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Thread: Bad Digital DJs

  1. #11

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    Wow, I had the 1/8" to RCA guy problem 2 weeks ago. I came in about and hour 1/2 before I went on just to notice how horrible the sound was. I asked the owner, "What the fuck is going on, did the speakers blow?". She, not knowing anything about sound, and her sound guy being out that night, shrugged. Then followed that with it's been like this for 30-40 minutes.

    So I run up to the booth and ask WTF?, he is confused and says it doesn't sound that bad. I look on the back of the mixer and *Dun Dun Duuunnn* he has his internal sound card ran through a 1/8 to RCA to phono. Phono NO NO! He said it wasn't loud enough in aux. And I told him "Because your sound card sucks" (Smiling as always).

    Needless to say, he didn't come back. I think he had a premade list on his PC that his simply press... play. Not to mention I had to tell him to get a drink and leave me alone for a while because all he wanted to do is talk while I was DJing after him. I guess that was what he was used to, seeing how he didn't mix.

    I understand the noob syndrome, we've all been there. But come prepared. My sound card fuck up on me 4 times in one night. You better believe I was on the CDJ with in a second to make the music come back. Not fun, but prepared yes.

    DvlsAdvct, you need to get me a spot in NY. We'll show them how to use Traktor
    SyblingQ - Electro House for dark alleys.

  2. #12
    Tech Mentor kidfromkibbly's Avatar
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    Dvls, Foreverhex, would you two be willing to throw up a basic guide to cables, gain and the essentials of preparing a club mixer for plugging one's digital set up into it? I know Ean has the video posted, but some more in depth information would definitely make me feel more confident about walking into a club {fingers crossed, some day} to set up my gear. Even a list of the right questions to ask the resident DJ/soundguy?
    17" MacBook Pro, 2.66 GHz i7, 4GB RAM; Vestax VCI-100, NI Audio Kontrol 1/ MBox Mini, M-Audio Oxygen 8, Beyerdynamic DT-150 cans; Pro Tools LE 8, Ableton Live 8, Logic Studio 9, Traktor Pro

  3. #13

    Default Maybe this will help some one

    Here is what I think:

    Firstly:

    You can't go out of the headphone jack on your laptop soundcard, you can't monitor and it doesn't go loud enough. Buy a soundcard.



    You should know the difference between, RCA / TRS (1/4 jack) / XLR so that if someone says to you, "hey our mixer/desk only has XLR inputs, do you have XLR to RCA adapters", you know what they're talking about.

    Some sound guys can't fathom the fact that all the mixing is done internally. But you need to explain it makes it really easy, if you mix in software, all you need to do, is get/steal/buy cables, that go from the loud outputs of your sound card, normally 'TRS' or 'RCA', that go TO 'TRS' or 'RCA' inputs in the club soundsystem.

    I carry TRS to XLR as well just in case

    If you mix externally. You will be using the club mixer, you need two separate stereo channels from your sound card. either 4 TRS to RCA cables or two sets of stereo RCA cables.

    One stream of audio going to one channel of the mixer, and a second to the other. Then you can use the mixer to EQ, monitor and cross fade. and the mixer should already be connected to the club sound system.

    it's usually best to give a sound guy a lot of level, about 70% on the main output of your sound card. Don't be afraid! Crank it out.

    Make sure the cables are out of the way, tangle free and ideally, labeled. So there is a minimal risk of them getting unplugged by accident or falling out.

    Turn up early for soundcheck!

    Rj

    x

  4. #14

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    Stuff I bring is in the attachment. I bring 2 sets or RCA's (components, red and whites, LandRs)[fig A]. One bigger than the other just in case I have to be further away from the mixer than I thought.

    I bring a set of RCA to 1/8 [fig B], never had to use these before. Just in case.

    A set of RCA to 1/4(left and rights) [fig C]. I've only used these at a house party.

    Always bring a power strip [fig D], the club may have one. But a lot of the times it's already full.

    I bring some of [fig E] just in case also. You never know when they have a wierd ass mixer the you need to convert your 1/4 headphone jack to 1/8. Never happened before, but you never know.

