For DJs

How To Replace The Crossfader on an MC4000 With an Innofader

  San Diego DJ, Justin Kanoya, shares his tips on replacing the stock crossfader on a Denon MC4000 with a Mini Innofader Plus.

San Diego DJ, Justin Kanoya, shares his tips on replacing the stock crossfader on a Denon MC4000 with a Mini Innofader Plus.

While I love my Denon MC4000 controller, it has a major drawback; parts are not user replaceable. That means if you need something replaced there are two options … go through Denon’s repair process or do it yo’ self.

The former, while probably the safest bet, is also one that takes the most time. It also wasn’t the most reliable, as I tried to set up service tickets with Denon on two occasions to no avail. This might have been an unfortunate coincidence for me, but I’ve been hearing reports of others also not getting the best responses from Denon Support.

As a result, I went with the latter option. Since I use my MC4000 weekly and I did not want to rely on an alternate set-up option.

So what exactly did I D.I.Y.? A few months after using the controller, the crossfader was damaged. This was likely due to the glide shelf on the Odyssey case I was using. The stem of the crossfader was bent, wobbly and if not treated with kid gloves was destined to break off.

I had heard of others swapping the stock crossfader on other Denon controllers -- mostly the MC6000 -- with an Innofader. I have heard great reviews on Innofaders and decided to try my hand at an unauthorized, warranty voiding repair.

Scary? Yes! But in the end, the process was pretty simple. And I’m here to provide information on the steps it takes to swap out the MC4000 crossfader. For me it was a bit stressful because I was going in pretty blind.

The Mini Innofader Plus is the perfect crossfader install into a Denon MC4000.

But with this info, it does not need to be stressful for you. Scroll to the bottom for step-by-step video I put together. 

Here we go!

Tools needed

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Hex head screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Soft cloth
  • Blocks (or anything to place on jog wheels to elevate the controller)


Innofader Model Needed
Mini Innofader Plus (thanks to Elliot for advising on the proper model)

Step-by-Step

Step One
Remove all knobs and faders. You will be removing the faceplate and this (in addition to removing screws) is the only way to do that.

I recommend a soft cloth, small towel, etc. and pliers for this. Wrap the cloth around the knob/fader, then with the pliers pull straight up. Don’t squeeze too hard, just enough to get a firm grip.

You can do this without tools, but some knobs are more difficult to remove than others. Also when you are doing this repeatedly several times (there are a lot of knobs) there’s a little fatigue with the fingers.

Step Two
Remove hex head screws that keep the faceplate in place. These will be found on the top and front of the controller.

Remove the nuts and washers holding the front panel knobs/jacks in place. These are the knobs/jacks for the mic controls, cue volume and headphone jacks.

Flip the controller over. This is where I would recommend placing the jog wheels on a block (such as a yoga block or a 2x4). This will keep all of the fader stems and knobs off your tables surface.

Once flipped over, unscrew all of the Phillips head screwdrivers that hold the bottom panel in place.

Do not remove any of the back panel screws as there is no need to disassemble that part.

Step Three
Remove the bottom panel. You will now be looking at the bottom side of the MC4000. Before flipping it back over to remove the faceplate, you will need to unseat three circuit boards.

  • Mic volume knobs
  • Cue volume knobs
  • Headphone jacks.

Removing these three circuit boards, held in place by small screws, is necessary to lift off the MC4000s faceplate and gain access to the crossfader. 

These boards are individually held in place with small Phillips head screws. Once those screws are removed, you can pull the boards out, freeing them from the front panel holes.

Once this is completed, place the bottom panel back on. I replaced a few of the screws to secure the bottom panel better when I flipped the controller back over to remove the faceplate.

With the controller now facing up, lift the faceplate straight up and off. You now have access to the crossfader.

Step Four
The crossfader is held in place with a bracket and two screws. Just unscrew and when lifted out, there is some wiring that will need to be disconnected. A simple tug on the cable will “unplug” from the unit.

The Innofader, which is compatible with various DJ mixers and controllers, comes with a variety of cables. It also is packaged with various mounting brackets. However, I removed the one from the old crossfader and put it on the Innofader.

