Controller Clinic #20: Best Micro Set-up For DJing & Live Performance?

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Micro Digital DJ Gear Micro DJ Set-up
Last updated 14 November, 2017

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Korg NanoKONTROL 2
The Korg NanoKONTROL 2: Too fiddly for our reader, who’s also looking to reduce the number of items he carries from country to country in his DJ backpack.

Digital DJ Tips reader Ramunas writes “I need a set up to DJ and do live performances, but I DJ abroad so it involves flying. Right now I have a Novation Launchpad, Korg NanoKontrol 2 and Traktor Audio 2. It’s a bit of a chore because I need to carry three USB cables, audio cables and a USB hub with power supply, as well as my headphones and laptop.I like the Launchpad a lot, but I don’t like the NanoKONTROL 2 so much, which I’m using as a mixer, because of the layout and all those small rotaries faders and buttons, so I am thinking of changing it for a Novation Nocturn to get a more “logical” layout. Then again, I thought about just using the Pioneer mixers that are most of the time in my gig venues, but I hate the cue/mix method on all DJMs except DJM707.”

“I have another thought, maybe just to abandon all that gear and get an Allen & Heath Xone:K2 instead. But I see its not the smallest device, and I don’t know if it would fit to my backpack along with the laptop. How is the audio interface? is it enough good to match Traktor Audio 2?What would be your advice? I need full control over Traktor 2, an audio interface, plus the ability to control FL Studio 11 in performance mode and Ableton Live.”

Digital DJ Tips says:

OK, here’s my thoughts. Firstly, it might be worth getting over your “hatred” of Pioneer’s mixers and their cueing – using what’s already in venues makes a lot of sense to me, because deciding to use venue mixers (whatever mixer you happen to find there) would allow you to leave one “box” at home.

Secondly, to let you know the Allen and Heath Xone:K2 is very light and shallow, and certainly if you’re carrying a Launchpad around, you shouldn’t sweat carrying a Xone:K2 around with you. Its sound card is very good, so again, no worries.

Thirdly, I strongly recommend you look at the Faderfox controllers. There are a number available, they’re tiny, they’re really well made, and they’ve just had an across-the-board price reduction. They can all be mapped by you, but they also come with excellent Ableton Live and Traktor mappings as well.

So, over to you: Do you have a micro set-up you use for Djing and performing live electronic music? What would your advice to Ramunas be? Please share your thoughts in the comments.