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  • Joeblack949

    id suggest against bringing only a long usb cable, having a shorter cable means better latency and less problems so i’d personally feel better about using a powered usb hub to extend my audio longer if needed, i’ve never had a problem finding a place to tuck the audio interface though that was far from the mixer. also i dont kno about the s4 as i dont have one and dont really see the ned considering i have kontrol x1s, maschine, and a 4 channel firewire tsp certified mixer that sounds amazing(i much prefer mixing and equing on hardware mixers). also never run an unbalanced cable longer than 10 feet or shorter than 3, you’ll get signal degradation starting around 10 feet and shorter than 3 feet you’re running the chance of the length of your cable turning into an antenna for tv and radio frequencies. and keep your cables away from anything with magnets or power cables, they wlll effect your sound negatively unless you’re running balanced xlr or trs. :D

    • Joeblack949

      i forgot to mention where i was going with the x1 and and maschine, they have a dimple on their bottom that is meant to fit in the spindle of the plattter of a turntable. i find that to work pretty well. For midi controllers I always kinda felt any platter smaller than 7 inches is useless except maybe for more granular higher resolution efects encoders. theres one exception and thats the otus and the use a realy sick robotics optical encoder that costs 50bux just iby itself.

  • Gzo

    awesome article, thanks DJ TT!!

  • http://soundcloud.com/johanborg Johan Borg

    Now, with a Mac, I can finally breath and concentrate at what I really wanna do – play kick ass music.

  • http://soundcloud.com/johanborg Johan Borg

    @D-Jam: But that’s the ting! You don’t have to worry about all the tweaking of the system and regular scans for all kinds of crap, nor worrying about getting infected with viruses/spyware/malware/adware. That is not a problem with a Mac and that’s why I switched. I grew tired of all the shit I had to download and run just to keep the computer running properly.

    Don’t get me wrong, I know my way around computers. I’m the tech support guy in my circle of friends. Yep, that guy. We all have ‘em. So even though I tried everything I knew to keep the system running like I wanted, it would always find new ways to screw me over. My Asus laptop never crashed during a set (which suprised me, being a budget computer), but the deal breaker was when it refused to work with any of the two FW Express cards I bought to be able to use my Focusrite Saffire LE.

  • Nunz

    I have yet to bring my beloved S4 to a club setting. I’ve been getting tons of bad attention at other venues for showing up with some X1s and not using their CDJs…

  • http://www.sekoia.nl Whyte

    [quote comment="40883"]One way to make it easier that I dont think has been mentioned ..
    Instead of pluging your rca leads from soundcard into the mixer get some adapters that turn the end of the lead into a female end.
    Set your stuff up,
    when the last dj plays his last tune unplug the rca from the back of the [not in use] cdj and plug into the female adapter on the lead coming out of your sound card.
    You now have one deck connected to the mixer [without having to fiddle around unplugging and pluggin into mixer] once you have started your set repeat the process for your other decks.
    In my experience with plugging in gear most common mistake is to plug into the wrong channel on the mixer you then end up with stress and spagethi junction of leads this solves the problem.
    I also put different colour tape on the leads out from soundcard eg white for left red for right[/quote]
    This deserves to be quoted. Great idea!

  • http://studentportal.acm.ac.uk kerbliner

    [quote comment="40833"][quote comment="40794"]“Staying relaxed and calm is top priority!”

    any tips for that ? and don’t tell me to drink something !lol

    “Bring a long USB cable for the sound card in case your setup area is far from your eventual dj area”

    where to buy a good long usb cable (as the djTT cable) ?[/quote]
    i bought a good gold plated one as good as djtt on musiciansfriend.com or Amazon[/quote]

    It might be a better idea to get a long audio output, rather than a long USB cable. Provided you use nice quality cables (make your own!) you shouldn’t suffer from signal degradation, plus RCA (phono) connections are a bit more robust and less likely to fall out of your gear if someone trips over your wires! The longer the USB cable, the more likely you are to suffer from dropout as the cable can deteriorate, most decent pro quality shielded audio cables are designed to be flexed, coiled up and abused to some extent, whereas USB cables are typically not so much.

    USB cable lengths are limited by specification to 5m for full speed devices, 3m for low speed, much more than that and you’ll run into problems. Obviously you can go as long as you want with an analogue audio line, but the signal will degrade slightly the more length you use.

