MacBook Pro for mobile DJing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sionharris, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. sionharris macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2006
    Hi, I know this may be a bit too specialist for a computer forum, but I'll ask anyway: does anyone know whether a MacBook Pro would be suitable for mobile DJing? Essentially what I need is:

    1. The ability to transmit good quality audio to an RCA input on my mixer.
    2. Good battery life and instant access to a high storage drive.
    3. Good software for queuing tracks and being able to listen to the queued tracks whilst a different one is being outputted to my mixer, preferably with the ability to browse album covers too.

    I guess the MBP would be great for 2 and probably 1 as well, but may fail at point 3. I always buy Apple but on this occasion I am thinking a Windows PC may be best for me. Can anyone advise?
  2. some idiot macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2011
    I've been watching some dubstep videos lately and they seem to all be using 13" MBPs
  3. Risasi, Dec 7, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011

    Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
    My coworker moonlights on the side. Previously he had been using his Ideapad Y560, but switched to a 13" MBA. He had some specific software choices though, I suppose I could ask him today what he uses. I'll amend this post with that info.

    He finally got back to me. He uses Ableton Live and Traktor in unison with USB sound card that is pre-AMP'ed. I think he also has a turn-table too, that connects via USB and let's him mix/mess with the track(s) playing.
  4. sionharris thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2006
    Good point - I've noticed quite a few DJs using Macs, so I guess the hardware is fine. However they are mixing and beatmatching, which may require expensive software. For me, I just need to queue and overlay tracks. I guess this is a software query now. Thanks.


    That would be really handy, thanks. I'd be interested to know what cables he uses as well.
  5. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Both are popular. You'll see many many DJs use Macs. In fact I'm trying to remember the last time I saw one use a Windows laptop. I doubt your laptop brand is going to make or break it. You just need to figure out a complete setup.
  6. teleromeo macrumors 65816


    Dec 2, 2006
    kidnapped by aliens
    I was talking to a DJ some weeks ago and he was plannig to swap his 13" MBP for a 15" MBP with antiglare. He said he needed more room on his screen and the flashing discolights were annoyng while he was working.
  7. djpuma macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2010
    I use a 15" macbook pro to dj with.
    Most dj's do, some use pc's

    I use Serato Scratch Live, but you need to have some sort of medium to control the tracks (not software based djing)

    I used turntables with the setup.

    The antiglare is preferred especially if you are doing mobiles that are outside events. Nothing worse than having a glossy screen with a bright sun glaring in your eyes from the screen.
  8. mdma macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2011
    a windows pc for djing?? if anything you would think you would say "im normally a pc guy, but apple seems to be best for djing". you cant beat the MBP for djing...its solid as hell and thin. the os is stable as hell which you need for djing, and the best software options for djing work for both mac and windows. such as traktor, ableton, serato, or torq.
  9. sionharris thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2006
    Thanks all for your suggestions - I will look into this in more detail. Any recommendations for cheap and cheerful software would be gratefully received.
  10. motoracer1486 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 26, 2006
    I don't know the first thing about DJing, but I did look at some websites after reading your post. Check out this website:

    Looks like awesome software.
  11. happle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2010
    for djing you'll want traktor

    start out with traktor le then upgrade to pro. its one of the most used djing software out there by professionals.
  12. cnxyz macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2011
    They are suitable for DJ'ing. Some DJs even use dual MBPs, one to run Ableton Live for live and on-the-fly editing and arranging of tracks and the other to run something such as Serato/Final Scratch/etc...

    For good audio output, you will need to purchase an external audio interface that can output to your mixer by RCA.

    Some popular software for DJ'ing include Native Instruments Traktor and Atomix VirtualDJ.

    Are you just getting into DJ'ing or are you a seasoned veteran? If you are a beginner, I would recommend something like the relatively inexpensive Numark Mixtrack Pro (retails at 250USD).
  13. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    That might be the popular majority but I've seen so many of them use macs for a long time (and not just hacks). Clearly it's not impossible.
  14. sionharris thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2006
    I've been DJing with CDs for about 8 years, vinyl for about 3 years. My proper mixing and DJing will all be on vinyl but I just need something basic for putting on chart/cheese discos. It would be nice to be able to beatmatch but not essential and I can always buy the single versions of tracks rather than the long mixable ones to avoid mixing altogether.

    The Mixtrack Pro option looks pretty decent - do you happen to know whether the mixer controls are as good as with a normal mixer, i.e. pretty robust, nice amount of resistance, easy sliding crossfader etc.?
  15. djpuma macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2010
    I don't want to turn this into a djing thread, but in all honesty, if you are trying to do it in clubs/bars etc.
    I'd recommend you use Serato Scratch live. You can connect to it with turntables or cdj's.
    I don't recommend any software that beatmatches for you. Every spot I spin at uses Serato, or you bring your own mixer, but they have turntables there.
    If you want to spin at your house or some friends party, use whatever you want, but anything outside of the house go with SSL.
  16. u2brothr macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2011
    Wow...glad to see this thread.

    I bought my macbook pro specifically for DJing. This is my first post on this site. Long time lurker.

    I have been DJing for 10 years. I learned on Pioneer DJs and eventually learned to use Technics 1200s.

    I enjoyed beatmatching by ear and rocking the crowd with techno and house.

    However, recently, in order to keep up with the rest of my crew, I sold my CDJs so that I can become competitive in the DJ world.

    Thus, the Macbook Pro is a stable standard among the worlds best DJs. Look at videos of Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox, or Dubfire, and they are using Traktor Pro and have relinquished their beatmatching expertise to allow the software to do so. This was a huge paradigm shift for me. Almost going against the grain of my inner soul.

    The specs for Traktor are:

    Windows XP (latest Service Pack, 32 Bit), Windows Vista/Windows 7 (latest Service Pack, 32/64 Bit),
    Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz or Intel Core Duo or AMD Athlon 64, 2 GB RAM

    Mac OS X 10.6 (latest update) or 10.7, Intel Core Duo, 2 GB RAM

    Traktor also makes a time coded version of their software too. Serrato Scratch Live is also a decent option if time code is important to you. You of course can choose your style of modulation (CDJs or turntables).

    So I use my Macbook Pro 2.0GHZ, 8 GB Ram, with my Allen & Heath Xone 92 mixer, and a Traktor X1 Controller with a Traktor Audio 2 sound card. I needed a portable situation so that I can show up to a club or gig and just plug in to a mixer. You could get a larger controller of your choice. The X1 is easy to cary around.

    I fully endorse Traktor. I'd take a moment to check out their website and the folks who use the software.

    I should also add that I did look into a PC option for my hardware and decided to go to the mac because they just work without issues. This is integral when you're rocking the crowd. The last thing you want to have are latency and sound issues.
  17. Satnam1989 macrumors 65816

    Nov 16, 2011
    I was wondering if I ever wanted to DJ with just a program like Virtual DJ or DJay whats better:

    1) SoundBlaster USB Sound Card with 1x Headphones Jac and 1x Mic Jack ($19) with 1GB flash storage onboard....
    2) Belkin Y-Splittery (It says it provides stereo sound to both headphone jacks) ($6)

    let me know thanks

    I won't be Djay'n anything insane just some small house parties and having fun.

    Which option is better and why...please let me know thanks
  18. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    i know nothing abotu DJing but ive not been to a function or wedding in the past 3 years that the DJ was not using a Mac, so either they all bought into the Mac is better than PC adverstising or Macs do a good job for DJing
  19. u2brothr macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2011
    When you are performing in front of people, you want something reliable. Not a machine that is gonna glitch, stick, freeze, and mess up your set.

    Simple and plain.

Share This Page