S4 or VCI-100SE ?
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  1. #1
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    Default S4 or VCI-100SE ?

    I started on 1210s about 13yrs ago and got into scratching, moved to finalscratch, MS Pinky and then Ableton. Ive ended up producing my own stuff more than performing with Ableton (having to pre-warp tracks took the spontaneity out) and it killed DJing for me for a while really.

    Im now looking to get back playing out and Ive been looking at the VCI-100SE and the S4 but cant work out which to go for. The S4 looks cool but the review seems to suggest an additional controller for proper juggling etc. It also looks pretty big. Also it doesnt seem the S4 is that flexbile at the moment...

    Has anyone switched from one to the other or have any thoughts ?

  2. #2
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    yep, u will need at least one additional controller for juggling, and even a x1/mashine/launchpad is reccomended for FX & co. ATM i'm using the loop recorder knob and the buttons around as superknobs, but i find that pretty unconfortable... just 1 knob and 4 buttons
    As i can say... yep, is pretty big, but if you are a traktor user and want to use timecode with your 1212s, S4 is pretty useful, as you don't need the external audio device.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Cook's Avatar
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    Why not just keep your 1210's, and use DVS ?
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  4. #4
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    Default I have the S4 and the jogs are perfect!

    I too scratch and love how accurate the jogs are! I haven't had the opportunity to use the VCI although it looks a cool bit of kit! I use my S4 with a midi fighter and just love it! The layout of the S4 is pretty much bang on too with space around the knobs and other controls...
    I hope my 2 cents helps...

  5. #5
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    Welcome back to the world of spinnin tunes!
    I started on a VCI 100 then modded it to an arcade edition then sold that and got an s4 and a midi fighter. Here's a breakdown of some pros/cons of each and my thoughts after having used both.

    VCI 100
    pros: small, compact, build solid and feels sturdy, tons of support for mappings/mods/firmware/etc. here on DJTT, everything is midi assignable that can be mapped to anything only limited by your imagination, touch sensitive jog wheels, easily replaceable parts
    cons: no longer in production (specific parts may be difficult to find), limited space on the controller surface, only 2 decks (can be worked around with a DJTT mapping to switch between decks with a button, or a midi fighter/other controller), stock knobs feel cheap, length of pitch faders feels congested and too short (especially compared to some 1200's)

    S4
    pros: fully integrated hardware and software, everything is midi assignable if you want to tweak the mapping, built in sound card with LOTS of options if you wanna run things into/out the s4 (this allows for total customization of kit if you wanna run cdj's or vinyl/time code), everything feels evenly space and "just right" no tiny faders or knobs, 4 customizable decks that can be sample decks, track decks, time code decks, cdj imputs, or anything really, VU meters and a master level knob that show you if the sound is clipping, solid rubber knobs, touch sensitive jog wheels
    cons: its a lil large (not massive but would barely fit in a backpack which a vci could easily do). exterior case is plastic and feels kinda cheap, reports from users of broken or malfunction faders/knobs/buttons etc. (I haven't had any problem and have been beating the crap out of mine since January), not very customizable

    After having used both for hours a day for months on end I have to say that I would prefer the S4. Its a great all-in-one solution and it just feels "right".
    The amount of options with the built in sound card and the assignable decks never limits me. If I want to smash in a bunch of sample/loops/cues its easily done and its easy to see and remember where all of your buttons are because it is laid out like a mixer. I haven't had any issues with juggling cue points on the S4 the buttons work well and feel like mouse clicks. If its a problem you could always map your cues to a midi fighter but I don't think it'd be necessary. The VCI 100 is an amazing piece of kit that is very versatile and you can make it 100% your own, that is if you're willing to put in the time to mod it, map it, put a layover on it, and update the firmware. If you're looking for something that just works out of the box perfectly with the software and don't have to spend time setting it all up then the S4 is just that. I hope this helped if you have any questions I'd be glad to answer them.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoodless View Post
    Why not just keep your 1210's, and use DVS ?
    I prefer to free up time spent beat matching with being more creative in the digital domain. Also I always found DVS a total bitch to set up in clubs... might be different now but when I used to use the original finalscratch clubs werent really geared up for it - Id have to bring my own mixer or do a load of re-wiring before my set :/

    @dylooooon

    Thanks for the great run down - really good to hear a balanced view of both bits of kit !! Im starting to feel that the S4 is probably the way to go... how does the soundcard stack up ? Ive just had the thought that I could probably sell my current firewire card to help fund the S4 purchase as I probably dont need two interfaces ?

  7. #7
    Tech Guru MaxOne's Avatar
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    Personally I wouldn't swap my VCI -100 arcade for an S4.

    The mapping of the VCI-100SE is seriously incredible and intuitive.

    I don't like the size of the S4 and I don't like the buttons and I don't want two controllers particularly.

    The dedicated echo/slice buttons and fader fx mode is just perfect for me.

    With the 1.4 FW too it feels tight and responsive. The faders are accurate now and the jogs feel much more accurate.

    Realistically the S4 is brilliant all in one solution but having played with one i'm still sticking with my VCI Arcade.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pembroke View Post
    I prefer to free up time spent beat matching with being more creative in the digital domain. Also I always found DVS a total bitch to set up in clubs... might be different now but when I used to use the original finalscratch clubs werent really geared up for it - Id have to bring my own mixer or do a load of re-wiring before my set :/
    Its not the most widely used software on this forum, but if your looking at a dvs i would look at serato, imo its just slapping a box in the middle of the RCA cable between the mixer and TT, then a usb cable out to your laptop.
    Takes less than a minute to setup, rather than traktors DVS which requires multicore cables etc,

    Other than that, i dont have any experience with the VCI or S4 so cant comment there
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pembroke View Post
    I prefer to free up time spent beat matching with being more creative in the digital domain. Also I always found DVS a total bitch to set up in clubs... might be different now but when I used to use the original finalscratch clubs werent really geared up for it - Id have to bring my own mixer or do a load of re-wiring before my set :/

    @dylooooon

    Thanks for the great run down - really good to hear a balanced view of both bits of kit !! Im starting to feel that the S4 is probably the way to go... how does the soundcard stack up ? Ive just had the thought that I could probably sell my current firewire card to help fund the S4 purchase as I probably dont need two interfaces ?
    the integrated sound card is just as good as most 4 channel sound cards (44.1 all the way up to 96 khz sample rate and 16 or 24 bit resolution, this can be adjusted to fit your preference in the s4 software) oh and I also remembered another pro and con of the s4, pro- with the built in sound card it is one less usb into your computer which makes for an easier setup and one less thing to pack in your bag and to remember con- it doesn't need to be plugged in to be functional but if you want the leds on the unit to be right you're going to need to plug it in (this isnt needed on the vci) ***also with purchase of the s4 native instruments will send you an email voucher for a free download of the new traktor pro 2 (its awesome!)

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