• Jhultquist000

    Some chick almost knocked over the booth at Boys Noize in Shanghai last year. Luckily Ridha saw it coming and pushed it the other way. Security kicked her ass out and he just smiled and kept playing.

  • http://www.synnack.com/blog/ Clint

    Good tips. I just posted a series of tips like these on my blog your readers may also like.

    http://www.synnack.com/blog/post/13/laptop-live-performance-tips-part-1

  • Mosquat

    Its a boring point but be careful when dual booting in terms of your licence agreement – typically an OS licence (for Windows anyway) is for one installation per computer….we all follow our LAs of course ;-)

  • http://www.nezzyidy.com Emit

    I’m glad that you threw in having a CD ready at the end. If your computer has a problem you may need to restart and a couple cds could last you through that.

  • Briareos

    @ JaseFOS

    For the external hard drive, you can use this > http://www.truecrypt.org/

    It’s easy to use (well, if you’re into computer ^^), and whit that, if someone stole you stuff, they will just stole a blank HDD :)

    It’s use a bit of cpu resources of course, but on a descent laptop it will be ok.

  • Briareos

    A good thing (Windows OS) is to test your laptop whit this > http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml

    Well, if you have red picks, it isn’t good, cauz’ these picks will be traduce in audio droop. So, the thing is that they are the consequence of bad drivers. Ie, on my laptop, the WiFi driver. When you can determine which driver(s) is faulty, simply inactive it and reboot. This way you can perform you set in perfect condition, and after that reactivate the driver.

    You can also check if update can solve the problem (http://www.ma-config.com/en/home/ to update your drivers).

    And also change the faulty product if it’s possible (Ie WiFi card can “easily” be changed).

    But well, if it’s about the video driver it won’t be possible…

    A last thing, maybe it can be good to test a new laptop whit this program before buy it :)

  • Anonymous

    One of the best djs here in greece had a MAC and it got stucked in the middle of the perfomance.

    I use a desktop pc with xp and it never failed me in the last 3 years.

    Mixvibes, that i use has gone stuck but as you know the song keeps on playing so i have time to load virtual on the same computer.

    U never know with machines,even pioneer DJM-800 had let me down once.

  • mp3jrick

    My worst gig ever came because of a mid gig UPS trippin out.

    Mac vs Pc, well I own and test both with Virtual DJ and its a toss up except for Vista which should have been recalled with a free upgrade to W7.
    There is much that Mac can’t do that Pc can with this software and in the end its not stability as much as it personal preference and believe it or not image, but so be it.

    We twisted XP’s arm to do what we wanted for decades against its will and Vista…well trust me…was a miscarriage, but I find W7 a very well performing os providing you haven’t got the manufacturer’s version that eats up nearly all of the resources it requires a machine to have in order to run it….er if you get my point.

    And that brings a more important point, OEM operating systems.
    Worth every penny over dual booting imo.
    Wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • Frost

    Just thought, with regards to the power issue, I’d mention the possibility of hauling an external battery power pack that can keep the laptop going for hours. It’s yet another piece of stuff in the kit bag, granted, but at least it would guarantee things won’t crap out due to power loss, a bad external power brick, etc.

  • Nando

    I’m so sik of u tards goin on and on bout this pc mac debate so let me tell ya how it is folks! I’m a fully trained and certified i.t. and audio engineer working for digidesign and also as a freelance agent with several other major digital media companies, plus i’m also a true vinyl dj since 1997.

    I’ve recently started using serato due to crazy anticipation of “the bridge” and my fondness for ableton/rane’s beta releases to date, oh and i have been a devout pc user since i personally hand built my 286AT tower back in the day at 12 years old.

    I love pc’s, always were the better option, until recently when apple brought out models with i7 chipsets. I bought the first macbook pro with the i7 straight away because i was already looking into the i7 imac but just happy that finally mac’s os could handle the multi-tasking load i was dishing out and the results have been incredible to say the least!

    I can run Pro-Tools HD with serato at the same time recording the set on it’s local hdd (while dj’ing songs from the same drive) and it still doesn’t put a dent in my cpu for a change. And don’t forget, this is on a friggin laptop peeps so i’m soory but no windows pc could ever come close to stably achieving that which i have done on a single macbook pro. (We tried over at AVID already )

    In closing I hate to say it guys but, you get what u pay for so buy the best u can find ok … it’s pretty simple and that’s pretty much any i7 mac.

    you can thank me later

    peece

    p.s.

    ummm all i7′s heat up alot and not just on a mac but at least u get apple care too right.

