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Thread: I know I know..it's been asked before..but the answers change in time!

  1. #1
    AH.FM Addict Tarek's Avatar
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    I know I know..it's been asked before..but the answers change in time!

    I'm also a wannabe bedroom DJ.. I love playing around with this kind of equipment..because I get so much inspiration everywhere and ideas that I can't seem to put down and into practice because of the lack of equipment..

    So, since technology/prices change constantly, I think it's fair we ask the question at certain time intervals.

    I've been looking around..(CDJs and a ..2 channel mixer I suppose) and so far what I've come up with is a pair of Pioneer CDJ-400s and a DJM-400 mixer in the middle..

    The real selling point to me is that it's almost identical to the CDJ-800 except it's smaller and has usb input and playback.

    As for the mixer, I haven't done too much research but it seems to be bundled sometimes with it..


    Any tips or am I good?

  2. #2
    IMO cdj-400 is definitely the way to go currently. main advantages over cdj-800 are: usb input and 0.02% pitch precision. advantages of the cdj-800 over the cdj-400: it's larger and is closer to the cdj-1000 handling-wise. of course depending on your usage, the cdj-400 being smaller may also be an advantage to you.

    as for mixer, djm-400 is certainly a great choice quality-wise. but there's two things to consider: 1) other brands also have quality mixers, often for less money than pioneer (however if money is not an issue, go with pioneer), and 2) are you sure you will never need more channels than two? if no, you may want to consider 3- or 4-channel mixers, either from pioneer or from other brands.
    http://dfx.at/sets/ :: http://myspace.com/dfx_dj

  3. #3
    AH.FM Addict Tarek's Avatar
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    Yeah I really have to check out other mixers..I didn't look around much..Saving some money never hurt..I still have to add a laptop to finalize my rig, so extra money to buy a better one is good..

    Are we talking Numark/Stanton/Technics when you're telling me quality mixers and lower price?

    Also, what would I need to consider that would make me need more than two channels?

    Thanks for the help dfx so far

  4. #4
    Manny & Fila AHddict Become a supporter now Flenk's Avatar
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    Another thing about the DJM400: It doesn't have a Record out, so you can't record your sets (or you have to split difficult your Master output

    And yeah, of course DJM400 doesn't have the blue effects, especially the filter... But yeah, DJM800 is a bit more expensive

  5. #5
    AH.FM Addict Tarek's Avatar
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    Record out, didn't think of that..thanks Flenk ..guess DJM400 is not a candidate anymore..


    EDIT: I looked around at DJdeals.com just for some ideas of what's available..and the Numark X9 kinda stood out. Maybe I missed something, but it's cheaper than the DJM-400 and has one extra channel, a record out, and (I wouldn't necessarily call it a plus) it seems to be relatively new to Numark's line..
    Last edited by Tarek; Mar 1st, 2009 at 17:04.

  6. #6
    yep, djm-400 also lacks the xlr outputs, which also disqualifies it from any professional usage. it has two rca master outputs though, which should be enough for home usage. many people only use a single one anyway, run it directly into the pc and use the pc's speakers as monitors. (the record out is just another additional output, you can record from any other output as well.)

    as for other mixers, i'm thinking vestax and ecler for example. they're not cheapo brands, the mixers are still worth their money, but they're an alternative.

    an additional channel on the mixer can come in handy in various circumstances. you definitely only need two for mixing, but there's also a chance that one may go bad at some point, in which case it's good to have backup. it only rarely happens with pioneer, but they also aren't perfect and things can always go wrong.

    additionally, it depends on your setup if you need more channels. for example, if you only have one set of speakers (or can use only one, or want to use only one), but don't want to run the mixer's output into the pc and have the speakers hooked up to the pc, you can do it the other way around: hook up the speakers to the mixer and run the pc's audio into another channel on the mixer. of course this is just an example, but having more channels simply gives you flexibility. it's up to you if you think it's worth the money
    http://dfx.at/sets/ :: http://myspace.com/dfx_dj

  7. #7
    AH.FM Addict Tarek's Avatar
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    There's another thing that popped up...Searching for mixers I noticed there were something called "scratch mixers".. Let's say on my CDJ-400s I decided to turn on the Vinyl Mode, would I necessarily need a scratch mixer for it to work, or are scratch mixers for turntable usage?

  8. #8
    no that isn't related at all... a scratch mixer is what hiphop djs use to do their thing, as all they do is scratching and cutting the channels with the crossfader. so basically every mixer with a crossfader is a scratch mixer. as opposed to trance djs, who usually don't use the crossfader at all, with or without vinyl or whatever.

    (at least that's my rough understanding, anyone into hiphop may want to clear this up more )
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  9. #9
    AH.FM Addict Tarek's Avatar
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    Oh I see..Mind if I ask another question?

    Lets just say I buy and receive the CDJs and the X9..and I hook it up to a laptop running Cue or Serato or VDJ..whatever..will I still be able to use the on-board effects of my CDJs?

