Needing some assistance with my first "real" setup
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  1. #1
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    Default Needing some assistance with my first "real" setup

    Hello dj tech tools!

    I've been reading up on this site and many other for a good while getting ready for my first real setup. I've been using a mixtrack and a soundcard for almost a year and feel its time to move forward and get off the plastic.

    I'm having a few complication though, just a few things i don't quite understand yet about the hardware. I have 2 Denon DNS-1200s coming in the mail, but don't have a mixer yet, i was just going one step at a time. Now, although they are cdjs and i want to start to learn to mix with just the cds, i know i'm going to want to go digital for fun at first, because its what i'm used to.

    What i really don't understand is, the denons can be plugged into the computer via usb, thus how you control them on the computer. Makes sense, but what i don't get is how the mixer gets to the PC. I know you can get a mixer with midi and that would work and that was my plan, but now i keep reading and seeing people using tractor and virtual dj with other mixers without midi or usb. How is this possible? What am i missing? Right now i'm using VDJ and according to their website you need midi to see the knobs turn on screen, i could care less about that.

    I just don't get how that works, if i plug the cdjs into the mixer and the computer, does that mean the mixer will just work after configuring the program i'm using?

    So that's where i'm stuck right now. If you guys could also tell me if i have this right so far that would be great, I have a PC, the 2 denon dns-1200s that will hook up usb for digital, a numark djio, and whatever mixer i buy, i think it should all work except maybe the djio, would i need a new soundcard?

    Thanks for all the help, i look forward to your advice!

  2. #2
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doom27 View Post
    Hello dj tech tools!

    I've been reading up on this site and many other for a good while getting ready for my first real setup. I've been using a mixtrack and a soundcard for almost a year and feel its time to move forward and get off the plastic.

    I'm having a few complication though, just a few things i don't quite understand yet about the hardware. I have 2 Denon DNS-1200s coming in the mail, but don't have a mixer yet, i was just going one step at a time. Now, although they are cdjs and i want to start to learn to mix with just the cds, i know i'm going to want to go digital for fun at first, because its what i'm used to.

    What i really don't understand is, the denons can be plugged into the computer via usb, thus how you control them on the computer. Makes sense, but what i don't get is how the mixer gets to the PC. I know you can get a mixer with midi and that would work and that was my plan, but now i keep reading and seeing people using tractor and virtual dj with other mixers without midi or usb. How is this possible? What am i missing? Right now i'm using VDJ and according to their website you need midi to see the knobs turn on screen, i could care less about that.

    I just don't get how that works, if i plug the cdjs into the mixer and the computer, does that mean the mixer will just work after configuring the program i'm using?

    So that's where i'm stuck right now. If you guys could also tell me if i have this right so far that would be great, I have a PC, the 2 denon dns-1200s that will hook up usb for digital, a numark djio, and whatever mixer i buy, i think it should all work except maybe the djio, would i need a new soundcard?

    Thanks for all the help, i look forward to your advice!
    Well with an external mixer you don't use the (very often inferior) internal vitrual mixer in the program. You would need a mixer with a soundcard or an external soundcard and you would route each deck to its own channel on the mixer. So if you got a 4 channel mixer and wanted to run 4 decks you could route deck a to channel 1 on the mixer, b to channel 2, c to channel 3, and d to channel 4. All the mixing and cueing is done on the physical mixer just as if you were using all turntables and CDJs.

    If you get a mixer like a denon dnx1600, djm900, etc. the sound card is built in so you would just plug the mixer in via usb and do the routing. If you get a mixer without a soundcard built in then you will need a separate sound card.

    the djio will work but will just give you two channels
    Last edited by Xonetacular; 12-20-2011 at 03:55 PM.

  3. #3
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    So would you say i was correct at the beginning? In order to be digital the mixer would need to have either a usb or midi connection? As in if i had the mixer you stated, Denon DN-X1600, it has usb and midi, so it would work fine, but ifs lets say i had something cheap like a DNX100, i would not be able to use it digitally?

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doom27 View Post
    So would you say i was correct at the beginning? In order to be digital the mixer would need to have either a usb or midi connection? As in if i had the mixer you stated, Denon DN-X1600, it has usb and midi, so it would work fine, but ifs lets say i had something cheap like a DNX100, i would not be able to use it digitally?

    Thanks again!
    I think you are misunderstanding. You don't need a mixer with MIDI, midi has nothing to do with it since you are not using it like a midi controller to control the internal mixer like you would with an all in one controller.

    You need a mixer with a soundcard or just any mixer and an external soundcard (you could use the djio if you just want two channels with a 2 channel mixer like you linked).

    Some mixers have USB but just for a stereo input soundcard for recording so that's not an indicator of what you need and midi is usually unnecessary and rarely gets used on mixers.

    You need something with a soundcard or you can just get any mixer you want and hook up an external sound card.

  5. #5
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    sweet, i think i'm just thinking too much about it. Long story short, if i would get the mixer i linked (not planing on it), i would be able to hook up my dns1200s to the mixer and the usbs to the computer, then plug the outs from the mixer to the djio and i should be set to run in, lets say vdj pro (that's what i have now but i might sell my license for tractor).

    Sorry for the stupidity, i'm pretty computer savy, but not so much in this whole sound engineering thing.

  6. #6
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doom27 View Post
    sweet, i think i'm just thinking too much about it. Long story short, if i would get the mixer i linked (not planing on it), i would be able to hook up my dns1200s to the mixer and the usbs to the computer, then plug the outs from the mixer to the djio and i should be set to run in, lets say vdj pro (that's what i have now but i might sell my license for tractor).

    Sorry for the stupidity, i'm pretty computer savy, but not so much in this whole sound engineering thing.

    well kind of but I don't think you're explaining it right. also the dns1200s have soundcards you could aggregate so you wouldn't need to hook up the djio for use with VDJ but that is probably even more confusing for you.


    Think of how the signal of audio is traveling. It has to come from a source into the mixer. Each deck gets its own channel so somehow the sound from each deck has to get to its own channel on the mixer. So if using just the CDJs then you are just plugging the stereo outputs from each CDJ to a channel on a mixer.

    If you are using a computer, audio from each deck still has to go to its own channel on the mixer. That's where a sound card comes in. You would have an external soundcard like the djio and plug one stereo output from the soundcard into each channel on the mixer just as if you were hooking up a CDJ. If you got a mixer with a soundcard then it is the same thing it just eliminates the wires and you would set up the routing with switches since all the routing is done inside the mixer.

    Then the mixer blends the audio signals and sends it to the master out of the mixer which goes to your speakers, and you plug your headphones into the mixer and cueing is done in there (unlike with software where you need a separate soundcard channel for headphones).

    If you aggregated the soundcards on the players then you would be using the CDJs as sound cards but I could see how that could be kind of confusing to think about.

  7. #7
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    cool, that makes sense, i think i really just need to get hands on because i'm making it more complicated than it really is.... actually it just now hit me. The only thing controlling the software is cdjs. (if plugged in via usb), and i'm just altering the sound at the mixer and not the software, the the mixer on the software is just gone.

    Damn i feel like a dumbass now! Thanks so much for the help! i'll let you know how it all turns out soon! This will also save me some money for now because i can just drop 1-200sum on a mixer for now and just save for a nice one, i was going the get the ddm4000, which i still might get, but now i know i don't need midi or usb. Badass!

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