    • King Mico

      Not true My Toshiba I7 runs just as many, or maybe more processes without a hiccup. Ots called windows 7. No Updates.

  • http://myspace.om/freshfluke dj freshfluke

    guess why there was no “get a mac” tip in the article?
    exactly: because there’s no sense in it!!!

    (shall i start talking about the numerous gigs where i’ve seen macs fail while my laptops have always been rock solid? hmmmm, naaah. boring.)

    anyways: very nice article, absolutely on point. props!!! :)

  • http://www.myspace.com/jasefromouttaspace JaseFOS

    JaseFOS Tip#1: Always be the one to CARRY YOUR OWN GIG BAG loaded with delicate peripherals, laptops, etc – only you can appreciate how delicate (and usually overstuffed) your precious gig bag can be! I suffered a fractured mainboard on a Dell5150 about 5 or so years ago thanks to a not so careful well-meaning helper loading up the car to head to the gig and had catastrophic failure mid gig once the vibrations set in. It might sound obvious but always carefully place your gig bag on the ground. Don’t overpack your laptop bag (you will fuck up the screen) – get two bags!

    JaseFOS Tip#2: have your system booted and pre-launch your digital DJ software prior integrating your laptop into the booth. My Traktor collection of 18,500 tunes (yes I know, excessive) using a 2.5″ external drive takes a good 5 to 10 minutes to launch …

    JaseFOS Tip#3: If you’re on OSX consider installing the Freeware tool, Caffeine, which will prevent your laptop from going to sleep. If you’ve made yourself a nice deeply integrated controller map and rarely need to touch the trackpad your laptop is at risk of sleeping.

    JaseFOS Tip#4: When playing outdoor festival day gigs expect that you might not be able to see your LCD screen properly (that goes for other gear too including hardware synthesizers).

    JaseFOS Tip#5: Consider always having a mini torch in your gig bag!

    JaseFOS Tip#6: If you’re a DVS user then sometimes it really can be just too difficult to integrate all the cabling in a hurry (turned up too late before your slot – shame on you!). Consider having an all-digital DJ solution on hand so that all you need to feed into the mixer is a master L+R feed to a line input (for me that is Maschine + 2 x Kontrol X1s + Audio 2 DJ).

    JaseFOS Tip#7: If you’re a Traktor DVS, get to the gig early and pre-wire in the Mixer segmnent side of your cabling loom.

    JaseFOS Tip#8: Never risk breaking fragile audio ports (e.g. Echo Indigo cards – RIP bin fodder!) with heavy curled headphone leads. They will break!

    JaseFOS Tip#9: Throw away your Echo Indigo DJ – it really is a piece of shit.

    JaseFOS Tip#10: If you use an external hard drive consider siting it in a secure place (e.g. shelf underneath DJ booth) – one day a patron will grab your drive of precious music.

    JaseFOS Tip#11: Don’t let iTunes manage your folder structure!

    JaseFOS Tip#12: File your tunes into your master music folder systematically and properly the first time! Come up with a system that works for you and stick to it. Avoid moving or renaming folders once the new additions have been imported into your DJ software.

    JaseFOS Tip#13: If bus powering multiple controllers from a USB hub consider connecting each peripheral (e.g. for my 2 x Kontrol X1 and a Maschine) in series after booting it – wait a couple of second before connecting the next device. I get away with bus powering ALL of these controllers on a Ritmo 7-Port hub (unpowered) on my Mac Book Pro in addition to 2 syncro dongles and a iLok. Hasn’t let me down yet. If I try to power on with all devices connected simultaneously my luck isn’t so good.

    JaseFOS Tip#14: Always try to reconnect gear using the same USB ports each time (particularly if you’re on Windows) to prevent detection nightmares in the booth.

    JaseFOS Tip#15: Get a laptop with as many root USB sockets as possible. If only Apple would wake up to this fact on their 13″ and 15″ models. I have to use an Express card adapter to get an extra USB root socket on my Mac Book Pro. Bus powering is great and convenient for touring internationally.

    JaseFOS Tip#16: If using any device with a wall-wart style adapter always Gaffa tape it into the powerstrip – vibrations causing the power supply to shake in the socket can manifest as big crackles on the PA system. I’ve seen many a live electronic act have this issue!

    JaseFOS Tip#17: Always power your gear from the same power strip which powers the booth console/mixer to avoid possibility of ground loop mains hum.

