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Aza

Looking for a new DJ solution

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I haven't had too much of a look at what's 'out there' at present, but hoping the good folk on here may be able to offer some insight and advice?

Basically time and space have become limited of late and:

a) I find myself hopping on the decks much often than I used to and

B) because of that, are struggling to justify the expense of all this equipment being left idle and not that often used.

I still absolutely love my music and are very much into mixing! I love making my own mixes and putting together some bits here and there for friends etc.

I'm now after a solution that enable the ability to mix just as good but using very little space. Is there anything for example like a USB device that you could use together with software to cue and play tracks and then still retain my mixer to mix through that? Or perhaps a sound card that you could use to play the tracks and mix the tracks through the mixer?

Those are just a few of my ideas but really want to put this to you guys for some assistance please?

Cheers,

Aza ;)

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You could go for a Traktor setup with a USB controller. I use the software but control it with my CDJ's with timecode CDs. If you get the other version of the software and get a controller instead of using CDs it would make it much more compact. I think the whole thing might set you back a fair bit of money though.

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Cheers, Nathan!

Have just done a quick 'Google' but looks a bit info overload (as ever these days!). Got any recommended links and somewhere where I could read up a bit more please?

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By the sounds of things mate I think going for a copy of Traktor and a midi controller would be you best option. It depends how much you want to spend but you can get midi controllers for really cheap and I am sure they will do the job along with Traktor.

I am selling my set-up just now in order to fund the Traktor S4 software/hardware. I have been thinking about it for ages and finally decided that it is time to try it out. My main reservation before was always being able to set it up in a club and the fear that it would freeze, crash etc…

Was playing at a gig on a boat at the weekend (behold a fine video for discouraging drinking before dj’ing! -

) and the guy on after me hooked up a midi controller and Traktor no problem at all. 2 guy’s who were playing on the boat’s deck were using S4 as well and they never had any problems what so ever.

The main thing that makes me want to switch over is the creativity factor in my sets. With the 2 CDJ’s I was limited to playing 2 tracks at the one time with the occasional loop thrown in now and again, it was getting stale for me. I like the thought of (especially when my sounds is drifting away from trance and more toward house music) being able to drop in an acapella or a sample from another track on the spur of the moment. The S4 is laid out like a standard mixer as well which I like because I like to be pretty hands on and don’t want to be touching the computer at all during my set.

Another factor for me, same as you, is the space that my current set up takes up and the logistics of moving it just now. With the nice weather and things (live in Scotland so still waiting for it to appear, if it ever will!) it would be nice to be able to throw my laptop and S4 into a bag, grab my speakers and set up out the back door, friends house etc… With the 2x cdj’s and mixer this is a bit of a pain! Even going to a gig I wouldn’t need to burn CD’s the night before, write up and print of what is on each one.

Have a look at this website regarding the S4 - http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/dj/traktor-kontrol-s4/ - there are tons of videos on youtube as well!

It comes in at the top end of the market at roughly £750 for everything but I have thought long and hard about it so I am making the step away from the CD’s!

My advice to you (if you are sure you want to ditch the cdj’s as it’s a big step, took me long enough to decide) is to go down the Traktor route and spend some time looking through Youtube at demo’s/tutorials of midi controllers and pick out something you like that is within the range of what you want to spend. Djtechtools is also a good site to look through.

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I've just ordered the X1 controller for Traktor so I can get more out of the software's effects. I'm still planning to use CDJ's in timecode mode but I'll give you some feedback on the controller once I've had a play.

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I've just ordered the X1 controller for Traktor so I can get more out of the software's effects. I'm still planning to use CDJ's in timecode mode but I'll give you some feedback on the controller once I've had a play.

I thought about the X1 as well as that would have solved my problem in regards to getting more out of the Traktor software but finally decided to take massive step and switch completely over.

DJM-600 sold already. Just need to get rid of the 1000 & 200 then I can purchase the S4. B)

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I thought about the X1 as well as that would have solved my problem in regards to getting more out of the Traktor software but finally decided to take massive step and switch completely over.