    Something also shocked me..trance DJs dont use the crossfader?? How do you manage transitions ?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Tarek View Post
    Oh I see..Mind if I ask another question?
    you just did

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarek View Post
    Lets just say I buy and receive the CDJs and the X9..and I hook it up to a laptop running Cue or Serato or VDJ..whatever..will I still be able to use the on-board effects of my CDJs?
    you mean for playing mp3s in the pc with timecode cds? no you can't use the cdj's effects in that case, as it would only distort the timecode signal. you can only use effects after the timecode signal has been converted to the actual audio, that is either in the software itself, or on the mixer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarek View Post
    Something also shocked me..trance DJs dont use the crossfader?? How do you manage transitions ?
    line faders and eq of course most of the time, you fade in and out parts of the track using the eq knobs only, with both line faders being all the way up. the crossfader is way too imprecise for well sounding transitions...
    http://dfx.at/sets/ :: http://myspace.com/dfx_dj

  11. #11
    AH.FM Addict Tarek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfx View Post
    you just did
    Got me there..hahaha


    you mean for playing mp3s in the pc with timecode cds? no you can't use the cdj's effects in that case, as it would only distort the timecode signal. you can only use effects after the timecode signal has been converted to the actual audio, that is either in the software itself, or on the mixer.
    So there's absolutely no way of manipulating software with the hardware without the timecode discs?

    What I'm really trying to ask is that instead of using the CDJs interface to search for my songs to play, can't I hook both CDJs to a laptop and use it to choose the songs?

    EDIT: I just found that the newer Virtual DJ seems to have native (HID) support for the CDJ 400s..
    EDIT2: Apparently the Numark iCDX doesnt need the timecode disc for serato..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_VX3cbBav8
    EDIT3: Ah..seems like the CDJ-400s are also newly supported in serato scratch

    The reason why I'm checking on serato is that I might give it a go..along with other software. HID would really be cool.
    line faders and eq of course most of the time, you fade in and out parts of the track using the eq knobs only, with both line faders being all the way up. the crossfader is way too imprecise for well sounding transitions...
    Wow, well this seemingly insignificant piece of info changes everything for me..
    Last edited by Tarek; Mar 1st, 2009 at 20:04.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tarek View Post
    What I'm really trying to ask is that instead of using the CDJs interface to search for my songs to play, can't I hook both CDJs to a laptop and use it to choose the songs?

    EDIT: I just found that the newer Virtual DJ seems to have native (HID) support for the CDJ 400s..
    EDIT2: Apparently the Numark iCDX doesnt need the timecode disc for serato..YouTube - agiprodj.com looks at the Numark iCDX and Scratch Live
    yes, there's two ways of doing that. one is the "traditional" way with timecode tracks, the same as you would do with vinyl. you need two audio inputs for that though, which usually means a high-end soundcard or actually two soundcards. the "modern" way is via midi. the cdj-400s can indeed be used as midi controller to control any software, and i'm sure some of the other newer cdj models around can be as well. question is what kind of interface you need to the pc - cdj-400s apparently work via usb, but there's plenty of other midi interfaces too, so make sure you look into that before you buy something.

    that being said, i don't really see the point of using a high-end player only as midi controller (same as using an expensive mixer only as midi-controller). you're losing the advantages that you gain by playing with hardware, and could just as well use a cheap midi-only controller for the pc too.
    http://dfx.at/sets/ :: http://myspace.com/dfx_dj

  13. #13
    AH.FM Addict Tarek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfx View Post
    yes, there's two ways of doing that. one is the "traditional" way with timecode tracks, the same as you would do with vinyl. you need two audio inputs for that though, which usually means a high-end soundcard or actually two soundcards. the "modern" way is via midi. the cdj-400s can indeed be used as midi controller to control any software, and i'm sure some of the other newer cdj models around can be as well. question is what kind of interface you need to the pc - cdj-400s apparently work via usb, but there's plenty of other midi interfaces too, so make sure you look into that before you buy something.

    that being said, i don't really see the point of using a high-end player only as midi controller (same as using an expensive mixer only as midi-controller). you're losing the advantages that you gain by playing with hardware, and could just as well use a cheap midi-only controller for the pc too.
    To be honest I just want to keep all the doors open to me and try different ways.

    Anyways, I guess I'm done asking my questions..I've been looking stuff up like this for years. Youtube demos, tutorials, product reviews, Dj techniques. I felt it was about time I got myself the real thing, so in a few months I'll be getting the gear.

    Thanks a bunch dfx, the answers have been a great help.

  14. #14
    AH.FM Addict apocalypse_now's Avatar
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    ive been told urei mixers are good quality UREI by Soundcraft
    the 1601 series would be what ur looking for
    Hi, my name is Mitch and I'm addicted to music

  15. #15
    SHOOP DA WOOP a'ndY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apocalypse_now View Post
    ive been told urei mixers are good quality UREI by Soundcraft
    the 1601 series would be what ur looking for
    Got the Urei 1603, works like a charm - if you don't need effects (I'm of the opinion that effects can NOT make a tune better Especially not this effin flanger ).

    Sound quality is said to be almost on A&H Xone 92 level, which is #1 reference.

    But, like dfx said, you can't go wrong with the DJM 400
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