    JaseFOS Tip#18: On some PCs laptops I’ve encountered, if you’re failing a DPC latency test it may just be that the Windows service which is monitoring the battery status is causing pops/crackles.

    JaseFOS Tip#19: Traktor users intending to use KeyLock (I don’t – why destroy sound through breaking the pitch/time relationship with Timestretch) – toggle it on and off first before playing. Engaging it for the first time mid-set can result in a brief dropout.

    JaseFOS Tip#20: Bring a small wood shelf – might come in handy as a second tier for your extra controllers (e.g. Kontrol X1′s side by side on the laptop stand) in a tight booth.

    JaseFOS Tip#21:

    JaseFOS Tip#22: Don’t forget to bring a Towel!

    JaseFOS Tip#23: Get wasted AFTER your set – not before it! There are no performance enhancing party drugs. Why disable your brain when you need it most!

    JaseFOS Tip#24 (contraversial): CDJs are a poor substitute for Timecode control – use Timecode vinyl when you can.

    JaseFOS Tip#25: If you are going to use CDJ2000/900s as HID controllers, use your Audio 8 DJ as your soundcard! The aggregate CoreAudio method of making both CDJs appear as a single audio interface imposes a latency penalty and is flaky (e.g. see what happens if one CDJ is disconnected when aggregated – your system will freeze).

  • AfroWhitie

    Keep your chin up! Staying in good spirits and not getting too stressed out is the most important thing of all IMO.

    Screw ups are going to happen regardless of how well prepared you are – being able to handle it emotionally is key.

    Ironically sometimes silence caused by equipment failure can be a huge crowd booster when you get the beats going again – IF you keep your cool and try to stay happy.

  • http://soundcloud.com/alerttm Alert

    Keeping idiots out of the DJ booth also increases the odds of a successful/trouble-free set.

  • http://soundcloud.com/re8 re8

    Good tips, but kind of sparse.

    Last minute changes aren’t bad if you keep several older backup files (both on your HD & on backup media/email) & test just before the show. If your set is more than 1 hour & your laptop isn’t a 4+ hour netbook, bring a small UPS.

    To properly optimize your Windows setup:
    http://www.blackviper.com/
    http://www.glaryutilities.com/
    http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/disk-defrag/

  • 2YLITE

    Staying on the topic of a glitch-free laptop performance…

    treat your laptop like a piece of dedicated gear. I’ve seen some people using their DJ laptop to download warez, run games, etc…

    I look at my machine as a purpose-built piece of gear…this is probably why I’ve never had issues with it (unless they were caused by me doing something stupid like deleting a folder of songs)

  • Bill

    I’m pretty much a mobile DJ that does mostly weddings, private parties and some bar/clubs. The first tip that I would recommend is not even attempting to use a laptop that operates on Windows Vista. Forget it, you’re asking for trouble. Another tip that helped me was to use the DPC Latency tester! Takes a great deal of knowledge to tweak system performance but worth the time. I also carry a Numark Mix2 (compact,all in one dual CD and 3 ch mixer) along with a custom burned CD library. This may not be a practical alternative for club DJ’s but it’s a God-Send for anyone in my circuit.

  • http://www.gigacrate.com NickNack

    [quote comment="31937"]The single best piece of advice anyone can get regarding caring for ANY computer they rely on and use regularly is to LEARN HOW TO USE IT.[/quote]

    Absolutely. There really is no excuse when you consider the plethora of information we have at our fingertips on the net.

  • http://www.gigacrate.com NickNack

    For older laptops, or folks wishing to have more control, there’s a couple of apps you can use to control your processor’s frequency (on Intel speedstepped procs):

    http://www.gigacrate.com/Blog/?p=882

    Doing so will give you more control and possibly improve glitches caused from slower processors.

  • D-Kem

    A good substitute for velcro ties but much cheaper and reusable are pipe cleaners. Tie all my cables (speakons, xlrs, rcas jacks etc) with these. A big bag will serve you well.

  • http://www.myspace.com/djtonyok DJ Tony OKay

    FUNNY. I was at my Birthday bash this past Saturday. And new DJ was setting up for his set. He could never get his Mac to get any sound, and there was 15 mintues of “dead air” OUCH! So he had to pack up and leave. While the previous DJ (on a PC) had to play fot the rest of the night. Sorry boys but Macs have problems too.

  • Nosferatu

    I’m starting to get the impression that macs never crash…. I’ve got a G5 in the studio, but I’ve never gigged with it (obviously for portability reasons).

