A few more reasons for another DJ101 field trip

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A few more reasons for another DJ101 field trip

Postby dnk » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:06 pm

Original Subject: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

I don't know what happened but I woke up one morning and I decided I want to learn how to DJ. Of course I want to keep it in line with the analog hobby so CDJs and computer-based mixing is out of the topic.

Choosing the TT wasn't difficult. Almost all DJs around the world agree on the Technics 1200. Unfortunately, that is where the agreement ends. Opinions vary widely on all other questions on equipment selection, set-up and technique and I wonder what our WS brothers have to say. I'll be posting my questions as I encounter them, and as of now, I am in the process of choosing a mixer.


Question #1: Do I really need a mixer with a beat counter?
Last edited by dnk on Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:01 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby northwardnimbus » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:08 pm

no. you can count your bpm's (beats per minute) if you're really old school. some dj records have the bpm indicated anyway
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby JackD201 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:22 pm

I use SL-1210 M5Gs but have been DJ-ing in digital (CDJ-2000 with 900 Nexus mixer) more recently. 1200 Mk2s are the standard being more common than the later variants. Mk2s have one problem. There is a notch in the pitch control for the quartz lock. Later models do not have this. It is however only a minor inconvenience. Competing tables from Stanton, Vestax and Numark are IMO functionally just as good. It may take some getting used to if you are used to 1200s because torque and breaking differ. The latter is usually adjustable. Torque affects the release timing (how quickly the record get's up to speed when you release it). With some tables you can just let go. With 1200's they benefit from a baby push. Think of it as geting the timing right with guitar hero. You hit the downbeat the first time and it saves you from playing catch up (late) or slow down (early). If anything I would recommend strongly that the table you choose be a direct drive. Some tables on the market look like 1200 clones on the outside but if they are belt driven it will be a nightmare on many, many levels.

I am against mixers with BPM counters for the simple reason that they do not work even with Digital unless the data stream is quantized. LPs by nature will have drifting speed from off center spindle holes and the fact that music speeds up as the needle nears the end of a record. This even if the platter itself is fairly stable in speed. The readout will always be late and will not reflect the real time variations. Best to learn to do beat matching by ear. Best way to practice and learn is with 2 identical records. BPM counters will only distract you.

Hope this helps! :)
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby dnk » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:05 pm

As fate would have it, I have 2 Mk2s. I actually thought the notch was a nice feature as you are sure you've gone back to the standard pitch.

Point taken on the beat counter. I thought that was the reason why Pioneer mixers are desireable.

As for mixers w/o beat counters, I've seen a lot of good feedback on Rane and Vestax. Unfortunately, the Rane is out of my budget and the only Vestax I can afford brand new is their entry level model, that costs twice as a much as a Numark or a Behringer with all the bells and whistles.

Decisions, decisions...

Good thing kuya TAS lent me his DJ mixer while I am in the process of acquiring mine. So I can take my sweet time deciding. Salamat Noly!
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby JackD201 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:26 pm

Yeah. The later models have no notch for Q-lock but instead have a dedicated lock button. The notch becomes an annoyance when one table is near but not at Q lock. To avoid the loss of range, you have to speed up or slow down the other deck.

Sound Quality wise I would rank Allen and Heath No.1 and Pioneer second. If you are mixing house, trance or hip hop, Pioneer has IMO the best effects suites and samplers built in.
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby Jomel01 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:16 pm

like you dnk I've had the desire to learn DJ-ing since HS in the 80s and have had a DJ set up for the past maybe 10 years but never really learned how. Currently I have 2 SL1200 Mk5 and an Allen&Heath Xone22 mixer and I must agree with jackD201 that the A&H are best. I've had Numark, Audio Technica and Behringer(with the beat counter) mixers and the A&H's feel and SQ is really tops- very smooth and you'll stop looking for other mixers after you get them.

I visited a DJ academy around 3~4 years ago but didn't go through with the lesson since I felt that their skills were more toward using the digital format and I'd like to learn the analog DJ skill. They charged around P5k?

Now I am planning to just invite an old school DJ to my place to learn directly. I am thinking DJs normally earn P2~3k per gig so maybe I can work around this figure to get him to teach me at home using my gear.

