Home Forums Digital DJ Gear Using CDJs for the first time at a WEDDING

This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Isaiah Furrow 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #2597231

    Chris Herodotou
    Participant

    Hello all,

    I am a controller DJ using serato and laptop and have been called into action to DJ at a wedding next week. The only snag is they have a CDJ setup (with USB drives I have been told).

    I have never used CDJ’s before so am a little nervous about how things will go.

    Can I plug my laptop into the CDJ setup and view my Serato as normal?

    If not, I assume I will put my tunes on 2 separate USB sticks, one for each deck, and use the screens on the CDJs?

    If anybody can fill me in, that would be great

    Cheers,
    Chris

    #2597271

    Isaiah Furrow
    Participant

    you will need to find out what CDJs and Mixer are at the venue, and research from there…
    If you can, find someone in your area that will let you have a go on their CDJs, or maybe rent a setup for a day…
    Also, it might be possible to have a go at the actual venue when nobody is using them, like around lunchtime on a Wednesday or something…
    Another option would be to plug your normal setup into the mixer at the venue… this would depend on space and if that was permissible.

    Keep us posted, and good luck!

    #2597751

    Peter Lindqvist
    Participant

    Hey! Isaiah is right. You need to get the specs on the gear you’re gonna play on. Not all Pioneer gear, and definitely not all brands works the same when it comes to hardware setups. If it’s an upper level of Pioneer gear, you can expect it to work fine with your existing software to an extent where you can connect your laptop to the mixer and use the HID mode on the player, giving you full control over the hardware like a giant big controller. The lower you get in the Pio range, the more sacrifices you have to make, simplistic speaking. From controlling an entire 4 deck/mixer (NXS2) with a single USB cable, to just use it as a DVS setup.

    If this is a recent Denon equivalent, you will have a similar situation but with a less developed compatibility overall, but for Serato it should be fine. If this is something rare, which I hope not, like Reloop or Numark, they can be used but these are not trusted platforms for good reasons. For a once-in-a-lifetime wedding?, I wouldn’t want to rely on anything than proven hardware.

    Hypothetically, if this is a fairly recent Pioneer setup, anything XDJ- or Nexus/NXS2, and you have a well organized music library, preferably even outside your current software, I’d consider installing Rekordbox and just import your music to it. There’s a program called Rekord Buddy that could be of help if you’re on a mac. If you’re on a PC and prepared to do a workaround, this article could help: https://www.digitaldjtips.com/topic/how-to-use-rekord-buddy-2-as-a-windows-user-today/. Or just import your music and create suitable playlist for the wedding.

    This way, if the setup is properly done and a network switch is in place (or DJM-2000 with buid-in hub) you can connect your laptop and use it just to get the music in to the players, instead of using USB-sticks. Physically the players doesn’t care where from the music is loaded, as long as it is 🙂 . You just choose the source on the upper left side on/of the screen depending on model.

    The time spared from not exporting the music to USB’s aside, this way you have the whole laptop screen to look at when choosing tracks and you can use the search via the keyboard as usual. This would be a huge difference in case it’s the first CDJ-900, which has a pretty bad screen but works fine with Rekordbox this way. Even if it’s the NXS2’s or the XDJ-1000Mk2’s with the new touch screen, it’s not as big as your laptop screen. Then, perhaps it’s better to be safe and have a couple of USB-sticks ready to rock just in case the laptop decides to die this evening.

    If it’s not Pio gear, but Denon, you’d have to use engine instead. If it’s a less known brand, you need to just copy your music to the USB and hope for the best. The reason you need to prepare your music in RB/Engine is so you get the benefit of wave forms, beat grids, quantize, search options, prepared loops, hot cues and cues, and yeah… the sync too, just like you are used to with Serato. Without the analyze, you’re stuck with a complete manual and analogue way of mixing with only the basics available, and if it’s a CDJ-350 or CDJ-2000NXS2 won’t matter much.

    So, this is in very general terms but if you get the specs and post them here, you’ll get a better answer to what your options are.

    #2597991

    Chris Herodotou
    Participant

    Thanks guys for the info, lots to think about but I like the sound of using my PC with the CDJs.

    The models of CDJs/mixer I will be using are pioneer CDJ 2000 nexus2 and DJM900 nexus2.

    Would this be OK to get the HID mode working with my laptop if i set up a rekord box account for the wedding?

    I assume I can’t use HID mode with Serato?

