midi controller Vs. turntable dj?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. #1
    Tech Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    733

    Default midi controller Vs. turntable dj?

    I was playing out for my first time with my VCI-100 and Traktor and have to say it was a little boring. .Yes, I had the sync on too, and even felt this was boring me. I even felt the timing was unnatural and not human. I feel playing with turntables as controllers and makes it more "physical"..I then thought this is all what we were used to so maybe it is relevant. I have played before on Serato Itch and even felt this gave me more energy as I had to really do more and use the pitch to dj and gets the oxy flowing. The feel was more live! Some of the people observing said it sounded more like a "live" performance rather than a real dj set, and I kind of had to agree. Any ideas to spice it up and help so it does not look like a dj reading emails on stage? Maybe get Traktor Scratch Pro? I guess it is just me and what I am used to and know some guys like Ean can rock it on a VCI and maybe it will just take time to become natural with it...so ,dunno, looking for ideas.
    Last edited by claudek; 04-06-2009 at 04:42 AM.
    VCI-100 Black SE/ FW 1.3 / VCI-300
    Traktor Pro 1.1.2 / Serato Itch / SL3 / Ableton Live 7
    Korg NanoKontrol / KRK V4's
    NI Audio 8 Dj / Pioneer DJM-600
    Macbook 13"/ 2ghz

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Damien1138's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    680

    Default

    I play with tempo changes and pitch manually to keep myself engaged when not juggling or being an effects junkie. Also, a little eye contact goes a long way. If you don't feel comfortable making eye contact with an audience member, look just above someone in the back, point, and smile. Oh, and dance wif da musiks

  3. #3
    DJTT Moderator bloke Karlos Santos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Next to a canal in England.
    Posts
    9,028

    Default

    Only you know whats right for you. If your not getting the same fulfillment from Midi go with Traktor Scratch Pro.
    I use TP with Midi and TSP with decks and i much prefer my turntables but i guess i try to mess around with the music a bit more with Midi so im lovin the midi also.

    I dont have a VCI (i want one but no matter how much i cry no one round here will lend/give me one) but i would have thought that a VCI-100 could be a LOT of fun and a good substitute for TTs . . ?

    Im suprised at that your not into it???

  4. #4
    Tech Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    733

    Default

    I dunno, I just do not get the energy I would get from a turntable, but maybe it will just take time. I think the Traktor Scratch Pro could be better and maybe a VCI for decks 3 +4 to sync and the fx..
    For me Itch was more like real decks , and the timing and feel of the VCI-300 is closer to real decks..just Itch has no fx or separate outs to route to a mixer for more fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karlos Santos View Post
    Only you know whats right for you. If your not getting the same fulfillment from Midi go with Traktor Scratch Pro.
    I use TP with Midi and TSP with decks and i much prefer my turntables but i guess i try to mess around with the music a bit more with Midi so im lovin the midi also.

    I dont have a VCI (i want one but no matter how much i cry no one round here will lend/give me one) but i would have thought that a VCI-100 could be a LOT of fun and a good substitute for TTs . . ?

    Im suprised at that your not into it???
    VCI-100 Black SE/ FW 1.3 / VCI-300
    Traktor Pro 1.1.2 / Serato Itch / SL3 / Ableton Live 7
    Korg NanoKontrol / KRK V4's
    NI Audio 8 Dj / Pioneer DJM-600
    Macbook 13"/ 2ghz

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor Krome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Southern Germany
    Posts
    130

    Default

    Okay, first a disclaimer: I'm playing on radio streams, so this is likely different: Somehow I fully agree with Claudek, playing a set on the decks is somewhat more gratifying. Playing a set that is well-prepared (beatgrid, decent playlist, matching keys etc) with MIDI is nice because you have more time to play around but somehow, I just feel like a button-pusher (thinking of a nicer word ). What makes it challenging again is really just having the couple few intro-songs, then just going from there with whatever fits, taking in and ordering requests, make them fit with the flow and mood (@Karlos: Traktor could have another small track browse window below the normal one to support that use-case like other DJ apps do..just dump requests in there to sort them). The more dynamic the thing gets, the more challenging it is, but both for you and the people listening, more enjoyable.

  6. #6
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    6,383

    Default

    You can get plenty psysical with midi you just need to get your head around it and start to master the program that your using. Midi controllers just like turntables take their own time to learn how to use properly and master - Ean has been doing this for years so has alot of experience and practice mixing with midi. The mappings that he provides takes alot the time out of custom mappings for alot of people which allows them to focus on the mixing which is nice, but still need to put in alot of practice to build up some good skills.

    I am of the opinion that a crowd doesnt find a dj beatmatching to be that visually appealing, they are more standing there wondering what it is that your doing. Theres little audible qlues to bridge the gap help bring the gap of having your audience knowing what it is your doing unlike say Moldover Controllerism or Qubert Scratching - where it is painfully obvious(for the most part) of what it is they are doing as their actions are all reflected in the music.

    To get a more "live feel" to your while still utilising sync you could simply use the pitch bends in traktor after you have synced to get more of a loose sync feel. Alternativly you could also use the pitch faders for this same purpose.

    Any way you do it you will still want to beatgrid all your tracks to get your effects and loops to sync with the songs your playing there is never any getting around that.

