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This peice of eqipment is a combined effort form Vestax and Serato.Both companies are at the forefront of dj technology so what have they got to offer when they combine.
This is a midi/usb controller intended for use with the serato software.It comes with its own audio interface and headphone connection meaning that all you need to dj,is your headphones,laptop and the vci-300.
There are a host of features on here that will let you do many different things.The switch thru function used with the itch software will allow you to play music into the device from your mp3 player,so no laptop is needed.Although you cant actually mix the music if you do decide to do this.The best feature about this is that if your computer crashe3s you can flick the switch and it will start to play music from your backup source.
High resoloution control
The pitch control fader also shares the same high quality fader parts of the input fader for advanced operability.The VCI-300 can control more than 90 parameters and functions of the included Serato software with high resolution MIDI signals sent via USB.
Audio files in the software library can be easily selected and controlled with the CRATES / FILES / BROWSE key and the cursor switch inherited from the VCM-100.
Adjustable Jog Wheel
The torque of each JOG wheel can be adjusted to prevent them from moving from low frequency feedback and altering the pitch when using the VCI-300 in such places like clubs.
Auto Tempo Matching and Beat Sync.
Optimal Gain and BPM Calculation.
Serato's unique color waveforms for easy identification of sound.
Set and store Cue-points.
Manual and Auto Loop activation.
Music Library management tools for backup and restore.
Input and Mix recording capability.
Its a very cool looking peice of kit the 5inch jog wheels give you a bit of a feel for the mixing.The jog wheels are not motorised like other competetive products,but for me this is a plus point as it means there are fewer things to break and replace.All of the cross faders ar fully sized so it gives you a nice feel when you are mixing,sometimes these things are scaled down and just feel like your using a fischer price my first dj kit.All of the buttons and knobs are backlite so it looks very nice and has a nice rigid feel to it.
They are pretty realistic due to the touch sensitive nature of the jog wheels,if you simply touch them during playback they will react in the same way touching a record during playback does.They do emulate vinyl very well scratching them back and forth will give you the same effect as scratching vinyl,and releasing the platter will start the track from where it was left off.
The back of the controller features a usb connection port and an additional pwoer supply unit.It will get is power via the usb port ordinarally,but the additional power socket is there for when using your mp3 player.It also has a pair of stereo audio outputs and the emergency see thru switch.
The annoying thing is why they they have placed the headphone controls away from the headphone output ,when the mic controls are right near the mic input.Okay so not a big deal but a bit non-sensical to me.
The controller comes with the Serato itch software,its kind of a stripped down light version ofr Serato scratch.It will play all the usual mp3,wav and aiff files from your computer or hardrive.But there is one massive flaw....... It will not play itunes protected aac files.This is obviously a huge factor if your whole music library is made up of this so make sure you consider that before buying.The song tempos aredetected autmatically by the software or you can enter them in manually.Antoher nice little touch is that once you have played a song it will change colour showing you what you have already played to save repeating the same songs more than once.
The software does not feature much in the way of effects compared with other dj software , but i like this as it does not overcomplicate things ,and makes it a perfect bit of software for begineers to use , as you can just stick to the basics.
You can also view the audio waveforms on y6our screen, this is good as you will be able to see when the track is going to drop or come into a quiet outro period.This makes it extremley easy to beat match and drop the next track in sync.
The downside to the software is that you cant just use it as a stand alone3 peice of software , you have to have the controller plugged into your computer for into work,kind of making it a protection dongle aswell.Why they didnt just include one of these is a mystery to me.
For some stupid reason thought you can upload the software to any computer and there is no need for online registration,quite why you would do this im not sure as stated before the software will not work without the controller being pluged into the computer.
The main benefit of this is that finally two companies have come togehter and simplified the digital dj setup,no more a mish mash aqnd surface controllers audio cards and software.Both the hardware and software work seamlessly together,creating a pleasent hassle free djing experiance.
The sound quality is pretty good although the eqs may not stretch to everyones limit,they are a bit restricted.But for anyone looking to downsize or simplify there setup this is a good choice,it may not have the look and feel of turntabled or even cdjs, but it does thew job with no hassle at all.
The price from £650-£700 brand new seems pricey, but when you compare that to the price of sasy 1 pioneer cdj1000 it is not really alot of money to get your setup ,up and running.Definatley worth a look if you are willing to give it the time to get to no the ins and outs of the software.