    Will read that article link about Rekord Box and start that process I think.

    Thanks very much,

    slightly less confused DJ…

    #2598071

    You’d need the club kit add-on from Serato

    #2598081

    Peter Lindqvist
    Participant

    Hey again. Nice to hear that will have very good equipment for this wedding. The best in my opinion, but that may be because I have the NXS2 setup since last year. It took about a year for the NXS2 to mature in to what it is now. A very very stable solution for almost any kind of DJ in combination with almost any of the big software solutions. I use my setup with RB’d USB SSD drives only, as almost everywhere I play there’s this or a similar setup. In case it’s not, I still have my older 2000 Nexus that I can use for those rare occasions. The NXS2’s stays home unless I get well paid to bring them.

    You can use Serato with the NXS2 setup. Of course it works best with RB DJ, but this setup is officially certified for use with Serato and Traktor too. To use it with RB DJ, you just need to connect your laptop with one USB cable to control the whole setup as long as it is linked together. I’m not sure about Serato, but on their site all info you need should be there. If you use any software instead of RB’d USB, it’s very important that you make sure that both the mixer and the players have the latest firmware. It’s a 10 minutes job to update all three units, so it’s not worth not doing it, if it’s not already done.

    If you choose to test RB DJ, you can try it for a month before you need to buy it, but no matter what software you choose to use, I think you should at least prepare a RB’d USB stick and test it to see how it feels. The no-lag-what-so-ever is pretty awesome if you’ve played on a setup like this before. You can switch between the USB stick and your computer seamless with a tap on the players source button and switch to line/digital depending on how the players are connected.

    Fair warning. You do risk getting hooked on hardware if you try this as it’s primary ment to be used, as standalone with no computer. This is a precision tool and nothing else really compares to it. I can’t speak for the new Denons, but compared to the older Nexus setup, it’s superior in every way, and that setup is fantastic. The bad part is that you know that every little mishaps or bad timing is on you. This gear will do exactly what you set it to do in every aspect. When you get used to that and play on gear that has the slightest lag or delay it becomes very annoying. I’ve had my setup since oct last year and it’s been absolutely rock solid since, which is something I value very much. If you have any question regarding the Pio setup or RB when you’ve decided how you want to use this gear, you can send me a pm here: https://www.facebook.com/dmkonsulten, and I’ll try to give you the help you need. Good luck!

    #2598091

    Dieter Boullart
    Participant

    I’ve been using a DDJ-SX for years. Recently I’ve done a few gigs in a venue with Pioneer gear (CDJ-2000 Nexus and DJM-900SRT) with Serato in HID mode. To be honest: you’ll have to get used to it. It’s not totally different from DJing with a Pioneer controller, but it’s not the same either: a.o. the feeling of the mechanical jog wheels and another way of cueing comes to mind. As it is a wedding maybe perfect mixes may not be required… But if you do want a perfect set from a technical point of view, I would show up early so you can try everything out OR I would stick to my own controller and connect it to the mixer.

    What is still unclear to me: everyone is always talking about the Serato Club Kit license but I’m rather sure I read somewhere on the Serato website that you only need Club Kit if you want to use CDJ’s in DVS mode. For HID mode a normal Serato license (which I bought) should be sufficient. I haven’t been able to try it though, as the DJM-900SRT comes with a built-in Serato license.

    #2598121

    I stand corrected. Boo-lee is right. The Club kit consists of a full Serato license and a Serato DVS Expansion Pack license. So yes, if you own the full Serato license, you can use the CDJs in HID or Midi mode.

    My bad.

    #2600061

    Terry_42
    Keymaster

    Just plug your controller in the DJM-900?

    #2601801

    Chris Herodotou
    Participant

    Guys,

    thank you all so much for the input. In the end I went along with using Serato in HID mode and managed to get a bit of practice on the cdjs before the event.

    I was only asked to play pop tunes (i dropped one house track by request but was set straight again by the groom’s mother haha), so tight mixing was not really the order of the day.

    Although being a little overwhelmed by a totally different layout and set up I managed to keep people dancing although I definitely would like some more time practicing on cdjs as it really is different to controller mixing.

    Many thanks again for everyone who took the time to reply and help out.

    Chris

    #2603951

    Isaiah Furrow
    Participant

    Chris,
    Glad it went well… hope to see you around the forums…
    Keep shining,
    Isaiah

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