Live Mixer VS DJ Mixer (For DJing)
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert DJ Now's Avatar
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    Default Live Mixer VS DJ Mixer (For DJing)

    Quick question...

    With the current trend of DJs using 4 decks, drum machines, external fx pedals etc etc.... why do we use DJ mixers over a live pa mixers?

    Thx in advanced.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru astromech's Avatar
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    Some people do.

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  3. #3

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    Space requirements maybe 16ch pa mixer vs 2 ch dj mixer in limited space. Who wants to lug around a huge mixer along with the other stuff you need. Ive used a pa mixer when Ive DJ'd only because the sound guy wanted more than one set of speakers going, I would have been solid with just my 4Trak.
    Numark 4 Trak | VCI-400 | Fostex PM0.3 Bookshelf Monitors | The Triple Threat NI-F1, N1-X1-MK2, NI-Z1 | Serato DJ/Flip

  4. #4
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Now View Post
    Quick question...

    With the current trend of DJs using 4 decks, drum machines, external fx pedals etc etc.... why do we use DJ mixers over a live pa mixers?

    Thx in advanced.
    1. PA mixers are individual mono channels and would require separate phono pre-amps for turntables - so not ideal for a DJ booth.

    2. Soundcraft, Ecler, formula sound, to name a few, used to make bigger 19' DJ mixers that were pretty much the norm in most superclubs up to the early 2000's. All that seemed to change overnight to 4ch DJ mixers once Pioneer and A&H started to dominate with the DJM and Xones and they were getting requested on riders.

    Bottom line though, the vast majority of DJ's don't ever use any more than 4 channels, those who do will request the gear they need to perform live or bring it with them.

    Used to love some of those mixers too.




  5. #5
    Tech Mentor JohnnyDrama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deevey View Post
    1. PA mixers are individual mono channels and would require separate phono pre-amps for turntables - so not ideal for a DJ booth.

    2. Soundcraft, Ecler, formula sound, to name a few, used to make bigger 19' DJ mixers that were pretty much the norm in most superclubs up to the early 2000's. All that seemed to change overnight to 4ch DJ mixers once Pioneer and A&H started to dominate with the DJM and Xones and they were getting requested on riders.

    Bottom line though, the vast majority of DJ's don't ever use any more than 4 channels, those who do will request the gear they need to perform live or bring it with them.

    Used to love some of those mixers too.



    Great reply !
    If they don’t want to see the light…..just make them feel the beat…..

  6. #6
    Tech Wizard
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    Another example would be of VRIL's Boiler Room Dystopian Takeover set. Its great

  7. #7
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    I've used pa mixers before and here are the problems I had with this setup:

    1) mono channels sometimes there would be a stereo channel. Sometimes you can use stereo return.
    2)EQs are rarely infinite kills. And are usually made for small adjustments rather than dramatic EQ changes. In a studio or PA setup, it's usually done with outboard parametric or graphic EQ.
    3) faders are 0db at about 75-85% of the fader length and changing it just a bit causes a dramatic change in the perceived sound. Personally in DJ mixers, I like to slam the faders to the top. This works well when my gains are set correctly. It's easier that way; I know bottom of fader is off and top of fader is max volume and I don't have to even look. However because a PA mixer is usually a logarithmic fader, even if I do set it at max fading it down would be too dramatic. Even if the top of the fader is max volume. The bottom fader would be halfway down.
    4) TTs and CDJs aren't balanced so it made it even more difficult. Some pa mixers don't have too many line level inputs either. Again you would have to use the stereo returns. Which is still limited.

    PA mixers are made to set and go. Sound engineers usually feel it's best to get things right before performances and then make subtle changes throughout the night. This goes doubly for bar engineers. Because a lot of those are the owner, managers or bartender. They have other things to do then watch the levels all night.
    With that said, at times when you are using synths and drum machines, these drawbacks are beneficial.
    Last edited by mrdorianjames; 05-06-2015 at 05:08 AM.
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