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.
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.