Peavey Digital Audio Interface

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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Peavey Digital Audio Interface

Postby James Kane » Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:29 am

Been thumbing through my copy of PSSL and stumbled on this little toy. Built in 24-bit 102dB DAC, 4 balanced outputs, auto-bpm detection, supports quite a few audio formats, and will work with my PowerBook.

Anybody out there using the PVDAI interface for PCDJ? If so please share your opinions as I think I'm about to drop a grand on this thing unless I hear a lot of negatives.

I'm guessing this is the toy Professor Jam was using when he mentioned he was using Flac.

The ONLY downside I see with it is it doesn't support the Mac-preferred formats for audio (AAC and ALE.) Oh well... lossless source library to the rescue for a transcode.
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Re: Peavey Digital Audio Interface

Postby Michigan DJ » Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:24 am

It's pretty new, actually.

Just came out this year.

Looks kool, costs too much imho for what it is.

I'll stick with what I have, for now.
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Postby CJ Greiner » Wed Feb 23, 2005 7:38 am

You have to drop more than a grand on it...

You also have to be running PVDJ on a DJ computer, and this thing plugs into the computer so that instead of starting/stopping/etc. the music from your keyboard/mouse, you control it with this interface instead.

If you're showing everything on your computer's screen, I don't see why you need duplicate info shown on this device's screen -- except that it's a touch screen. And that brings up the other problem: the touch screen seems too small to be useful.

Hmmmmmm... I guess I'd have to play with it in person to really get a good feel for its usefulness.
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PVDAI Controller interface for use with the PVDJ program.
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Postby James Kane » Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:10 am

CJ,

You're only dropping more than a grand if you don't already have all the parts. :lol:

I still have a rack-mount PC system laying around that could easily power this thing on the back end. I can also use my PowerBook to run the unit in a pinch.

Now as to the cost/value of the controller, this is going to be subjective for most of us. Keep in mind the other rack-mount controllers like PCDJ's or Alcatech's are very close to 1/3 to 1/2 of the price alone. The Peavey unit is also high-quality digital to analog converter. Add in the cost of a entry level pro-grade sound card.

The unknown quantity is the display and interface. Is it indeed good enough to run the system without a monitor, keyboard, and mouse? This is potentially huge savings as a rackmount LCD and input solution will set you back about $200 more than the cost of Peavey's controller alone.
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Postby Professor Jam » Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:12 am

The unit was displayed at NAMM two years ago and was first sold and on the market last year. The first manufactured batch sold out and the second manufactured batch was released this year.

I was the first DJ besides the development team to see and use the unit... Well worth the money for what it does (this is not an opinion but an observation as I've actually touched the unit).

I look forward to hearing opinions once you guys have had the opportunity to try it personally...

Peace!
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Postby Dave Miller » Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:22 am

From the DJ Times review: "Another leap ahead for the live digital DJ looking to perform without ever having to touch a mouse or look at a computer screen."

In other words, I believe that this would work with Apple's new Mini. The Mini could easily be configured to launch the software upon startup, therefore, you wouldn't need to even hook up a monitor or keyboard or mouse to the Mac to use this thing.

James - Your comment about already having some of the parts, such as a computer - This requires but does not come with a computer. That's true of any computer based DJ system you get.

However, it does replace the need for any other sound cards, and is the controller, which tends to be an expensive, although optional, add on for other systems.

The only thing that confused me is that it has a microphone input. Does this also act as a mixer?

This is the year I finally go digital, and I'm going to be looking closely at whatever is shown at the AC Expo in August. I hope they have it there.
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Re: Peavey Digital Audio Interface

Postby Professor Jam » Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:24 pm

The only thing that confused me is that it has a microphone input. Does this also act as a mixer?


You can select a mixer mode where you can crossfade and such between the players...

The control for microphone volume is near the plug in...

Advantage.... If you were doing a wedding ceremony and wanted to bring notebook (or other) controller, cables, powered speakers and stands with a cordless microphone - Your good to -go! Light-n-tight.
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Postby CJ Greiner » Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:25 pm

When I said you'd have to drop more than a grand on it, I meant that (as mentioned by others above) you also have to buy the computer.

