Laptop DJing

It's all about the equipment

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MikeD
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#76 Post by MikeD » Fri Jan 16, 2004 2:54 pm

If you have PCDJ FX (the high end PCDJ) you might want to down grade to PCDJ Red. I was using Red and "upgraded" to FX for some added features.

BUT, they got rid of the most important feature in my opinion....the ability to preview from a WaitingList.

It was sweet, in RED, I could cue/preview as many songs as I wanted, drag them over to a Waitinglist and it played them in order. I could cue up like 3 songs in a row and go off and dance a few.......or take a pee break.....

In PCDJ FX previewing is much more difficult. I'm sticking with RED for now.

Mike Dancel[/quote]

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Spuds
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#77 Post by Spuds » Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:14 pm

Here’s my late addition to this Digital DJ stuff…

I’ve embraced the laptop DJ thing ever since it’s so much easier to travel with a laptop than 18 books of CDs (also since I saw how effortlessly Matt Riddle in Australia DJs events out there with iTunes and his iPod). Since then I’ve LAME encoded about %90 of my music, bought some software and now I’m hooked. I Djed in Montpellier France with my new DJ setup and I must say, it was sweet.

One addition I have made to my equipment is a cheap alternative to the big expensive turntable controllers available, namely the DM2 controller by MixMan. It’s a cheap but effective way to control the Traktor DJ software. Here’s a photo:

Image

Obvious drawback is its size. If your DJ space is limited, this thing just aint gonna happen. But it’s fun. I now have a full cross fader, cue buttons for both decks plus a cue program button, two auto fade buttons, song navigation, and two cool “scratchable” turntable decks.

Spuds DJ setup:
Traktor DJ Studio 2
EAC Ripper (using LAME)
iTunes

Sony VAIO V505AX (Super small and 4.4 lbs)
Indigo Echo DJ PCMCIA card (a must have)
60 Gig Internal Drive
DM2 digital music mixer by MixMan (http://www.mixman.com/)

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yedancer
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#78 Post by yedancer » Mon Feb 23, 2004 5:09 pm

sweet
-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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yedancer
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#79 Post by yedancer » Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:47 pm

NOTE TO SELF:

DO NOT ACCIDENTALLY THROW AWAY YOUR UN-BACKED UP EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE THAT HAS YOUR ENTIRE MUSIC COLLECTION 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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djstarr
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#80 Post by djstarr » Sat Mar 13, 2004 7:14 pm

Jeremy --- YIKES!!!!!!

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sonofvu
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#81 Post by sonofvu » Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:49 pm

yedancer wrote:NOTE TO SELF:

DO NOT ACCIDENTALLY THROW AWAY YOUR UN-BACKED UP EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE THAT HAS YOUR ENTIRE MUSIC COLLECTION ON IT.
Ouch!
Yard work sucks. I would much rather dj.

Larry
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Prices?

#82 Post by Larry » Tue Mar 23, 2004 10:53 am

I need a second output for my laptop.

An ECHO Indigo DJ is $169 at http://www.prosoundcards.com
But, I may initially try a cheaper usb alternative from Creative labs and just use the laptop internal sound as my monitor.

Any better prices or suggestions out there?

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12bars
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#83 Post by 12bars » Tue Mar 30, 2004 4:47 pm

great info. im just starting to get set up. this will help a lot.

question: i have some things taged in media player. when i change over to dj software of somekind will there be an easy way to move that info, or are my worst fears confirmed?

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SirScratchAlot
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#84 Post by SirScratchAlot » Wed Mar 31, 2004 9:26 am

This Year's laptop for DJing:

Sharp Actius AV18 (under 5 lbs)
AMD Athlon XP 1800
40 gig hardrive
512mb ram
dvd/cd-rw
USB 2.0 & Firewire

These little Laptops are a sweet deal, under 1,000. one of the smallest laptops out there and cheap enough to through around and travel with.

software, I generally rip CD's to mps with Creative out of habit.
and I still use the basic PCDJ downloaded from www.pcdj.com

as for goodies, Creative Extigy external soundcard, dont use it, unnessesary.

I have external storarge at home.

so for traveling weekend to weekend teaching and DJing....Ive learned to slim down without breaking the bank.

Laptop and two cables, one to plug the laptop into power (which by the way could do a few classes on just a battery) and the the little plug that goes from the headphone jack to the rca line in.

pretty simple setup. and under 5 lbs.
\\\"Jazz Musicians have dance in them, and Jazz dancers have music in them, or Jazz doesn''''t happen.\\\" Sidney Bechet

Image
Image

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main_stem
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#85 Post by main_stem » Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:12 am

Question for all you digital DJs: How do you keep from getting lazy? recently we've had some DJs switch to the lap top and one in particular just does a play list before he gets there sets up his computer and lets it go. Checks every once in a while but not much else.

