Poor Man's Serato

perspective

Sausage Rolls
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#1
I just finished this little project with a mate. He bought my old decks off me and really wants to learn to mix on vinyl (and the man is learning quick i tell thee). Instead of going out and spending lots of time and money getting together a vinyl collection and re-buying a bunch of CDs and mp3s, we put our heads together and built a budget serato for under £100.

What you should already have:
  • Decks
  • a 2 channel mixer with phono/line switch on each channel (we used a Numark DM950)
  • Laptop/PC
  • Patience and a slightly maschocistic edge

Shopping list:
  • 2 x Serato control records (£12.95 each)
  • A 4x4 sound card preferably with ASIO drivers (I bought a ESI Maya 44 USB, recommend it - £65)
  • 2 x phono patch cables and 2 x phono splitter cables (probably about £15 altogether)
  • Mixxx Open source DJ software - FREE! (mixxx.org)

= £92.95

Setting it up:
  • Plug the phono splitters into both sides of the PHONO input on your mixer, then plug one of the phono patch cables in, so going into the mixer's phono input you should have 2 cables coming out. One needs to be connected to your decks and the other wants to go into input on the sound card, repeat for the other deck.
  • Plug output 1 + 2 of the sound card into the line input on the mixer for the first mixer channel, and 3 + 4 to the line input on the second mixer channel
  • Switch both channels on the mixer to LINE and install mixxx on your laptop/pc. Go to preferences in the options menu and in the sound hardware set the master output to the sound card's 1 + 2 channels and the headphone output to 3 + 4.
  • Go back to the main Mixxx window and load track on each of the players, press the headphone monitor button on one of the players, and set the crossfader to all the way over for the second one
  • Play a track in each of the players and test it comes out through the mixer... if it is glitchy, adjust the latency setting in the sound hardware preferences to something higher. ideally for vinyl control you need 10ms latency or lower, if you have seriously bad glitch at 20 or 15 ms you need a better soundcard, pc or both.
  • If you got the latency nice and low and everything works from the last step, go to the vinyl control preferences tab in the preferences window and set player 1 to take inputs from soundcard ins 1 + 2, player 2 to take input from soundcard ins 3 + 4
  • Go back to the main mixxx window and in the options menu enable vinyl control....
  • Test your setup with the vinyl control records, you should be able to mix now with the vinyl control records!

Pictures speak a thousand words so here are some pics of the physical setup:





Some pics of the setupon the laptop itself...





Also, demonstrating my semi bald ninjaness, here is a little demo vid i made of it... For god's sake please don't laugh at it, I had to get rid of my beard the other day and I'm feeling really insecure about it all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzk5kCeFCrA

If anyone else has a go at this let me know! As I said in the video this was great fun getting it going and messing with it, I'd love to hear if anyone gets this working :)
 

Nutek

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#4
man that's really good, not going to go out and do it myself right now but definately something i will consider before buying cdj's!
 

groelle

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#12
nicely done but i'd rather spend £100 on vinyl
if youd like to play your own tunes or your mates tunes, your gunna end up spending £100 on 3 tunes... so big ups perspective!

but, any infos on how stable it is? did you run any longish testsessions already? how fast should my pc be ram-/cpuwise?

thx! :)
 

perspective

Sausage Rolls
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#13
thas beautiful..im seriosuly tempted 2 give it a go .does it all work nicee?
that would be my question aswell.. all going well?
but, any infos on how stable it is? did you run any longish testsessions already? how fast should my pc be ram-/cpuwise?

thx! :)
we set this up with my old decks for a house party that we ran on sat night, this running upstairs in the dining room (which was set up as a kind of chill out area), and it got a good 6 or 7 hours of use with people playing everything from house to dnb to r&b.

as far as stability, i had to restart the laptop once, but bear in mind it was a 3 year old IBM R60 or something, 1.2Ghz with a gig of ram, not the best spec nowadays. i also had to bump the latency up to 12ms because after a few hours it started glitching when changing tunes but apart from that everything went smoothly.

for our purposes it was a success, although for someone doing anything more serious id recommend a decent laptop.
 

perspective

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#14
nicely done but i'd rather spend £100 on vinyl
yea fair play mate, tbh i would have but this was set up solely so we could have 2 sets of djs rotating around the night. most of us spin more than just dnb (e.g. i was playing mostly dnb but also house, bit of dubstep, with most of the latter on cd/mp3), and not all of the other djs could bring all their vinyl and it was more convenient to bring mp3s.

also as groelle says it does allow us to play our own/mates tunes, we have formed a collective of 5 or 6 djs and producers down here from the people taking part in the house parties we throw, just to play my own stuff at a party would cost me £90 in getting a few dubplates cut, and while this isn't as portable as vinyl it does open up a lot of possibilities.
 

Junglist_007

learning difficulties
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#18
Just seen this thread that is some brilliant work nice idea. Looks to complicated for me to work out though, im proper crap with computers lol.
 
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