That is of course, assuming that you're not already a digital DJ -- if you are, then you already own some other program that uses some other interface.

Since you do need a computer, you do also need a rackmount LCD monitor (unless you're using a laptop!) From the looks of this unit, the touch-monitor on it only controls the functions of the program itself, not the whole computer. If you want to access functions available in the program that aren't available from the touchscreen (saving playlists, etc.) then you'll need the monitor and keyboard and mouse too!

So, understanding all that... I don't get why DJTimes said:
DJ Times wrote:Another leap ahead for the live digital DJ looking to perform without ever having to touch a mouse or look at a computer screen.
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Postby Dave Miller » Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:06 pm

Maybe I should have included the next sentence:
As was mentioned, the DJ needs a laptop, but the beauty of the DAI is that once it’s booted up, you can close it and run the show from the interface.
I.E. If you're using a laptop, closing it means you're not gonna use the display or keyboard. (Although be careful. Some laptops go to sleep when the lid is closed.)

Who says saving a playlist isn't possible from the touchscreen? The review definately mentions an onscreen keyboard for searching the library. So the programmer could easily have allowed you to name the playlist using the same touchscreen keyboard. Maybe the dialog box would be radically different, but it should still be possible and probably intuitive. The only question is, did the programmer do it?

As far as other functions, does any Digital DJ use their DJ computer for anything else? The answer should be 'no'. But if it's 'yes', do you use it for something else during a show? That better be a 'no'...
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Postby CJ Greiner » Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:55 pm

DJ Teddy Bear wrote:...As far as other functions, does any Digital DJ use their DJ computer for anything else? The answer should be 'no'. But if it's 'yes', do you use it for something else during a show? That better be a 'no'...

Absolutely!

I can rip CD's, play Power Point slide shows, transfer Digital Photos from my camera, edit/crop/correct the photos, edit audio files, etc.

The computer allows me to do SO MUCH MORE than I ever was able to do with just a Dual-CD player! 8)

_______________
About the PVDJ DAI:

This thing is relying on your computer's hard drive to hold your music.
No connection to a computer -- no music.

You're right: with a touch-screen keyboard, you could certainly save/open playlists.... BUT: the owners manual refers to using the computer only -- not the DAI.

The DAI is really only intended for start/stop/pause, search with on-screen keyboard and some effects including looping/stutter/grab. However, I suspect the search function would be faster using the computer's keyboard and mouse.

More detailed operations are better handled with the keyboard/mouse and video screen of your computer.

It does have a USB sound card in it, or you can elect to use your computer's sound card.
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Postby Professor Jam » Wed Feb 23, 2005 2:36 pm

CJ,

You are not accurate with many of your opinions and mentioned observations.... The search feature is as fast with or without the keyboard and you can easily do an event without using a keyboard or mouse. The screen can toggle between many functions and is utilized for more that basic program start/stop/pause, search looping/stutter/grab.

I actually don't want to debate the unit as it only serves as an advertisement and promotion for Peavey - Without seeing a live demonstration, from an individual who can display all the features, it’s like explaining the beauty of the Grand Canyon to a blind person... Words don't do it justice.

The soundcard built into the unit is very good quality and worth consideration..
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Postby CJ Greiner » Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:23 pm

You're right -- I haven't seen it, and it looks very cool.

However, I'm simply reading out of the owner's manual:
http://www.peavey.com/media/pdf/manuals ... manual.pdf

... which I assume is accurate? Maybe it just doesn't give all the details of what it can really do?

_____________

It would be great to see one in use sometime -- perhaps this fall if we make it to one of the conventions where they're showing it off...