    I always keep a nice long stereo RCA cable in my bag, with jack and XLR adaptors on standby so you can run it into any mixer you may come across.

  • http://www.technovillain.com t3chNOv1LLaiN

    Another great article by the DJ Tech Tools crew.

  • DjBuca

    Thanks Ian, now I know what to use some of the dozens of them I have from my woodworking hobby. Keep up the great articles and tips.

  • ROACH SOUNDS

    Nice, article.

    I just made a custom made road case/ table that gets rid some of the uncertainty of settimg up..
    can I post a pic here?
    cheers.

  • http://www.d-jam.com D-Jam

    I’m of the mind that when you go digital, that unless you’re putting on a specific kind of show like Ean does, you should stay versatile and even have a few configurations of your setup ready so you deal with what’s there. At the very least I can use my laptop and Xponent, or go over-the-top with Xponent, laptop, Akai MPD24, and Midi-Fighter. For me I simply walk in, assess how much room I have, and try to make it as easy as possible on everyone…because 9 out of 10 times I’m not headlining and I’m simply playing a shorter set in a night of many short sets.

    I agree that those who don’t know computers very well should go Mac. It’s a dummy-proof system, but I think the technically savvy can score a lot with a PC. You just need to make sure to get one with solid hardware and the capabilities. Not some cheap POS. You also need to keep your system clean and optimal. Before I do any gig or even recording session, I’ll run CCleaner (freeware) to clean out the hard drive and registry, then I run the Disk Defragmentor to keep things solid. After that, I’ll make sure I plug my stuff into USB ports I know do not “shut off” (although I set mine to never shut off).

    I’m living proof…I use Torq both timecode and Xponent (not at the same time) on a Windows 7 laptop (Win XP before that)…and I never had problems. I use a Lenovo Thinkpad X61. If I can make what is said as the “worst DVS” work on Windows, then it says a lot for how much being technically savvy can help one.

  • Chris

    You guys have the best and relevant articles. Thanks for the tips.

    A lot of it is common sense that can easily be overlooked.

  • dr3xl

    the = to

  • dr3xl

    Forgot the mention – it always happened when I loaded another track into the deck and before that both decks (A & B) were playing simultaneously without problems. No audio glitches or anything like that.

  • dr3xl

    On Saturday, I had this weird thing going on with my Macbook/Audio8/X1 timecode-CD-based setup in a club. Everything seemed to work perfectly, but after 5 minutes or so one of the channels simply lost the sound. Couple of weird moments:
    1) Traktor still could read the timecode – when I was moving the jogwheel on CDJ I saw the response on Traktor.
    2) Restarting Traktor worked… and after 5 minutes same thing happened again, but on the other channel.

    Luckily I had audio CD’s as a backup.

    Tried different settings – in the beginning 96khz 2ms, then tried adjusting the latency up until 7ms, then switched to 44.1khz.

    Everything worked OK at home. Has anyone had the same problem?

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/cmster Cmster

    so overall use commen sence?

    I always turn up early to gigs to check out the place and see when appropriate it is to set up

  • http://www.ezmyrelda.com Ezmyrelda

    It’s surprising that in this age of digital djing more attention hasn’t been thrown into developing boxes like the magma switchbox. I don’t think it would work for everybody, and I think there are some hurdles that need to be overcome in cases where you have something like an Allen & Heath Xone:4d but the need is certainly there for better dj switching technology. Hrmmm.. An Allen & Heath with two top mounted USB inputs with the ability to switch between 2 sets of 4 in and 4 out.. now that would be freaking sweet.

  • DJ Master P

    [quote comment="40797"]who’s the hot asian girl wearing a net in the 3rd picture?[/quote]

    Man I like u’s sense of detail ;-) Rock it.

