Numark 4Trak - how portable? - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    On sizing, I have to point out that the problem with the 4trak is not the weight, it's the same problem with all all-in-one controllers: stage space. Setting them up is awful, especially for the DJs on before and after you. EVERY real DJ-oriented gig has CDJs and a mixer set up in the center of the stage, so even if you can set up an all-in-one, it's off to the side and awkward. It's not worth it. Much better to figure out how to incorporate the gear already on stage at events, so that you can make your workflow possible without being horribly intrusive. The HID mode on the CDJ2000's and the sound card in the DJM-900 are great for this. There's no reason to set up a controller with jog wheels and a mixer if there are already jogwheels and a mixer on stage, just figure out how to use standard gear and buy modular controllers to supplement it, if you do things you can't do with the regularly available gear.

    For instance if you want cue points, buy a small button controller like a midi fighter. if you want effects control, buy something with knobs. If you want to use four decks, buy modular deck controllers like the CMD PL-1/Reloop Contour and set them up alongside the provided gear.

    I did the all-in-one thing for a while, and found that it's a terrible idea, unless you're either a famous producer, or a new DJ playing gigs that don't have standard equipment. I can't tell you how many times I've fucked up the DJ before or after me while trying to set up or tear down just a simple S4. Not worth it. With just a sound card, I've found literally ANY advantage of an all-in-one setup easily and cheaply replicable with simple supplemental controllers, and whatever gear the event has. (any CDJs, and/or turntables, and any mixer)
    Last edited by octostout; 03-04-2013 at 02:34 PM.

  2. #12
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    Yup, audio interface + X1 is what I've switched to myself. Getting a timecode compatible interface lets you use the older CDJs that don't support HID.

    Although there are times where equipement is not provided - for that case I'd go for a more compact 2-deck all in one that doesn't break your back hauling it around.
    VCM100 / X1 / DJM250 / DJM900 / CDJ2000s / Maschine / Audio2+4 / 2i4 / HS8s / TSP 2.6.8
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  3. #13
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    Definitely, but an all-in-one should never be your main setup, unless, as previously mentioned, you are a famous producer, or a newbie DJ playing exclusively bar gigs and the like.

    Companies are making a killing right now on these all-in-one's though, because newbies and bedroom DJs don't realize how impractical they are at real gigs. Hopefully that will stop soon.

  4. #14

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    after reading this thread I am fully expecting the OP to give us an update stating: "i found the perfect solution guys. I bought a scooter so I don't have to take the 4 Trak on the train."

  5. #15
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    ... I wish!!

    No I'm still sitting on the fence I'm afraid, but I really need to take the plunge.

    Interesting points above re. practicality of all-in-ones in general when you're playing out. All points totally taken, but to be honest are not totally relevant to the decision in hand. My professional DJ'ing days are long behind me - I played regularly up until about 10 years go, but it was always vinyl, so the only gear I ever took with me was headphones and my crates.

    I'm now a TV composer, and DJ'ing is limited to parties, launches, promotional stuff, private events etc., so it's largely for fun, peanuts or beers, and I'm generally the only one playing, or if there are more of us, we can usually plan gear arrangements ahead. As such, any of the controllers under consideration will do just fine.

    Makar - I'll hold my hands up and say I'm prejudice against Vestax. I have memories of some pretty poor mixers, and the dreadful decks they launched when they were trying to move in on the 1210 market. That said, I will give it a look, although it looks like sizewise it's very similar to the Denon.

    So .... we're pretty much back where we started. Has anyone tried carrying the 4Trak around to gigs? Next time I'm playing is down in London in 2 weeks time = car+train+tube/taxi, then back in reverse, and much as I'm totally in love with the 4Trak, the sensible part of my brain is telling me that the MC-6000 makes more sense, and I'll get used to the slightly cramped feel and smaller jog-wheels in time.

    Still hugely grateful for any and all help and feedback.

    Jules

  6. #16
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    Dj Subculture here on the forums has had both, so you could ask him how he compares the Denon MC6000 and Vestax VCI400:

    http://forum.djtechtools.com/showthread.php?t=68347

    I recently picked up a VCI 100 myself and it's the most solid controller I've used so far - much better built than the 3 S4s I've had..
    VCM100 / X1 / DJM250 / DJM900 / CDJ2000s / Maschine / Audio2+4 / 2i4 / HS8s / TSP 2.6.8
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  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by makar1 View Post
    Dj Subculture here on the forums has had both, so you could ask him how he compares the Denon MC6000 and Vestax VCI400:

    http://forum.djtechtools.com/showthread.php?t=68347

    I recently picked up a VCI 100 myself and it's the most solid controller I've used so far - much better built than the 3 S4s I've had..
    You have the VCI-100 MK2 ? You prefer the VCI-100 over the S4 ?

    >

  8. #18
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    I have the Mk1, as I already have enough audio interfaces and got it for a good price. I definitely prefer the build quality of the VCI100 over the S4.
    VCM100 / X1 / DJM250 / DJM900 / CDJ2000s / Maschine / Audio2+4 / 2i4 / HS8s / TSP 2.6.8
    Macbook Air i7-3667U+8GB 10.9 / Win7x64 i5-3570k+24GB


  9. #19
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    All in one

    Bright side:
    • Name says it all, only one piece of gear to carry, plug, take care of.
    • Really quick setup time

    Not so bright
    • May don't fit every DJ booth
    • In case of problem, all your setup may suffer
    • Depending your style, you may still need to add external controller/soundcard

    Modular

    Bright side:
    • 100% custom workflow/ergonomy
    • You can add, remove, change controller anytime to fit tighter DJ booth or while travelling
    • Less problematic if a unit become defective, you an still use the other, modify mapping on the fly
    • Usually cheaper to change some part of your setup OR to get some backup one VS an All-In-One


    Not so bright
    • Longer or WAY longer setup time
    • More susceptible to those "Oh crap, I forgot this adapter, hub, wire" moments
    • More weak points that could affect "stability" in harsh environment with cheaper wiring/hubs/power bar/...

    Modular for me in most gig. Discuss...
    Steve Zorilow: Facebook - Soundcloud - Mixcloud - Twitter

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by makar1 View Post
    I have the Mk1, as I already have enough audio interfaces and got it for a good price. I definitely prefer the build quality of the VCI100 over the S4.
    Thanks for ongoing help Makar.

    I agree on S4 build quality. I just can't be doing with the 'plastic-fantastic' kind of feel of the thing, hence it not being up for consideration. I'm glad to hear the Vestax machines are better built. I should clearly keep them in the picture and ideally check out a VCI-400.

    Still love the 4Trak build and knob layout - it just looks like a controller I won't outgrow. Maybe I should just bite the bullet. If only a couple of people could give me some reassurance on portability ...

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