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Posts Tagged ‘Pioneer’

Yamaha MG12XU mixer at an event

12/12/2016 Leave a comment

I was the DJ cum soundman at a wedding a couple of days back and the audio company supplied me with this mixer for the whole event. Very nice sounding mixer, like most Yamaha mixers are. Hooked up my trusty DDJ-WeGo to my SMPRO DJDI DI box, and from the outputs to input channels 3 and 4 of the Yamaha mixer and I was set for the night. I did not see the need to use the Denon DN-4500 dual CD decks as I already had my controller, even though they were hooked up to two of the stereo channels. It was a good wedding and everything went smoothly. Looks like Yamaha have really improved on their mixers.

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Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 DJ controller

30/10/2016 Leave a comment

Early this morning, I went to check out a friend of mine who had a gig for Halloween. When I went into the premises, I saw that was using the new Numark Mixtrack Pro 3. Awesome, I thought, as I was eyeing this new, slim controller from Numark that was Serato DJ compatible. But first of all, let us look at this controller closely

First of all, Numark has endowed this controller with 100mm pitch sliders that make it easy to perform even the finest pitch adjustments. I used to have pitch knobs on my Hercules DJ Console MK 4 and while they were quirky at first, I got used to them and now I wish I had knobs instead of sliders all the time because it was easy to fine-tune the pitch. My WeGo has pitch sliders but they are short. I have had to live with them but the long-throw sliders on this Numark are very welcome.

Next thing worth mentioning is that there are 16 multi-function backlit performance pads that can be utilised to add loops, launch samples, and control hot cues to your performance. Use the multi-function touch strip for dynamic FX control and track search operation. There are dedicated filter knobs for each channel, to give you just the exact amount of tonal control you need. So we are talking versatility here but there are other controllers in the same price range that will do the same as well admittedly.

I did mention that this Numark is thin…and looks pretty stealth. And the jogwheels…they look pretty responsive with a red halo around them. They are low-profile metal platters and they add to the controllers slim profile. Numark has stated that they are capacitive and dual-zone, giving you the ability to scratch or stop a track simply by touching the top of the platter, while at the same time allowing you to adjust the pitch by manipulating the platter from the side. Now that is awesome but my inexpensive WeGo does the same, and is no slouch.

So in a nutshell, let us look at the features of this controller:

  • All-new 5-inch high resolution metal jog wheels
  • Dedicated filter knobs for each channel
  • Multi-function Touch Strip for dynamic FX control and Track Search
  • 100mm pitch sliders for fine pitch adjustments
  • Dedicated track browsing controls for your library
  • 16 multi-function performance pads
  • Integrated class compliant audio interface with ¼-inch and 1/8-inch headphone connections
  • 1/4″ Microphone Input
  • Includes Serato DJ Intro upgrade-ready for Serato DJ
  • Includes Prime Loops remix tool kit

Most controllers, at least the lower-end ones, have mic inputs but I suspect this is for unbalanced mics with tip-sleeve connectors. This one is no exception. Outputs-wise, these come with two RCA outputs, standard on most controllers like these. Now this looks good but Decksaver has not made an covers for this controller…yet. I am seriously tossed on this and the DDJ-SB2 but I forgot to mention one thing in this review and that is my friend’s controller’s channel faders could NOT work and he was relying on his crossfader all night long. Oh well…worth a thought and I hope that everything works out well for him.

Pioneer DDJ-SZ

06/09/2016 Leave a comment

Just the other day, about a week ago, I was DJ at an event with some other DJs where we were using Pioneer CDJs and a mixer, hooked up to a Rane SL4 interface box. The thing is, in order for us to use that system with our notebooks, we needed to use the Serato timecode discs. But there was an issue. One of the CDJs had apparently developed issues trying to read the discs and as a result, there were several drop-outs that night, much to our chagrin. After the function, we told ourselves…never again. We decided to go all-controller for the next function…and this is what we chose to use next time, the DDJ-SZ.

