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  • Any DJ types on here?
  • Creg
    Member

    Been toying with the idea of getting some form of DJ equipment and messing around with some mixing etc.

    Cant afford any of the CDJ stuff and none of the MP3 mixers seem to work on Macs (had an Ion one which didnt work on Macs even though the website said so >:()

    So Im looking at some turntables. Found a pair of Stanton STR8100's on eBay and Im drawn towards them because they have a line in option so I can plug the iPod in…which is handy as it means I wont have to buy mountains of vinyl. Wanting to work with Trip hop, dub, drum and bass, hip hop etc.

    So any other Dj's here? What setups do you guys run? What kind of music do you work with?

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    This'll kick things off nicely, but vinyl is dead as a medium. Maybe not dead yet, but it's a dying art.

    If it's the vinyl control that you're looking for then consider Serato or Traktor Scratch.

    Personally, I've ditched vinyl and use Ableton with a midi controller or regular Traktor.

    mboy
    Member

    So any other Dj's here? What setups do you guys run? What kind of music do you work with?

    Yup, hiya. House is my thing, from Funky to Electro, to Techno and Breaks. Love all sorts of music, but that's what I DJ anyway.

    My Setup:

    2x Pioneer CDJ400's (prefer them over both the CDJ1000's and 800's)
    2x Technics SL1200 Mk2's (can't bring myself to sell them even though they rarely get used)
    Ecler Nuo4.0 Mixer
    Pioneer EFX500 effects box
    KRK RP5 Monitors
    Sennheiser HD25 Headphones

    Cant afford any of the CDJ stuff and none of the MP3 mixers seem to work on Macs (had an Ion one which didnt work on Macs even though the website said so >:()

    Are you sure on both counts? You might be surprised how much you can pick up some Pioneer CDJ100's or 200's on ebay for, and these will be a very good starting point (especially the CDJ200) if you're not a scratch DJ at least. Though if you're wanting to scratch you will probably want the higher end CDJ's, or turntables.

    And LOADS of DJ software works on Macs. I've messed about with both Traktor and Serato Scratch on my MacBookPro. Both these can be controlled either by a standalone DJ controller, or by timecoded vinyls or CDs.

    So Im looking at some turntables. Found a pair of Stanton STR8100's on eBay and Im drawn towards them because they have a line in option so I can plug the iPod in…which is handy as it means I wont have to buy mountains of vinyl. Wanting to work with Trip hop, dub, drum and bass, hip hop etc.

    Don't know anything about these turntables, but a quick google search reveals they are at least direct drive. Depends what they're going for on ebay though as to whether or not they're worth it.

    Sadly, I'm WAY more of a snob about DJ gear than I am Mountain Bikes, but I guess when it's something you get paid to do, you really need to be able to rely on your equipment, and to know it is going to do exactly what you want it to do… To that end, I have stuck with what I know to a certain extent… ie. Pioneer, Technics, Sennheiser (though I did take a gamble on my Ecler mixer which I really like).

    Good luck whatever you get though, you will have a lot of fun learning to mix/scratch and when you play your first gig, there is nothing on earth that beats the feeling! One word of warning though, if you thinking Mountain Biking is an expensive hobby, be prepared for financial ruin from DJing! 😉

    thomthumb
    Member

    sadly had to sell my dj equipment to pay my rent a while back; 😥

    but vinyl is a false economy – it's expensive to buy more difficult to find and less releases are coming out on vinyl.

    i started off with numark axis cd decks which were pretty good begginner stuff. although most of my mates have gone ableton and buy mp3s from beatport.

    must find all that vinyl jungle i put away

    Creg
    Member

    the thing thats drawing me away from the CD based stuff is:

    1) would like to be able to scratch
    2) even second hand its damned expensive stuff

    Im drawn to vinyl a bit more as the decks are quite cheap. The stantons are ending on eBay in an hour and are just £50 for the pair. Numarks are going cheap on there too (DD ones).

    However the cost of Vinyl does put me off a bit, especially as my local record shop has closed its doors for good.

