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Controllers for low voltage DJs

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imageoven View Drop Down
Old Croc
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    Posted: 27 April 2021 at 11:35pm
Just wondering what other people are using in the way of DJ gear for low DC powered systems? Or recommendations / ideas

I'm looking for a simple low cost solution, something that a DJ with a usb stick or phone with tunes on, can hook into and play. Something a bit more tactile than a dj app on a phone or tablet. Needs to be intuitive enough for people to pick up. Needs to allow beat matching but not looking for lots of tools and tricks. So simple is good. This is more for fireside fun than a proper gig but want to make it a bit DJ friendly.

I'd like to avoid the involvement of a laptop due to fragility and stealability. Raspberry Pi based? Providing a little video monitor is not an issue but would be better if it can be avoided.

Obviously power draw is an issue.

Googling around fairly randomly there a few brands in this sector I have no experience of. Native Instruments as a company I'm familiar with, but not in the DJ field, Hercules are cheap, how cheerfull though? Numark are quite big in the market - 10 years ago they were the better end of cheap DJ gear - now?

Looking under £200 , preferably under £100, but happy to go 2nd hand and doesn't need to include hard drives, Pi, tablet etc as I have these. Can rustle up an old spec. Laptop if necessary but as said, would rather avoid.
Keep pushing on, things are gonna get better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote imageoven Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 April 2021 at 11:38pm
I do have pure sine wave inverter if necessary but feel it could / should be avoided.
Keep pushing on, things are gonna get better.
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studio45 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote studio45 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 April 2021 at 1:18pm
The easiest and probably cheapest way is a computer + fader/knob box I reckon...Pioneer do some nice all-in-one mixer/players that power up from 5v or 12v, but they are a VERY pretty penny and probably just as liable to get broken as a laptop. Native Instruments are a good brand I think, Numark these days not so much - but it's all made in China and of a very similar build quality.
R-Pi sounds like a good idea though? I haven't used one myself, but they seem plenty capable of running DJ software plus USB controller/interface and would definitely be cheaper than dedicated hardware. You could put it in a nice wooden case to match the campfire aesthetic and provide durability ;)
I've got a Pioneer DJM-250, which lacks any USB player capabilities but powers up from 5v - I plug my laptop and a record player into that, on a folding aluminium table. It's easy to carry with panniers and a backpack, and works well for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 April 2021 at 2:55pm

I know you said you didn't want to go down the laptop route, BUT.....

The Numark DJ2GO2 Touch is currently £58.00 on amazon, it’s USB powered, has headphones and main outs… I have the older non-touch one as a backup that I use with a cheap DELL Venue windows 10 tablet (about £80.00 - 100.00 used on ebay, I got mine new for about £200.00 a couple of years ago), this setup will happily run full blown DJ software, and the controller is surprisingly capable…. As my flac files are on an external USB stick and the tablet only has one USB 3 port (and another just for charging) I also use a small 4 port hub that the controller and stick both plug into…

This is my "Backup" setup… the whole setup fits inside the bag the tablet and controller are sitting on, the USB Power brick will keep it running for about 5-6 hrs.

The Hercules DJControl Starlight is another contender, having slightly more functionality and is about the same money.

I have in the past used Android/iOS DJ software but found it a little limiting compared to what I was using on my main system…



Edited by APW - 28 April 2021 at 5:01pm
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Old Croc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote imageoven Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 April 2021 at 10:03am
Thanks both. Good info.
Presumably with all the low end controllers, a separate screen is required to see the track library?

I looked at the Denon Prime Go which has built in screen but is big bucks and has lots of extra bells and whistles

I like the idea of the Raspberry Pi built into the amp box, but if I have to provide a monitor, then running it from a tablet makes more sense.

There are also various vandal resistant mounts for tablets which would help with protection.
Keep pushing on, things are gonna get better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 April 2021 at 11:12am

RasPi are fine for tinkering with, but anything that is mission critical, personally I’d look at a different solution.... preferably one that doesn’t have the OS on an SD card!!

 

…. I have used Raspberry Pis on several projects over the years, on more than one occasion the SD dropped dead leaving the device dead until a new card is fitted, I have also had issues with SD card data corruption requiring the card to be formatted and the OS reinstalled. I have optimized my code to keep the SD card read/write cycles to an absolute minimum as SD cards have a limited number of rewrite cycles before they “wear out.”

 

FWIW: The cards I tend to use are Samsung, SanDisk and occasionally Transcend.

 



Edited by APW - 29 April 2021 at 11:13am
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studio45 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote studio45 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 April 2021 at 1:14pm
Easy enough to keep a spare SD card with the OS and apps on it though? Park sessions aren't usually high stress gigs ;)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 April 2021 at 1:43pm
Originally posted by studio45 studio45 wrote:

Easy enough to keep a spare SD card with the OS and apps on it though? Park sessions aren't usually high stress gigs ;)

Yep… perfectly possible.
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