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Thinking of going all-digital - Please don't kill me :-0

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w1368 +

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Thinking of going all-digital - Please don't kill me :-0
Right then, no intention of this old vs new debate, I just want some plain old feedback

Before starting I off I want to make clear there is nothing better than two turntables and a mixer. I did a new years eve party for free at a local venue (I declined payment), there were a few other DJs that looked at me like "WTF!... Turntables!!!" The set blow to roof off (it was one of those where the momenttum got going and everything just flowed into place, everyone was loving it and putting their attention on me). The punters where watching in fasination, I felt proud to be showing what true DJing is, especially to those newcomers who use a sync button with lots of visuals and call themselves a "DJ".

Rant to that paricular group of people over...

I started DJing over 10 years ago on a set of CDJ100s. A couple years later moved on to Vinyl. I don't play out anymore, only very occasionally for the odd favour.

So today my current setup is 1210s, DJM600 and Traktor DVS. I will NEVER part with my 1210s, these will go into storage but I am considering getting the Traktor S4 controller by selling my DJM600 (I'd LOVE to have a recent pair of CDJs but I just can't afford them). I just feel my decks are loosing accuracy (you can see the red dots jigging back and forth, they also need calibrating) and the sound quality is terrible - I'm using the first version of Traktor scratch. The needles are probably wearing out and I don't want to keep replacing them. All this frustrating is putting me off.

One thing since all those years back I've never got sorted out (unless it's just me) is that with Vinyl I find beatmatching to be less tight than CDJs. Not in the sense that I can't mix on vinyl, it's those tiny incremental adjustments that can be done with the jog wheel, with vinyl I have to let the the two tracks go just a little bit further out of phase before correcting them and that bugs me. Yes I could ride the pitch mid-mix (and I do), but then it just never goes back to the same place. Nudging is too much of a jump.

My main reason for the S4 is just down to plain old convenience and that I hear they have very hi-res jog wheels. I could do with the extra space (the speakers can go on the desk in my study, taking out the controller when I need it), and I'm finding it way too much hassle transferring files back and forth, and making new playlists. When I could do all this on my main CPU (I don't' have a laptop). At least the S4 has extra inputs, so I can get my 1210s and records out of storage and do a good vinyl set when I miss it or... even better I still have my DJM100!

I like how it uses iTunes playlists, so I will have all my music on my iPod too without having to copy it over. With four decks I can be a bit more creative, I like to experiment overlapping breakdowns adding acapellas, using it to re-arrange a track.

Has anyone else gone from Vinyl to a controller? I know it would never be the same again, I'm just worried that in comparison it may feel like a toy and I could regret it. But the convenience would make me DJ more, I just can't be arsed with the hassle right now as I don't have much free time anymore (I must be getting old!).
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I'm looking into transitioning into all digital down the track as well, as I rarely use CDs and 99% of the time, I use USB sticks with my CDJs. Looking to keep my CDJ400s for the time being, so plan is to look at getting a Traktor Z2 and use the CDJs as MIDI controllers with Traktor itself. That way, if I need to use CDs in the near future, I can use the Z2 as an analogue mixer without needing to use Traktor at all and not need to bring a laptop into the equation.

Was also eyeing off the S2, but I think I'll get something like the S4 down the track instead, though mainly for DJing at parties or at weddings if I decide to stomach doing that sort of thing.

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Why dont you service the turntables, get new needled, and the latest version of traktor scratch, along with maybe one of the NI controllers like the X2?

Replacing needles isn't really that much of an expense, and a simple service would make the decks like new. Mixing on an S4 or similar is boring compared to turntables, its jsut more fun.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by saad View Post

Why dont you service the turntables, get new needled, and the latest version of traktor scratch, along with maybe one of the NI controllers like the X2?

Replacing needles isn't really that much of an expense, and a simple service would make the decks like new. Mixing on an S4 or similar is boring compared to turntables, its jsut more fun.

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^ this...a controller is good for easy setup at other peoples houses, but it won't make you get off your ass and mix more as it's not half as fun, plus you'd be removing the option to play your records, to mix from digital to analogue and back again, thus limiting what you can play

Turnies + an S2 + mixer would still give you the option of four channels with the decks either being actual records or digital through scratch, plus the S2 running 2 extra channels sync'ed so ease of adding in a 3rd track to the mix plus a capella's
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However if you like, I will swap you my Kontrol S2 for your Technics and Mixer.
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w1368 +

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What about the beatmatching issue? Does everyone else have the same thing, that nudging a Technics platter is too much of a jump? Riding the pitch never returns back to the same tempo.

Last edited by w1368: 30-Apr-13 at 09:09pm

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Nudging/dragging the platter is fine so long as you've caught on to the fact the mix is slipping early enough such that your adjustment isn't super noticeable/looooooong...wavering decks and holding the mix is part of the fun
Pete Gordon - Deep and Low

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Quote:

Originally Posted by w1368 View Post

What about the beatmatching issue? Does everyone else have the same thing, that nudging a Technics platter is too much of a jump? Riding the pitch never returns back to the same tempo.

Nope never - listen carefully, and have delicate fingers.
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w1368 +

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OK, I think I have this sorted - the S4 is a silly idea. Looking around my setup is just far too good to give away.

With the nuding thing, I just never find it's possible to do very slight changes. Cost is over £100 for servicing, and thats a two hour drive away

First of all I'll calibrate my TTs this weekend, found out last night they are way off.The zero point and 3.33 is more like +1.2 and +3.8 - maybe this is the problem.

For controllers a pair of Denon DNSC2000s seems the way. It has two decks each, so I can assign the spare decks to the TTs for loading tracks, running loops etc. I get the best of both worlds and is more than half the price of the S4. I have the Audio DJ 8 so I have spare outputs.

Last edited by w1368: 01-May-13 at 06:57pm

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I went from vinyl to cdj to traktor and I have never looked back. I used to use 3 decks. Now I use Traktor with Allen & Heath controller and I can only say my mixing has got better. Beatmatching is ultimately a MANUAL skill, not an artistic one. It is the subtleties in the mixing and the fact I can present the music in an original way. Digital allows for a better organization of your music, live editing, mashup, fluid fx, and a more instant response to the energy of the dancefloor.
Unfortunately this is not the kind of djing we usually see. There are a lot of "big name" producers who never learned how to be a dj. They think Traktor will do it for them. It doesn't. Not to mention the number of "instant djs" out there.
Like I have said before, we are living in a world where everyone is trying to be famous for 15 people. If the medium you are playing on engages YOU, that is the main thing, because you want to engage the dancefloor in the same way you are.
The music needs disproportionate waves of creativity more than ever before. Digital does it fore me, but its an individual choice.
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I use traktor and decks and use only digital now. I have converted all my tunes to digital and have to say its the best and I love it...I still buy vinyl now and then when I can find some classics and looking through vinyl and buying the vinyl for me was always the fun part anyway
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Quote:

Originally Posted by w1368 View Post


For controllers a pair of Denon DNSC2000s seems the way. It has two decks each, so I can assign the spare decks to the TTs for loading tracks, running loops etc. I get the best of both worlds and is more than half the price of the S4. I have the Audio DJ 8 so I have spare outputs.

Have you worked out how to assign the controllers to each of the four decks? Both of my 2000's control decks b and d, I can't get one to control a and c
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just dabble in a bit of both to keep it interesting! i'm currently working on integrating maschine. working on getting it midi synced to the decks
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