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176 posts

Master Geek


# 36709 30-Jun-2009 16:45
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Hey guys,

My mate is getting into some DJ work and needs to get a laptop. He is currently running Audacity on his brothers 2.0ghz dual core,2gb ram HP laptop and it seems to be running fine.

Are the above specs fine for audio work or would he be better off going for greater cpu speed / greater ram?

I am not sure how demanding ripping / making music is on a PC so I cannot recommend a Laptop

Budget is at max $1500... Does anyone have any good recomendations?


Cheers

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Geek


  # 229718 30-Jun-2009 21:22
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Hi,

In my opinion, none of the tasks you mention have high cpu or memory intensive requirements so a basic system like the one you mentioned should be fine. I would advise that if he gets a basic laptop (which $1500 would be sufficient) to try and keep other program installs to a relative minimum - as installing too many applications could be to the detriment of his DJ applications.


Hope that helps

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 229725 30-Jun-2009 22:28
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I used to DJ back in the day and I really do envy modern day mobile DJ's with their MP3 collections!  Sure beats lugging around crates of records!

The specs of your mates laptop sounds fine for ripping and playing music.  I'd take BigRed's advice though and minimise the background applications if you can.  I would set up two logins - one for general daily use that has other apps and the other for strictly playing music that has only essential apps.

TBH, if I was DJ'ing now I'd probbaly build a desktop PC into a custom built coffin case with a 22" monitor or something similar.  The reasoning is that you could have two hard drives as a RAID 1 array so if one drive died during a performance you could still carry on.   In addition desktops are cheap to buy and easier to upgrade - plus you have more options available in relation to sounds cards.

If your mate is set on a laptop then the only other thing I'd recommend is to make sure that the hard drive is 7200rpm and not 5400rpm.




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  # 229740 1-Jul-2009 00:40
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Overclocker01: My mate is getting into some DJ work and needs to get a laptop. He is currently running Audacity on his brothers 2.0ghz dual core,2gb ram HP laptop and it seems to be running fine.


I also do abit of DJing. I just did a big school ball last weekend (400 students) with my HP laptop, and it has similar specs to the one above.

I'm running Virtual DJ, using Numark DJ IO as my soundcard, and a Numark TotalControl as my controller.  All works a treat.

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  # 229771 1-Jul-2009 08:22
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I would avoid one with a three pin plug on the charger, these always seem to cause noise. It Is not a ground loop as the noise varies as the load changes. Apparently it is to do with crappy chargers.

Definitely try it through an amp first.

xpd

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  # 229779 1-Jul-2009 08:49
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My father in law whos a mobile DJ had similar issues as gumboot - found if he plugged into a power filter it cut out the noise 99%.

I agree with redroman however - desktop build is a lot more flexible when it comes to quality and upgrading.




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  # 229797 1-Jul-2009 09:47
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Added benefit of desktop is more than 1 soundcard in the system too (1 for previewing tracks on headphones, other for the actual speakers, etc etc) that and you could get a far superior sound card in a desktop than you would find in a cheap laptop, pretty much all laptops come with a realtek sound card which is ok but thats about it. If it was me, i would be wanting a xfi or something similary highend outputting my music. and for $1500 you could build quite a nice mini desktop for that task

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 229811 1-Jul-2009 10:04
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I also agree with garvani, two sound cards would be ideal in a desktop for both previewing and cueing.

I've also played around with MixMeister which can handle two sound cards and I think would be ideal for a mobile DJ: http://www.mixmeister.com




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  # 229818 1-Jul-2009 10:09
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Further to my advice, I wasn't confident, at first, of chopping the earth pin off. So I used a NZ to Euro then euro to NZ power adapter, this way it dropped the earth and proved that was the problem.




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  # 229839 1-Jul-2009 10:35
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get 2 cdjs and a mixer or if your like me you'd you'd use vinyl aswell, Djing with computers is cheating.

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  # 229848 1-Jul-2009 10:46
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I DJ all the time and use different setups for different options...