    I might see about some CDJ's. Theres a Denon one on eBay that has USB connectivity so I can bung the iPod into it (save a little bit of money I guess not having to buy 2)

    Milkie
    Member

    There's some good info from mboy there, seriously check out Serato or the cheap option that I use DjDecks.

    About the Stanton STR8100's, I would be careful buying a set 2nd hand. The motor can become a little weak, so try a set before you part cash for them. They are pretty decent for your first purchase though, but as the motor has little torque don't go scratching on them as it could fry the motor. Just to clarify, you can run your ipod through them, but you can't change the tempo, so mixing would be quite difficult.

    2x Technics SL1210 Mk5's
    1x Technics SL1210 Mk2
    Stanton iTrack Cart's
    Denon DN-X1500
    CDJ1000 Mk1 (lent to friend)
    Technics RP-DH1200 Headphones
    Laptop for running DjDecks (mixing mp3's with a timecoded vinyl)
    Mackie/RCF Monitor 8 Monitors
    Peavey CS-800 Power Amp
    Crappy Soundlab Power Amp
    Novation Remote 25 Midi Controller

    Started off with my mums turntable (belt driven, easy to slow down), a tape player (with the front off so I could slow it down) and a discman.

    Started with House then Trance, DnB, then Hard House/Trance. Most of my collection is Hard House/Trance all the old skool stuff! Real Shit, Good Shit Right? Unfuckingbelievable. Also tried Hip Hop, Breakbeat, and still trying to master scratching!

    Just read you're latest post, this has taken aaages to write! For £50 it sounds as though they could either be a bargain or ready for ditching.

    Milkie
    Member

    However the cost of Vinyl does put me off a bit, especially as my local record shop has closed its doors for good.

    Go the Serato/Traktor/DjDecks way. MP3's with 2x timecoded vinyl, thats all the vinyl you need. Saves lumping a 20-30 kilo bag of vinyl around with you, all you have are 2 vinyl, a laptop, an external soundcard, and headphones.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    The way you can scratch on final scratch is incredible.
    Hardest thing I find with MP3s is searching for your tracks. A big box o' vinyl is a bit more user friendly in that way

    grumm
    Member

    Serato is awesome – I have shelves of vinyl upstairs that I never touch because Serato is so good (using a Mac too btw). Works great for scratching as well, no lag is noticeable and you can get loads of acapellas etc to play with.

    If you want to learn to scratch though, you should really save up and get some second hand technics 1210s. Unless things have moved on massively those Stantons aren't going to have much torque and will be a pain in the arse to scratch on.

    Creg
    Member

    hmmm….looks like Im gonna need a shitload more cash to go in that direction (the mp3/serato/final scratch/traktor/blah direction)

    maybe Ill just try origami

    grumm
    Member

    You know those Stanton things don't actually look too bad.

    I do have a cheap ms pinky system for sale if you're interested, but I have to admit it's a bit of a faff and you'll probably need to buy a soundcard for it. The vinyl emulation works perfectly though.

    http://www.mspinky.com/

    Creg
    Member

    what does the ms pinky system consist of grumm?

    Im running a MacBook Pro so by external soundcard Im assuming something firewire based?

    mboy
    Member

    hmmm….looks like Im gonna need a shitload more cash to go in that direction (the mp3/serato/final scratch/traktor/blah direction)

    maybe Ill just try origami

    LOL

    I'll refer back to what I said earlier… People think MTBing is an expensive hobby! 😉

    Im running a MacBook Pro so by external soundcard Im assuming something firewire based?

    More often than not they're USB2.0 based these days. Not many DJ specific (if any) soundcards are Firewire these days.

    but vinyl is a false economy – it's expensive to buy more difficult to find and less releases are coming out on vinyl.

    Never a truer word spoken. Much as it was THE THING for several decades in the DJ world, as a format for buying music on at least, it's pretty much had its day. Even die hard vinyl junkies and turntablists have either gone on to the likes of Traktor Scratch and Serato Scratch, or moved sideways to CDJ's (which incidentally you can scratch on these days).

