Needed m-m-m-m-more PC

Many DJ's are "switching up" to computers as the new way to DJ. They provide near-instant access to large song lists and can be integrated to control video and DMX lighting.

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Needed m-m-m-m-more PC

Postby jbrown157 » Wed May 24, 2006 6:51 am

No matter what I did, I couldn't keep my system from ststststststuttering when running PCDJ red VRM. I was running a Thinkpad A30 P3-1.0 / 384 meg ram & winXP home. The system worked fine but stuttered when I scrolled down the recordcase. I tried every possible fix that was suggested on the PCDJ board. Nothing worked, so I upgraded. I just purchased another Thinkpad (dang, those things are built like tanks!), this one an R40 P4-2.0 / 512 with USB 2.0, firewire and wifi built in (the A30 didn't have any of that) running XP Pro. Seems like a significant upgrade. I'm hoping this will eliminate the ststststststuttering. This PC even has an illuminated keyboard and a titanium case. I should have it in a few days. I'm anxious to tttttttry it out.
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Postby dokai » Wed May 24, 2006 7:39 am

If the stuttering problem still exists, it's the software, not the hardware. For that matter, the A30 should have been more than enough hardware to do the job.

I have a friend that's been using Virtual DJ, and since playing with his machine for a while, I think I'm moving to VDJ myself. PCDJ Red 5.2 was great back in the day, but I've heard nothing good about the VRM.
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Re: Needed m-m-m-m-more PC

Postby jbrown157 » Wed May 24, 2006 8:21 am

I remember you and I discussing this very thing (PC requirements for PCDJ) in Niagra Falls last year. You're right, according to PCDJ, the PCs I have should have been adequete - on paper, but not in the real world. If this new computer doesn't end the stuttering, I'll have little choice but to look at alternative software. I also picked up a trial copy of Virtual DJ while at that show. That will likely be the first thing I try if this doesn't work. I'm not excited about starting over with new software though. I hope I don't need to do that.

BTW, I suspect that it's the video that causes the problem. The PC can't write the video refresh fast enough when PCDJ is running and I scroll the list. It just can't keep up. I also recall that Wolfy suggests a firewire interface to the external HD because USB uses system resources and firewire doesn't. I'm hoping this will help too.

I do have to admit though... it's always fun to get any kind of new and upgraded equipment! :jumpy:
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Re: Needed m-m-m-m-more PC

Postby DJ Scott » Wed May 24, 2006 9:44 am

Good luck Jack. I haven't gotten it to work on 4 seperate machines all the way up to a Centrino Core-Duo T2400 with 1Gig of DDR2 ram and a 160 gig internal HD. With all that horsepower, I still have the stutter problem.
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Re: Needed m-m-m-m-more PC

Postby jwg » Wed May 24, 2006 10:56 am

My only suggestion on the original machine would have been much more ram. To me, 384 just doesn't seem like enough. Originally had 512mb of ram in this laptop, but 128 went to the video card. Put in a 1 gig stick of ram and no problems since. Ram is pretty inexpensive these days.

Just make sure there are no unecessary processes running in the background, do the best performance setting, turn off the fade effects and uncheck the internet time synchronization.
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Postby SirWolfy » Wed May 24, 2006 11:02 am

I have to agree, Virtual DJ is a much more stable (and therefore reliable) software platform from which to base your CPS (Computerized Performance System) on. Even testing VRM/FX products on a fully internalized system (meaning no external drives) has proved to be flaky at best, when mixing and performing search functions, etc.

My only suggestion on the original machine would have been much more ram. To me, 384 just doesn't seem like enough.


John is correct. Most manufacturers recommend a minimum of 256MB RAM, however after testing a good number of the offerings over the years, I recommend an absolute minimum of 512MB RAM. But as John also pointed out above, more is better and makes a noticable difference. Especially if you are using embedded vid/sound cards on your CPS.

Anyway, I concur with Dokai's assessment that it is more of a software problem (with VRM/FX) and not the hardware.
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Postby LYoung116 » Wed May 24, 2006 12:45 pm

Glad I read this thread. Now I can learn by others' experiences what not to do!
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Postby djdonny » Wed May 24, 2006 2:22 pm

Wolfy,

I have Virtual DJ (haven't used it live yet), and I even bought the Hercules Console MK2 but I'm not too happy with it. What USB/FW sound cards are compatible with VDJ that you know of, or rather which do you recommend? I find that I'd rather use the software controller and just use a sound card to my mixer.

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Postby Dave Miller » Wed May 24, 2006 3:01 pm

For what it's worth, on my Mac with MegaSeg, the only time I have troubles is when I launch another program, and it's still launching when MegaSeg goes to do a seque.


Donny -
Does this mean you're looking to sell the Hercules? I may be interested...
Last edited by Dave Miller on Wed May 24, 2006 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SirWolfy » Wed May 24, 2006 4:12 pm

Donny,

Some may not agree with this, however I recommend avoiding the use of USB for anything other than mice and keyboards. Especially if you are using external HDDs. I have found / seen / heard of more problems involving USB devices associated with CPS DJing than any other component. And it hasn't gotten any better over the course of the last ten years.

But I digrees... For external soundcards, I would recommend looking at a PCMCIA sound card (I'm assuming that you are using a laptop here based on your USB/FW question) or Firewire soundcard. Although I have heard people say that they have had good experiences with the Maya and Indigo external cards too. But, no matter what you use, it definitely has to be a DirectX compatible device. Be sure to check out some different pro-audio websites to get specifications, etc.

Anyway, I thought that the Hercules Console was compatible with Virtual DJ... I know that it supports the DMC1 as well as the DAC-2 & 3, plus some others that I cannot remember off of the top of my head.
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Re: Needed m-m-m-m-more PC

Postby jbrown157 » Sat May 27, 2006 8:55 am

The new PC has arrived and all is well - so far. I'm running a trial copy of Red VRM using the USB port. I didn't have a mini firewire cable to connect to the PC. I havn't been able to make it stutter and I've tried all the things that made the other one fail. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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