Mostapha's Setup - Page 6
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  1. #51
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    90% of my sets are done in the headphones. as long as you have a decent pair and a cue mix knob on your mixer you are set eh.
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  2. #52
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    I did a piss poor job of putting the mixer in the table...



    Yes, I know its not straight. I couldn't find a jigsaw to borrow and tried to do it by hand. Also, wow IKEA furniture really is cardboard.

    Also, my VU meter came in. Well....the scale numbers mean exactly dick, and it's hard to actually use. Oh well, it was cheap. And it has blue lights. And I guess it'll tell me if I'm close to clipping my recording input, but wow it kind of sucks.

    Next step is to raise the speakers....probably tackle that after work tomorrow.

    I'm going to build a new desk at some point, but I need to actually decide what gear I want first. Despite owning 1200s, it would be really expensive to actually add then, what with expanding the desktop and getting an audio 10....all so I can see spinning pieces of wax in front of me. And I'm not really sure why I even want them....they don't add anything except looks, since I don't scratch. The thing is that I kind of want an A10 (or similar) anyway to play with a master effects loop.

    CDJs would fit (if I rearranged), but talk about a lot of money for basically nothing. And I still need to grab my maschine from downstairs....or upgrade to a Push.

  3. #53

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    Lovely setup! How are you doing with no eq? Are you considering adding an isolator to the setup?
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  4. #54
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Thanks, man. I'm enjoying the hell out of it. I kind of always knew I'd enjoy a rotary, but now I'm totally sold.

    The 2016 has a master isolator....on the right, the 3 knobs above the headphone jack.

    EQ question, short answer: I don't really use EQs anymore, so I don't miss them.

    Long answer.....

    Something like 8 years ago when I was basically a n00b who could beatmatch, I got into an argument with people on DJF about the benefits of full-cut EQs (I was bashing Pioneer for not having them), and somebody responded by sending me a jazzy, soulful house mix that was recorded on either a Urei or a Bozak (which also doesn't have EQs). It was one of the best mixes of that style I'd heard, and I realized there was something to the argument that you didn't need EQs at all, let alone full-cut EQs.

    So, I made it my mission to learn to mix without them. In doing so, I realized that 90%+ of my use of them was "fixing" things that were better addressed by phrasing my mixes better and not forcing mixes that don't work....or admitting that you're bailing on a track that didn't work like you thought it would.

    That learning culminated in recording the breaks mix that's now on my mixcloud page, which...is a breaks mix...that didn't use EQs...or filters, effects, or even volume adjustments. The structure of the tracks did all the mixing for me. Listening to it now, there are definitely things I would do differently if recording today...but adding EQs isn't one of them...they're along the lines of starting tracks a phrase or two earlier or later.

    If you set things up right, Traktor's "beats to cue" feature works really well for simplifying mixing like that. Just 2 cuepoints...one where a track is basically "done" and just playing out a simple (relatively quiet) beat and one where the track "takes over" at the end of the intro....then just match them up when you're mixing....a phrase or two sooner or later to raise/lower the energy level. Truth be told, I use my 3rd and 4th decks to add the "outro cuepoint" to my tracks more often than I do to play tracks, since it changes a bit based on where you are in the night. But, it also works to wing it if you know your tracks decently well.

    Obviously it changes a bit if you're just playing a section or two of a song...mixing in one verse over a beat/song, for example. But, it still works. And it keeps you away from the trap of just hitting play at the beginning or end of a track's main breakdown...which often works...except when it really doesn't.

    I think it pays to learn to mix without EQs at least as much as it pays to learn how to really use them. Neither way is better, I just kind of like not using them and how that makes me think about my tracks. It also helps if you have a large enough collection that you can do every mix in key...or if you map something to adjust the keys...since Traktor can still sound good adjusting up or down a semitone as long as the tempo isn't under a huge adjustment as well...and it can sound better if they're in the same direction (e.g., lower tempo, down a semitone).

    The irony of ditching the EQs is that the master isolator on the 2016 is the best-sounding EQ to my ears that I've owned, and I use that occasionally as an effect (boost mids to emphasize parts of breakdowns, occasionally cut bass for a few beats, etc.). I still think it's really easy to go all Theo Parish and over-use it, just like people (myself included) overuse filters for their first few months of owning a xone.

    If I decide I want one, rane makes an expander that adds a master meter, crossfader, and per-channel EQs. So, there's also that. But, my table isn't made to accept it, and the permanent tabletop won't be either.

    Plus....I'm using Traktor. So I can map my X1s to be EQs if I want to. Right now, I have 2 of the effects units being xone filters in case I need them for something, but I don't really use them except to smooth over mistakes or actually as an effect on occasion.

    Aside from that....

