One of our Twitter followers, @adrian_uk, writes: “I use Virtual DJ Pro on my laptop at the moment. I have been offered the chance to do a show on an internet radio station, but my problem is, I can’t use a mic and headphones at the same time without (I guess) two sound cards. I have now come across Numark iDJ3, which has a socket for both mic and headphones (great news). I thought this would be a great solution to my problem, but I would like some advice before I purchase this product.
Firstly, on Virtual DJ Pro I use the four deck option so I can mix two tracks and use the other two for mixing in jingles and ads. This works well, but with the software that comes with Numark iDJ3 it only has two decks. I guess I could always cue my jingles and ads using an iPod docked in the unit, but what if I wanted to record my show at the same time? Basically, I want to mix two tracks, drop in jingles and ads, record my set, use headphones for monitoring and a good mic for taking all at the same time. Is this possible with Numark iDJ3?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Firstly, if you’re using Virtual DJ Pro with your laptop’s internal sound card, I assume you’re not currently using headphones and just taking a master output from your laptop? If so, and assuming your laptop has separate mic and headphones sockets, you should be able to plug a microphone into your laptop’s mic input and mix that from within Virtual DJ Pro into your DJ output. As you identify, you’d be much more comfortable with a DJ controller.
To try this, go to audio settings and under inputs, select microphone. Virtual DJ has controls in the software for mixing this into your output. Hitting “Record” in Virtual DJ will then record your whole show. No need for any more gear at all!However, as you identify, you’d be much more comfortable with a DJ controller, not least because it’ll allow you to use headphone monitoring. The good news is your paid-for copy of Virtual DJ Pro will work fine with the iDJ3, once you’ve added the mapping file to it.
Controller-wise, the iDJ3 isn’t a good choice for you. It’s only designed to control two decks, and I’d recommend using a proper four-channel controller (even though it is possible to remap any controller to control four decks in Virtual DJ, the workflow will almost always be more complicated). Furthermore the iPod dock is ill integrated into the iDJ3’s workflow, and should really be seen as just a backup option. (I’ve also heard it doesn’t work with newer iPhones, but can’t confirm that.)
The controller that springs immediately to mind considering you’re happy with Virtual DJ Pro and you regularly use four channels is the forthcoming Numark N4 (due in two weeks, apparently). We’ve not reviewed it yet, but it works with Virtual DJ on four decks, has pro inputs and outputs including for microphone, of course it can work with your headphones, and I am pretty sure the microphone will route through the software, so you can record your whole show simply by hitting record in Virtual DJ. (However, until we get to review the unit, I can’t confirm this.) It looks like a great value controller.
Other options to consider
Also, look at the Hercules DJ Console 4-Mx which is a similar controller but you switch between the four channels instead of having them all there on their own faders. Smaller, but not as easy to use.
The cheaper Hercules DJ Console RMX, which is just the older version of the above, still does the job and costs less, albeit with inferior jogwheels.
Can you add any more advice or alternative solutions for Adrian? Please feel free to offer your own solutions or additions to this advice below.