Tag: Mixer

Make Your Creative Voice Heard With Technical Pro’s PM-21 Podcast Mixer Kit

PM-21

The PM-21 comes with everything you need to get up and running, including a comprehensive, step-by-step guide that leads you all the way through to hosting your podcast on Podbean.com

This digital, social networking age in which we live has granted us the ability to communicate with each other through a broad variety of mediums. However, since nearly everyone has access to these mediums, now we’re faced with sifting through oceans of piffle to find worthwhile and/or intellectually stimulating content, especially on Twitter and Facebook. With Technical Pro’s PM-21, one faces the question “why not create your own?” Why not, indeed.

PM-21 Box

Now on sale at Sonic Electronix!

In this blogger’s opinion, one of the most thoroughly exciting things about being human, nay about being alive, is our boundless capacity to create. Unfortunately, it seems that many of us forget that due to a wide variety of reasons, but with this all-inclusive podcast mixer kit, you can rediscover your creative voice with greater ease than ever before. As stated in the picture caption above, Technical Pro’s PM-21 comes with a comprehensive, step-by-step guide that leads you from the installation of the software, to the connection and proper setup of all components, to the actual audio recording process and finally through to setting up a free podcast hosting account on Podbean.com

PM-21 Mixer

You'll find you won't need to compromise very much desk space at all with the PM-21's delightfully compact mixer.

If you’ll permit me to get a little “Technical,” I should mention here that this mixer has two gold-plated 1/4″ microphone inputs and two 1/8″ headphone outputs, making it an ideal solution for any talkshow podcast, or any podcast that might feature guests from time to time. The kit also includes a male-to-male 1/8″ cable and the mixer has a standard 1/8″ input, making it fantastically simple to connect in your iPod, iPad, iPhone or any other personal media device and add music to your podcast. You can even fine tune the bass and treble of each input to make your podcast as crisp and professional as possible.

Now, certainly there are countless ways to get yourself properly set up for podcasting. However, I dare say it would be quite difficult to find a collection of quality components like these at the price we’re offering right now. This kit spectacularly defies that negative old adage, “you get what you pay for,” also. If you have something important to say, the Technical Pro PM-21 Podcast Mixer Kit will help you say it well and will help you be heard by audiences all over the world. Inspiring all-in-one packages like these don’t come around very often, so be sure to pick yours up soon before they’re gone!

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Club DJ Set Ups Simplified

Classic Battle Set up

These set ups are what may come to the mind of most people when they think of a DJ.    As Beck said “I need two turntables and a microphone.”  Since the introduction of the crossfader DJ’s have been spinning vinyl records to compose dance mixes.   Traditionally found in the roots of early hip-hop performances DJ would play continues loops of dance breaks from popular music genres and blending them together to create totally new mixes. The turntables are often rotaded 90 degrees from the standard turntable in order to consaladate space and help with smoother transitions.

A traditional “battle” set up consists of two turntables usually techniques 1200 series and a 10 inch mixer equipped with a cross fader.    The mixer often incorporated a microphone preamp for an MC to rap over.      DJ turntables are classified by the configuration of their drive motor.   Direct drive turntables have a motor mounted directly under the platter and as a result generate more torque, this is a desired feature for DJs to ensure optimum performance.

The less expensive option for turntables is the belt driven variety where the motor is mounted off to the side and connects to the platter via a rubber belt and pulley system.   Belt driven turntables are considered an entry-level DJ setup and are great for practicing your skills until you invest into a more pro system.

The down side to traditionally spinning vinyl is the impracticality of lugging around crates full of LPs, although despite the inconvenience there is a sect of DJs that swear by the analog craft liken to a photographer who still shoots to film.

In recent years CD players such as the Pioneer CDJ2000 are being used in place of the turn tables but in very similar battle mixer setups but by incorperating the digital source units many more features can be explored.

Controller Based Set ups

Today  Club DJs are more often operating computer based set ups.    The main advantage to this set up is not lugging around your record collection to venues but instead using a Laptop with an external hard drive with virtually every song in audio history a mouse click away.     This gives todays DJ the power to set up an entire show using play lists and preprogrammed cues enabling the performer to seamlessly transition, beat match, and incorporate many other sources into the mix.

The minimum set up consist of a controller,  software, and a computer.    The mixer and turntable functionality are replaced with digital rotary and fader encoders that send MIDI Machine Control (MMC) signals to the software on a computer via USB.

For performance purposes the set up will require an audio interface.   On higher end controllers such as the Numark NS6  the sound card is built into unit itself can be used as a stand alone mixer.

Some of the more entry level controllers may require an external audio interface such as the DJio.    The interface will serve as the computers sound card and all AD and DA conversions of the digital audio will be handled by the interface.    Unfortunately this can lead to some advanced signal routing for the entry level DJ so there is a bit of a learning curve involved with working in the digital realm.