_____________
P.S. Professor -- was that you doing the Karaoke at the last Orlando MobileBeat convention?
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Postby Dave Miller » Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:50 pm

CJ Greiner wrote:I can rip CD's, play Power Point slide shows, transfer Digital Photos from my camera, edit/crop/correct the photos, edit audio files, etc.
You're doing that at the same time as using the computer to run your show? Please tell me the answer is 'no'. And if it's 'no' then you don't need a monitor, keyboard or mouse if you're using this thing.
CJ Greiner wrote:This thing is relying on your computer's hard drive to hold your music.
No connection to a computer -- no music.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say. "No connection, no music" Well, duh. It's also acting as a USB audio card. You make it sound like the computer's role in this is just as a hard drive, and that all of the processing happens in this unit. If that were the case, you could simply use a USB drive without a computer! Obviously, that isn't the case.

Professor Jam wrote:I don't want to debate the unit as it only serves as an advertisement and promotion for Peavey -Without seeing a live demonstration, from an individual who can display all the features... Words don't do it justice.
Your prior post make you seem like an employee, rep, or at least close friend of Peavey. Or is that history, and you're now alligned with their competitor?

In either case, DJ Gold isn't alligned with anyone, so there's no reason to avoid the topic. Sure, don't let it become a one-sided glorification of any one product, but discuss it? Why not?

By the way, if you are close to the people at Peavey, would you know if this puppy is going to be demo'd or featured at the AC convention?
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Re: Peavey Digital Audio Interface

Postby Professor Jam » Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:52 pm

No,

I was doing an ESPN event during the Orlando Mobile Beat...

--- I will be at the 2005 Computer DJ Summit October 3-5 in Tampa Bay.. http://www.computerdjsummit.com - You might be able to see a hands on demonstration at this event.


Peace....
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Postby CJ Greiner » Wed Feb 23, 2005 4:29 pm

DJ Teddy Bear wrote:
CJ Greiner wrote:I can rip CD's, play Power Point slide shows, transfer Digital Photos from my camera, edit/crop/correct the photos, edit audio files, etc.
You're doing that at the same time as using the computer to run your show? Please tell me the answer is 'no'. And if it's 'no' then you don't need a monitor, keyboard or mouse if you're using this thing.


Absolutely! In fact, I have a Music-Video/Digital Image upsell package that I offer my clients. I have a subscription to TMCentury's VidDisc series and can play video files as easily as audio files. I can take photos with a digital camera, transfer them to the computer and then show them as a slide show while the music's playing. If the client provides me with a Power Point slide show, I can play that too.
Oh, did I mention that I have a DMX Lighting controller program running at the same time? (Martin LightJockey).

----------------------------


DJ Teddy Bear wrote:
CJ Greiner wrote:This thing is relying on your computer's hard drive to hold your music.
No connection to a computer -- no music.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say. "No connection, no music" Well, duh. It's also acting as a USB audio card. You make it sound like the computer's role in this is just as a hard drive, and that all of the processing happens in this unit. If that were the case, you could simply use a USB drive without a computer! Obviously, that isn't the case.


As you know, there are Dual-CD players available now that use internal memory/hard-drives to store your mp3 collection and play them just as easily as your CD's -- no computer is needed except when you load your collection into the machine.

Here's an example of one of those on-board mp3/Dual-CD players:

[url=http://numark.com/products/product_view.php?v=overview&n=120]The HDCD1 Dual CD Player
Image[/url]
Numark wrote:The HDCD1 is a rack-mountable dual CD player with built-in hard drive, capable of storing an entire DJ collection. MP3s and uncompressed audio files can be ripped from CD, transferred from computer over USB, or recorded through analog inputs. Two jumbo displays allow easy navigation for creation of playlists. A keyboard connection facilitates searching, and songs and playlists can be searched by title, artist, album, or genre. Song information is instantly available through the internal CDDBTM database, which is updateable via the internet. Included software allows computer file transfers, song and playlist data editing, and exporting song lists as text. Other advanced features include pitch control, instant start, relay start, and seamless looping. There are multiple play modes fully compatibility with CDR Data (MP3) and CDRW discs.

