First controller..Do I really need jog wheels?
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  1. #1
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    Default First controller..Do I really need jog wheels?

    Hello DJTT,

    I'm completely new to all of this and I'm looking for a low end controller to get into mixing, learning the software, finding my style, and overall just having fun as a hobby.
    I have a few questions about choosing a controller that I'm hoping to get some feedback on...Pardon my lack of terminology here.

    I'm very interested in mixing pieces of tracks with others, using samples and incorporating effects, playing with loops and so forth..Seems like this is pretty much the standard idea with the DJ controllers but I want to focus more on effects and cutting/slicing, and juggling, over just blending from song to song, and I really don't care to get into scratching...Again I don't plan to play at clubs or any kind of sponsored events, just in my own home or maybe at a friends house with a few people.

    Here's what I was looking at:
    Numark Mixtrack Pro and an Akai Professional LPD8 (promotion to get a free upgrade from Serato Intro to DJ w/ these on Numarks site right now) or a Numark Mixtrack Pro 2
    Vestax VCI-100
    Reloop Mixage IE
    Novation Twitch


    I like the idea of the Twitch and if I don't plan to get into scratching, do I really need jog wheels? Is the Twitch really better for what I'm looking to do? (around $300 or less budget)
    Any advice or other recommendations would be much appreciated!

    Thanks DJTT,
    BSudz

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor
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    Hello, I personally own a Kontrol S2, I only use Jogwheel for Transport and Grid Marker Adjust in Traktor Pro 2.6. If you really don't need Jogwheel for JogwheelFX, Scratch, Transport or Grid Adjust I would recommend Twitch, ( never pu my hands on it ), instead If you think you need it I would recommend Native Instrument or Vestax stuff, not really convinced by Reloop & Numark low price stuff, feel to cheap to me.

  3. #3
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    I thought I would need jog wheels, but I'm finding that you can easily pitch bend with buttons and whatnot.

    The jog wheels aren't really for scratching anyways. I can recommend Denon MC-3000. You can get it for ~270 new from eBay.

    Feels solid, and the faders feel AMAZING.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsudz View Post
    Here's what I was looking at:
    Numark Mixtrack Pro and an Akai Professional LPD8 (promotion to get a free upgrade from Serato Intro to DJ w/ these on Numarks site right now) or a Numark Mixtrack Pro 2
    Vestax VCI-100
    Reloop Mixage IE
    Novation Twitch
    As the resident Reloop whore here, I'll throw in my 2c on the Mixage.

    It's "okay", but you'll get pissed off with its limitations VERY quickly. Like all sub-200 controllers, it's very limited in terms of its actual controls. No cuepoint buttons, smaller faders, although it DOES have some rather nice additions like gain and filter knobs for each channel, and the loop functionality is up there with the big boy controllers like the TM4 and the Jockey 3.

    Physically, its got the same build as the Terminal Mix and Jockey range; kinda a combination of the two. It lacks the square pads of the Contour and J3ME, and instead uses the rounded transport buttons from the TM2/TM4, and the same hard plastic loop/cue buttons also.

    It's kind a weird mishmash of the two ranges, but all in all its not a bad little controller. The audio interface is pretty good as well, although due to the price it only offers a single unbalanced master output. It DOES have a microphone input and headphone output as well, although I'm not sure if the mic input is routed through Traktor or directly mixed with the master out (I'd guess the latter, as typically Reloop doesn't include any inputs in their audio interfaces, with the exception of the Jockey 3).

    The jogwheels are the same as the ones used on the Contour, and are VERY nice.

    The main area where it falls down is the lack of FX control, which - in my opinion - is a necessity in this day and age. If it was me, I'd get the Mixage IE for transport and EQ, and a single Contour CE for dedicated FX/cuepoint control. By creating your own mappings, you'd wind up with a VERY flexible setup for minimal costs.

    EDIT: Just to add, the Reloop is by FAR the sturdiest of the options you've listed. It's got all-metal construction for the chassis and top plate, and all the PCBs inside are mounted directly to the metal chassis... you could literally drop it off your desk and just go, "oh well" and carry on mixing, provided you didn't yank the cables out in the process.

  5. #5
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    As a vci 100 user and reloop contour owner I can say the vci100 is built like a tank where as the contour being all metal feels a bit more like a well built car than a tank.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by michael133 View Post
    As a vci 100 user and reloop contour owner I can say the vci100 is built like a tank where as the contour being all metal feels a bit more like a well built car than a tank.
    Yeah, I can't really comment on the VCI-100 but if I recall correctly it's metal construction as well. I'm really not a fan of the asymmetric design though.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    APC40 + Audio 2?

    It Includes Ableton live lite which IMHO is easier to pop together a mashup set with ease as you just need to adjust the start point of the tracks on the grid and can have 100's of sample clips available at any given time.

    And lite has ample tools/effects to put down a decent set like you describe, and in a better (IMHO) way than traditional "dj software" - of course the full version has more tools,but you are starting off.

    You should be able to pick up the pair @ less than $300, and you can always map the APC to the full version of Traktor you'll get as well.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru kooper1980's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdcdesign View Post
    Yeah, I can't really comment on the VCI-100 but if I recall correctly it's metal construction as well. I'm really not a fan of the asymmetric design though.
    I agree. Asymmetry pains me on a deep level. I've adored all of my Reloop controllers. Ive never owned a contour though but I am seriously considering it as an addition.
    MacBook Pro, HD25's, Midi-Fighter Classic, Pioneer DDJ-RX , Rekordbox

  9. #9
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    You don't need them if you're sure about what you want from a controller, and ive never really heard anyone complain about using the strip on the Twitch to navigate a track. However, it does help to have them over nothing at all, as they make navigating tracks so much easier.
    Countenance - (n). Appearance or expression. (v.) Admit or accept as possible.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by kooper1980 View Post
    I agree. Asymmetry pains me on a deep level. I've adored all of my Reloop controllers. Ive never owned a contour though but I am seriously considering it as an addition.
    Of all the gear I've owned/used, I've never used something as intuitive for FX and cuepoints as the Contour. Considering how cheap they are, if you haven't already got one, it's WELL worth picking one up

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