Vestax’s flagship VCI-100 MKII now sports on board sound card which may be convenient for some, but with this convenience comes a much higher price tag. Many users of the original Vestax VCI-100 used only it’s MIDI functionality, relying on their own sound card to send main and monitor output. The trend in controllers may be moving towards all in one units that sport sound cards on board, but DJ’s already using their own sound cards at home or at the gig might not appreciate the price jump in this upgrade. The fact that the VCI-100 only offers RCA out is also problematic for those looking to run directly into a sound system or powered speakers without another mixer as a gain stage.
Reloop controllers have built a reputation in Europe for versatility at an affordable price making them a great mid range option for someone just starting out, or the experienced DJ looking for a portable controller to add to their arsenal. Without distribution or support here in the US they were hard to come by but Seattle based distributor Mixware has added Reloop to the line of boutique DJ products they support. The Jockey 2 Interface edition is the only one available for now, but it’s definitely one to consider if you’re looking for something like the VCI-100. At a fraction of the price this controller still has an audio interface incorporated which may be convenient for certain gigs or practicing at home, while you could also take advantage of it as a midi controller and use your own dedicated interface if you’ve got one you know and trust. This same controller also comes in a “Controller Edition” at an even lower price sans sound card, and a “Master Edition” featuring quarter inch outputs and stand alone mixer functionality (!).
More options means flexibility in price so you won’t always break the bank on features you won’t need or use. You’ve also got more flexibility to customize your DJ setup, something a lot of Digital DJ’s hold fast too even with more all in one units hitting the market. Reloop has a few different modular controllers that are also worth a look for just this reason. DJ TechTools recently did a favorable write up on Reloop’s Contour Controller that’s a four channel sound card and single deck controller. Being able to pair a multichannel controller/soundcard with the mixer already at the gig is an ideal setup for a lot of DJ’s gigging today.
Customizing your digital DJ setups takes tech chops though so it’s important to remember that if you’re laptop is going to become your main tool for DJing, you may need to familiarize yourself with mapping techniques of Traktor, Torq, Ableton, or whatever DJ software platform you’re on. The Reloop Jockey 2 comes with a version of Traktor LE that will map automatically, but think of it also as an open interface that you can build your own mappings and controls around. We’ll have a limited number of the Jockey 2 Interface Edition in stock as early as next week so give us a call or chat at us right here on our website to find out more!