  • tony

    One way to make it easier that I dont think has been mentioned ..
    Instead of pluging your rca leads from soundcard into the mixer get some adapters that turn the end of the lead into a female end.
    Set your stuff up,
    when the last dj plays his last tune unplug the rca from the back of the [not in use] cdj and plug into the female adapter on the lead coming out of your sound card.
    You now have one deck connected to the mixer [without having to fiddle around unplugging and pluggin into mixer] once you have started your set repeat the process for your other decks.
    In my experience with plugging in gear most common mistake is to plug into the wrong channel on the mixer you then end up with stress and spagethi junction of leads this solves the problem.
    I also put different colour tape on the leads out from soundcard eg white for left red for right

  • http://www.sanderbongertman.com Sander Bongertman

    [quote comment="40835"]i’ve played a few places in which I’ve encountered huge audio delays in the mains, and no place for me to put monitor speakers. This makes it nearly impossible to use my headphones to cue up the next track, as it’s playing sometimes a half a beat faster in my headphones than it is on the club’s speakers. This can be a biiiig pain if I wasn’t given time for an audio check before the place opened. Is there a way to add a delay into my cue inside Traktor’s software, or using ASIO, that I’m unaware of?[/quote]
    one solution would be to cue both the master channel and the new track in your headphones so you don’t have the delay..

  • DJ Wynston

    My soundcard is of course the NI Audio 8 DJ, not “Audio dj 4″ (which doesn’t exist, as far as I know)…

  • DJ Wynston

    Thanks Ean for yet another informative article! I’ve been a digital dj for about 5 years now. I absolutely love it, but as you point out it does have it’s challenges. One scenario you didn’t mention in your article however, is when you’re in a typical club setting and have to switch with a guy who has the same intricate setup as you…

    I use Traktor Pro with two X1′s and Audio DJ 4. On a club gig I’ll typically use all 4 decks in Traktor which of course means I’ll be needing all four channels on the club mixer (which is typically a DJM 600/800). As you can imagine switching with a guy who has a similiar (4 channel) setup is gonna be f*** nigtmare, yes? Especially if you take in to consideration that most boots are rather small and unacommodating.

    I know there are some hardware solutions out there (dj patchbays) made specifically to tackle such challenges (like the A&H DJ Patchbay and the Masterkey V2.0 Digital Patchbay/Switchbox). Definitely something to look into for clubs out there. Would make life a lot easier for most dj’s…

  • Logicalalala

    Logic = buy/steal/borrow a set of industry standard turntables and CDJ’s and practice on them *Poof! All your booth set-up and sound-check problems solved! ;o)

    • http://www.facebook.com/Livewyr3 Justin Turner

      umm, why are you on djtt? This website is geared towards controllerists.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barnyardproductions Ryan

    i’ve played a few places in which I’ve encountered huge audio delays in the mains, and no place for me to put monitor speakers. This makes it nearly impossible to use my headphones to cue up the next track, as it’s playing sometimes a half a beat faster in my headphones than it is on the club’s speakers. This can be a biiiig pain if I wasn’t given time for an audio check before the place opened. Is there a way to add a delay into my cue inside Traktor’s software, or using ASIO, that I’m unaware of?

  • Lo.Definition

    You think that setting up as a single DJ is a bitch, try two digital DJs running off one computer (four controllers total) plus a VJ or two. We show up as soon as the place opens and set up while the bar staff clean up from last night. Our trick is taking our stuff down before the show is over (practiced breaking down my DJ setup until I could do it in 5 minutes/one song). Really, practice is the secret. Go to the club and get the lay of the land (unless your travelling and then have your setup in a rider), talk to the other staff/DJs and find out all you can about the quirks of the booth your going to play within.

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment="40794"]“Staying relaxed and calm is top priority!”

    any tips for that ? and don’t tell me to drink something !lol

    “Bring a long USB cable for the sound card in case your setup area is far from your eventual dj area”

    where to buy a good long usb cable (as the djTT cable) ?[/quote]
    i bought a good gold plated one as good as djtt on musiciansfriend.com or Amazon

  • http://www.digitaldjtips.com Phil Morse

    One of the big issues for digital DJ sin many booths is space. That’s why I think when deciding on what kit to use, you ought to consider the footprint of that kit, and where you’re going to be able to set it up. For me, the smaller the better – I am always looking for innovative ways to make what I can DJ well on take up less and less space. I found it interesting to see the way Domas uses two X1s (pro: small footprint). He needs thee channels on the mixer though (con: I think many clubs would struggle to give you that).

  • piopro

    [quote comment="40829"][quote comment="40805"]Very good article Ean! It’s crazy setting up in some of these booths sometimes. I think just like the art of Djing is evolving, so must the design of the DJ booth. I think clubs need to start designing them to accommodate digital DJs.

