Potential Gear Switch...
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  1. #1
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    Default Potential Gear Switch...

    Good evening y'all, hope you guys are doing alright. First post on the forums, so howdy!

    I'd like some input on a set up I am considering investing in. Please forgive my lack of knowledge if I say anything contradictory or stupid, I tried doing as much research as I could on my own. (Although I have been awake 48 hours...) I'll break this long post into sections so you guys don't have to read my sappy backstory if you don't want to.

    TLDR Version
    I have a Numark NS7, that uses Serato Itch. I am a beginner. I am worried about using the NS7 outside my bedroom(size, weight, integration). From what I see, Traktor allows one to be more creative than Itch does. I am worried about not knowing what vinyl is like, and although I don't know what style I'll stick to, I want to have the capability of using a two table set up reliably if needed, and be able to know the difference between vinyl and controller. Considering selling the NS7 and investing in an S4, a turntable, and the scratch upgrade that was released last month, for a set up similar to this gentleman:

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/g2UK9nAyR5A

    Wondering if anyone has some input for me regarding this.

    Background...
    I'm a total novice when it comes to DJ'ing. I originally picked up the Vestax Spin a lil' while back just to mess with, and my friend was throwing a party in the coming week. For fun I decided to try and DJ it, and it was pretty intoxicating. I didn't have people dancing madly or anything like that, but occasional cheering/oohing/ahhing about the tracks I played and the sequence I did them in made me feel awesome, and I got a lot of great feedback from that party. I somehow some months later bought a Numark NS7 from a buddy that just didn't use it anymore. Sadly my job kept me away from it for a long time. Now I have another party to DJ and I'm trying to get back in to it and really pick up on the techniques and skills behind it.


    Desired Set Up
    Replacing Numark NS7 with Itch software with:

    Traktor Kontrol S4
    Traktor Kontrol S4 Scratch Upgrade
    Stanton T.62B Turntable: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Stanton-...08-i1427532.gc

    I already have:

    MacBook Pro 13" - 2.4Ghz intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB DDR3 RAM
    Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 Speakers (General use)
    Sony Home Theater System (500W, circa 2002, have NS7's hooked up to 'em)

    My thinking behind this...

    What I really like about the NS7 are the moving platters, and Itch is a cool, simple program to use with the NS7. I have never used a real turntable before, and I figured an NS7 was a cool way of getting some of that experience without buying actual records, and with less maintenance. Plus it was much cheaper than getting two turntables and a mixer for me at the time. My fears regarding the NS7 are that it may not be something I could reliably use in a club setting due to its size and weight, and I'm not sure how it would jive with a club set up. I took it to a small house party and it was kind of crazy to lug around. I also feel strange that I haven't touched an actual turntable before, and someone I may be able to start DJ'ing with primarily uses vinyl in his club set up.

    I feel if I am to take this seriously I should be versatile, which is why I'm considering the S4, the scratch upgrade, and a standard turntable to use the timecoded vinyl with. I'm not exactly pushing Itch's boundaries, but Traktor seems like a much more advanced software that is more open and customizable. Granted that seems to up its learning curve quite a bit, but I feel it just has more features I could use. The sampler, the effects, etc. (For effects right now, I have to purchase a 200 dollar add-on, the NSFX) The S4 will be much easier to lug around than the NS7 as well. In my eyes I'll be getting accustomed to actual turntables, the traktor software, and controllerism, allowing me to work in any environment. (if I ever get out the bedroom)

    Any input you all have is greatly appreciated. Again forgive me if I'm missing any pieces to the puzzle, and ask me anything you like if you need more info!

  2. #2
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    WikiWikiWiki... shut up! (hope people get the reference)
    I've got a similar set to the one you're thinking about getting and I really like being able to move between vinyl, DVS, and midi. I have no experience with that Stanton but would suggest to save up a little more for the STR8-150. Personally I've got a Numark TTXusb and I've got no complaints so far. Most people will tell you to skip both and go for Technics but it's your choice. Other than that I've got nothing to add except for welcome to the forums.

