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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!
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.
- This reply was modified 3 years ago by Peter Lindqvist.
Hey! 🙂 Congrats to your decision. It sounds you’re pretty new to Djing, so this is what I’ve told my kids when they’ve approached their first gigs: Spend most of your prepare time with getting the music you know will work in order. Use cut mixing where you set a good cue point where something happens everyone recognizes. Like the intro of a guitar riff or a vocal that get people going. Don’t use intros or outros, ’cause they’ll kill the mode before you’re even on to the next track. This way you don’t need to stick to the same tempo or key and, if done with some proper timing, it will sound very good and most people will never notice you’re not beat mixing. Wait with the beat mixing on public gigs until you can do a 2-3 hour good matched set in practice. Keeping it simple will make you confident in what you’re doing and you can have fun while you’re playing. It will also give you the time you need to choose the next track and say hello to your fellow punters. A failed cutting mix sounds a hundred times better than a train wreck of a beat mix, every time. You have the rest of your life to perform flawless beat mixing when you’re ready for it. Good luck and have fun!
Hi there. For a long time I was doing exactly what you are doing now. Recording your mixing is essential to improve, but after a while, a boost of creativity is needed. If no one else can hear what you’re playing, there’s also that risk of getting to think that it doesn’t matter… and sloppy mixing may stop you from getting further.
For me the turning point came when I stated to post my mixes online, and the most rewarding place to get hem up, is on Youtube. Because of their strict copyright rules, your mix will easily get blocked an no one will hear it. So, while choosing the right tracks I also make a speed mix of all the tracks I want to use and add a few extras just in case. 30 -60 seconds/track is enough. Give the mix a name and upload it to Youtube. After posting the video you’ll get copyright warnings telling you which track will be allowed and which will ban the hole mix entirely, or in which countries it will be blocked. Now, you should be able to make a mix that will stay open to everyone.
Now, since I got a fiber connection a while ago, I can now upload at will. Only takes a few min’s regardless of the length of the mix. During this time I’ve gotten myself a couple of hundreds of followers, and about 45 000 views. Not much compared to the big and famous, but for me, a normal working DJ it’s huge. This makes me want to do the best I can every time not to disappoint my followers. I spend almost as much time preparing and programming these sets as I do my payed gigs 🙂 . Thinking about it, it’s even more important, because anyone can listen to the details over and over again. When the numbers of your followers are growing, this also is the base for your future customers who will check you out before contacting you. Using your phone or a couple of Go Pro’s filming your set will attract even more people, done right. It will also increase your focus and awareness of the task ahead. This has helped me getting as close to a live gig as possible when practicing.
I’d recommend you follow your heart with a little help of your brain. As you are in a software echo system, you need to make sure your new hardware not only are supported today, but for as long as you intend to use the new mixer, unless you’re open to a change of software. I’m in to the Pio echo system, and I had a hard choice to make when I upgraded last year. My heart said A&H DB4, it’s a beast of a mixer, and I love playing house with long layered transitions. On the other hand, I mostly get payed to play top 40 and classics, so an open format mixer would definitely be the smarter choice.
The players were going to be the NXS2’s and I was coming from an old Pio 800 which served me well, and still do. Because I will continue to play the same stuff out in the clubs and the long transitions house mixing is more of a private pleasure, I decided to go with the 900NXS2. It does have a sound quality matching the best of Rane/A&H, very much improved effect section, and important for immediate performance, a familiar interface. The last detail that made the decision easy(er), was the fact that I may rent it out now and then, so it was also important that anyone could use it on their terms, using USB’s or laptop/(RB DJ, Serato, Traktor). Perhaps I’ll win the lottery and can afford to buy the DB4 too, or I’ll have to wait another 10 years to make that choice 🙂 .
I can’t, and no one else but you can choose the right gear for you, but this was my thought process in making the right choice for me. The ONLY 1 thing I will say is, stick to the big brands. In the long run that will give you reliability and access to service and spare parts should you need it. Still think I made the right choice, still have the silly grin on my face using it, and I think you should choose whatever makes you have the same silly smile for a few months after buying it.
Interesting. Would be great if you could shoot a video of a couple of tracks that can’t be beat matched, or that won’t stay beat matched once set. I’ve had and used almost all models of Pioneers club gear since the start (CDJ, DJM-500), and the one thing that kept me using Pioneer is the reliability and precision stability. I know that the XDJ-1000 had a hardware fault where the tempo could shift over long mixes, just like vinyl does, and this is acknowledged by Pioneer. For the models you used there’s no such problem.
