5 days, 5 different setups

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I worked as a lobby DJ for Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference last week. Since I was set to mix each day, all day, I wanted to change it up and keep switching out my controller or software to figure out which I prefer.

Day 1
Started off with DJAY Pro on the laptop w/ the Pioneer
DDJ-400. Controller works very good with DJAY. It’s very lightweight and has RCA outputs. It fits in my gator club bag easy.

Day 2
Used the Denon 4000 with Traktor. This is my usual setup and mostly use it in a flight case. The booth I was in had limited space so I couldn’t use it with the case. The Denon is a solid controller but it has been glitching with DJAY lately so I’m using it with Traktor. This is still a pretty good setup but the 4000 in a bag with laptop and stand was the heaviest I had to lug in all week. I’ve also started to prefer DJAY more than Traktor.

Day 3
Next was the Reloop Mixtour and an IPad Pro. Djay on IOS is really fun to use. Matched up with the Reloop it’s extremely compact. As much as I like using the mixtour, I prefer using
jogwheels.

Day 4
Keeping Djay on iPad, I switched over to a Ddj-200. Ddj-200 is wireless midi and has to use audio out directly from iPad and use a splitter cable for headphone cuing. I connected a usb-c audio/power adapter to the iPad. No browse controls on the DDJ-200 so I just remapped the controller to use some the hot cues to browse and load. This surprisingly was my favorite setup of the week. I would have liked to use the ddj-400 with the iPad but that has a glitch when used together where audio cuts out randomly. If that did work, that would be my favorite.

Day 5
This day I only had to play for 4 hours. I paired my phone with the ddj-200. This was pretty cool. One of the sound techs asked if it was harder to mix on my phone so I did a set in front of him of 70 songs in an hour. It was pretty cool.

After 5 days, there were no times that the software crashed. Only glitches I had was when trying the Denon with DJAY pro on the Mac. All of the controllers except for the Denon was connected to a DI then to a sound board. The Denon went straight XLR to the sound board.

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Ervic A

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Posted 2 months ago

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RakanIam

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Great write up thanks for sharing.
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JiPenade

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Hello
Very good post indeed!
Currently i'm using Djay with my Reloop Mixon 4, in bedroom DJ mode, and i'm thinking about buying a mode portable device, to use on holidays or when the Mixon is too big to carry.
So i'm hesitating between the Reloop Mixtour, the DDJ200 and the DDJ400.
First question : don't you think the DDJ200 is more a "toy" than an actual DJ controller? I mean in term of build quality and limited DJ knobs?
(I forgot to say that i use Djay on my iPad Pro 9.7)
(Edited)
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Ervic A

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If you can live with outputting from your device rather than the controller, the DDJ-200 is my pick. Yes it feels like a toy because the buttons and casing is plastic, but it actually performs as expected. There is no lag when I mix and it scratches just fine. No issue with manual mixing. The DDJ-400 feels a little bit better with the rubber pads but it is also a much bigger controller. This year I've taken the DDJ200 out a lot more than the Reloop Mixtour. One of the things I dislike is how loud the buttons are. At a gig it isn't an issue, but laying on the couch with headphones on practicing, it can annoy other people in the room. At first I thought it would be a pain because there isn't any browse or master/cue volume controls. I just remapped some of the knobs and pads so now I can do it quickly on the controller without touching the iPad/iphone. In performing, I don't like having to need a USB Audio dongle and a 3.5mm split cable to output audio. It's a little messy, but it does work.

If I'm only doing light mixing and not any scratch drops and relying on sync, then the Mixtour is fine. I just have to make sure all of my tracks are gridded right. On the Mixtour, I remapped the gain knobs to be used as pitch control and shift-TC for nudge. Other than that, it's a cool controller too but if you really like jogwheels and don't want to use the virtual ones on an iPad screen, then I would go for the DDJ-200. The Mixtour has stronger audio output than using the 3.5mm split cable so that is a plus in favor of the Mixtour. The Mixtour can charge up the iPad as well. I've used it with iPhone, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro USB-C. All works well with it. Also with the USB-C iPad Pro, I can go direct USB-C to USB-B cable and power the Mixtour for as long as the iPad battery can last.

I originally bought the DDJ-400 as a replacement for my Mixtour which I used mainly on my iPad. Unfortunately right now there is an issue with the DDJ-400 and DJAY iOS where the audio cuts out after a period of time and can only be reset if you remove and reinsert the cable. After not being able to use the 400 without glitching, I purchased the DDJ-200. If they ever get the 400 issue fixed, it might be my favorite setup, but for now, the 200 is my compact choice.

I also have the Wego4 that I used to use. Still a good little controller, but the layout is unconventional. It is the same size as the 200. I still bring it out every now and then.
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JiPenade

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Hello.
Finally this afternoon i went to my favorite music show and i spent some times evaluating between the DDJ SB3 , the DDJ 400, the DDJ 200 and the MixTour (although not available). I even thought about more expensive controller like the DDJ SR2 , which would enable to replace also my main controller (the Reloop Mixon4) :) At the beginning my main goal was to find a (mobile) controller usable under Djay with my iPad and Serato (Lite or Pro). Finally i went to buy the Numark Dj2Go2 but it was (also) not available right now... So I bought the ... DDJ 200 :)
Right now i'm trying to use it with Djay and the iPad (works great so far), although i notice some (bluetooh?) lags some minutes ago...
I find the main missing button is the Browse button but it's quite easy to do it with the touchscreen.
By the way I tried Rekordbox and it was quite straightforward to use. My only problem would be to switch from Serato to Rekordbox but ... the Mixon 4 is not compatible with Rekordbox :(
Anyway thanks for your post, i'll continue to play with the DDJ 200 and find if i keep it or not ;)
Regards


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Ervic A

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The more you play with the 200, the more hopefully you like it.

For your lag issue, are you referring to lag on Bluetooth with the midi controls or with the music to the speaker? Are you hard wiring the speaker to your iPad or just trying it out with the iPad speaker? I haven't had any lag issues with midi control over bluetooth. I also use a mixfader sometimes and that is also midi over bluetooth.

I have the Numark DJ2Go2. Used it for about 2 gigs. It was OK but the jogwheels were useless to me since they aren't touch sensitive like the 200. 

For the browse on the 200, what I did was map out some of the cue buttons specifically for browse and load. Works fine but you lose some cue points. I also mapped out some auto loops, an FX button, and made the EQ a 2 band instead of 3, then used the other knobs to adjust master out and cue level. I've done long 6 hour gigs with it and I don't miss the rotary browse knob.
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JiPenade

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lag is on the jogwheel reaction vs the waveform display and apparently appears in this situation : you play song on desk 1, you load song on desk 2 and you play with the jogwheel to position yourself then the lag appears on desk 2 only ... no glitch on the sound output. perhaps i should report it to algoriddim

thanks for the tip to remap some knobs ;)
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Ervic A

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I see. I haven't seen much of a lag issue on mine. I'm using iPhone 8+ and an iPad Pro USB-C and I try to make sure to exit all other applications. What I do hate is every now and again, the touch surface doesn't recognize the pressure so it doesn't act as vinyl mode but pitch bend.
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JiPenade

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by the way i've just discovered that you can also connect the usb cable of the DDJ200 to the iPad though the apple lightning to usb adapter! (i mean the powered usb adapter). So this eliminate any bluetooth problem. i'll try this setup today to see if everything works.