Dilemma over 1st set of equipment.
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  1. #1
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    Default Dilemma over 1st set of equipment.

    Hi guys!

    Basically, im looking to purchase my first set of dj equip, preferably a midi controller, and traktor pro 2 has impressed me, based on the various reviews and youtube videos on it and i feel that having sample decks opens alot of options. Serato itch does have its pros, but the lack of inbuilt FX's kind of deters me from getting it. Therefore, im leaning more on the side of getting a midi controller that is compatible with Traktor.

    My budget is about 1000usd, b4 conversion to sgd, as I actually live in Singapore.

    After some research, I'm in a dilemma over which controller to choose.

    1. VCI-100SE/Arcade Edition/MkII US$549-799
    2. VCI-300 Mk II US$799
    3. Kontrol S4 US$899

    Of course im open to other options.

    My main grouses are that 1, VCI-100 dosent support Traktor Pro 2 as of yet and even though it is reliable, it has been out for relatively long, and would require an additional soundcard. 2, VCI-300 natively supports only serato itch, unless modded. 3. The kontrol would be the most expensive, but it comes with a free TP2 upgrade, which would save me money. But, i kind of feel that a 4 deck controller would be abit too much for a beginner to handle and learn the ropes from.

    What i think would be perfect for me would be something like the VCI-300 MKII(a 2deck controller), but natively supporting TP2. But i know it dosent exist.

    I would play mainly, house, trance, electro and some rnb. Am only interested in being a bedroom dj so far, just having fun as a hobby, so portability is not a problem. I also don't want to buy a cheap equipment only to upgrade it a few months down the road, will plan to stick with the equip for a longgg time.

    Do you guys have any opinions/suggestions on which equipment should i get? Thanks alot! And sorry for the WOT. I appreciate the help!

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor Yep.'s Avatar
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    I'd say the S4.

    VCIs are great for portability and are quite easy to mod, but the S4 is the best solution for traktor at the moment. I mean, it was made by NI, so it fits Traktor like a glove. There is no real competing with it. All of the functions are 100% controllable and MIDI mappable, the default mapping is almost perfect and you can change a lot of the basics and even some of the advanced functions in the basic S4 preferences. Also the S4 has a built in soundcard, which the VCIs dont, and if you feel the need to, you can use the S4 as a mixer/soundcard combo for Turtables and Timecode vinyl.

    In terms of having to possibly upgrade, I'm not sure if NI is planning on changing the S4 at all for a while. I don't really see why they would want to, so you shouldn't have to worry about an upgrade. Also, NI will more likely than not fully support the S4 in its future software for at least the next few years.

    Also with your thoughts of a 4 deck controller being an issue, I can guarantee you that it won't be a problem. It's also always good to be able to move up with the hardware that you have. The four deck functionality will grow on you as your skills grow and you can also choose to not even use decks C+D and have them not show up in the GUI.

    The choice is yours, but if i were you I'd get the S4.
    MacBook Pro 13" 8GB RAM | Traktor Kontrol S4 | 2x Technics 1200Mk5 TTs | Yamaha Motif ES8 | M-Audio Axiom Pro 49 Controller | M-Audio Audiophile AV 30/40 Speakers | Pioneer HDJ-2000 | MIDI Fighter |

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  3. #3
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    Yeah, if it's between those... I mean I LOVE my VCI-100 and will probably be spinning with it for a long time, even with broken parts. But I've really gotten comfortable with the way it works. If you're just starting, I think the S4 would be a better choice.

    Also, check out the VCI-100 MKII. I haven't read or heard much about it but it is another alternative, at least imo a better one than the VCI-300 with Traktor.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks Yeps. and DvlsAdvt for ur feedback! so far it seems like the s4 is the winner. but as i said im concerned bout the numerous functions. although of course. its better to have them at hand then not at all.

    another issue i have is, wat if it goes over my budget? cause the price of the s4 sold at my country would most probably be marked up much higher then in the us. wat other models would u guys recommend then? thanks!

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor Yep.'s Avatar
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    If price is an issue, check out ProAudioStar.com they have open box models that they call "B Stock" and instead of being $899 they're $799.