Select the appropriate cable that matches with what is needed to connect back to the MC4000, attach the mounting bracket and screw the entire assembly into place.

Follow along with the Innofader instructions to calibrate your new crossfader and once everything is ood to go, it’s time to put everything back together

First I put the faceplate back on and replaced the hex screws. I then flipped it back over, reseated thecircuit boards and then replaced the bottom screws, front panel knobs nuts and washers and lastly the knobs and faders.

If you can use a screwdriver, you can do this. The hardest part is keeping all of the screws organized, I recommend getting several small bowls and some scraps of paper to label and organize them that way.

When you’re done, you’ll have an awesome and most importantly, super durable crossfader. 

Questions on the process? Leave them in the comments, or email me directly: justin@djkanoya.com

The Mini Innofader Plus is “contactless.” It hovers above the surface of the mixer, allowing for smooth and fast cuts.

MC4000 crossfader step-by-step replacement video

I also referenced this MC6000 crossfader replacement video as a guide. As well as this one. 

What Are The Kids Listening To These Days - 80s Music Edition

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A common practice for consumer brand marketers it to put test subjects into a room and have them experience products. This gives those brands great insight into a consumer's behavior towards their product; their likes and dislikes.

As DJs music is one of the products we offer. While music charts, radio airplay and general conversations with people may yield some indication on what is popular, there’s nothing like a good old product test.

REACT is a channel on YouTube that shows videos to specific audiences while filming their reaction. There are elders reacting to modern slang, parents reacting to current music and kids reacting to 80s movies.

But the series of videos that attracted me were the ones centered around music. Specifically several videos of college and teenage kids reacting music from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. To say I was surprised to most of the reactions is an understatement. There were songs I assumed they would enjoy and they had no clue on. And of course there were other tracks that were very recognizable that I rarely play at my gigs and that I would seriously consider playing now

Feel free to check out these super insightful videos. But if you want the “Cliff’s Notes,” I spent time watching them all, and here’s what I found.

College Kids 80s - Part 1

College Kids 80s - Part 2

At the time of the posting, I estimated that these participants, college kids and the teens, were born between 1995-1998 and 2000-2003 respectively. I believe people really start to engage with popular music by age 10, so that means most of these songs were at least 20 years old by the time they may have heard them. And 30 years old at the time they were watching the videos!

The college kids were definitely influenced by pop culture and memes. Songs that appeared in movies such as “Time After Time” (Napoleon Dynamite) and “Don’t You Forget About Me” (The Breakfast Club) were instantly recognizable. And of course all knew “Never Gonna Give You Up”, of  RickRolling meme fame.

Not surprisingly Michael Jackson was familiar, but surprisingly - and sadly - few knew “When Doves Cry”. There was also confusion with artists and bands, some thinking Motley Crue was Scorpion or Alice Cooper; or Berlin being Cyndi Lauper.

Here are some other stats, which tracks how many knew the song and/or artist:

Billie Jean, Michael Jackson
Song 10/10, Artist 10/10

Don’t You Forget About Me, Simple Minds
Song 10/10, Artist 0/10

Time after Time, Cyndi Lauper
Song 10/10 , Artist 2/10

Girls, Girls, Girls, Motley Crue
Song 8/10, Artist 0/10

Tainted Love, Soft Cell
Song 9/10, Artist 0/10

When Doves Cry, Prince
Song 6/10, Artist 4/10

Never Gonna Give You Up, Rick Astley
Song 10/10, Artist 8/10

We’re Not Gonna Take It, Twisted Sister
Song 9/10, Artist 1/10

Take My Breath Away, Berlin
Song 8/10, Artist 0/10

Hungry Like the Wolf, Duran Duran
Song 7/10, Artist 0/10

Super Freak,Rick James
Song 8/10, Artist 1/10

I Love Rock ‘N Roll, Joan Jett
Song 10/10, 3/10 Artist

Uptown Girl, Billy Joel
Song 6/10, Artist 3/10

Fight For Your Right, Beastie Boys
Song 7/10, Artist 2/10

Justin Kanoya is a DJ based in San Diego, California. Follow him on Instagram, join his Facebook group, Business Coaching for DJs and subscribe to his YouTube Channel.