    One time I had play on one of those strap stands that restaurant servers use to hold that one large plate with all of the orders!!![/quote] say 3 foot to the right/ left of the main mixer
    no they just need a space so you can work to plug in to the mixer via master out if you use traktor that way[/quote]

  • piopro

    [quote comment="40805"]Very good article Ean! It’s crazy setting up in some of these booths sometimes. I think just like the art of Djing is evolving, so must the design of the DJ booth. I think clubs need to start designing them to accommodate digital DJs.

    One time I had play on one of those strap stands that restaurant servers use to hold that one large plate with all of the orders!!![/quote]
    no they just need a space so you can work to plug in to the mixer via master out if you use traktor that way

  • piopro

    i saw the video to this gig and think this: (not read any comments b 4) this advice is great but with 1 major floor…
    this a club event… not a night club the difference is that a regular club in the uk has a set up of a twin cd denon or if your lucky a set of cdj’s if you look to play regular in clubs week in week out (corprate clubs/ bar chains) as to events be propared for thm to have a install with less than a hour to set up be for your gig as they will not open for just you 5 hours be for your room opens… (just somthing i have had to do)

  • Matthew on the Rocks

    [quote comment="40790"]“When I made the switch to Mac, I spent the first day intentionally unplugging my controllers and re-plugging them and geeking with joy that they just worked.”

    Man i feel you, I will do exactly the same when I buy my Mac :P[/quote]

    HAHAHAHA Mac is the Shit! Before I got mine, I was mixing off a Toshiba that only had one ram slot working. It was 2gigs and windows 7 took up like all of it. When I played, I just always prayed that i’d make it through my set! Surprisingly, it only crashed twice.

    I didn’t have the money to get another computer so the way I got my mac (for free!) was by going back to school. I’m currently enrolled in the music production bachelors program online from FUll Sail University. It’s a bad ass program so far and my pell grant (or free money from big brother) paid for it. My program had a launch box which was essentially, a package for recording music which, included a mac book!! You see guys, going to school has its rewards… BOOSH!

  • Matthew on the Rocks

    [quote comment="40824"]I should clarify, it’s not that I disagree with (most) of what he’s saying, it’s just the fact that someone has to write something like this shows that there are too many people out there who haven’t got half a clue doing things they should really pause and dedicate some proper contemplation time to. Common sense should be exactly that.[/quote]

    I’d have to disagree. This is a very useful article because it addresses a problem that real working digital DJs do face in a club environment. Although the information is basic, you can’t label it as merely “common sense”. We aren’t born knowing how to set up in a club and since digital DJing is still in its infancy, methods for setting up efficiently don’t exist. Before you knew how to DJ, YOU DID’T KNOW HOW TO DJ.

    Ean was just answering a question that everyone wants to ask, but are too afraid to do so because they don’t want to feel stupid. There is nothing wrong about asking something you really don’t understand.

    I feel that a lot of our readers are young kids who are looking for wise and sound advice about the art. We want to educate them and help them be all the DJ they can be without them having as many failures as we’ve had; So that way they won’t ever stop loving it.

    I am sad to say that this industry is cut throat, cold, and there are a lot of delusional asshole DJS who don’t give a shit about anything or anyone but themselves. A lot of these aspiring DJs don’t have someone warm to confide in a lot of the time. Its nice to go to a site where no question is stupid or taboo. We don’t judge at DJTT, we help, inform, and teach.

    I’ve been Djing professionally going on three years now and I still have setbacks setting my rig up. That’s the thing, no two booths are ever the same. Sometimes, there are variables you can’t control when setting up. This article is a few examples on how to deal with these variables. If this article is “common sense”, then I’m a fuckin’ idiot and i’m damn proud of it.

    If you can’t ascertain the true meaning of the article, then I think it’s you who needs more common sense…

    From Russia with Love, Matthew on the Rocks

    “The only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing.”

    -Socrates

  • saltshines

    I should clarify, it’s not that I disagree with (most) of what he’s saying, it’s just the fact that someone has to write something like this shows that there are too many people out there who haven’t got half a clue doing things they should really pause and dedicate some proper contemplation time to. Common sense should be exactly that.

