Ever since I purchased the Allen & Heath Xone 3D I’ve spent more time dealing with its issue than exploring my creativity with it. I bought the product half of its normal cost plus I got a free Xone XD-53 headphone which at first sounds like a real bargain. With the technology that is rapidly changing, system compatibility has always been the major issue of not buying the latest model. The driver is very Windows service pack specific. And because all of my peripherals are in harmony with the service pack I’m currently in, I’ve chosen not to compromise with the mixer. Although I was able to use the product to digitize my vinyls, I wasn’t able to fully maximize its potential as midi controller because of the issue. So after a good 2 years I’ve finally decided to let it go.
I’ve chosen the Native Instruments S4 as replacement. One thing I like the most about this product is it contains 2 analog inputs where I could plug in my 2 turntables. Though mp3s are more compact I just can’t let go of vinyls, they’ve always been my weapon of choice when beat matching. Another good thing is it has 2 jog wheels that are extremely responsive that any DJs accustomed to vinyl mixing will find this their second nature. The mixer also has integrated cue pads that makes looping and remixing on the fly possible during live sets. I haven’t explored all its capability yet but so far I’m loving it. Though I beat match by ear I’d love to get my hands dirty on those new technology such as grid adjusting and synching to get the precise BPMs and the equalizer and FX knobs that emulates Xone 3D and other high quality mixers.
Because the S4 contains the latest Traktor Pro 2 software, not only I get to sell my old Xone 3D but the Traktor Scratch Pro (the older version of the software) and its audio interface as well. So practically I’ve spent nothing on my new system.
My DJ Setup Breakdown
Native Instruments S4 – The mixer, I’ve said enough and can’t complain. I’m loving every bit of it.
Technics 1200 x 2 – my turntables from the day I started DJing, totally bomb proof.
M-Audio BX2 x 2 – Speaker monitor that’s been very reliable, I have them for years and they never disappoint.
Sony VAIO I5 – Though not the latest in processor technology it gets the job done, no latency or hang of any sort.
iOmega 1TB – External drive where all my digitized vinyls and ripped songs from CDs are stored.