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Thread: Finally Changing Over - Software? Controllers? Laptop Needed?

  1. #1
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    Finally Changing Over - Software? Controllers? Laptop Needed?

    I have been using a hard drive media controller for the last 7 or 8 years. It still works well.
    Since then, things in the DJ industry have changed a bunch.

    I have stayed with it - as my first ten years or so I did buy many "trends" that never caught on... so I had been staying away from the latest / greatest and actually earning money. Our business is generally with weddings.

    But I am re-vamping my whole business... and with that change - was going to convert to a computer style program.
    I had bought a full VirtualDJ License in 2012 at MBLV. Never used it, but I own it.

    But now - it seems none of the controllers are natively supporting VDJ. Serato seems to have edged the market.
    And now Pioneer has its own software.

    And now there is a trend back to Media Players with no computers.

    To say "money is no object" is not the point - but money is not my first concern - just want to get the next investment right.

    Beatmixing, energy, and getting in and out of songs is my main focus. Nothing real fancy...
    Would like to use a controller - the large turntables are not what I would use.

    Most important to me are - SONG SEARCHING has to be easy and quick with over 65,000 songs.... and beat mixing... the media controller has been very easy in finding songs quickly.

    Do I resume using / learning VDJ? Or is VirtualDJ being pushed out of the industry?
    Should I instead go with Serato as the industry is leaning that way? Rekordbox? Should I still include a Laptop computer?

    I don't want to invest in something and have no support three years from now... and I really don't want a $100 controller...

    Would appreciate your suggestions as I wake up from this 7 year gear hiatus.

  2. #2
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    While it's understood about upcoming trends, to date as far as media storage, manipulation, duplication, backup, editing, tagging, resource data storage within those tags, and this list is as long as your arm, your VDJ software has been, and will remain, king of the hill for what you say you wish to do with it.

    While controllers are fun and look cool, most of the essentials can easily be accomplished with a hundred different available skins (V8 by FruiT is exceptional), keyboard shortcuts (there's an exclusive VDJ Keyboard shortcut Facebook page that is a HUGE resource), and a mouse (trackball ideal to keep space footprint contained) .

    Best wishes with your transition. Learn and stick with VDJ unless it does not offer you exactly what you want.
    Cap Capello, Musical Host
    Celebrating a 39th Year of an ongoing Mobile DJ Career
    Bose L1 & F1 & S1 Systems
    (518) 399-7451 EDT
    http://www.imadj.com

  3. #3
    Go to Serato web site , Check it out . I started out with Itch , discontinued but, still supported. Like Serato DJ. Denon controller came with a 50% off software coupon. 14 day trial for serato dj
    DJ Intro is free. You won't need as a super computer to run Serato. Just got my Numark DJ2go for back up & ceremony system. Works great!

    Serato DJ
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    Larry

  4. #4
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    VDJ has pretty good mapping to almost any controller, so if you like the software, it shouldn't be tough to pick your favorite controller to match.

    Same with the other software applications .. the better controllers are generally supported.

    First, decide on the type of DJ you are .. if you play with the controls constantly, start by selecting a controller you're comfortable with Platters, FX, pads .. all different on the various controllers. SOme are freaking huge, others modular, some performance oriented, some scratch oriented.

    Most of the apps are similar from a music management standpoint (there are some differences) .. but there are major differences in beat display, waveforms, etc.

    I'm not a performer .. I play music and do basic mixing, so for me, almost ANY software app works, but I wanted a small, rack mountable controller, so I went with the Denon MC6000mk2. It works with Serato, but also with PCDJ and Traktor (I have all 3). Works with VDJ as well, but I only have a LE license, so mine won't work with the Denon.
    Steve Montambault, Copper Sound
    Audio - Rane MP25, A&H ZED12FX, Denon MC6000mk2, Denon DN-HC4500, JBL PRX612m, RCF EVOX 8

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    We use VDJ with the Denon 4500 controllers... rock solid and easy to use.
    last night a CDJ saved my life
    http://www.facebook.com/inthemixcanada

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
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    PC and a controller/mixer is the way to go. It's the best method for song search and beat mixing.