    I’ve been playing out with PCs for nearly 10 years now, and although I’ve never had a glitch (EVER!), I’m thinking I should count my blessings and pick up a MBP if I want to continue.

    good tips btw…. i wonder if it’s only a matter of time before Apple drops the hammer and buys Native Instruments; effectively making Traktor and all the other NI software Mac only (they did it with Logic)… this would effectively put the Mac vs. PC for DJing debate to rest.

  • minimal

    Enough with the Mac vs PC comments!!!

    It’s not the size, it’s what you can do with it. Know YOUR gear inside out WHATEVER your gear may be.

    Now I would love to hear helpful comments from other users, aside from the Mac vs Pc gang.

    [quote post="6242"]No’6
    Never put a can of beer in your gig bag and then forget about it.[/quote]

    Thanks. I’ll try to remember that.

    Peace

  • http://www.nem0nic.com/blog nem0nic

    I’m not sure SSDs are a good recommendation for performance computers right now. There are still well known issues with performance degrading over time and a slowly increasing number of read errors (even with drive controllers that support the TRIM command). And the likelihood that your SSD’s performance will degrade goes up dramatically the more of the drive you use.

  • MeAngry

    I’m a Mac user myself, and while I think the OS is superior over Windows in a lot of ways, a well configured Windows PC can still be as good and useful for DJing as a Mac.
    Besides that, use an SSD! Those things are lifesavers because they can’t break from vibrations. And put your music and Traktor collection files on an external drive as an exact backup.
    On my Mac I can pull out my first disk and plug in my second one mid-set without a single hickup! Talk about failsafe.

  • Karlos Santos

    No’6
    Never put a can of beer in your gig bag and then forget about it.
    I woke up one morning after a drunken gig to see liquid seeping out of my gig bag.

    I pulled out my iBook (it was 4yrs ago) and virtually a whole can of lager fell out of
    the laptop. Amazingly it worked apart from the screen so that nites gig was done with
    a 19″ Dell monitor stuck in the side of the iBook.

    NO LIQUIDS IN THE GIG BAG.

  • http://soundcloud.com/herbstrike Herbstrilke

    good tips i would like to add:
    SHUT DOWN ALL UNNECESSARY PROGRAMS/SYSTEMS
    Got these functions on your laptop Bluetooth? Airport(mac)? any kind of backup or antivirus software shut these and all other programs to ensure your laptop does not try updating OS systems in the middle of a mix, this can cause glitches on lower speck laptops like my 2 year old MacBook.

  • http://www.silkwolf.com SILK WOLF (ATL)

    I think the best tip in the article seems to be a bit overlooked in the discussion. Doing a ‘stress test’ is by far one of the best things I’ve done in recent months. After finally having to part with my tried and true macbook for years, I opted for a temporary solution and got a Dell Mini 10v NETBOOK, loaded OSX Snow Leopard on it and did a stress test to see if it could handle my live set. I discovered exactly what it was capable of and I’m now aware of how hard I could push my machine before running into CPU or heat issues. It’s very valuable to know what gear you can plug/unplug without tripping out your software.

    Other than that, having extra cooling for a laptop is seriously important. It saved me last night when I was playing in a total sweatbox that was humid and a million degrees.

  • http://www.gabivegas.co.il Gabi Vegas

    only mac mac mac mac just a mac

  • Chrissy

    [quote comment="31915"]I’m tired of people spouting the “get a mac” advice like its the end all be all of solutions. I’ve got a Lenovo (it costs half as much as your mac for similar specs — why? because i don’t have a backlit keyboard or an all aluminum body). My lenovo’s never had a heat problem, but my friends have sent off three different macs for repairs because they would overheat when they’re just browsing the web at home.

    I have nothing against using a mac, just don’t act like they’re invincible.[/quote]

    I’m a total Mac user and have been forever. I have a Lenovo X as a laptop as well. They’re indestructible. The Macs are so beautiful, but so fragile, the build quality (esp. for older models) cannot compare. Defo not pro stuff to bring on a gig, the Lenovo’s a tough shit. Too bad the OS is tough shit as well.

    Also re the comment above about having 2 machines : totally agree. I bought a 5-year-old second hand old laptop which works just fine and only has Traktor installed.

  • Ken L Jones

    Follow optimization guides – thats it. Im using a Hp with the Ns7 with no latency at all, and to think I thought a Mac was absolutely necessary. Its great to have if you can afford it, but like what was said earlier.. know how to use what you have – hps and macs included.

  • http://www.youtube.com/djDivineJustice Dj Divine justice

    Twatevs, mascara boy..