Sending Visitors In The Right Direction on Your Website - Squarespace Cover Pages

How I Use Squarespace Cover Pages To Attract New Clients

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Do you offer a service in your business, yet that service can be used for different purposes? For instance, a computer repair shop that specializes in Apple computers but also works on PCs; a hairdresser who may primarily works on brides, but can also do hair for a young girl’s quincenañera; and of course, a DJ that mostly spins at weddings, but also works high school dances too.

Service providers can no longer be single faceted. And for me as a DJ, one of the places this needs to be conveyed is on my website. In 2016 I emceed 23 weddings, 20 yoga and fitness events and then another 30 or so “other events.” With this diverse list of work, I could really confuse and possibly deter a potential client if they arrive on my site and are unable to find information about their event type that they would want me to DJ.

  A homepage with a singluarly focused subject matter may deter potential customers.

A homepage with a singluarly focused subject matter may deter potential customers.

  Squarespace cover pages are a great way to route incoming web traffic to the correct places on your website. 

Squarespace cover pages are a great way to route incoming web traffic to the correct places on your website. 

Many potential clients are naturally routed to a provider’s homepage. This could be from a referral site such as Yelp or Wedding Wire. Or perhaps via a Google Adwords advertisement. When they are arriving via search, it’s imperative that the landing page has exactly what they were searching for.

Given that, imagine this scenario: A potential 40th birthday client searches for “birthday party DJ in San Diego.” There’s a Google ad on the right hand side and she clicks on it. It’s been programmed to go to the website’s homepage. The photo she sees is a wedding couple having the time of their life at at their wedding. The links are generic, “about,” “services,” “blog” etc. She thinks, “hmmm, I don’t think he does birthday parties,” and then clicks away.

So what’s the solution and the best way to provide information your potential customers are looking for? Customized direct landing pages. The content manage system I use is Squarespace, and it labels this feature “Cover Pages.”

Content specific landing pages are not only useful, but important. I rarely send potential customers to my homepage. Instead, I’ve created landing pages for the three event types I DJ, and it is one of those three pages where they are routed.

  Image 1a

Image 1a

This is an important online advertising strategy. Nearly 100% of the test searches I conduct for DJ services lead me to that DJ company’s homepage. Advertisers who are paying for certain keywords and search terms are leading visitors to pages that are not relevant to their search and are definitely losing customers.

Referencing the previous scenario, I did a search for “DJs in Portland,” (see image 1a) playing the role of someone looking for a wedding DJ. Clicking on the first result that came up, I arrived at a page that only had bar/bat mitzvah information.  It took another click before I was confident the company also provided wedding service.

Further, if the images on the landing page are not representative of the event they need a DJ for (in this case a wedding), it gives them further reason to continue their search elsewhere.

How I Did It
Now that I’ve told you about direct landing pages and why they are important, I’m going to show you exactly how I use them in my business. I mentioned earlier that I have three specific landing pages for the type of events I do. Since setting those up initially, I’ve even developed sub-categories of those landing pages.

Imagine if you are a wedding DJ that specializes in Indian weddings. One landing page could be created for general weddings and the other for Indian weddings. The links on the general page could take the visitor to your wedding blog, while the other takes visitors to a specific blog page showing only filtered results of Indian weddings.

While I do not specialize in a wedding type, I did create a few custom landing wedding pages.

Weddings

General Wedding Landing Page
This is my generic wedding landing page that shows a great picture of the couple and guests having a good time. Most importantly very few links: contact, blog and resource guide.

  This is an example of a generic wedding landing page created on the DJ Kanoya Productions website. 

This is an example of a generic wedding landing page created on the DJ Kanoya Productions website. 

