Next upgrade, all in one controller or modular setup?
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Next upgrade, all in one controller or modular setup?

    Hey all, I'm quite new to these forums so I'll start simple.

    For a while (1 year +) I've played on a Kontrol S2 + X1 combo. This combo has been wonderful and has served me well. However as I have recently finished my last year of school and am on break til I enroll in uni, I have been accepting more and more 'professional' gigs, weddings, corporate gigs, that sort of stuff, I thought that it would be a good idea to upgrade my setup.

    However I can't decide between an all in one controller, like the Pioneer DDJ SX, or a modular setup with single deck controllers for Traktor with a mixer in the middle. I like both approaches with the all in one controller being easier to cart around to gigs but with the modular setup easily expandable as new tech comes out.

    The two pieces of tech that sparked this decision is the DDJ SX + Viper's mapping and the Electrix Tweaker. I would love to some how include both but being what most would consider a 'bedroom DJ' with only starting experience with performing as well as the fact that I've only recently turned 17 and therefore won't have a huge amount of disposable income to spend on gear I have accepted that it must be one or the other or no upgrade at all.

    That's where I hand it over to you, you fine people of the DJTechTools Fourms. What would you suggest as the next logical upgrade for a 17 year old fledging bedroom DJ, a better all in one controller or a modular setup?

    Thanks in advance.
    P.S. Sorry for the wall of text guys

  2. #2
    Tech Wizard Whiterob's Avatar
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    this is my advice..

    Just stick with a controller for now. I personally have 2-CDJ-2000's, 2 CDJ-400's and a DJM-800, but also have an S4. For my weekly bar gigs I just take my S4 for portability, and only use the CDJ's at home and for big shows.

    To be honest, I feel the industry is shifting over to where controllers are soon going to be a standard for bars/clubs due to the cost efficiency, capabilities and space requirements. I don't see it happening for quite some time, but I bet eventually it will happen. Especially since most good controllers still have inputs to hook up turntables.

    I know a lot of people will say "you're not a real DJ if you don't spin on blah blah" but Fu#$ them. You are a controllerist, which in my opinion is a cross between a DJ and producer.

    But get what you can afford is another advice.

    good luck

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor
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    I feel that while the ddj sx is really fun to play around with (fren has 1, the beat pads r sick), you wont actually be gaining much from upgrading from a controller (s2) to another controller (ddj sx). Furthermore in terms of portability, the ddj sx is kinda huge, and the s2 wins hands down here.

    I can't give advice for a modular set up though.

    I'm using a kontrol s4 now and my next step would probably be turntables or cdjs connected to it. I assess my upgrades in terms of what i will/could possibly learn from taking this upgrade. Upping both my gear and skills. Most probably will be going for turns, as i feel that what i would learn from a turntable would be more than a pioneer cdj. Thats just my opinion though. All the best man!
    2 x Technics 1210 / 2 x Stanton ST150 / Shure M44-7 / Kontrol S4 / KRK Rokit 5 / AIAIAI TM-1 / Westone 1 / HP dv6-6105TX

  4. #4
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    Get the CMD series stuff when its released. 1 deck controller is probably going to be about $150.

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor Joel Santos's Avatar
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    Tricky question. I'm almost facing the same question and even on other topic i asked about sync vs beatmatch.

    At least here, in Portugal, I can't really agree with Whiterob when he says that controllers will be the new cdjs (let's say this way). It makes sense but people still like CDJs. Even myself that I'm still considering going timecode + sync.

    So... If you want to up your game, maybe S4? Since you already have the S2 you kind of are used to those buttons and stuff (which I really don't like). You have the mono-deck from Denon which seems pretty good for the modular solution but for the price maybe I would just get an audio 6 and use timecode (if you're going to beatmatch).

    I kind of tend to use an external mixer. Most of the times because I prefer the way the knobs, faders... all feel. It seems to me more "direct". Maybe that's the advantage that I find in the analogue. Of course it really depends on how much you spend on the mixer but... still... For now i'm going to build a X1, K2 like controller, audio2 and sync. Later i'll add the timecodes ( i think ).

    It's really just a matter of taste... but one thing I agree: do you really want to take a bigger than you controller like the pioneer out to the street?
    Art, Design & Code
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  6. #6
    Tech Guru botstein's Avatar
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    Go for modular!

  7. #7
    Tech Guru kooper1980's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like you are "upgrading" just for the sake of it. Rather than asking this question my advice would be to think about how you currently perform with your existing equipment. What are its limitations? what cant your existing set up do that you would like to integrate into your performance? Answer these 2 questions and then start to consider what equipment will best assist in correcting these issues. To be honest your S2 & X1 combo can pretty much do anything you would want to accomplish within Traktor (other than full use of the remix decks but I always overlook these as I personally think they are useless). So changing your set up for another all in one or even several modular controllers does nothing to enhance your set up and performance unless you think about where you wish to progress to as a DJ. For example: I have used an S4 pretty much since the day they were released up until last month. I started to miss having a mixer in my set up and longed for better sounding EQ's than those available in Traktor. I therefore sold my S4 and bought a mixer. Im now considering my options for what will best compliment this. Im currently thinking about whether i wish to go the time code route (not owned turntables since I ditched Serato 5 years ago) or whether i want to go the modular route. Only when ive answered these questions will i decide what to buy.