The DDJ-SZ is Pioneer’s flagship DJ controller. It is the first controller to closely match the CDJ-2000NXS set-up. The full-sized, illuminated jog wheels deliver a smooth, fast response for precision scratching. Plus you can check your playback position or point countdown with the On Jog Display.  And it is not only that. The important part is that it contains two USB sound cards and ports. This means we can hook-up 2 computers at the same time and use the top-loaded A/B switch for DJ transitions. We had a HELL of a problem with that Rane SL4 interface box and Serato DJ

But I was thinking to myself…what if issues should happen? After all, this is an all-in-one which means that when something goes wrong, the whole controller needs to be sent for repair. I am always very concerned about faders because the faders in my old Hercules DJ Console MK4 are starting to show signs of wear. But no matter. Apparently, the robust Magvel Faders in the DDJ-SZ ensure smooth control over long-term use. Two metal shafts support the fader knobs, while the contact-free magnetic system is designed to endure millions of performances. So that is good news, fader-wise

So to be honest, I was looking for one of these for sale should I need one. Ever since I made my transition to Serato from VirtualDJ, things have been going great. There are heaps more this controller can give you like two MIC inputs and XLR outputs for full, balanced audio. It costs about $2500 new so I am looking for a second-hand set. I think it will be a good investment

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My DJ setup on New Year’s Eve

06/01/2016 Leave a comment

For the past three years, I have been providing DJ services to a client on New Year’s Eve. maybe they like my style, maybe they like my music. All I know is, they give me a great setup and they always accede to my requests. I had Pioneer CDJs set up for me and even though I used a controller that night, the CDJs were set up as my backup plan, should anything go wrong (and thankfully, nothing did). Did I have a good time? I sure did. Did people like my music? Yep…they did…no complaints at all. But O thanks the sound company for setting this all up for me. Fantastic as always. Looking forward to next year.

Unique padded bag at Ikea

02/06/2015 Leave a comment

I was at Ikea recently and while looking around I came across this padded bag that I thought would fit my Pioneer DDJ-WeGo controller nicely. Right now, the controller is being carried in a laptop bag. I thought that a bag like this would offer better protection to what I can see is a very delicate controller. It was just a thought anyway but my laptop bag is doing a stellar job so far so I suppose I may not need this bag. But its an interesting bag indeed.

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Pioneer DDJ-SB

20/09/2014 1 comment

A friend of mine is spinning in a club and I go to his place quite a few times because I love the music that he plays. He plays a mixture of early 80’s R&B (not the stupid “R&B” that some club punters ask of DJs), 70s disco, soul and such. Just yesterday he was throwing down Evelyn King’s I’m In Love. And how was he mixing? He was using a controller…just like I would if I was in his place. And the controller in question? This Pioneer DDJ-SB.

This DDJ-SB 2-channel DJ controller, according to Pioneer, is designed for the entry-level DJ who wants the same look and feel as the two upper models (The DDJ-SX and DDJ-SR) but with more basic operability and at a more affordable price. The DDJ-SB uses the Serato DJ Intro software and incorporates multiple performance pads, large jog wheels, and a new Filter Fade function that assists users in smoothly blending together tracks of different styles.

Now I would not say my DJ friend is a beginner. he has been mixing for the greater part of 30 years or more now so he knows his stuff. But he is a beginner to digital DJ’ing with a controller and a laptop and he took to this like a duck to water, pumping out the tunes for all to enjoy. He was using Serato DJ but I did not know if it was Serato DJ Intro or the full-fledged Serato DJ. But whatever it was, it just worked and the controller looked pretty good, Basic is all you are asking for, as a DJ in a joint like this. No fancy stuff to confuse you and such. And that is precisely the reason my friend chose this controller. Sometimes, less is more.

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Pioneer DDJ-WeGo3

03/09/2014 Leave a comment

I did a double-take when I first saw this on DigitalDJTips.com. You mean there is another one? Apparently yes! I bought a DDJ-WeGo that is acting as my spare controller if anything should go wrong with my first choice Hercules DJ Console MK4. Afer I bought my DDJ-WeGo, I found out that Pioneer had launched the DDJ-WeGo2. Oh well, it’s a constant evolving process…that is what this DJ equipment world has become.

Apparently, according to the Pioneer DJ website, DJs can connect the DDJ-WeGO3 to an iPhone/iPod touch/iPad running Algoriddim’s djay 2 app to mix tracks from their Spotify or iTunes accounts. Or they can connect to a PC/Mac and use Virtual DJ Limited Edition software, or another software package of their choice. So this in effect does make this DJ software very versatile indeed. As for the design, notice the buttons around the jog dials? The player features an aluminum panel on the top surface and buttons in a rounded layout around the JOG dial. The device also adopts a flat shape and compact size for easy portability, so it can be carried to various settings for DJ play. As for software other than Algoriddim, it supports Virtual DJ LE and Serato DJ. And this player also incorporates a built-in sound card. The headphone jacks at the side accept either standard phone jacks or mini-jacks. Main output is via a couple of RCA jacks

Looks pretty good doesn’t it?

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