Welcome ProAudioStar customer Sam to the blog. He’s been blogging his thoughts on the getting started in the DJ game at Dazemusic but I asked if we could syndicate some of his content here and he was happy to contribute! Sam is a turntable/serato guy but was looking for a more portable solution for some of his mobile gigs. He picked up a VCI-300 MKII from us a few weeks ago and I was curious about his thoughts. Here’s his in depth review reblogged from his wordpress:
So, I have finally taken the plunge. After nearly a year of research and overanalyzing Youtube videos and DJ forums, I have finally purchased the VCI 300 MKII. I have been using two Vestax PDX-2000 Turntables along with a TTM56 mixer and Shure M44-7 cartridges, but I wanted a smaller setup to take to venues without having to take a while to set up. I also live in a city where it is hard to park close to the venue where I am DJ’ing.
Before purchasing the VCI 300 MKII, my biggest issue was deciding between the MKII and the NS7 performance controller. The NS7 is an amazing piece of DJ equipment. The problem with the NS7 for me, however, was the size of the controller. The NS7 is a large, hard to carry performance controller. It however felt better in my hands overall when I compared it to the VCI 300 controller, when I tested the two controllers back in January.
When I heard about the release of the VCI 300 MKII a couple months ago, I knew Vestax would make changes that would improve the controller. I am not going to talk about all of the features and changes between the MKI and the MKII as they are listed all over the Internet. I am just going to speak about the main differences I noticed as a DJ.
One of the things that bothered me about the original VCI 300 MKI controller was that the overall feel of the controller did not feel very good when I was using it to scratch. Something seemed a little off when I tried scratching with it. I always felt a delay or lag when I used it. I realized my DJ skills may not have been up to par and there could be other DJ’s online who had no problem with scratching on the controller. It was because of this that I searched the Internet for every VCI 300 scratch video I could find. It seemed other DJ’s had the same issue. I even found a forum that went through a long methodology about how to eliminate the lag that involved opening the VCI 300 and inserting a couple screws into the mixer board.
I was hoping this issue would be fixed in the VCI 300 MKII, and from all of my testing thus far, it works great. It has a much better feel than the original VCI 300. The mixer seems much improved to me, as are the control platters. I had to take a bit of time to calibrate the settings to find the right feel for my style of DJ’ing. On the previous version of the VCI 300, a screwdriver had to be used to calibrate the settings. I never tried doing this, and I do acknowledge that I may have had the same feel for the previous model had I altered the settings. However, there are implications of using the previous model if I am spinning with another DJ. If that DJ has a different feel of the control platters and needs to alter the settings, I’d have to take a screwdriver with me everywhere I go. Now, it is much simpler as this can be controlled with knobs.
The mixer itself is also something incredible. All of my mixes flow together well. The options for Auto-Gain, the adjustable settings for the crossfader and upfader really do make my mixes come together very well. As for the software itself, it is amazing. I love being able to pick songs straight from the controller without having to touch my computer. The ease of creating cue points straight from the controller is also great.
Overall, I am extremely happy with my purchase of the VCI 300 MKII. Vestax made adjustments that are important to my style of DJ’ing. I play mainly hip hop music, and scratching is important. Having the ability to scratch while carrying around a portable item is important. From my testing of both the VCI 300 MKI and the VCI 300 MKII I honestly do feel a bit of a difference between the two controllers. Last Thursday I received my VCI 300 MKII in the mail, and I DJ’ed an event with it the next day. Everything worked perfectly fine, as I was able to do what I would normally be able to do on my normal setup with the VCI 300 MKII.
I will still practice on my turntables and mixer and translate those skills to the VCI 300 MKII when I use it for gigs. I will not be taking my VCI 300 MKII to a DJ Battle and attempt to win with it, however, it is a great controller for me to take to events and still have most of the abilities I would have with my usual DJ setup. If you are a DJ looking for a great controller that is portable, look no further, the VCI 300 MKII is the way to go.
Thanks again Sam for this insight. We’ll be hearing more from him on gear and general DJ techniques here on our blog but to follow him on the daily be sure to check out Dazemusic. If you’ve got any interest in contributing these kinds of reviews or other articles to our blog be sure to give me a shout I’m always looking for good writers!