Using 4 track decks with 2 turntables
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  1. #1
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    Default Using 4 track decks with 2 turntables

    Hi I have been having a look around and cant find the answer for this.

    I believe it is possible to use 4 track decks with 2 physical turntables is that correct?
    if so how?

    I have an audio 6 box and either a 2 or 3 channel mixer

    would i set the input for decks A & C to channel A and for B & D to channel B ?
    i believe I have to switch between relative and absolute mode to activate deactivate the decks.

    unclear how I would physically play 3 or more decks at the same time.

    many thanks in advance

    Bart

  2. #2

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    well the short answer is that you can control 4 decks with 2 TT, but only 2 decks at a time. you would need to map a button on your laptop to switch deck focus, or maybe there is a default one already mapped idk.

    to control more than 2 decks at once you will have to incorporate another set of controls somewhere , somehow. be it on your computer keyboard , or any midi controller. each deck needs an output and a set of transport controls to play stop etc the deck.

    internally you can mix on 4 decks without 4 physical outputs but if youre mixing externally you will need a physical in and out for each deck.

    personally i mix internally with 2 physical TT , and controls for 3 decks and one remix deck on a midi controller which is mapped as a mixer. this is a fairly unorthodox set up though.
    Traktor/Ableton /Komplete /MBP OSX el capitan

    http://www.soundcloud.com/deejaesnafu

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deejaesnafu View Post
    well the short answer is that you can control 4 decks with 2 TT, but only 2 decks at a time. you would need to map a button on your laptop to switch deck focus, or maybe there is a default one already mapped idk.

    to control more than 2 decks at once you will have to incorporate another set of controls somewhere , somehow. be it on your computer keyboard , or any midi controller. each deck needs an output and a set of transport controls to play stop etc the deck.

    internally you can mix on 4 decks without 4 physical outputs but if youre mixing externally you will need a physical in and out for each deck.

    personally i mix internally with 2 physical TT , and controls for 3 decks and one remix deck on a midi controller which is mapped as a mixer. this is a fairly unorthodox set up though.
    Hi thanks a lot for your response and maybe you can suggest me any alternative for my situation

    There are 2 main reasons for the 3rd/4th deck

    1 - is to be able to use it as a deck to just drop some jingles into and be able to cut them up, hence wanting to control them.

    2 - use a 3rd deck as a prep deck. I have a track playing on deck A i want to them mix a beat from another track on deck B and then immediately another part of the track on deck C - say the beginning vocal of the track

    therefore as I dont need to physically control 3/4 decks at once can i do this?

    My set up is 2x1210, a 2 or 3 channel mixer plus an X1 Mk2

    I have tried to use a remix deck for the jingles but failed miserably as I dont have a set of controls to operate them.

    thanks again and any help is appreciated

  4. #4

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    well i think you have the stuff you would need to control 4 decks, however you would need a 4 channel mixer to really run it all on external mixing, which is what it sounds like you want to do.... now technically i guess you could use 2 mixers and mix 2 channels from each, and map the x1 to control the transport sections of the extra decks, it would take some head scratching and it wouldnt be an ideal mobile set up. like set up 2 TT with one mixer for deck a/b and the x1 and other mixer for deck c/d or whatever. if possible tho youd probably want a 4 channel mixer, or try to reduce your performance to 3 decks and use the 3 channel mixer.
    Traktor/Ableton /Komplete /MBP OSX el capitan

    http://www.soundcloud.com/deejaesnafu

  5. #5

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    now does the 3 channel mixer happen to have an aux in and out? if so you could use that for 4 channel mixing on external..
    Traktor/Ableton /Komplete /MBP OSX el capitan

    http://www.soundcloud.com/deejaesnafu

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartjunited View Post
    Hi thanks a lot for your response and maybe you can suggest me any alternative for my situation

    There are 2 main reasons for the 3rd/4th deck

    1 - is to be able to use it as a deck to just drop some jingles into and be able to cut them up, hence wanting to control them.

    2 - use a 3rd deck as a prep deck. I have a track playing on deck A i want to them mix a beat from another track on deck B and then immediately another part of the track on deck C - say the beginning vocal of the track

    therefore as I dont need to physically control 3/4 decks at once can i do this?

    My set up is 2x1210, a 2 or 3 channel mixer plus an X1 Mk2

    I have tried to use a remix deck for the jingles but failed miserably as I dont have a set of controls to operate them.

    thanks again and any help is appreciated
    Okay. So, I actually have an idea about how to do this. I'm not sure if it's better than what @deejaesnafu suggested about mapping controls for deck focus. But, I'm not actually sure how his will play out. I was kinda under the impression that you had to define ahead of time which decks the timecode is controlling. If I'm wrong, his way might work better. It definitely would if you can do that and get a 4 channel mixer.

    The way I'm thinking about has some serious pitfalls. If you're the kind of DJ who runs all your channels hot, you won't be able to do it without fixing your habits....it'll just be one huge distorted mess. Fortunately, auto-gain and turning down Traktor's master output is a quick route to getting it right.

    What I would do would be to route decks C and D both to the same output and run Traktor's master volume at like -12dB. You'll lose a little dynamic range, but with modern compressed music...it won't be a big deal. Run this output into channel 3 on your mixer. A and B stay basicaly the same (TTs -> audio interface ins, then A -> 1 and B -> 2).

