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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
January 8, 2014

Hercules DJControlWave

Does anybody remember the first Hercules DJ controller?  It was one of the few controllers that you could find in Target or Walmart, except that it wasn’t half bad.  It was one of the few toy controllers out there that had any real semblance of what a controller was really supposed to look like.  Personally, I would never buy one since I was doing just fine with my pair of turntables and Serato – but there are many out there who got their start on this simple controller.  The first version had two tiny platters that could only be used for pushing and nudging tracks forward, but since then a lot of things have changed.

If you have seen what Pioneer has done in the field of controllers these days, the new Hercules DJ Control Wave is something to admire.  It looks like something that would be produced only from …

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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
September 20, 2013

Numark Mixtrack Quad DJ Controller

Each of the DVS companies who have stake in their software also has a business plan that matches their goals.  To have software without realizing how it will be used in conjunction with hardware is kind of foolish.  We can even see the benefit of a software company engineering their own matching hardware, such as what Ableton did for the Push.  Serato was created as both a software and hardware solution that worked in unison, meaning that each part could not be used without the other.  This was sort of the general idea that Traktor had used, until both companies began pairing their software with other types of hardware, like the Rane TTM-57 SL.

In the future, the ability to use an external soundcard won’t be as prevalent as it is now – and we may see the end of these hardware + software systems.  Beginner controller setups come bundled …

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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
August 19, 2013

American Audio ELMC-1: DJ fun for under a ton

If I were to go to the store right now and look for an acoustic instrument like a guitar or piano, I would definitely have an idea of the costs versus performance before even testing out a product.  It would be clear to see that a thousand dollar acoustic piano will sound better than any electronic alternative.  I would also be able to figure out that a guitar that is priced high would have much better features than one that is priced lower.  Best of all, I can actually plug these things in and try them out before I take them home.  It isn’t the same with a MIDI controller or something that takes time to play with.

Setting one up in the store the way you like it is damn near impossible, since you are using a computer that is unfamiliar to you.  You also don’t have the time …

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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
July 26, 2013

NUMARK MIXDECK QUAD

I have always looked at the four deck controllers out there and wondered why I have never liked them very much.  Perhaps it is because I personally don’t have a lot of experience mixing anything more than three channels at one time.  Mixing two songs isn’t hard once you get the hang of it – but adding that third channel makes things increasingly difficult.  Most of the time that third channel is best used for samples or one shots, since trying to actually mix a regular song can be confusing.  When I see MIDI controllers that offer linear fader control over four separate channels, it makes me wonder if people are actually using 4 channels.

I’m sure in the world of DVS and Traktor it happens all the time.  If you are spinning electronic music the job is also a bit more watered down.  Traktor can grid and autoBPM the …

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UniqueSquared

UniqueSquared
July 8, 2013

Behringer CMD Studio 4A DJ Controller

A two channel MIDI controller with jogwheels is about as simple as it gets these days.  You can pick one of these bad boys up for close to a thousand dollars, or if you prefer, closer to a few hundred dollars.  Looking at the front of the decks you will notice many things in common.  Each device has some sort of pitch control, they each have wheels that spin, they each have faders and rotaries, and they each have a slew of buttons for song programming or cueing.  Since they share all the same operations, what could be so different from product to product?  The answer is simple, the quality of each part.

Not every jogwheel is the same.  Some of them, like those found on the Vestax VCI series; tend to spin freely without much force applied to them.  Others are more connected to the controller and give a …