What YOU do and WHY?
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Default What YOU do and WHY?

    I see a lot of DJ setups with turntables or CDJs and mixers. Is there a reason for this over just a nice MIDI controller? What is normally needed to DJ? I am just now getting into it just to start learning and messing around at home until I feel comfortable enough to try to go somewhere else. I currently have just a S2, a pair of HDJ-500, and a set of M-Audio speakers. I know I probably am good for just at home and getting started but I was just wanting a more in detail explanation for other equipment and why a majority seem to have what they do?

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru 3heads's Avatar
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    If you don't know why you need it, you don't need it. Easy as that!
    13,3" MacBookPro (Mid 2012) # 2x Technics 1210 # NI Audio 8 DJ # Ecler Nuo 2.0 # NI Traktor Kontrol X1 # Sennheiser HD-25
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  3. #3
    Tech Convert
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3heads View Post
    If you don't know why you need it, you don't need it. Easy as that!
    That's why I had said I am just getting into this and "wondering". It's called a learning experience.

    MOD EDIT:
    You only get one warning! He wasn't trolling, what so ever. If you can't handle that, it says more about you, than about 3heads.
    He was helping you out, something you still have to show to the rest of our community.

    - tekki.
    Last edited by tekki; 04-17-2012 at 12:24 PM. Reason: And yups, that really was me, tekki. ;)

  4. #4
    Tech Guru lethal_pizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbernthold View Post
    until I feel comfortable enough to try to go somewhere else
    ...this somewhere else might just have turntables, CDJs and mixers
    ...using turntables, CDJs and mixers is fun
    ...I have quite a few records
    ...10 or even 5 years ago controllers were nowhere. Many people have being DJing for over 5 years and have no need to get a load of new stuff

    But you can pretty much play recorded music to people with any of this gear:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_jo...and_techniques
    Last edited by lethal_pizzle; 04-17-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru Sherlock Ohms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbernthold View Post
    That's why I had said I am just getting into this and "wondering". It's called a learning experience. Don't come into my thread being a turd and just get back to your German suckfest.
    He makes a fair point though ...

    For me, I use 2xTech 1210s an Ecler nuo 3.0 and a Kontrol x1.

    I went that way as I wanted be able to scratch and at the time there were no controllers in my price range that had the granularity to be able to do that. I occasionally still use my vci300se of the turntables are poorly services when I play out
    Traktor Scratch Pro 2/Serato SL1/Ecler NUO 3.0/VCI 100 SE/2 x Technics 1210 Mk2/Sennheiser HD25 II/Novation Dicers

  6. #6
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    My setup evolves quite sporadically...I realise weaknesses and inefficiencies in the gear and I change... I'll start from my serato years when I was essentially just DJing the same way as I did from when i started with vinyl:

    1) 2x Technics, Rane TTM57, Dicers - Loved it but the ttm57 was a pain to carry around especially for shorter sets, the dicers really opened my eyes to controllers.

    2) 2x Technics and an S4 - after much deliberation I shifted the above and the S4 became my mixer and gigging device, I felt restricted by the SP6 and two decks of scratch live and wanted to do MORE! so I went with the S4 and fell in love with traktor but I found the S4 bulky and in some ways harder to carry around as it was so wide.

    3) 2x Technics, TSP2 and two X1s - much better, nice and compact but heavy, very heavy two X1s in their cases and an extension lead for the powered usb hub wasn't very backpack friendly and fiddly to setup, the Audio 10 needing a powersupply was also a pain hence the extension lead.

    4) 2x Technics, Rane empath, TSP2, Maschine - Fell in love with mapping, and missed having a mixer at home to get my scratch on. The maschine was less hassle to setup as I could run it straight with one usb!

    5) 2x Technics, Rane empath, TSP2, Faderfox DS3 - The maschine cost quite a bit but was wasted as a traktor controller, i never found time to learn the software and so i shifted it for a more compact and very very usable DS3! so damn light!

