• http://www.mdtcs.com firearm retail softw

    That's an interesting article. I just wondered if you could tell me where to find more info on this topic ?

  • http://www.eangolden.com Ean Golden

    Sure past performance is a good indicator of product quality but lets be careful to not trash products without using them. So, just to be sure its crap- we ordered one :-) Who knows, what if its cool?

  • Guillaume Brandeburg

    Reloop? That OEM crap?

    You cannot be serious?

  • http://N/A Average Joe
  • http://www.submusica.com Dudu P

    There's no need for platters. I would love a VCI-100 which traded the platters for a full fledged MK2 pitch fader.

    Pitch precision is everything I'll ever need.

  • http://www.skratchworx.com Mark Settle

    <blockquote cite="#comment-517">

    No one company has made the "STANDARD" yet.

    I doubt that one company will make the standard in this rapidly evolving technology driven industry. Technics became the standard by accident – not a DJ deck but was the best around for a very long time thus became the standard. Pioneer CDJs came out with a killer product before anyone else (not strictly true but you know what I mean) thus they own the CD deck market (helped by giving so many away to big clubs of course). And Serato came out with Scratch Live at a time when the competition was largely floundering in a sea of bugs and bad performance. Although, calling Serato the standard in the DVS market may well change as more products come out.

    But for controllers, there are so many around now from little Faderfoxes to full on jog wheel free Ableton controllers. And just when we though the market would settle at VCI/Total Control style all in one jog wheel jobbies, out comes the NS7, Stanton's SC system, Otus and ITCH just to confuse us even more. And let's not forget regulars CD and digital media decks becomeing MIDI mappable as well.

    So my feeling is that with technology moving so quickly and to a degree shooting off in different directions, there won't be a standard, but just stand out products in a wide and varied market full of controllers.

  • tobamai

    One thing I failed to really express: I like having the deck controls seperate from the mixer. I tried to get at that point with "all-in-one", but it didn't quite come across.

  • tobamai

    I really like Stanton’s approach to the problem of midi controllers by making modules. I don’t like the vci-100 because I don’t want an “all in one” box.

    I’d much rather have my laptop, a dedicated audio interface, a midi mixer (or an analogue mixer), and a couple of control surfaces (either analogue decks or midi decks). The largest benefits being that I don’t have to stick to one manufacturer (at least, if they’re all midi compatible) and I can pick out the features and functionality that I like for each unit.

    I hate seeing built in sound cards on midi control surfaces. I have an audio interface already and I like it. If I want to upgrade it I have my sights set on a different box already. If I like the control surface, why would I want to pay for the onboard sound card I won’t use too?

    Just my thoughts ;)

  • Fatlimey

    <blockquote cite="#comment-530">There is one specific question I have for you guys. Besides scratching (if I could show you a way to more effectively pitch bend) is there any reason anyone needs a platter anymore?

    Jog and Shuttle, getting around unmarked-up tracks mouse free to find those precise points for dropping a cue. Once the track is marked up with cue points, selecting them by next/prev is good enough, plus allowing 4/8/16 beat jumps forward or backwards from that point is great for hitting those phrases, breakdowns and high points in perfect sync. (Beatjump is a wonderful tool in Traktor to cover up your mistakes!)

    All these operations are best done using incr/decr keys as they work on fixed units of time. The Platter allows analog control of position, time or a controller value – something that can mostly be done with a knob. I still want a platter for scanning through tracks at markup time (which can happen during performance if someone hands you a track on a USB stick), but I probably wouldn't use it live. That's my style anyway.

  • http://www.eangolden.com Editor

    So, I might as well publicly state that I have been working on the "VCI-100 MK2" (not necessarily for vestax) for the past 3 months. it combines everything learned after 5 years of djing live with MIDI, the mistakes of current models and the input of all my students, readers and fellow djs. I am really taking my time with this thing and not trying to rush anything out, so any design input/ideas any of you may have or want in the "MIDI MK2" of the future is certainly appreciated.

    There is one specific question I have for you guys. Besides scratching (if I could show you a way to more effectively pitch bend) is there any reason anyone needs a platter anymore?

  • Fatlimey

    Oops, that should be “The Phat Conductor” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH1Ko630Ytc

  • JC

    In addition to my prior post might I mention that Vestax probably has a huge supply of the silver VCI-100s either on order or in a warehouse. They would be crazy (as a company) to release a better unit until they sell thru what they have. I'm sure they will come out with new versions in the future… but don't want to wait another year if ya know what I mean.