I find this extreamly annoying.

-Kevin
"We called it music."
— Eddie Condon

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gatorgal
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#86 Post by gatorgal » Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:39 am

main_stem wrote:Question for all you digital DJs: How do you keep from getting lazy? recently we've had some DJs switch to the lap top and one in particular just does a play list before he gets there sets up his computer and lets it go. Checks every once in a while but not much else.

I find this extreamly annoying.

-Kevin
That seems like a problem at the cellular level, so there's not much you can do about that.

Seriously... after seeing a few of the DJs at ATLX do this laptop thing I got vaguely interested. Then I tried wading through the geek speak on this thread and got thoroughly frustrated.

How do those of us who are technically disadvantaged start researching this stuff? I mean, where do you begin?

Signed "Clueless in South Florida"...
Tina 8)
"I'm here to kick a little DJ a$$!"
~ Foreman on That 70s Show

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wheresmygravy
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#87 Post by wheresmygravy » Wed Mar 31, 2004 12:45 pm

I too have been considering making this step. The techno stuff doesn't bother me, as a matter of fact, thats the fun part to me.

The part that concerns me is the creative part of DJ'ing. With the books in front of me, I am visually triggered sometimes to a song or CD as I am thumbing thru. I am afraid that some great tunes will get 'lost' in the hard drive without some trigger to make me pull it out.

One thing I have started doing is on the printed CD contents card is color coding them if they are tunes I like along with the BPM. 'Blue" = slower, "Green" = Medium, "Red" = faster. If I could figure out a way to do that on the PC that would probably ease my fears.

Who knows, but sometime this year I believe I will be using my little Compaq Tablet PC to DJ some. Still deciding on the software. I like the look and feel of BPM Studio the best, a nice blend of song lists with traditional DJ controls. And an second sound card is a must. I have to preview.

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gatorgal
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#88 Post by gatorgal » Wed Mar 31, 2004 12:55 pm

wheresmygravy wrote: The part that concerns me is the creative part of DJ'ing. With the books in front of me, I am visually triggered sometimes to a song or CD as I am thumbing thru. I am afraid that some great tunes will get 'lost' in the hard drive without some trigger to make me pull it out.
I don't know if anyone is capable of doing this, but perhaps you could put a picture of the artist or the CD cover along with the song?

Tina 8)
"I'm here to kick a little DJ a$$!"
~ Foreman on That 70s Show

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sonofvu
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#89 Post by sonofvu » Thu Apr 01, 2004 11:08 am

main_stem wrote:Question for all you digital DJs: How do you keep from getting lazy? recently we've had some DJs switch to the lap top and one in particular just does a play list before he gets there sets up his computer and lets it go. Checks every once in a while but not much else.

I find this extreamly annoying.

-Kevin
When I first started this dj laptop thing I was concerned with that among other things. So before a gig I would go through and select 40 to 50 songs that I might possibly play. In a one hour gig one can play about 20 tunes on average so I had good back up. I would go throuhg my list of 40 to 50 songs and choose songs based on the particular situation on the dance floor. This worked for some cases but not for most cases. A better system (and one which I use) is to learn the music that I have on my machine and then just select songs from the whole library (2000 songs vs 40 to 50 songs). Also the ability to preview (like a cd dj) is quite helpful.
Yard work sucks. I would much rather dj.

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sonofvu
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#90 Post by sonofvu » Thu Apr 01, 2004 11:16 am

gatorgal wrote:
main_stem wrote:Question for all you digital DJs: How do you keep from getting lazy? recently we've had some DJs switch to the lap top and one in particular just does a play list before he gets there sets up his computer and lets it go. Checks every once in a while but not much else.

I find this extreamly annoying.

-Kevin
That seems like a problem at the cellular level, so there's not much you can do about that.

Seriously... after seeing a few of the DJs at ATLX do this laptop thing I got vaguely interested. Then I tried wading through the geek speak on this thread and got thoroughly frustrated.

How do those of us who are technically disadvantaged start researching this stuff? I mean, where do you begin?

Signed "Clueless in South Florida"...
Tina 8)
Tina, if the geek speak bothers you then don't worry about laptop djing. If you are comfortable and proficient with a book then my advice is to stick to the book system. I use a laptop because I do not want to carry a book around and also I can search for stuff faster with my laptop than a book. The geek speak is nice but in reality it comes down to software, (you need software to play/organize/search music) and hardware (internal sound card for previewing, external sound card for playing the songs and a fast processor). Unfortunately the choices for software and hardware can get mind boggling.
Yard work sucks. I would much rather dj.

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