    Another model would be the Denon MC6000. You can get one from amazon for just above $700. They retail for $799, and ProAudioStar has them for $699, but if you talk to them they have what's called the "HookUp Price" which changes on a person to person basis, but if you talk to them and tell them your situation they might take it down enough so that you don't have to worry about the ridiculous international shipping fees.

    There's also the Numark Mixdeck, which although it looks somewhat cheapish is a very good controller. It also has a tailor made version of Traktor called Traktor Pro (Numark Edition) which means that it is laid out the same as the controller, but it is an older version, which lacks a lot of the features from Traktor 2.

    There is also the American Audio VMS4, which is probably one of the better lesser known controllers out there. It's great and is really worth it. The best thing for you to do is to straight up research as many of these controllers as you can and see what you can get for what price. Weigh the pros and cons, figure out how many nights you're gonna have to order Chinese takeout instead of Pizza to earn back how much you spent and decide.

    Also if there is a place that you can go to test these controllers out, maybe an audio conference or a place like Guitar Center that has Pro Audio Products available for use. The difference between ordering a product with no hands on usage before and just basing what you get off of simply other people's reviews and being able to see exactly what it is that you do and don't like about the various controllers is a huge one and its extremely important that you try out at least a few of these controllers.
    MacBook Pro 13" 8GB RAM | Traktor Kontrol S4 | 2x Technics 1200Mk5 TTs | Yamaha Motif ES8 | M-Audio Axiom Pro 49 Controller | M-Audio Audiophile AV 30/40 Speakers | Pioneer HDJ-2000 | MIDI Fighter |

    http://soundcloud.com/fullkontrol

  6. #6
    Tech Mentor m00n's Avatar
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    ^^ x 100!!

    My $.02:

    Being a beginner should not sway you for the S4.. I am a beginner myself(although i owned a X1 before purchasing my S4 so traktor's UI wasn't completely new) and the S4 is amazingly simple.. It may seem like there is alot there but once you start using it you realize that its straight forward and like others have said, was made by NI for Traktor. So if you feel you are going to be mainly sticking with Traktor then why not get the controller that was tailored for it??

    Nothing can beat hands on demos.. I would try my hardest to find a store or even a local DJ might be nice enough to let ya cop a feel on his girl.. See what you like better, because I like lemonade but you may like grapefruit...
    Last edited by m00n; 04-05-2011 at 01:34 AM.
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  7. #7
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    I thought about selling my VCI and Audio Kontrol 1 and getting the S4 - but I am loving this thing more and more each day. I am not sure about upgrading to TP2 just yet. If I do upgrade, I will be grabbing another controller (such as the X1) to compliment my current setup.

    If this plan does not work out, I will probably go to the S4.

    Also , I thought about the DDJ-T1 , but I would like to try it out before thinking about it.

    Meh, I am keeping my VCI

  8. #8
    Tech Guru lethal_pizzle's Avatar
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    The VCI-100 is compatible with TPro2. It's a universal MIDI controller
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  9. #9
    Tech Guru Eliot Han's Avatar
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    try looking at the for sale area ... lotta people selling their vci setups for really good prices

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  10. #10
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    Thanks for the help guys. I've been looking up and researching over the past few days, getting more sold on the s4 as each day goes by

    Thanks for website Yeps. I've checked them out and the price for the B model does look good. But i'll check out the prices at my local stores 1st, im sure it'll be marked up though. I think the numark mixdeck is definately value for money, but as i said, i dun wanna change another new equipment too soon down the road. And i saw the VMS4. Some people do seem to have some issues with it?

    m00n, ur argument makes complete sense to me.

    NewManSoon thanks for the suggestion, but i feel the DDJ-T1 is tad too expensive for me.

    Ah yes sorry bout that lethal_pizzle, i read a thread here wrongly, it was actually asking bout custom mappings for TP2, not comptibility. Sorry!

    D!RK thanks for the info! will consider.

    I know i should go into a local store to test and feel out all the products i have in mind, and i will soon. But as a complete beginner, im not too sure what to look out for and/or how to demo the unit in order to test it out and whether i like it or not. I've only been dabbling with the free VDJ on my desktop, never proper equipment. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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