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UER Forum > Private Boards Index > A/V Club > Help with a digital DJ setup (Viewed 3782 times)
Frost 


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Help with a digital DJ setup
< on 10/5/2004 2:52 PM >
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Okay, it's been so many damn years since I was part of the AV crew in high-school.... 9 years or so... (damn I can't actually believe it's been that long) .... anyways... for my wedding, we're wanting to basically do our own dj-ing... I'm basically going to use MP3's, and I want to have the laptop hooked up to a mixer board which in turn powers the speaker and mic and whatnot.

What would you recommend for a setup? Keeping in mind that cost is a major factor and I'll more-than-likely be renting most of the equipment. Will I require any special connectors for the laptop/sound card to be hooked up to the mixer board?

And could anyone recommend a decent dj-ing program, preferably something I can load a playlist into as well as control fading and cue times.





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Re: Help with a digital DJ setup
< Reply # 1 on 10/5/2004 4:43 PM >
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Professor Chaos should feild that one. He's a DJ himslef. Shoudl PM him.




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Re: Help with a digital DJ setup
< Reply # 2 on 10/5/2004 5:02 PM >
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What you want to do isn't hard at all. It's actually one of the easiest things to set up in the grand scheme of professional audio. Provided you can borrow or rent the right equipment, you shouldn't have any problems. Try talking to an upscale garage band if you know any to see if they have equipment you could borrow. Renting is never cheap (unfirtunately) but will guarantee you get what you need.

If you can rent a small mixing console (you shouldn't need any more channels than you can count on one hand), a set of speakers, and an amplifier, you should be able to make it work without a hitch. To get the computer's sound into the mixer, use a cable with a stereo 1/8" jack on one end and dual RCA connectors on the other (this is an extremely common cable, available at your local Radio Hack in various lengths). You might be able to connect the RCA ends directly to a stereo channel on the board, but most commonly you will need a pair of RCA to 1/4" mono adapters. These plug directly onto the RCA ends of your cable and essentially make it into a cable that converts from one stereo 1/8" to two mono 1/4" connectors. Use two channels next to eachother and Plug one 1/4" end into each one. One channel for left, one for right. If you are running a stereo setup (separate amplifier channels, stereo-capable mixer), then you can turn the balance on these channels to opposite sides to pass the left channel of the sound card only to the left channel of the amplifier, and vice versa.

Setting the gains on the mixer is best done by turning the gains all the way down on both the amp and the mixer, setting the volume control on the computer to the maximum, setting the sliders on the mixer to the level mark (0db). Now start some music on the computer, making sure not to pick a quiet song. Something like Metallica or Def Leppard should do nicely. Once the music is playing, turn the gains on the mixer up slowly until the peak/clip lights just begin to flicker, then back the gains down a twitch for some head room. Now, with the music still playing, turn on the amplifier and begin turning it's gains up until the volume is at the desired level. Now you will be able to kill the music and adjust it's volume from the mixer as well as having a DJ mic hooked up for cheesy commentary or announcements at the same time. You could hook a second computer or CD player up as well, using the same procedure, to blend between songs and keep things qued up.




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Re: Help with a digital DJ setup
< Reply # 3 on 10/5/2004 7:46 PM >
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It should also be noted that the lesser then CD quality of mp3's will be more noticeable on a setup like this, as compared to say a set of headphones or a typical home stereo, or so I hear. If you have the cd's for your songs, just play them out of a discman, or copy them onto your computer in their original format, if you care.




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Re: Help with a digital DJ setup
< Reply # 4 on 10/5/2004 8:23 PM >
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First off, if you use MP3s, make sure they are MINIMUM 192Kbps. Anything lower will sould like crap.

As for gear, get a pair of decent powered speakers. They are a breeze to set up and are idiot proof. Set them up on stands, plug them in and press power. They also have built in protection in case you or someone else pushes them beyond their output.

Some of the speakers I use a lot and HIGHY recommand are:

Mackie SRM-450
EV (Electro-Voice) SxA-250

I persoannlly use the Mackie SRM-450 for monitors up in the dj booth and love them!

