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Traktor Trials.

Traktor, and Virtualdj both installed on same laptop.

All was running great on my laptop with Virtualdj 8 until I installed Traktor 2.73.
I’m running a Intel dual core 2.4ghz, 4gb ram, Windows 7 64bit machine, and I do karaoke disco.
When I maximise the VDJ 8 window the karaoke graphics lag to the point of being unusable.
Whilst the windows task bar across the bottom is still visable everything is perfect.
I used it last night for the first time with the bar displayed.
All went well.
On top of this Traktor appears to have damaged my controller/sound card drivers with respect to Virtualdj8.
Simply reinstalling the driver fixed the sound which had disappeared.
VDJ 7 may be immune.
I wanted all to coexist.
At the moment I have un-installed Traktor.
Anyway its the maximizing of the program which is causing my problem.
I have reinstalled the graphics drivers, and Virtualdj 8.
I made the taskbar hidden and expanded the Virtualdj8 window to just below screen size. It works.
I know that a little bit of the desktop is showing, and it annoys me, whatever.
As well as installing itself, Traktor installed Microsoft Visual C++ 2013.
I’ve un-installed Traktor, and Microsoft visual 2013.
Traktor is interesting. In its function the phase meter is almost identical to overlapping waves.
When it was on offer it cost me £44!
I’m glad I looked at Traktor, but now I may have to reinstall Windows 7.
My laptop is optimized for karaoke disco, and I don’t use Windows system restore.
The karaoke words are still lagging.
It’s time to reinstall Windows 7.

I’m disappointed with Tractor. The control of the effects is good, music management is poor. Deck proportions are inferior, though you can use an extended browser. Play list management, and the automix function, which is called cruise control, and uses play lists is inferior. Both programs detect song key, Traktor uses its own system, which is a little different to Virtualdj. I never really got far with the remix decks, which look good.
Virtualdj wins hands down when looking at the needs of a mobile, or a normal dj. A “star dj” might be able to do something with the remix decks in Tracktor, but I think they would also be successful in Virtual 8 using a dedicated sample controller, in addition to the main controller, similar to the Traktor F1.
Traktor 2.7 reminded me of old fashioned bloated software.
I’ve not given up totally on Traktor, though I need a good spare computer dedicated to its needs.
It is greedy, and bloated.
I suspect Serato will be equally disappointing, I have tried it, but I need to study it further before drawing any conclusions.

I’ve reinstalled Windows 7, and it’s important updates but the karaoke graphics are still choppy, hell.
It was perfect before I installed Traktor.
Its still OK with a program window smaller than full screen.
I never deleted the partition into which I installed win 7.
This is not funny.
I’ll try an older version of Virtualdj 8 first.
Help..is it back Virtualdj 7?
I finally installed all the optional Windows 7 updates. The graphics threw a wobbler, the screen resolution got stuck at 640x whatever, I used control alt delete to exit full screen mad Virtualdj 8 ..and then it worked!!!!!!
Who do I blame, Traktor provoked the problem, but since an optional windows update fixed it, I guess it was Microsoft. These updates were to resolve issues.

On with my Traktor experiences. I now have a laptop on which to install Traktor. It is slightly below spec. for version 2.73 so I went looking for a compatible older version on the Native instruments website. I couldn’t find 2.64 or 2.68 anywhere, and requested help on the forum, nothing doing. Once more I then started rooting around their website, now I wanted to down grade from 2.72 to 2.68, all that was in my personal download section was the latest version, and a multitude of upgrades. In desperation I thought I’d try 2.64 upgrade. Wow..it downgraded the latest version. Hence if you want to downgrade Traktor pro 2 you get an old upgrade from their website, easy! It did seem a little like a state secret.
Updating my general comments, the Traktor remix decks, and the range of effects is superb, hence this might be the software for the controllerist, whilst Virtual DJ 7 or 8 is superior for general purpose work.

Traktor has yet again damaged the Win 7 system files producing an error when Virtualdj 7.41 or 7.42. I’m getting the error “The program can’t start because d3dx9_33.dll is missing”. I have used Virtualdj for years and have never had errors of this type. I believe that directx 11 has been damaged causing problems for Virtualdj. I tried restarting, and reinstalling Virtualdj to no avail. It is now my belief that directx 11 needs reinstalling, and that might clear the error. It is my wish to run both programs on the same laptop, but as pathetic as it may be, this seems not to be possible. I know Virtualdj 8 also is incompatible with Traktor.

After studying Traktor for around another week I found:
a) The remix decks were way superior to Virtualdj7, and better than the Virtualdj 8 sampler. However Virtualdj 8 offers 4 decks or more, plus a very good sampler, verses Traktors 2 decks and 2 remix decks. I’d call that a draw. I really do like the remix decks, that is what is feeding my persistence with Traktor.
b) Traktor effects are superior to those of all versions of Virtualdj.
c) My earlier Traktor criticism still stands.