DJM-600 sold already. Just need to get rid of the 1000 & 200 then I can purchase the S4. B)

Nice one. I don't want to switch over completely because I still like to mix my vinyls quite often. I have my Technics 1200's permanently set up ready for action hence I want to keep traditional external mixer. Also my CDJ's are connected to the mixer with the Traktor phono looms, allowing normal CD playback down 2 channels and Traktor audio down the other 2 channels. I like to keep all options open!

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I may consider splashing out on a solution since I just love my music... Time will tell (and if I can get a bonus ;))!

Anyhow guys, which do you think of out these two(?):

Would be completely new to all this and software interaction etc. so would have plenty of reading to do...

Cheers :)

Edited by Aza

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I too recommend the S4... My mate have had one for a whole now. The built quality and the feel of the buttons and faders are really good.

Not sure about UK stores, but I can recommend this online store. They have really good service and their prices are usually the lowest I can find.

http://www.thomann.de/gb/native_instruments_traktor_kontrol_s4.htm

My own setup right now is a Macbook Pro, the Kontrol X1 and Traktor Scratch Pro + the Audio8 soundcard.

Since Traktor 2.0 I've been playing with the thought of buying another Kontrol X1 to be able to fully use the sample decks introduced in 2.0, but I think i'll sell my CDJ800's (which i rarely use anymore) and go for the S4.

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I've been thinking about this lately and was hoping you could all offer some advise?

I reiterate my requirement for an elegant solution especially since all my stuff now is digital and don't want to be burning discs etc.

Sadly, my time on the decks is becoming less and less, however, I still love my music and love mixing. I love the concept of these new solutions almost being mobile and you can take these with you, if need be.

What I really want genuine advise and opinions on is this; because of the above, would it be worth me paying for a premium (for example - this link). To come back to requirements, I don't want nothing fancy, just something where I mix like I always do; decks and a decent mixer.

At best it would be used a few hours a week, maybe a few weekend outings...

I love what's been proposed - thanks to your help with the links for the integrated solutions - however, are there any other 'cheaper' and similar solutions? I can vouch for quality, though. Making my jump many years ago to Pioneer and especially the DJM60 - you tend to not look back! :)

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I quit DJ'ing last year - but still like to listen to a few tunes and dig out some oldies to have a bit of a mix now and again when i'm bored.

I'm using Traktor Pro with a cheapo Behringer BCD3000 controller. Its more than good enough for what I need, it costs so much less than CDJs and a mixer - and you can do more with it.

I actually prefer mixing on this than I did with decks now.

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I've been using Traktor for the last 3 years or so now. At first i was using the timecode vinyl (which to me is the perfect solution) but more and more dj booths these days dont have technics in them. I didnt really like CDJ's to be fair, so i thought more and more about a midi controller.

I now use a Vestax VCI 100 mk2. Its very good, i love it. I do want the Kontrol S4, but thats quite expensive, may in the future.

A lot of DJ's are now using midi controllers + laptop. In Ibiza this year, i saw a lot of DJ's using this method. Its easy to setup,portable, reliable, and isnt that bad on the "feel". Those are the reasons that i have decided to go with the midi controller anyway.

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Would love to hear more mixes from you Aza sir! There has not been any welsh wizardry for some time...

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You're right, Quadrant - and thank you for the kind words!

I must admit been feeling a lot like the Fabio Stein words and thread here - the music scene is just not doing it for me that much anymore, which kind of gives you less to mix and fall out of touch with things...

On the subject of looking for a new solution, however, I was round a mates last week and had a go on Tracktor S4 - Native Instruments! What a bit of kit! Absolutely amazing how DJ'ing is all shifting to these kind of things. I had a go, cued up a track and beat matched etc. then when shown how "there's a button for that, and a button for that as well". Insane! I think these things make it far too easy for a DJ, although the only good thing I can think of is it just gives you complete control of the mix and your set and frees you up to a lot of effects and / or creativity to when you mix!

The built in mixer is not bad, but is nothing on a dedicated DJM600. Any thoughts on this with anybody here?

Wonder what the Pioneer DDJ-T1 Traktor DJ Controller is like? Is this now the kit that Eddie Halliwell uses?

Also, any thoughts on preferences out the aforementioned Pioneer against the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 DJ Controller?

