View Full Version : Mobile DJ Question

21st January 2005, 10:26 AM
Hi everyone
I'm using a PowerBook 17" machine (G4) and was wondering two things:

As I have been doing some DJ work around the place, like weddings, 21sts, that sort of thing, I want to change over my system, stop lugging around CDs, and start using my computer to do everything. This would mean two main things for me, drastically reducing what I have to carry around and also the automation and flexability of having a large collection of music on one machine, there's heaps of other advantages too I guess but what I want to know is:

Do you think that the PowerBook is stable/reliable enough to go out and use for paid gigs - the last thing I want is everyone up dancing and all of a sudden the music stops!!

Secondly, do people have any experience/suggestions of DJ software that is good. I have heard Traktor DJ is excellent but expensive too.

Thanks for any help.

21st January 2005, 11:59 AM
In my experince your powerbook would definatley be up to the task. I have a 15' 550 powerbook and I do live recordings on it with a digi002 and it has not missed a beat. I would just recommend maxing the ram and you shouldnt run into any problems. Sorry can't help you with the DJ stuff but I have heard Tracktor is quite good and worth the money.


21st January 2005, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by glenmorrow@Jan 21 2005, 10:26 AM
Do you think that the PowerBook is stable/reliable enough to go out and use for paid gigs - the last thing I want is everyone up dancing and all of a sudden the music stops!!
It will work well - infact all the parties I have been to most DJ's now use an iBook or Powerbook, some even use an iPod to carry extra music etc.

Get a pro DJ program and you should be right, I used one at uni can't remember what it was, but i am pretty sure it was free...

24th January 2005, 07:52 AM
Hi glenmorrow -

I'm currently using Traktor DJ Studio, as i'm slowly getting into playing impromtue sets at parties for friends etc over here and it is nothing short of brilliant, even for a beginner like myself - I like to think that i am somewhat musically-minded (i.e. can keep/count a beat, can play a trumpet, read music, etc), but I have never used turntables before so I was a bit hesitant I could pull it off.. but with an iMic (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/imic/) connecting my spec'd up 15" PowerBook to any amp setup with RCA plugs I can churn out great live mixes on the fly from any kind of music from my 3800 track collection I have here with me..

I'd say, go get the Demo version of Traktor of the web and give it a go with samples of what types of music you normally play, and then see about getting the latest version (2.6) when it is released by Native Instruments (http://www.nativeinstruments.de/index.php?djlineshop_us) shortly - I am currently using the 2.5.3 full version and with its iTunes library and playlist intergration, it is perfect for using both iTunes when you want to mingle at your party and leave the laptop to do its own thing with a playlist and 12 seconds of crossfade, but when you want to put on a show, just drag and drop some dance tracks from a pre-selected playlist, and mix/loop/scratch away - means you can finally have some fun with those old school 80's/90's dance tracks you still have in archive but never seem to play!

Traktor isn't cheap, but every review on the web says that it's worth the money as a genuine attempt at vinyl replacement - read the DJ reviews and comments on the Native Instruments (http://www.nativeinstruments.de/index.php?djlineshop_us) site - but by all means trial the demo for as long as you need, you're doin' paid gigs so you'd better be sure..

and to answer your other question about stability - i have been out to plenty of clubs/bars in central London and Leeds over the past few months, and have seen more glowing Apple Logo's than Windows-based PC's sitting in DJ booth's, many of them coupled with turntables using Final Scratch and/or Traktor, and also in some places, just using good old iTunes!! Go the Mac for Live Music!!!!

i hope my PowerBook is up to it!! - i am playing my mates wedding reception when i return to Brisbane for a few weeks in March.. i'm gonna get that RSL jumpin'!!!

PM or MSN Messenger me if you wanna chat about it -

24th January 2005, 08:00 AM
Geez bassmanbliss.. i just went and had a look at the site for that Digi 002 you mentioned in your post - what an awesome piece of work!! Everyone else go see it here.. (http://www.digidesign.com/products/digi002/systems/002hw.cfm)

Makes my little iMic look like something from Crazy Clarks!!! but it does the job though for 30! ;)

24th January 2005, 09:11 AM
Always good to have a backup, just in case something unexpected happens, regardless of the technology. I used to keep a track queued up on one turntable while DJing with CDs just in case something went bad... Nowadays, you could probably just keep an iPod shuffle with a couple of tracks on it at the ready in case something went wrong with your main unit...

That said, I've tried DJ Traktor Studio Pro and it was quite complex (and powerful), but perhaps more fidgety than most would need for mobile DJing. I'd suggest having a look at DJ-1800 (http://www.dj1800.com) which behaves very similarly to the Denon 2000x dual CD players. There's a free demo on the site that lets you play for around 30 mins before restarting the software so it should give you a good impression of what its like.

24th January 2005, 09:51 AM
Yeah I agree it is pretty complex, but after some practise it does some amazing things and makes beginners like look and sound like we know what we're doing! :D

Others to try, that are maybe a little less complex as suggested, include MegaSeg, Disco, and DeKstasy (check for them and their related reviews with a quick Google) - although after giving these a run Traktor still takes the cake, mainly because of its excellent integration with iTunes which has come after a few years of reworking from the earlier versions..

And I too keep the iPod sitting nearby with a party playlist ready to go, just incase it all goes to the dogs on the PowerBook!

If anyone else reading this thread has any other DJ'ing software they can suggest and recommend, please post below so that this info an be searched, found, and read in the future - its a real easy way to have some fun with your tracks on your built-for-music Mac!

24th January 2005, 11:34 AM
definatily Traktor DJ studio.. and use an external mixer if you are a real pro :)

24th January 2005, 11:58 AM
If you just want to test the waters with a free program, try Tactile. The kids at our school have been using this program on an old Indigo iMac. They use it for all the music at socials etc and it has never (quite literally!) missed a beat. In fact, we used to pay people to provide music for our school socials. Now, the kids just grab an iMac from the lab, load it up with the songs they want and do the whole thing themselves.

Anyway, here it is. (only a small file by the way).



24th January 2005, 01:56 PM
Loving tactile, Botox! Thanks for the link. One issue I have with it is that you cannot use the sliders and use keyboard shortcuts at the same time: ie. I can't adjust the speeds of the two records whilst holding down the mouse button and moving the cue from one side to the other. Thats the only real quibble I have with it. The instructions (click the "?" in the bottom right corner) are simple and helpful. Its so rewarding to get to tracks perfectly synced and then fade across. :D

Its a great free program.