DJing with a laptop
March 31, 2005 8:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking about upgrading my laptop and use it for amateur DJ'ing in parties. What software and hardware do you guys recommend? Is the Indigo DJ PCMCIA soundcard a good choice or should I go with something external like the Hercules DJ Console?
posted by guictx to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
PC or Mac?
posted by omnidrew at 9:16 PM on March 31, 2005

posted by guictx at 9:59 PM on March 31, 2005

The Indigo DJ is very nice - low noisefloor and lots of gail. I use mine with Traktor and a standalone DJ mixer. You can also mix "inside" the box, using your mouse/keyboard, or with a MIDI control surface, or a number of "mixer emulators".
posted by benzo8 at 10:55 PM on March 31, 2005

Jeez - why do you never see typos on Preview? Lots of gain, not Gail - that's my girlfriend and Traktor sure as heck doesn't have lots of her. I hope.
posted by benzo8 at 10:56 PM on March 31, 2005

Depending on the possible types of party, a set of DDR mats could be a good accessory to bring. And don't forget stickers. A spartan laptop is a staid business tool. Covering it with stickers might make it look more like band gear :-)
(If the back of the screen is metal instead of plastic, you might want to check there won't be heat dissapation problems before laying waste to the original aesthetics though :)

I'd also look into either something external like the Hercules DJ Console, or at least a multimedia remote and/or other wireless interfaces, cranking up the font sizes on screen, etc - stuff that allows the physical operations to be flexible enough to avoid the visual cliche of the guy hunched over the music computer at the party. I'm no expert, but it seems to me that DJ's present themselves as part of the party and having a good time - a performance art, while the Guys Peering At The Music Computer is a different not-into-the-party look that you want to avoid.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:07 AM on April 1, 2005

Traktor is great. I've been assembling a collection of my favorite stuff on the laptop for a while. On the Mac, you can install a plugin to iTunes which lets you tag each track with BPM info via mouseclicks. Traktor then obligingly pulls that info into its database.

Provided you have something like the Indigo DJ (on my list of stuff to buy) you can output 2 stereo pairs to a traditional DJ mixer, as benzo8 mentioned.

For something really simple, just use iTunes "party Shuffle" with crossfading enabled. That way you can set up a playlist on the fly, but still enjoy the party.
posted by omnidrew at 8:24 AM on April 1, 2005

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