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Thread: Mixes drifting with XDJ1000 MK2 but not in Rekordbox

  1. #1
    Member steveryan's Avatar
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    Mixes drifting with XDJ1000 MK2 but not in Rekordbox

    I like to prepare my sets in Rekordbox. It's much easier than doing in on the decks. I can listen to songs quickly, compare them to each other, set hot-cues, etc, much faster. When I get the set all together I eventually play it in the studio on the MK2's and record it.

    But before heading to the studio, I do mix the set at least one time in Rekordbox. The mixes in RB are tighter than shit. Once the bass kicks are on top of each other, they don't come apart.

    But on the MK2's they drift. I have the decks in vinyl mode, but I'm not using sync. Why bother? The BPM is on display. If one deck is at 124.6, just set the other one to 124.6.

    So you'd figure that if both decks are at 124.6, that they wouldn't drift. But they do. I'm always having to babysit the pitch control or nudge the jog wheel. Sometimes it over-corrects. Tired of that shit.

    Why is it that Pioneer can't get it together? How is it that in RB the mixes stick together like magnets, but on their $1100 decks they come apart?

    I was wondering if it's related to MP3 format. Perhaps during the encoding process from WAV to MP3 the track somehow loses a little bit of its dedication to the BPM. But if that's the case, then why isn't that happening in RB? I'm tempted to buy a bunch of my tracks in WAV and compare the mixes to MP3, but I have a feeling it won't be any different.

    Anyone got a way to deal with this that doesn't involve using sync? I don't like using sync not only because it kinda feels like cheating but sync is not tight enough sometimes. They still need a little adjustment.

  2. #2
    Huh well I don't have the version of RB where you can DJ right in it.. I do have CDJ900's and XDJ-1000mk2's and never noticed any problem. But I have a theory for ya.. maybe you have the pitch fader set to a different resolution, or the BPM display is a different resolution. Because 124.60 and 124.65 will result in drift but you won't see it on a display with just one digit after the decimal.

  3. #3
    Member steveryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by light-o-matic View Post
    Huh well I don't have the version of RB where you can DJ right in it.. I do have CDJ900's and XDJ-1000mk2's and never noticed any problem. But I have a theory for ya.. maybe you have the pitch fader set to a different resolution, or the BPM display is a different resolution. Because 124.60 and 124.65 will result in drift but you won't see it on a display with just one digit after the decimal.
    Rekordbox in performance mode has a crossfader, EQ, effects and everything. It's not the free version though that you download. It came when I bought my Pioneer mixer.

    I have both pitch faders at +-10. I didn't know I could change the BPM display. How do I do that?

  4. #4
    According to the Pioneer Forum, you can't change it to two decimal places, the XDJ-1000 just doesn't offer that.
    But tbh I never noticed a problem because one digit to the right of the decimal is 10 times more precise than what I had before that.

    If I do use the display I just get them close then finish by ear, because I want to hear them in my headphones anyway before I mix them.

    But then, my first CDJ's had 0.1 % steps on the pitch fader, the newer ones have 0.05 % steps in 10% mode.. which is what I still use because I had no choice for so long and now I'm just used to it... so for it to drift off and for me to have to correct it is no big deal to me, sometimes it's better to know it's going to drift and in what direction than to think it's perfect and for it to then drift and you aren't ready.... Some people use 6% mode because it's got .02 steps which is more precise, but I find that I am more comfortable using the crappier 10% mode and fixing a little drift once in a while than I am using the 6% mode that I am not as used to.

    But I will tell you a little trick with the BPM counter that I should not tell you, because first, I was sworn to secrecy by the guild of Guild Of Older DJ's (GOOD), and secondly, because if I tell you, you'll keep using the display and never learn to do it by ear, which you should... and three, because maybe I should at least charge you a few bucks for this ancient secret... but well.. ok...... I'll tell ya......

    Here is the trick...

    Take the first deck, adjust the pitch up or down one click at a time until it JUST goes to the next BPM.. for example, it's 125.. you go up, up, up.. boom it switches to 126. Now, do that on the other deck. That's the closest you are gonna get them to match using the counter.

    Or, if you have that 0.1 BPM display, then adjust until it just goes over from let's say 125.1 to 125.2.. whatever you got. If you push them both over a digit in the same direction and using the same pitch range on both decks the trick will work.

    Make check payable to...

    But what you should really do is practice fixing them by ear because your mixing will be so much better in the end, it'll be worth it. Pretty much every DJ on here will tell you that. If you have them within 0.1 BPM then really it is just a couple of clicks either way on the pitch so it shouldn't be that hard.

    But if you want the computer to do it for you then I'm not sure why sync is a problem, it actually works.. it does exactly what you're already doing but better if you have quantization enabled.
    Last edited by light-o-matic; 05-20-2019 at 12:27 AM.

  5. #5
    Member steveryan's Avatar
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    I usually anticipate that it's gonna' drift a little bit, so I remember what direction it needs to be corrected in when I bring up the channel. I don't like to guess which way it needs to go if my ear isn't picking up on it. Usually I can hear when the high-hat is dragging behind or moving ahead. I also prefer to put the tracks together on the headphones. Back in the day we kept an ear open for the monitor and did it that way.

    I learned how to DJ on 1200's in 1992 and played on them for about 10 years. I had a Numark PPD and began as a breaks DJ and then started mixing breaks with house and acid. Those were the days.