    [quote comment="31898"][quote comment="31889"]1) Get a Mac
    2) Get a Mac
    3) Get a Mac
    4) Get a Mac
    5) Get a Mac
    [/quote]

    +1

    This info is a bit rhetorical, and seriously if you have a Mac that whole dual booting thing you can toss out the window with like 99% of the rest of ll computer problems…[/quote]

  • slangemenneske

    Oh and if using an usb/firewire sound card, BE SUPER CAREFUL with the connection. Use gaffer tape if you must to hold it in place.
    Last weekend James Holden was playing to thousands in Paris with his old trusty Thinkpad and the cable almost popped off near the end. Apparently he’s used to it as the laptop is litterally falling apart and there was only a split second of dead air as he fumbled around to snap it back in.

  • piopro

    just gonna have my 10 cents on the mac v pc ok true mac is more stable that pc but it can still crash and blow just not as often but a another sure fire way to have is to have you music on a external hdd and have a internal ssd with clean install of osx on mac and xp on pc that will be far more system stable

  • http://www.selektarecordings.com Dj Dennis

    I have also noticed a big difference in bringing a ‘line conditioning’ surge protector vs the dollar store surge protectors or even the regular $20 surge protectors. the ‘line conditioning’ ones have made a major difference for me. It always seems that when i hop on to dj, that about 30 – 40 minutes into my set, they turn up the amps, music, bass, etc…and it seems to just pull more electricity and create more noise…when i used to bring just the basic surge protector, i would notice my computer struggling a little bit…ever since i started bringin my line conditioned surge protector, i haven’t had any issues…oh, and running Windows 7 vs XP has also made a big difference…just turning off all the bullshiz like bluetooth/wifi and closing all my anti virus, firewall, blah blah blah stuff keeps the system working great…

    all in all, great article, and on point, and i love the heated debates…makes for absolute good reading!

    LOVE DJ TECH TOOLS!

    -Dj Dennis

  • GRiNSER

    [quote comment="31937"][quote]
    The single best piece of advice anyone can get regarding caring for ANY computer they rely on and use regularly is to LEARN HOW TO USE IT. I simply do not understand (and have absolutely no pitty for) people who rely on their computer to make a living, yet fail to understand even the simplest things about it’s configuration and maintenance. That really goes for ALL equipment you are responsible for. When I see a DJ fumbling around a DJ booth because they have no idea how to hook something up, or constantly running their mixer (and the PA) into the red, I pray for Darwin to remove them from the crowded DJ pool to make room for someone that actually gives a shit about their career. This stuff isn’t rocket science, and there’s no excuse for a lot of the ignorance going on out there.[/quote]
    +1

  • GRiNSER

    Macs like to fuck up too – If I happen to forget to switch off Wireless LAN or Bluetooth on my Macbook Pro (late 2007), glitches with audio (using TSP, Audio 8 DJ) can occur in some situations (like when the signal quality of a nearby AP is really bad)
    Most issues can always be broken down to hardware/driver issues or too many ressource hogging apps in the background, regardless of the OS.
    Otherwise both Windows and OS X are really stable platforms…
    (I especially don’t like all these gripes about Windows as an OS itself since it is successfully used for so many tasks in other more demanding places)

  • http://www.nem0nic.com/blog nem0nic

    [quote]Add this to the fact that Macs are, for sure, more stable than Windows, and you get a better platform for live audio.[/quote]
    This, too, is not an absolute. We have 3 Lenovos at work we bought to do trade show demos (NAMM for instance) that I would put up against anything else out there. DPC stays in the single and low double digits, power management is under complete control, and it will run whatever you throw at it all day without so much as a hiccup. Oh yeah, and the entire OS – including the emergency partition – is smaller than 1GB. Did I mention that these laptops cost us new less than $500 a piece from Tiger Direct? The only unfortunate downside to using them is they can’t be used to iron clothes after being on and working for hours (they stay cool as a cucumber).

    The coolest thing is that I can afford to buy 2 of them and still have money left over for a soundcard. Talk about protection at a gig. Imagine being able to pull out a whole other laptop.

  • Kevin

    got this point1 last night… my akai lpd8 was filled with beer of some dude.. broken. :(

    great tips!

