cdj effects?

    Simply put, I just want it so that I can control traktor with very little to no latency with the cdjs and mixer, and be able to unplug it all from my computer and do it with cds without the comp for practice. The main reason though why I want it to be all midi/timecode/etc. compatible is simply because of that snap and quantize feature on traktor...



    I WAS planning on doing this; I was preparing to get a vci 100 and all that. The only thing I didn't like was that I could not do it without a laptop. I want to learn to be able to beatmatch and all that manually (i.e. not adjusting the bpm of the song before I even hear it), not only because I think it would be good to learn the basics, but also it would be good to know incase of an emergency screw up while playing. I also am interested in the hands-on feel of cdjs/mixers.
    thats good ethics to have dude.. I have just turned into a massive button presser, I still beat match with pitch and have mapped 4 arcade buttons as tap buttons to beat match but i do get lazy and just sync tunes and go mad on the hot cue buttons.Its a bad habit but im not and never will be a pro
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  8. #8
    Tech Mentor Wuz's Avatar
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    my housemate was using timecode on cdj400's and switched to HID, if anything i'd say there is less latency in HID mode. It's just a cleaner setup, no soundcard/cable mess
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  9. #9
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    I can say for sure that there is really no noticeable latency when using the cdj400's in HID, in addition, this will also give you more control than using timecoded cd's and introducing your audio 2.

    I can say for sure that using a hub will definitely work for that setup. The 2 cdj400s can be used as soundcards and if so, I would recommend having those plugged directly into your computer. You'll be able to hub the rest.

    There are a few options in setting up in Traktor though; internal and external mixer options.
    With external, it's as simple as having Deck A use one cdj's soundcard, and Deck B using the other. You'll then be able to monitor straight from the DDM4000. However this will mean that 2 of your channel strips on the DDM4000 will have to be audio, removing (what I feel) more MIDI options, but introducing more flexibility in terms of the DDM's effects on each sound source.

    With internal mode, a slightly more complex setup can be a full MIDI setup, where the "Master Out" can be routed to a single cdj soundcard. That can be routed to an unmuted MIDI channel strip on the DDM, keeping more MIDI function, but losing the flexibility on the DDM's effects banks on the sound source. Your monitoring can then be done through your computer's soundcard.
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