    Then, you map some controls to copy decks. I think the command is under Track Common and called "Copy Track Deck". You need at least 2 pairs of these, but keys on your keyboard will work. I actually do this quite a bit for different reasons and have a grid of 16 keys mapped like this:

    [1: A flavor] [2: B->A] [3: A->B] [4: B flavor]
    [q: C->A] [w: D->A] [d: C->B] [f: D->B]
    [a: A->C] [s: B->C] [d: A->D] [f: B->D]
    [z: C flavor] [x: D->C] [c: C->D] [v: D flavor]

    Each deck gets a 2x2 grid of keys to change it's flavor and copy track decks from the other 3. The outside corners control flavors and the other 3 keys copy the decks that they correspond to spatially.

    1, 4, z, and v (the ones on the corners) switch decks A, B, C, and D (respectively) between track decks and remix decks.

    2 copies deck B into deck A
    Q copies Deck C into deck A
    W copies Deck D into Deck A
    ...and so on (the pattern should be clear).

    Unfortunately, I haven't found a good way to actually swap two playing decks. But with instant doubles turned on, what you get when you hit one of the keys is a copy of the playing deck with all of the controls matching.

    One way you could improve it for your use would be to add a command to each of the "Copy deck" keys that stops the deck you're copying from. So, hitting (for example) [d] would copy from Deck A into deck D and then stop deck A. If you did that, then you could just leave your 3rd channel open and not worry about closing it.

    So....if you wanted to add a scratch sample over 2 playing tracks, what you'd do would be to mix A -> B like you normally would. Then press [F] to copy deck B into deck D (which is running into channel 3) and stop deck B. Then, load your scratch sample into deck B and go to town (remember that the fader is still up, though).

    Say you did that and want keep scratching and add an a'capella...hit [A] to copy deck A into deck C and stop deck A, then close channel 1's fader. Now, you have both songs playing on decks C and D into channel 3 of the mixer (with headroom left, thanks to the lower master output setting) and your scratch sample on Deck B, which is being controlled by your right TT. Load the a'capella into deck A (controlled by your left turntable) and mix it in.

    When that little mashup/scratch thing is done and you don't need the a'capella or scratch sample anymore, stop those decks. You've still got the C/D mashup thing going on (assuming the tracks haven't run out) and 2 decks (A and B, each with vinyl control) free for your next mix.

    Basically....what it does is give you 2 decks that you don't have vinyl control over....you can copy to and from them somewhat freely. And the tracks will stay playing just like they were when you had control over them.

    If it were me, I'd seriously consider getting all your beat grids right and turning on sync for decks C and D....and just be really picky about which (of A or B) is set as the master. That way, those decks should follow tempo fluctuations in your TT's motor and you can do things like increase/decrease tempo during a transition to change energy level or change genres or whatever.

    I'd also suggest another X1 if you decide you want more control over decks C and D, or possibly an F1 if you want to try out remix decks.

    I hope that was clear enough. It's kind of clear in my head, but I can't fit my 1200s on my table, so I can't record a video or anything.

  7. #7
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    First up thank you to everyone for their advice and input its nice to know that i am not alone in my query here.

    Second up I have made a bit of a boo boo in my initial request. I have forgotten to mention 1 key thing which is that I only have an Audio 6 box which only has 2 inputs/outputs.

    However..... I have managed to get this to work just about.

    1 - I set the input AND output routing for Deck A and Deck C to Channel A of the mixer and Deck B & D to Channel B of the mixer
    2 - I have set the Deck Layout to Scope for ALL decks
    3 - I set Scratch Control for ALL decks.

    What this now allows me to do is the following

    - Decks A and B can still be controlled with the X1 and used as normal.
    - I can manually using the keyboard drop a track/jingle onto Deck C or D
    - I have to be aware that C or D share their output with A and B and therefore I have to use the GAIN on the deck to control the volume of it.
    - To activate Timecode control of C or D all I have to do is Click on the Absolute/Relative mode buttons for either deck (the little turntable looking icons).
    So for example when I click this for C it puts Deck A in internal playback mode and the Green PLAY button is activated.
    - I can now "mix" Deck C or do some basic cutting up with whats in there. The reason I say basic is because I cannot manipulate the fader for this deck as it will affect the output of deck A as well.
    - This will still be very useful for me as I can use Decks C or D to drop in Jingles, Cue up tracks that i need to throw in in an emergency (e.g. you are gonna play a track and think hmmm i need to have a back up in case it goes wrong) or I need to play another track quickly, or using the dreaded Sync I can still "mix" a 3rd/4th track

    I can then switch between Decks A and C or B & D using the relative/absolute buttons.

    IF i had an AUDIO 10 I think I could rout the OUTPUT of Deck C and D to a 3rd or 4th Channel.

    ANYONE GOT an AUDIO 10 they wanna sell or a solution for me.

    Hope I make sense and this might be useful to someone else too.

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    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    A6 has 3 output pairs, so mine still works if you want to give it a try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
    A6 has 3 output pairs, so mine still works if you want to give it a try.
    hmmm how I only see channels A and B

    the other outputs are for the Main in and out which you would use to record with?

  10. #10
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    Right...but you don't need the output to record. You can set C and D to output together on main out and still use main in to record. At least, you can unless NI has crippled the driver for it since the last time I used one.

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