  • lindar

    a mix on my iphone can save my life…and gimme some time to reboot…or whatever

  • EaBoY Chullup

    Great tips… “nobody is immune” ..even the crowd sometimes can be the culprit. I’ve once seen a drunk person step on a dj booth & say “what a computer doing in here” and suddenly closed the lid of the dj’s laptop……. *silence* …then securities take over the booth :D

    • DjEvictor

      This is why you set up your laptop to “Do Nothing” When you close the lid, that saved me a few times and you can have your laptop closed when your downloading at night ;) keeping dust off of the keyboard.

    • DjEvictor

      This is why you set up your laptop to “Do Nothing” When you close the lid, that saved me a few times and you can have your laptop closed when your downloading at night ;) keeping dust off of the keyboard.

    • DjEvictor

      This is why you set up your laptop to “Do Nothing” When you close the lid, that saved me a few times and you can have your laptop closed when your downloading at night ;) keeping dust off of the keyboard.

  • http://twitter.com/dodotek Felipe Dornelas

    @nem0nic: nothing is perfect. Mac’s CoreAudio and CoreMIDI aren’t perfect.

    But CoreAudio has a much lower latency than Windows ASIO, that’s a fact.

    I can even use the MacBook’s Realtek onboard sound card with CoreAudio and still get low latency! How could I make this within Windows without buying an expensive audio interface?

    Add this to the fact that Macs are, for sure, more stable than Windows, and you get a better platform for live audio.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tos ToS

    Dual booting XP not necessarly have to be on separate partition.
    For years I’ve been using 2-3 different XP setups on c:\ drive.
    Actually I’m also sharing traktor stripes/config dir among two setups by utilising the directory-ghosting (soft links). This way I dont have to reboot into music-windows to do some little things on library or some mapping experiment.

    If you are an average user get a mac and shut the f** up. If you know your doings, there is no difference between windows, mac or turnable.

  • http://www.nem0nic.com/blog nem0nic

    [quote]It’s not that you can’t use Windows… but if you want a stable, bullet proof solution for live audio, use a Mac.[/quote]
    Because we all know how stable and unfailable that CoreAudio API is. CoreAudio is easily as problematic as a typical ASIO driver may be. CoreMIDI is just as buggy. Microsoft didn’t corner the market on shitty coding. And when you also deal with low powered USB ports, overheating hardware, and warped trackpads, I can see what it’s such a highly recommended computer. Oh well, at least they’re easy to work on and downtime is minimal.

    The single best piece of advice anyone can get regarding caring for ANY computer they rely on and use regularly is to LEARN HOW TO USE IT. I simply do not understand (and have absolutely no pitty for) people who rely on their computer to make a living, yet fail to understand even the simplest things about it’s configuration and maintenance. That really goes for ALL equipment you are responsible for. When I see a DJ fumbling around a DJ booth because they have no idea how to hook something up, or constantly running their mixer (and the PA) into the red, I pray for Darwin to remove them from the crowded DJ pool to make room for someone that actually gives a shit about their career. This stuff isn’t rocket science, and there’s no excuse for a lot of the ignorance going on out there.

  • Snickel Fritz

    Saw Felix Da HouseCat train-wreck soooo hardcore with his Serato about a year back, which leads me to tip #6….. actually know how to set up your own equipment. and don’t use untested gear out at a club. Oh, and + 1,000,000 for GET A MAC.

  • http://twitter.com/dodotek Felipe Dornelas

    Just to put some fire in the Mac vs. PC flamewar:
    .
    In order to live music production/DJing work under Windows, it’s required a sound interface that supports an ASIO driver. ASIO is a third-party replacement for the Windows kernel audio subsystem, the DirectSound. DirectSound provides unacceptable latency (in order of thousands of milliseconds), and therefore can’t be used. ASIO works good, but as a third-party solution it can never be fast and stable like Mac OS-X integrated audio subsystem, the CoreAudio.
    .
    It’s not that you can’t use Windows… but if you want a stable, bullet proof solution for live audio, use a Mac.

  • http://twitter.com/dodotek Felipe Dornelas

    Just to put some fire in the Mac vs. PC flamewar:

    In order to live music production?/DJing work under Windows, it’s required a sound interface that supports? an ASIO driver. ASIO is a third-party replacement for the Windows kernel audio subsystem, the DirectSound. DirectSound provides unacceptable latency (in order of thousands of milliseconds), and therefore can’t be used. ASIO works good, but as a third-party solution it can never be fast and stable like Mac OS-X integrated audio subsystem, the CoreAudio.

    It’s not that you can’t use Windows… but if you want a stable, bullet proof solution for live audio, use a Mac.

