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Hi all, I am considering upgrading to a laptop from CD's. Is it difficult to do and what programs are used on the laptop?

 

Hi Dave,

If you're used to using CD's and want to use a Laptop, then you will almost certainly need some kind of controller. You'll go mad trying to use a mouse & keyboard during gigs.

 

NuMark offer quite a few options here;

http://www.numark.com/ns7

 

http://www.numark.com/totaldjbox

 

http://www.numark.com/omnicontrol

 

Other manufacturers will have their own offerings.

 

The advantage of getting a hardware controller is that is will be easier to use, and most of units come with some DJ software.

 

From a software viewpoint, there is lots of choice (in no particular order);

Virtual DJ

Tracktor

PCDJ

OtsAV

(and a few more I've not listed!)

 

Most of these will allow control from most controllers (check before you buy!)

 

You may need a better quality sound device than the laptops internal system - but some controllers have a built in soundcard.

 

You will need some kind of back-up. Hard drives will always fail and this is difficult to predict. At very least, you should budget for at least 1 external USB Drive - but ideally 2.

If you have a spare laptop, bring that to gigs, and ensure you can play your music using that.

 

Your "DJ" Laptop should also be treated as a tool, and so should be a nice clean install of Windows with minimal other software running.

Ideally, never let it go on the internet and disable wifi & bluetooth when working. There are also some good sites for explaining how to trim out unnecessary services from Windows.

 

Lots of people use Laptops, and if treated correctly I don't see a big problem. If you plan on using your main and only Laptop for gigs, you will hit problems and a working back-up system will be crucial to avoid aborted gigs.

 

There are other alternatives. Some CD players will play MP3 CD's, and some allow USB drives to be connected. This would allow you to reduce the number of CD's you carry, whilst allowing playback of traditional CD's.

There is also the complete packeted systems which contain 2 players and a Hard Drive (ie DDS80 and others). These will be less flexible than a PC based system, but should not have the worries about software glitches.

 

I hope this is of some help!

Jason

 

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Hi Dave,

If you're used to using CD's and want to use a Laptop, then you will almost certainly need some kind of controller. You'll go mad trying to use a mouse & keyboard during gigs.

 

NuMark offer quite a few options here;

http://www.numark.com/ns7

 

http://www.numark.com/totaldjbox

 

http://www.numark.com/omnicontrol

 

Other manufacturers will have their own offerings.

 

The advantage of getting a hardware controller is that is will be easier to use, and most of units come with some DJ software.

 

From a software viewpoint, there is lots of choice (in no particular order);

Virtual DJ

Tracktor

PCDJ

OtsAV

(and a few more I've not listed!)

 

Most of these will allow control from most controllers (check before you buy!)

 

You may need a better quality sound device than the laptops internal system - but some controllers have a built in soundcard.

 

You will need some kind of back-up. Hard drives will always fail and this is difficult to predict. At very least, you should budget for at least 1 external USB Drive - but ideally 2.

If you have a spare laptop, bring that to gigs, and ensure you can play your music using that.

 

Your "DJ" Laptop should also be treated as a tool, and so should be a nice clean install of Windows with minimal other software running.

Ideally, never let it go on the internet and disable wifi & bluetooth when working. There are also some good sites for explaining how to trim out unnecessary services from Windows.

 

Lots of people use Laptops, and if treated correctly I don't see a big problem. If you plan on using your main and only Laptop for gigs, you will hit problems and a working back-up system will be crucial to avoid aborted gigs.

 

There are other alternatives. Some CD players will play MP3 CD's, and some allow USB drives to be connected. This would allow you to reduce the number of CD's you carry, whilst allowing playback of traditional CD's.

There is also the complete packeted systems which contain 2 players and a Hard Drive (ie DDS80 and others). These will be less flexible than a PC based system, but should not have the worries about software glitches.

 

I hope this is of some help!

Jason

 

Hey jason, a great help thanks. It's all a bit scary but I might attempt it over a period of time and take my time doing it. I have a back up CD Mix player with me at present but I would be scared of things that could go wrong with a laptop althoug the beneifts are very good.

 

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To add to Jasons post,

Most DJ software packages have trial versions, so try them and see what is best for you.

It also depends on the type of DJ that you are whether you need a controller, I personally don't use one as I don't do any scratching apart from in the nether regions LOL.

If you are going to rip CDs to MP3s then read up on the PDL (Pro Dub License) and then decide if you are going to need one (or if you are going to buy one anyway).

