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 Post subject: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:52 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 9:16 pm
Posts: 27
hi!

i'm very impressed by the apc40 (+ nativekontrol vc1 midi mappings on a macbook pro) and wanna build up a reliable setup to go live.
i'm organizing all of my tracks in a 8 channels session.

but i really feel the lack of an external mixer.
i browsed around and got a few ideas:

1) buy a xone 4D.
but in this case, how would you route the tracks?
the 4D has 4 stereo tracks, so what would be the best way to route the 8 tracks to the mixer?
maybe paired?

2) buy a korg zero 8
but i have read that is discontinued... :-(

3) change the 8 tracks template into a 4 tracks template and use a 4 tracks mixer, like the xone 4D or even the Mackie d.4 Pro.

4) use an audio interface (motu ultralite mk2 or an RME, or similar), and the connect the outs to a standard mixer.
even in that case, there are not so many djs mixers w/ 8 tracks around. so maybe sticking with a 4 tracks template would be more advisable.


any hints from djs around?
how would be your dream setup in terms of reliability and sound?

i'm especially interested in your comments in terms of sound quality.
usually i prefer firewire interfaces versus USB, which sound more "open" (less "compressed") to my ears.
mackie d.4 pro is firewire, xone 4D is USB... anyone A/B them?

bless and thanks much!


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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:43 am
Posts: 465
Location: Big Rock IL
Im using a Xone 92 and a Motu Ultralite.

I just got the APC 40 so I'm not that practiced at using this set up yet

for now I'm running 2 APC tracks into one Xone 92 track

I think this set up gives me the most options for mixing

I really love the LFO of the Xone plus it gives me a little less need for Ableton to run my EQ and Pass filters

anything I can do to ease up on CPU considering I like using Supatrigga which is heavy on the CPU for my computer

I'd love to hear other folks experiences with this set up.

_________________
Black Mac Book 2.16 4gigs of Ram > Ableton 7 Suite > Komplete 5 > APC40 > Novation Remote SL25 > Allen and Heath Xone 92 > Korg Kaoscillator

www.soundcloud.com/Alextronica


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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:19 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 9:16 pm
Posts: 27
thks,
very interesting.

so you're saying you're sending 2 apc channels into one xone 92 channel.
how do you split the channels: 1-2 go to 1, 3-4 go to 2 and so on?

also, are you using effects inside live? how you connect them to the ultralite?

i guess you're cueing (headphones) from the xone92.

last question: are you using the A/B slider? how?

thanks, bless


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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:31 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:28 am
Posts: 240
Location: Chicago
rane ttm 56 (will probably cop a ecler nuo 4 or a xone 92 at some point) and a motu ultralite here.
I just run a big, fat stem from Live (controlled by the apc) into 1 channel of the mixer and the other is for my mpc. I like mixing on 2 different devices.

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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:06 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:43 am
Posts: 465
Location: Big Rock IL
Thats like a cool set up Illum

so piotto

Yeah I'm doing my cueing on the Xone

as for the APC you got it 1-2 go to 1 on the Xone and so on.....

Im not sure what you mean by sending fxs to the Ultralite. Im using Beat Repeats and Supatrigga's on almost every track (i might work out a system to eliminate some to save on CPU) with the multi outs you cant use FX on the Master track so I Macro mapped some knobs to work as master fx. I got a KP3 as well but I havent put that in the mix yet.

for now I'm doing a very limited setup but I'm working toward breaking things up into lots of loops for more options

Im not realy using the cross fader and with live and using loops I almost dont even need to use headphones

Playing with other setups to like APC 1 to Xone 1, APC 2 to Xone 2 ... 3 to 3 and 4 5 6 7 8 to Xone 4 This set up is more like a drum machine with 3 tracks of tunes to mix. Kind of like Illum.

Anyway I'd love to hear more of peoples experiences.

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Black Mac Book 2.16 4gigs of Ram > Ableton 7 Suite > Komplete 5 > APC40 > Novation Remote SL25 > Allen and Heath Xone 92 > Korg Kaoscillator

www.soundcloud.com/Alextronica


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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:56 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:28 am
Posts: 240
Location: Chicago
Thanks Alextronica, yours too. I think plotto is assuming that you're somehow routing return effect tracks from ableton to your mixer and controlling them there?