Edited by Aza

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This has just been released (link) - what ya think, at £429 it's more for my budget range as well me parting with the cash and knowing how busy I am with work whether I'll use it that much...

Pioneer-DDJ-ERGO-V-DJ-Controller.jpg

Edited by Aza

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No doubt, Brother Noff! At £1,500 each you'd expect them to just about p!ss on anything :)

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and for the price of a second hand car, those CDJ2000's STILL CANT DO some of the stuff Ableton Live or even Traktor 2 can do. CD players are dead and buried now. Even Pioneer have come round to that fact, due to them releasing quite a few midi controllers now, i'd say.

i've not used that Aza, so cant comment, i'm still using Traktor Pro and a Vestax VCI 100, but i've got ableton, and the temptation to sell up and get an Akai APC40 is appealing to me more and more...

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CDJs are around to stay sir... whether you use CDs in them in another matter :)

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I have a really horrible feeling my old mixer is starting to get towards its last throws.

Still works fine at present but is starting to show signs of ageing - I really do not want to pay for a new one as I am happy with my present set-up

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What do you have, Tom?

Just a Stanton (forget the model).

Basic EQs and 3 channels with Kill Switches and a few other basic features

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Progress update with this quest....

After having a look at a Traktor S4 in action and having a few mixing sessions with a friend, I took the plunge and procured one - selling my CDJ 800's and DJM600 in the process to raise adequate funds.

I did feel it saddening to do so since I've passionately loved my CDJ's, especially since making the transition to them from my Technic 1210's - decks which I first started out with.

The flexibility and possibilities with these new DJ Controllers is insane, it took me a while to get used to the concept of it, but I've now managed to almost get back into the old swing of things and practice mixing sessions and sets.

However, herein lies a rather annoying issue; I have a laptop running Windows 7, which also happens to be my main personal machine for everyday tasks.

This means I have so many background processes running e.g. antivirus, firewall, windows updates and whatnot, all of which impact on the performance of the Traktor software – something which seriously affects ability to handle real-time audio processing - giving me ‘latency’ issues.

The software can be configured to try manage this and give bigger buffers, but as my machine is around 3yrs old now, I don’t think it can handle it 100% effectively.

I’ve not given up easy on trying either, I’ve followed many a guide to optimise and 'tune' Windows for running the Traktor solution, I’ve even partitioned my drive, installed a fresh – stripped down – version of Windows7 which is solely to run Traktor. I disabled Wi-Fi, power saving settings etc., but still experienced ‘crackling’ and audio dropouts.

Further research online seems to now only point to the other suggestion which is on many message boards: buy a Mac!

I contemplated this, and this is what my friend had which is why I didn’t even think once about such a potential issue, but you’re looking at around £800/900. I think it’s apparent why many professional DJ’s use a Mac now which is not because of its hardware (they now use similar if not the same stuff as Windows), but it’s purely the OS, which Apple’s seems far more superior and efficient. Also, look at many Video and Graphic editor’s, much stuff is done on a Mac for its rendering efficiencies…

So, with a little news to share, too… As we are expecting our first new-born in a few months, my DJ time is already limited to mixing around full-time working (weekends and an hour here or there in the weeks – which is why I’ve not made many new mix demos the past year or so), I know time is going to become even more precious, and with whatever spare time I have, I’d want it to be with our baby.

Do I still maintain my ultimate life hobby, continue my pursuit to succeed with the PC issue or buy a Mac? Is shelling out all that money worth it, especially if it’d only be used occasionally?

Anyone else here with a Traktor or Pioneer Controllers? Parenthood and DJ'ing advise? Thoughts?

Cheers :thumbsup:

Edited by Aza

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I'm running Traktor with a cheapo, basic, Behringer controller. I had the same issues as above for a few weeks - and then found that the eventual cure was to:

1. Make sure any hardware is disabled (such as Wi:Fi). It also seems to dislike two of my three memory sticks - so now I play ALL music from the hard drive.

2. I bought a 2nd hard drive solely for Traktor use. It simply has Windows 7 64-bit, and the Traktor software. No other software or drivers whatsoever.

Problem solved. It just means I have to swap hard drives for normal use and Traktor use - but it's worth it because Traktor runs perfectly now.

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