Prime 4 - From install to first gig!

Hi folks,

Been a tad busy with daytime job (60+ hours a week running into late nights) and busy weekends with stuff other than DJ-ing. Hence my silence on here.

BUT … I have not done nothing. With a new Prime 4 sitting on my desk, there was no way I would not be doing something with it, right!?

So, let me update you on what happened since I received that wonderful big box.

First thing I did after unpacking, was hook it up to my desktop mixer/soundcard (Yamaha AG03 - another godsend product for DJs like me btw), to power and pop in a USB stick. Did the obligatory firmware update and fired her up. Lot’s of lights, played around with preferences and settings and just fooled around trying FX, 2- and 4-deck operation, horizontal and vertical waveform display. Figuring out how to turn on quantising and continous play (would be nice is this had a mix feature). Like the way that is now a swipe from the top down menu, where you can also quickly hit record and change the stop time of the decks.

After the honeymoon period I decided to get serious and prepare for a first gig playing out. I have (also for testing purposes but mainly to comply with requests) ca. 43k tracks in my collection, collected by buying other DJ’s collections and buying stuff over 42 years on the decks. So a sizable chunk of music. I was a Mixvibes Cross fan to date, so I needed to get everything ready for use on the Prime 4.

I began with buying a new 500GB SSD, Samsung 80EVO. Installing it was a breeze, although the screws where missing from the Prime 4 box and they also don’t come with the drive. As I am also an IT-guy, I have a literal bucket full of screws so that was sorted quickly. Connected to the cable and screwed back the cover panel.

Hooked up the Denon Blue USB-cable to the P4 and to my windows PC. It recognised the drive and I used a third-party tool to re-format the disk to ExFat. Then I disconnected the P4 from the windows PC and hooked it up to my Mac Mini. It was instantly recognised as the ExFat drive that it is. To make sure it would format from the Mac as well, I wiped it and did an ExFat format from the Mac. (Kudos to Peter from ATGR, who helped me through a big part of the migration process!).

With the disk in place and operational, I started the actual migration process. I could tell you how I did that, but then I’d have to kill you LOL.

At the end of a couple of hours of copying tracks, analyzing and such, I had my entire collection with my playlists as crates in the P4. Ready to play out.

Finally last night I had a chance for that life trial. A friend of mine, who sings 2 half hour sets of Dutch party music, was doing a 60-yr birthday party in someones (big) back yard. I offered to warm-up for him and play during his break to keep the vibe going.

We set up (if you want to know the mixer to mixer to PA setup used, drop me a message) and got going. I warmed up the crowd for a bout an hour, then my friend sang his first set. In between we had some speeches and the b’day boys’ daughters performed an unplugged duet. After the break and my friend’s second set I decided to do a little encore as the party was good and well underway. We blew the roof of for another half hour and called it a night.

The P4 held up beatifully and delivered on all of it’s promises as far as I am concerned. Setting up was a breeze as was taking it down at the end of the night. I was at a spot with no actual light on my controller, but the well-lighted buttons and the fantastically bright touch screen made that mostly a non-issue. Trust me, I have had different experiences in the past to where I borrowed a standing lamp from the living room just to have some light.

I can safely say that last night, apart from just being an allround fun and succesful night (my friend got invited to sing at another gig tonight! My price was a bit too steep to make it another duo presentation), it revived something that has been missing lately. I was playing on routine, but getting tired of the software, the laptop, the mouse, the laptop stand and all the work that comes with it.

This, DJ-ing with the Prime 4, felt like what DJ-ing is supposed to be to me, uncomplicated, one machine for everything, doing what you need it to do. Including hooking up that extra mic for the speeches. When the host decided to sing alone with the singer’s first song, I just hit echo on, turn it up a bit and presto, while not exactly The Voice material, it sounded better than just a flat mic. Having separate mic channels is a great thing in and of itself anyway, no loss of a channel fader (or having to reset gain, EQ and stuff everytime you swith between deck use and mic use on that channel) and no more pressing cue on channel 3 to prelisten to a track with the switch still set to mic and the talk-over kicking in unexpectedly.

You get the idea. I had an A W E S O M E first experience playing out and am amped up to go out and play out again.

Here are a few pics of the night, just to compensate for the wall of text, LOL.