Would anybody recommend purchasing a digital vinyl system?

Hi Test Pressing community. Due to purchasing more digital releases via Bandcamp and thinking of limiting the records I carry in the future I am thinking of purchasing one of these vinyl interfaces such as the Native Instruments Scratch or Serato. I have never used this kind of set up before so I am totally clueless to the pros and cons. Does anybody have any advice? Am I going to need to also purchase a new mixer which is compatible to this type of setup? I would love to grab a set of CDJs but they are mega expensive so Im thinking this is a good alternative. Any advice and recommendations would be massively appreciated.

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I’ve been using traktor for a few years now, I don’t ‘play out’ any more, DJing is a home hobby. I use the time code vinyl & it’s the same feel as DJing with records. I’ve never tried serato, and I’ve never got involved with all the special effects, remix decks & stems business, I just use the loop to mix longer.
I still buy vinyl as well as downloads, record them & quite often sell them on on discogs, as I didn’t have the space for thousands of records. I know purists will not like it but it’s the best decision I’ve made since I stopped DJing out.


I use Traktor with a Mac with their mixer and effects thingumy, bit bedroom DJ but when I can’t be bothered with setting up the 1200’s or playing new stuff it’s pretty good/fun.

If you factor in a decent laptop then maybe some Pioneer CDJ’s won’t be that much more, I’d love some but like you just don’t have the moolah. Not sure of the practicalities when playing out and basically taking your own ‘system’.

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I bought the Traktor Z1 and X1 a few weeks ago. It’s a lot of fun but of course playing older stuff with drifting pitch is a no-go but i got them for tearing up House stuff at home. Traktor sounds great and I find it a breeze to use. Is it wrong that i find beatgridding pleasurable?


It’s great, me and the Mrs can have a house party and I’m not welded to the decks trying to cue the next track, just sashay over and mix in the next track without breaking sweat… lockdown nirvana!


Sashay Traktay!

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Sounds sooo much better than the reality, but I’ll go with it!


I use traktor for space as much as anything and spent a big chunk of the summer ripping a load of old vinyl using my rega turntable and phono stage my wife got me for my birthday. All of these tracks are now basically like mixing on a set of decent belt drives but I genuinely enjoy it more than mixing digitally native tracks!

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I’ve been through a few iterations of digital players alongside the trusty 1210s. Had various Traktor kit and it has always been very easy and reliable. Couldn’t ever afford/justify the full on Pioneer decks but when they came out I got a pair of the Pioneer XDJ 700s which are digital decks with no CD player. They are clearly a bit plastic/entry level but the touch screen and sound are decent and I now prefer using them and Rekordbox to using Traktor. I just run them through my analog A&H mixer along with the 1210s.

There’s a Gemini deck for USB sticks that’s £150. I would get a pair of those and you’ll be fine if you go into a club booth as they’ll have some kind of USB input decks. You don’t want to be plugging in loads of equipment in a dark booth while someone is playing their last few tunes. I know Gemini is not the most fancy brand but you’ll be able to beatmatch. I think it’s even got a visual representation of the music so you can probably mix without headphones, just by starting on the first beat at the same tempo.

Thankyou all for the suggestions. It’s the time coded vinyl I was thinking about getting. Does anybody else use this format? Can I switch between my regular vinyl and the time coded vinyl easily?

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Long time since I used that with Traktor. As I recall you can switch but you need to change settings. Everything about the time coded vinyl is a bit clunky IMO. Honestly think you’d find it easier with some sort of digital only player running through a line channel on your mixer and keep your decks for actual vinyl.


This is what I bought originally, didn’t really get on with it as others have mentioned. Happily flog it if your interested. Never tried swapping to ‘real’ vinyl, sure there must be a Youtube or Traktor tutorial someplace.

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Nice one I have actually got a tractor k2 controller so may just use that. Is that the type of setup you are suggesting or is there something else you had in mind and can recommend??:v:

My understanding was you could just use both real vinyl and timecoded interchangeably… If this is a bit hassley I’d rather try and come up with an alternative. Thanks for response :v:

Just off to shops will pull box out of cupboard and have a shufty when we get back.

Do you mean the A&H K2 controller? It looks similar to the Traktor Z1. But it doesn’t have a jog wheel which means you are still using the iPad/Mac screen to cue tunes up. There a number of versions of Traktor controllers with jog wheels like the S4. I used an S4 for quite a while and it’s pretty effective.

However if you want best connectivity for playing out from time to time I think using Rekordbox software is best. So if you get some sort of Pioneer controller at home with all your tunes in Rekordbox you can easily take a USB stick of tunes to a club and plug it into other Pioneer decks.

Horses for courses obviously but I’m much happier now using Pioneer XDJ 700s for digital instead of Traktor.

Not sure what it’s like but the Pioneer ddj controller starts at about £120. Sounds like a good price for entry level digital with Rekordbox.

So I have this, it includes everything you need… not sure about the software as it’s a few years old now, but if you have it anyway? Basically unused discs, interface used for a few months before I got the X1 & Z1 which are great btw. Do it for £100 plus postage. Forum price :wink:

I had the same requirement last year - trusty 1200’s with analog mixer but wanted a relatively inexpensive way of adding digital tracks into my sets at home. CDjs too expensive so went the Traktor Scratch A6 DVS route. Works great and can switch seamlessly between digital and vinyl.

As well as buying scratch A6, you need to pickup the traktor multicore cables (£50 a pair, but you can pickup off eBay for about £20) that allow you to connect the a6 audio interface to both your line in and phono rca channels on the mixer.

Switching between digital and vinyl is just a case of switching the line input section on your mixer. Mines a mastersounds radius and the switch is on the top so nice and easy to do on the fly.

The only negative is that the time code vinyl emits a high pitch noise when spinning - although it’s inaudible once the music is playing so not really an issue. Touch and feel is pretty close to standard vinyl.

Just checked eBay and there’s a good deal on the same setup including the multi core cables:

Hope this helps!

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