    6) 2x Technics, Rane empath, TSP2, Faderfox DS3 & DJ3 - I didn't really take my empath out and picked up a DJ3 as a backup mixer incase the club mixer had crap knobs and eqs, no faders etc etc, after a gig which involved a very old xone32 with no faderknobs, no monitor, and EQs that jump around and cut out i DJed internally with the DJ3 and realised I could just DJ with the DS3 and DJ3, i'd have a consistent setup that I could rely on and not be dictated by the venue equipment!

    7) Apogee Duet 2, Faderfox DS3, DJ3 & DJ3 - After much deliberation, i put the technics aside (i still have them and use them for sampling etc) shifted the empath which saw less use as I was scratching less and controllering more and picked up a second DJ3, shifted TSP2 and bought an apogee which would double up as my soundcard for production purposes. Learnt alot, showed me how crap my mp3s really sounded and i've been building up my library again from itunes and beatport.

    8) Livid Cntrlr - The faderfoxes were great but requiring shift combos and the messy setup of usb cables and usb hub I found annoying especially after a few drinks and packing up at the end was a nightmare! The livid Cntrlr seemed like a great alternative!

    9) Today, I needed a new pair of cans and cheekily asked if the Allen Heath K2 was in stock...ended up buying two. I liked the idea of having two of those and being able to setup in a club eitherside of a mixer easily and having the soundcard built into the controller, the apogee sounds great but the breakout cable feels fragile and the HD sound is easily lost by running it through club mixers and soundsystems...so yeh...I've basically evolved from a more "traditional" DJ to an extremely compact controller based producer..and I am a bit of a gear whore.

    The K2s arrive tomorrow, lets hope this is the perfect setup finally! (managed to sell off the cntrlr on ebay just now shame, i didn't even get to map it out)

  7. #7

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    It definitely depends on what you first learned on as well. I'm sure if you grew up playing with Technics, you'll transition to SSL with a pair of them. I first learned on a Vestax VCI-300, saved up every penny from a gig and splurged on some CDJ 1000MK3s and a DJM 400 mixer. But I became so accustomed to my controller with all my little tricks that I sold my new setup after a month. I love the portability of my controller since I do college events and provide my own speakers/lights.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru dripstep's Avatar
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    ^whooooa buddy! I think THAT is the kind of post OP was looking for lol. Unfortunately mine isn't as involved. Nice one dude!

    Started with Midi - a BCD3000. Learned as much as I could about DJing with it, but no controllerism stuff. Then, I got a launchpad, and started playing around with hotcues and loops. Found a pair of Gemini PT-1000s and a gemini mixer for $400 and scooped them up. 2nd best purchase I've made. Learned how to beatmatch, ride the pitch and general turntablist stuff, but was still missing something. Got an audio6 for DVS and the best purchase I've made, an X1. Now, I have lots of knobs, faders and buttons, and am getting more into controllerism.

    Working on mapping the bcd as a sample controller to utilize Traktors 3rd and 4th decks.

    Hope that helps some.
    2 x gemini PT 1000 . Gemini PS-525 . X1
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mighty FV View Post
    manners don't cost a thing dude - never forget that, it'll help you in all walks of life.

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor JDFS's Avatar
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    Story of my life:

    1. Started learning to DJ in 2007. Back then, I thought my setup needed Pioneer CDJ-1000 MK3's (they were HOT at that time) and a Pioneer DJM-800.
    2. But at the end of 2010, and why not earlier, I thought that it was such a hassle to cary all those CD's and why bothering to beatmatch? I can do it, even on vinyl, but it had no purpose anymore for me. So I began to digg in the world of MIDI controllers and Traktor.
    3. At early 2011, I was in love with the Traktor Kontrol S4. It suited all my needs and I was able, at last, to be creative with 4 decks without CD's and beatmatching. I mostly play techno, so there's a lot of creativity possible.
    4. Ended up buying a MacBook Pro 13 Inch and a Traktor Kontrol X1, for starters.
    5. But at the end of 2012, after reconsidering, I would like to have the Maschine to play with (to layer one shots in Step Sequencer Mode and make my own 'loops'), so I would need a 5th channel. And I wanted an analogue mixer, because, in my opinion, it sounds much better. Pioneer was a no-go, because I don't like the FX and their filters. So, the beloved Xone DB4 was the one that I would want. With an external soundcard (Traktor Audio 10).
    6. But it is so expensive . So maybe the DB2 then, ok the DB2 it is!
    7. No no no, I want dual filters, A&H's trademark on their mixer, so the Xone 92 it is! If I would need an external soundcard, what's the benefit of the built in soundcards of the DB2/DB4, right ?
    8. OK, for at home, this is WAY too expensive. Considering buying the Xone mixer, a soundcard (was thinking of a FireWire audio interface, so expensive...), an additional Kontrol X1 (to control Deck 3 and 4) and monitors. Price tag: 2.800. I'm not that rich.
    9. A month ago: after seeing a few DJ's here in The Netherlands, I saw one that was using the Vestax VCM-600. WOW, that thing covers everything in Ableton! And a great built quality for only 1/4 the price of a DB4! But I didn't liked the idea to only be DJ'ing in Ableton. And then came Dubspot with their tutorials: How to route Traktor's Decks into Ableton. I did it on my MBP and it succeeded! Ableton has such amazing FX and I even emulated the infamous Xone Filters in an Audio Effect Rack . So with this, I have best of both worlds: Traktor's functions and Ableton's EQ/FX.


    So this is going to be my setup (when I finish this year at school, I've the time and money to buy it, that's July 2012): a Vestax VCM-600, a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 and 2 Traktor Kontrol X1 or an additional Traktor Kontrol F1. And I'm going to MIDI map the VCM-600 for a few functions in Traktor, and I've already mapped the X1's FX knobs to Ableton's FX/Filters.
    MacBook Pro 13 (Q1 2011) | Adam A5X | Akai APC20 | Alesis QX49 | Behringer BCR2000 | NI Komplete Audio 6

  10. #10
    Tech Mentor DJ ATX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbernthold View Post
    I see a lot of DJ setups with turntables or CDJs and mixers. Is there a reason for this over just a nice MIDI controller? What is normally needed to DJ? I am just now getting into it just to start learning and messing around at home until I feel comfortable enough to try to go somewhere else. I currently have just a S2, a pair of HDJ-500, and a set of M-Audio speakers. I know I probably am good for just at home and getting started but I was just wanting a more in detail explanation for other equipment and why a majority seem to have what they do?

    Thanks for any input.

    I like using CDJ's although I own a couple of controller, I don't trust them gigging out at clubs.

    1) Laptop craps out, I can pop in a CD and continue without having to sit there and trying to reboot or figure out the problem. This actually happened to me NYE 2010/11. Traktor froze around 11:30 PM. I popped a CD in and switched to CD mode. I had maybe a minute plus dead air time. I mixed from my 2 back up CDs with MP3's the rest of the night.

    2) I came from turntable/vinyl and I use Denon DNS3700. The spinning platter gives me the feel of TT's.

    3) I don't have faith in an all in one systems. There is a saying, "never put all your eggs in one basket" When I do mobile gigs, and do use a controller, I bring a back up.

    4) I do mainly clubs. There is no club out there, that I know of, that has a controller installed. Its going to be a CDJ and/or Technics 1200.

    I have used controller at clubs when playing out with other DJs and there is no room in the booth for my set up. Or when I know there is a CDJ I can use if everything goes to crap.

    I always bring a CD with MP3's enough for 3hrs. I also have mixes in my phone that I can plug in to a mixer.

    I've also had people spill liquids of one CDj and it quit working. Luckily not mine, but the clubs CDJ. I was still able to work with one CDJ and just switch decks internally on my laptop. If that happen on a controller, you are pretty much fucked and have to shut down, reconfigure to mix in internal mode.
    Last edited by DJ ATX; 04-17-2012 at 03:43 PM.
    1 Denon DNX1600, 2 Technics SL1200MKII, 1 Pioneer DDJ SX, 1 Reloop Terminal Mix2, 1 MBP running VDJ/Traktor/Serato SL/DJ
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