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puppetslave
Member
I will try to make this as simple as possible, but I'm a little confused here and seeing as I'm just starting out with my understanding of audio and DJ setups, I'm hoping I can get a little help from the community.

I have recently learned about scratch discs, emulation software, etc. and have pretty much decided this is the route I want to take as far as purchasing my equipment. I'm a little tied up with the audio interface part. For example, I understand that the audio interface can be used for both recording mixes and translating the time-coded vinyls to digital format, but I'm not confident on the setup process. I guess my questions for any helpful and experienced DJs reading this are,

1- Can you use any brand audio interface device with any software to play off vinyl? (example: I know the SL1 or SL3 was designed to use with Serato Scratch, but can you replace those with something cheaper and still make it work?)

2- Can I get some recommendations for some good audio interfaces I can look into that aren't TOO good, so I can hopefully buy one without spending a fortune?
Anyone willing to post their experiences would be really appreciated.
Thanks everyone.
 
095
Member
Before going into details of different interfaces, AD/DA conversions, etc, could you clarify something? Do you need the ability to play vinyl or is it just going to be a way of triggering your music files? Because if you don't plan on using actual records (as in, music, not time-code) you can save a fortune on simplifying your setup. All you need is $200. Get a decent midi controller (M-audio Xsession Pro - $100 or so, looks and works just like a dj mixer + transport) and a NI Audio2DJ interface ($100, best cheap dj sound card ever, IMO). That interface comes with Traktor LE DJ software. It's a crippled version, BUT you install and activate it and a week later get an email from NI about a free upgrade to Traktor Duo, which is good, because with Duo you can map your midi controller to have a proper computer dj setup. All recording of your mixes can be done from within Traktor. I know I didn't exactly answer your questions, but in my experience this just seems like the most cost-effective yet still respectable and fully functional setup. Good luck to you.
 
JohnWayne
Premium Member
Online
http://www.native-instruments.com/en/specials/traktor-upgrade-offer/  I've just noticed these deals too.
 
incydeout
Member
If you have a laptop with a pcmcia slot, you should buy my Echo Indigo I/O. I'll sell it for $100. PM me if you're interested.

/plug
 
puppetslave
Member
Post from 095Before going into details of different interfaces, AD/DA conversions, etc, could you clarify something? Do you need the ability to play vinyl or is it just going to be a way of triggering your music files? Because if you don't plan on using actual records (as in, music, not time-code) you can save a fortune on simplifying your setup. All you need is $200. Get a decent midi controller (M-audio Xsession Pro - $100 or so, looks and works just like a dj mixer + transport) and a NI Audio2DJ interface ($100, best cheap dj sound card ever, IMO). That interface comes with Traktor LE DJ software. It's a crippled version, BUT you install and activate it and a week later get an email from NI about a free upgrade to Traktor Duo, which is good, because with Duo you can map your midi controller to have a proper computer dj setup. All recording of your mixes can be done from within Traktor. I know I didn't exactly answer your questions, but in my experience this just seems like the most cost-effective yet still respectable and fully functional setup. Good luck to you.
This is a really interesting setup that I have not seen. Thanks for the good info.
I feel that if I want to take this seriously however, learning DJing skills using vinyl is important. (based on what many people have told me.)
The audio 2 DJ and Traktor setup is definitely tempting, but I don't know. I want to make sure I'm taken seriously in what I do and respected for my skills. Opinions?
 
abZ
Member
You can do vinyl emulation with just about any 4 in, 4 out box but then you are limited by what software you can use and the set up can be kind of tedious.  Would recommend a package deal like Traktor, Serato or Torq, it will save you some migraines.  Traktor has the best box of the group if you want to use it for other things but I would recommend having one box for djing and one box for production if you intend to do both.  Saves tearing you set up down every time you want to do something different with it.  Of course this isn't cost effective.  Depends on how much you want to spend really.  Torq is under 300 and the box is serviceable for  non dj things not great but it will work.  Same with the Traktor Duo that is I think around 300.  But you can save up for a dedicated sound module later on with this option.  
 
puppetslave
Member
Post from abZYou can do vinyl emulation with just about any 4 in, 4 out box but then you are limited by what software you can use and the set up can be kind of tedious.  Would recommend a package deal like Traktor, Serato or Torq, it will save you some migraines.  Traktor has the best box of the group if you want to use it for other things but I would recommend having one box for djing and one box for production if you intend to do both.  Saves tearing you set up down every time you want to do something different with it.  Of course this isn't cost effective.  Depends on how much you want to spend really.  Torq is under 300 and the box is serviceable for  non dj things not great but it will work.  Same with the Traktor Duo that is I think around 300.  But you can save up for a dedicated sound module later on with this option.  
Alright, but can't I use a 2 in 2 out just as well as a four when DJing? (with vinyl)
The way I see it, I would have 2 turntables plugged into the inputs, and anything else I wanna throw in there I can run off the software/laptop.
(I know there is a big price difference in the 2s and 4s.)

The real question I have is whether the audio interface will work universally with any given software/which ones will. Using the M-Audio Conectiv box for example. It is designed to be used with Torq software. But could I buy the box and use it with a different DJ software and also with any type of turntables? (I'm not worried about production at the moment.)

Sorry if I'm repeating myself here. I really appreciate the responses thus far. I'm learning...
 
abZ
Member
No you need 4 in 4 out or 2 stereo ins and 2 stereo outs which is the same thing.  With Torq Connectiv you can use other software like mspinky or djdecks but not serato or traktor scratch.  
 
puppetslave
Member
Post from abZNo you need 4 in 4 out or 2 stereo ins and 2 stereo outs which is the same thing.  With Torq Connectiv you can use other software like mspinky or djdecks but not serato or traktor scratch.  
ohhhhh ok thanks for clearing that up for me, for some reason I thought it was referring to having 4 separate inputs and outputs.

So, any good boxes that DO work with serato or traktor? (besides the ones manufactured by those companies for their own software)
 
abZ
Member
Post from puppetslaveohhhhh ok thanks for clearing that up for me, for some reason I thought it was referring to having 4 separate inputs and outputs.

So, any good boxes that DO work with serato or traktor? (besides the ones manufactured by those companies for their own software)
No it IS 4 separate ins and outs.  2 lefts and 2 rights for each that is 8 all together.  Serato works with the Serato box and Traktor works with the Traktor box.  Is this getting clearer for you?

 
095
Member
Post from abZNo it IS 4 separate ins and outs.  2 lefts and 2 rights for each that is 8 all together.  Serato works with the Serato box and Traktor works with the Traktor box.  Is this getting clearer for you?

The idea is that each piece of software is designed with a few intricacies that only enable it to function with an interface made for it. More money means more to a manufacturer than less money :) There are a few freebie dj programs that would work with generic interfaces, but I'm not sure of the limitations. It would be much easier to just get the full Serato or Torq setup. Decent 4in-4out boxes alone are pretty pricey as it is. No sense in skimping on software to go with it, won't be that much more. Try pricing things out somewhere, like Guitar Center website or whatever, just to get an idea of what kind of money you're getting into.

As far as your earlier post, about wanting to have a 'respectable' setup, I wouldn't worry about it just yet. The great thing about these days is that you can start dj-ing with a basic $200-ish setup and work on your skill, with time you can add on as much gear as you see fit. Don't put so much importance on the tools yet. Turntables, Serato, mixer - that's probably a good $1000 right there. Sounds a bit much for just starting out.
 


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