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Author Topic: Which software and hardware?  (Read 3690 times)

Chris Lynch

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Which software and hardware?
« on: January 09, 2013, 12:45:37 pm »

Ok guys I am in need of some serious help from people that know.

I am a sound engineer. Somehow I have got into DJ'ing. It was an accident. I was system teching a PA at a big club. The DJ did not turn up for a club night, the boss at the club had a panic so I said I would have a go. The club had a load of CD's, 2 x CDJ 800's (one mk1 and one mk2) and a DJM700 mixer. I have worked lots of club nights in the past so just played the usual stuff. Anyway that was a couple of years ago and somehow I have got a residency and quite a few bookings, I juggle my time between tour engineering and DJ'ing.

The thing is I carried on using CD's and have never really known anything else. I am fully aware it would be much better to get everything on my laptop.

The club I DJ in still have the 2 x 800's and the DJM 700 mixer. They refuse at the moment to upgrade the equipment because even though my night is doing well other nights are not doing so good and money is very tight.

I am thinking of buying some software so I can use my laptop. I don't have a massive budget. I would ideally like something that would work with the CDJ 800's but if that's not possible what would my best bet be for the clubs equipment? should I get them to sell it and get something else baring in mind they will only spend what I make on selling what is there.

As you can probably tell when it comes to DJ equipment I am really in the dark. Lots of other DJ's have said you need to get X Y or Z but to be honest non of them fill me with any confidence. 

Any advice would be very welcome. I generally play chart, dance and house music.

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Kevin Ricketts

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Re: Which software and hardware?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 05:20:01 pm »

Ok guys I am in need of some serious help from people that know.

I am a sound engineer. Somehow I have got into DJ'ing. It was an accident. I was system teching a PA at a big club. The DJ did not turn up for a club night, the boss at the club had a panic so I said I would have a go. The club had a load of CD's, 2 x CDJ 800's (one mk1 and one mk2) and a DJM700 mixer. I have worked lots of club nights in the past so just played the usual stuff. Anyway that was a couple of years ago and somehow I have got a residency and quite a few bookings, I juggle my time between tour engineering and DJ'ing.

The thing is I carried on using CD's and have never really known anything else. I am fully aware it would be much better to get everything on my laptop.

The club I DJ in still have the 2 x 800's and the DJM 700 mixer. They refuse at the moment to upgrade the equipment because even though my night is doing well other nights are not doing so good and money is very tight.

I am thinking of buying some software so I can use my laptop. I don't have a massive budget. I would ideally like something that would work with the CDJ 800's but if that's not possible what would my best bet be for the clubs equipment? should I get them to sell it and get something else baring in mind they will only spend what I make on selling what is there.

As you can probably tell when it comes to DJ equipment I am really in the dark. Lots of other DJ's have said you need to get X Y or Z but to be honest non of them fill me with any confidence. 

Any advice would be very welcome. I generally play chart, dance and house music.

Try using free trials first and check manufacturers websites for compatability with the hardware you currently use. Serato is probably the lost popular product being used. You could also try Virtual DJ. If you find something that works with the hardware you currently own than go with that.
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Tony Mitchell

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Re: Which software and hardware?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 05:44:45 pm »

Not sure which side of the pond you are, but here in the UK, Serato Scratch Live seems to be very popular with laptop DJs.   All the DJ riders we receive specify CDJ1000 MKIII as a minimum (more nowadays specify CDJ2000) however I'm 99% certain the CDJ800MkII can be used with SSL.   Not so sure about the Mk1 though - the serato.com hardware support pages should confirm either way.

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Chris Lynch

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Re: Which software and hardware?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 07:23:50 am »

Not sure which side of the pond you are, but here in the UK, Serato Scratch Live seems to be very popular with laptop DJs.   All the DJ riders we receive specify CDJ1000 MKIII as a minimum (more nowadays specify CDJ2000) however I'm 99% certain the CDJ800MkII can be used with SSL.   Not so sure about the Mk1 though - the serato.com hardware support pages should confirm either way.

