Brushing up on my DJ skills

by Volker Weber


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20 years ago the standard gear was Technics SL-1200 turntables. Now it is Denon DN-1800F professional CD Players (or even better). Turns out it is actually easier to work with those. Far easier to do a pitch bend by pushing a button than to ever so gently brush the spinning records. And it is a good thing that I don't have to buy the gear but can do it in software. With the Griffin PowerMate, I even have the jog controller. :-) The only thing I would need now is a four channel output, two for the mains and one for the cue output.

Yup, something big is coming up. :-)

PS: Yes, I know Traktor DJ. Too much firepower.


I bought a dual-CD Denon rig about ten years ago, and it certainly has been cool. I've always found CDs more difficult to cue precisely though, and I still miss the feel of the mat spinning underneath while my finger holds the disc in place for a really tight slip-cue. I don't miss the skips and scratches though. I was actually using a pair of Denon turntables, not the Technics. The low-end Denon was substantially cheaper than the Technics, and it was just as good but not quite as rugged. I used Stanton cartridges for DJing -- 681s if I remember correctly. I switched to a Shure V15 cartridge for home listening on the same turntable. I've yet to try any laptop-based systems. It almost seems like cheating.

Richard Schwartz, 2004-02-04


I still go to Techno events on a (semi-) weekly basis - only the worst of clubs are actually using CD players to mix - turntables are still very much in. The CD players are mostly used for the walm up when there are not too many people in the club and the DJ can then take it a bit easier. All the (underground) clubs in Zürich use turntables ;o)

Have you given Reason a try? Although it is used for creating tracks it is a remarkable piece of software.

Keep up the good work

ursus, 2004-02-04

For the 4 channels (dual output) check the Indigo DJ from
Absolute sex on a stick...
Well... I have not been out for a while...

Chris, 2004-02-04

If you want to make a technological move from vinyl, why not check out Final Scratch 1.1?

Nathan T. Freeman, 2004-02-04

Final Scratch 1.1 is the best tool for mp3 mixes. In case you do not own turntables I recommand Traktor. You will find both tools @ the native-instruments page (

Houselovers should check out

Phil, 2004-02-04

I've also used DJ1800. I was asked to put together some music and dj for a party, and so I started looking around at different tools to simplify the task. Since I'm not a professional dj and didn't have the time / desire to wrap my mind around the software that is written for that market, I found DJ1800 to be a perfect fit. I was using it on an older iMac (G3 400) and it was responsive and stable. More importantly, it only took 5 minutes to get it up and running, and to get my head around the user interface. While it may not be the tool of choice for a person who is serious about the art of the dj, it's certainly met my needs.

Andy Reimer, 2005-04-06

Tracktor is too much. Too much money. To many features to be handled by a keyboard. It works great with turntables but that setup with 2 techniques a mixer and a computer is like $2k. Dj1800 is $60 and requires nothing to get started. I dug an old mixer out of storage and got an Imic and I am doing a lot more then I was before. I have been spinnig records for 5 years on friends' tables as a hobby. i can definatly justify $300 max set up and getting 99 cent cuts off of ITMS.

adam lenz, 2006-07-15

Nein, der SL1200(silber) /1210(Anthrazit) war ist und bleibt Standard bei DJs.
CDs sind kein brauchbares Medium, die "echten" Tracks werden auch weiterhin auf Vinyl gepresst.(Ich spar mir hier den religösen Teil)
Vom Denon als Standard zu sprechen, selbst nur in der Kategorie mixbare CD-Player halte ich für falsch. Faktisch hatte Denon in den 90ern einen Vorsprung, weil sie als erste eine brauchbare Technologie zur Verfügung gestellt haben, aber diese Technologie war immer sehr anfällig und auch deswegen ist es falsch, den Denon in einem Atemzug mit dem SL zu nennen. Reihenweise ausfallende Laufwerke, CDs, die von Bassattacken geschüttelt mithüpften über diverse Aussetzer zu nicht lesbaren Cds.
Die Pitchbend Funktion war im Grunde immer grottig, denn sie folgte einer seltsamen Formel in ihrem Wirkungsanstieg, während andere Geräte (im nächsten Absatz) tatsächlich nahe an der analogen Vinyl-Technologie lagen und diese auch noch optisch abbildeten(Showfaktor).
Wenn überhaupt ein Player die Chance hatte Standards zu setzen, dann der CDJ100S von Pioneer, aber auch das entspricht nicht der Realität weil kurz nach ihm eine ganze Reihe brauchbarer Player auf den Markt drängte. Unter anderem auch die S-Reihe von Denon, Geräte von Numark, Vestax etc(die übrigens mittlerweile auch brauchbare Turntabels bauen).
Den DenonF behalte ich nur als anfällige Krücke in Erinnerung, wenngleich ich auf den Dingern sehr gut war. Allerdings habe ich 2001 das letzte Mal einen unter den Fingern gehabt.
Was den DenonF in das Programm gebracht hat ist vermutlich sein Bedienteil.
Sollte es mittlerweile einen Softwareplayer a la CDJ100S (o.ä.) geben wäre es mit Sicherheit toll, die Player mit dem Griffin zu steuern.

Kai Schmalenbach, 2006-10-13

I just wanna know how to better my DJ skills I am just starting out

Anthony Hewitt, 2007-02-09

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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