    The big question on my mind now is whether to spend the extra money to incorporate my 1200s (which I haven't touched in a couple years). It's $500 for the audio interface (if I want to keep 4 decks available) and would require a much larger tabletop. Plus, I don't know how I'd lay it out....TTs behind the mixer & X1s? TTS outside of mixer & X1s? X1s behind the mixer with TTs on the side? They all require different size tabletops and probably different placement of the speakers, which I'll also build stands for.

    Logically, I know that I'd still mix mostly with the X1s and probably still use sync (because it's easier). So, it doesn't make sense to bother. Plus, I wouldn't have enough clout to request them in a club....probably ever...unless they're already there. And more stuff means a higher risk of failure.

    But they'd look really good flanking that rotary. And I miss them. And I'd probably mix without sync at least occasionally just so that skill wouldn't wither and die. And it'd give me easier tempo controls, since I do change the tempo of my mixes (hopefully subtly) about as often as I think about it. And I could play some of my vinyl if the mood struck me.

    So....$500 for the A10, probably an extra $100 materials cost, a more complicated build, and $600 worth of gear I already own just for easier tempo control and aesthetics....I'm gonna have to sleep on that. And by that, I mean I'll just wait until I have the money sitting around, no bills to pay, and just decide to do it....which might happen around thanksgiving, depending on when my carpenter friend is available to help me build the damn table (I suck at woodworking).

    Sorry....long winded....waiting for my wife to get home and too tired to go spin. Plus, I don't want to spend all this money only to burn out from mixing 90 minutes a day like last time I bought something fun.

  5. #55

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    Wow! One of THE best ever explanations and response from the forum! Didnt knew that the 2026 had an built in isolator, i have a rather cheap vestax one and i personally love it! About the eq i understand you dont needing them as myself i preffer to mix with the filters on my xone92 (would love your opinion about it). I am currently considering a rotary myself the 2016 is definitely on my wish list. How do you compare the sound of the 2016 vs the xone92 (i mix with vinyl with/without dvs)? Dont you miss the xone filters (its one of the things holding me down on making a change) as i am already to used to mixing with filters only.

    One last thing (sorry for all the questions) whats your opinion on the "desktop" rotaries as the bozure, djr400 or condesa?

    Again, thanks for sharing your setup and wisdom!
    Last edited by MrAybar; 11-06-2014 at 10:06 PM.
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  6. #56
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrAybar View Post
    Wow! One of THE best ever explanations and response from the forum!
    Thanks a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrAybar View Post
    About the eq i understand you dont needing them as myself i preffer to mix with the filters on my xone92 (would love your opinion about it).
    I've never owned a 92. I used to own a 62 and really enjoyed the filter, the sound, the build...basically everything. Eventually, I just decided I wanted to go in another direction. I'm really not sure why I ever got rid of it. It was probably wanting to go back to DVS while I was broke and getting a good deal in trade.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrAybar View Post
    I am currently considering a rotary myself the 2016 is definitely on my wish list. How do you compare the sound of the 2016 vs the xone92 (i mix with vinyl with/without dvs)?
    I haven't heard them in the same room at the same time, and I haven't heard the 92 except in clubs. Sound quality is always subjective, but between my observations and what I've read from people I trust, I feel confident in saying a couple things.

    First....xones definitely have a xone-sound. It's a little mid-focused, as I'm sure you know. The 2016 sounds....clean. Like...very clean...but not in the way that a lot of people complain about when they talk about digital mixers. Just pristine and balanced.

    Second....when I got the xone:62, I was really excited about finally owning a xone. When I got the 2016, I ran it like I'd read on wavemusic's forum...channel gains at what they said was unity (5.5), master at unity (8), mixing just with the rotaries (wound up around 7 or 8). And I was actually kind of disappointed in the sound. So, I thought about it a bit and tried just turning the channel gains all the way up, still just mixing with the channel volumes, and setting the master out wherever it needs to be to output correct, which works (cutting after boostig doesn't harm the signal).

    Music coming out of traktor, with my audio interface, doesn't clip anything (according to the sig/ol lights) and....wow. It does make me want to push a little more volume than I normally would, but this is the first time I've really given any credence to one mixer sounding significantly better than another.

    I mean...the xone was better than the (cheap) vestaxes I'd owned before it. My DDJ-SX used just as a mixer was pretty solid. But...this thing actually really impressed me.

    Part of that, I'm sure, is new toy placebo. But that's what I hear. And it hasn't really gone away yet. But, I also haven't had it a week.

    I will say that the 2016's outputs leave just a tiny bit to be desired. Master is XLR + RCA (you can use both at once), and booth is just RCA. There are also pre-effect and post-effect (it has a master loop) tape outputs on RCA, but both tap the signal before the isolator. If the booth out were balanced, I'd have zero problems. Still...it works. I'm currently recording off the XLR, sending the master RCA to my VU meter, and monitoring off the booth's RCAs, and I don't hear any noise/interference with my ~4' runs.

