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Nate Dogg III
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It's good to see so many budding Djs on here. I had my first go at mixing when I was in 6th form doing the lower school discos around 1993. There wasn't much call for it when playing requests for Take That and Gabrielle though!

I didn't really get into it until 1996 at uni when my house mate bought some cheapo SoundLab CD decks. I'd always been into house so I started making mix tapes and have been doing it ever since.

I love classic, deep, funky house, old hip hop, disco, funk - a lot of things really. Here's my current setup. Must go have a go now!

decks.jpg

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It's good to see so many budding Djs on here.  I had my first go at mixing when I was in 6th form doing the lower school discos around 1993.  There wasn't much call for it when playing requests for Take That and Gabrielle though!

I didn't really get into it until 1996 at uni when my house mate bought some cheapo SoundLab CD decks.  I'd always been into house so I started making mix tapes and have been doing it ever since.

I  love classic, deep, funky house, old hip hop, disco, funk - a lot of things really.  Here's my current setup.  Must go have a go now!

decks.jpg

Experts and hobbyists agree - that's the best mixer ever made ever.

I was so pleased when I saw Pete Rock brandishing one when I saw him and CL Smooth at the Jazz Cafe last year. B)

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Experts and hobbyists agree - that's the best mixer ever made ever.

Sorry, I have to disagree, despite owning one! It's great for scratching which is why I bought it, but the EQ is pathetic and it's overpriced. It only has treble and bass EQs and they only cut by 12dB. Other mixers I've used have mids as well and cut by at least 4 times as much, which means you can properly take parts of each channel out and get a cleaner mix. It does have a better cross-fader for scratching than any other mixer I've ever used though (apart from the 05D which is basically the same but digital). I've used those big Pioneer mixers which are great for mixing, but we managed to make the cross fader bleed after about 2 days of hard use.

If you want 1 more EQ band on the Vestax you have to get an 07, which is very expensive, and I think the cut is still only 12dB.

It's still the best mixer for me at the price, but I really want something that's good for mixing as well as trickery. I might have to look into buying a Rane.

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mine:

Yeah that's the one that I use for one of the nights I do (great for mixing, weak crossfader). It annoys me though that it has a low pass filter but you have to program in how long you want it to run over and switch it in rather than just being able to manually control it using a pot. (Unless I've just not worked out how to do that).

Mine. I love it.

My housemate has a Xone:62. Fantastic filters etc. and as far as I can tell it has the same Penny & Giles crossfader as mine, but even on the sharpest crossfader cut setting it's pretty much useless for scratching. Frustrating because it's such a simple thing to sort out!

Might actually be able to improve the cut by taking the fader out and scraping off two of the carbon strips.

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xone-32.jpg

Mine. I love it.

Oh, I've got one these too:

2004Jul29_denon-dns3000.jpg

:unsure:

how does the denon CD deck compare to the pioneers in terms of features etc?

i do like the sound quality of allen and heaths but whenever i'm playing out and see one in the booth my heart sinks. the 4-band eq does my head in and i never seem to be able to set my levels properly. aren't the gains round the back of the mixer, or something like that?

the pioneer sounds crap but it's just so much more fun for home use.

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The gains are round the back. It feels weird to start with, but I don't even think about it now. I'm not sure if it's intentional, but I now gauge the levels by ear and not by whatever the gains say. Much better.

The Denon CD player has had a better write up, so I chose that. Plus I really trust Denon. There's not much in it I think.

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Yeah that's the one that I use for one of the nights I do (great for mixing, weak crossfader).  It annoys me though that it has a low pass filter but you have to program in how long you want it to run over and switch it in rather than just being able to manually control it using a pot.  (Unless I've just not worked out how to do that).

i barely use the crossfader anyway - unless i'm slamming something straight in i just use the faders for each channel as i find the mix sounds smoother doing so.

and you can tweak the effects yourself - you either use the preset buttons or the pot directly underneath the effect channel selector in the bottom right. personally i love the buttons, especially when using delay as you can flick through them and basically create rolls out of kickdrums, etc.

The gains are round the back. It feels weird to start with, but I don't even think about it now. I'm not sure if it's intentional, but I now gauge the levels by ear and not by whatever the gains say. Much better.

setting the levels by ear is fine in the bedroom but when you're playing out, have two channels running already and are trying to get that third one in quickly, you really need to be able to see where the levels are hitting at that precise moment, imo. playing out at a loud volume will hide any small slips in your mix but any differences in levels are far more pronounced than at home. it's the most important thing about playing out, imo.

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What you really want is one of these bad boys, yours for just under 4 grand:

Allen & Heath V6

xonev6.jpg

Louie Vega uses one and it sounds lush. Valves, off board power supply and rotary faders. You can get a crossfader for it - £200.

At work I use either a DJM 600 or one of these:

xone62.jpg

I like both and I suspect my slight preference to the 600 is through greater familarity especially as I have had a DJM300 at home for about 5 years now. The A+Hs sound better but I prefer the pots on the Pioneers. The lay out seems slightly odd on the A+H as I always seem to start using the strip to the right of the channel I'm actually using when I need to play with the EQs, very strange.

