The Pull of "Industry Standard"
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru keeb's Avatar
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    Default The Pull of "Industry Standard"

    Disclaimer: I'm not trolling or looking to start a flame war. If you enter this thread with one of those objectives, I humbly ask you to step aside so we can have some actual discussion on this matter. I'm asking this question because in over two years on DJTT I've never seen the question addressed (apologies if I just missed it). Let's keep this one mature, folks.

    One of the terms that gets thrown around all the time on this board is "industry standard." As most of you know, it refers to the setup that you are most likely to encounter in a club. This setup for the past 5ish years at least has been: 2 Tecnics 1200 mk ii, 2 CDJ 1000 mk iii (or CDJ 2000), and a DJM 800 (or 900). The CDJs and turntables - if you get used to another pair, you can probably adjust to using the industry standard when you show up to a club. Even using Denon or Stanton players, the general layout is pretty standard for the most part. The mixer, on the other hand, is a bit of a different beast. Yes, you'll (usually) have 3 band EQ, channel faders, and a crossfader, but that's where the standardization (usage-wise) ends.

    So, for everyone who owns a "non-standard" (non-DJM800/900) mixer, why did you purchase your mixer in particular? I'm not saying the other mixers are bad by any means. In fact, I'd even say the DB4 (for example) looks like a better mixer than the DJM 900 from what I've seen. The problem I couldn't get past in my head when it came to buying one though was this; If I buy a DB4 and get used to all of its effects, filter eq mode, filters, etc. - what happens when I have to DJ on a DJM 800? Now, the DJM series has been built to be user-friendly, so I don't doubt that it would be fairly easy to adjust. But, if you're practicing on a piece of equipment, doesn't it make more sense to have that equipment be the same as what you would use when you're out gigging? I know a bunch of little tricks and tweaks with the DJM 900/800 effects now that I would never have picked up had I not had one to practice on; so if I'd owned a DB4 instead, I would be less practiced on the equipment I'll be using gigging out. The DB4's a sick mixer, but what does that matter if it's just sitting in your bedroom? I've read a lot of comments from DB4 owners to the effect of, "it's changed the way I mix." Does that not mean you're hosed when you have to use another mixer?

    The same problem extends to the Xone:92. It's a great mixer with warm, vibrant sound and precise EQing. However, being used to 4-band EQ and the Xone filter - how do you adjust to a Pioneer setup with only 3 bands and a more resonant non-adjustable filter?

    Now, I know certain venues will allow you to bring your own mixer, but that's not very common. Hell, how many threads/posts have we had about DJs bitching about fitting midi controllers into booths? Mixers aren't any easier to fit.

    I'm not saying it's impossible to adjust; hell, even someone who's only mixed on an S4 could probably walk up to a DJM 800 and do a decent job of mixing. But, not being used to it, one wouldn't be able to do more advanced/interesting things with effects. Which reminds me of an issue with both the S4 and DB4 - neither have post-fader effects. If you're not utilizing the post-fader capability of the effects on a DJM, you're missing out on quite a bit; that's the type of difference I'm specifically talking about.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru dope's Avatar
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    Few days ago I finally decided to buy a DB2. I haven't found the time to do so lately, but my choice was definitive.

    Now, because of your thread, i'm reconsidering it. FUUUU :(

  3. #3
    Jack Bastard
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    A mixer is a mixer at the end of the day, they have cue buttons, volume faders and EQs. What does it matter which brand you use?

    I've played in clubs with everything from shitty two channel geminis to wanky touchscreen Pios, it doesn't really matter what you're in front of, they all do the same thing.

  4. #4
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    Just don't become reliant on the effects/filters that a certain mixer has, but most others don't. It's good to learn different techniques for mixing with and without effects, so if something is not available to you at a certain time, you always have another option and won't be screwed. As long as you are at least able to mix with just faders and eq knobs, you can use any mixer.

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor TreTuna's Avatar
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    This is definitely something that is an issue and does come up. In fact, I'm in the middle of changing my setup, namely the mixer right now. When I started years ago I bought what was in the "Industry Standard" DJM-600, and loved it for a long time, until i got more scratch oriented. At that time I switched to my current mixer, the Vestax PMC-08, and I love this thing, but now I'm tempted to change again. Now, I'm never one for "Industry Standard" honestly. Right now I'm looking to go back to a 4-channel mixer, preferably scratch certified so I can stop carrying this damn interface with me everywhere and simplify my setup a little because I'm complicating it in different ways (adding lots of new MIDI pieces).