Hi Tony I am in the UK. I will have a look at SSL and see if its compatible. I did not think about trying demo versions of software. I assume I will need some sort of sound card or box so I can plug stuff into my laptop?
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Nate Armstrong

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Re: Which software and hardware?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2013, 09:42:00 am »

I would say it depends on what type of djing you do. It sounds like you are doing all night club type events. In my opinion it is always best to go with the industry  standard.
Pretty much all nights clubs are going to have cdj's and a dj mixer , hopefully Pioneer products.

You have a few options here, but honestly I would just stick with the CDJ 800's if you don't mind burning / organizing all of your tracks. The cdj mkII's should do everything you need ( mk1 does not play data cd's, you should use all non compressed audio any how. )  All the software packages can use the cdj 800.  The cdj 1000 and 2000's are nicer and have a higher resolution pitch control which makes it easier to dj on. the 2000's also have usb stick function as well as record box ( computer interface )

To me the main advantage to laptop djing is you can access your music very quickly and if you put in the time you can have it organized very very well.   you will have to patch in your software system every time you are at another club which is normally not a problem unless you are shorter and the table is tall.

I would stay away from virtual dj. In my area it would be hard to get booked using that software.
next option would be tracktor. This is nice software and you get the most features for your money. This will beatmatch the music for you.  which can be frowned upon too.. but the scene is changing quite a bit about the beatmatching subject.

your next option would be some form of serato.  The cheapest being the SL1 box. which does not have a good quality sound output.  I would go with at least the SL3 if not the SL4 if you were to go the sound card box route.  other options would be the Rane 57 mixer or Rane 64 mixer, which have serato built in.. but then you have the trouble of patching them in at club events.

the other option would be the pioneer DDJ sx which is a serato controller. This could be patched in to the club mixer with just RCA's and ran into one of the clubs channel faders. you could make a small shelf that would sit on top of the clubs cdj's  and mixer then you set the controller on the shelf.

I own a pair of cdj 800's , rane SL1 and rane 57 mixer.

imho, you best bet is just to stick with the cdj 800's  and if you feel you must upgrade to a computer system I would definitely go with the pioneer DDJ SX


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Chris Lynch

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Re: Which software and hardware?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 12:11:19 pm »

I would say it depends on what type of djing you do. It sounds like you are doing all night club type events. In my opinion it is always best to go with the industry  standard.
Pretty much all nights clubs are going to have cdj's and a dj mixer , hopefully Pioneer products.

You have a few options here, but honestly I would just stick with the CDJ 800's if you don't mind burning / organizing all of your tracks. The cdj mkII's should do everything you need ( mk1 does not play data cd's, you should use all non compressed audio any how. )  All the software packages can use the cdj 800.  The cdj 1000 and 2000's are nicer and have a higher resolution pitch control which makes it easier to dj on. the 2000's also have usb stick function as well as record box ( computer interface )

To me the main advantage to laptop djing is you can access your music very quickly and if you put in the time you can have it organized very very well.   you will have to patch in your software system every time you are at another club which is normally not a problem unless you are shorter and the table is tall.

I would stay away from virtual dj. In my area it would be hard to get booked using that software.
next option would be tracktor. This is nice software and you get the most features for your money. This will beatmatch the music for you.  which can be frowned upon too.. but the scene is changing quite a bit about the beatmatching subject.

your next option would be some form of serato.  The cheapest being the SL1 box. which does not have a good quality sound output.  I would go with at least the SL3 if not the SL4 if you were to go the sound card box route.  other options would be the Rane 57 mixer or Rane 64 mixer, which have serato built in.. but then you have the trouble of patching them in at club events.

the other option would be the pioneer DDJ sx which is a serato controller. This could be patched in to the club mixer with just RCA's and ran into one of the clubs channel faders. you could make a small shelf that would sit on top of the clubs cdj's  and mixer then you set the controller on the shelf.

