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MP3 DJ rig I'm thinking of building for live performance.
by zer0G
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 12:51 pm on Friday July 15‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G MP3 DJ rig I'm thinking of building for live performance.

I'm kind of bored and want to do something musical / creative.

Small cheap Laptop (something like this)
http://www.averatec.com/notebooks/1000series.htm

Output card - Echo Indigo DJ Dual Stereo 24-96 Laptop Cardbus
http://www.zzounds.com/item--ECHINDIGODJ



Effects that I can tweak live (Yeah lots of real sliders and knobs)

Moog Ring Modulator
http://www.moogmusic.com/detail.php?main_product_id=6&

Electro-Harmonix Micro Synthesizer Pedal
http://www.ehx.com/ehx2/Default.asp?q=f&f=%2FCatalog%2F24%5FSynthesis%2F04%5FMicro%5FSynthesizer

Boss Phaser
http://www.bossus.com/index.asp?pg=1&tmp=12


I find I like taking a clean digital source, then running it through an analog filter.

I looked at multi effects units but then interfaces are too shitty as is the sound most of the time.
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Edited by zer0G on July 15‚ 2005 at 11:53 am
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 12:55 pm on Friday July 15‚ 2005 x
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x Universal Sea would a fancy USB multi-key assignable MIDI keyboard also prove handy in a live performance environment for this stuff?
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 12:58 pm on Friday July 15‚ 2005 x
x Echo Indigo DJ Dual Stereo 24-96 Laptop Cardbus x
x Universal Sea Sounds perfect for the application but seems a bit much to spend on a soundcard that doesn't have any inputs.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 1:11 pm on Friday July 15‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G They have an input one.
http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/CardBus/IndigoIO/index.php

But I'm not concerned about inputs.



Not really interested in a MIDI keyboard. Mainly want to setup loops / mixes with the laptop and software, then tweak the effects in real time on the side.

The other thing I did not add was a digital delay with a long feedback at the end of the effects chain.
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 1:15 pm on Friday July 15‚ 2005 x
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x Universal Sea Full duplex, that's perfect for many PCDJ applications.

I asked about the MIDI keyboard because I would want to use mine for my own live generations.

Another thing I'd want to do which might be theoretically impossible is feed the audio from the laptop into the house mixer (and headphones too), yet run a mix back into the laptop to record everything (like with crowd sounds, other audio for the party, etc).
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 1:22 pm on Friday July 15‚ 2005 x
x My specific Edirol MIDI keyboard can also interface with the CG8 live video controller x
x Universal Sea Link: My specific Edirol MIDI keyboard can also interface with the CG8 live video controller

The CG-8 can take in still images, create motion pictures from these and then modulate them with Modifiers and Fade Controller. It's easiness to grasp, and user-friendliness allow artists to concentrate on making stunning visual displays without getting caught up in complicated operations. Starting with picture files (JPEG's) as the prime source, stamps (PNG) used for overlays and built in Computer Graphics, all stored on the internal hard drive, the CG-8 can add any of more than 200 Photo effects and then from more than 60 Overlay effects before finally passing the output to the image modifiers which let you add further motion along X/Y/Z axes and control background color/hue shifting. This final modulation can control rate, depth and waveform just like the LFO in an audio synth.
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 6:10 pm on Friday July 15‚ 2005 x
x PCDJ controller - DAC-2 x
x Universal Sea Link: PCDJ controller - DAC-2


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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 8:29 pm on Friday July 15‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G Here is my controller...

  
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 12:14 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G Still deciding what to do about effects.

I wish Traktor had plug in effects. Maybe it does?

I'd like to use a bunch of used pedals but the power supply / storage / weight / size issuses are a drag.

A multi-effects may be an option but those are shitty in terms of real time control unless they have controller software.


DJ effects units:

Pioneer EFX-500
http://www.pioneer-eur.com/eur/product_detail.jsp?product_id=9392&taxonomy_id=44-107

$649.99 CAD - NOT WORTH IT!

Korg Kaoss Pad II
http://www.jbsmusic.com/view/451/

$479 CAD - NOT WORTH IT!


Another idea would be to use two laptops (one for DJing the other for effects) which would be pretty wild, and actually cheaper than other options in the big picture. Plus I would not have to resell gear and updating would not be a problem.
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Edited by zer0G on July 16‚ 2005 at 11:20 am
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 12:20 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x Universal Sea Two laptops you'd need a mixer for sure no?

I believe there are battery powered effects. Traktor does have an effects library if my readings were accurate.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 12:24 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G No, one laptop plugged into the other laptop one has the ECHO output only card, the second has the ECHO input / output card. Laptop #2 then goes to the PA whatever. So laptop #2 becomes an unlimited real time effects processing unit.

