900nxs2 + Traktor: use internal mixer soundcard vs external?
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  1. #1
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    Default 900nxs2 + Traktor: use internal mixer soundcard vs external?

    I just recently bought a DJM-900nxs2 mixer to go with my Traktor setup. Already had the Audio 10 soundcard, so now have two ways to mix audio: either using the internal mixer soundcard via USB cable, or to route analogue audio out of the Audio 10 soundcard and mix that.

    Which way is preferable, sound quality wise? Do you get any type of benefit going through the analogue realm before hitting the mixer? Or since its all digital inside is that benefit negated, might as well just go all digital at that point?

    Anyone else tried it both ways and notice a difference?

  2. #2
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    I still use my Audio 6 with my X1600, in my experience either is fine, i just prefer using the soundcard because sometimes you dont have your mixer with you
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru SlayForMoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sesshin View Post
    I just recently bought a DJM-900nxs2 mixer to go with my Traktor setup. Already had the Audio 10 soundcard, so now have two ways to mix audio: either using the internal mixer soundcard via USB cable, or to route analogue audio out of the Audio 10 soundcard and mix that.

    Which way is preferable, sound quality wise? Do you get any type of benefit going through the analogue realm before hitting the mixer? Or since its all digital inside is that benefit negated, might as well just go all digital at that point?

    Anyone else tried it both ways and notice a difference?
    Sound quality wise it is always better to have less D/A conversions. But that is theory. The quality of D/A converters is very good these days so I doubt you could hear any sound degradations even if it went several times from digital to analog.

    Also, you seem misinformed about the "benefit of analogue" audio. If you have read somewhere that "analogue is better" that was probably said in contex of two things: playback from vinyl records (where the sound is affected by the inherent flaws of the vinyl that add percieved warmth to the sound) and sound output from hi-quality analogue mixers like Allen&Heath ones (where the effect on the output is similar). For many DJ's the best of both is a combination of digital+analogue where source, connections and DSP are all digital and only the last part of audio signal chain adds that warmth to the sound that they find pleasing.

    There is definitely no benefit in connecting two devices that digitally process sound/signal using analogue cables. But as you may notice, digital outputs are not common so you we are many times forced to use what's available and that's always RCA or other type of analogue output.

    If you want to improve sound quality of your sets I suggest you start at the begining - source material. Switch from mp3 to lossless.

    As Jester said, having a mixer with internal sound interface at home is a double-edged sword - when going for a gig you depend on the venue having a mixer that has a sound interface AND it has to be compatible with your software so many have backup external interfaces to avoid problems
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  4. #4
    Tech Mentor frankle's Avatar
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    At home I use my Allen & Heath 92 with a variety of soundcards but when at a gig the ease of plugging in 1 USB lead compared to 3-4 stereo RCA cables usually wins where there is a DJM-850/900NXS/900NXS2 ... Just need to make sure you have all of the right drivers installed before the gigs. I do however always carry my TA6 and 3 sets of RCA cables with me to gigs just in case.

    Regarding overall sound quality, I doubt that you will tell the difference between using the internal soundcard in the 900NXS2 and your TA10, you would need to step up to an RME or something similar to really hear a difference ... I can say that the FireFace802 does make a difference when I used one for a few weeks in a venue that has a DJM-850. I work there nearly every week and on their Nexo sound system it was noticeable.
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  5. #5
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    I would guess the sound quality of the A10 is better, but unless you really know what you are doing in thems of audio file format, audio quality of the file (well done producing), volume and configuration tuning inside the software and sound levels of the mixer, it won't make a difference.

    Also, after doing all this things you gotta be playing on some really high quality sound system so you can hear some difference.

    I have the same setup, but it's a DJM-900Nexus, what I do is always use the DJM's internal soundcard, cus it's way easier. I just bring the A10 to the gigs just in case, if mixer doesn't have a soundcard.
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  6. #6
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    I really think the NXS 2 would sound as good as the A10. The NXS2 soundcard is a pretty sizable step up from the NXS1. And as others have said, on most systems even the nxs1 and a10 would be hard to differentiate between in terms of sound quality.
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