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Thread: My Denon Prime 4 Journey

  1. #21

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    I've pondered. I've watched videos. I've played on one and its little brother . Two things put me off other than the price. 1. No support for stems unless using it as a controller for virtual DJ and 2. Relying on external software to manage the music library. Just no! It's got WiFi... Why not just have a webpage based database helper app instead?

    Shame really.

    Oh a third thing... Lighting integration. I'm kind of stuck with OS2L now with VDJ & loathe to change to soundswitch.

  2. #22
    Imagine's Avatar
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    OK - I'm still very tempted. I actually started a thread about this a couple of months ago.

    Cost - it's cheaper than a new MacBook so it's a tick there (mine as I've already mentioned are now of pensionable age and although work at the moment....it's only a matter of time).

    Lighting - I tried SoundSwitch and didn't get on with it (mainly a lack of patience). I use LightKeyApp (which is a Mac based programme I pay £80 a year for...it works and works very well). That said, SoundSwitch is a similar price so now that I'm going back to being a full timer might be worth investing some time in actually learning what it does (I've seen some brilliant videos but still have a lot of questions on that one)

    Synch'ing music...this is where I struggle although it seems simple enough. At the moment, I put playlists together with the help of Apple Music (iTunes). I subscribe to iTunes Match for £25 a year and it just works sync'ing everything to the two playouts. Having a couple of SSD's I sync to shouldn't be too much of an issue.

    I might well be off to see my local (80 miles away) dealer on Thursday to have a play and potentially part with some money as a long term project. If I can plonk this on the booth to control the music AND the lighting (it's gonna take time to get things right) instead of a controller and two laptops, it might just be something which doesn't make money, but at the same time does because it saves me time, and time is money right?
    Last edited by Imagine; 21-09-2021 at 11:07 PM.

  3. #23
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    Okaaaay.....sorry to hijack the thread Benny, but I think my own Prime 4 journey is about to begin.

    It's a MASSIVE investment for me as I'm about to go full time again, but if I don't do it now....the law of Sod says that the MacBooks will expire (they're getting on in years) and I'll be up a certain creek without adequate means of propulsion.

    I've got a play-date at my local dealer tomorrow, I have a USB and SD card prepped (they're literally taking one out of the box for me to play with), and we'll see how things go. I've done a LOT of studying today on what's what, how and why (my brains are absolutely fried). I'm actually getting used to Engine Prime as well. You're right Benny - it's a simple beast but then it does appear to do everything that's likely to be needed. The only downside as you say is that you appear to have to sync the entire library every time (I'm sure we're missing a trick there somewhere)

    I've also started looking into SoundSwitch properly. If I do this thing, I want to do it properly and go laptop free apart from emergencies. I want to be able to plug in the Prime and start playing without connecting several different laptops up to various cables and dongles. There's a month's worth of work just there to script the multiple combos of lighting I could possibly use from my store for any given gig.

    All in all, I've got a LOT of work ahead so just as well I'm going to have the time during the week after just 7 more Sainsbury's shifts (I'm planning on going "live" with it once I've reorganised my playlists/crates/collections or whatever they're called now AND got SoundSwitch integration going!).

    OH, and just to add to the self induced pressure, I'm already in the midst of moving from DJEP to Deckbooks for all gigs after 1st Jan 22

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    I've also started looking into SoundSwitch properly. If I do this thing, I want to do it properly and go laptop apart from emergencies.
    Yesterday, I started nerding up on SoundSwitch and either I have completely misinterpreted what I've watched on YouTube, or I'm about to deal a crushing blow: a laptop is still needed to run SoundSwitch. Happy to be corrected on that, but everything I have seen has a laptop in the chain.

    Plus, while I am loving the idea of having preprogrammed songs all night long, I still need control for the first dance and last song, and it looks like Soundswitch isn't suitable for my needs.

    Good luck with the demo today, Wayne. Would love to see if you come over to the dark side...

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Smyth View Post
    Yesterday, I started nerding up on SoundSwitch and either I have completely misinterpreted what I've watched on YouTube, or I'm about to deal a crushing blow: a laptop is still needed to run SoundSwitch. Happy to be corrected on that, but everything I have seen has a laptop in the chain.

    Plus, while I am loving the idea of having preprogrammed songs all night long, I still need control for the first dance and last song, and it looks like Soundswitch isn't suitable for my needs.