    So yeah, I can mix be ear. But it's kinda weird to just ignore the BPM counter and pretend it's not there. I mean, I can't help but look at it. So knowing where the BPM is, it's just too convenient to put the other deck on it without even listening. Then I put on the headphones and mix em' together. I always take off the headphones before bringing it up though. There's usually a difference between the way it sounds on the headphones vs the speakers.

    I have also been adjusting the pitch in accordance with the secret method coveted by the Guild Of Older DJ's. If I'm playing at 125, I'll put both decks right at the top of 125.

    FWIW, I did go into the studio after you made your first post in this thread and changed the decks to +-6. It did seem to help a little bit. Still, it's not perfect. It's just annoying for me to have to babysit the tempo control on an $1100 deck when the Pioneer RB software does a better job. I think I'll stop playing BPM's in the middle like 124.5 and 125.5 and use 124 and 125 instead. Maybe that will help some also.

  6. #6
    Ha weird well if you're already using that trick and you have the same decks and the same pitch range and you're not quantizing or syncing on RB vs XDJ then I don't see why it would drift more on the XDJ.. as I said I have the XDJ 1000mk2 and they never have that problem.. If I am mixing two tracks that are analyzed to be the same BPM and I play them either both at 0 pitch or both offset the same pitch they almost always match very precisely. Once in a rare while I have a track that analyzes as a whole number tempo but yet drifts a bit. I always assumed that the producer was a little off. Also I have a pretty good feel for the pitch percent difference will be from one BPM to another in the BPM range I play in often and when I do that, it is always very close to what I expect, I never noticed any weirdness there. So all I can say is that it sound like you know what you are doing yet it makes no sense. Maybe that you use mp3 is relevant because I've barely used them since I got these decks.. I.mainly use AIFF.

  7. #7
    Member steveryan's Avatar
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    I'll stick with +-6 and see what happens. Hopefully that does the trick. I have a mix up on soundcloud if you want to hear. There's some mixes drifting apart in a couple spots. I'm tempted to take it down and start over. It's actually not that bad though.

  8. #8
    Member steveryan's Avatar
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    Just spent the last hour or so remixing my set while doing everything I could to tighten things up a bit. It's better, but there's still some drift in a few mixes. I only got a couple ideas left and if that doesn't work I'm gonna buy a few tracks in WAV and see if that solves the problem.

    I just uploaded the mix to soundcloud and mixcloud.

  9. #9
    So this morning I tried to duplicate your results. My setup is a pair of XDJ1000mk2 and a DJM800, the decks are plugged to the mixer using S/PDIF and they are connected to each other with Ethernet, so I used one flash drive.

    So first I selected two different tracks that had both analyzed at the same BPM...150.0, keeping in mind that the XDJ wouldn't show the extra digit if there was one, it could have been slightly off without me knowing. So I played those tracks together in headphones with pitch at 0 on both decks, and I had quantization turned off, no sync, I also did not use autocue but just cued the track by ear as well as looking at the waveform. In this case RB had actually correctly placed the beat marker and my cue point agreed with the marker. But because I was dropping it by hand with no quantization I did have to initially adjust them very slightly to get it perfect. Once I had them together, I let them play together the length of the track (about 5 or so minutes) and they did stick together and the display showed that they were together, to the point where I was so surprised that I had to check again, because keep in mind that these tracks are not from the same producer, they came from different computers etc. But they were still amazingly close at the end.

    So then I tried pitching both tracks up to the same BPM.. from 150.0 to 153.0, and they still stuck together quite tight for about 4 minutes, I made no corrections through any of this other than when initially dropping a track. I then took another track which was analyzed to be 147.0 and pitched that to 153.0.. and mixed it to one of the 150 tracks that was at 153. Still very tight for at least 2-3 minutes and then I did notice some drift but very very small...

    So in short I was not able to reproduce the problem and wonder if there is some other factor involved in your setup such as the use of autocue that was not in my test.

  10. #10
    Member steveryan's Avatar
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    I did manage to figure something out that does work.

    Let's say the BPM on both decks is 124.

    To the left of the BPM counter is the Tempo display that tells you how far above or below "0" you are on the tempo control. If I'm above the "0", it will display the tempo as something like this for example: +1.42%. If I'm below the "0" it will display as a negative decimal percentage.

    Now, while the BPM is at 124, the Tempo display will offer me 3 options before it moves to 125. For example: +1.42%, +1.44% and +1.46%. Any higher than +1.46% and it will move the BPM to 125. Any lower than +1.42% and it will move the BPM to 123.

    As it turns out, one of those three options seems to be the magic number that results in virtually no drift. So, in the times where I'm getting the most drift, it's because on one deck I'm on the low end of that decimal, while on the other deck I'm on the high end of that decimal. Even though I'm careful to take care of this using the Guild Of Older DJ's method, sometimes I just miss it.

    If the incoming track is drifting ahead, I need to gingerly touch the tempo to decrease it by only .02. If it's still drifting a touch, I can nudge it again down another .02 and that should be the spot.

    Fukkin whack, but this solves the issue.

    Now there's the problem of playing live and having DJ's watch me lightly nudge the tempo ever so carefully and then wonder what the hell I'm doing. And if anyone asks, I have to explain this shit and they probably will think I have no idea what I'm talking about.

    I don't know if I'm using autocue. When the track loads onto the deck, it just starts playing automatically from the very beginning.

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