  3. #3
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    Vestax PDX are great and cheap ($200), very sturdy for scratching with the straight arm, Ultrapitch, settings for brake and start. Things that a 1200 don't have even if yes the 1200's are prettier!

    Check Ebay or better Guitar Center used (You can purchase a warranty even on used gear, very useful for turntables, I had a bad experience on Ebay before and bought 2 from GC which are still perfectly working).

    Cheaper than a S4 , a VCI 100 is great (selling mine on the forum), midi controller with jogs on the go and you can use it as a traditional mixer for your turntables in internal mixing with Traktor. Add a Pro x fade in the VCI and you can really use it as a scratch mixer.

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor ANok?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tha Gooch View Post
    WikiWikiWiki... shut up! (hope people get the reference)
    I've got a similar set to the one you're thinking about getting and I really like being able to move between vinyl, DVS, and midi. I have no experience with that Stanton but would suggest to save up a little more for the STR8-150. Personally I've got a Numark TTXusb and I've got no complaints so far. Most people will tell you to skip both and go for Technics but it's your choice. Other than that I've got nothing to add except for welcome to the forums.
    I got the reference...i love birdy nam nam!
    2 x Technics 1200 mk5
    Behringer DJX 700
    Traktor Scratch Pro and Audio 8 DJ
    Novation Dicers
    http://soundcloud.com/anok-1

  5. #5
    Tech Wizard DirtyDeluxe's Avatar
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    I went from traktor scratch with 2 (vestax pdx) turntables to an NS7 with Itch Loved it but had same problem: too big and heavy to take to gigs plus I need to integrate with club's house gear when I play out (a lot less cables with the NS7 tho!!). Wasnt mad keen on Itch either.

    So I'm back to traktor with my dvs vinyl but have just bought a VCI100 too. So far so good and I can combine it with my turntables for dvs input and control. I think it's a winning combo for many peeps.
    Perfect setup for me, taken ages to reach this conclusion

    I still plug my soundcard's master out into the club mixer, or take my own small mixer for parties, so I can plug in a mic or iPhone for emergency music if laptop dies. OR use traktor in external mixing mode and integrate my dvs setup into the club mixer and use the vci purely for the midi functions. Depends in the gig and how much hassle the rewiring is and if I need to fit in with other djs that night.

  6. #6
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    Thank you guys for all of the responses! I'm trying to research every solution you guys offered so far.

    Tha Gooch: I may just do that, or check out these Vestax PDX's. I actually bought one of the Stanton's I mentioned before just because I found it on sale for a bit cheaper than normal, although I'm unsure of wether or not to keep them. They don't have anti-skate like the one's you recommended do or adjustable height. I have only two actual records, Ill Communication by Beastie Boys and King of Limbs by Radiohead, which I never took out the wrapping since I didn't have a functional record player. Moving the record back and forth on an actual turntable is terrifying, I feel like that little needle will just pop right off. Still though, I want to know what turntablism is about. Thanks for the welcome!

    erpi: I've been googling those PDXs, but I find variations of the PDX-2000 and 3000, which I find at $500+. Was it a particular model you were referring to? Not many listings on eBay for 'em at the moment either.

    erpi/DirtyDeluxe: Ah, I wasn't aware the VCI100 could be utilized like that. So with a turntable, VCI100, and the bundled Traktor 2 LE software, I'd be able to use timecoded vinyl that picks up the music from my computer? Or is there another thing I'd need, like the soundcard you mentioned? Seems like you're pretty versatile in terms of set up Dirty, which is good to hear considering you had the NS7 too!

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    - For the PDX (check this list : http://en.audiofanzine.com/search/pr...tax+pdx.html):
    there are different models, the first one, which is the oldest has a higher platter but is great and it is the cheapest. The MKII is almost the same with a lower platter like a 1200. Both are great for scratching and the straight arm is a big plus - it never skips even with you are not very light handed!

