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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:37 am
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Location: Switzerland
Hello everybody

I'm planning to buy a new laptop for DJing and the MacBook Air 13.3'' now striked my attention.
As far as I can judge, it would fulfill my requirements: I would mainly need it for DJing and so I would go for the 256GB SSD.

Does anybody have experiences with this device for DJing? Is a 13'' enough in your opinion?
Thanks for your toughts and ideas!

Simon


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:18 am 
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 8:27 pm
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SiMonster wrote:
Does anybody have experiences with this device for DJing? Is a 13'' enough in your opinion?
Thanks for your toughts and ideas!


I'm old. I need bigger text and more screen space than a 13" laptop provides. :roll:

Aside from that, you should be good. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 5:36 pm
Posts: 1034
Location: San Francisco, CA
SiMonster wrote:
Hello everybody

I'm planning to buy a new laptop for DJing and the MacBook Air 13.3'' now striked my attention.
As far as I can judge, it would fulfill my requirements: I would mainly need it for DJing and so I would go for the 256GB SSD.

Does anybody have experiences with this device for DJing? Is a 13'' enough in your opinion?
Thanks for your toughts and ideas!

Simon

I have a 13" Macbook Pro, and it has worked just fine for DJing in the past. I think the Air comes with three usb connections, so if you want to connect an external sound device, an external hard drive for more music AND an external mouse, you should be good to go.

Remember once you get the hardware, you probably will want some type of DJ software and an external sound device that allows you two outputs: preview and master. I recommend you at least consider the Native Instruments Audio 2. It is compact, inexpensive ($99 I think) and comes with the free Traktor LE software which should do all any swing DJ might need to do. The software takes a bit to get set up correctly, but once it is, it works so smoothly. I have used it for years with great results.

Best of luck getting set up!

Jesse


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:37 am
Posts: 24
Location: Switzerland
@ SoundInMotionDJ: Ok... then I need to huryr up buy it before my 30th birthday... :D
@ Jesse: The Air only comes with 2 USB connections, but in case of emergency, I can use a USB port replicator. Thanks for the tipps, this Traktor 2 thingie really looks nice.

I still have some questions:

  • I would probably go for the 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD with 1.4 GHz Dual-Core i5 processor. Should be enough, I guess!?
  • Will a display resolution of 1440x900 be sufficent for Traktor LE?
  • I've read, that the automatic BPM recognition in Traktor messes up most of the time and cuts the actual BPM in half so you need to manually adjust. Is this an issue or are there even better alternatives? (to be honest: for years, I manually tapped each song for getting the BPM :D)
  • I would like to work with tags instead of playlists. Is Traktor any good for this?

Thank you for your knowledge, really appreciate it! :)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:34 am 
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SiMonster wrote:
[*]Will a display resolution of 1440x900 be sufficent for Traktor LE?


That's the resolution that I use (on a 15" screen :roll: ) and it is fine for 2 decks. 4 deck layouts get a bit cramped. You can switch in and out of a "full screen" file browser, and that makes a HUGE difference (for me).

SiMonster wrote:
[*]I've read, that the automatic BPM recognition in Traktor messes up most of the time and cuts the actual BPM in half so you need to manually adjust. Is this an issue or are there even better alternatives? (to be honest: for years, I manually tapped each song for getting the BPM :D)


The Traktor 2.6 gridding is MUCH better than previous versions. You can restrict the tempo range when doing the analysis, to avoid most 2x errors.

I use MixedInKey to get a BPM, Key, initial beatgrid, some initial cue points, and an "energy" rating for the songs. It is more helpful than not. It is a paid for tool.

Traktor uses a "grid" to establish the bpm of the song. Loops, beat jumps, beat sensitive effects, the phase meter, and sync all use the grid to do their work. Music with a live drummer WILL drift slightly in tempo over the song.

SiMonster wrote:
[*]I would like to work with tags instead of playlists. Is Traktor any good for this?[/list]


Traktor has good integration with iTunes. iTunes smart playlists are the single best feature of iTunes.

Traktor has good support for ID3 tags. Searches are "global" across all the tags.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:54 am 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
SiMonster wrote:
I still have some questions:

  • I would probably go for the 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD with 1.4 GHz Dual-Core i5 processor. Should be enough, I guess!?
  • Will a display resolution of 1440x900 be sufficent for Traktor LE?
  • I've read, that the automatic BPM recognition in Traktor messes up most of the time and cuts the actual BPM in half so you need to manually adjust. Is this an issue or are there even better alternatives? (to be honest: for years, I manually tapped each song for getting the BPM :D)
  • I would like to work with tags instead of playlists. Is Traktor any good for this?

To answer your questions:

- I think those specs will be fine, but I recently upgraded my RAM to 16 GB and I am REALLY happy with the added processing speed.
- My current display on my 13" Macbook Pro is 1280 x 800, and Traktor looks just fine. I am pretty sure LE only comes with two decks, so you shouldn't have to worry about 4 decks looking cramped. Here's a screenshot of my setup so you can see what it will look like.
- I completely disregard Traktor's auto BPM settings. It will take a bit of fiddling with the settings to truly turn it off, but I felt it was worth it since I found the automatic BPM detection for most swing music to be way off. I personally do all of my BPM setting in iTunes with a third-party app on the Mac called LTP BPM, which required manual tapping out of BPM and then populates the BPM field in iTunes. Quick way to go through a bunch of music, but yes, it is a manual process.
- Traktor lets you search on a variety of fields, and while I haven't taken advantage of it myself, I am pretty sure that if you have entered tags into the comment field of your mp3s, you should be able to search them within Traktor's search field. I personally usually just search on artist, song, album or BPM but I also do take advantage of some iTunes-created smart playlists that I have imported to Traktor.

Let me be clear - Traktor will have a learning curve (it's not the most intuitive software out there), and you might be frustrated while getting it all set-up, but once you get it tweaked to your liking, you are going to love it! Traktor is a solid program that is great for DJing.

Any other questions I can help you with? Glad to be of assistance!

Jesse


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:42 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
SiMonster wrote:
The Air only comes with 2 USB connections, but in case of emergency, I can use a USB port replicator.


You could also look into wireless external hard drives, or even a portable router that lets you connect usb flash drives or SD cards for storage.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:00 am
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Location: Hong Kong
I am DJing off Macbook Air 13" and it works really well.
I strongly suggest an external hard drive for your music. ( you simply put your itunes library onto the external drive). I also have Audio Pro 2 works well with it. That will use your 2 usb ports.

I have just started to use Pro Djay for Mac and it actually works quite well with full Itunes integration and spotify.
-The main reasons to buy the program are:
-you can preview songs whilst its playing a track
-if you use Audio Pro 2 you have 2 outputs + the headphones
-You can use the microphone feature by plugging a microphone into the macbooks headphone input.
-dancers love to see the records spinning around .
-The two problems with it are:
-no exportable history of what you played.
-if you have made changes to a song in itunes (like cutting the introduction in radio recordings) it wont take account of it.

I tried Maxtor LE but it does not integrate with Itunes and I found it harder to use.

I know not everyone likes Itunes but I find for swing music it works well ( apart from the previewing track feature).
I like that also integrates well with my ipad which is my "backup" .


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:26 pm 
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The Macbook Air 13.3'' should be more than fine. Having an SSD is a big plus.

Storage might be the main consideration. 256GB should be plenty for DJing, but if you have a large collection and, like me, tend to be a completist that doesn't like to delete even the bad tracks, an external drive or larger HD might be needed.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:37 am
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Location: Switzerland
Ok, guys: Thank you so much for all the good tipps! I think, I'll just wait for a few more days: Always at the end of the month, there's a special MacBook promotion happening who probably will decide, wehther I'm going for the Air or the Pro :)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:56 am 
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The macbook air is a great laptop to use for Djing, and works especially good with the Pioneer Wego

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