    Good luck with your choices.
    Last edited by kooper1980; 01-04-2013 at 11:33 PM.
    MacBook Pro, HD25's, Midi-Fighter Classic, Pioneer DDJ-RX , Rekordbox

  8. #8
    Tech Guru squidot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kooper1980 View Post
    It sounds to me like you are "upgrading" just for the sake of it. Rather than asking this question my advice would be to think about how you currently perform with your existing equipment. What are its limitations? what cant your existing set up do that you would like to integrate into your performance? Answer these 2 questions and then start to consider what equipment will best assist in correcting these issues. To be honest your S2 & X1 combo can pretty much do anything you would want to accomplish within Traktor (other than full use of the remix decks but I always overlook these as I personally think they are useless). So changing your set up for another all in one or even several modular controllers does nothing to enhance your set up and performance unless you think about where you wish to progress to as a DJ. For example: I have used an S4 pretty much since the day they were released up until last month. I started to miss having a mixer in my set up and longed for better sounding EQ's than those available in Traktor. I therefore sold my S4 and bought a mixer. Im now considering my options for what will best compliment this. Im currently thinking about whether i wish to go the time code route (not owned turntables since I ditched Serato 5 years ago) or whether i want to go the modular route. Only when ive answered these questions will i decide what to buy.

    Good luck with your choices.
    yup, i think you hit the nail on the head with your post. i'm feeling the same way currently using the vci400 ege. it's great controller but i just miss using a mixer and how it sounds & feels. i don't know if i'll sell the vci because it seems like it can still have it's place for certain gigs as a single unit that's very portable. i'm just waiting till i can find a good deal on one of the mixers i've been eyeing (primarily the x1600, or maybe a xone 92/62/42). i already have technics and an audio 8 so i can go a lot of ways with it. decisions, decisions...
    tsp 2.5 | vci-400 ege | mfspectra | kontrol x1s | rokit 8s (ferrari grey) | krk 10 sub | audio 8
    hp dv6 - i5 - 8gb | maschine | mpk49 | apc40 | rokit 5s | technics sl-1200mk3ds | cdj100s
    thread of free music

  9. #9
    Tech Guru kooper1980's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamC View Post
    Get the CMD series stuff when its released. 1 deck controller is probably going to be about $150.
    This is whats giving me so much time to decide. I dont want to take the plunge until I see these released.

    Quote Originally Posted by squidot View Post
    yup, i think you hit the nail on the head with your post. i'm feeling the same way currently using the vci400 ege. it's great controller but i just miss using a mixer and how it sounds & feels. i don't know if i'll sell the vci because it seems like it can still have it's place for certain gigs as a single unit that's very portable. i'm just waiting till i can find a good deal on one of the mixers i've been eyeing (primarily the x1600, or maybe a xone 92/62/42). i already have technics and an audio 8 so i can go a lot of ways with it. decisions, decisions...
    I keep considering turntables. I just cant decide whether the thought of turntables is more attractive than actually using them. Maybe nostalgia creeping it. I've never wanted to own CDJ's before but I played on some 900's over Christmas and they have caught my eye but i will definitely be using them with Traktor so they really just become VERY expensive controllers. To honest im leaning towards the CMD line of X1's once Ive seen what the CMD's are like in the flesh!
    MacBook Pro, HD25's, Midi-Fighter Classic, Pioneer DDJ-RX , Rekordbox

  10. #10
    Tech Guru squidot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kooper1980 View Post
    I keep considering turntables. I just cant decide whether the thought of turntables is more attractive than actually using them. Maybe nostalgia creeping it. I've never wanted to own CDJ's before but I played on some 900's over Christmas and they have caught my eye but i will definitely be using them with Traktor so they really just become VERY expensive controllers. To honest im leaning towards the CMD line of X1's once Ive seen what the CMD's are like in the flesh!
    if i didn't have a set of decks i don't think i would bother buying them at this point, but at the same time i will never sell mine. it seems a bit odd for me to use them with traktor though because i don't really scratch. it would purely be for aesthetics to watch the platters spin the control vinyl. i only really use them when i want to play a vinyl only set, leaving the laptop out of it entirely. i don't get that itch very often, but my black 1200's are pretty sexy to look at i must admit.
    tsp 2.5 | vci-400 ege | mfspectra | kontrol x1s | rokit 8s (ferrari grey) | krk 10 sub | audio 8
    hp dv6 - i5 - 8gb | maschine | mpk49 | apc40 | rokit 5s | technics sl-1200mk3ds | cdj100s
    thread of free music

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