    - Setup "hybrid: 2 PDX + Audio 4 or 6 + Traktor Skratch Pro (choose internal mode) + VCI-100 and that's it! The VCI acts as a Mixer and you can route decks C and D to input 1 and 2 on your soundcard with TP2 so you can use 4 decks at the same time, Timecode for A and B and VCI for C and D. The downside is to use the VCI to control 4 decks which may be tedious sometimes.

    The LE Version of Traktor won't work for timecodes you need Traktor Skratch DUO to control 2 decks and Traktor Skratch PRO to control 4 decks!
    Last edited by erpi; 05-26-2011 at 10:05 PM. Reason: detail

  8. #8
    Tech Wizard DirtyDeluxe's Avatar
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    Gotta say the PDXs are now very good value. I have a pair of Mk1s. The latest I bought for a bargain 60 used from a dude in London last year (it was missing it's feet tho, they have a rep for breaking off). Rock solid otherwise and the higher original style platters never been a prob for me. High torque and extra features over a 1210 (just maybe not as 'classic' looking). no skate control, not needed on this type of tone arm.

    I have an audio4dj interface that came with traktor scratch duo 2 years ago, upgraded to pro software for 30 on a deal native instruments were doing last year. Before Traktor 2 came out there was a massive sale on these original TS duo and pro kits and I'm sure will be good value now to buy used if you don't need TS2's new features. I'm personally not planning to upgrade to TS2 yet but the demo looks nice.

    For internal mode I setup like erpi said, or use the vci as a midi controller (for loops, curing/library search, effects) when I DJ in external mode with a separate analogue mixer. Sometimes use a small Akai LPD8 for simple midi control over loops and effects in any type of setup and situation.

    I've shown a few people (some of my young nephews and some school kids I taught to mainly) how to scratch (I'm no Qbert mind). They panic at first about grabbing the vinyl and moving it because it seems so unnatural at first! They probably had years of their parents telling them to never touch their delicate home record decks. Proper DJ decks are solid, need reasonable quality needles tho. Standard DJ styli/needles are fine for most scratching (like Stanton 500ALs. They've actually been updated since) right up to the best needle I've ever owned, Shure Whitelable. Can't say whats best for timecode vinyl, but of course any needle will at least work.

    I'm sure beginners could learn to scratch well on an NS7 or similar (I'm thinking of buying one again in the future for teaching DJ. no needles to wear out at least!), it's the closest ive found to real turntables feel because of those torquey motorised platters, even the 7 inch platter is quick to get used to. If only I could play my old vinyl on it.

    There must be thousands of new school DJs out there that have never touched vinyl, buy they certainly don't have too.
    Last edited by DirtyDeluxe; 05-27-2011 at 02:32 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Decision

    Hey all, sorry I didn't post for so long, had a crazy week. I found a great deal through this DJ/Audio equipment vendor in the boroughs where I got the TMA-1's and a voucher for the Odyssey Flight Case with purchase of the S4 for its normal going price. Didn't think I'd have another shot at the deal since they only had a handful left so I now have an S4! I got it set up late this afternoon and I already love Traktor. Only thing that worries me is my "Phones" jack seems to produce drop outs at times...I'll see what happens, if anything I'm sure I can get another.

    I'll be nose deep in Traktor tutorials for the rest of the evening. I may be able to do my two gigs coming up with this instead of on my NS7!

    YAY!

  10. #10
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    Unless you have vinyl already, I'd suggest that the only purpose in getting a turntable is if you're likely to get invited to play in a club that only has turntables, and won't let you setup your S4.

    Dunno about you, but I don't think I'd want to play in a club that wouldn't let me use the equipment I was used to.

    Of course, this is easy for me to say - I haz turntables ...

    *edit: for grammar
    2 x Technics 1200 mk5 | 2 x Pioneer CDJ-1000 mk3 | A&H Xone:62 | KRK RP5-G2 | 15" MBP | TSP | Audio8DJ | Kontrol X1 | Korg KP-3 | Korg NanoKontrol
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