    I've been thinking in more depth about what it sounds like you want to do as a DJ, and much as I agree with ooOOoo about it being a pain in the arse to look through your music collection on your laptop to find a track (you NEED to be organised), using either Serato or Traktor Scratch is pretty much the most effective (performance and cost wise) way to go…

    With Traktor Scratch, or indeed Serato Scratch, you have all the functionality of playing vinyl, without the pain in the arse of it being heavy/bulky/expensive as you only need the 2 timecoded vinyls. And seeing as you already have a MacBookPro, you are saving a TONNE of cash already towards your setup…

    The following is a list of what I would get if I were you, being as cost effective as possible (but still being realistic that you have to pay some money to get decent performance)…

    -Pair of Technics SL1200/1210 turntables 2nd hand off ebay… Probably about £350ish including cartridges. Anything else is false economy in my view… "Buy cheap, buy twice" has never applied quite so much as with the DJ turntable!

    -2 Channel Mixer, probably 2nd hand off ebay… Look for something that has 3 band EQs, decent crossfader etc. Something like an Ecler Nuo2.0, a Vestax of some sort, even the Pioneer DJM300 (of which I have one for sale if you wanted, would do you a good price). Probably looking at £100ish, maybe budget up to £150.

    -Native Instruments Traktor Scratch, or Rane Serato Scratch. Have a try on both, see what you like more. Both have their plus points, both their detractors, but basically what they are allowing you to do is play your music (MP3's, WAV's, CD audio or whatever) as if they were on the vinyl on your turntable. Personally, I've tried both, neither is my thing (I prefer CDJ's) but if I had to choose, I'd go with Traktor Scratch. Either will include the software, a USB soundcard, time coded vinyls and all cables required. Either will set you back approx £400.

    -Headphones. Personally I'm of the opinion not to scrimp here either. I've got some Sennheiser HD25's. Yes they were £140, but you get what you pay for. That said, I recently tried out a friends pair of Sennheisers (can't remember the model) that had cost him £50, and was surprised how good they were for the money. I'm a brand snob though, and always stick with Sennheiser for headphones.

    So, all up, excluding amp/speakers and any music, you're looking at around £900 I reckon, but that lot WILL DEFINITELY last you some time and serve you well. Like I said, in having a MacBookPro already, you're saving a tonne of cash. Often going down the digital DJ route, buying a decent laptop represents a serious financial hurdle. If you compare that to the £900 it cost me for my CDJ's alone (and that was last year, before the price hike) you're looking at a pro spec setup for not a bad price at all. Just add music and go then!

    plumber
    Member

    Ableton Live

    or do as most 'dj' seem to do and plug in you premixed ipod and **** about with computers and deck which aren't pluged in. God bless em 🙂

    I've seen this more times than I care to mention in my 'sound reinforcement days

    cough/ lisa lashes /cough – what a piss head

    Xan
    Member

    If you are buying second hand take into account that you will probably need to buy 2 new stylus. The last time I bought them for my old Numarks I was nearly £30 each.

    thats means your looking at £110 before you even buy a record.

    Plus with the price of vinyl against what you can buy CDs for (79p a track plus your existing collection onto a CD for pennies) If you add it all together over teh space of a few months the CDJ stuff looks much cheaper.

    organic355
    Member

    TOTAL CONTROL works with MAC.

    You will prob need one of these too

    grumm
    Member

    Creg – it's the software plus time-coded vinyls. You also need a computer (which you've got), decks and a mixer, and phono preamps (which I've got and could sell you for cheap.

    Info about what soundcard etc you need is somewhere on that mspinky site. I have to admit I would save up and get 1210s and Serato if I were you though.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Wanting to work with Trip hop, dub, drum and bass, hip hop

    Just to throw a spanner into the works, all of these genres still put out releases on vinyl, and vinyl also has a resale value, not so with MP3s. The last couple of hip hop LPs I bought and didn't like, I was able to sell them again on eBay for the same price. So I'd go with a Serato type setup rather than CDJs if possible.