    Although many of the controllers come with serato stamped on the hardware, they will all work with VDJ. It's just a packaging thing. WE currently use the Denon MKII controller/mixer. We've been using it since 2013 I think. It's a great solution for a denonx500 and a HC4500 mixer and controller. You will need to buy rack ears for it though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    NS, Canada
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    I use VDJ and love it. Go to office depot or walmart or whatever and buy a couple of laptops. Don't need anything special. Im still using my laptop from about 10 years ago, does video and all just fine.

    VDJ creates a database of your music. Searching is instant as you type.

    You can use almost any controller with VDJ if you map it yourself. The VDJ site has a place to share controller maps too I believe.


    Quote Originally Posted by DJScotty View Post
    I have been using a hard drive media controller for the last 7 or 8 years. It still works well.
    Since then, things in the DJ industry have changed a bunch.

    I have stayed with it - as my first ten years or so I did buy many "trends" that never caught on... so I had been staying away from the latest / greatest and actually earning money. Our business is generally with weddings.

    But I am re-vamping my whole business... and with that change - was going to convert to a computer style program.
    I had bought a full VirtualDJ License in 2012 at MBLV. Never used it, but I own it.

    But now - it seems none of the controllers are natively supporting VDJ. Serato seems to have edged the market.
    And now Pioneer has its own software.

    And now there is a trend back to Media Players with no computers.

    To say "money is no object" is not the point - but money is not my first concern - just want to get the next investment right.

    Beatmixing, energy, and getting in and out of songs is my main focus. Nothing real fancy...
    Would like to use a controller - the large turntables are not what I would use.

    Most important to me are - SONG SEARCHING has to be easy and quick with over 65,000 songs.... and beat mixing... the media controller has been very easy in finding songs quickly.

    Do I resume using / learning VDJ? Or is VirtualDJ being pushed out of the industry?
    Should I instead go with Serato as the industry is leaning that way? Rekordbox? Should I still include a Laptop computer?

    I don't want to invest in something and have no support three years from now... and I really don't want a $100 controller...

    Would appreciate your suggestions as I wake up from this 7 year gear hiatus.
    DJ, Karaoke, Sound Reinforcement

    cory@corynick.com

  8. #8
    What's missing from your description is whether or not you collaborate or travel?

    If you have to use equipment installed in clubs or provided by others than your choices have to be compatible with the various systems and venues you will encounter. Interfacing alone is not the whole issue - there has to be enough real estate in the booth to accommodate what you use.

    I travel with my music library in both .mp3 and a proprietary format and use different applications depending on the circumstances.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DJScotty View Post
    Most important to me are - SONG SEARCHING has to be easy and quick with over 65,000 songs.... and beat mixing... the media controller has been very easy in finding songs quickly.
    IMHO, the perfect DJ software has yet to be written. I have a love/hate relationship with two...Serato DJ and Mixvibes Cross DJ.

    Serato DJ advantage (and a big one if you're a wedding DJ) - if your library consists solely of flac and mp3 files, everything is written into tags. No XML file to screw with. I can export a small part of my library as a "crate" to a USB memory card, import it to my back up laptop, and everything (the file itself, the file analysis, cue points, I mean everything) moves 100%. This is huge for wedding DJ's that must have backup. Yes, I know you can obviously back up anything, but full backups take a long time, and partial backups of libraries with software that uses XML files are a PIA.

    Searto DJ disadvantage, and again, IMHO, a big one for wedding DJ's with 65,000 song libraries - Serato DJ does not have a dedicated song prelisten/preview function - you have to load the song into a deck or a sampler to listen to it. Primitive.

    Because of this, I also use Mixvibes Cross DJ. It has a great prelisten/preview function, and IMHO is really a great, rock solid, underrated piece of software (at least on Windows 7). Unfortunately, it looks like it is becoming abandon-ware...Mixvibes currently seems to be only interested in phone/tablet apps. Nonetheless, at this point in time, overall, it is my favorite.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Thank you to all for your replies. I've read and re-read each response.

