Noob! CDJ's or DVS?
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Question Noob! CDJ's or DVS?

    Bit of a noob to DJ'ing. I play guitar and have always bought good equipment as it can be a false economy to buy otherwise, plus the resale value is nowhere near what you bought it for in the first place. I have dabbled with software such as Traktor Pro, Ableton Live, and Serato. Out of the three I prefer Traktor Pro for mixing tracks. However, that is all I have been able to do using only a mouse, keyboard, and midi keyboard. So, I'm looking to purchase some hardware.

    I am clear in my mind that I will not buy a midi controller - period. That leaves either CDJ's or turntables. I am finding it difficult working out exactly what I want and how much it will cost. On the one hand I could buy two turntables, a mixer, and then the traktor DVS package. Any suggestions on what mixer to get with such a set up would be much appreciated.

    The alternative would be to get CDJ's - possibly the CDJ 400's. I understand that the CD decks themselves can connect with Traktor. What I am unsure of in this particular scenario is, "would I be able to get a mixer with the same connectivity, without the need for purchasing an audio interface for the mixer?"
    Last edited by 7ZUSTY; 04-07-2012 at 07:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor
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    It all depends on how much you want or intend to spend... First off what laptop do you have to use (specs)?

  3. #3
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    It's enough to run traktor and the audio interface (if it were required), so I'm not really clear what the question is. I was more looking for advice on the rest of my set up.

  4. #4
    Tech Wizard zco14's Avatar
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    if your looking to start up djing, numark offers the iBattlePack as well as the CDJ in a box. Both are basically DJ packages filled with what one needs in order to begin djing. The iBattlePack two Numark direct drive turntables (which is what you want, don't get belt drive) with an entry level numark mixer with an ipod dock. If you decide to DJ vinyl I highly recommend getting the Traktor DVS package.

    iBattlePack: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from...All-Categories

    The other option, if you wish to go CDJ, is the Numark CDJ in a Box. Basically same thing as the iBattlePack except with entry level CDJs...and a mixer without an ipod dock. However I suggest spending a little more money and just ditching the Numark NDX-200s for NDX-400s. Much better.

    CD-DJ in a Box: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...at=0&_from=R40

    It all depends on your budget...there are some pretty good mixers out there but they are 150-200 bucks and over. Anything below usually won't last you that long, and you'll be wanting to upgrade.

    Ohh, and, I'm wondering, why don't you favor midi controllers? :P I love them. Portable, easy to setup, not so expensive, etc.
    Last edited by zco14; 04-08-2012 at 04:51 PM.
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  5. #5
    Tech Convert Ocie's Avatar
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    I think I would avoid the cd-dj in a box and the iBattle pack. Buy cheap, buy twice. what's your budget? do you expect to ever learn how to scratch? do you have experience with using turntables or cd decks?

  6. #6
    Tech Wizard zco14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocie View Post
    I think I would avoid the cd-dj in a box and the iBattle pack. Buy cheap, buy twice. what's your budget? do you expect to ever learn how to scratch? do you have experience with using turntables or cd decks?
    yeah your right, they aren't exactly the best piece of kit. my friend, however, bought the battlepack and he said he loved using em' as a beginner. so, really, just your preference. like ocie said if you do purchase those, i wouldn't doubt you'll want to upgrade early on.
    NI Kontrol S2 l TP2 l Allen and Heath Xone: K2 l NI Kontrol F1 l l Oxygen 49 l Macbook Pro 13" l Odyssey L-Stand l AIAIAI TMA-1 cans l Ableton l FL Studio

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocie View Post
    I think I would avoid the cd-dj in a box and the iBattle pack. Buy cheap, buy twice. what's your budget? do you expect to ever learn how to scratch? do you have experience with using turntables or cd decks?
    ...about 1000, no more. i'm looking to buy used. worst comes to the worst, i can re-sell at more or less what i bought it for. i'm not sure if i ever would learn to scratch. i am more into EDM than hip hop. i have never touched a turntable before. my only thought was that it might be cheaper to buy some used SL 1210's, a mixer, and the traktor DVS than used CDJ's, a mixer, and still wind up buying a DVS (timecode cd's) or an audio interface for traktor.

    in hindsight i missed out on some CDJ 400's and a DJM 400 for 770 on ebay. there was something in the back of my mind that stopped me from bidding any further than i already had done. i am expecting a lot, perhaps, but i would like to get something that is as close to 'future proof' as possible, albeit used.

  8. #8
    Tech Convert Ocie's Avatar
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    i don't really know how much a used audio 4 or audio 8 run for. once i got my hands on a sl3, i never looked back.

    its easily feasible to get your hands on a pair of MKIIs or maybe M3Ds and a decent mixer for that budget.

    you mentioned traktor certified mixers. they are out there, but no clue what ones are. if you expect to eventually get gigs in a club or bar, more than likely they dj booth won't have a traktor certified mixer. just keep your eyes open for a used interface.

    besides, nothing wrong with getting decks and a mixer first and learning with vinyl. I went the route and it's helped me immensely.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
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    I came under the same dilemma when I was looking to purchase my gear.

    I decided to go with the turntables, mixer, serato over buying a mixer and CDJ's.

    The big thing for me, was having a computer. I was using a desktop for years, and hadn't planned on getting a new computer anytime soon, because besides for DJing, it did everything I wanted. And then it died, and I had a choice of getting another one, or upgrading to a laptop that I could use for DJing. So I decided to get a Macbook Pro.

    With having the computer in mind, and really liking the feel of turntables, I decided to go with my current choice. Sometimes I still wonder if just having CD's/USB sticks would be easier, but honestly I really love the setup. And it's a setup that I can see in most clubs around still, and I can still always just use the time-code CD's with CDJ's if I need to.

    There is just something sexy, undeniable, and irresistible about spinning on vinyl. Time-code or otherwise.
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  10. #10
    Tech Mentor RobotNinja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocie View Post
    nothing wrong with getting decks and a mixer first and learning with vinyl. I went the route and it's helped me immensely.
    ^ This

    I started out with Vinyl and am glad I did, you learn the basics of beatmatching by ear without all the waveform digital readouts, BPM meters, sync, or other bells n whistles. However, Vinyls are not cheap so in the long run using a DVS system with MP3's from a laptop is the better way to go.

    Just make sure your computer can handle it, my last laptop was supposed to be able to handle a DVS system but I had nothing but audio dropouts and popping/clicking even after optimizing it for audio performance.

    One more thing, buy used! The value stays the same so if after a few months you decide DJing isn't for you, you don't lose any real value. I made the mistake of buying my initial DJ setup new, spent 1,500$+ only to sell it all 12 months later for half that
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