That all said, I think the next mixer I by personally will be a A+H, but I hope that's a way off yet.

I've had a brief go on the Denon S5000, and they're pretty good, although I think I prefer Pioneer 800/1000s. I suspect if your into your turtablist type stuff the Denons are better 'cos the platter spins. I've seen some vids with them being used like that and it was quite impressive. When I bought my 800s the 3000s didn't exist so the choice was buy the 800s or spend another £400 and make then decision between 1000s/5000s.

I notice no one has mentioned the Technics CD players. They're a distant 3rd by all acoounts.

Oh, and buy a pair SL1200/10s...

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You can gauge the levels visually aswell. I've never had a problem with them.

don't get me wrong, i'm not slagging it off, it's just not what i'm used to, and having only ever used one playing out it's too different to anything I've used before to get on with.

IIRC there's no individual LED indicator for each channel like there is on the pioneer, just the main one to the right, and for some reason i just couldn't get my levels right the whole time.

I know people who swear by the A&H but hate the pioneer because by comparison it sounds very muddy making it harder to mix. horses for courses, eh.

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This is my mixer, super quick cross fader but standard up faders so I can still do smooth fades if need be:

I've used one of those too, definitely one of the better Vestax copies, and the focus fader is supposed to be indestructable.

You know you can adjust the curves on the upfaders and crossfader on those right? :)

Same on the Vestax ones, but you have to take the lid off to adjust the upfader cut.

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I've had a go on all the current cd decks and these Numark's are by far the best if anyone's interested:

Looks interesting, will have to get a go. Only CD decks I've tried are the Pioneer CDJs which just felt wrong for scratching, although that was partly because they were hooked up to a Xone:62 which as i mentioned earlier doesn't have a sharp enough crossfader curve for scratches.

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I've used one of those too, definitely one of the better Vestax copies, and the focus fader is supposed to be indestructable.

You know you can adjust the curves on the upfaders and crossfader on those right?  :)

Same on the Vestax ones, but you have to take the lid off to adjust the upfader cut.

Trying to adjust the cross fader cut on that seems to have odd results if I remember rightly, things go quieter and the other channel bleeds in I think. I've left it alone as I wanted a sharp cut anyway.

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Trying to adjust the cross fader cut on that seems to have odd results if I remember rightly, things go quieter and the other channel bleeds in I think. I've left it alone as I wanted a sharp cut anyway.

Sounds dodgy, shouldn't get any bleeding on an optical fader! I'd take it back if it's still under warranty.

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Can anybody recommend some reasonably priced cd decks for plain old beatmatching. I rarely scratch with my decks so I don't need anything fancy. Do you think I could live with 1 or is 2 a must these days?

Also, I really need some new needles for my 1200's, any suggestions? Something with good sound quality that are cheap hopefully. Bonus if they don't jump about when I get my fat fingers all over the vinyl too.

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Also, I really need some new needles for my 1200's, any suggestions? Something with good sound quality that are cheap hopefully. Bonus if they don't jump about when I get my fat fingers all over the vinyl too.

What are you using at the moment? Would be cheaper just to get new styli for those.

Stanton 500 are the de facto standard budget needles, and they're not bad. The 505 hold the groove better for scratching but cost a bit more.

On the more expensive end alot of DJs seem to like Ortofon Concorde needles. Scratch DJs usually use Shure M44-7s, they hold the record best and don't need to run at heavy weights, meaning the needles and your vinyl last longer.

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There's a little set of LED indicators just  above the lowest knob about each channel. Not as accurate as the Pioneers though.

They're accurate enough - i've used that A&H a lot playing out, the leds are surprisingly good for being so small. You can actually swap round the aux and the gains if you want to open up the mixer but I wouldn't bother. Personally speaking, I can't stand those Pioneers - the sound is awful, especially on a big system. Another place I play at has a Pioneer in house. The last gig we did there, we brought an A&H in and the difference was incredible. The pioneers are something of an industry standard though, my mate runs a techno / electro club and a lot of the big techno DJs specify a pioneer 600.

Acidbearboy, if you want CD decks for mixing, I would just get a cheap one. I've used a lot of different kinds and you can get decent mixes even with those console type jobs given enough time on them. The only thing I think is necessary is a decent range on the pitch, ie does it go up in .1% or .05% increments? As long as there's a cue button then you're laughing, i'd barely even touch the platter on a pioneer or whatever now.

Although, that's just straight up beatmixing - i'm sure there's lots of possibilities with the bells and whistles on a CDJ 1000. Did someone say somthing about videos? Post Linx Plz!!

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I have one of those dirt cheap thingies from Argos with 2 cd decks and a mixer all in one console and I couldn't get on with it at all. Possibly because of the quality of it (i'm sure the pitch range was in large increments) and possibly due to my preference for vinyl and turntables. What sort of price can I expect to pay for a cd deck of a reasonable quality such as those mentioned above?

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