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Archive for June, 2012

Mackie DFX-6 mixer

30/06/2012 Leave a comment

I had the chance to use this mixer a few days back at a friend’s wedding. I was in charge of sound and music…of sorts. In any case, I stationed myself close to this mixer and hooked up my laptop to channel 5/6. I must say that this mixer sounds pretty good. Its rather compact and has a whole lot of effects to chose from, making it a great mixer to use in a small pub.

Mackie has a very interesting name for their effects back, calling it EMAC. According to Mackie:

EMAC stands for Extended Multiplication and Accumulation. In non-geek terms, that means no loss of internal precision during audio processing. We started with the best proprietary reverb, delay and modulation algorithms our engineers could devise, then added 32-bit internal processing for a difference you’ll definitely hear.

Pretty interesting! There is also a Vocal Eliminator, for karaoke when you want to remove the vocals. According to Mackie, it does a pretty good job! I did not get the chance to try it though.

The sound was consistently great, as with most Mackie mixers. There is a five-band equalizer, which would suit small pubs just fine as the main mixer in say, a band for instance. There are two AUX send and returns. AUX 1 is for monitoring/foldback and AUX 2 is for the effects. I was using AUX 1 for a small Yamaha MSR100 monitor which also performed flawlessly. Channel one and two was utilised by wireless microphones that a pastor was using to register their marriage, and also to give a pretty candid speech. There is a phantom power switch to activate the phantom power but as I had no condenser mikes or active DIs to run, I did not need to use it.

So would I recommend this? Definitely. Small pubs and clubs with maybe two-piece bands would benefit from a mixer like this that just does the job. I know I liked it but for me, I would prefer a mixer with pots.

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Yamaha MSR100

29/06/2012 Leave a comment

There are lots of powered-speaker manufacturers in the world and Yamaha is one of them. This MSR100 powered speaker, I had only just found out about it last weekend when I was providing audio at a wedding ceremony. The restaurant, where the wedding was held at, had these for monitors. I hooked it up to the AUX of the Mackie mixer that was installed in the pub and I must say that the sound coming out of this small wonder was simply rich. Not bad for a powered speaker that sports an 8″ woofer and a 1″ titanium diaphragm compression driver. The built-in amplifier delivers 100 watts of power and it could handle the restaurant with ease.

Yamaha’s website describes this unit:

A simple but effective mixer built into the rear of the unit provides 3 inputs with master EQ for sound control. The “Input 1” XLR connector accommodates almost any microphone or line input (with a -50dB/+4dB pad switch), while line sources can be connected to the “Input 2” and “Input 3” phone-jack connectors. Naturally, each input has its own level control, with a master level control for overall output. Two-band EQ gives you further control over the final sound. A convenient clip indicator alerts you if the input signal level is too high, so you can reduce levels to avoid distortion. For larger events the MSR100’s special link out jack can be used to connect multiple units for higher power and expanded coverage.

And its true. I was surprised and pleased at what this little speaker was capable of. Its capable of producing up to 112 dB SPL…not too shabby! It can be used as a FOH system for sound reinforcement or it can be used as a monitor speaker. A variety of mounting options allow pole mounting, ceiling suspension, or wall mounting so that makes it very versatile.

Yamaha, you have done it again!

Now its Kim Kardashian that wants to be a DJ

28/06/2012 Leave a comment

I got this from the EDMTunes page on Facebook. If it was not bad enough, I found out a couple of days back that Paris Hilton tried her hand at DJ-ing with very bad results. What is it with these socialites and the DJ world? All I can say is, there goes the craft.

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Hercules DJ Control MP3 E2

27/06/2012 1 comment

A friend of mine bought this Hercules controller yesterday. Pretty inexpensive…cost him less than $150. But there is a caveat though. It does not come with an internal soundcard and so he needed to buy an external one. Loading was pretty simple. All I had to do was load the Hercules drivers, and then install the Virtual DJ software that came with it. The controller worked right out of the box. Specs-wise, this is what this controller has to offer:

  • 2 vinyl-style jog wheels
  • 3 faders
  • 6 equalization knobs
  • 2 pitch knobs
  • 1 stick & multiple buttons

After he bought this, he went to another shop in the same shopping centre and bought this USB soundcard below:

The soundcard was pretty inexpensive too. Cost him about $18. So what he has to do now is configure Virtual DJ to route the headphone mix to this soundcard and the laptop soundcard takes care of the house audio. That is going to be a pretty tall order for him but I have given him some tips on how to do it so he should be OK.

Money well spent? You bet!

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A cat named Shadow

26/06/2012 Leave a comment

There is a new addition to the family, and that new addition is a ragamuffin named Shadow. Cute little bugger and loves playing around. He is still getting used to the new surroundings but he will get used to them in no time.

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Stanton DJC.4 controller

25/06/2012 1 comment

Looks like Stanton is upping the ante with this controller. Its a 4-deck controller, bundled with Virtual DJ LE.It features:

  • Analog inputs for turntables or CD players, with direct pass-through to software for DVS control
  • Each channel can be assigned to either 2 MIDI decks (A/C, B/D) or an analog input via toggle switch
  • User replaceable 100K cycle 45mm cross fader with adjustable curve
  • 3-band EQ control w/ complete KILL plus gain per channel
  • VU meter LED for level monitoring
  • 1-Balanced (1/4″ TRS) Microphone Input w/ volume & tone control

The specifications look pretty good:

  • 4 channel (Dual-Stereo) 16bit/48kHz audio interface allowing comprehensive connection to your sound system
  • Included Virtual DJ LE software allows for 4-deck control, video mixing, effects, with plug and play functionality
  • 2 or 4 channel control with deck shift functionality and browser loading, giving direct access to the controls you need fast
  • Long-life replaceable Cross fader with hardware fader curve knob allowing your custom cutting preference to be dialed in
  • Rugged metal chassis, designed to withstand years of use in the most rigorous environments
  • 95 assignable MIDI controllers (63 buttons, 5 faders, 12 push encoders, 22 control dials, 2 touch-sensitive jog wheels) & shift function

There is a very good review on DJWorx.com and it does justice to what this controller has to offer. I am a sucker for reliability and robustness of controllers so I am quite interested in this one. Plus the fact that it comes with Virtual DJ (it can work with Traktor Pro with a mapping file) I like it already.

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IDE Disk On Module (DOM)

24/06/2012 Leave a comment

I have only just found out about these things. Well, that is part of life…we learn new things every day. This happened when I was supposed to fix a kiosk for a client. They were using this as a hard drive. This is a disk-on-module (DOM) hard drive, something like a flash disk but you can connect it to an IDE port and you are spun. It seems that these were designed for industrial computers and since there are no moving parts, like SSDs, they can last a long time. Perfect for your older computers that only accept IDE drives. I am curious…I might get one for my old computer and slave up some SATA drives to it, but use this just too hold the operating system. I think these will hold up pretty well!

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