About different DJ setups at bars/clubs
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  1. #1
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    Default About different DJ setups at bars/clubs

    So I have been messing around with my Traktor S4 for some time and been really passionate about play/mixing electronic music live. Always been the DJ guy at friend's parties. I'm hoping to be able to play at small bars in my area in future.

    But I have one question about the controllers or CDJs they bars use.

    Whenever I take a peek at what setup the DJs in my area uses, it is almost always Serato with some kind of CDJ (sometimes they use a DJ controller, but still with Serato).

    I've been using Traktor from the start. So I'm guessing it won't be possible for me to get these gigs unless I learn how to use Serato? Or is it possible to map my Traktor S4 to Serato and familiarize myself with the software?

    Or do CJDs have a totally different interface where I need to learn how to use before I can play live?


    TL;DR: I've only ever used an Traktor S4, and have no idea how the DJ world and whole DJ set up is like outside. Like what do I do if I want to do some small time gigs at bars?

    Please share your thoughts!

  2. #2
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    If you know how to beat match by ear just run some tracks through rekord box onto two usb and use the cdj's.
    See if you can jump on a pair of CDJ's for a trial run before hand just to get used to it but really they aren't hard to use. Play, Cue Pitch and jogs work basically the same.

    If they are older generation cdj's 1000's or older bring your laptop and time code cd's or bring your S4 - What ever seems like less of a hassle for you. Or you could burn CD's..

  3. #3
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    Just bring your laptop and S4, no one can make you use Serato. However, you have to make sure there's enough space for all this (even in the worst cases, you should be able to just about to fit in). If not, learn how to beatmatch by ear if you haven't yet and burn CDs/prepare USB sticks, depending on the CDJs they have at the club. It's all about preparation and communication with the promoters.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru astromech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DISaS73R View Post
    Just bring your laptop and S4, no one can make you use Serato. However, you have to make sure there's enough space for all this (even in the worst cases, you should be able to just about to fit in). If not, learn how to beatmatch by ear if you haven't yet and burn CDs/prepare USB sticks, depending on the CDJs they have at the club. It's all about preparation and communication with the promoters.
    Also, minimise any inconvenience for other DJs while you switch over.
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  5. #5
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    I think the "problem" you're seeing here is based on a misconception about the pre-installed gear in bars/clubs.

    What those placed typically have installed is a mixer and these day most likely some CDJs (some years ago it was turntables instead).

    Everything else is up to the DJ. If he wants to play with Serato and timecode, he has to bring his laptop, SL-box and timecode CDs/records. Same goes for Traktor.

    The laptop running the software is always the DJ's own, so what program he uses is completely up to him.


    Playing with Traktor and your S4 shouldn't be an issues at all, just make sure there's enough space in the DJ booth for your controller.


    Regarding LoopCat's advice: I wouldn't count on every bar/club having the latest generation of CDJs installed... Many smaller places still only have older players, especially in bars where music isn't the main focus for the night.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCMuc View Post
    What those placed typically have installed is a mixer and these day most likely some CDJs (some years ago it was turntables instead).

    Everything else is up to the DJ. If he wants to play with Serato and timecode, he has to bring his laptop, SL-box and timecode CDs/records. Same goes for Traktor.

    The laptop running the software is always the DJ's own, so what program he uses is completely up to him.

    Do any of these mixers work with traktor though? I guess it wouldn't be big a problem as long as I can use traktor with other hardware setups, perhaps some fiddling around before playing live would familiarize myself with them?


    I'm kinda stuck now because it would be weird approaching the bar/club and telling them I've never use a setup like theirs before. Any advice?

  7. #7
    Tech Guru johney's Avatar
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    If you can play by ear... (next time you're playing with your s4 put the laptop on the side/behind you/turn it around so you can't see the monitor burn some CDs and try.
    I recommend CDs because as TCMuc said, i wouldn't expect every venue to have the new gen CDJs, i don't think i've ever seen the 2000 in real life lol. I think they're the most convenient and reliable medium to play off
    Last edited by johney; 08-09-2013 at 01:25 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by easd View Post
    TL;DR: I've only ever used an Traktor S4, and have no idea how the DJ world and whole DJ set up is like outside. Like what do I do if I want to do some small time gigs at bars?

    Please share your thoughts!
    You can use whatever the hell you want; YOU'RE the DJ, so use whatever you feel comfortable with.

    If a venue complains about you bringing your own gear, then politely tell them they can find someone else who doesn't care as much about their craft as you do. If they ask what you mean, just explain that the reason you use the gear that you do is so that you can give the audience the best experience possible. If they still won't accept that, then it's not a venue worth playing at.
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  9. #9
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    Buy a second hand Audio 4 or 6 so you can continue to use Traktor without having to haul the S4 everywhere.
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  10. #10
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johney View Post
    If you can play by ear... (next time you're playing with your s4 put the laptop on the side/behind you/turn it around so you can't see the monitor burn some CDs and try.
    I recommend CDs because as TCMuc said, i wouldn't expect every venue to have the new gen CDJs, i don't think i've ever seen the 2000 in real life lol. I think they're the most convenient and reliable medium to play off
    Damn, a lot of venues out by me have them lol. When I'm out I almost always land on a pair of 2000's

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