    Your right, not being used to the DJM series anymore, I can't/don't take advantage of it's capabilities as much as I used to. Also, when I'm forced to not use my own gear, it does limit my capabilities. Which is why I end up lugging around nearly all my stuff to gigs if they'll let me. So here's where I sit right now.... I'd love to have a DJM-900 Nexus... But I don't have $1500+ to spend on one, I have around $500-800. So what am I looking at? Korg Zero 4 and the Denon DN1600. Both mixers you will probably never find in a club DJ setup, but both solid mixers. Honestly, I like the capability of both of these mixers better then the DJM as well. Actually fighting with myself right now on which one to grab. But the thing here is "Industry Standard" and why deviate....... Well my objective is simple, to turn my "DJ" rig into more of a Live Remix/Production rig... Turning into more of a live performance rather then just a DJ. Now when you do this, your setups become immensely more intricate and complex. I have to be very careful about each piece of gear I pick up, making sure it's going to fit this schematic I've got perfectly. The DJM, while it would work well, doesn't work as well for my setup as the other two.

    So in essence... No matter the "Industry Standard" there are always going to be people like myself that simply choose gear because of price-points and features, and the "Industry Standard" is never known to have all the features. Hell, I don't even use the "Industry Standard" 1200s... I love my Vestax PDX series tables, for their versatility and features. Maybe I'm just very anti-standard, but I like my setup to be me, not everyone else... And that's why I don't give in to the "Industry Standard"....
    Tre Tuna
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  6. #6
    Tech Guru dope's Avatar
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    @ TreTuna :

    But your aim as a musician is to give your audience the best experience ever, right ? Don't you think not being trained to use a mixer's "special features" (mosly FX, filters and how they work/sound) will have a negative impact on the performance you offer to your crowd ?


    If you replied yes to these question, why would you still stay away from industry standard given the fact that it's the only way to deliver what you got best for your audience ?


    (I'm neither a pro-industy standard nor an anti-industry standard guy, I'm in a dilema aswell about my new mixer).

  7. #7
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    There is no justification for learning on super expensive gear. You wouldn't learn to drive in a Ferrari, would you? Expensive gear will buy itself if you ever get good enough to CHARGE for playing!

    OR - if you're in this for the art - you have enough time to SAVE for high end gear WHILE you are learning...
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
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  8. #8
    Tech Guru keeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew1207 View Post
    Just don't become reliant on the effects/filters that a certain mixer has, but most others don't. It's good to learn different techniques for mixing with and without effects, so if something is not available to you at a certain time, you always have another option and won't be screwed. As long as you are at least able to mix with just faders and eq knobs, you can use any mixer.
    It's not about being reliant on the effects though. I could easily mix a decent set using just EQ and faders - I certainly had enough practice doing so when I used my Mackie d.4 Pro. That said, while the set would be decent, it wouldn't be fantastic. Being limited to only EQ and faders would lead to a far less expressive mix. You don't have to be reliant on effects to make their usage worthwhile though, and knowing the ins and outs of the mixer you're using allows you to use the effects in more unique ways rather than just "flanger here for four bars" and "half beat echo for a bar here". I was at a club last saturday and the DJ only used the flanger for effects all night, and only at the 8 beat cycle LFO to boot (pretty sure it was Serato's flanger, didn't soung like Pio's). He wasn't a fantastic DJ to start with, but theoretically if he was more comfortable with the effects on that mixer he could have put out a much more involving set. Instead he pretty much only used EQ and faders along with some pretty poor scratching for transitions. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about. Would effects have made him a better DJ? No, but at least they would have added a bit of variety and spice to his mixes rather than just straight A->B mixing.

    It's not about, "I can only use a DJM 900 because without the Spiral effect my sets are worthless." It's about being used to working with how the effects are specifically implemented on the mixers you're most likely to use. As an example, the DJM 900 echo comes in quite loud because it constantly samples as soon as the effect is selected. You can work around this by gradually increasing the dry/wet or by selecting an empty channel to apply the effect to until you want to bring it it. That's the type of thing you'd have no clue about without having used the mixer, and would tend to make you shy away from using its effects in a club. Personally I'd rather sacrifice a bit on having exactly the mixer I would prefer at home in favor of not being limited to only using the EQ and channel faders when I'm gigging out. I guess I'd put it as, "I can use any mixer, but when I'm playing for people (not just for myself) then I want to put on the best show I can." And the "best show" I can put on is one that utilizes effects.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru keeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    There is no justification for learning on super expensive gear. You wouldn't learn to drive in a Ferrari, would you? Expensive gear will buy itself if you ever get good enough to CHARGE for playing!

    OR - if you're in this for the art - you have enough time to SAVE for high end gear WHILE you are learning...
    I didn't say learning, I said practicing. I know there's a price-point issue and I'm not expecting people to take out loans to buy DJM 800s. I'm assuming that anyone looking at something along the lines of a DB4 has the cash to throw down on a DJM 800/900 considering the DB4 is substantially more expensive. I suppose I should have clarified that, but I assumed most people would have realized that I wasn't just being blind to the costs involved.

  10. #10
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    Great post. This is exactly why I purchased a DJM-800. I had a Xone 42 for a while and sold it.

    I've played at some places that don't have a DJM, one place had a TTM-57. While I'm not "reliant" on the DJM-800 I am used it, so I've mapped an X1 to SSL for filters and delay and use that when a DJM-800/900 is not present.
    SSL - DJM 800 - Technic 1200's - X1 - ITCH - NS6 - VCI-300

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