Home Forums Digital DJ Gear Is it possible to DJ well with just a laptop?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
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  • #10168
    Phil Morse
    Keymaster

    Lots of us start with just a laptop and software. When I started there were no good controllers, and I DJed for years with just a laptop – “proper” DJing, mixing, FX, loops, the lot. It took some nifty mapping and a bit of practise, and there WERE things I couldn’t do, but I got by.

    So my question is: Do YOU think it’s possible to DJ with JUST a laptop and no controller?

    #10170
    Pär Hessler
    Participant

    Possible: IMO Yes
    Possible to DJ well: IMO No F&%/)ing Way!
    To DJ well you need:
    Knobbs for EFX
    Joggwheels for scratching and a lot of other stuff!
    Pitchslider for pitching
    Knobs for Hi Mid Lo on Mixer.
    Filterknobbs on mixer
    Volume faders on mixer
    X-fader on mixer

    #10172
    Deathray
    Member

    Yes. I did it for years and I think it’s made me a quicker and more nimble DJ now that I have several controllers. Sometimes working in a restrictive environment makes you work a lot harder to get the results you want to achieve.

    #10173
    U31
    Member

    Absolutely, Phil.

    Edit:

    Caveat, as long as there is provision for headphone cueing

    #1002179
    Kranic
    Member

    Deathray, post: 10168 wrote: Yes. I did it for years and I think it’s made me a quicker and more nimble DJ now that I have several controllers. Sometimes working in a restrictive environment makes you work a lot harder to get the results you want to achieve.

    That! And it really makes you think about planning and timing!
    Can you manage to kill that bass, control the effects and drop a new track all at the same time?

    Great learning experience, but so happy with my controllers now 🙂

    #10183
    DJ Max D.
    Member

    Possible? Very.
    IMHO every digital DJ should practice using only the laptop just in case of emergency..

    #10221
    Arbite
    Member

    Very possible, but not a situation thats enjoyable. I did it when I first started, and when I couldn’t be bothered taking my old controller to a gig. But, I like my crossfader to much to do it these days. Also, I’m an effects junkie, so a knob for them is a must.

    #10317
    eros
    Member

    All I can say is RESPECT, i don’t know how you guys did it ! After reading this post I had a go at it just to see what it was like…needless to say I found it really difficult and sucked ! I found that I had to be thinking 3 – 4 steps ahead of where I was and had to concentrate really hard. I can see exactly what you were saying Kranic.

    #10339
    U31
    Member

    🙂 I have just started my mate off on VDJ with laptop only, Eros..
    He’s a Vinylist so knew the script with mixing , so a few hours using only instant messaging ( I was at work lol 😳 ) and he was away

    When he was last here he was talking of selling his Vinyl and going Digital, so i thought id give him the push..
    I told him to get conversant and adept at laptop DJing and said we would move on to talking about controllers once he gets the hang of it

    #10340
    Maiki Vince
    Participant

    It is very possible to DJ using a laptop only without a controller, though there are limitations to it. The key thing is to learn how to map the keyboard to all the actions you use. I use VDJ and a fully mapped keyboard as a controller and my major limitation is how to adjust effects with the keyboard, I really don’t like using the mouse. When I started I was always confusing the different keys but with practice I have got the hang of it.

    #10356
    Robert Weinhold
    Participant

    I DJ’d with VDJ and Traktor only for a long time and it is possible… honestly I think it taught me a lot about DJ’ing but I wouldn’t wanna miss my S4 now that I have it lol

    #10367
    Kranic
    Member

    Azrazael, post: 10352 wrote: I DJ’d with VDJ and Traktor only for a long time and it is possible… honestly I think it taught me a lot about DJ’ing but I wouldn’t wanna miss my S4 now that I have it lol

    Same here, although it’s double X1s for me :p

    #11573

    I used to play at weddings, 21st’s and house parties with a full PC! I used to cart my 15″ CRT monitor, tower, keyboard and mouse, just to go play. At that time I used Virtual Turntables by Carrot Innovations (no longer around) [http://sonicspot.com/virtualturntables/virtualturntables.html%5D. They had a great time and if I recall, I don’t think they really cared how I got the music going or what equipment I was using.

    So, if you are planning to spin with a laptop, remember that it’s not as bad as carting a full PC around 🙂

    Happy Spinning!

    #38198
    Folami Small
    Participant

    Phil Morse, post: 10164, member: 2 wrote: Lots of us start with just a laptop and software. When I started there were no good controllers, and I DJed for years with just a laptop – “proper” DJing, mixing, FX, loops, the lot. It took some nifty mapping and a bit of practise, and there WERE things I couldn’t do, but I got by.

    So my question is: Do YOU think it’s possible to DJ with JUST a laptop and no controller?

    ABSOLUTELY!!! I’ve been (as I call it) INTERNALLY DJ’ing for the last 7 years. I use Serato, which has a wonderful caché of effects. I must admit that internal DJ’ing is NOT EASY! In many ways, I’ve found that you have to be ÜBER precise with your mixing… if you train wreck it’s often way more noticable than with vinyl or with CDJ’s, which you can kind of ‘fudge’. However, I love simply using my laptop! Note: just make sure that you are not hypnotised by your computer screen, and remember to engage with the crowd…

    #38214
    Discovideo
    Member

    And if you nail the main midi-controls to some keyboard-keys of your laptop, use buildin-automatic mixing…who needs a controller?

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