Parents/Family Landing Page
Occasionally I have a parent that makes the initial contact with me and participate in the decision making process. When that occurs, rather than send them to my general wedding page, I send them to a page that specifically addresses that the parties I create encompass the entire family. This picture perfectly captures that my events have people of all ages on the dance floor.

  When communicating with a parent of a potential wedding client, visitors to the DJ Kanoya Productions website are routed via this landing page. 

When communicating with a parent of a potential wedding client, visitors to the DJ Kanoya Productions website are routed via this landing page. 

Wedding Wire Landing Page
This is the landing page for traffic arriving via my Wedding Wire storefront link. This is specifically greeting the visitor and acknowledging they are coming from Wedding Wire. This would work for any traffic arriving via a referral site (i.e. The Knot, Yelp, or maybe a lead from a trade show).

  Personalize your referring site web traffic by specifically mentioning the destination they are arriving from. In this case, the first line says, “Glad we connected through Wedding Wire.”

Personalize your referring site web traffic by specifically mentioning the destination they are arriving from. In this case, the first line says, “Glad we connected through Wedding Wire.”

Yoga & Fitness

I’ve started to establish a niche in DJing fitness and yoga events. As I’ve worked these events, I’ve created content related to these event types, so it made sense to direct these potential client types to fitness event specific event information.

This landing page also keep things simple, showcasing a photo of me working a Fitbit event, with just three links: fitness event related blog posts and photos and a way to contact me.

  With a speciality in yoga and fitness events, it was important to create a specific landing page on  my website for that traffic. 

With a speciality in yoga and fitness events, it was important to create a specific landing page on  my website for that traffic. 

DJ Justin Kanoya

Lastly I have my “miscellaneous category” or inquiries from people that need information on me. Using that same philosophy of someone planning a birthday party not needing to be confused by information about weddings or fitness events, I bring them to this landing page that also has three links: my blog, a podcast interview I participated in, and of course, a contact me link.

Always make it easy for someone to contact you!

  Rather than sending a link to the “About” section on your website, create an attractive landing page like this.

Rather than sending a link to the “About” section on your website, create an attractive landing page like this.

Landing pages are a great way to breathe some new life into your site as well as segment your client base, sending them into a direction that is specific to their needs. And a potential client whose initial experience with you is easy will always have a better chance in converting to a new booked client.

DJ Kanoya House Mix - Vol. 1

Here's an impromptu 40 minute mix of Deep House and Nu Disco. Download this mix by submitting a request in the form below. 

Track List

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  • Alessia Cara - Wild Things (MK Remix)
  • Halsey - Colors (Blonde Remix)
  • Nora En Pure - Tears In Your Eyes
  • Ace Of Base - The Sign (Antoine Chambe Remix) (Radio Edit)
  • Sam Feldt & Kimberly Anne - Show Me Love (EDX Remix)
  • Chris Malinchak - If U Got It
  • Nina Simone - Feeling Good (Goldcash & RIVAS Remix)
  • Ivan Jack - The Dock Of The Bay
  • Tchami ft Luke James - World To Me
  • Snakehips & MO - Don't Leave (Kue Remix)
  • Stoned Butterflies - Love The Music (70's Mix)
  • Nora En Pure - Saltwater
  • Ellie Goulding - Burn (Gryffin Remix)
  • Justin Jay - Rain Dance
  • Ed Sheeran - Photograph (Westphal & Whyman Remix)
  • Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne - Real Love (Blaklyte & ALMOND Remix)
  • Enki Nyxx - Lonely Heart

Want this mix? Download it here.

Review of the FZGSLBM12WBL from Odyssey Cases - Turntable and Mixer Road Case

  Oddyssey road cases are the perfect way to transport your gear from gig to gig. 

Oddyssey road cases are the perfect way to transport your gear from gig to gig. 

Finding the perfect flight case for your DJ gear is important. You’ve spent hundreds of dollars on your equipment and it needs to be protected. For mobile DJs, when it comes to turntable cases, there is a crucial decision that needs to be made … a single coffin style case or three separate flight cases.

