Laptop DJing

It's all about the equipment

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gatorgal
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#91 Post by gatorgal » Thu Apr 01, 2004 11:33 am

sonofvu wrote: 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.
But you gotta know it's a pride issue... :) I don't want to let a little thing like "ignorance" stand in the way of learning something new or doing something better.

Thank you though for the advice... I will keep it in mind.

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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#92 Post by sonofvu » Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:57 pm

Tina, somehow I knew that you would respond that way. :)
Yard work sucks. I would much rather dj.

JohnDyer
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#93 Post by JohnDyer » Sun Apr 04, 2004 10:50 pm

To address the playlist concern, in PCDJ Red I usually drop "might play" songs into the waitlist as I'm spinning my set. However I almost always manually load songs into Player A or Player B then hit play. Nothing gets played automatically - as manual as spinning from 2 players and a mixer. When I think that something in my waitlist fits, I load it into a player - but some stuff in my waitlist never gets played because it either didn't fit the set, or I ran out of time. This might seem awfully manual for those looking to get a break from babysitting their system at all times, but worth it IMHO if you want to be actively spinning. The real plusses of laptop DJing are superior organization, exhaustive song/artist searches, the small amount of real estate necessary (bring your ENTIRE collection), and being able to preview an insane number of songs in a small time period without having to physically swap CDs in and out of players.
John Dyer, Denver CO

Toon Town Dave
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#94 Post by Toon Town Dave » Sun Apr 04, 2004 11:32 pm

John, I like that sort of setup. I've been considering a move to a PC based setup but it's more to reduce space/annual licensing costs.

How does the "waitlist" work in PCDJ? Does it differ from a playlist? Can one still queue an extra track or two in a player?

Nate Dogg
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#95 Post by Nate Dogg » Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:57 am

Toon Town Dave wrote:John, I like that sort of setup. I've been considering a move to a PC based setup but it's more to reduce space/annual licensing costs.

How does the "waitlist" work in PCDJ? Does it differ from a playlist? Can one still queue an extra track or two in a player?
Just curious, how does the medium that you DJ from effect your licensing cost? Is this a Canadian thing?

Toon Town Dave
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#96 Post by Toon Town Dave » Mon Apr 05, 2004 8:23 am

The AVLA (the folks that license DJ's duplicating recordings for DJ purposes) has various license schemes for CD, tape, etc. Licenses for CD come in blocks of 100 "programs" (basically CDs) for $125.

They also have a "hard drive" license that is about $200 and covers 1 hard drive at MP3 or better quality. Now that 200GB drives are dirt cheap it means I can get the benefit of more music under one license and a smaller form factor for bulk of the music I haul around.

I'd probably switch from only CD licenses to 1 CD license (just so I can have a few CDs around as backup) and 1 HD license for the bulk.

JohnDyer
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#97 Post by JohnDyer » Mon Apr 05, 2004 11:36 am

Toon Town Dave wrote:John, I like that sort of setup. I've been considering a move to a PC based setup but it's more to reduce space/annual licensing costs.

How does the "waitlist" work in PCDJ? Does it differ from a playlist? Can one still queue an extra track or two in a player?
There is an option to "autoplay". The software will start playing things in your waitlist automatically one after the other. You can set the time between songs etc (or mixing beginnings and ends - don't recommend this for swing djing). The "autoplay" is not as nice as one would think, taking into consideration that some songs end before the actual end of the track, etc. In that case you'd get dead air until the track really ended and the next track starts up.

There are few critical drawbacks to PCDJ Red; one not being able to pick which fields are shown (album and time are missing, interestingly enough) when you're browsing your collection from within the software.

I believe you can get a trial copy at http://www.pcdj.com if you want to evaluate it. If you're interested in some workarounds to the above limitations let me know.

PCDJ FX alleviates some of this nonsense, but then takes away the recordcase (preview) player - you actually have to load a song into one of the players to preview it. uggghhh. When PCDJ FX fixes this, I will upgrade to it.

Greg A. I know you were evaluating Tracktor - have you had much success with it?
John Dyer, Denver CO

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Jake
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#98 Post by Jake » Mon Apr 05, 2004 3:12 pm

JohnDyer wrote:The "autoplay" is not as nice as one would think, taking into consideration that some songs end before the actual end of the track, etc. In that case you'd get dead air until the track really ended and the next track starts up.
EAC has a nice feature which trims the silence off the start and end of the track when ripping from CD.

