Doing things to music for fun. Now profit. How ambition doth poison all.

Cranky Rabbit's Blog


Note: This blog post repeats and augments my initial Tumblr one.

Last night I took the plunge and purchased an as-new Pioneer DDJ-400: a 2-channel entry-level controller with full performance pads, better pitch faders, Beat FX, full Rekordbox license, and VirtualDJ supported.

So… why that one? It's still rated entry level! Why not hold out for a few more months and spend over three times as much on a mid-range DDJ-800 like I had intended?

Easy. I had a good hard look at what I do, and what I do on the decks is mostly:

  • Looping in and/or out
  • Filter knob abuse
  • EQ abuse (especially stems)
  • Fader abuse (I think this is because the Numark’s crossfader is wearing out at the ends, it’s still set to scratch mode, and I don’t think to revert that setting to normal)

All of which I can do on the DDJ, once I learn the new layout. Which please note is more or less standardised across the Pioneer range - and is the de facto industry standard. There’s no point spending over a grand on something bigger when I barely do the basics, and hardly attempt to employ any other techniques.

Sickening isn’t it? I’ve been trucking along for ten years and haven’t learned to manually beat match, I don’t spend time cue pointing my library, I barely update my social media… Oh, I’m such a dilettante!

There's something else too. Using just one device means I don't have one set of controls over there and one over here. It looks more professional and is easier to set up; just one laptop, one device, if someone wants me to play out.

And one more thing: it frees up a USB slot for an external webcam, for livestreaming. Now I need to source a decent framerate, decent resolution webcam. Oh happiness and joy.

So I’ve a lot to learn, and it’s better for me to learn on something cheap and relatively portable. More morbidly, if I decide that it’s time to put the DJ lark to rest, I won’t have wasted up large for nothing.

Keep an eye out on Trade Me. A second hand controller might appear on there soon. [UPDATE: It did. And you probably missed out.]


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Paraparaumu Beach
New Zealand
Phone: +64 27 281 0935
Email: dj@crankyrabbit.nz