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Thread: When the music stops......

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Default When the music stops......

    When your playout system locks up for whatever reason, what is your backup to keep the music going ?

    Reason for asking is for many years I used a cortex with a lappy playing as backup - not that is was ever needed.
    Now the roles are reversed where the laptop is the main playout and cortex in reserve.

    The problem I have is the cortex is coming to the end of its long life so looking for alternatives. Have thought about an ipod, however would like a little more control over what is played, also have a ADJ SD card play thingy - however ideally would like something which has a bigger capacity and if needed could limp through the rest of the night.

    A second laptop is an option but space limitations etc (plus more to wire up) makes it less appealing. Ipad - again not great storage, ideally would love something which has all my music on.

    Obviously a 'proper' backup is available from the back of the van, but looking for something I can kick in with without anyone realising the music has stopped.

    (before the Apple Fanboys say so, I do use a Macbook)

  2. #2

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    Default

    Main playout is a brand new laptop.

    Back-up is a dual CD player.

    Will be getting another laptop and midi controller black Friday/cyber Monday to have as a back-up and fade out the CD element once we get the music from CD to digital which will save a heap of space on the 4ft deck stand!
    Nathan.

  3. #3
    Imagine's Avatar
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    Default

    I remember having this particular conversation with myself a couple of years ago and well and truly over-thinking things to the extent that I went out with two playouts including two mixers and an electronic gizmo that combined the signals from both desks to the PA. I also had a USB combiner so that both laptops could be connected to the mixer at the same time. Twas a pain in the backside to set up every night.

    So....what do I do now?

    My main playout is a MacBook (it's just my preference, it used to be a PC but I went to the dark side a year ago and didn't look back). That's connected to the MC6000mk2 and out to the PA...simples. However, next to the main playout is a SECOND MacBook (I'm either incredibly rich, stupid or both) which controls the lighting (I don't like to mix the two). BOTH MacBooks are identical in that they have the music libraries, the lighting control and VDJ on them (so technically I can run the whole shebang from one if I wish to or if something goes wrong with one of them).

    The second MacBook isn't actually connected to any sort of mixer or the PA, because my next action depends on what goes wrong.
    Should the main playout machine go down, it's a quick swapper of the USB cable to the Denon (and a little banter on the mic) and the show goes on. If the Denon goes down, I have a DJ2GO2 sitting on the booth which can be quickly swapped in (again with a little banter to save dead air for the 5 seconds it takes).

    If both Macs go down, I have an iPad and an iPhone with emergency libraries on them which can either connect via the Denon OR use the magic of Bluetooth to connect into at least one of the Maui's if they're the PA of choice on the night and depending on how I've connected them. With both of these, I use Djay2 which although isn't ideal....is very good on "auto mix" which will get me through any immediate troubleshooting.

    Yes, I have the risk of a little "dead air" should something go wrong until I swing whichever backup into place....but at least it's only a couple of seconds and the party will continue. There's a LOT of DJs in this area that aren't anything like that resilient

    Sorry....I ran on a little bit there

  4. #4
    yourdj's Avatar
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    Default

    iPad with Djay. its amazing for immediate back up as it takes up no room, takes my whole music library and I also run my lighting from it. Not sure I would be happy doing a whole night from it, but I could if I wanted to, without mixing. I have a duplicate MacBook in the can and also a duplicate controller. They have never actually been used and hopefully wont be. Chances are that the fault is something silly, so either or can be changed without disruption or anyone actually knowing anything happened.
    Last edited by yourdj; 03-11-2017 at 02:25 AM.
    Your DJ - Mobile DJ The New Forest, Southampton & Hampshire. Toby
    http://www.yourdj.co.uk/ | http://www.phatdiscos.co.uk/

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by yourdj View Post
    iPad with Djay. its amazing for immediate back up as it takes up no room, takes my whole music library and I also run my lighting from it. Not sure I would be happy doing a whole night from it, but I could if I wanted to, without mixing. I have a duplicate MacBook in the can and also a duplicate controller. They have never actually been used and hopefully wont be. Chances are that the fault is something silly, so either or can be changed without disruption or anyone actually knowing anything happened.
    I know a local club DJ who uses an iPad with Djay to play every night and uses the clubs Denon CD decks for backup. He walks up with his iPad playout in a compact case and a handful of CD's under his other arm and runs the whole night. Seriously, some people don't even know they've been born

    I've been a punter in the club when he's been playing and I'd rate his skill level on the iPad as 9 or 10 out of 10 (i.e. I haven't heard anyone do anything on any other playout that he hasn't done on the iPad at some point or another).