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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:06 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:46 pm
Posts: 14036
Location: Luxembourg
Xone62 and Ultralite here.

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InnerPortalStudio.com Over 15 years of mastering electronic music worldwide.


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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:04 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:43 am
Posts: 465
Location: Big Rock IL
Yeah I never really played with Sends and Returns

mostly cause I like the signal to be 100% effected and with sends and returns the signal only gets 50% effected

(a mix of the original signal and the effected signal) Maybe I dont understand sends fully but that my experience thus far

Tarekith I've got aot of respect for your opinions care to explain your routing a bit

I myself went with the 92 cause it has the "Tap LFO" which I have tons of fun with

the Xone 92 has 6 channels but only 4 have that Tap LFO thou the Ultralite only has a max of 5 stereo outputs

I like the external mixer thing but I'm still not a master at it by any means. My Friend Hypnotech of Addictech records said that external mixers mix the full signal where as your computer mixer turns things into 1's and 0's to make the sound.

I think that makes sense the external would sound better so I'm trying hard to go that route. For that reason I almost didnt get an APC. But this grid is really nice and the fact I dont have to Manually map everything. the Apc has made life easier

What do you guys think? Is there a big difference in routing to external mixers as oppose to using all eight APC channels to one external channel?

Thanks for the inputs

_________________
Black Mac Book 2.16 4gigs of Ram > Ableton 7 Suite > Komplete 5 > APC40 > Novation Remote SL25 > Allen and Heath Xone 92 > Korg Kaoscillator

www.soundcloud.com/Alextronica


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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:33 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 9:16 pm
Posts: 27
thanks.
//illum, yes i was thinking to route some external gear into ableton live and back to the mixer...
i also have a couple of KP3s, which i was hoping to use.
but maybe too much mess and some latency too?
without ableton live the KP3s were good, but maybe now i should explore more the software, uh?


mmmhhhh... better to simplify stuff i agree.
that's why i wanted to consider the 4D.
one computer and one mixer, that's it.
so i have just spent 4 hours browsing around trying to understand if this xone4D is worthy.
but i kind of found out that launching clips would be never as fun as in the apc40...
so at the end i should still bring computer+apc40+xone4D, too much redundancy, too many knobs...
and also an USB soundcard driver from a company not too much software oriented... mmmhhh risk for future updates...
maybe better to spend the money in a different way...

so i looked at the mackie 4d pro.

but also an ultralite and xone 92 option sounds very interesting...

or what about simply keeping at simplier as possible: computer+apc40+ultralite+ a mini basic mixer, just to correct on the fly the output sound if needed...

and what about a case that i could fit everything in, without connecting and disconnecting everything everytime?
i'd like to have the apc40 just under the computer to see clips properly, but then i won't have the mixer at the "center" like i used to do...
how do you guys go out?

i'm very confused... where should i invest the money?
thanks for your very useful insights, and sorry for all of these questions... that's the big change... we all have been there i believe... from vinyls to cds... from cds to ableton!
;-)


// btw alextronica, i believe ultralite has 12 outs + 2 spdif = 14 outs.


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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:34 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:28 am
Posts: 240
Location: Chicago
get a good 4 channel mixer, a portable interface, your controller and your laptop and have fun! I route sources into live, then back out again with very little latency (64 samples). I can still play live drums from the mpc running through all sorts of crazy live fx and back thought the mixer no problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 9:16 pm
Posts: 27
// illum: totally agreed! have fun is my goal too!

that's why i was looking for a "plug & play" reliable solution for dummies (like me)!!
;-)

what i mean is that having an interface to connect to the mixer is still a lot of cables and possible "failures"...
and i wanna go live the most reliable possible...

i have just browsed the Denon DN-X1700...
looks very interesting: 4 stereo channels soundcard, 2 built in high quality independent FX, and some midi mapping possibilities... and cost one grand less than the 4D...

so macbook pro w/ ableton live 8, apc40 and dn-x1700, 3 pieces of gear only (no interfaces and cables)...

anyone has some feedback on that mixer?