  • http://twitter.com/dodotek Felipe Dornelas

    Get a Mac! [1+]

  • Miah

    Some tricks that I’ve suggested used for professional speakers out on tour with a laptop is to have a bootable USB stick drive with a complete load of whatever software you are using and a small selection of music and/or your presentation. That is enough to get you back up and running in the event of a HD failure. Always have a few DVDs of your music around in your gig bag (you do backup before you leave the house right?). And, if you really want to be on the sly you can get a usb/firewire external HD case and a 2.5″ laptop drive to use as a mobile backup “oh shit” drive ($69 right now gets you a 500gb drive). The truly paranoid will keep a 2nd laptop in the trunk of their car or at the hotel with them.

    As for the Mac vs. PC debate… it depends on the person and how well they maintain their tools. If you neglect the care and feeding habits you’ll be let down routinely. I do love my mac though… it just sort of always works the way I want it to.

  • stino

    So the suggestion (also for mac users) would be: download (e.g. beatport) & prepare (e.g. tag & rename, mixed in key,…) on 1 OS, and then copy the songs you need to an other OS?
    Any ideas on Windows xp vs. Windows 7 (32 or 64)?

  • Jes.C

    The last pix of the mac was in isreal. I trying to remember, but i think (dont quote me) the mac still booted up when brought to get serviced.

  • anon

    some good advice but talking about Mac users… they shouldn’t be so sure about their beloved machines being so infallible.. I have been running a night for 2 years and the only computer failure during a performance has come from a Mac :)

  • http://www.seven7hwave.com Kent Barton

    Sweet, I’m glad to see that many of you are finding this helpful. Hopefully I’ve helped to prevent an oh-shit moment or two. And the less you have to worry about crashes, the more you can focus on having a blast up there.

    @Quinn – Great point about duct tape. Gaffer tape can be hard to find sometimes, but Guitar Center usually has it. I’ve seen electrical tape work too, with not too much gunk left behind. But you can find it, gaff tape is definitely where it’s at.

    @Rob Ticho – Nice approach…turn the DJ booth into a DJ fort!

    @DJ Nvidia – Thanks for adding that link…your post is definitely essential reading on the subject of avoiding/dealing with crashes.

    Regarding the inevitable Mac vs. PC thing, I think BradCee sums it up best (nice poll, BTW). There’s a host of factors that can cause problems during a gig, and heat, vibrations, buggy software, etc. don’t care which OS you’re using.

  • Zac Kyoti

    Holy god, what is that last photo!! I’ve never seen that before – looks like someone put a few caps in that mac while it was closed. Scary as F@&K. Im just relieved the holes were in both sides and not just through the screen, ’cause then someone would have been gunning for our poor dj…

    That’s one way to stop a mac, lol!

  • Jes.C

    Im done with this MAC vs PC. Rock what you got!

  • Scalawag

    I think 499$ + Dual boot is better than a +999$ Mac.

  • BradCee

    @ mac boys – while it may be true that you ‘don’t need’ to set up a dual boot, the rest of the article still applies, unless of course you mac is water proof and heat resistant? wait? what’s that? it isn’t? well holy f*ck! :D if you want a debate on here about mac v pc, try this thread. pretty much sums up everything on the topic http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14941

  • Jes.C

    Keep a backup on hand! Last sunday right before my gig…my logic board died, 15 min before i left my house. I was going to lose my mind, but luckly I had a cd folder ready to go and off I went to play a my 4 hr gig. This week I cloned my MBP Hard drive and popped in my black macbook so I will be using that as a back up.

    So if you have a spare laptop, keep it up to date with your main rig so you dont have to play off of cd’s!

  • CatchMeIfYouCan

    I’m tired of people spouting the “get a mac” advice like its the end all be all of solutions. I’ve got a Lenovo (it costs half as much as your mac for similar specs — why? because i don’t have a backlit keyboard or an all aluminum body). My lenovo’s never had a heat problem, but my friends have sent off three different macs for repairs because they would overheat when they’re just browsing the web at home.

    I have nothing against using a mac, just don’t act like they’re invincible.

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment="31904"]

    splid your hard drive and only keep your soft and apps on the system drive, and put all your tracks and stuff in the secondary disk,

    that sounds like a good idea. is it easy to access your tracks in traktor/ableton in a different partition or is there some serious file management/setup required?

  • Ma$tor Gee

    another idea is to have a desktop, and use that as your main computer for surfing the web, email, basic computer tasks, etc. then have a laptop that you ONLY use for your performances. there would be more preparation on the back end, but thats the point. also, get a mac.