    Milkie
    Member

    I haven't touched my decks in at least a month, possibly two.. All this talk has got me itching for a mix! Roll on 6pm ! 😀

    Creg, what have you got to spend? Do you have any experience in mixing? Do you have any equipment already, like an amp & speakers?

    mah05
    Member

    heres my dj setup its been updated abit since this pic though added some better speakers and also running a laptop with traktor scratch pro and abelton .

    current setup is
    2 pioneer cdj1000 mk3 (soon to be cdj2000s)
    pioneer djm800
    pioneer hdj2000 headphones
    pioneer efx1000
    krk rokit 6 active monitors
    sony vaio laptop running traktor and abelton
    korg nanopad
    native instruments audio8 soundcard.
    also some 1210mk2s i will connect backup sometime when i find the space

    will update pic when i get my cameraphone fixed

    mah05
    Member

    forgot 2 say whats your budget creg? you dont need turntables to scratch. if i was you i would get either traktor ( not scratch) as you dont need it or serato etc. unless you are planning on using decks not a controller. vdj is probally more suited to a beginner dead simple to use. then if you want to scratch you can buy a dj controller something like a hercules. you can pick them up for £50 secondhand on ebay even cheaper than that the earlier versions. you will also need to get a soundcard unless the controller has 1 built in (later 1s do earlier 1s dont). its very expensive if you end up going vinyl. i got roughly about 10k in vinyl i think i would be lucky if i got £500 for the lot now and as what someone said above not all releases mixes are avalible on vinyl.with the software theres always dare i say torrents

    Milkie
    Member

    I tried out the Hercules with the built in soundcard and found it pretty rubbish compared to proper turntables, you can't scratch very easily on them, due to the latency and the fact that the wheels only have 255 positions (i think) as its MIDI. For mixing they are ok, but again the pitch control has a set number of positions too.

    There are soo many options, your head is probably spinning!

    grumm
    Member

    If you want to learn to scratch properly you need proper decks, sorry!

    mah05
    Member

    you can scratch properly using a dj controller. i have vinyl, cdjs and a controller. i started scratching using records. to many people say its not scratching unless its vinyl.yes it feels better using a spinning platter but you get exactly the same sound from either.

    grumm
    Member

    Let's hear your scratching then. 🙂

    One thing to bear in mind is that if you ever want to progress to playing in clubs, most places will have CDJs (pioneer CDJ 1000s Mk II or III are the standard) – so it might be good to learn on them if that's what you want to do. You can scratch ok on them (not the same as vinyl turntables though!) They are pricey as well.

    Milkie
    Member

    I think scratching depends on the controller, and other equipment used. I'm sure if you can already scratch, and know your moves, you can pretty much transfer over to anything thats similar and pull off the scratches. If you wanted to learn, it would be very difficult on anything except a turntable or possibly a CDJ/DNS.

    Scratching on CDJ's just doesn't feel or sound completely right, but they are damn good alternatives.

    This is not me, I wish I was this consistent!
    Scratchin Rock

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    He's definitely got the crabs, in a good way. But he's using a coded record and 1210s, not one of those DJ controllers.

    Another point about scratching is that having a decent mixer with a high quality cross fader really helps. The one on my cheapo Gemini feels sticky and rubbish and actually builds up sooty black stuff on the contacts if I try and do a Q-Bert. 🙂

    grumm
    Member

    Yup he's reet good. He's using the Rane TTM57SL, which has a built in Serato interface – you just plug the decks in as normal then plug a usb lead between the mixer and computer.

    It's the nuts basically – has a really nice crossfader for scratching as well. I've got the 56 which is sort of the same without the Serato built in.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    I'd love a Rane, but

    a) They're a bit bloody dear, and
    b) (Something that may also be relevant to this thread) whenever I play out these days I just sling one tune on after another, I don't bother with all the mixing and beat matching rubbish, and people seem to enjoy it just the same. 🙂

    If I were you I would try and get a go on all of the different options you have.

    As far as my advice on equipment goes (bearing in mind im into hiphop and D&B but more than anything else- scratching), I personally dont like CDJs at all. I started on some cheap Numark TT200 turntables which were basic but were enough to get me going. Ive still got Numark turntables now but upgraded to TT500 and would highly recommend these, performance wise they trample technics, way more powerful and having a straight tone arm is a bonus for out and out scratching. Im not saying the advice to buy 1210s is bad, far from it, a set of these will last forever and its highly unlikely you will lose money on a 2nd hand set.