    Julian
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  6. #6

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    Ipad and Djay could be a good contender, only snag I have is when I bought my 2 Ipads I went for the cheap option with only small storage lol

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ppentertainments View Post
    Ipad and Djay could be a good contender, only snag I have is when I bought my 2 Ipads I went for the cheap option with only small storage lol
    How many songs do you realistically need on it?

    After all, it is designed for emergencies.

  8. #8
    Jim - Scotland's Party DJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    I remember having this particular conversation with myself a couple of years ago and well and truly over-thinking things to the extent that I went out with two playouts including two mixers and an electronic gizmo that combined the signals from both desks to the PA. I also had a USB combiner so that both laptops could be connected to the mixer at the same time. Twas a pain in the backside to set up every night.

    So....what do I do now?

    My main playout is a MacBook (it's just my preference, it used to be a PC but I went to the dark side a year ago and didn't look back). That's connected to the MC6000mk2 and out to the PA...simples. However, next to the main playout is a SECOND MacBook (I'm either incredibly rich, stupid or both) which controls the lighting (I don't like to mix the two). BOTH MacBooks are identical in that they have the music libraries, the lighting control and VDJ on them (so technically I can run the whole shebang from one if I wish to or if something goes wrong with one of them).

    The second MacBook isn't actually connected to any sort of mixer or the PA, because my next action depends on what goes wrong.
    Should the main playout machine go down, it's a quick swapper of the USB cable to the Denon (and a little banter on the mic) and the show goes on. If the Denon goes down, I have a DJ2GO2 sitting on the booth which can be quickly swapped in (again with a little banter to save dead air for the 5 seconds it takes).

    If both Macs go down, I have an iPad and an iPhone with emergency libraries on them which can either connect via the Denon OR use the magic of Bluetooth to connect into at least one of the Maui's if they're the PA of choice on the night and depending on how I've connected them. With both of these, I use Djay2 which although isn't ideal....is very good on "auto mix" which will get me through any immediate troubleshooting.

    Yes, I have the risk of a little "dead air" should something go wrong until I swing whichever backup into place....but at least it's only a couple of seconds and the party will continue. There's a LOT of DJs in this area that aren't anything like that resilient

    Sorry....I ran on a little bit there

    I run two MacBook pros into an mc6000 too

    Mine is configured a little different though:


    Mac 1: vdj 8 into channels 2 and 3 on mc6000, runs my main lighting rig on mydmx3

    Mac 2: vdj 8 via aux into channel 1 on mc 6000, runs my mood lights on mydmx 2

    If something goes wrong with mac 1, mac 2 can take over the sound and my main lights can run on my dmx 2 as well.

    If something goes wrong with mac 2, it's not the end of the world as mac 1 is doing the important stuff

    If something goes wrong with the denon, mac 2s aux can be easily fired into one side of my HKs directly and with a bit of jiggery pokery the music will only stop for a few seconds.


    I've only ever had the main mac crash once and needed to be restarted. It was during a charity freebie I stood in to help my dad outwith at the last minute (cheap DJ didn't turn up!!!) so I didn't have back ups running but no one cared and they'd have been told where to go if they did complain

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rth_discos View Post
    How many songs do you realistically need on it?

    After all, it is designed for emergencies.
    That is my bug bear - I have tried to take a selection, but always think 'what if it a different song/genre I need'
    Probably overthinking it, which is why to be honest an Ipod just playing something constantly will probably suffice as Toby says, a spare laptop is in the van and normal problems are fixed with a restart which takes seconds.

  10. #10
    Jim - Scotland's Party DJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth_discos View Post
    How many songs do you realistically need on it?

    After all, it is designed for emergencies.
    We play what, 80 tunes per night max. Of those 80 you're probably looking at a core of 500 that you'll realistically be asked for - by 99% of punters. Even 1,000 tunes is probably more than enough for the majority of situations.

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