    Another thing you could try is turning snap and quantization off when dropping cue points and cue point juggling - that will will help develop a much better feel for juggling with midi controllers.

    Also you should know your tunes and setup\know your controller in a way that you dont need to look at the screen very much. I personally get rid of any "list scrolling" functions- for example instead of selecting a loop size and spending time looking at the screen to see which loop i have selected on the traktor interface before dropping it. I have the abiltiy to drop different loop sizes with different buttons instantly on my controller, then change the loop size using loop /2 *2 functions to quickly beat it into the right size i want all without having to stare at the screen.

    Dont touch your mouse or trackpad either - thats a surefire way to look like your checking your mail. Also dont treat traktor like its a pair of turntables, its a pair of really fancy turntables - so put those features to good use

    More channels is great, i recommend using atleast 3 decks if your just using Traktor or 2 decks + Ableton 3 or more channels holding loops inside of Ableton if your so inclined.

  7. #7
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    99

    Default

    I love playing on the Turntables, but the feel on the VCI-100 IS different, but I have just as much fun, if not more now, because, I'm able to do more things on the controller/software than turntables and mixer alone. The beat mixing itself is only one part of the story. Having some of this automated for you isn't all bad & evil. In fact, when encoded vinyl files are playing, there still a bit of slip n slide here and there and you need to get on the platters to get things back in phase from time time when riding a long mix.

    But where the fun really gets going is trying to quickly work in extras like Looping, FX (in a tasteful musical manner) and just plain ol' EQ'ing and Volume levels. On top of that, you have Decks 3 & 4 to contend with if all that is just too boring on 2 decks.

    I think you just need to put a bit more effort into your VCI and maybe work a bit more instead of being quite so passive? Turn of the constant SYNC feature I guess.

    A little showman ship behind the VCI doesn't hurt either as well 'getting into it' like you would on Turntables goes a long way I think for the audience too. If it looks like you're not enjoying yourself, the crowd may think the same. No way to start to get a party rockin'. And you don't need to be playing peak hour bombs to look like your enjoying yourself either.
    benny blanco®
    blancodisco.com

    Setup: VCI-100 SE 1.4, MidiFighter, Audio 8, Audio 2, Griffin PowerMate, WD Passport 500GB, MacBookPro 8GB RAM, Uberstand, Traktor Scratch Pro 2, Trainspotter, iPhone 4, TouchOSC & Noel's 4D Templates

  8. #8
    DJTT Moderator bloke Karlos Santos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Next to a canal in England.
    Posts
    9,028

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mat View Post
    (@Karlos: Traktor could have another small track browse window below the normal one to support that use-case like other DJ apps do..just dump requests in there to sort them). The more dynamic the thing gets, the more challenging it is, but both for you and the people listening, more enjoyable.
    The split browser is an idea that ive supported for a long time and is one that gets discussed a lot on the Beta Team.

    This was a mock up i made for T3:
    http://www.native-instruments.com/fo...4&d=1221648325

    I did a vertical one for TSP. Its a bit rough.
    It has 2 browser trees. One for Prepartion Playlist and another for track collection but i suggest options to assign whatever playlist you like to each window. Although one would have to show the collection on a Search.

  9. #9
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    66

    Default

    I actually did the opposite. Started with a controller (a simple Hercules MKII) and played gigs with that and Traktor 3. A few months ago I realised (slow, I know) that Traktor Scratch was compatible not only with turntables but also with CD players and in the venue where I play there are also a couple of Pioneer CDJ400 and a 4 channels Pioneer Mixer with a lot of effects... so I said why not? and purchased the TS package.
    In my opinion, it is waaaaaay more fun to play with traktor scratch than with a simple controller... it is waaaaay more physical ... keeps you busier.
    There are of course a few issue depending on the fact that to access loopings (do not like to use the loop option on the cd players) and cues you need to use the laptop's keyboard... but I think I'll be buying a Korg Nanopad to solve that problem.
    So I say go fo Traktor Scratch and use the VCI only if you need to (it is going to happen, since not all the venues have cd players which work well with TS and marvellous mixers).


  10. #10
    Tech Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    733

    Default

    Well all ..good points & well I feel a little better .I Just have to realize it is all up to me and a challenge to make it happen. I dunno still.. today I see many of these "computer big name " dj's playing on Traktor, all synced up, and for me it is not so exciting and it is not like watching the days of Jeff Mills on a pair of 12's. I mean the set can be interesting and good music, perfect programming / mixing , but something human is gone and noticeable for sure. I dunno but then I saw Ean on You Tube and I was impressed enough to get into this midi game. For me, back then it was like watching a modern day dj sport. Today, it is more like watching Kraftwerk dj clones. However, I see some jocks though on Serato or T S Pro and say a Pioneer mixer and it can be pretty exciting, if not better than on real vinyl. So end of the day, it is up to the dj and his/her needs to be aware of looking like one is dj'ing and not reading web pages while performing on stage.
    Last edited by claudek; 04-06-2009 at 08:35 AM.
    VCI-100 Black SE/ FW 1.3 / VCI-300
    Traktor Pro 1.1.2 / Serato Itch / SL3 / Ableton Live 7
    Korg NanoKontrol / KRK V4's
    NI Audio 8 Dj / Pioneer DJM-600
    Macbook 13"/ 2ghz

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •