Laptop DJing

It's all about the equipment

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(geek)
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#61 Post by (geek) » Mon Oct 13, 2003 10:31 am

True enough.. some setups are completely encased in custom boxes.

In the event that you only have access to the end of an RCA cable coming out of a box, you might consider carrying RCA gender-changers.

In the even that everything's encased in a box, you'll have to locate the nut who built it without considering that input changes might be desired. ;-)

KevinSchaper
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#62 Post by KevinSchaper » Mon Oct 13, 2003 11:11 am

A lot of place have mini-mixing boards (rather than a dj mixer), and those almost never have RCA inputs.. So listen to Iain and pick up some 1/4" adapters, and gender changers.

(and I just carry records around cuz I'm too lazy to record 'em onto CD as I buy 'em, and I got sick of trying to pull all the tracks I like offa 15 records in one night before an event. :) )

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#63 Post by MikeD » Tue Oct 14, 2003 3:34 pm

The other night I tried hooking up my laptop to a sound system. I found that I was getting some noise out of the speakers. I found that this only happened when my power cord was plugged into my laptop. If I ran off the battery, everything was fine.

Has anyone else ran into this?

Mike Dancel
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Matthew
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#64 Post by Matthew » Tue Oct 14, 2003 4:45 pm

Lately, I've been having some trouble with MusicMatch, which I use at home. I'm running it on a good system (a Dell, unfortunately with WinMe), but once in a while the music will "hiccup." As it's playing it will skip forward a couple of seconds, and then continue playing normally. This happens when I open another program (IE, for example), or if the system is even a tiny bit busy. I usually don't have problems like this with other software, and it's getting to be annoying. Because of it, I'd carefully test any laptop (or desktop) that I'd use for events. Any ideas why this thing hiccups?

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#65 Post by ScottieK » Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:28 pm

Matthew wrote:Lately, I've been having some trouble with MusicMatch, which I use at home. I'm running it on a good system (a Dell, unfortunately with WinMe), but once in a while the music will "hiccup." As it's playing it will skip forward a couple of seconds, and then continue playing normally. This happens when I open another program (IE, for example), or if the system is even a tiny bit busy. I usually don't have problems like this with other software, and it's getting to be annoying. Because of it, I'd carefully test any laptop (or desktop) that I'd use for events. Any ideas why this thing hiccups?
Sounds like an WinMe problem. Any Windows OS that isn't an NT backbone pretty much sucks for multitasking.

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#66 Post by (geek) » Tue Oct 14, 2003 7:40 pm

MikeD wrote:The other night I tried hooking up my laptop to a sound system. I found that I was getting some noise out of the speakers. I found that this only happened when my power cord was plugged into my laptop. If I ran off the battery, everything was fine.
Depending on the type of noise you were getting, it could have been either electrical interference/noise increasing in your computer while it charges your battery, or 50/60Hz hum.

"dirty" sound from your laptop's sound card, caused by electrical interference in the innards of your laptop is a common problem, and one of the reasons for getting a separate PCMCIA card like the Echo Indigo, which I've been singing the praises of. These cards are designed to isolate your sound output from this general interference. Sometimes this noise can be linked to certain events, like the hard drive spinning up, the mouse moving across the screen, etc.

Another likely culprit would be a ground loop problem. AKA 50/60 cycle hum, and is the bane of sound equipment setups everywhere. You can buy isolators fairly cheaply online.. I poked around last time I had a 60Hz problem setting up an old stereo, but don't recall any links. This can usually be eliminated by plugging your laptop into the same circuit as the other sound equipment.. but there's no guarantee.

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#67 Post by (geek) » Tue Oct 14, 2003 7:55 pm

Matthew wrote:Any ideas why this thing hiccups?
As others have noted, WinMe is very poor at multitasking, among other things.

Save yourself a lot of grief and reinstall your machine with WinXP or Win2k. You'll thank yourself!

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#68 Post by thecheeta » Wed Oct 15, 2003 9:20 am

I'll pipe in now on this discussion, having been at one point or another both a CD DJ and a PC DJ.

I much prefer PC over CD for a few reasons, not the least of which is if I need to find a song in a REAL hurry, it is right under my finger tips. Plus I can ID3 all my MP3s (I'm anal about this) and can find a range of tempos, moods, and favorites instantly should I find the need.

I am in the process of experimenting with a few different setups. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE my Extigy. It rocks.

On that note, the real reason I had to buy the Extigy was because a local sound system blew my laptop sound card. I only get the right channel out of this laptop. This particular sound system was a f*cked up mess. (I think Smunky will back me up on this). So... the Extigy it is.

For weird noises coming from your laptop while DJ'ing... first, if you go to the Extigy, you will not experience this. Second, I have the same problem with my laptop. The Compaq Armadas (I have an M700) in particular have this issue. My fix has been to make sure I have a fully charged battery before DJing. If I was doing band breaks, I plug in my laptop between my sets.

But since I use the Extigy now, it doesn't matter.

My setup now includes the following:

-Compaq Armada M700, PIII-700 MHz (it ain't much, but more than adequate for this particular task), 256MB Ram, recently purchased 40GB hard drive
-Creative Labs Extigy
-Powered USB 2.0 mini-hub
-Targus USB lamp... this is a godsend for those venues where it is too dim to see your keyboard.
-A WIDE variety of plugs, cable, converters, etc. that I take to questionable venues so that I know that no matter what, I can plug in.
-Creative Labs Nomad Jukebox 6GB MP3 player for events I just want to plug in and go without lugging around my laptop.

I am going to be expirementing with a few different DJ software setups. I am pretty tired of the inflexibility that I am experiencing with MusicMatch.

For those folks out there with Nomads... the Notmad Explorer software is WELL worth the $20. It blows Creative Labs interface out of the water... it interfaces your MP3 player with Explorer and adds a bunch of very nice features.

OK. More later.

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#69 Post by sonofvu » Fri Oct 24, 2003 1:32 pm

Toon Town Dave wrote:Has anyone had any experience with the Mac software? It looks pretty but is it stable and user friendly?
I've djed with the dj1800 software and I'm happy with it. You will need an external sound card (I use the iMic $35) or a pcmcia card depending on the computer. I use my internal sound card to cue up songs with my headphones. It's a sweet setup. Total cost is $80 (software and iMic). This is low compared to other professional software setups.

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#70 Post by SirScratchAlot » Wed Oct 29, 2003 4:48 am

thecheeta wrote:
But since I use the Extigy now, it doesn't matter.

My setup now includes the following:

-Compaq Armada M700, PIII-700 MHz (it ain't much, but more than adequate for this particular task), 256MB Ram, recently purchased 40GB hard drive
-Creative Labs Extigy
-Powered USB 2.0 mini-hub
-Targus USB lamp... this is a godsend for those venues where it is too dim to see your keyboard.
-A WIDE variety of plugs, cable, converters, etc. that I take to questionable venues so that I know that no matter what, I can plug in.
-Creative Labs Nomad Jukebox 6GB MP3 player for events I just want to plug in and go without lugging around my laptop.

I am going to be expirementing with a few different DJ software setups. I am pretty tired of the inflexibility that I am experiencing with MusicMatch.

For those folks out there with Nomads... the Notmad Explorer software is WELL worth the $20. It blows Creative Labs interface out of the water... it interfaces your MP3 player with Explorer and adds a bunch of very nice features.

OK. More later.
im interested in what the notmad explorer software is like.

I use a Sony Laptop , with PCDJ software and I haven't found a reason yet to use my extigy external sound card....I just patch into the board from my headphone jack and it sounds fine.

I use the Creative Lab software to rip the music. and I also have a old 10 gig Creative Nomad Juke Box I hardly use now that I this set up.
\\\"Jazz Musicians have dance in them, and Jazz dancers have music in them, or Jazz doesn''''t happen.\\\" Sidney Bechet

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#71 Post by swingman dan » Mon Nov 03, 2003 12:09 pm

Has anybody used the Echo Indigo DJ card yet?

It has seperate outs which your supposed to be able to use one for monitoring and the other as main.

What's setup like in BPM studio ? Do you need the "pro" version or can you get a monitoring set up in the "BPM Private" edition ?

On the topic of noise from laptop interfering with output signal, I externalized everything now and I have no problems.

Laptop is Intel based 2.6 Mhz with 1 Gig memory

MP3 files are on Wiebetech 60 Gig, 7200 RPM, Pocket Drive running on Firewire port (powered from the port)

Soundcard is Echo Indigo running on PCMCIA port
Walking the fine line between passion and obsession.

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#72 Post by yedancer » Mon Dec 08, 2003 1:50 am

Memo: do not accidentally unplug your external hard drive right when you're about to start DJing, especially when it has all your music on it.
-Jeremy

It's easy to sit there and say you'd like to have more money. And I guess that's what I like about it. It's easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.

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#73 Post by Koopa Troopa » Mon Dec 22, 2003 8:45 am

SirScratchAlot wrote:I use a Sony Laptop , with PCDJ software...
Run the same set up (PCDJ Red) plus...

-A Creative Mp3+ external USB soundcard to the mains (onboard soundcard to preview).
-Targus Wireless Optical Mouse
-Boostaroo headphone signal booster (had trouble previewing over the main speakers with the onboard soundcard, this gadget boosts the power to my headphones 40%)


Ran this set-up at our Thursday night dance (The Spy Bar) and a dance in Detroit last weekend. No burps, crashes or fires.

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lowfi
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Tracktor DJ Studio 2

#74 Post by lowfi » Sun Jan 04, 2004 2:35 pm

I’ve just started using Tracktor DJ Studio 2. So far I like it a lot. I tried BMP studio and PCDJ and I was never comfortable within the confines of the interface. Primarily I didn’t like the limited space to browse music. What I like about Tracktor the most is the ability to customize the interface to different playing modes. You can easily open and close the mixer, recorder, waveform display etc. This customization allows for more room to browse music.

http://www.nativeinstruments.de/index.php?traktor2_us
Another great feature is its ability to integrate with itunes and the ipod. I listen to a lot of music at work so constantly using DJ software to listen to music is overkill. Tracktor will update its music library and play lists when it detects changes to the itunes library.

The program supports multiple channels out, pitch bending, and a host of other Pro Dj functions that I’ll never use.


My Set Up
Tracktor DJ Studio 2 (DJing)
Advanced Audio Ripper (LAME)
Itunes (casual listening)

Fujitsu P series Life book
Indigo Echo DJ PCMCIA card
Lacie 160 gig external hard drive
ipod 15 gig

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#75 Post by Petitetonya » Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:34 pm

oh boy! Sean just got me the total hook up for my xmas present this year so I can dj on my laptop. He got me the higher end version of pcdj software, a 120gb external hard drive to store everything and an external soundcard. Now I am going to spend the next month downloading all of my cds and organizing them on my computer...woohoo!!

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