Advice for an old vinyl DJ contemplating the move to digital
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard Vandalus's Avatar
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    Default Advice for an old vinyl DJ contemplating the move to digital

    Hola, first time poster here. I wanted to drop a quick question to see if anyone could provide some advice on my best options for moving forward with digital dj'ing. By way of background, I first started DJ'ing in the late 90's and was for all intents and purposes, a bedroom DJ. I played a handful of parties in college, and one "rave," which was my biggest audience to date. In any event, I graduated college, tried to do some gigs in vegas - failed at getting in the door, and pretty much quit playing with any regularity once I got a full time job.

    Fast forward 10 years, and I still have my 1200s and a crappy numark 2 channel mixer (with the faders now cracking), along with 500+ records of tunes, all from the 90s and early 2000's. I pulled my equipment out of storage and started playing again for fun, which has been a blast, but the music is dated and I would like to be able to play some of the new tunes. Also, being able to incorporate my setup at a houseparty with friends using a pure controller/digital setup is a consideration. Thus, my foray into the digital music world. So here's where we get down to my request:

    I am considering Traktor Scratch Duo (no need to do pro as I only have 2 decks) for DVS control, but am worried that to have any fun with the additional controls/efx that the program provides, I will likely need to also get a midi controller of some sort (Kontrol X1 or Midifighter being the best options). Is this accurate, or are there people who just use the computer to plug songs into each deck? I guess coming from such a simple set up with no efx at all, I am kind of overwhelmed with the possibilities for on the fly remixing/looping that traktor provides, but without an effective means of using it it seems pointless.

    Additionally, I really have an aversion to using any amount of "sync" functionality, as I do not feel like I would have fun doing mashups or quick 30 second blips of songs (like say Porter Robinson). I am much more into the classic 2 decks and a mixer style, with smooth transitions perceptible to those who are actually really listening (i.e., Josh Wink, Carl Cox, Digweed, et al. being more my style). Frankly, in playing around with my friends mixdeck with sync enabled it's downright boring. As I said above, that could be fun if I was into mashing tracks together and layering 3-4 tracks on top of each other, but it's just not my style at all, so no offense to those of you who love sync. My other issue is that I want/need to get a new mixer at some point, as the aforementioned numark mixer is on its last legs. So I am faced with some options:

    (a) TSD + New mixer & maybe a controller = ~$700+.

    (b) Denon MC6000 as a mixer/controller ($800ish) - I could then use it to control digital through traktor but still have two channels available for connecting my 1200's and could play wax when warranted. Anyone have experience with the denon in a mixed analog/digital environment, or any other similar such device that will work with 2 phono inputs while still having digital control? My only fear with this is that the pitch faders on anything other than 1200's or CDJ's will not be precise enough, as I found to be with the mixdeck when manual beat-matching.

    (c) Numark N4 ($500?) - I saw on Youtube that some guy was able to rig it with traktor pro using control vinyl with his 1200's without an audio6/8/10. Has anyone else been able to get this to work, and is that a viable (and cheaper) option than going with the Denon MC6000?

    (d) ???

    Sorry for the long first post and I appreciate any help/suggestions.

  2. #2

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    wait til next quarter to buy a controller ... my .02 (alot of new exciting stuff around the corner)

    and duo is ok but theres alot more to pro than being able to use 4 decks. and you dont need 4 physical Turntables to enjoy 4 decks :P
    Traktor/Ableton /Komplete /MBP OSX el capitan

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deejaesnafu View Post
    and duo is ok but theres alot more to pro than being able to use 4 decks. and you dont need 4 physical Turntables to enjoy 4 decks :P
    He is right on this. I am an old vinyl junkie and I use TSP 2. I only upgraded to pro to have use of the sample decks. I also manually beat match. Never used the sync option. I also have an X1. It is perfect for what you are talking about doing. Having hot cues stored in your MP3s and being able to jump right to them is a huge leap forward over straight vinyl. I think you would you love it if you did. I switch from vinyl to time code vinyl quite often. As simple as flipping a transform switch.

    I do not have any experience with any controllers other than Dicers and the X1, but I have heard nice things about the S2,S4, and VCI series'.


    djproben - "But who can resist an album called "the Gay 90s"! I assumed it was going to be a lot of Moby and Keoki...."

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    Tech Guru Garygary1's Avatar
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    I recently helped out another long time vinyl dj just like you recently, and I told him to to get traktor scratch duo and a traktor kontrol x1. So far, he's been having a blast, and its actually making me want to pick up decks, so i'd totally recommend it to you.

  5. #5
    DJTT Dominator JesC's Avatar
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    coming from a old vinyl head that has use just about all the midi controllers under the sun. Stick with 1200's and update your mixer with a decent (insert brand here) mixer and get a Serato or Traktor DVS box. No midi controller comes close to the 1200 & DVS. I refer Serato, previously a long time traktor user. Dicers or a x1 are a good complement to DVS
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    Tech Mentor KryticalH!T's Avatar
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    If you're interested in an MC6000, I'm actually selling one (and have a post on the buy/sell section of the forums). It's a great unit, with full control over Traktor. Solid steel build (this thing will never break) and nice feeling knobs/jogwheels make it a prime choice to get into the digital realm.

    The one I'm selling is only a couple months old, brand new condition, and I'm letting it go for $550. PM me if you're interested.

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    Tech Wizard Vandalus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djlotus View Post
    He is right on this. I am an old vinyl junkie and I use TSP 2. I only upgraded to pro to have use of the sample decks. I also manually beat match. Never used the sync option. I also have an X1. It is perfect for what you are talking about doing. Having hot cues stored in your MP3s and being able to jump right to them is a huge leap forward over straight vinyl. I think you would you love it if you did. I switch from vinyl to time code vinyl quite often. As simple as flipping a transform switch.

    I do not have any experience with any controllers other than Dicers and the X1, but I have heard nice things about the S2,S4, and VCI series'.
    So basically, TSD but then upgrade the software to Pro, right? I am thinking that this may be the best option, and then incorporating the X1 (or it's new brother the F1 when its released). That way I keep the familiarity of the 1200's but get to use the efx and control of traktor that is impossible with straight vinyl.

    Thanks for the responses.

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    Tech Wizard Vandalus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JesC View Post
    coming from a old vinyl head that has use just about all the midi controllers under the sun. Stick with 1200's and update your mixer with a decent (insert brand here) mixer and get a Serato or Traktor DVS box. No midi controller comes close to the 1200 & DVS. I refer Serato, previously a long time traktor user. Dicers or a x1 are a good complement to DVS
    So then its down to the Serato vs. Traktor argument. Pricing is strongly in NI's favor - why do you prefer Serato over TSD?

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    Tech Mentor DjZzeless's Avatar
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    I came from vinyl(since 82), did my research, etc...........ended just buying a new pioneer mixer, and Serato SL3 and couldnt be happier, and I already had my 1200's.

  10. #10
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    That's exactly how I did. I love using the vinyl timecode. I have used both Traktor and Serato and I prefer Traktor. I'm not going to perpetuate the argument of which is better because it is a subjective one. I would recommend you dabble with both if you can before you buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandalus View Post
    So basically, TSD but then upgrade the software to Pro, right? I am thinking that this may be the best option, and then incorporating the X1 (or it's new brother the F1 when its released). That way I keep the familiarity of the 1200's but get to use the efx and control of traktor that is impossible with straight vinyl.

    Thanks for the responses.


    djproben - "But who can resist an album called "the Gay 90s"! I assumed it was going to be a lot of Moby and Keoki...."

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