  • http://www.dj-nvidia.com/ Dj Nvidia

    Its funny how this is a re-occuring issue among Digital Dj’s. I actually wrote a column on this about a year ago (and its still pretty relevant):

    http://www.djtechtools.com/2009/04/19/handle-a-laptop-crash-the-sullenberger-way/

    But I agree, even though I have never had any problems with my mac, one should minimize the possibility by doing a fresh restart (to make sure only the essentials are running in background), shutting down all unused programs, any auxiliary connections (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth etc) and keeping an iPod/CD with a hour-long mix on it loaded and plugged into the sound system just incase that happens…

    And don’t forget regularly cleaning out your PC/Mac, keeping files organized will help decrease the chance your computer craps on you…

  • http://www.robticho.com Rob Ticho

    @freakg Are you having troubles with windows 7? I have the same set up and had the audio drop out momentarily on me twice. I haven’t pin pointed what is causing it. I think I may have forgot to disable the wireless adapter. I’d be interested to hear if you are having similar problems.

  • http://facebook.com/freakg freakg

    Now I use Windows seven ultimate with traktor pro 1.2.4, plugged with Audio 2 and 1 Kontrol X1, and up to now never had troubles using Windows,

    One important tip is that always keep your laptop clean and do not install any shitty software, scan and defrag your disk periodically

    splid your hard drive and only keep your soft and apps on the system drive, and put all your tracks and stuff in the secondary disk,

    that’s work for me up to this time,

    I was winess that some Macs can crash on stage

  • http://www.robticho.com Rob Ticho

    BUILD AN OBSTACLE COURSE!

    These are all really great tips. One persistent problem I have is regarding patrons bumping into equipment, spilling drinks, etc.

    An easy strategy to build a perimeter by placing stuff in the way. For instance, a laptop bag or unused monitor blocking the path to the DJ booth can prevent a patron from getting too close.

    Same goes for items around your table/booth if you are closer to the crowd. Of course, this could all backfire and cause a drunk person to trip and fall into your booth making the situation a lot worse :)

  • Quinn Raymond

    Great article– but don’t EVER use duct tape for your cables unless you want them covered in sticky goop when you remove it.

    Gaff tape is worth the extra money– it peels right off with no residue. You should also use velcro ties (best solution) wherever possible.

  • Gavin F

    This has happened to me so many times (and on a Mac too) that I have pretty much implemented all these tips already bar doubling up on the OS.
    Bass was the biggest culprit in most instances and not having the appropriate protection from it for my Mac.

  • http://www.lanceblaise.com Lance Blaise

    [quote comment="31889"]1) Get a Mac
    2) Get a Mac
    3) Get a Mac
    4) Get a Mac
    5) Get a Mac
    [/quote]

    +1

    This info is a bit rhetorical, and seriously if you have a Mac that whole dual booting thing you can toss out the window with like 99% of the rest of ll computer problems…

  • http://soundcloud.com/madsfors Fors

    Great article!
    Nice to know how to minimize the odds.

  • jimspree

    On windows run DPC latency checker from Thesycon… nuff said.

  • http://cargocollective.com/djlys jacob Lysgaard

    I’ve never had a single glitch mid-set on my now five-year-old mac, while friends on PCs have fuckups all the time.
    And another tip: we should all consider using SSD disks (at least for the OS). since bass vibes can quickly brick a regular hard drive, if placed stupidly enough on, e.g on a speaker.

  • dj farmerJames

    keeping a pair written CDs loaded in the CDJs as a backup has saved me once or twice. A good sample on one of the CDs can almost make it sound like you did it on purpose!

  • http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11964 Double DutchDj

    I shouldn’t tempt it but I’m still waiting for the day when my laptop has a moment, wot a horible thought

  • Tom D

    1) Get a Mac
    2) Get a Mac
    3) Get a Mac
    4) Get a Mac
    5) Get a Mac

    Just kidding, some great points raised here. I always carry as many spare cables and adapters as I can find with me – you never know when you might need them!

  • BradCee

    good tips :D

    i’m also using the ‘prio’ service download for windows to keep TPro as a permanent high priority process, in a stripped out win 7 boot (only 19 other processes that windows won’t let me kill).

    also run realtemp as a background process and have it set to put a notification on the screen if the cpu hits 70 degrees C (but muted out the siren wav file it plays), have found 80 is the dead point for my system.

    have a stand with built in fans to help with cooling (usb powered), but am looking into getting a decent battery powered fan to throw on if the cpu gets too hot

  • Steve

    Great tips