Serato vs. Traktor vs. USB sticks
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  1. #1
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    Default Serato vs. Traktor vs. USB sticks

    Hey Guys,

    I been a loyal user and supporter of Techtools and Midifighters over the years.
    Recently I have been having some issues with MF spectras flashing during sets. After canceling out the options of power spikes eventually it boiled down to re-installing Traktor. I was a bit worried about that step so I did some research and came across the whole discussion of Trakor vs. Serato. All the back and forth the pros and cons and especially the amount of problems that all of us laptop DJs seem to have.

    Hence my simple question: WHY NOT CHANGING TO USB STICKS ON CDJS?

    What is that makes you stay or made you switch?
    Finest Electronic Dance Music

    www.januaryone.dj

  2. #2
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    Because DVS is not an option then. That and I have a lot of music on my computer.
    For all my VCI-100 lovers view my step by step guide to moding your very own VCI-100 Arcade edition
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  3. #3
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    @Swift
    So it is basically a matter of storage space for enough music and accessibility right?
    Wouldn't two USB sticks with just 4GB be enough? And couldn't they be put into folders that you can easily access via the display in a CDJ?

    Not trying to hate, just trying to really list the pros and cons...

    In your case I am assuming your current setup requires much more time - laptop, power cables (plus eg powered USB hubs...), controllers - and space (especially tricky in tiny booths). Are those cons not enough to have you move over to sticks?
    Finest Electronic Dance Music

    www.januaryone.dj

  4. #4
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    For a degree of simplicity, less carry, convenience (assuming the club has CDJs), yes the advantage of just using USB sticks is there. However for more complex music manipulation and such there is an advantage of Traktor (or Serato). I killed my last set with my NI controllers and a Novation Launch Control, using FX and samples...Re-edits on the fly...Lot's of fun.

  5. #5
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    I switched to CDJs from controllers. I find it more fun, but my mixing skills have definitely taken a hit from using sync. I have to relearn how to drop tracks and whatnot since I can't just hit play without worrying about being out of phase.

    There is the loss of complexity for that reason (at my level anyways) as sometimes the phrases aren't always 8/16 bars which makes it difficult to mix in when another song is 8/16 bars. I don't regret the switch one bit though.
    Bedroom DJ | Pioneer DJM-800 | Pioneer CDJ2000 and CDJ900-NXS | 2 x Mackie MR8MKII | Sennheiser Amperior

  6. #6
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    @Holiday
    I perfectly understand the means of manipulating audio through FX, loops, etc. That makes sense absolutely, if you use that to the max and full capacity of various controllers I fully understand.

    But simplicity? Isn't it much simpler to use USB sticks compared to a whole setup with many more items (laptop, controllers, hubs)?
    Finest Electronic Dance Music

    www.januaryone.dj

  7. #7
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    To be honest, switching to CDJs made me a better DJ. My phrasing has improved immensely, I think more when picking tunes, I let my tracks breathe, etc etc. If you don't actually use anything specific to the software, I don't see a reason why not to switch to CDJs. (that being said, it's important to know what equipment to expect at clubs)

  8. #8
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    To each there own. I have a small modular set up, works for me. The idea is to allow the technology to work for you as oppose to make you lazy or less competent. If I could afford it I'd get a whole bunch of analog gear and use that too.

  9. #9
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    @SlvrDragon50
    That is good to hear, I guess Sync is not to be used in any case whatsoever but I do have the impression that having less of a virtual help as per a computer screen you are obviously more challenged in your abilities as a DJ, so bigs up for taking the "risk" and not regretting it.

    @DISaS73R
    I perfectly understand every single bit you are saying and that is exactly the reason I want to change too. I think it makes you a better DJ. You have to know your tracks better, select more carefully what you put on your sticks (rather than having ten thousand tracks on your laptops hardrive anyways) and feel things more all together, be it a crowd or even the equipment. Using a jogwheel on a CDJ is probably still to be considered more "real" than pressing a button on our beloved Midifighters...

    Thanks for your thoughts guys you are definitely encouraging me to move.
    Gonna rent out a pair of CDJs and practice for a week to refreshen the different feel and then probably head back to it!
    Finest Electronic Dance Music

    www.januaryone.dj

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by JanuaryOne View Post
    @Swift
    So it is basically a matter of storage space for enough music and accessibility right?
    Wouldn't two USB sticks with just 4GB be enough? And couldn't they be put into folders that you can easily access via the display in a CDJ?

    Not trying to hate, just trying to really list the pros and cons...


    In your case I am assuming your current setup requires much more time - laptop, power cables (plus eg powered USB hubs...), controllers - and space (especially tricky in tiny booths). Are those cons not enough to have you move over to sticks?


    I totally get what you are saying. It is the total exact questions that I had of making the switch to USB. But I had some other serious questions pertaining to how my work flow would be interrupted. I wondered how I would keep my folders organized to the date and keeping new imported tracks at the top of each folder. The only thing that is stopping me from making a total switch is everything that is involved in the switch along with key work flow features. I simply haven't the time to re-organize my library of music on Rekordbox and get use to another work flow. I am not big on back2back gigs and if I have to open or headline, my gear is already set up. I am not one of those eating steak samiches until 10 min til go time.. lol. However, I will use USB/CDs if it is an event where there are multiple djs and set times are short. But if I have to take em on a journey, it can't be strictly USB.

    What would I lose by switching to all USB? I would lose my current work flow and that is: visual comprehension on a larger screen, I would lose being able to type in the name of an artist and have all the collection display. I am not sure but I believe I will lose the feature where I can on the fly click and display the tracks by bpm or the stars in that folder- this helps especially when I am playing a subgenre that I am not too familiar with but need the go to tracks within that subgenre. I have over 20 descriptive sub-genres and don't play all of them at every gig so I have identifiers. Also, I may lose FX, Looping capabilities but it isn't that much of a big deal. 900 nexus and 2000s are seamless. I loop almost every in/out going track.

    So for me, until there is an actual key pad on the CDJs (I don't put it past it) I will stick to traktor only because I am very detailed an have so many sub-genres and describtive folders that I need to get to quickly. CDjs will not allow that yet.

    However, I never use a controller so I always use the CDJs and so my skills have never dimished. I still have to adjust pitch manually.

    At the end of the day, it comes down to work flow. The idea of becoming a better dj is always subjective because again, it comes down to (individual) work flow. If i have all my tracks carefully organized to include tags, having to carefully insert only "certain" tracks will not make me more of a dj. In actually, it will hinder me as I may not have those older tracks that I need when playing 6-8 hour sets. And not to mention all the ins and out of music will cause wear and tear on the USB and I have many crash and burn on me.
    Last edited by colione98; 06-16-2014 at 07:56 AM.

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