> Download product overview

_ Large internal hard drive stores MP3s and uncompressed audio

_ Rip audio from CD

_ Transfer audio files from computer over USB

_ Record through line inputs

_ Store entire DJ collection

_ Instant song and CD data

_ Dual CD Players

_ Operate as standalone professional dual CD player

_ Full compatibility with CD, CDR Data (MP3), and CDRW

_ Two jumbo displays and navigation controls

_ Quickly create playlists of entire music sets

_ Search CD's and hard drive by song, artist, album, playlist or genre

_ Keyboard connection for rapid song search

_ Professional DJ functionality

_ Pitch, instant start, relay start, and seamless looping

_ Play modes include single, continuous, random, repeat single, and repeat continuous

_ Included software for interfacing with computer

_ Upload and back-up download of music files

_ Edit song and playlist data

_ Internet CDDBTM data search for new files lacking information

_ Export internal song list as text




:arrow: They could have very easily done that with the Peavey DAI if they'd wanted to -- and if the mixing program was actually running in the DAI it could then be used as a stand-alone unit (cool idea!)

BUT, they chose instead to use it in conjunction with a computer. The reason is because it's not the DAI that's "playing" the music like the Dual-CD/mp3 players. The DAI simply acts as a keyboard/video screen input device for the program running on the computer. The computer actually "plays" and mixes the songs and uses either the computer's or DAI's soundcard for audio output.
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Postby Dave Miller » Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:26 pm

CJ -
Um. WOW! To BOTH points.

Everything I've read suggests that a DJ Computer should be used for nothing but DJing. Or at the very least, used for nothing else during a live show.

If you're doing all that you say you are, on the same system, at the same time, and without problems, then, I retract my concerns. What kind of system is doing all that?

And that Numark system.... I hadn't considered that someone else was already doing something similar to what you were suggesting.

Hmmm.... How much is that Numark system?
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Postby James Kane » Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:27 pm

Teddy,

Much of the "only do one thing at a time" problems are from 5-6 years ago. Mostly due to the crappy job that Windows did multi-tasking on the available systems of the time. Personally I was playing back two channels of VBR audio, encoding a new disc, and taking notes in Word on an 800MHz Duron in early 2001. That was an upgrade from the 400MHz K6-3 that could not handle the same feat.

Today as long as you are buying quality equipment and the software you're using isn't crap, you just plain shouldn't have problems. Decoding and playing back an MP3 is going to take less than 2% of a systems resources.

My workflow with the PowerBook is very similar and as long as I'm not in a situation where swapping may occur, I don't get a single hiccup. (The 4200RPM drive in my laptop is a bottleneck. This clears up with 5600RPM models usually.)

Street price for the Numark is about $1500. As far as I can tell it comes with a 40GB HD. If I had to buy a computer to drive the Peavey it would be a tossup, but I just think I would go with a Mac mini. The mini can be expanded with more HD space via USB. You do lose the ability to mix CDs, but honestly after you convert a healthy sized library it's no loss.

Since Professor Jam seems to be the only person who has experience with the unit, I'm hoping he can field this specific question. Since the programmer is the same guy who most of the ground work on PCDJ, did he fix the library/record case this time around? I ditched PCDJ simply because it would choke on a record case with more than 2,000 files. Otherwise I didn't have major beefs with that product.

If not I'll wait until they have fixed this... MegaSeg will have to do even though it's missing looping and I do not expect it to get it anytime soon do to some poor design on Apple's QuickTime designer's part.
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Postby Professor Jam » Thu Feb 24, 2005 1:57 am

The reason the programmer was not given the time to add a proper library/record case is a strange one for explanation over a dinner or drink and not on forums lol.....

You will not have the same issue with the mentioned tools, they are using a real "sql" database.... (you will be very impressed with the database and its over all power of usage....)

With the mentioned unit you can still mix Cds via the computer CD player and use a mac mini....
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Re: Peavey Digital Audio Interface

Postby Michigan DJ » Thu Feb 24, 2005 1:58 am

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Re: Peavey Digital Audio Interface

Postby James Kane » Thu Feb 24, 2005 7:26 am

You will not have the same issue with the mentioned tools, they are using a real "sql" database....(you will be very impressed with the database and its over all power of usage....)


Sweet! :shock:

It doesn't matter how technically great the software is if it has basic design flaws that start choking your ability to use it in a reasonable method.
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