    JC

  • Fatlimey

    <blockquote cite="#comment-507">maybe some of us can all get together collectively and come up with some good ideas. and possibly build a protoype, and then market it ourselves? what ya think Ean?! i am into sales: i am the director of business development for a software firm (financial industry) so i always think of ways to make money… LOL

    LOL indeed. The way to make money from DJ devices is to serve the casual user, the mass market Ministry Of Sound lifestyle, the "I just wants to mix music" market. This is the mass market where economies of scale can make a difference, price is low, quality is secondary, your profits are marginal and offset by volume. It's also the market where innovation is not required or even requested – Any POS that can crossfade between two beatmatched tunes will do, convenience is the selling point.

    Contrast that against the idea of making a simple to construct, cheap, open source MIDI controller (all plans freely available) that can be easily hacked by people into their own desired form. That could spur innovation, give people access to new mixing styles and it will still be possible to make money by producing preconstructed and tested editions of the device and selling support, tutorials and help. That's the OSS model of business. Have you seen the numbers of people on this board asking to buy that thing they saw you using, to be shown how to make that effect they heard? That's something of real value. ThePhatController is a guy who knows this and is working it – check out his MIDI mappings for sale.

  • Roberto Vitiello

    VCI-100 MK2 – sounds awesome :)

  • http://www.submusica.com Dudu P

    <blockquote cite="#comment-517">DJ gear companies need to not always copy the other "guy" and take some risks to keep the edge on the market, but also they need to not be so far ahead on the technology that the "average joe" can't keep up.

    Exactly. That's what I use to call the "me, too" effect. It sucks real hard, specially on a market so open and free from standards like DJ equipment.

  • JC

    I work at a big company that pushes boxes in the music industry. I understand both sides of the business and have a BBA degree(Business Management). Apple computer pushes the edge of innovation and technology and is HUGE and makes big bucks.

    DJ gear companies need to not always copy the other "guy" and take some risks to keep the edge on the market, but also they need to not be so far ahead on the technology that the "average joe" can't keep up.

    The technics 1200, the CDJ, the Mackie SRM450 ALL industry standards… have had minor updates made to them to keep them "up to date" but not incure R&D costs to the manufacture. Vestax is so close to having the next STANDARD product they need to add minor upgrades to the VCI100 and make a "MK2" or updated version (VCI 150) before they lose market share to all the copy cats that will reverse engineer their great controller and fix the minor complaints that people have but make the quality worse to cut the price.

    No one company has made the "STANDARD" yet. And I have already submitted my mock up of a Pioneer version to Pioneers' product designer (a hybrid of cdj400's and a djm800)(my dream controler w/audio).

    Vestax please send us the VCI100mk2 so I don't have to buy new cd players and a MIDI dj mixer from another company. I will pay an extra $100 to cover the expense of the better components.

    my 2 cents.

    JC

  • http://www.eangolden.com Editor

    I was thinking that a post on midi box might be appropriate. There are a few other DIY midi kits out there but this is the biggest community as far as I can tell. Does anyone else know of any other good resources?

  • Midifidler

    @Fatlimey

    I'm a hardware guy If you ever want to trade skills I can give you my IM.

  • Fatlimey

    <blockquote cite="#comment-506"> Thats a great start Fatlimey!! Have you already built one from these parts? If you are willing to do a step by step guide with photos as you build one we would be happy to get you some free dj software :-)

    Many people have already gone this route, I am merely following in their footsteps, e.g. http://www.midibox.org/forum/index.php/topic,6550
    and http://www.midibox.org/forum/index.php/topic,6043… (Though there is a propensity to make eyebleedingly teenage frontplates. My box will not have tribal tattoos or magic mushrooms stenciled on it)

    Making a controller that meets my needs is my aim, and I've been doing a bunch of research on how to do it on the cheap with an eye to making an Instructable. I'm a software guy making a hardware device, whereas many of the people on the Midibox forums are hardware people who know sod-all about software. I worry that I'm missing dumb EE things like decoupling capacitors, whereas I know they're missing out on data structures that could make their drivers much faster and more flexible. We need a meeting of minds.

    Contact me offline and I'll share what little I have.