    I broke out VirtualDJ 8 on Sunday and set it up - hooked it up from a Vaio laptop, using a Numark Mixtrack 3 controller, and into a Rane MP4, and out to my extra speakers - a KV2 ex12 and a QSC K8.1... everything worked as it should - but it's a whole different routine and feel to get used to - (I can remember being able to pick up a CD and knowing what good songs were on it without having to look.... )

    Not sure what to do about a rack case? Currently in my case is the media player, a dual cd player, Rane MP44 mixer - I know all those things that would be replaced with the computer / controller... but then...

    What do you all do for other components we use such as a "light"? (mounting on top on my rack case)
    Any gooseneck for the DJ microphone? I have gotten so used to manipulating the players / mixer while talking... (mounted on case)
    Do you use (Furman) power conditioners? (currently in lower rack)
    Where do you set-up the wireless mic receiver?
    Do use a separate keyboard beside the one on your laptop? (currently on a slide shelf in lower rack with my portable hard drive)
    Does laptop screen size matter - should I try to get a 17" laptop?

    I am leaning to the Denon MC6000MKII controller - for the four decks and two microphone inputs...
    It comes with basic Serato... so I can try using it... just have nothing to compare VDJ to right now. I lost control of VDJ once the other day and had to restart the controller... but overall it seems pretty good.

    Meanwhile I am ordering a pair of the Evolve 50's as I evolve my system...

  11. #11
    It comes with basic Serato... so I can try using it... just have nothing to compare VDJ to right now.
    Give Serato DJ a try. It's a free 14 day trial. Better than intro, more user friendly.
    Larry

  12. #12
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    I have started splitting up my system to 2 top ends and 1 bottom. The tops should be usable by themselves for small events .. on has a Denon MC6000v2 and the other has a Rane MP25 and Denon HC4500. I have a Audio Technica dual receiver in the Denon case, but none in the Rane case (I use an external receiver if needed). In the bottom case I'm currently building, I plan to have a Furman, a Denon 300z media player (single CD, USB, SD, Bluetooth), a Rane MLM42S Mic mixer (karaoke), 2 AT3000 receivers and a Sennheiser 300 series IEM transmitter, a drawer and a few DSP/FX units (DR260, SPL Vitalizer). I also have a Behringer XR12 digital mixer which might go in the back and I'd pull the Rane mic mixer.

    This way I can use either top unit (the Rane one is smaller) or both if needed .. and bring the bottom for larger needs.
    Steve Montambault, Copper Sound
    Audio - Rane MP25, A&H ZED12FX, Denon MC6000mk2, Denon DN-HC4500, JBL PRX612m, RCF EVOX 8

  13. #13
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    A little late, but, if you go on the Virtual DJ website, you will see the huge list of controllers that are already pre-programmed to be recognized and work without re-mapping. Just because a controller comes with Serato does not mean that is the only software it will work with.

    I'm not a club DJ nor heavy remixer, and VDJ works perfectly for my needs. Even then, if you look on youtube and do a search for VDJ tutorials,you will quickly realize the power VDJ has. BUT...if I was a club DJ or mega EDM remixer doing huge live shows, I would get Serato since that would ensure a seamless integration with all the systems you'd encounter on the road.

    www.virtualdj.com/products/hardware.html

  14. #14
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    I've recently rebuilt my DJ console. Complete with Virtual DJ8 on a fairly beefy computer and Denon MC6000mk2 controller. All installed into a table rack mount, totally wired so I have to do is set my laptop in place, plug in my speakers and turn on. 20180214_235939.jpg

    As others have mentioned, Virtual DJ will work for you. With almost any controller easily recognized.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mound of sound View Post
    I've recently rebuilt my DJ console. Complete with Virtual DJ8 on a fairly beefy computer and Denon MC6000mk2 controller. All installed into a table rack mount, totally wired so I have to do is set my laptop in place, plug in my speakers and turn on. 20180214_235939.jpg