    Good luck with the demo today, Wayne. Would love to see if you come over to the dark side...
    I made the discovery about SS needing a laptop a little after I typed my last reply. Ho hum!
    As for first dances, look at "static loops". They override everything in SS and are there exactly for the purposes of first dances and cake cutting.

    This is going to be one hell of a journey!

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Smyth View Post
    Yesterday, I started nerding up on SoundSwitch and either I have completely misinterpreted what I've watched on YouTube, or I'm about to deal a crushing blow: a laptop is still needed to run SoundSwitch. Happy to be corrected on that, but everything I have seen has a laptop in the chain.
    This has been another negative for me when looking at these standalone controllers - everyone who uses one still seem to need a laptop for 'something'. Personally if I have to take a laptop I would prefer a cheaper controller and the benefits of a larger screen which a laptop provides.

    I remember back in the olden days when using a cortex/mixer - I still had a laptop which did kind of defeat the objectives.

  7. #27
    Disco Dude! DeckstarDeluxe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppentertainments View Post
    This has been another negative for me when looking at these standalone controllers - everyone who uses one still seem to need a laptop for 'something'. Personally if I have to take a laptop I would prefer a cheaper controller and the benefits of a larger screen which a laptop provides.

    I remember back in the olden days when using a cortex/mixer - I still had a laptop which did kind of defeat the objectives.
    My laptop there is for just to act as the main backup. It also means I can chuck any event related notes etc and have it on a big screen there as well. Means I just have the mc6000 in the van and I take one less laptop to the gig.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeckstarDeluxe View Post
    My laptop there is for just to act as the main backup. It also means I can chuck any event related notes etc and have it on a big screen there as well. Means I just have the mc6000 in the van and I take one less laptop to the gig.
    And thatís my thinking too now

    The journey has begun!

  9. #29
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    OK - well I got one! (Gawd knows I've been pondering for such a long time on this one and I'm glad I finally made the decision).

    It's absolutely GORGEOUS! (and I'm not the sort that goes all gooey over a bit of kit), but....

    I might use it for Saturday's wedding (with backups), I might not....I've still got some learning to do at the moment. It's going to take some getting used to but I'm getting there after an entire afternoon playing with it. I might even cheat for this one and use it as a controller in the traditional sense with VDJ just until I'm fully conversant on everything it does (and it does a LOT!).

    One thing that's really starting to get me though....the Engine Prime software appears to be really buggy. It keeps crashing on a Mac which is more than capable of running it!

    And then to SoundSwitch (which definitely WON'T be coming to this weekend's wedding!). It's one heck of a learning curve is that one. It took a very long time for me to connect the CAT4 to the Mac and actually get it communicating (turns out I had a fixed IP address assigned), and I seem to have a LOT of tracks with no beat grid, so SS won't script them.

    I might well start a separate thread on the workings of Soundswitch as and when I have the time to actually learn everything there is to know about it....it's blimmin' complicated but at the same time, more powerful that I'd ever imagined!

    Today has been one hell of a day of learning new stuff. The Prime's going to change the way I work for sure and it's going to shave all important minutes off of setup and teardown.

  10. #30
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    Sooo....I've had a few cancelled shifts at the supermarket this week (don't care....only three to go now and the fewer I do the better), and I've had time to do a LOT of playing around. So much so that I'm going to take it live at this weekend's wedding (eek!).

    Nothing to lose on this one....I'm pretty much entirely pre-playlisted with delightful hip-hop/rap/grime...certainly nothing that I can foresee filling the dance floor. Oh, I'm also plugging into a sound ceiling

    I've sorted the crashing issues - Engine Prime was trying to analyse the entire library and once that was sorted on a different Mac, it's all run smoothly.
    I'm liking a lot of the effects on this thing. I don't normally use effects but I can see some of these coming in really useful. It's actually a game changer from the practice I've had at home.

    The only real downer for me at the moment is that it doesn't remember the gain settings like VDJ does. Now I could probably analyse every track in some software and auto-level everything but I don't like playing like that. We'll see how that goes in real life on Saturday.

    After last week's problems of dud MacBook chargers, I'm actually looking forward to going live with this beauty of a machine now

    How's yours going Benny? Any tips I need to be aware of?

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