Both these speakers sound very good and are easy to set up.


Get also a small mxixer / preamp to patch the sound from the computer. Make sure it has BALANCED XLR outputs if you plan on using powered speakers. That way, if the speaker lines are longer than 25 feet, you will still get a loud signal with out any buzz or interference. Something like a Mackie 1202 Vlz-Pro should work nicely. JUST DONT GET A BEHRINGER MIXER. Run the outputs of the mixer to the inputs of the speakers and thats about it.


As for the computer, I've got a copy of PCDJ FX VRM I can hook you up with. I don't persoannlly use it (I use turntables and cds when I mix) but it lets you haver play lists and all you want to do.

http://www.pcdj.com/Products/FX.asp

Any more questions, just ask.

**I cant find my copy of PCDJ. Ill try to look on my backup cds.



[last edit 10/5/2004 8:27 PM by Professor Chaos - edited 1 times]

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Re: Help with a digital DJ setup
< Reply # 5 on 10/5/2004 11:12 PM >
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Posted by Professor Chaos
JUST DONT GET A BEHRINGER MIXER.


Out of curiosity, why do you recommend avoiding them? I know someone that owns one and have used it in the past. While the controls are a bit simplistic (mainly in that there are rotary pots instead of channel sliders), I thought it was a pretty nice unit and was solidly constructed. A far cry from a Yamaha 01V, but...





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Re: Help with a digital DJ setup
< Reply # 6 on 10/5/2004 11:44 PM >
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I am not talking about the facts that they use knobs instead of faders. I own a Mackie 1202 VLZ-Pro which has knobs instead of faders and I love that little mixer.

The problem with Behringer is that it’s not reliable. Not reliable at all. Not just their mixers, but a lot of their gear. Behringer has virtually no QC and no support what so ever. I did sound for a band who supplied the equipment and they had a batch of Behringer effect processors. It was basically crap in a box. They were totally useless even for live sound. They sounded bad; they kept freezing on me and produced a lot of humm and buzz in the FOH. I had to reset the units 3 to 4 times during the gig. Unacceptable if you ask me. They also had 3 MDX2100 if I remember correctly which hardly compressed any signal coming through no matter how much you adjust it.

I also have a lot of connections in the pro audio business and know several dealers personally. Not one of them carries behringer because of the high DOA and failure rate. I’ve heard from a local repair shop that a lot of their new power amplifiers have powers supply problems. Their mixers, especially the UB series, tend to have crappy effects, crappy faders that bend within 5 minutes of usage and channels that go out. But I must say that their Eurorack series wasn’t bad but was not impressive ether.

I’ve also heard of a club having 2 UltraCurve DSPs installed. Halfway in a set, the damn thing decided to go nuts and make digital noise. End result: half of the speakers had blown compression drivers. The other unit just died 2 weeks after the other one went ballistic. The list just goes on.

I even OWN a Behringer MDX-2200 which I use to limit the signal to my monitors at home. The only reason I have one is because someone gave it to me and I must say, I’m not impressed with it but it does a “good” job with limiting the signals (using the built in Peak Limiter).

Since he isn’t buying any of the gear, he should at least rent good quality gear with proven reliably. With behringer it’s hit or miss. It’s great for playing in your garage but for gigs and events, I’d stay any from thing that has Behringer on it.




"Toyota vehicles are marketed to people who would be more excited about getting a new fridge than a new car I think." -Bandi
Frost 


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No beer makes Frosty go..something something..(Taz: Crrazzy?)..Dont mind if I doo!

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Re: Help with a digital DJ setup
< Reply # 7 on 10/6/2004 12:06 AM >
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Wow, I'm not sure if I'm more confused now or not hehe, but thank you for all the advice... like I said it's been a while, that and I've never actually hooked a computer to sound system.

The equipment I'm renting is good quality, don't ask me the name, but I'm positive it's not the bad one you're talking about, the company I'm going to get it from supplies this area and it's schools with equipment, that's where I used to get stuff while I was in school with the AV club.