Serato

For the real OG DJs out there who still swear by their turn tables but require the easy set up and convenience of a digitally controlled system Serato is the perfect solution.   The system consists of a standard battle pack DJ set up with the addition of a proprietary computer interface as well as two very special vinyl records.

The included records are printed with a timecode very similar to SMPTE time code that has been used in audio production for film and TV for years.    The time coded disks are played like any standard record into the interface,  then the code is interpreted by the software and is used to control the playback of digital music.   All physical manipulation of the turntables and vinyl is synced and reproduced in real-time by the software with virtually zero latency making Serato systems the prefered choice for many of the world’s top DJs.

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Marketing Yourself as a Mobile DJ


Ok so you have your turntables or decks, your mixer, a thumpin’ system and all the lights and equipment to put on an amazing show, now what?    You need the gigs and this is how to get them.

Branding: Whats in a Name? Would a Sub called by any other name not be as thumpin’?

Just like any other business offering a product or service you need to brand yourself as a professional mobile DJ.   The first thing you need is a name.   Something catchy that reflects the image you want convey to the world that also evokes professionalism and style.  DJ Scribbles, Dr. Q, or even Hawk-Eye Spirithorse sounds more like a pro DJ than “That guy named Ted.”  So gives some thought as to what your mobile DJ business should be known as, as well as what you as a DJ should be called.

Design a logo

With a growing DJ market it is important to stand out amounsgst your compeditors.   To take advantage of the marketing tools out there your going to need a logo.  American DJ Gobo Projector LED Logos are as easy to come by as designing one yourself, although if you feel your artistic talents lie elsewhere and your artists friends cant be bought off with a twelve pack it may be worth the investment to have your logo designed by a professional artist. Graphic artists may vary in prices but it is an investment that pays off if you really want to get yourself out there.  There are a number of creative ways to gain exposure even during your show by using your logo.  A DJ gobo projector like the American DJ GOBO Projector LED can project your logo on a backdrop or stage.

Make it Pretty, Get noticed

You need to have something to show your potential clientele.  Pictures, videos, and samples of you spinning need to be in a convenient place for clients to lay eyes and ears on.    For this a Website is crucial.  A website gives you the ability to stage your entire marketing campaign over the web while legitimizing your business.  There are a many number of ways to go about setting up your web page but keep in mind that an investment in the time to develop your page or the money invested to hire a professional web designer will ultimately pay off.

Social Media, Get Connected

Get connected and stay connected with social networking.  As you can imagine the DJs with 900,000 people following them are twitter aren’t having problems getting gigs.  Aside from being established global entertainers it doesn’t hurt to have a mobile fan base with ready and able access to every gig you have.   Obviously most of us aren’t there yet, but the a DJ with web presence on Facebook and Twitter has significantly more exposure than a DJ who doesn’t.

Know the People That Should Know You!

It is important to be in contact with the people who hire DJs.   Building relationships with event planners, show promoters, wedding planners, any event professional who hires DJs, and all their cousins sisters and brothers.  Networking is the key to living and dying by the gig.

Advertising

Once you have an established website, facebook page, twitter presence, youtube channel, and even a myspace page seamlessly linking you to the rest of the world it is important not to forget good ol’ fashioned grass roots marketing.  Press packs and business cards with your logo and letterhead are still very important for potential clients you meet in person.  Its hard to maintain an er of professionism with your number and email written on a post it note so be sure and have a stack of cards with your logo.  It is also important to flyer your shows and keep your status posted on the web of all your upcoming events.   A newsletter should be made available from your webpage for blasts on upcoming shows.

DJ’s are continuously hired on word of mouth based on your performance so the most important aspect of keeping the gigs coming is to hone your craft.  In order to set up the web presence stated above you need an incredible amount of content to show the world.  To amass this you should be participating in events, battles, or anywhere you can showcase your talent as well as practice your skills.

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Mixer Anatomy: 101


Behringer SX3242FX

If you have never laid eyes on a large format mixing console before you may think that you are looking at a very complicated at sophisticated machine. For the most part you are exactly right, however that’s not to say that the layout of most large format mixing consoles are not user friendly. Once you grasp these few simple concepts you will be able to confidently control any large format mixer.

The Channel Strip

Pictured above is the Behringer SX3242FX. like most mixer manufactures, Behringer uses a nomenclature reflecting the features of their product. SX3242FX can be broken down as 32 channels 4 busses, 2 main outs, and an onboard digital signal processor for effects. This also goes for the SX2442FX from Behringer which has 24 channels, 4 busses and 2 main outputs. A Channel is a path that an audio signal will follow where it can be routed to various destinations, manipulated, and mixed with other channels in the mixer. The channel strip is laid out vertically with a series of components including: an input section at the top, followed by the mic preamp/line level, EQ section, auxiliary section, pan potentiometer, and finally a bussing section including a “Long Throw Fader.” The number of channels a mixer is comprised of determines the number of instruments or microphones that can be mixed using that particular mixer. The vertical channel strips are arranged side by side and numbered one through 32 in the case of the SX3224FX.