  • saltshines

    Not meaning to sound like a dick, but if you need to refer to these tips, you don’t need to be behind the decks, you need to spend another year in your bedroom practicing and another year going to parties and becoming accustomed enough to the culture that you can handle your own shit. Obviously this isnt a stab at seasoned pros who after years of work are switching for ease, just to anyone out there that bought one of those joke Numark setups from Future Shop a week ago and has now decided that they’ve put in their proper dues and can handle playing out. Case in point?

  • http://soundcloud.com/spiffy1 Spiffy

    The thing i hate the most about setting up at shows is i use a midi controller, my sound card and my macbook. when i get to the show there are usually 2 cdjs, 2 turntables and a mixer. litterally no room for my shit and if there is its wayyy over to the side where i look stupid going back and forth between the mixer and my controller.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Livewyr3 Justin Turner

      move the turntables and cdjs

  • Matthew on the Rocks

    Very good article Ean! It’s crazy setting up in some of these booths sometimes. I think just like the art of Djing is evolving, so must the design of the DJ booth. I think clubs need to start designing them to accommodate digital DJs.

    One time I had play on one of those strap stands that restaurant servers use to hold that one large plate with all of the orders!!!

  • sebastian

    hey ean..nice tips. have you used your s4 out much? does its size cause you any problems?

  • 8th

    who’s the hot asian girl wearing a net in the 3rd picture?

  • DONdon

    nowdays dj’s rarely have the common sense and courtesy to follow these simple rules you guys wrote about.

    Allthough I’m a CDJ kinda dj i see guys all the time struggling with gear set up and the frustration that goes along with it, and yet maybe 5% of them that i have met do it the DJTT style.

    and as far as i am concerned there is no excuse for guys who just say well my laptop is acting up and they came to the show with thir gear like 5 minutes before the set.

    preparation and being professional is of utmost importantance

  • Padi_04

    [quote comment="40790"]“When I made the switch to Mac, I spent the first day intentionally unplugging my controllers and re-plugging them and geeking with joy that they just worked.”

    Man i feel you, I will do exactly the same when I buy my Mac :P[/quote]

    I’m not alone in this world then haha.

    In my experience: triple check gigbag, know your gear and how to debug it, take control of the situation if something ain’t working.

    As Ean said, don’t be intrusive if you are forced to setup during another DJ’s set, treat and respect others the way you like to be treated.

  • Chris

    “Staying relaxed and calm is top priority!”

    any tips for that ? and don’t tell me to drink something !lol

    “Bring a long USB cable for the sound card in case your setup area is far from your eventual dj area”

    where to buy a good long usb cable (as the djTT cable) ?

  • http://lookmeoutonfacebook K NOB5

    I am the dj of a latin rock band and I got use to set up stuff 8hr laters and sometimes when setting up 5hrs before the show we call late set up, now everytime I got a gig I go and set up 8 or 10hr before the show lol

  • http://dj-jesc-blogspot.com Jes.C

    Mac+Audio2+X1 in external mode, setup time, under 5 mins. Its all about how good you know your gear. I understand that for bigs shows you want to setup early to do soundcheck.

    Good article

  • http://www.djpc3.com/ Dj PC3

    I don’t know when I’m in clubs my set-up is different then when I do private events or shows with just me.
    In clubs, I don’t want mess up their stuff, so I usually use a DVS with the X1 on the side, the best of both worlds, but if its my show, then I will def set-up my stuff wayyy in advance… I feel there is less pressure when I am opening for others and I don’t need everything exactly the way I want it, so I just make do with what is available

  • Vinicius Hoffmann

    “When I made the switch to Mac, I spent the first day intentionally unplugging my controllers and re-plugging them and geeking with joy that they just worked.”

    Man i feel you, I will do exactly the same when I buy my Mac :P

  • 7oniiiC

    This article addresses one of my least favorite aspects of controllerism. Space.

    Two things I would add:

    1)If you can afford a Mac; get one. If you experience a drop-out with a controller you’re not doomed to reboot the software (speaking from an Ableton perspective though I’m sure this applies to other DJ platforms). Drop outs were my nemesis for a good many years.
    side note: When I made the switch to Mac, I spent the first day intentionally unplugging my controllers and re-plugging them and geeking with joy that they just worked.
    2)If you are in a club or bar often they have extra tables. If you roll up on a venue with a crouded booth/table; snag a table and set up there.
    -j