Controller vs CDJ's?
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Default Controller vs CDJ's?

    Guys,

    I've been mixing via PC software for a few years, one of the apps was Mixmeister (probably very primitive I know). I'm looking at getting some hardware now and I've been doing a few solid weeks research via the web and a few DJ equipment stores.

    Money isn't a massive issue, I'd rather spend a bit more to get decent kit. As a beginner the learning curve is a concern but I'm prepared to spend time to get up to speed....in the short term just a home DJ, longer term at friends parties, etc, - can't see myself doing it in clubs to be honest. Most of my music is via MP3's not really CD's.

    I've read loads of posting on Traktor vs Serato, and I'm learning towards Traktor. I was sold on getting a controller, probably the Pioneer DDJ T1, the main issue against was i didn't want to rely on a laptop as my main PC is a desktop and i have an iPad (I was hoping the days on a laptop were gone).

    Now I'm learning towards spending the extra money on two Pioneer CDJ-350's and DJM-350. I like the USB stick connect features and the ability to record straight to a USB stick - therefore no laptop required.

    I understand people's views will probably be very mixed on whether to go the way of the controller vs CDJ's - but interested to hear your thoughts. Are controllers the way of the future and CDJ's will be left behind...do i need to bite the bullet and get a laptop and get proficient with Traktor Pro now as I will have to one day? Am I losing a lot of functionality by not using software like Traktor? I also realise some people won't be fans of Pioneer as many believe they are overpriced, I guess put aside the brand and it's more about controllers vs CDJ.

    Anyway many thanks in advance.
    Johnno

  2. #2
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    Preference. CDJs are versatile and it is pretty nice to not have to use a laptop, plus if you go the CDJ route first it will force you to actually learn how to mix which is a bonus and it's easy to tell from mixes I hear of people who have never played on anything but a controller and were not forced to mix by ear without waveforms, sync, and phase meters (yes you can turn it off, but that doesn't mean you actually will and force you to learn).

    I say go for the CDJs, I think you will be better off in the long run to learn on hardare without the crutch of software, you can always change your setup later if you want to do more. Plus, mixing on CDJs is a lot more satisfying starting out as you start to learn and get things right.

    Plus I have changed my setup tons of times and I think CDJs that you can use a USB stick with are the best and most versatile to learn on and I wish I went that route first.

    You can always upgrade your setup in the future or add to it but I think hardware is the way to go if you can afford decent stuff.
    Last edited by Xonetacular; 11-14-2011 at 12:57 AM.

  3. #3
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    first question is have you ever played with cdjs or the controllers you are looking at?

    most djs I see and meet playing out are currently using timecode with either cdjs or technics. most clubs where I live have both so its your choice way to use.

    The next question is what music do you mix and do you want to scratch. If your mixing hip hop, very few ppl can do what they want to do without turntables.

    as far as mixing in clubs str8 cdjs is easier cuz you just put ur disks in and away you go. with timecode takes a little setting up, and with a controller sometimes there is no room

    however you said your not fussed about playing out. Id say for a lot of ppl there best bet is to get a controller. Id personally go for an s2 or s4, both better built than the pioneer.

    Laptop wise get yourself an old macbook, spend about 400 you will have something that will meet your needs. I am a PC guy but core audio best ASIO hands down so I use a mac for playing out

  4. #4
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tombruton69 View Post

    however you said your not fussed about playing out. Id say for a lot of ppl there best bet is to get a controller. Id personally go for an s2 or s4, both better built than the pioneer.
    I disagree. s2 and s4 are cool and all, but he says he doesn't want to use a laptop and i dont blame him. its nice to just have a dj setup ready to go at all time without plugging in and setting up a computer even at home. Plus I'm sure it will improve skills a lot.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru DJZILCH's Avatar
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    i think the new rekordbox equipped pio cdjs are quite safe because if you are used to them, when you rock up in venues you wont rely on waveforms and stuff, plus you can always hook em up to traktor if you want to and use em as controller

    also pio stuff somehow keeps their resale value for some strange reasons if you decide to sell them later
    Setup:

    Traktor Pro 2 / S2 MK2 / X1 MK2 / Audio6 / Pioneer HDJ2000 / Westone UM3X / rMBP 13 inch 2014 (2.8 GHz) / Focal Alpha 50

  6. #6
    Tech Convert
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    No I haven't. Music genre is mainly house / trance no to scratching.

    Quote Originally Posted by tombruton69 View Post
    first question is have you ever played with cdjs or the controllers you are looking at?

    most djs I see and meet playing out are currently using timecode with either cdjs or technics. most clubs where I live have both so its your choice way to use.

    The next question is what music do you mix and do you want to scratch. If your mixing hip hop, very few ppl can do what they want to do without turntables.

    as far as mixing in clubs str8 cdjs is easier cuz you just put ur disks in and away you go. with timecode takes a little setting up, and with a controller sometimes there is no room

    however you said your not fussed about playing out. Id say for a lot of ppl there best bet is to get a controller. Id personally go for an s2 or s4, both better built than the pioneer.

    Laptop wise get yourself an old macbook, spend about 400 you will have something that will meet your needs. I am a PC guy but core audio best ASIO hands down so I use a mac for playing out

  7. #7
    Tech Wizard EssBee's Avatar
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    I would say CDJs is the way to go. Wish I would have held onto mine. And if money isn't a problem I'd look at the 850 over the 350. I've heard some people complain about the jogs on the 350.

  8. #8
    Tech Mentor NathanWard's Avatar
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    If you have the money, go for CDJs. It's nice being able to beatmatch well, and to be able tp play on pretty much anyone's setup with ease, and all you need to bring is USBs or CDs.
    BCF 2000
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  9. #9
    Tech Guru Coldfuzion's Avatar
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    Oh man, it's been a while since i've posted on one of these.

    I started out nearly a year ago from last month on these forums and I started with a Traktor S4. It's a great piece of kit, but after a year of DJing and what not I truly want CDJs. I think CDJs are the best way to go just because (as mentioned above) it'll force you to do everything manually, no need for a laptop in front of you, and if you can DJ on CDJs you'll be able to DJ with a controller easily.

    I'd definitely say CDJs.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru Cybertrash's Avatar
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    I don't really see the point of CDJs, except maybe for the "no laptop" bit, USB-sticks are smaller. But the notion that they should be more "pure" than controllers is silly, if you've run your tunes through Recordbox or w/e, you'll still have a BPM-display, sure, no sync button, but you'd just need to line up the tempos and nudge them into place.
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