Setting Up Your Portable Record Player For DVS with Serato Vinyl

Setting Up Your Portablist for DVS

Setting Up Your Portable Record Player For Digital Vinyl

Looking to find out the best way to setup your portablist system for use with DVS? You’re in the right place!  Fist off – study the photo I’ve posted above. This shows you how all the wires go together, along with my recommendations for hardware and software. Ready to begin? Let’s get connected!

Which Software Should I Use?

You have a few options in this area, from Serato DJ, Traktor or even Rekordbox. But for maximum portability you don’t want to carry your laptop around right? So here’s my recommendation – try out EDJing scratch from the guys who make the (also brilliant) Mixfader. It’s easy to use, works great on iPad or iPhone and is definitely the most versatile and scratch like of any of the mobile softwares I’ve tried. Another option to consider is the multi talented DJ Player Pro – it’s similarity to Traktor may make it more suitable for people coming to portable scratching from using Traktor on their PC or Mac.

Connecting Your Portable Record Player.

The easiest way I’ve found to connect your portable record player to your iPad or iPhone is by using Apple’s camera connection cable. This allows you to use the USB connection out of your portable and connect it directly to your iOs device – effectively using it as an external sound card. Older portables may not have this USB feature, so do check yours before you go down this route. If you don’t have a USB model available you can still make this work, but you’ll need an external soundcard that is USB standards compliant. A popular choice for this which includes an it’s own crossfader is the Akai AMX. Unfortunately to use the AMX you will need a powered USB hub to supply enough juice for everything to work properly. Fingers crossed a new product from Roland the Roland Go:Mixer may well change this, it’s powered from phone approach makes it much more portable. If it is standards compliant it should be supported by the current mobile DJ softwares straight out of the box.

Using A Portable Crossfader

There are a few different portable crossfaders on the market at the moment, with long standing models available from champions of the portablist scene Raiden heading up the field. The best avaialable currently in my opinion is the latest model from Raiden – the  RXI-F1 . This fader does require charging via it’s usb connector to make it work, but it contains not only a top rated contactless fader, but also a pre-amp for it’s output, making it possible to plug in headphones directly. Other contenders in this area include models from Stokyo, Jesse Dean and Frisk.

The basic idea when using DVS is to take the output from your tablet, phone or laptop and plug it through the fader, allowing you to chop the sample in and out. A second input on your fader will take the beat for you to scratch to – usually from a second device as shown in the photo. The output from the fader then goes either direct into your headphones, or out into a portable speaker – or perhaps even your mum’s stereo.

Digital Vinyl

Finally you’ll need a timecode vinyl to scratch with. For your choices here I’d certainly recommend Serato records over Traktor, as there are many more playable grooves on the Serato seven inch vinyls. A longer run out space on the Traktor discs means that when cut-down to seven inches there is little play area remaining.  You can buy your choice of cut down seven inch coloured Serato vinyls from out store where they are available for delivery in the UK and across Europe.

 

  1. Shaun on 25th February 2017 at 11:26 pm

    A quick question for the Non-USB portablist’s wishing to try and setup DVS via applications on smartphones and such. Has anyone had any success in setting anything up? Off the top of my head I have thought of a solution in theory, whether it would work is a whole different ball game.

    Could you use a USB on the go cable from your phone/tablet via micro USB to connect to a budget USB sound card connected to your turntable via its RCA outputs? From the sound card you can connect your amplification and such.

    Has anyone had any joy with a DVS setup of any kind not using USB?

    • Shoesy on 26th February 2017 at 1:25 pm

      It’s certainly possible Shaun, check out this photo on my instagram for a sample two deck dvs setup using an Akai AMX and two Vestax Handytrax: https://www.instagram.com/p/BI28Xo7BHcu/?taken-by=shoesy_scratch
      Downside is you need to have a power supply to give the soundcard enough juice to make it work, which isn’t always possible “in the field”.
      New product coming real soon from Roland may well change all that though- Roland Go:Mixer https://www.roland.com/global/products/gomixer/ is a small usb sound card / mixer which is powered directly from your phone. Fingers crossed this will play nice with Edjing Mix / mixfader Dj… (note I have updated this article to mention this… thanks Shaun!).

  2. Cutastrophe on 6th July 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Nice article!

    Is it possible to use a MacBookPro with a lightning connection and Serato on it with the setup you described? My brother’s got a PT01-Skratch and I want to hook him up. (no iPhone or iPad though)

    Actually, I’m owning an old Vestax Handytrax without USB and therefore it’s out of reach so far for me. I found that the Go:Mixer is already available! Any experience with it?!

    • Shoesy on 6th July 2017 at 9:08 pm

      You need a Serato box (SL2/3/4) to make it work, plus of course a lightning adapter for the box. Audio would go direct from the standard audio outs of the portable to the serato box, and then out to your speaker. Your non usb Handytrax would work fine for this.
      I have the Roland Go:Mixer now too! Works really well – check out my Instagram for sample vids 😀

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