Reader Ricky Hewitt writes: “I’m a bedroom DJ with a really simple set-up but have just had a rather big break. I have Traktor Pro 2 on my MacBook Pro and a Mixtrack controller. My sound card is a £3 USB cheap one, for monitoring at home and running my speakers straight out of the 3.5 minijack on my laptop – I’ve always created an aggregate device in Traktor and all is good.”
“Right here the good bit. I entered a DJ competition for the club Sankeys in Manchester, which is to find a new resident. And out of hundreds I’ve got through to the last 12! I’ve got my own 45 minute slot in a few weeks but I’m worried about my set-up and could do with some help. Im going to get an NI Audio 2 sound card and use my Mixtrack but I’m just not sure about connecting it to their system. What cable do I need? Will it just plug straight into the club’s mixer and open the channel fader up fully?”
“They’ve said there won’t be a sound guy there on the night either which is a bit crap considering there are six new wannabe DJs without a lot of experience in the tech side of things!”
Digital DJ Tips says:
There’s nothing at all unusual about there being no sound guy – DJs are meant to know enough and club economics often mean that while less than ideal, this is far from abnormal. But spin it round : this is a real chance for you to shine if you get the sound right.
OK, first things first – to plug in, use a stereo TRS-to-RCAs to plug from your Audio 2 into a spare LINE input on their mixer. Set the EQ flat on that mixer channel, but level the fader down for now. Next, make sure the output from your Mixtrack is not peaking (i.e. not “in the red”) and do the same on the club’s mixer for your input channel: If you press the “cue” button for your channel on their mixer, more than likely the VU meters will show thou the level of the input – adjust the gain control on the mixer channel to keep that full green but with rare or no red peaking.
When you’re ready, open the fader on the club’s mixer for sound. As long as the crossfader is set to the correct side for that channel (or disengaged), you’ll hear your output. Then, to adjust overall volume, use the master on the club’s mixer.
Any more advice to add to this to help Ricky through his audition? Please feel free to add it below.