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VESTAX VCI-400 MIDI CONTROLLER REVIEW

There are certain manufacturers of DJ equipment, that when they release new hardware, you instantly take note and Vestax are certainly in that group.

At FunkNaughty.com, one of our favourite manufacturers is Vestax and we were only to happy to review their latest controller the recently released VCI-400 Midi Controller.

Overall Impressions

Awesome would be my first and lingering impression of the VCI-400.

It looks good, the build quality is metal and solid, as you’d expect with Vestax.  There are over 200 assignable knobs, faders and buttons, which are well spaced and easy to use, just what you need for customising your hardware to your chosen software.

The controller will work with any DJ software, that has a MIDI learn function and comes with Serato and Traktor MIDI mappings already loaded.

I especially like the feel of the platters and found these to work really well with Traktor.  For me, the best thing about the controller is the 2 sets of 8 trigger buttons, which are fully customisable.

A number of controllers have incorporated these type of buttons, think Akai APC 40 and I personally think they are the way forward.  Incorporating trigger buttons in to the controller gives you the flexibility that allows you to create something totally suited to your DJing style, which ultimately will help you to get noticed.  My advice, think about what you want to do with your DJing, then get stuck in to mapping the controller.

My only gripe and it is only minor, is regarding the size of the controller but considering the functionality on offer and the layout, the size is totally understandable, you just might have to think about the best way of transporting it to your next gig.

Quality Sound

In the club or in the studio, the VCI-400 simply delivers.

Vestax have not compromised when designing the new audio system built in to the VCI-400.  The studio sound quality is determined by its D/A conversion capability, providing a low-latency, bit-perfect audio at 24-bit / 48 kHz resolution, with high level output, Native Instruments, take note for your next controller!

The Competition

In terms of a 4 channel Midi Controller, the main competition to the VCI-400, is the Native Instruments S4 Controller.  Currently priced at around £689.  However, in FunkNaughty.com’s opinion, that’s where the similarities end.

The serious issue I have with the S4 is the lack of volume output for headphone monitoring, the built-in soundcard just isn’t up to it.  To overcome this you can use a separate soundcard, assuming you have one.

The build quality is pretty flimsy as well, which leads me to the following conclusion.  The S4 is a controller you could use at home, all day, woithout any issues but if you’re looking for a robust, hardworking contoller, that’s club ready, then you need the VCI-400 and at £629, you’ll be saving yourself a few quid as well.

Technical Features

  • Works with: Serato, Virtual DJ, Traktor Pro, Torq, Mixvibes, Mixx, Deckadance, djDecks and more
  • 200 assignable parameters
  • Fully customisable
  • Optional overlay and mapping files to any software
  • Exceptional D/A conversion with 24-bit / 48kHz resolution
  • High level output
  • Studio-grade asynchronous USB streaming system
  • Low-latency bit-perfect audio
  • Bundled with Serato DJ Intro and Virtual DJ LE 4 Decks
  • Dimensions: 457(W) x 328(D) x 61(H) mm (includes knobs)
  • Weight: 4.5kg

A big thank you goes to Reishi at Vestax and for more information about the controller click here.

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TRAKTOR VS SERATO Comparison By DJ Qbert !!!

TRAKTOR VS SERATO DJ QBERT COMPARES

Scratch legend DJ Qbert checks out and compares Traktor Scratch Pro and Serato Scratch Live. Putting the two systems up against each other and analysing their pro’s and cons.

Who willl win, and be crowned champion of the time coded vinyl DJ systems? Check out the video to find out.


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Vestax VCI-400

So it’s finally arrived, the Vestax VCI-400 is here!

According to the Vestax website “The VCI-400 is the hardware solution for DJs who have been seeking an instrument that perfectly adapts to their style of performance”.

FunkNaughty will be posting a review of this eagerly anticipated controller in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, you can get some more information about the VCI 400 by clicking on the link below.

http://www.vestax.com/v/products/detail.php?cate_id=186&parent_id=8

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Kontrol F1 and Traktor 2.5 Announced By Native Instruments

Article courtesy of DJ Tech Tools

Native Instruments had a party last night to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Traktor, and there they unveiled their powerful new version of Traktor as well as the new piece of hardware we’ve been waiting to learn more about, the Traktor Kontrol F1. Read more about NI CEO Daniel Haver’s semi-official announcement last night!

NI CEO Daniel Haver with a Kontrol F1 and new Traktor 2.5

NI CEO Daniel Haver in front of Traktor Pro 2.5, holding a Kontrol F1

Editor’s Note: Looks like the video of the official announcement got taken down from YouTube, but you can get the idea from the screencap above.

We’ll have complete details on both the Kontrol F1 and Traktor 2.5 later this week, but for now we’re excited to see that Traktor is taking things to the next level with Ableton-style clip launching and performance modes that will continue to drive innovation in the DJ software world. In the video that was taken down, Daniel Haver refers to the new Traktor F1 and Traktor 2.5 Remix Decks as a package and feature set that he calls “Ableton-in-a-DJ-way”. Here’s his words from Saturday night:

So those of you that like Ableton but actually didn’t feel that it’s quite a DJ product, (…) this is it. We take the whole production clipping aspect right into a DJ application, and these pads light up in just the same color as the cells in the Remix Decks.

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SW4: A Big Thank You!

A HUGE thank you goes out to SW4, PointBlank and everyone who made it down to our tent.

We had a great time meeting everyone, doing our tutorials, finding out what you’re up to in digital DJing and Music Production and banging out some tunes.

We hope you all had a great time too, look forward to seeing everyone next year!

Check out the photos from the weekend on the FunkNaughty Facebook Fan page.

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Traktor 2.0.3 Update now Available

Those lovely people at Native Instruments have just released a free update for Traktor 2, which addresses issues with the Kontrol X1 and other MIDI controllers and includes few performance/workflow enhancements.

If you’re using Traktor, then you need to be updating your version now, which you can do by clicking here.

Enjoy!

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Video: What Is Harmonic Mixing?

A nice little video from DJ Endo at Dubspot.

camelot wheel

DJ Endo introduces the software ‘Mixed in Key‘ and how you can use the program to assist you in harmonic mixing.

Endo goes on to gives some insider tips that will help people who already understand the basics of Mixed in Key and harmonic mixing. Such as using Native Instruments FM8 Synthesizer to check Mixed In Key has correctly calculated the right key for the processed track.

Endo also gives an insight into his 4 deck mixing and how using Traktor’s key lock function can allow him to play multiple tracks with varying BPMs but keeping a smooth harmonic mix.

Enjoy!


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Video: Traktor Kontrol X1 FX Tutorials

Videos courtesy of Native Instruments

Traktor_Kontrol_X1_FX_Tutorial

Four great Traktor Kontrol X1 FX tutorials to take your dj skills to the next level.

Laying down a nice tight mix is one thing but adding different FXs can really change the sound of your mix sets and really make them stand out from the crowd. Just slapping any old FX on a track doesn’t necessarily work, you need to practice as certain effects will only work well on certain sounds.

Check out the videos below they’ll help you to learn when to drop certain effects and how best to use them. Enjoy!

Traktor Kontrol X1 FX Tutorials Part 1/4: Beat Masher

Traktor Kontrol X1 FX Tutorials Part 2/4: Freeze Effect

Traktor Kontrol X1 FX Tutorials Part 3/4: Loop Synth

Traktor Kontrol X1 FX Tutorials Part 4/4: Juggle Sample


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