Adventures in mixing 🙂
A nice rolling bit of breakbeat for Tuesday…
Check Buzzin Boots! I think i’ll post every track which I add to my Juno Wishlist to put out some good Drum & Breaks!
Very exciting developments for my future career as a superstar DJ…
The living room is nearly done so I finally started to setup all the mixing equipment and build the table for it. We had ordered a standard piece of wooden worktop from Ikea and 4 white metal legs and I cut the worktop to the right size and screwed on the legs.
Lots of consideration went into the table size and it’s worked out that there will be 1.5cms of space on each side of the table, to the edge of the recently built coat storage area in the hallway. The idea there is to build a protective cover for the equipment for when they’re not being used, which will have two sides and a front, which can be slid over the whole table. It will also mean less visual clutter. This will be 1 cm thick, which will take the total width up to the sides of the hallway cupboard sides.
So, I cut the worktop with the new Bosch jigsaw (which is awesome), then fixed the legs on, after a cycle to B&Q to get a new pilot hole drill bit, after a couple of the screws broke!
I also screwed off the plastic covers from the sides of each turntable, which meant I gained an extra 4 cms width. The covers now don’t have the hinges on but I won’t be using these when the full table cover has been built. The mixer and decks all line up and are almost exactly the same heights. It looks awesome and a lot less visually intrusive than I thought it would be.
I’ve still got to get the records out from the old bathroom and into the boxes, which will all go under the table. There was a whole palava about the amplifier and where that would go, how much space it would take up etc etc. It turns out, the speakers i’ve bought are self-powered and don’t even need an amp! Brilliant. So, now there is no need to use my amp and therefore it won’t take up any space under the table (or on it). One less thing to hook up. The only thing was the connection between the speakers and the mixer – I didn’t have the right cables as my old setup had cables designed to go into the amp from un-powered speakers. Not a problem as we’ve just ordered two cables from tinternet which should be here on Wednesday.
After weeks of research and years of waiting, finally a professional standard quality mixer arrives at my door.
The Behringer DDM4000 has been reviewed by many experts and is generally regarded as the best quality and cheapest option for the professional market, with features such as built in BPM counters, sampling and effects sections and optical crossfaders, which would be worth nearer £1000 from one of the leading brands, such as Pioneer, Vestax or Technics.
I cannot wait to test it out with the Technics and new speakers. The weird thing is I may not have ever heard my records in this way before, as before I was using a cobbled together system, partly using old hi-fi speakers with terrible leads. The Tannoy Reveail speakers i’ve now got apparently pick out every element of the recording and there is nowhere to hide! It will not flatter a lack of skill, or mistakes, so this is also a good challenge.
I’ve just fulfilled a ‘dream’ and purchased a set of Technics decks – SL1210 MK2’s to be precise!
Ok, so what about simplicity, minimalism and living a more basic life? Since Panasonic confirmed that they were no longer producing their Technics range of turntables, it really focussed my mind on what I should do. Since I started university in 1998, i’ve owned decks, mixer and stereo and this combination (as well as hundreds of records!) was a big part of my life during uni and beyond. The thing that has stayed with me through the years has been the desire to use the best decks that have ever been produced – the SL1210 MK2.
These were first produced by Panasonic in 1990, and instantly became the industry standard. 21 years later this is still the case. The original SL1200 was released in 1978, so there is 1 more year of history than I have been alive!
All the clubs I went to had them. All the DJ’s I knew who were living the DJ life had them. Total beginners who were just obsessed with music and DJing had them. It was the goal of anyone into DJing. The direct drive start-up DJ kit which i’d bought was fine, but every time I played out in public to large and small audiences, it was on the 1210’s. Because I didn’t own these, I was never comfortable using them, as each deck type is different and my cheaper variety were far more responsive and didn’t hold time as well.
So, it’s basically the last chance to own a pair of new technics, so there is a critical time element involved which can’t really be ignored, or put off for the future. Also given the debt snowballing situation we’re in (see previous post on this), it means the cost of the decks will be paid off within under 3 months.
The mixers were also always far more complicated than my ‘entry level’ version, which meant I spent all my time trying to quickly learn how to use each different mixer, while also selecting records and responding to what was going on where I was DJing! I’m seriously considering the Behringer Pro DJ Mixer DDMS4000 as the replacement version.
So, the chance to own and master the best possible equipment was a dream which is now finally possible – it’s just the mastering bit which i’ll have to work on! The new equipment will basically replace the old setup, but i’m considering using the old equipment for the boys to practice with. I could just swap over the needles and cartridges each time though, so we could all use the new gear.
The new decks have fold down clear case tops, which protect the decks and i’ll also get a full table dust cover. I also need to find sturdy wooden record boxes with lids. I cannot wait for them to arrive – i’ll be like a kid at Christmas!