THANKS!
bless


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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:13 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:43 am
Posts: 465
Location: Big Rock IL
I think If you can check out Open Labs stuff

know that's the ultimate plug and play

also about the Motu true there are a bunch of outs but I dont think you can run stereo out of each one cable

you get two main out 1&2 plus 4 stereo outs 1&2 3&4 5&6 7&8 and the spdif (but I have no clue what that is so I dont ever use it)

Thats what I know but I'd love it if you could school me some more on it.

_________________
Black Mac Book 2.16 4gigs of Ram > Ableton 7 Suite > Komplete 5 > APC40 > Novation Remote SL25 > Allen and Heath Xone 92 > Korg Kaoscillator

www.soundcloud.com/Alextronica


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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:08 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 9:16 pm
Posts: 27
i just have jammed some hours w/ a macbook pro (ableton live 8.0.4), apc40, motu ultralite and pioneer djm-600.
used 8 outs from the motu into 4 stereo channels.

i wanted to give a try to a 4 channel stereo mixer configuration, thinking about buying later the denon dn-x1700.

my ableton session is based on 8 columns (tracks).

so after trying and trying this is the setup which worked better for me:

djm-600 on the left, ableton apc40 on the right, macbook pro centered-right on a stanton uberstand.

i divided the session in two logical 4-parts sides.

tracks 1 and 5 are assigned to channel 1 in the mixer, and will bring effects clips (transitions, fx, vocals samples) PLUS the returns of 4 effects (A, B, C, D).

tracks 2 and 6 assigned to mixer channel 2
tracks 3 and 7 assigned to mixer channel 3
tracks 4 and 8 assigned to mixer channel 4
those tracks are the tracks with my standard tunes.

i put one auto-filter basic fx in insert on EACH ableton track, which will be controlled by the device control section at the low right of the apc40.

i selected 4 nice FXs and inserted them into 4 aux tracks (A B C D), which will be controlled by the track control section at the top right of the apc40 (i remapped PAN with send D).

so basically i'm using only the basic knobs and buttons on the apc40, but with very straightforward functions and almost no possibility to make mistakes. piece of cake for dummies (like me)!

and yes, it is a DREAM come true!!
easy and straightforward.
especially playing with the send knobs with the right hand, while controlling the returns on the mixer with my left hand on mixer channel 1, very functional and fun!
no way you can mix like that with a "standard 2 decks + mixer" setup.

i have some issues w/audio quality though.
mp3s suck. :-(
i believe i should convert all of my library in wav and rewarp the material.
anybody did that?
how do you convert from mp3 to wav?


also, on a gain level issue, i think the best thing will be to raise all of the apc40 faders to max volume, and, clip by clip, adjust the gain so that it won't overload. no clicks and pops.
doing so, the signal which is going to the mixer will be totally clean.


ALSO, when mixing many clips together plus summing the returns, there's a risk to overload the master.
i guess i need some practice.
maybe a limiter could help?
hints?


i feel pretty comfortable with this 4 mixer channels setup.
with that denon dn-x1700 i should basically carry only 3 pieces of gear, almost no cables, and cool FX both from ableton live than from the mixer itself.

lots of fun.
anybody tried/listened to the audio quality (as pure soundcard) of the dn-x1700?

ALSO: i need a good case now. any hints?

thanks much for your comments, very appreciated.
bless from the caribbean


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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:16 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 74
It seems to me you could get what you want with just the APC alone. IMO


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 Post subject: Re: Apc40 Live DJ: best external mixer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:22 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 9:16 pm
Posts: 27
// gabreilsaint
maybe i'm too much old school, but i definitely NEED a mixer.
i need to cut basses and play w/ eq on multiple channels.
no way i could do it only w/ apc40.

changing EQ on a fly with apc40 moving from track to track is very frustrating and it's too easy to make mistakes.

a mixer is a must for live djing for me.


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