    Recently Ive just bought Traktor scratch Duo and Im fairly blown away by it. Now Im a student I dont have the funds to buy vinyl anymore (you need to constantly buy new records just to stay interested) so a DVS setup was the logical way to go for me. Could prove a fairly costly option though if putting together a complete setup from scratch…

    Dont forget if your serious about scratching, a good mixer is just as important (if not more so) as your decks. A good quality crossfader with curve control is essential.

    Hope this helps, any questions youve got on my setup just ask…

    grumm
    Member

    b) (Something that may also be relevant to this thread) whenever I play out these days I just sling one tune on after another, I don't bother with all the mixing and beat matching rubbish, and people seem to enjoy it just the same.

    Certainly in bars/pubs/parties. Sort of depends where/what kind of stuff you play though – a basic standard of beatmatching is pretty much expected at dance music nights. It's mostly only yourself and other nerdy DJ types that give much of a shit though, true.

    Don't think I would get away with just playing tunes without mixing at this, for example. 🙂

    http://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Lancaster/Cuba/Outta-Sight-presents—-The-Plump-DJs/11322813/

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Don't do yourself down Grumm, I'd describe you as cuddly rather than plump. 🙂

    And yeah, I agree, lots of records are designed to be mixed and just playing them one after the other would be pretty lame. Just pointing out that buying in to the beat-matching, seamless mixing thing can be a bit of a dead end once you've got the basic techniques down.

    grumm, who are you on that list of DJs?

    grumm
    Member

    Sourpuss – well it's me and two other people. I'm semi-retired these days though 😉

    Creg
    Member

    bloody hell….information overload 😯

    Right. first things first. My budget is not exactly huge. Originally I was just looking at a cheapo set of decks and mixer on eBay or in Cash Converters purely for pissing around (stuff like the STR8100s or the set of KAMDDX680s plus mixer for £60 in my local Cash Generator)). The cheaper the better really. I have found a cheapo Numark Total Control on eBay with a copy of Traktor for £100…and it works on Mac. I was debating just getting this to at least give things a try and if it doesnt work (as in I dont get on with it) I can just bung it back on eBay.

    I have no experience whatsoever, apart from a couple of attempts on a mates decks down in Newquay years ago. Ive got a mate at Uni who is a DJ and he plays lots of gigs in the area. Done some fantastic mixes too. Music wise Ive got a sizeable collection of MP3s as well as a lot of stuff on CD that I havnt even considered ripping to MP3 yet.

    Ideally I would like to get a lot of the gear second hand (including the software). Grumm if you have a copy of Ms Pinky to offload then I might take it off you if the price is OK, I dont mind pissing around with something if it means saving some money!

    Mainly Im just looking at this as more of a hobby as I dont have any ever since I stopped biking (well it never really started after constantly getting ripped off!) and I hardly surf or go kiting these days due to injury of some kind or other. 😥

    Playing gigs is not my main priority any time soon but I might give it a shot sometime.

    Thanks for all the info so far folks, you've all been really helpful one way or another 😀

    grumm
    Member

    Maybe just go for Traktor and the controller for now then. 🙂

    I would love to offload Ms Pinky but I don't think it's worth it for you really. If you already had decks + mixer etc then maybe…

    Slacks
    Member

    I keep meaning to sell my technic 1210's. They have been packed away in the spare room since my wedding. Didn't think I would get much for them, this thread suggests someone might well get some use out of them.

    I just don't find the time to use them anymore. Must have got old.

    grumm
    Member

    I've got 4 1210s sat at home – they all need servicing and I'm too lazy to sort it out 😆

    mboy
    Member

    I've got 4 1210s sat at home – they all need servicing and I'm too lazy to sort it out

    Let's have a "1210 in"… I'll chuck a couple more into the pile… I'm sure between us here on STW, we've got enough spare unused 1210 to keep the Scratch Perverts happy (all of them) for a few gigs! 😉

    grumm
    Member

    He none of this is really helping the OP is it. 😆

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