I have the 2000NXS2’s and I have only used them with Rekordboxed music, kind of pointless having them not doing that… :). Sync shouldn’t be used unless for creative mixing with 3-4 decks at the same time anyway, but I’ll shove a few tracks on to a USB stick and see how it works. The only time I’ve had problems with tracks not staying at a set tempo is when there’s a bad mp3, or wav-rip for that matter. The skip may be so small you can’t hear it just listening to the track, but when lined up in a mix, you will absolutely notice. If you can’t shoot a video, it would be great to know which tracks that were the worst, or just an example if there were many.
By setting them at the same tempo, do you mean the same readings on the screens, or being sure by listening to them keeping the tempo for 30 seconds in the headphones. When using non RB’s tracks, the BPM readings of the player can be misleading, but at least accurate enough to show the nearest full beat. Down to the tenth of a beat, I’d just trust analyzed files. Then, using the pitch at 6%, will give you 4-5 frames per 10th of a second to adjust, which I find necessary when doing long, 2 min’s transitions playing house. I still have and use my old CDJ-1000Mk3’s for practice now and then, and the stay very stable over long transitions using CD’s. Can’t see why the newer models shouldn’t do the same. A colleague only using CD’s upgraded a while ago to the NXS2’s (no comments 😉 ) and he was over the moon last time I talked to him. He surely would have said something if he’d experienced any serious troubles like this. I’ll return after doing some testing with the results, good or bad.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by Peter Lindqvist.
Good question. Probably, this question has no perfect answer because it will be up to your intentions with your mix. If this is a mix done in a live session, in public or training, there will be small indicators that it is. Anyone not a DJ may not hear it unless it’s an obvious mistake. This is the way I prefer to make my mixes, because this is how I will sound if anyone book me for a gig after listening to my Youtube and other online mixes.
If the purpose is to make a studio mix for best possible transitions and also promote a brand, not the DJ, like Ministry of Sound or Hed Kandi, you’d prefer doing a multi channel recording for easy editing. The sync button really doesn’t matter in any of the scenarios. IF you don’t want people to associate you with using the sync button for any reason, don’t use it.
For me, this is just as simple as this. Then, I’d also recommend doing twice as long mixes, an hour and a half. Aiming for 45 min, you’re bound to make a mistake within that time frame. Aim for sessions close to what will play live in front of an audience, and in case of a slight miss, you can end your session and fade the recording closer to an hour or more.
If you are almost there mixing live, try to mix with some old disco classics where the tempo shifts, for a while. Those, you have to manually adjust through the transition, to get in beat. After doing that for an hour or so, mixing electronic music seems so very easy after that 🙂 .
So, it really comes down to for what purpose you do the mix and how you want people to perceive you as a DJ. You better be able to live up to the expectations you create. I’m an allround DJ but my personal taste is House. Soulful, funky, vocal, deep, minimal… and I release all my mixes unedited, recorded live, and I get plenty of views and good feedback. Not once have I had any complains of the small errors you can hear in every mix and I usually get 18-19 out of 20 transitions the way I intended, but never perfect. I use Cdj’s and a Djm, the result you can hear here, if the link gets approved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQA8yo0DuTY&t=1979s
You can always connect your Dj devices to the computer and have the audio be played through the speakers connected to the computer. I have a ‘normal’ Yamaha DSP AZ2 Amplifier hooked up in my studio with 2 sets of speakers connected that gives me an excellent sound for listening and preparing my music. I have my two workstations connected to the amplifier and to one of them, my secondary, I always have my DJ setup connected. In that computer I have all my old but still very good audio recording software running on a disk with Windows XP. Everything else, I use booting from another drive running Windows 10. The audio card is an old but very trustworthy Creative Audigy 2. Running the sound through the computer makes it also very easy to record everything I play on any of my DJ setups. I know you can do this on one of your usb ports on the RX, but doing it in the computer saves you the time to transfer the file when you may want to share it or edit the file before using it for something. I use XP because of my older audio and recording software, but just routing and capture the sound works just as fine in Windows 10. All you need to do is to find a nice output level on the RX that matches other sources you have, and then adjust the line input level in your computer, and you’re ready to go.
Learn the trade on your 800’s. It will make everything very simple later, whichever new gear you choose. When I used CD’s. I wrote down all the info under the track name. Ins, outs, drops, breaks, endings etc. In most house productions, those bars, translates in to time when you use CD.
In the tempo around 125 BPM, it’s like 15 sec, 30 sec, 60 sec. If there’s a 30 sec intro, it’s a good chance the track is divided into parts of 30 sec’s. After playing around for a while you’ll recognize this, and knowing a break/drop coming a at certain time, just match you intro against that time. Using time instead of bars means you don’t have to count… 🙂 .
