Since moving to sunny California, I've put some effort into upgrading my on the road system. I'd like to share with you what the road I've chosen to walk down.
So lets begin. I have always thought Serato was the way to go, since its really everywhere. But recently, I've had the pleasure of trying out Torq, Tractor, and as of the DJ convention, the new Mixmeister. Now, i know people who have been using the program for some time, but it has always been just that, a program with no hands on. But at the convention, Newmark released a controller, and i was interested! So when it hit the shelves, out i went. (picked it up for $299, WAY below MSRP). Hooked it up in my garage that night and started playing. Now, as a DJ and gadget guy, I love Knobs and buttons! But, with 40 knobs, 53 buttons and a Jog Wheel for fast location management, it was a bit overwhelming. But this little Midi has some bite!(Yes, i'm still learning). And the best part, its compact. The down Side, 19 1/2 across, no fader's, and the response time shows some lag. But with this, I'm able to be in the mix 8,10,20 songs into the future allowing me to tweak or interact accordingly. From here, i thought, compact is good, less weight, shorter set-up and break down. So i found this little guy from Acer. Now while Linux is available, I went with Windows, 1GB ram, 120 internal hard drive, and the 6 cell battery (6.5 hours battery life). This little guy (about $400) has 3 USB slots, which is not enough for me to run 2 hard drives, a computer fan, the Mixmeister controller, and the second sound card needed to mix. A simple multi USB jack fixed all that. I was also concerned about the size of the keyboard, not because its smaller, but if i needed to find something quick i may be prone to mistype. So i bought a regular size roll-up keyboard($15), problem solved! Now to make my speakers light, and on Black Friday I solved that problem while strolling through Guitar Center. For $175 a piece, i grabbed a pair of these powered speakers. I will be the first to admit, the specs did scare me a little, but my first time on the road and all that went out the window. With a 5 band EQ, Mic inputs, and 2 balanced XLR and 2 unbalanced 1/4" inputs, these fit the bill. No distortion, hums, clips, and always clean sound, im very happy. At about 60lbs a piece, they don't hurt my back or wallet. I paired all this to a Behringer XENYX 802($30), and I'm on the road for under $1000, and well under 200lbs. Now, for those of you lighting people out there, don't think i didn't upgrade my lighting too, but we will wait until next time. Along with lights, I'll also share some of the things I have on my, extensive, wish list.... Until Next time, PLUR!!
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