JohnDyer
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#99 Post by JohnDyer » Mon Apr 05, 2004 7:49 pm

Jake wrote:
EAC has a nice feature which trims the silence off the start and end of the track when ripping from CD.
What is the success rate of EAC chopping off at the right point? What about complete silence breaks within a song? This doesn't help though with clapping at the end of a song - something you'd normally fade out or stop.
John Dyer, Denver CO

Larry
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#100 Post by Larry » Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:41 pm

I've had good results from most silence cutting rippers. I always listen to a CD before playing to get the timing I want for the intro and sometimes hearing the original track's "pauses" helps me decide. But, when I mix CDs for friends I do cut out the silence at the ends of some tracks and do a usual 2 sec pause or continuous song.

Meanwhile, on my digital DJ rig, I've encoded my remaining collection with EAC on -ALT PRESET Extreme. After hearing both (I can barely hear any difference if any on my home system), I've decided to use onboard sound on my laptops and run them both as my digital "turntables" through my Numark portable mixer/CD console.

I'm also burning my collection onto DVD-ROMs. At 4.7 Gig a DVD - I get over 2 days (49 hrs) of virtually loss less MP3 (VBR 320) music all suitable and pre-selected for dancing no matter what your mood.

It has been an interesting change, but I definitely think it is worth it. More details as I continue trying it.

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wheresmygravy
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#101 Post by wheresmygravy » Sat Apr 10, 2004 7:46 am

So I now have a 160GB disc installed in an external encloser so I can use it wherever I want (1394 and USB 2, total cost $150). I have 'backed up' all of my music from my HP DEC100 and my desktop (about 30gb). And have gotten Ultratagger to work with the MP3 Tags as well as renaming the files to Artist/Album/Track.

My question is: Do ya'll leave your music in a flat file system or do you store it heiarchical(sp?). ie.

c:\MP3s\Joe Williams - Finest Hour - 01 - Alright Okay You Win.mp3

vs.

c:\MP3s\Joe Williams\Finest Hour\Joe Williams - Finest Hour - 01 - Alright Okay You Win.mp3

The best Ultratracker seems to do is the flat file system. When you rename files, it won't build the folder structure to create the hierarchical file system. And if you use hierarchical, what utility did you use?

I am trying to figure out which is best. I think it would be better to be able to work with an album at a time in Ultratracker. Cuz I know when it has to deal with 4000 tracks at a time, it can be a bit slow.

However, most of the DJ software seems to be able to scan your whole disc and present the tracks regardless of where the are stored. So I don't think it matters here. Since it seems to present the 'tag info' more than the 'file info'.

Thoughts, ideas, anyone?

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GemZombie
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#102 Post by GemZombie » Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:27 am

I mentioned it in another thread, but my storage choice is:

f:\archive\<genre>\<artist>\<album>\01 - <Artist Name> - <title>.mp3

JohnDyer
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#103 Post by JohnDyer » Mon Apr 12, 2004 9:01 am

GemZombie wrote:I mentioned it in another thread, but my storage choice is:

f:\archive\<genre>\<artist>\<album>\01 - <Artist Name> - <title>.mp3
How hard is it to pick one genre for artists that clearly cross whatever genre boundaries you have defined? Or do you put all of your swing dj collection into "swing"? :)
John Dyer, Denver CO

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LindyChef
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#104 Post by LindyChef » Mon Apr 12, 2004 9:33 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's just lazy and the DJ not doing their job ... and honestly this could happen to a CD DJ too ... just burn a mix and pop it in. Question: Was the DJ dancing during their set? If so, then it's a case of their dancing interfering with their DJing in a situation where there DJing should come first.

I do a couple things to avoid laziness: never build a playlist before I start, and when I have some down time in my set, turn my copy of iTunes to random and just start advancing, browsing through my library to see if something inspires me (I use WinAMP as my ouput player).

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12bars
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#105 Post by 12bars » Mon Apr 12, 2004 12:20 pm

ok...
i can run 2 versions of media player at once; can i have each one play in a diff sound card? effectivly previewing and cueing while a song is playing?

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