    Also...the outputs can be really hot. The master XLR out will clip my sound card inputs long before the mixer starts distorting. It's kind of sickening how much headroom this mixer has.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrAybar View Post
    Dont you miss the xone filters (its one of the things holding me down on making a change) as i am already to used to mixing with filters only.
    Honestly...no. A&H used to make a xone:vf-1, which was a 19" rackable version of the xone filter (meant to compliment the xone:v6). If you really miss them, you might be able to track one down to put on an effects loop.



    They also made a 1U dual-EQ unit that had six ins and outs and matrix selections if you really want EQs. Again...expensive and probably hard to find. But, I'm sure it's good.



    Unfortunately, the V6 was just too expensive for it's own good, and the whole lot was discontinued pretty quickly. I think the mixer itself was also disappointing....for it's like $6000 pricetag.

    Also....the emulated ones in Traktor are....good enough...at least for how often I actually use them.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrAybar View Post
    One last thing (sorry for all the questions) whats your opinion on the "desktop" rotaries as the bozure, djr400 or condesa?
    I haven't heard them except recorded, but I like them...or at least the idea.

    I think the DJR-400 is probably the most gorgeous mixer I've ever seen in terms of aesthetics and design utitlity with 2 caveats. First, it seems like the lead time is upwards of 2 years. Second, I wouldn't want any phono inputs, so I'd either have to have a used one modified or buy it straight from him. I bought the 2016 because I didn't want to wait 2 years to try a rotary.

    I'm really happy with the 2016, and right now I doubt I'll ever sell it considering how long I've wanted one. But I'd buy a DJR-400 in a second if I found one and had the money. The desktop form factor is more convenient.

    The Carmen....I like less because of the cuing system. That's also what ultimately made me decide on the 2016 over a restored Urei 1620 or Bozak. I mix with IEMs sometimes, and I really want the cue/master blend knob for the headphone signal, even when I'm not beatmatching (the rane and E&S both have one). So...for almost 2 grand, it doesn't appeal to me all that much. But, I wouldn't mind playing on one.

    The Bozure M1 looks like a lot of fun to build and use, and I might try my hand at it eventually. But, I don't like how there aren't any balanced outputs (the XLRs are XLR for connectivity but not actually balanced) on the standard design. I know you can add it, but I don't know how. I also like the cue system and that you can put it in whatever case you can fit it in....so a desktop version might be possible. For the money...it's probably worth trying if you think you can finish the build. Putting a 2-channel version in a small desktop chassis would make a very fun and maybe better-sounding alternative to things like the Z1.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrAybar View Post
    Again, thanks for sharing your setup and wisdom!
    NP. It's nice to be able to geek out when I'm procrastinating.

  7. #57
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    So...I picked up my 1200s and my SL1.

    They're pretty.

    But, after a brief play....I really would literally use them for nothing except overall tempo control and maybe slip cuing as opposed to pressing play.

    I mean...I can still mix on vinyl (or at least SSL with all of the aids off)...but I kind of prefer just using X1s.

    I'm going to have to think hard about how big of a table to build and whether to buy the A10. 'cuz I kinda want to see them....but I really just don't care.

  8. #58

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    Yeah, build a big enough table so you can put everything in! Trust me once you have it all set up you will ise them!
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  9. #59
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Honestly.....sync or no sync, having a pitch fader would make my sets better. It's really easy to get distracted and leave it at one tempo for an hour. And that's not good for anybody.

  10. #60
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    If you want an A10, you might want to swing by your local GC. I went there earlier this year to buy the A6, and they where selling the A10 for $350 in the store, even though the web page said they where $500. So I got the A10. It ended up being the A10mk2 too. The boxes look almost identical, the only way to tell is to look on the bottom of the sound card and the mk2's say A10mk2.

    I went ahead an ordered the Bozure M2 tabletop rotary kit a couple of days ago. He said it would be 15 days before he ships it to me, so I'm guessing 3 weeks with shipping. I ordered the prebuilt board and power supply, so all I have to do is drill out the enclosure, and solder the RCA's and rotary pots. I have never built anything before, so I'm looking forward to see my $200 go up in smoke when I fire it up.

    Although I do 90% of my mixing with the help of the X1mk2, I still like using my turntables when I mix. It not only looks cooler, but it gives me something to do besides just pressing buttons. Plus they look bad ass with the Bozak in between. I'm building a new rack for my Bozak. It is coming along really nice. I'll be putting up some pictures over at DJF to show how it is coming along. I think you need to make room for your 1200's. If you sell them, you will eventually regret it and hate your self for it. Go buy a bathroom door at Home Depot and put it on top of your table and you will have plenty of room, and it will hold you until you get your console built.

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