Odyssey flights cases are durable cases for your equipment and I’ve owned many of their cases over the past two decades. A couple of years ago I put together a turntable set-up and had the debate on my head of going with a coffin or three cases. Here’s my video review of the Odyssey Cases FZGSLBM12WBL.

Watch this video for insight on the following:
- A complete review of the FZGSLBM12WBL Odyssey flight case
- A look at how two Reloop 8000 turntables and one Rane 64 mixer fit with this case
- The pros and cons of using a coffin style case vs. three separate road cases
 

For a in-depth written look at this case, read on:

This is Odyssey’s case that fits two standard DJ turntables, battle style, and one 12-inch mixer. I house two Reloop 8000 turntables and the Rane 64 mixer. My gear perfectly sits in the coffin, packed nicely with the various foam corner pieces. It is equipped with its own casters and a sliding laptop shelf. It also has access holes for your cables on the back as well as the underside speaking of cables, routing them internally is fairly easy as there are access portholes in both of the dividers. Behind the mixer, there is enough space for a powerstrip most of the mixer cabling. I do not have any custom input panels on the outside of the case, but there is space on the exterior sides for audio and power ports.

  The Odyssey turntable case is perfect to transport two turntables and a mixer. 

The Odyssey turntable case is perfect to transport two turntables and a mixer. 

The Features of the FZGSLBM12WBL Case
This case has three main features: the casters, the gliding shelf and that it is part of Odyssey’s low profile series.

The casters are a nice feature to have and does enable me to drag the coffin along the floor and move it by myself. Obviously fully loaded up, this thing is heavy (more than 100 pounds). While I always have it on a cart, sometimes I need to nudge it on my table, so picking up the non-caster end and rolling in place is super easy. I also pack all my gear in a minivan, so placing the caster end of this coffin in my van, makes it easy to lift the opposite end and roll into place.

Secondly, let’s talk about the gliding shelf. The shelf is super convenient for not only your laptop but anything else you may need as part of your set up. There are models of cases out there that do not come with a shelf, and I highly recommend always getting a shelf, even if you use a laptop stand in a different part of your set-up.

You can always utilize this shelf for other things such as your microphone receiver, paperwork, sample pad and many other items.

Lastly, let’s talk about the low profile series. Typically DJ cases are about five-inches in height and while this isn’t a huge deal, it just adds to overall bulkiness look of your set-up. The low profile series is just that. The walls are just high enough to cover the top of your gear without any extra material the result is a sleek set-up, like the low profile look of a Lamborghini

The Pros and Cons
An all in one coffin isn’t without its positives and negatives. On the positive side, all the gear I need to DJ with (mixer, turntables, laptop stand, cables etc.) are all inside one case. I just need to put it on a table, connect power and speakers and I am ready to go in just a few minutes

The alternative to this would be to carry each component in its own case, amounting to three separate cases, one for the mixer and two for the turntables. This takes extra set-up time, and potentially cause wear and tear over time on the different inputs.

On the negative side, the size. The coffin itself is 47 pounds, each table is 22 pounds and my mixer is 11 pounds. Add in the weight of the cables and few other accessories and that is just over 100 pounds in gear.

I cannot move this by yourself … at least not safely. Luckily I have someone to move it of my house (thanks to my wife), and there is always someone at the gig that I can ask to take five seconds to help me lift it up to a table or back onto my dolly.

Another drawback, since essentially this is one big box, there is not much flexibility in set-up. It needs at least four feet of flat space to be set-up. If for some reason I only had less than that, I’d have to get creative. Alternatively, the modular nature of three separate cases enables for a more creative set-up.

Conclusion
That’s a look at this case by Odyssey case. I hope it was helpful for you if you are looking to pick one up or perhaps you are racking your brain like I was when trying to come to figure out the answer to the eternal question for mobile turntablists:  coffin or three cases?If you have specific questions about this debate or this case, please leave it in the comments below and/or let me know how you transport your mixer and turntables.

Follow me on my various social channels to by updated when I post content about weddings, music and DJ tips:

Instagram: @djkanoya
YouTube: djkanoya
Facebook: DJ Kanoya Productions
Twitter: @djkanoya