Selecting and deselecting is very important part of how you organize your music. Always start by selecting the best tracks you have, the ones you never leave home without. The ones that would make you quit playing if couldn’t bring them. The ones you know makes the night every time you play them. Set a number, like 200 tracks, if you play sub genres. These tracks will be the foundation of your sets. Don’t use more tags than what you need when searching for something, and learn the tracks you have. Personally I have the tonality and the BPM in the filename, sometimes also tagged in the the comments.
I’ve almost stopped using genres and instead I use groupings, like DJ Vintage suggested. It’s more useful. Depending on how much your gigs differentiates from each other, you can have a couple of groupings for each part of the night. Background, warm up, build up, peak hour, after hours. Start taking your 200 tracks and group them like this and then set a limit to each folder/playlist to something like a 100 tracks. Now you can see where you have enough, more than enough and where you need to add some tracks.
When you add new genres to your sets, this is a way to easy maintaining a growing collection and you learn where your best tracks are, always. Sometimes you end up needing tracks from different genres and this make it easy to have like one soulful vocal warmup side by side with a melodic deep minimal warmup. They sound perfect on their own but also together done right, and you can flow between them and get into the next phase with the right sub genre that’s right for each night.
If your goal is to play stand alone I’d recommend the Pioneer XDJ-RX. It is a primarily stand alone unit but you can also use it as a controller and the full Rekordbox licence is included since end of last year. The effects are similar as to Pioneer’s standard layout with 4 color effects and, I think from memory, 8 beat effects. If you plan on using your music in clubs where there already is Pioneer gear available, you can bring your USB media and get on it.
I don’t know anyone who has the Denon MCX8000 but according to Denon and it’s quite obvious when see how it’s presented, it’s primarily a Serato controller with stand alone capabilities. The mixer part is only better in that it is a 4 channel mixer. The effects are limited to 3/player in stand alone mode +filter. When used as controller it comes to life with all the choices the software has to offer.
Unfortunately Denon seems to develop Engine and Engine Prime as two different software’s and for the MCX8000 it is the older Engine that will continue to be the software.
When it comes to known problems with the units, the freezing of the screens on the Denon has been described by to many to be ignored, but it seems like it’s either you got the problem or not. The RX doesn’t have any stability issues as far as I know. I have several colleagues who use it, and they love the RX, sometimes to a point where they prefer it over the full NXS/NXS2 setup, which I don’t really understand 😉 .
It also comes down to which echo system you want to involve yourself with. You will have to use either Engine or Rekordbox to fully utilize any of the players and it’s important you feel at home and that you get what you need from the software to play your way. They are both free to download and use so if you haven’t done so yet, give’em a run. That will help you decide.
Good luck and have fun with which ever one you choose 🙂 .
- This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Peter Lindqvist.
Hey again. Mr Vintage is here always, if not online, in his mind. I’d be surprised if he hasn’t already seen this and will get back with an answer when he’s got the time. He’s very experienced in all aspects of digital dj’ing with 30+ years in the booth. I would love to help you, but my experience is more on the stand alone units where the software is more of an optional choice. That’s the best with this forum, because you’ll find people with deep knowledge of all aspects of Digital DJ’ing. I’m the Pioneer Rekordbox/PC stand alone gear type of DJ, while Mr Vintage is the Denon/Serato/Software Apple kind of DJ. We’re not always agreeing on which solution is the best for different situations, but I highly respect his person and his knowledge in this matter is outstanding. No one else I’d rather turn to with a problem like yours.
I don’t know if you can change the heading but you can always create a new post and include Mr. Vintage in the heading. He will see that, I’m sure 🙂 .
Sounds interesting 🙂 . Do you have a solution that you can trust with good quality and do you intend to stream both video and audio? Please write a bit about how you want this to work.
Give a shout out to Mr Vintage. He’s the guru of Denon/Serato and foremost the MCX-8000 here on the forums. I’d be surprised if he can’t guide you out of your troubles. This is his preferred setup for the moment and it’s hopefully just a matter of getting the settings right. If not, and your settings are spot on, it should point to what hardware is faulty so you can get it repaired. I feel for you. It’s a mess when you can’t trust your gear. Good Luck!
Pioneer DVS works in the same way as the others, and of course they have a DVS pack. You can find all the info you need here: https://www.pioneerdj.com/en/product/software/rekordbox-dvs/software/overview/ and here: https://www.pioneerdj.com/en/product/software/rekordbox-dvs/software/related-products/#info
With the DJM-250 and DJM-450 the DVS license is included but you need to get the control vinyl. As you already have the RB DJ license you only need the DVS license to use your computer/RB DJ with any compatible hardware, controllers/mixers/players incl. turntables.