Oh and I think you will also need to buy those slip mats to properly work your TT. I got mine where there is a felt mat on top of a plastic sheet or something, I'm not sure how they call it... and I also had a special table made which I hope I can share a picture of but I don't know how to post pictures just yet

I'm interested to know how you will eventually learn how to DJ and hope you do learn eventually

BTW, this is my first post at WS... cool
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby jundai15 » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:38 pm

Way back in the 90's, I have a friend who owns mobile for rent so obviously being one of the gang, I also wanted to learn how to mix but to no avail :) . When I was converted to analog, along with my turntable i also got mixer for it, in my opinion, maybe skill wise is the most important thing to develop in order to do mixing like a dj., but that's just my thought, turuan mo ako pag marunong ka na mag mix hehehe. ;)
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby Bebop » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:23 pm

pre dan ka jam mo lang last sat ang isang malupit na dj ah :o
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby Damaged Goods » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:07 pm

Jomel01 wrote:like you dnk I've had the desire to learn DJ-ing since HS in the 80s and have had a DJ set up for the past maybe 10 years but never really learned how. Currently I have 2 SL1200 Mk5 and an Allen&Heath Xone22 mixer and I must agree with jackD201 that the A&H are best. I've had Numark, Audio Technica and Behringer(with the beat counter) mixers and the A&H's feel and SQ is really tops- very smooth and you'll stop looking for other mixers after you get them.

I visited a DJ academy around 3~4 years ago but didn't go through with the lesson since I felt that their skills were more toward using the digital format and I'd like to learn the analog DJ skill. They charged around P5k?

Now I am planning to just invite an old school DJ to my place to learn directly. I am thinking DJs normally earn P2~3k per gig so maybe I can work around this figure to get him to teach me at home using my gear.

Oh and I think you will also need to buy those slip mats to properly work your TT. I got mine where there is a felt mat on top of a plastic sheet or something, I'm not sure how they call it... and I also had a special table made which I hope I can share a picture of but I don't know how to post pictures just yet

I'm interested to know how you will eventually learn how to DJ and hope you do learn eventually

BTW, this is my first post at WS... cool


hey bro if your from the south we have a dj/music school we just launched recently, :)..u can check out the details at our fb page

http://www.facebook.com/MusicColony
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby aron » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:20 pm

I find the BPM counter on the mixer helpful. Tho not very accurate, its a rough estimate to see what BPM your at already. Helpful if you need something in that range or you are making the playlist. :-)

just my opinion.
For starters there are loads of "How to DJ" on youtube. :)

Goodluck! :)
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DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby dnk » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:33 am

@jack - I somehow forgot that the mixer is the phonostage and the preamp of the dj's rig, and SQ should have been the utmost priority.

As for the q-lock notch, I guess I just have to live with it.

So its the effects, sampler and SQ that makes the pioneer desirable. I'm now kinda leaning towards A&H after hearing what you and jomel have to say about it.

@jomel - first of all, welcome to wiredstate. Nice to know that I'm not the only crazy guy who wants to dj analog in the digital age. The xone22 is a 10" mixer, right? This is going to be on my shortlist.

Good idea on the "private sessions". If I am not mistaken, dj wavemaster is willing to teach dj-ing in exchange for brews. Maybe we should do a "group session" followed by a drinking session afterwards. Something like a DJ101 course. If the attendance is good, perhaps dj jackd can also be a lecturer. ;)

I already got the oem felt mats but I don't have the plastic thing underneath. As for the table, I do not plan to make my dj rig a permanent fixture in my music room. So I'm going to have a coffin made so as to make it (pun intended) MOBILE. For now, I borrowed the living room center table.

Image

@jundai - you are absolutely right. Wala yan sa pana, nasa indian (It doesn't depend on the bow, but on the indian). But who wouldn't want to use a compound bow? Hehe

I think it would be better if you join the group session so we can all learn at the same time. Although marlon aka wavemaster hasn't agreed yet, bebop will help me twist his arm until he actually says yes.

@bebop - yes, walang iba kung di si dj wavemaster! Tulungan mo ako papayagin magturo si marlon ha? Ikaw naman sponsor sa plaka sa DJ101. Hehe

@damagedgoods - your school is very near my place. Will you be teaching there? Btw, I was the one who went to your store with Noly yesterday.

@aaron - thanks for sharing your insight. I'll keep youtube in mind if incase dj101 doesn't push through. But I sure do hope it does. Maybe you can join us as a lecturer?


Cheers everyone!