The Input Section

In this section you will see an XLR mic input as well as a 1/4” TS input for line level signals. You will also notice a 1/4” TRS jack labeled insert. This is a very handy feature on mixers as it is used to introduce serial based signal processing such as outboard compressors and external EQ devices to the channel strip.

The EQ Section

Eq Section

This section directly follows the preamplifier and is used to trim and boost specific frequencies of the audio signal. In most cases a these are typically comprised of a fixed Hi and Low band in conjunction with a sweepable semi-parametric EQ for the Mid frequencies, meaning you can select the specific frequency to boost or trim. In this section you will often find High and Low cut filters.

The Aux Section

Eq Section
In this section you will find the numbered auxiliary sends which are used to route copies of the channel strips signal. The auxiliaries are used to perform two main functions. The first is to create parallel effects using time based processing i.e. reverbs and delay effects. This is done by sending a copy of a signal to a device that processes an echo like effect. This effect can then be mixed back in the main outs of the mixer or can be brought into another channel strip for further manipulation. This results in the original signal mixed with the effect. The second function of the aux section is to create individual headphone or monitor cue mixes for the artists during performance. Each channel strip has the same auxiliary sends so each instrument can have a specific level copied to them auxiliary resulting in as many different headphone mixes as you have auxiliary sends. This is great for the drummer who needs to hear more bass player and the singer who needs to hear more of his or herself. Both mixes can be accomplished simultaneously using only two aux sends.

Bussing


At the bottom of the Channel strip you will find the bussing section. Here you can select what if any busses the signal will be routed with. You can think of busses as extra ways of routing signal out of the mixer either to a channel of a recording device or DAW based recording system.  Busses are also used to create submixes which are like mixes within the main mix. For example: your first four channels are comprised of a drum set with mics on a kick drum, snare, and two overheads. In the bussing section all four of those channels can be assigned to bus 1 for a mono mix or bus 1 and 2 for a stereo mix of your drums. Now you will have control over all the drums using only 1 or 2 bus faders in the master section.

Master Section


In the Master Section you will find all of the Global settings for the mixer as well as the external auxiliary sends/returns and bussing faders. In the case of mixers with onboard digital processing you will also find these controls in the master section as well as the monitor levels and a the faders for the main mix. Here you will also find the talk back microphone as well as talk back level which is used to communicate with the artist as well as slate takes to tape meaning to print audible cues right to your recording media so that they may be kept track of in the mixdown phase of production.

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Numark DJ Equipment

By Gideon V. – Sonic Electronix Editor

A DJ is only as good as his equipment. Numark DJ equipment helps you step your game up as a DJ. Numark professional DJ systems enhance your signature sound, adding definition to the beats, breaks and scratches in your music. Numark designed DJ products that give the disc jockey full control during battles, clubs, weddings and other performances. This DJ gear is cutting edge and will allow you, the DJ professional, to dominate the scene.

idj2
As iPods have grown in popularity, many DJs are looking for iPod compatible mixers. Look no further. The Numark iDJ2 mixer turns you into an iPod DJ. This innovative mixer has a built-in iPod docking station, making it easy to mix two songs from a single iPod. There is room for expansion also, as you can hook up additional iPods or other mass storage devices through the rear USB inputs. It is easy to mix as the dual scratch pads can be scratched as if they were the actual discs. As far as compatibility, the iDJ2 iPod mixing console has a microphone input as well as a pair of RCA inputs and outputs for easy connectivity.

If you still want to use CDs for mixing and scratching, the Numark CDX is a motorized CD turntable with real vinyl. The CDX can be used to scratch MP3 CDs besides regular CDs. The music responds to scratching of the 12” vinyl surface. The authentic feel and look of this digital turntable makes it seem like you are scratching vinyl records. The motor is extremely powerful and will keep your beats pumping on cue with the music.
If you really want to take over the DJ scene, the Numark BATTLE PAK V.4 is a professional DJ package with two turntables, a microphone mixer and headphones. The direct-drive turntables allow you to manipulate the music with your fingertips, and the mixer gives you full control over the sound output. You will enjoy the headphones as the padded ear cups and padded headband provide a comfortable fit as you scratch. If you need an extra set of DJ headphones, the Numark PHX feature an isolated closed-ear design, perfect for blocking outside sound in loud venues.

Take your DJ career to the next level with the latest DJ gear from Numark. In DJ speak, you wiggity won’t regret it.

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