CDJ advice

- Phil

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#1
I've been playing on a MIDI controller (Numark N4) for 3/4 years now but I've never actually used a CDJ properly before and wanted to know the benefits over a MIDI. I'm wanting to progress and play out live so I'm slightly nervous about going to a club and using CDJs without any prior experience so I wanted to know a couple of things:

A) If I go to a club and DJ on CDJs with a laptop will it be the same as DJing on my MIDI without using the sync button? I can play without the sync button and do not use the sync option at all but is there actually much difference in how it works? Obviously to switch between decks 3/4 on a MIDI I just click a button, so is the only difference literally that I'll have 3/4 decks physically in front of me? I'm assuming beatmatching would be done the same way as I don't use a sync button on my MIDI?
B) Is there actually any difference between a CDJ/MIDI other than the CDJ not needing software to work?
C) What CDJ/mixer would you recommend for beginning with; preferably one that can be used with a laptop & USB and that is cheap.

Thanks for the help and sorry if it's in the wrong section :)
 

RUSSLA

Technique
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#2
Benefits over MIDI = You don't need to carry a cumbersome controller around and look like a peen.

A) Yes, No, Yes, Yess
B) No difference.
C) Depends if you prefer Traktor or Serato I believe but i'm not clued up on this.
 
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#5
Hi

I've currently been dj'ing Drum n Bass using a pioneer ddj SB controller. It's only small and I don't currently have speakers so I've been using the headphones to DJ from (use serato dj intro). I want to start putting on DNB sets at some clubs/nights. What I would like to know is would I be ok turning up to a club and connecting my laptop and controller and playing through the club speakers (using serato dj intro) or would this not work for any reasons? If you would recommend practising DJ'ing out loud before playing in a club would you recommend I practise on any particular speakers? I wouldnt really know where to start with the speakers... Is there any requirement to use CDJ's for any reason? Any help would be great thanks...
 

lug00ber

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#6
I've currently been dj'ing Drum n Bass using a pioneer ddj SB controller. It's only small and I don't currently have speakers so I've been using the headphones to DJ from (use serato dj intro). I want to start putting on DNB sets at some clubs/nights. What I would like to know is would I be ok turning up to a club and connecting my laptop and controller and playing through the club speakers (using serato dj intro) or would this not work for any reasons? If you would recommend practising DJ'ing out loud before playing in a club would you recommend I practise on any particular speakers? I wouldnt really know where to start with the speakers... Is there any requirement to use CDJ's for any reason? Any help would be great thanks...
Talk to the club you're doing the night at, or if you're playing someone else's night talk to whoever booked you. They can tell you what types if audio outputs they require you to provide, and also how much space you have available to set up your gear.

If you've never played with speakers connected, you're in for a shock. You're used to hear what you are doing clearly in the headphones (hopefully at not a stupidly loud volume), that will not be the case when you are in a room with a club system. Make sure you are actually using a set of headphones made for dj use. They should be closed back and properly isolated, so that it reduces the outside noise as much as possible.
Apart from that, just expect that the first time you play out will be full of unpleasant experiences and problems you don't have at home. Sounds bad, but you'll learn pretty quickly how to work with them if you stay at it. Good luck :)
 
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#8
About the cdj selection:
i would advice you to get a very basic pioneer console made by a couple of cdj 100 or 200 and a 2 channel mixer (you would find it for 200 euros on ebay case included) and save up for a cheap timecode card, for example Mixvibe Cross u46mkII would work, i use it and i think is a cheap amd effective piece. You can burn tracks on cds and practice with beatmatching: 100s and 200s doesn't have bpm selector, you must do it with ears and percentage
(not a big problem if you make a wise selecta all around pretty the same bpm range, 174 is the Andy C JumpUp standard)

Also, is very useful to learn to count the bars in your tracks (or to divide the track in 22 seconds sections) and not to look at the graphic audio wave

When you get bored to burn cds and you want to play with your software, you can go DVS with timecode cds amd play music from your library. That's the pretty same thing i do with turntables. Everybody hates and loves timecode but is a quite effective way to play and may rivalutate some old and cheap setup


Practise a lot and have some good drum and bass :)
Concept
 

miszt

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#9
it really depends on the way you play, do you make use of all the extra things you can do with a midi controller, or do you literally just beatmatch and mix?

if you are more creative with your mixing, then there are no benefits at all to using CDJ's, and please don't listen to the point about "looking like a peen", there are plenty of very big name DJ's that use controllers and do amazing sets with them - and if you use a controller and laptop, you can be far more creative with your mixes

but if you are just beat matching and mixing tracks together, then CDJs will save you some hassle - but, only if you buy a decent pair, CDJ1000's or 2000's are the only ones that are remotely accurate/hold time - other models do the job, but they wont hold time well, and will give you allot more work, esp in comparison to a computer
 
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#10
That's true, nothing against controllers here,i play with softwares too.

Anyway is a good habit to learn the hard way: i mean, if you learn on a midi you won't feel good if you go in a club and find a couple of cdjs.


I'm still a beginner, i never played a set, but i'm practicing a lot and i'm trying to be as versatile as possible with gear.. once i learnt how to manage every piece of gear i could play everywhere with any kind of console, turntables cdjs or midi.

For example: at home i have a pair of turntables and i practice with them but in the club where my hip hop crew usually play there are a couple of cdj100s, i can't go there and complain about it becouse consoles are expensive, i would just get there and play.

Learn everything, play anywhere ;)
 
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