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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby jundai15 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:54 am

The right rig plus developed skills, ayus na ayus yan, wow ganda naman ng set-up mo :)
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby TheAnalogSource » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:49 am

i dont know if this will help...but listen to 89.9 friday nights....and air-DJ with Jon Tupas.....i think at the very least you can get some lp sequencing ideas to follow.
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby Jomel01 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:11 am

@dnk- I will be interested to join the DJing 101 of Marlon, please update this tread if you do get him to agree. I actually got Marlon to spin for a friend's party a long time ago and he used CDs, cool guy, I just lost his contact no. though..... I noticed your DJ rig in front of your speakers, do you experience feedback rumble at high volumes or the 1200s can handle it?..... Btw I'm also from South Metro, B.F. Homes Paranaque

@Damaged Goods- great to know about your DJing school in the South, I'll definitely check it out

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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby dnk » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:16 pm

Air DJ-ing with Jon Tupas is an expensive thing to do, because you'll end up searching and eventually buying that elusive 12" record. Ouch says my wallet.

@jomel - There is no noticeable feedback from the decks at my normal listening level, which is a bit loud, although I'm not sure how you define "high volumes". Besides, I do not intend this to be a permanent part of my home system. Once I get my flight case, this rig is going with me wherever I go, as I have other systems in other locations, and only one pair of 1200's. I am from BF Pque too. Send me a PM and maybe we can have a mini session with our other WS neighbors.

-----------

As for DJ101, I am pleased to announce that after a lot of arm twisting during a drinking session last Saturday night (or was it Sunday morning :puke: ), Marlon a.k.s. wavemaster agreed to be the resource person for DJ101. He was reluctant at first, humbly saying that there are other DJs here in WS who are better DJs and would make for a better resource person, but eventually agreed and asked me not to reveal his identity. So, therefore we have a very humble 'mystery' lecturer.

DJ101 will be using a Zero-based approach. According to Mr. Mystery DJ, it is a must for any DJ wannabe to learn how to beat-match. So Session 1 will be entirely dedicated to beat matching. Prior to the session, he expects participants to familiarize themselves with the songs they intend to mix, giving emphasis on the intro and breaks of each song. Hasel, may homework kaagad! TAS has also agreed to host session 1 of the event at his studio, with the date to be finalized, depending on the participants. Bebop also agreed to sponsor some records we can practice on, and I will sponsor a bag of ice and a bottle of JW Black, to cool down after the session.

Let me reiterate that this is a FREE seminar open to anyone who will indicate their interest, and I hope that the number of participants, as well as resource persons and sponsors would increase. Any help for this cause is very welcome and highly appreciated.

Cheers!
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby mixx » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:11 pm

@dnk count me in sa sessions, maybe i can share some tricks of the trade with the group. :)
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby Jomel01 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:02 pm

@dnk I'm in as long as the schedule fits...

I PMed you

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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby dnk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:14 am

@mixx - another resource person is more than welcome. Please let me know your availability so we can come up with a schedule.

@jomel - we will try to make the schedule fit for everyone. ;)

----------------

Anyway, all this anticipation of the upcoming DJ101 session made me do some DIY mini-upgrades to my decks. Since the Technics slipmats that I use didn't come with the plastic underlining that jomel mentioned, I went ahead and made me a pair. I used anti-static LP inner sleeve and glued it to the platter with drops of mighty bond.

Image

I did notice some improvement but I don't think its enough. I was thinking that a proper slip mat would allow you to hold the mat still, or even spin it backwards, while the platter spins and maintains the correct speed. I was even contemplating on putting baby powder, or even borax, between the slip mat and the plastic sheet, which leads me to my next question:

Question #2: How slippery should slip mats be?
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby Jomel01 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:33 am

Hi dnk,
The anti-static slip mat you made somehow approximates what I have that came with the set. I think(not sure) the plastic slip mat is placed between the platter and felt mat- I'm not sure though if it should be glued to the platter, mine isn't.
Re powder or borax, I would hold that thought for a while since it might have a bad effect on your platter motor if it finds its way there. Might not be worth the risk.
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Re: DJ-ing Questions I was afraid to ask... until now

Postby mixx » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:20 pm

Hi dnk,

no need to glue the plastic sleeves to the platter, it will just create some bumps on your platter thus making your platter uneven.

how slippery should it get? really depends on your djing style, for mixing i would prefer yung mas makapit para pag bato mo ng vinyl kapit agad.

i usually spin at chivz lounge bar in greenhills every fri you can visit me on my sets there , unfortunately we use cdjs pero tugtugan is 80s :)
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