Conclusion

After comparing Traktor Pro 2 to Virtualdj 8, I declare Virtualdj 8 the winner on the basis of equality plus being able to play video files.

Note:This conclusion is subject to change because of my liking for the Traktor remix decks

VirtualDJ 8 Review

I’ve been struggling with vdj 8 for around a month, and it is now my preferred app. Almost everyday during this time I thought of changing to Traktor Pro! Vdj itself appears to be very stable when installed on an modern laptop (Win7, dual core cpu, 4gb+ memory minimum) which has been optimised. Vdj supply a tool which almost instantly performs most of this process, however some items still need resolving in the Win7 control panel. I often use cdj’s, hence the sandbox is not that relevant to me, however the coloured waveforms, and improved key detection are a blessing. Sampling is greatly improved. Effects are OK, but to my mind not a lot different to Vdj7. I keep learning every day as It is a big jump from Vdj7. The options menu requires more thought than its predecessors, but it is manageable. For instance I found it more difficult to configure a second monitor for karaoke. Some of the new features look like bugs, and caused me problems in front of an audience, however it was just my lack of understanding.
I still could jump ship, and board Traktor, however it now seems unlikely since I’m of the opinion that this is a fantastic upgrade.
Time will tell..

A Review Of The Pioneer DDJ-SX, and VirtualDJ 7.4.1

I have used the above combination a few times, and on the last occasion found the new native VDJ mapping to be superb. I made one minor modification, changing the panel select button so that it rotated through browser-sampler-effects-record. Prior to this change it rotated through player-loops-effects.

Software stability is good when configured correctly on a Windows computer. Being a little savage, I would say that PC illiterate DJ buffoons need a overpriced Apple Mac at £1700, whilst a new PC World Windows 8 Asus Laptop for £300 is fine, that’s if you have half a brain! I was pleased with my ability to control both VDJ effects, and samples using the Pioneer. Even though I achieved a great level of software stability, I wonder if such controllers are ready for professional club usage. My main concern with the the DDJ-SX is its cheap , and fragile power supply. Why has it not got a built in power supply , and a mains connection? All controllers appear to be the same…amateur, except the new DDJ-SZ.

Whatever, overpriced bedroom DJ rubbish is still being sold in the guise of professional equipment. Maybe you can get by in a pub with 50 people if things go wrong, but not in a club with 2000. The future is digital, laptop, and software, however those big time money manipulators behind the likes of Pioneer still rip off the average DJ.

I have a pair of CDJ’s, and a hardware mixer which I view as the professional DJ way to integrate software, especially into large venues.

OK for small party venues a cheap Chinese power supply, with a spare backup, will suffice.

 

The World Under Liverpool One

This week we did a karaoke disco in a restaurant in Liverpool One. My first thoughts were that access might be a problem since the whole area has been pedestrianized. What I did not know was that a whole world existed beneath Liverpool One which enables services to be provided to the businesses. Anyway we loaded up a trolley with disco equipment in the bowels of Liverpool, and then jumped into a lift which took us up into the real world. It was a little spooky being under stores likes of John Lewis!

Connecting Sub Speakers (Bass Bins) to a PA system

OK so you’re a mobile DJ who wants more bass, how do you do it?

Buy some sub speakers (bass bins), but how do you connect them?

Three methods exist.

a) Just daisy chain them from your existing tops. This works providing you don’t exceed the load your amp can manage, in most cases 4 ohms. It will increase your music output power, but uses the sub speakers to produce a full range signal for which they were not designed. Anyway it is an improvement.

b) Use the passive crossovers which are built into some sub speakers. An example of this type of speaker is the Peavey Hysis 115xt. The crossover in the speaker splits the output music power of the amp into two parts, one driving the sub speakers, the other fed from the subs to the top speakers. Normally the split or crossover frequency is around 150Hz.

c) The ultimate solution is to use an active crossover to split the music output from the mixer into two parts at line level prior to amplification. Two amps can then be used with a variable crossover point enabling the optimization of music output power. A cost effective example of such a crossover is the Behringer CX2310 (http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/CX2310.aspx). It is not necessary to use two amps, one can be used, one channel driving the sub speakers, the other driving the top speakers, which produces a mono musicoutput.

A Fine Large Wedding And Party Venue in Liverpool

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Vocal Effects For Karaoke

I was working in a church hall type of building last week. Normally echo or reverb is required to add a professional touch to karaoke singers. Anyway the natural echo in the building was such that I was looking for a knob on my mixer to turn it off. It can’t be done, however often a minimum of effects are needed in such buildings.