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Thread: Questions about my setup

  1. #1
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    Questions about my setup

    Hi!

    I have started to get gigs as a mobile dj, and was trying my setup for the first time (outside of my house). I linked two subs to each PA in stereo and connected left/right from PA to Vestax VCI-400SE with XLR. I also connected my phone to the controller (line-in) with RCA. I dont have a 3,5mm input in my phone, so I used an OTG cable and connected Dragonfly red (dac) as an adapter. I needed to do this to play spotify (for now). This source was way louder both in volume and bass than Traktor Pro 2 on my laptop. To get enough volume from Traktor i simply had to redline..

    - I thought the soundcard in VCI-400 was premium/great/had more headroom?

    So I was thinking of selling my setup and buy a controller that works with DJ Pro (windows). This way I can play spotify from a DJ program and not directly from Spotify.
    I am considering a cheap controller like the DDJ-400 or the SB3 and an external mixer like the A&H ZED 6 or Yamaha AG06. ZED 6 is half the price of AG06 where I live. I am also considering Pioneer SX2, but if I connect the controller to an external mixer I should get enough power with DDJ-400/SB3?

    - Will the output from an external mixer be lower with DDJ-400/SB3 than SX2?
    - I have to use adapters on the xlr-cables to fit the outputs on AG06 (if I buy this one). Will this affect the sound?

    I appreciate all your thoughts!

  2. #2
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    It is currently illegal to DJ from Spotify. They do not own the rights for the music they provide to be used as public or private performance. Personal use only. This may change in the future.

    In regards to "redlining" you are doing something wrong and need to understand gain staging.

  3. #3
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    I know that I wrote "I appreciate all your thoughts", but can we stick to the topic? The Spotify-concern you have is not the essence here.. From now on I will use the Spotify function for personal use only.

    So now we can talk more about what i'm asking about?

    Can you be more specific? The gain stage is really simple in my setup as you can see. Traktor pro 2/laptop -> vci-400 -> PA. As i said, my concern is that the soundcard in my controller isnt powerful enough. Because when I played files from my phone, the signal was amped before it went to my controller.

  4. #4
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    There is no reason the Tractor input wouldn't be as powerful as any other and since the Vestax is the only device that feeds the PA it's soundcard isn't the problem. How are you connecting the laptop to the Vestax... USB? Go through the sound output setting on the laptop(not just Tractor) and make sure the audio level is at or near maximum.
    Paul O'Brien
    Old Tech Guy
    www.Techott.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by conanski View Post
    There is no reason the Tractor input wouldn't be as powerful as any other and since the Vestax is the only device that feeds the PA it's soundcard isn't the problem. How are you connecting the laptop to the Vestax... USB? Go through the sound output setting on the laptop(not just Tractor) and make sure the audio level is at or near maximum.
    Thanks for the input! The laptop is connected with USB.

    For the third time, my phone went through a dac before the DJ controller. The signal here was much stronger in both volume and bass. When I manually faded the volume down with the adjustment knob for the line-in and faded up the volume on the controller (the track in deck A), the song i faded in (from the laptop) was much lower in terms of volume and bass. Both sources played 320kpbs files.

    This is why I believe I need to connect the VCI-400 to an external mixer, so that I can play at the same level that I did with my phone.

    After I was done playing, I disconnected my equipment and connected the PA to an external mixer so that the guests could continue to play from their phone (connected to the external mixer). I could even hear how much better this sounded than when I was playing. Embarrassing.

  6. #6
    You use words like "louder" and "better" interchangeably.
    So I have to ask, when you say it sounded "better", what was better about it? Is there any difference besides volume?

    What are the settings on your speakers? What are the meter readings on your VCI-400 when it is not loud enough? What is the master setting on the VCI?

    My friends own the VCI-400 and I have seen them use it a bunch of times and tried it myself and it didn't have any sound quality problems at all, so you are doing something wrong...

  7. #7
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    I meant better as in louder in both volume and bass.

    Have your friends tried connecting it to an external mixer to compare? I'm glad that it seems like the controller itself is not the problem.

    Anyway, I am changing to Serato and VCI-400SE is not compatible with Serato as far as I know.

    So I am going for another mobile setup. What do you think about this:
    A cheap Serato compatible controller like Pioneer SB3 or something from Numark combined with an external mixer like the A&H ZED 6 or Yamaha AG06. ZED 6 is half the price of AG06 where I live. I am also considering Pioneer SR2/SX2, but if I connect the controller to an external mixer I should get enough power with SB/SB2/SB3?

    - Will the output from an external mixer be lower with SB/SB2/SB3 or SR than SX2/SR2?
    - I have to use adapters on the xlr-cables to fit the outputs on AG06 (if I buy this one). Will this affect the sound?
    Last edited by scarn; 09-30-2019 at 12:48 PM.

  8. #8
    Your symptoms point toward a wiring problem or a problem with your settings.

  9. #9
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    If you're running the amps to their full potential and then they connected their phones, if it was "louder in both volume & bass" you'd of been clipping the amplifiers.

    Are you trying to say the output of your controller is unable to put a high enough voltage signal into the input of the amp?

    - Will the output from an external mixer be lower with SB/SB2/SB3 or SR than SX2/SR2?
    This depends on the mixer. Some mixers will distort at lower +db value than others. A mixer is a preamp and these can have varying range of boost to the voltage level. A cheap controller will have it's maximum output much lower than a controller with it's own built in tandalone mixer. However, non of this matters in the term of GAIN STAGING. The cheap controller will put a signal of the correct level into the amplifiers, A mixer that can go hotter will simply clip the amplifiers. The only difference between the "louder" and quieter piece of equipment is you need to have the amplifier input attenuater turned down more for the louder one, and left at 0, full for the quieter one.

    - I have to use adapters on the xlr-cables to fit the outputs on AG06 (if I buy this one). Will this affect the sound?
    Why do you have to use adaptor to fit the outputs?

  10. #10
    He does not want help fixing his problem, he just wants to buy different stuff and wants us to tell him that's ok. We didn't so he's gone.

    It drives me nuts when people come on the forums with some equipment problem.. either they have got perfectly good gear and they have it plugged in wrong or using the wrong cable or the wrong setting.. but they refuse to discuss that "because I have everything hooked up right"... Well, then, if you know that, why did you bother asking us? If you're so sure that the controller is the problem.. get a different one. If you're so sure that you need a separate mixer, buy one. Don't waste our time coming on here asking for help and then the only information you give us is your OWN decision as to what's wrong.. but you won't give us enough information for us to figure out what's really wrong.

    Just as bad when people come on and they've got their mind made up to buy something that's absolute garbage, or just the wrong piece of gear for the job.. and want to know what people think, and everyone say no.. then they start arguing. They had their mind made up already and won't hear anything different.

    But in this case the guy has a nice controller, it's a $1000 controller.. I think you can't even get them anymore.. and the first thing he does is blame the controller and doesn't want to hear anything else or take the time to rule out any more likely problems.. just buy something else! I wish I was made of money like that.
    Last edited by light-o-matic; 10-03-2019 at 09:56 AM.

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