My brother-in-law paid I think $300 for a board, two speakers, a mic, and a cd player for his wedding, so it's a good deal, compared to the insane amount for a DJ.... so yea, I think I can swing something decent.

Now I just need to borrow a laptop hehe...




Why is marijuana not legal? Why is marijuana not legal? Its a natural plant that grows in the dirt. You know what's not natural, 80 year old dudes with hardons. Thats not natural, but we got pills for that. We're dedicating all our resources to keeping the old guys erect but we're puttin people in jail for smoking something that grows in the dirt.
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Re: Help with a digital DJ setup
< Reply # 8 on 10/6/2004 12:16 AM >
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hehe, if you're confused, don't be shy and ask anything you are unsure with!

As for the "bad" company, if you're renting from a company that supplies a lot you're area and has a good reputation, I'm sure they don't use it.




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Re: Help with a digital DJ setup
< Reply # 9 on 10/7/2004 12:21 AM >
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Posted by Professor Chaos
First off, if you use MP3s, make sure they are MINIMUM 192Kbps. Anything lower will sould like crap.


Make sure you don't use Joint Stereo either. That can add even more crap to the sound.




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Re: Help with a digital DJ setup
< Reply # 10 on 10/18/2004 6:59 AM >
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Traktor Final Scratch is getting more and more popularity.
http://www.finalscratch.com/fs4/load.asp?db=FS_MAC&sub=start




Professor Chaos 

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Re: Help with a digital DJ setup
< Reply # 11 on 10/18/2004 8:11 PM >
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I have used Final Scratch before several times (almost bought it too) and seen a demo of it. I've also seen a demo of Rane's version. Both great products for the club dj but not as much for the mobile. The use of turntables for weddings isisn't always the best way although they have a version of FS for cd players. I think you would be better off using something software ONLY. Just let the playlist run. I doubt you will be beatmixing... Final scratch is somewhat expensive to buy and you need a good computer with a fast hard drive or else you will have a delay in the music making usless for scratching or mixing trance/house/acid like I do.




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Re: Help with a digital DJ setup
< Reply # 12 on 8/18/2008 3:36 PM >
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you mean like serato with time coded vinyl??

I did a gig for my music the other day. I was basically forced to do it "DJ style" because I didn't have the time to program all my samples and sounds to be played and triggered in real time, so I just made 320 mp3's of my tracks.

My setup was this:

- quadcore desktop with virtual dj as the software (was going to use deckadance, but it had a bug so I chose an older program that was more reliable with less bells and whistles)
- 1/8" stereo to two-1/4" mono adapter cable (not bought at radio shack)
- studiomaster 10 channel mixer (I got a good deal on this mixer, and it sounds great, no crosstalk at all, no noise)
- in my rack I have a furman power conditioner, two ART 3rd of an octave EQ's (one left one right), a behringer 3 channel crossover, that I got a great deal for a new one... though I am shocked it works well, because normally I would never buy anything from them, a crest amp (about 250 a side), and a crown amp (about 110 a side)

the crest amp is currently used for a pair of yorkville pulse 153 speakers, chich actually sound pretty good. Crisp highs and punchy sounding too.

the crown amp is currently bridged mono for my subwoofer, which has two JBL E-140's in it, however soon I will be taking those woofers out to put them into a pair of JBL woofer cabs that has the scoop underneath (vintage model, but I forget the model name)

My opinion on behringer, I dont know what kind of stuff they all make, but stay away from their mixers... especially if you are using it for the studio. My crossover currently works fine, but I am very gentle with it, because the pots and clicker buttons on it seem very very cheap and easy to break. there is a limiter on it which works fine, and there is also a low freq filter that cuts out stuff under 20hz which also seems to work fine... but I suspect this unit will be the first thing to go on my system.

I am going to need to get a few more power amps soon and some more speakers to put in the various speaker cabs I have.

I am not a huge fan of the eon style plastic cases a lot of these powered speakers come in, I mean i would use them for monitors, but I dont like most of them as main sound. Although mackie makes some loud ones (their bigger ones) And I hear electrovoice makes some OK ones too though I have yet to hear them.





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