The Numark M101USB is a traditional two-channel mixer, but the USB means you can also run two digital sources through it.
Digital DJ Tips reader Brad writes: “I’ve been in the market for a new set up to replace my current budget kit (Mixtrack). I stumbled upon this Numark M101USB two-channel mixer for cheap!
Can I use this mixer in combination with the Traktor Kontrol X1 (as I have no use for jogs) for a better yet cheaper alternative to my Mixtrack? Does USB mean that it can map to Traktor? And will I need a sound card?”
The Traktor Kontrol stand is designed to raise your X1 or F1 to the height of a standard DJ mixer, to make it fit perfectly next to the Traktor Kontrol Z2 mixer, and also to act as a hard protective case.
With the announcement yesterday by Native Instruments of the Traktor Kontrol Stand – a rather nifty, but not exactly cheap, die-cast aluminium raiser to lift the Traktor Kontrol X1 and Traktor Kontrol F1 controllers up to standard mixer height – we thought we’d scout around and see what else you can buy for US$60 (the Traktor Kontrol Stand will retail at US$59 from March 2013).
Because while the Traktor Kontrol Stand will no doubt be the answer to some DJs’ prayer (especially as it “converts” into a hard case for the X1/F1 when not in use), it turns out that from speakers to DJ controllers, headphones to gig bags, US$60 can go a long way in these frugal times…
Adding an Allen & Heath K2 to your set-up would give you extra controls. Pic: Traktor Bible
Digital DJ Tips reader Perry writes: “I use Traktor Pro 2 to DJ with, alongside my Kontrol S2 controller and laptop, and while DJing I find it hard to easily vary the effects I can use. If I’m honest, the S2 just doesn’t give me enough options for controlling effects within Traktor.
“So I am writing to you today to asking if there are any external controller units that integrate with Traktor and allow for you to have more control over what you are doing?”
Numark Mixtrack Pro: It's the best value controller at its price point, but our reader is looking for a change.
Reader Frazer writes: “I’m an aspiring DJ and I’m becoming quite recognised in my local area through posting mixes on Facebook and having a weekly radio show with another (well known) DJ.
“I have the opportunity to play the most popular weekend venue in my area (a pub with a nightclub dancefloor upstairs) within the next few weeks and I was wondering what would be the best controller to get for under £200? I have the Numark Mixtrack Pro but I feel it’s much too flimsy, plasticky and big. I would prefer something smaller and sturdier.”
The Novation Twitch comes with an overlay and mapping for Traktor, although there are mixed reports about the quality of the supplied mapping. Pic: Zzsounds
Reader Kirill write: “I am moving now from the Vestax Typhoon to a new controller and I’m all excited about the Twitch because it has no jogs (I don’t scratch, never did, never will). It also seems to have lots of buttons and FX controls that seem great to replace an external pad controller.
“I am mainly playing electronic music and dubstep, and working live with another DJ who is using Ableton Live with an APC40 to control our drum triggers and play loops and other effects while I run the tracks and mash them. I am worried that I will outgrow the Twitch just as fast as I did with the Typhoon (squeezed every little bit that it had to offer!), and wondering if it won’t be better to get a Kontrol S4.
Anyone who buys and registers a Traktor Kontrol X1 in August or September will get a free upgrade of the supplied software to Traktor Pro 2, a saving of US$139 / €129, Native Instruments announced today.
What’s more, the unit now comes with an additional physical overlay in the box that details all the features of its also-supplied brand new mapping, designed to give control over “all four decks, sample decks and loop recorder, comprehensive loop and cue functions, and selection of over 30 effects” from Traktor Pro 2.
We often get asked about these two devices – which is “best”, what they can be used for, how do they fit into a set up and so on. So here we look briefly again at the two units and the concentrate on how you can use them, and which might be the best choice in various DJing situations.
Not quite ready to ditch the decks? With a controller that lets you use your existing set-up too, like the Xone:DX that we use here at Digital DJ Tips, you don't have to.
Many of our readers are too young to have ever bought a record – fact. Many more have DJed in the past with vinyl and decks, but for whatever reason stopped, and got rid of all their stuff, only to get back into DJing thanks to the value and fun offered by modern kit.
Both of these groups tend to dive right in there as digital DJs, and once they’ve messed with DJ software on their laptops with the keyboard and trackpad for a while and got hooked, they proceed to buy a decent DJ controller. Job done.