 

Jim

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To add to Jasons post,

Most DJ software packages have trial versions, so try them and see what is best for you.

It also depends on the type of DJ that you are whether you need a controller, I personally don't use one as I don't do any scratching apart from in the nether regions LOL.

If you are going to rip CDs to MP3s then read up on the PDL (Pro Dub License) and then decide if you are going to need one (or if you are going to buy one anyway).

 

Jim

The PDL doesn't exist over here in ireland!

 

Paul, I use virtual dj with a hercules rmx controller running into my ADJ mixer with denon dnd4000 (mp3 compatible) for backup. If you are in Dublin you are welcome to have a look.

 

Also have a look at the Numark Director at this herelink I bought some stuff from the guy and he is sound.

 

cheers

 

Ian

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Hey jason, a great help thanks. It's all a bit scary but I might attempt it over a period of time and take my time doing it. I have a back up CD Mix player with me at present but I would be scared of things that could go wrong with a laptop althoug the beneifts are very good.

 

Hi Dave,

its worth downloading a few trials as Jim mentioned - and if you can get to visit Ian to see his set-up, it may help you work out if this route is for you. You're right to take it slow, and if the CD Mix is proving reliable, then there is no rush.

 

CD's still have many benefits over PC or HDD Controllers;

-Physical Medium (easier to sell!)

-Better audio quality than MP3

-No Pro Dub issues (note taken on Ireland not being covered by this)

-Proven technology, with players being cheap, and I'm sure you could run a gig with a few £20 portable units in an emergency.

 

CD's are still used in clubs/bars, so don't think they are "old hat" and there is a need to change.

What is important, is that you can provide a good night - which is ultimately what its all about.

 

I'd offer a suggestion to ensure the rest of the rig is tidy and in good order, and check out the laptop over the next few months.

 

I used my Laptop for some basic Video DJ'ing on Halloween night - I sold my controller last year, so had to use Keyboard+Mouse.. Ugh! If you play with any DJ software, you'll probably see what I mean (as you're used to using hardware buttons to run your playback)

 

Jas

 

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Hi Dave,

its worth downloading a few trials as Jim mentioned - and if you can get to visit Ian to see his set-up, it may help you work out if this route is for you. You're right to take it slow, and if the CD Mix is proving reliable, then there is no rush.

 

CD's still have many benefits over PC or HDD Controllers;

-Physical Medium (easier to sell!)

-Better audio quality than MP3

-No Pro Dub issues (note taken on Ireland not being covered by this)

-Proven technology, with players being cheap, and I'm sure you could run a gig with a few £20 portable units in an emergency.

 

CD's are still used in clubs/bars, so don't think they are "old hat" and there is a need to change.

What is important, is that you can provide a good night - which is ultimately what its all about.

 

I'd offer a suggestion to ensure the rest of the rig is tidy and in good order, and check out the laptop over the next few months.

 

I used my Laptop for some basic Video DJ'ing on Halloween night - I sold my controller last year, so had to use Keyboard+Mouse.. Ugh! If you play with any DJ software, you'll probably see what I mean (as you're used to using hardware buttons to run your playback)

 

Jas

 

Tks Jasm appreciate the advice. I might take Ian up on the offer but dont want to intrude on his time! My set up is decent enuf and has proved me well over the last 2 years. Fingers crossed and with a back up CD Mix, the only think that could go wrong really is a problem with the AMP but that's only 2 years old and never up high.

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As someone who went from CD to laptop and back to CD again, my advice is stick with the shiny discs. It looks better, sounds better and makes you work better, with no disrespect to Laptop DJs

I'm a DJ based in Northern Ireland with nearly 10 years' experience offering a range of services. Including club residencies, karaoke, pub quizzes, specialised wedding service, Master of Ceremonies, Compere, Night at the Races and much more.

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

As someone who went from CD to laptop and back to CD again, my advice is stick with the shiny discs. It looks better, sounds better and makes you work better, with no disrespect to Laptop DJs

 

I upgraded from using CD's to laptop a few years ago, I use PCDJ FX. I have to say it has been fantastic to use and makes life so much easier (especially searching for a request). On the other hand you feel almost fraud it is that easy, plus unless you get a very high quality laptop or an expensive soundcard the quality will never be as good as it is from a cd. For this reason I have recently changed to A twin media player called DJ tech U2, it has a usb port for plugging in your pendrive. The quality is brilliant. I bought it from Ebay imported from USA. It cost roughly with postage £250.00. I am still getting used to it and kind of still miss my laptop. But i am determined to persever simply because of the quality of the product.

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