    Also, extra usb cables. I think that is the most of it for me. Any one else?
    SyblingQ - Electro House for dark alleys.

  5. #15
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    I'm not a professional sound guy by any stretch of the imagination, and I have a very rudimentary understanding of the technical aspects of professional audio so I don't want to assume I know what I'm talking about in a serious fashion.

    I have a basic idea of how to take something and make it sound kinda good. If it goes to shit I can't really fix it.

    Pretty much, the way I conceptualize gain to volume is as follows. As a disclaimer, this could be a bad way of looking at it, and if it is someone can correct me and I will accept that.

    This is how I explain it to new DJs so they have an idea of the correlation.

    Picture a tube. That where your sound is traveling through. Think of the sound as bouncing off the walls of the tube as it travels. As the tube widens and tightens the volume stretches to match it. When everything is set to "normal" the sound bounces equally from wall to wall as it travels. Now, for a club, normal audio is not good enough. We need to increase the sound that travels. Just turning up the volume, though, isn't enough.

    The gain increases and decreases the diameter of the tube, widening and tightening it. This, though, changes the way the sound bounces off of the tube. If the tube gets too tight (turning the gain down) not enough sound can come out and the volume can only get so loud. If the tube gets too wide (the gain is too high) the volume gets stretched too far and starts to strain and distort.

    EQ changes the tension of the sound as it travels. Too much high and it gets too thin and sharp and causes pain, too much bass and it gets too thick and muddled, too much mids and it shakes too much, overwhelming the ear drum and overtaking the other frequencies.

    So you need to find the happy balance for your sound system (the tube) to meet between the gain and the volume for the individual tracks. You need the tube to be the perfect width for the volume traveling through, and that volume needs to be EQ'd to travel through the tube in an individual fashion for each song that you play.

    I think that Volume and Gain should be set and not really tweaked too much unless needed. Use the crossfader, it's what it's there for, in the end. Now, different songs can be mixed at different levels, of course, so EQ needs to be tweaked, and sometimes gain and volume needs to be changed depending on the age of the song (compare 80's dance music to modern dance music in a wave form editor and you see some crazy obvious differences, but the loudness wars is for a different thread).

    That's how I conceptualize it. Of course there are numbers involved I don't know, and this isn't perfect, but it's a good way to explain it so people can understand.

    On the topic of cables, until the guys I work with lost them, I brought a pair of quarter inch cables and a pair of phono to quarter inch cables. Now I only bring two pairs of stereo phono, a whole bunch of phono to quarter inch converters, usb cables and my own rig (laptop, audio8dj and controllers). I need to stock up on more stuff now (1/4" stereo, 1/4" to phono stereo, XLR connectors), and I need to start bringing my own powerstrip, but I usually think of that when I get there and need to scramble.

    Hope this helped
    It's the FAQ. Read it.

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  6. #16
    Tech Guru Monika.mhz's Avatar
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    Honestly, there are idiots who call themselves DJs on all formats. I can't count how many terrible DJs I've had to shake my head at. But eventually they all dig their own graves. I just continue to stand tall. Promote the DJs I like (digital or not), promote myself, etc. And let that speak for itself. Whether or not I defend a DJ should have nothing to do with the equipment they use, know what i mean?
    Monika.mhz - I do things. Also stuff.
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  7. #17
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    Oh of course, RSDJM. That's not what I'm trying to get at. I'm sure any DJ who has spun at a club has had a bad experience with some DJ, but I'm just curious what everyone's experiences are with strictly digital DJs
    It's the FAQ. Read it.

    My Mixes, Mashups and Rants

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  8. #18
    DJTT Ninja Mod tekki's Avatar
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    +1, Amen Moniker!
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  9. #19
    Tech Guru Monika.mhz's Avatar
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    We have a DJ in town that plugs his macbook directly into the mixer (1/8" to RCA) and plays off of iTunes. does that count?
    Monika.mhz - I do things. Also stuff.
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  10. #20
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSDJMoniker View Post
    We have a DJ in town that plugs his macbook directly into the mixer (1/8" to RCA) and plays off of iTunes. does that count?
    Hope he doesnt plug into the phono port

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