  • Will Davis

    Hey guys,

    a cool midi controller i found that is homebuilt is one thats called the traktorizer. heres a video of it in action

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuJMlsh1UZI

    the instructions to build one can be found here :

    http://traktorizer.de.vu

    maybe some of us can all get together collectively and come up with some good ideas. and possibly build a protoype, and then market it ourselves? what ya think Ean?! i am into sales: i am the director of business development for a software firm (financial industry) so i always think of ways to make money… LOL

  • http://www.myspace.com/eangolden Ean Golden

    <blockquote cite="#comment-501"><blockquote cite="#comment-498"> I'll start. Want to build your own touch sensitive scratch wheels, like on the VCI-100? You'll need a pair of rotational encoders from Bourns.com, attach a metal plate to attach to the top and attach a single wire via a pair of contact brushes (two brushes make for less noise) to this IC: http://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/Tutorials/QT113.

    thats a great start Fatlimey!! Have you already built one from these parts? If you are willing to do a step by step guide with photos as you build one we would be happy to get you some free dj software :-)

  • Sid M.

    One of the basic laws of capitalism is:

    maximize your sales volume whilst maintaining the given amount resources or maintain your sales volume, minimizing costs.

    both result in increased profits.

    developing a better version (black VCI-100) of an already existing product (silver VCI-100) for the same per-unit cost (as the price was the same, i reckon manufacturing costs are comparable) and only producing and releasing a limited number of this “superior” product is stupidity, business-wise, as you have to split the given amount of fixed costs (R&D, etc.) and variable costs (manufacturing – rubberised pots, new black casing etc.) over less units, resulting in a higher per-unit cost.

    from a marketing perspective, this is even worse in the long term, as “limited edition – same price” products are all about having the “extra” cosmetic (!) fan-base appeal, but not more practicability, usability or functionality than the basic product, as this will inevitably offend customers of the basic product (the silver VCI-100) as they paid the same price. this is especially valid for products in “prosumer” markets, as the VCI is not an iPod or TV but a tool for creating and manipulating content, or even making money. vestax seems to have noticed their mistake, as they are offering the rather superflous (see “cosmetic” above) technicolor faceplates now, but this is too late as Ean’s Tokyo review of the black one already spilt the milk on this substantially improved unit.

    why not just cease producing the silver one and release the black one? marketing inertia? right now, the black one seems to have been a losing deal, although it is the better product at the same per unit manufacturing cost.

    -rubberized buttons.
    -playable buttons. the current ones have WAY to much resistance.
    -you can actually see the markings in the dark.
    -you have marked potentiometers.
    -platters with less tension.
    -logical, less confusing lighting scheme.
    -smoother faders.

    and: a completely configurable midi output is the solution to the software vendor lockin problem, as the hardware manufacturer just has to release a new configuration file each time software is updated, keeping existing customers up to date.

    they could release it as the VCI-150 and boom, there is your winning product, appealling both to consumer and pro audiences. Future versions could improve on having motorized platters/faders.

    i am just saying this because you mentioned the “suits”, but although i have studied this “suit-stuff” both in london and berlin, it doesn’t make sense at all ;-)

    kind regards and keep up the good work, Ean -
    Sid / Berlin, Germany

  • http://none Pim Hansen

    I’ll start. Want to build your own touch sensitive scratch wheels, like on the VCI-100? You’ll need a pair of rotational encoders from Bourns.com, attach a metal plate to attach to the top and attach a single wire via a pair of contact brushes (two brushes make for less noise) to this IC: http://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/Tutorials/QT113. Buffer the rotational encoders through an LS7083 quadrature decoder run through a couple of up-down counters, read with an Arduino, output MIDI, job done! Scratch away in high resolution. Total cost, about $12 in parts (+ an arduino at $30).

    Fatlimey if you have or know where to find a build manual please let me know(or who could build such a custom controller for me ;)! regards, pim hansen at yahoo dot com

  • http://www.myspace.com/djgrbs dj g-r-bs

    ahh

  • Fatlimey

    I'll start. Want to build your own touch sensitive scratch wheels, like on the VCI-100? You'll need a pair of rotational encoders from Bourns.com, attach a metal plate to attach to the top and attach a single wire via a pair of contact brushes (two brushes make for less noise) to this IC: http://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/Tutorials/QT113. Buffer the rotational encoders through an LS7083 quadrature decoder run through a couple of up-down counters, read with an Arduino, output MIDI, job done! Scratch away in high resolution. Total cost, about $12 in parts (+ an arduino at $30).