BTW I've now seen no-name laptops for $600 cnd.Mind you they had 1000mhz chip, 256mb ram, 60gm HD. But still that is cheap.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 12:27 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G Not only an unlimited real time effects processing unit. But one that can be updated with new programs all the time. Not like a stand alone box that is static.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 12:57 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G Pretty cool software based vocoder
http://www.nativeinstruments.de/index.php?id=vokator_us

Sound samples on the right.


This is more like it...

RT Player, a stand-alone application (for PC/Mac), is an easy-to-use host application for VST instruments
http://messe.harmony-central.com/Musikmesse01/Content/DSound/PR/RT-Player.html

So basically I can then just add whatever VST plug ins that I want.
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Edited by zer0G on July 16‚ 2005 at 12:16 pm
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 1:25 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x Universal Sea You could also use Propellerheads' Reason for effects, compression, synth - propellerheads.se

What I like about that is that I can conceivably play Reason tracks I've produced into and out of mixes to/from other tracks.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 2:08 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G Are the effects in real-time?

I could just switch to using a full suite like that in real time as a live performance tool as opposed to a composition tool.

But I have yet to evaluate it as that. I mean it is mainly a composition tool as opposed to a live tool.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 2:10 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G I’ve heard people use composition tools live but it’s been mostly shitty. I think one problem is that there is too much complexity. Sometimes less is more in a live context.
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 2:15 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x Universal Sea Reason you can start with a basic loop and add anything to each loop, samples, synths, effects, etc. Which is good for bringing in new sounds every few bars. I still have not got the full hang of it but I hope to get motivated again.

My ideal set up would be laptop with full duplex sound capabilities, MIDI keyboard, live video controller, and an acoustic/electric guitar with a range of effects (octave, distortion, reverb, etc). The latter can be substituted with my normal accoustic/mic. On occasion I want to layer voices on top of guitar parts, so a mic might be necessary unless I have accommodating guitar pickups.

The laptop should be able to record the set and also interface with other components of a live event - DJ turntables, live bands, etc.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 2:20 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!


All I want is a simple easy to use DJ program and some useful trippy effects to add to it after in a totally live improvised DJ context.

Portability and ease of use.

Less wires and power supplies the better.
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Edited by zer0G on July 16‚ 2005 at 1:21 pm
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 2:29 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
x sure x
x Universal Sea that's great, and which is how I will be starting before I can incorporate everything I want to. But I haven't been playing guitar and experimenting with sounds for 12-13 years to be replaced by an mp3 player.

I mean, really why even bother with this mp3 mixing stuff? You could use an mp3 player that plays full sets from anybody, even pre-done mixes you've done, go off and enjoy the party, don't need to chill by the stage.
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 2:30 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x Universal Sea one of the main reasons I'd get a laptop is so I could record the audio from parties, events, radio set-ups. That is more important and practical to me, not going to lug my computer/monitor around any more or rely on people that totally slack through everything.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 2:30 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G Because a certain level of interactivity is fun and the guitar is a dead instrument.

I’m sure people will still use paintbrushes now and then but for the most part people use Photoshop to express themselves.

Times change and the tools of production change. Art evolves with those changes.
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Edited by zer0G on July 16‚ 2005 at 1:33 pm
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 2:36 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x Universal Sea It's hardly a dead instrument, there is a lot that can be done with it. Most people that use it are boring though.

All the power goes out at a party, or the generator runs out of gas, acoustic guitar is automatic music.

Balance, live and digital. Put all your skills in the pot. Anybody can mix mp3s. Not everybody can play a drum kit, guitar, on top of synths & percussive effects layered on the fly.
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 2:37 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x Universal Sea it all starts simple.

for me, any equipment purchase would have to make sense for things I want to do down the line, not necessarily things I can do right away.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 2:49 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G Too busy remixing Parliament Funkadelic right now.

And! Wish I had some effects to run it through.
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Edited by zer0G on July 16‚ 2005 at 1:49 pm
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 2:51 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x Universal Sea use a multitracking programming like Adobe Audition/Cool Edit Pro.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 2:59 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G Awww we need the funk

the funk

the funk

the funk

the funk

Awww we need the funk

Gotta have that funk

Awww we need the funk

the funk

the funk

the funk

the funk

Awww we need the funk
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 3:10 pm on Saturday July 16‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G Like I can do things that would be impossible otherwise like go from loops of Parliament Funkadelic to backwards samples from the Movie Blackula to Bela Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus... too... some kind of goa trance I think?
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Edited by zer0G on July 16‚ 2005 at 2:15 pm
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 7:16 pm on Monday July 18‚ 2005 x
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x jeffwith1f Guitar is not a dead instrument.
Accordion is a fading instrument, but all it will take is someone doing something innovative, and back it will come.

it's like saying the Hammar is a dead tool, replaced by screws and drivers, and pneumatic nail-guns, or hell, even molded polymers.

nah....all you need is people willing to innovate.
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 7:18 pm on Monday July 18‚ 2005 x
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x Universal Sea courage needed... was to say cash too, but looked around and thought, I could make a song based out of tapping the various things around me.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 11:37 pm on Monday July 18‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G Guitar is almost as horrible as live drums.