1) Studio Mix. So a desktop is best for this, you want a fast dual CPU (but it doesn't have to be insanely fast unless your using lots of real time effects and / or VSTi's. A good off board soundcard and a fast hard drive. Virtual DJ (or Cue), Acid, Ableton are fine for the mix (but I use MixMiester as it's fast and simple)... then Audition or Sound Forge with iZotope Ozone for mastering (some people prefer T-Racks)

Often over looked, but extremely important is a good set off head phones! This applies to both a studio mix set up and to playing gigs.

2) Gig Setup. You definitely need a laptop for this! With a bigger budget I'd have to say a Mac Intel is the best way to go! As you are a bit limited here, I'd say the major factors are RAM and Controller... Most digital DJing software is pretty memory intensive, and most controllers now have an off board sound card built in. (hard drive speed and size are also important but anything made in the last couple of years should be cool). In terms of controller, most are connected to your laptop via USB 2.0. You'll want something sturdy. I use Numarks Omni Controller, which is solid as! Nothing worse than your faders being flimsy. Serato is another option (very popular with hip hop dj's) and requires you to have a turntable or CDJ as they are time code based. Final Scratch 2 is a complete set up (minus laptop and ttable /CDJ). In terms of software, I use Native Instruments Traktor Pro. Other options are Ableton, Numark Virtual DJ (Cue) etc...

Probably the best advice is to get in contact with Leon at the Rockshop in Auckland. He knows pretty much everything about this stuff and uses it all the time!

Let me know how you get on!

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  # 229851 1-Jul-2009 10:58
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well that pretty much summed it all up, good work felix :)

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  # 229853 1-Jul-2009 11:03
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lol... s.joseph... are you saying Grand Masterflash, Ritchie Hawton, DJ Craze, Sasha, DJ Marky, Africa Bambaata, Kid Fresh, the Beat Junkies, Quantic, ?uestlove, A-Trak, 45 King, Diplo, Nadastrom, Peanut Butter Wolf, Prince Paul, Sir-Vere, Rob Swift, Klever, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Premier, DJ AM, Fatboy Slim, Mark Ronson, Klute, Mr Smith, Mix Master Mike, DMT, Mr. Hahn, Mike Relm, DJ Macca, DJ BAM, and Craig Gonzalez are cheating?? You should let the DMC's know ;-)

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  # 229977 1-Jul-2009 16:00
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haha, i have no problem with serato its just people with there little virtual dj etc set ups with automatic beat matching. I even use ableton for producing bot not djn.
ps i dont listen to that sh*t i listen to actual djs like Tony colman, high contrast, danny byrd, mistabishi, chase and status, andy c. they dont use computers they do it the proper way.
so... lol.... let ur dmc friends know.

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  # 229988 1-Jul-2009 16:19
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ha ha... I get that... I also interview dj's from around the world on occasion (even some drum n bass dj's)... I pretty much always ask the digital dj question, and the simple fact is that most of them switched to digital after 9/11 as taking your records into and out of the states became a nightmare, and eventually they discovered they could be much more creative with digital...

unfortuately you're right about the DJ's that press play (i've done it a few times when I've been too hung over to care- bad felix!!), in fact I was in the states last year and it was amazing how many Dj's were using ITUNES!!!

anyway, there will always be transpotters, dj's dj's and those that want to hold onto the past... it's cool, horses for courses eh.

the other thing that makes it hard to always play of ones and twos it that more and more clubs just don't see the value in turntables a mixer and cdj's taking up space where people could be drinking... it's not cool imho but it is what it is...

remeber Virtual DJ is compatible with lots of time codes (including the open source stuff)... and for someone just getting their head around mixing it's a great tool that didn't exist when I was a kid... kids are lucky, and anything that helps more people get into Djing or being creative is a good thing right? Dj Hero will create a lot of interest in Djing which is a great thing, I'm not one of those Dj's that treats it like a secret club... that's just not smart...

Oh, and Craze could play a better set that any of the DnB dudes you mention, I know this cos I've seem em all... not that it's a competition... that's what the DMC is for ;-)

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  # 230003 1-Jul-2009 16:41
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I use a laptop( 2.2ghz Core 2 Duo, 2gb Ram, Vista) running Mixmeister when dj'ing events such as primary school discos, but when I do clubs and events such as afterball's I run 2 cdj 1000 mk3's a djm 700 mixer connected to a Rane SL 3 for serato via usb 2.0 to my laptop

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