    As others have mentioned, Virtual DJ will work for you. With almost any controller easily recognized.
    Where's the cheese? Don't you feed your mouse
    Heavy weight lifter, karate, oh, I DJ too. Life is good!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve149 View Post
    I have started splitting up my system to 2 top ends and 1 bottom. The tops should be usable by themselves for small events .. on has a Denon MC6000v2 and the other has a Rane MP25 and Denon HC4500. I have a Audio Technica dual receiver in the Denon case, but none in the Rane case (I use an external receiver if needed). In the bottom case I'm currently building, I plan to have a Furman, a Denon 300z media player (single CD, USB, SD, Bluetooth), a Rane MLM42S Mic mixer (karaoke), 2 AT3000 receivers and a Sennheiser 300 series IEM transmitter, a drawer and a few DSP/FX units (DR260, SPL Vitalizer). I also have a Behringer XR12 digital mixer which might go in the back and I'd pull the Rane mic mixer.

    This way I can use either top unit (the Rane one is smaller) or both if needed .. and bring the bottom for larger needs.
    Too bad Rane discounted this unit. It was good for adding more mics without going to a larger live sound mixer.
    Rane MLM42S Mic mixer
    Heavy weight lifter, karate, oh, I DJ too. Life is good!

  17. #17
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    Moving from CD to hardrive was a challenge for me also for a few years. Playlist are the best way to condense your library for quick browsing through top picks. For example, I have playlists I use for reference like: Current Pop, Current Country, Big Country (early 2000s), Classic Country (90s and back), line dances (all), dinner music, latin, schools, old skool pop, old skool hip hop....and so on.

    My actual music library is organized by decade, then genre. Example, I have a folder for 90's and in that I have sub folders for AC, Pop, Country, Rock, Hip Hop, and so on. So in VDJ I can easily browse the root music folder and find my way around to a specific age of genre if I really need to browse everything and not focus on a top pick that may be listed on a playlist.

    I use glide rack cases that have a gliding surface for the computer to sit and I can push it back or forward as I need to. The mixer/controller (mkII) is right below it. All the controls are as I was used to operating with CD decks years ago.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMB View Post
    Moving from CD to hardrive was a challenge for me also for a few years. Playlist are the best way to condense your library for quick browsing through top picks. For example, I have playlists I use for reference like: Current Pop, Current Country, Big Country (early 2000s), Classic Country (90s and back), line dances (all), dinner music, latin, schools, old skool pop, old skool hip hop....and so on.

    My actual music library is organized by decade, then genre. Example, I have a folder for 90's and in that I have sub folders for AC, Pop, Country, Rock, Hip Hop, and so on. So in VDJ I can easily browse the root music folder and find my way around to a specific age of genre if I really need to browse everything and not focus on a top pick that may be listed on a playlist.

    I use glide rack cases that have a gliding surface for the computer to sit and I can push it back or forward as I need to. The mixer/controller (mkII) is right below it. All the controls are as I was used to operating with CD decks years ago.
    Bet that took many hours!
    Image all of the time us DJs put into this business before the events we do, that most of our customers rarely realize or appreciate. We aren't just a few hours and 2 speakers like many consumers think is what a DJ still is
    Heavy weight lifter, karate, oh, I DJ too. Life is good!

  19. #19
    I often play for the same group of people, so to prevent staleness, I do not use a prepared playlist - but this requires finding songs quickly. I have found using "Crates", organized by genre, to work best for me. This is a screen shot - you can see all the Crates on the left side of the library.

    Mixvibes1.jpg

    Within Crates, I use color coding to indicate songs that mix well with each other. I have Serato set up exactly the same way.

  20. #20
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    I had my first wedding in a few weeks yesterday. Can say after trying out VDJ - I would have liked to have some of the extras available to me... that I don't have with my media player...

    Thanks for the crate idea... makes sense, especially when you can actually see all the songs inside on the laptop.

    Question of a controller case... still considering the Denon MKII - does the laptop slide top over the controller - get in the way of fitting on a table?
    My current system is a 10x6 Odyssey case... on a table - with the DJ Skirts tabletop facade...
    As I was summing up my options - I wonder if that is something anyone else ran in to -

    Hoping my Tuki covers come in this week and I will try out the Evolve 50s at the next wedding....

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