Anyhow back to the thread.


The more I think about it, the more I would like to do everything on one notebook computer. It’s so much easier just to have everything in software. If that means I have to use something like Reason, then so be it.

However Reason does not look all that good for live use...
Here is an article about it.

So... I'm back to Traktor being the best product I've found so far and I've looked at a bunch.
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x Unread post xJess   - at 12:16 pm on Tuesday July 19‚ 2005 x
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x Jess You're going to need to incorporate visuals for a live show. Its even less interesting staring at a guy on a laptop than it is staring at a guy at turntables and a mixer. Only djs or people who wished they were djs enjoy that shit. Either that or it can be a blindfold-manditory dresscode.

btw, I've composed my larger paintings in photoshop but still use brushes to get them on a big stretcher. Otherwise you can do a print on canvas, but then I don't really consider that art; but rather design. At least, I don't today. My mind could change at any moment.
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 12:25 pm on Tuesday July 19‚ 2005 x
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x Universal Sea

Posted by Jess:

Either that or it can be a blindfold-manditory dresscode.




that would be an excellent party idea in general.
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x Unread post xJess   - at 12:52 pm on Tuesday July 19‚ 2005 x
x hmm yes x
x Jess For some reason my "best" (entirely subjective of course) ones always do seem to start out as jokes. Green Party being the most obvious of those.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 4:36 pm on Tuesday July 19‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G

Posted by Jess:

You're going to need to incorporate visuals for a live show. Its even less interesting staring at a guy on a laptop than it is staring at a guy at turntables and a mixer. Only djs or people who wished they were djs enjoy that shit. Either that or it can be a blindfold-manditory dresscode.



People said the same thing about the piano.
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x Unread post xJess   - at 5:35 pm on Tuesday July 19‚ 2005 x
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x Jess I don't tend to go out to watch pianists.
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 7:04 pm on Tuesday July 19‚ 2005 x
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x jeffwith1f the people that built roy thompson hall invested millions on the fact that people do.
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x Unread post xJess   - at 9:43 pm on Tuesday July 19‚ 2005 x
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x Jess well, that might explain why I've never been there, then.
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x Unread post xzer0G   - at 10:28 pm on Tuesday July 19‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G There does not seem to be much out there.

Lots of sample / sequencer type production software, but not a lot of live stuff.

I’m back to…

1) Using a laptop and a single multi-effects unit.
2) Using a laptop and several effects “pedals” likely hooked up on a custom board.
3) Using two laptops.
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 2:40 pm on Wednesday July 20‚ 2005 x
x Averatec update x
x Universal Sea I have written to them with interest in reviewing a couple of their models for October. This would allow for real world testing and comparison, then I'd simply buy the one I like the best. Same applies to zer0g if you can wait that long.

I'm also going to try to review the Linux-based Linare notebook as posted in Das' forum, see the difference of Windows vs Linux firsthand and if the latter can do what I need.

The goal is both Jess and I to have a notebook for our trip later this year. Mine will have to do what I need it to do, and Jess' will have to do what hers needs to do, if she can afford one. Hence looking at a cheaper option like Linux might not all be that bad.
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 3:38 pm on Wednesday July 20‚ 2005 x
x EMachines M6811 using a 64-bit processor and 15" screen x
x Universal Sea Link: EMachines M6811 using a 64-bit processor and 15" screen


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x Unread post xxzer0G   - at 8:53 pm on Wednesday July 20‚ 2005 x
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x zer0G I’m sure cheap suitable laptop for performance will come out shortly.

Especially when you stick to a past generation of software. New software versions are not always better. I mean I like to version of traktor that came out before as opposed to the version out now, so finding a cheap system to run the older version should be no problem soon.

Another option would be to run it through the Boss GS 10 Multi effects unit. Even though it’s mainly for guitar, and only has a mono input, it can be controlled via a usb and it’s own software. A pic of it here…
http://www.bossus.com/MultimediaFile/gs10/editor.html

Would work next to a laptop.

As a guitar unit I would not use it, but for processing digital loops I would.

But really all mono input effects can be considered somewhat problematic.

Another (cheap) solution would be to use the regular soundcard stereo out set to monitor and output (instead of left and right sides) within Traktor. This would offer the headphone monitor and the mono output for the multi-effects. It sacrifices stereo but that can be added in the multi-effects unit.


Gah! Used pedals are so cheap though, but bulky.
http://instruments.listings.ebay.ca/Parts-Accessories_Effects-Pedals_W0QQfclZ3QQloglZ1QQsacatZ41410QQsocmdZListingItemList


Using one of these full of pedals on the table besides the laptop would be pretty funny.
http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=41412&item=7336735811&rd=1
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Edited by zer0G on July 20‚ 2005 at 7:56 pm
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