In this article I will explain with which equipment I have done my mixes in the last years, and what was the reason for change.
DJ Equiment History
Year 2000 – January 2012 (until AudioTour 05):
Pioneer DJM 500 Mixer, 2 x Technics 1210 Turntables
Recording until 2010 with Archos portable device (Mixer Line Out), after 2010 with Logic 9.1 (Mixer Line Out into Audiofire2 Audio-Interface)
January 2012 – November 2013 (AudioTour 06 until AudioTour 28):
Pioneer DJM 500 Mixer, 2 x Pioneer CDJ 850-K
Recording into Logic 9.1, Audio-Interface Echo AudioFire 2
December 2013 – December 2014 (AudioTour 29 until AudioTour 44):
Pioneer XDJ Aero
Recording directly within Aero onto USB-Stick
Since January 2015 (since AudioTour 45):
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8
Recording in Traktor
Reasons for change
2012: After many years with vinyl based setup, I switched to the digital world (MP3) for many reasons: less physical room needed, cheaper songs, easier organization. The CDJ 850-K are great quality, however I do not need the CD-functionality at all (because use them only at home), and the handling with digital files is a bit impractical (need to write the playlist songs onto 2 USB-Sticks, then load the Sticks within the CDJ’s).
2013: So some time later, I changed to the XDJ Aero. With this device, I have direct (WLAN) access to Rekordbox songs on the computer, perfect. Also it can record directly within the device (USB-Stick). Altogether I could replace 4 devices (DJM, 2 CDJ, Audio Interface) by 1. This simplifies the setup architecture and also requires much less physical room.
However, the jog wheel quality of the CDJ’s is definitely better than that of the XDJ Aero. Those of the Aero are not so fine grained , it is difficult to perform minimals adaptions. But altogether, the advantages are bigger than the disadvantages.
2015: I have been thinking for years to move to Traktor-based setups, but was not satisfied with the controllers which were on the market. That changed when the Native Instrument Traktor Kontrol S8 was released. I have to state this is a fantastic tool. With its integrated remix decks, it opens new possibilites for DJ mixing, within one device ! I will write more on the S8 in a future article. Summarized, with this device you are not limited to classic DJ mixing anymore, but can easily add some individual instruments (remix samples) to existing songs, or even build own tracks with these remix samples. When you checkout my latest mixes since AudioTour 45 , you will notice a considerable quality improvement compared to the older mixes. The reason is the switch to S8.