How do you record music mixes, using Spotify and a turntable as sources?
November 13, 2019 11:01 AM   Subscribe

I listen to a lot of music, and spend a lot of time curating playlists from that music. I'd love to turn some of these playlists into recorded mixes (while getting some DJ practice in the process). If I wanted to record mixes from a combination of Spotify tracks and vinyl records, what equipment and software would I need?

I currently have access to a:
- Macbook Pro (recent generation)
- Onkyo Stereo receiver
- Turntable (not a DJing turntable)

I'm assuming I would need a basic mixer with the ability to record at least two channels of music. It seems like there are applications out there that let you manage two channels of spotify tracks (one 'current playing' and one for queuing up) but then bringing vinyl into the mix adds a whole level of complexity.

Do I need a second laptop, or something else? Maybe an iPad? And, since this is really just a hobby, and I'm sure the sky is the limit on cost, is there a way to do this *cheap*?
posted by summerteeth to Technology (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There are a few approaches you could take but I think the most straightforward would be to get a 4-channel DJ controller with integrated sound card and phono input. The following DJ controllers would work for you. Pioneer is the industry leader in this space and I'd look for a used Pioneer DDJ-SX series or something similar. Depending on the unit you pick you might also need to get a USB audio interface to capture the output.
  • Pioneer DDJ-1000, DDJ-RX, DDJ-SZ2, DDJ-SZ, DDJ-SX3, DDJ-SX2, DDJ-SX
  • Numark N4, NS6
  • Denon MC6000, MC6000MK2, MC7000, MCX8000
  • Vestax VCI-400
Another approach is a little more complicated but might save some money if all you need is to mix the channels and you're still OK with controlling playback in djay Pro via the keyboard/mouse. Get a USB audio interface with at least four outputs and two inputs (like the Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD) and a 4-channel DJ mixer (the Numark M6 looks like a nice inexpensive option). Put djay Pro in external mixer mode and connect deck 1 to channels 1/2 and deck 2 to channels 3/4 on the USB audio interface. Connect the interface's outputs 1/2 to the mixer's line input 1 L/R and outputs 3/4 to line input 2 L/R on the DJ mixer, and connect your turntable to phono input 3. Connect the master out L/R on the mixer to inputs 1/2 on the audio interface. Then you can use Audacity to record your mix. (I don't know for sure that djay Pro will see the audio interface but I would expect it to.)
posted by pmdboi at 4:38 PM on November 13, 2019

Response by poster: pmdboi: Fantastically thorough answer. Really appreciate the time.
posted by summerteeth at 11:35 AM on November 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

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