Standard dj mixer , or dj mixer with MIDI control...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by marbles, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. marbles macrumors 68000

    marbles

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    EU mostly
    #1
    ...what do you use ?.


    I'm looking to buy soon but struggling to decide whether or not to have MIDI built into the mixer like the Ecler evo5 or Korg zero type mixers , or should I go for a separate keyboard MIDI controller .

    I'll be using Ableton + either Serato or Traktor


    Hearing what you guys use & why would help I reckon ...



    thanks in advance


    cheers

    rj
     
  2. attack7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #2
    It depends

    If you're using Traktor, there's a built-in mixer, and you can use a MIDI controller like the Vestax VCI-100 to control everything. Serator has no mixer built-in and requires an external one.

    Allen & Heath is putting out a great new piece of equipment, an all in one outboard mixing board and MIDI controller (the XONE:4D).

    I've tried both... I use Serato Scratch Live + 2 Pioneer CDJ-1000s + a Pioneer DJM-800 (which has MIDI out, but you don't really need it)

    I've also got Traktor Scratch Pro with a good audio card, and a Vestax VCI-100 MIDI controller.

    SSL still gives a MUCH better result for very high quality DJing - You can get by with TSP - it has nice built in effects, but the MIDI response just isn't quite there yet to give you the precision to mix perfectly.

    -Matt
     
  3. marbles thread starter macrumors 68000

    marbles

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    EU mostly
    #3
    cheers Matt,
    Personally I couldn't use a built in software mixer alone & have seen the Xone mixers but I cant use those with vinyl also , can I ?, not sure , I'm an old school vinyl dj going digital , finally .

    Are those just for controlling sliders/knobs and such , in say Ableton as well ?, I guess so and they can be wired to use with TSP or SSL at the same time as Ableton ??
    I'd like a mixer that will function without a computer too so I can play vinyl at home etc .not just purely for software though .

    I guess the MIDI in/out would be good for me using Ableton as well as DVS ?

    What audio card do you use btw ? .

    I heard that SSL & TSP where pretty close regards quality of use/ sound but I suppose SSL has been around a while longer (technically) than TSP so SSL should be more stable , but your mentioning the MIDI in TSP is off compared to SSL surprises me
     
  4. attack7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #4
    Using vinyl to control digital is easy enough, and TSP and SSL both do it (though I think SSL does it a little better). I use CDs to do the same thing (I like the feel of a CDJ-1000 much more than a small midi controller).

    I didn't mean to imply that TSP's midi implementation is *worse* than SSLs -- SSLs is new and relatively weak.. TSP's is *good*, but I was just pointing out the difference of controlling tracks with a timecode system or with midi -- I think the resolution and granularity of control is better with timecode CDs or vinyl.

    It sounds to me like you'd be best suited by going with a traditional SSL setup - 2 turntables, a good audio mixer, and the SSL system. The SL-1 (the outboard box that comes with SSL) is great... can't be used as a sound card for anything else, but really it's just the thing that justifies the cost of the software, interpreting the timecode input and managing audio output.

    If you get a mixing board with MIDI, that gives you some options for the future, but I suspect you'd end up using MIDI to control effects rather than mixing-board type stuff, and in that case something like a small MIDI controller (one of the Korgs, maybe) might be a better bet.

    The MIDI output on my DJM-800 works well, and I have my trim knob mapped to SSL's trim knob, but that's all.
     
  5. marbles thread starter macrumors 68000

    marbles

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    EU mostly
    #5
    Yeah I'd heard using DVS was almost the same as playing vinyl(or cdj) which to me is essential , and heard the same about SSL being better than TSP ( even tho TSP appears to offer more)

    No way would I use MIDI to control the decks , it just has to be done with vinyl control records for me ( been playing vinyl a v long time)

    The thing for me about this mixer is that I'm intending to buy is that I'd like to use it for controlling Ableton via MIDI as well as using DVS , so for me to map the MIDI functions on the mixer to Abletons software controls would be a necessity , the more the merrier !.
    I don't really use effects at all ... just interested in using the ability's of the Ableton software for other things really .

    any more thoughts Matt ? , great to chat with peeps with similar interest .


    cheers


    rj
     
  6. attack7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #6
    I haven't used Live since version 5 or 6, but with DJ-ing I assume you'd use it to punch-in loops or shorter segments (if most of your set is coming from vinyl, or vinyl-to-digital)...

    The inherent problem with MIDI-capable mixing boards is that you're overriding a control that actually does something on the mixing board -- i.e. on my DJM-800, I can map the hi/mid/low EQ knobs to control something in a program, but if I'm using that channel, they don't stop being hi-mid-low EQ knobs also.

    I'd go with a small dedicated MIDI controller -- like a FaderFox, TriggerFinger, padKONTROL, a KAOSS pad, or something like that... they're inexpensive and will let you map them however you like, without having to overload the function of the controls on your mixing board.

    See if you can try both SSL and Traktor in a shop - I think the preference is largely personal taste. I've never used Traktor in a live setting, but over several hundred 4-6 hour sets, SSL has never hiccuped.
     

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