I own a pair of cdj 800's , rane SL1 and rane 57 mixer.

imho, you best bet is just to stick with the cdj 800's  and if you feel you must upgrade to a computer system I would definitely go with the pioneer DDJ SX

Hi thanks for the response, it is 90% big clubs where I DJ. I do the odd private function like weddings and corporate events but its mostly night clubs. I have so many CD's and play some of them so much they are getting scratched and damaged that it seems logical to move to a laptop set-up. I have a decent laptop so its a logical step.
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Craig Hauber

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Re: Which software and hardware?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 02:13:34 pm »

Hi thanks for the response, it is 90% big clubs where I DJ. I do the odd private function like weddings and corporate events but its mostly night clubs. I have so many CD's and play some of them so much they are getting scratched and damaged that it seems logical to move to a laptop set-up. I have a decent laptop so its a logical step.

Scratch Live by Rane (more commonly called "Serato")  Just buy the interface, (SL-3 or 4) get a couple of the sync CD's (burn your own even) and use your existing laptop.
-It is the standard in clubs enough that you probably won't even have to pull your box out of your backpack when your step up to the table.
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Craig Hauber
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Bill Hornibrook

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Re: Which software and hardware?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2013, 03:01:49 pm »

I kind of fell into being a DJ in much the same way as you did. I had been in bands, had run sound a bit, and kind of fell into it when a club whose manager I'd known for years was having problems with their DJ. Five years ago if someone had told me that my future was going to be making good money as a DJ I would have thought that they were crazy.

Anyway, I like Traktor. As a musician, it makes the most sense to me. The tracks are laid out in linear fashion with grid lines that resemble 4/4 measure bars in sheet music. I can drop cues on hooks, verses, intros, builds, etc and mix accordingly on the fly.

I started out with Duo but moved on to S4 as soon as it was released. The controller and software are totally integrated so there's no muss or fuss.

I know there's a thing (especially in the UK) about keeping it real, but here in my part of the US it's quite common for DJ's to drop in a club with a laptop, controller and little (if anything) else. What's acceptable in your area is very important.

My strongest suggestion (if you're not already in one) is to join a DJ pool if you're doing contemporary stuff. All you need is a club for a reference. You need to be a working DJ. Membership fees are rather cheap all things considered.

Quote
The club I DJ in still have the 2 x 800's and the DJM 700 mixer. They refuse at the moment to upgrade the equipment because even though my night is doing well other nights are not doing so good and money is very tight.

Just a short story about my own residency.  DJ nights used to be just fill for when they didn't have bands, but my nights have taken off so much that they haven't had a band in there in over half a year. I'm working five nights a week at this, but I actually still consider myself a keyboard player more than a DJ.

This has been kind of a two edged sword.
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Tracy Garner

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Re: Which software and hardware?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2013, 11:32:45 pm »

Ok guys I am in need of some serious help from people that know.

I am a sound engineer. Somehow I have got into DJ'ing. It was an accident. I was system teching a PA at a big club. The DJ did not turn up for a club night, the boss at the club had a panic so I said I would have a go. The club had a load of CD's, 2 x CDJ 800's (one mk1 and one mk2) and a DJM700 mixer. I have worked lots of club nights in the past so just played the usual stuff. Anyway that was a couple of years ago and somehow I have got a residency and quite a few bookings, I juggle my time between tour engineering and DJ'ing.

The thing is I carried on using CD's and have never really known anything else. I am fully aware it would be much better to get everything on my laptop.

The club I DJ in still have the 2 x 800's and the DJM 700 mixer. They refuse at the moment to upgrade the equipment because even though my night is doing well other nights are not doing so good and money is very tight.

I am thinking of buying some software so I can use my laptop. I don't have a massive budget. I would ideally like something that would work with the CDJ 800's but if that's not possible what would my best bet be for the clubs equipment? should I get them to sell it and get something else baring in mind they will only spend what I make on selling what is there.

As you can probably tell when it comes to DJ equipment I am really in the dark. Lots of other DJ's have said you need to get X Y or Z but to be honest non of them fill me with any confidence. 

Any advice would be very welcome. I generally play chart, dance and house music.


Definitely Serato OR Traktor - Lots of the reggae guys I know use the internal controls and don't even use a CD player or turntables to control it.

Strip Club DJs tend to use PCDJ

If you are not into mixing, lately I have seen people using an iPad with DJay software.

Traktor seems to be more popular with the EDM DJs.

Serato is king. You can use your CDJ or turntables to control the software.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Which software and hardware?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2013, 11:32:45 pm »


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