dj gear

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.

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.

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Everybody In The Pool

Selecting the right music pool to keep your music collection fresh

When it comes to downloading music, the options for working DJs are plentiful.

When it comes to downloading music, the options for working DJs are plentiful.

One of the first items “just starting out” DJs need to check off their to do list is finding an reliable and good music source. They can have all the fancy gear, but if they don’t have a current, high quality library of music, those $1000 speakers won’t have much reason to get fired up.

And certainly, just buying a hard drive filled with music isn’t going to work either. Not only is this illegal, but it’s the continuous need to update of a music library that makes a music pool subscription so important.

From iTunes to Amazon, CDs from Target and other sources, music sources is plentiful. But while buying CDs and downloading individual tracks from iTunes or other online music stores are fine, in the long run it’s going to be a lot of work and likely cost much more than a DJ specific subscription based music service.

While music sources are plentiful, so too are DJ music pools. The purpose of this article is to give insight on the the three that I have been using for many years (two of which I’ve used for more than a decade). With the type of DJing I do -- mobile gigs, mainly weddings, corporate, private parties and fitness events -- these have served me well. And if you do similar events, this mix of record pools will have your hard drives filled with great music and rarely having to answer “sorry, I don’t have that.”

Promo Only POOL
I have been a customer of Promo Only since February 2002, the first month I received my Mainstream Radio CD. PO is an DJ industry standard, serving up current hits for nearly every genre of music playing in clubs and on the radio.

For nearly 10 years, I was well taken care of when it came to most requests (keep in mind I mostly was doing weddings and corporate events). But as my event types began to expand, I wanted to have more music genres in my library. Adding a few additional genres ala carte didn’t seem cost effective, not to mention the fact that ripping CDs each month was just more work than I needed.

Enter in Promo Only POOL (Promo Only Online). It’s the the music assistant I didn’t realize I needed. Not only did I now have monthly deliveries of my Mainstream Radio releases, but was receiving Country, Modern Rock, Urban Radio and more. What was even better, these were all available at the click of my trackpad.

Logging into POOL is like opening an Amazon package everyday, with new music just waiting for me, all at a yearly price where I’m essentially just paying pennies for music that is being had delivered to me.

Price: Pricing starts at $40/month; many options depending on which genres you want;
Pros: Monthly updates for all radio and club hits; daily updates for hot singles; Radio friendly remixes and edits; separate application/player, not a web based interface; full song sound samples
Cons: Selection and quality of remixes is “okay,” not a lot of unique versions, mostly what you are hearing on radio; although not being web based is listed as a “pro” it’s a drawback too as you would need to download the software to access on other computers.
Website: Promo Only POOL

Select Mix
I was initially attracted to Select Mix, an online remix service, to supplement my library with mainstream, DJ friendly music tracks. “DJ friendly” meaning songs that had 16 or 32 beat intros and outros. The variety they provided is great, because they have these song versions for mainstream radio hits as well as club dance tracks.

But then Select Mix started to grow and added releases such as Street Tracks (current hip hop), Old School Essentials (90s Hip Hop), 80s Essentials (80s Pop), Hot Classics (disco) and the list goes on and on.

To me, it’s the best service out there that gives you a good selection of current 16/32 beat intro versions, as well as mixable tracks from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s.

Price: Individual releases priced at $10-13 each; contact for monthly/yearly pricing
Pros: Vast catalog of current music as well as popular songs from the past four decades; web based interface so easy to download from any computer.
Cons: Mostly just songs with intro and outro beats tacked onto them, not much creativity; the download function is not the best for workflow, as you have to add releases to a cart, download the cart, then unzip each release; song samples are short clips, not the entire song; unable to scrub/advance through the sound sample.
Website: Select Mix/Hot Tracks

BPM Supreme
BPM Supreme is a service I added a couple of years ago and it filled a void in my music collection … unique remixes. As a fitness DJ, I need a lot of remixes to fill my sets for yoga sessions and cardio workouts. Dropping a house version of a hip song or a downtempo version of a dance track is that kind of stuff that gets people motivated while still keeping things sounding familiar. I also like the variety these track types provide for cocktail and dinner hours and other times when I’m trying to create a certain vibe.

Searching through BPM Supreme is like crate digging at a record store, although you’re searching digitally and able to preview full tracks (without audio watermarks). Every genre is available, including sub genres of dance music like Nu Disco, Deep House and Future Bass.

Many of the tracks will have a radio version, “dirty” version, 16/32 beat intro version, acapella and instrumental.

BPM Supreme also regularly updates their catalog of 80s, 90s and 2000s tracks. While these are not necessarily remixes, they are clean intros and outros that are tacked on to make them mix friendly as well as the radio versions.

Lastly, BPM Supreme does carry current hits and it’s possible to use this a single source for radio tracks, remixes and “older” songs. But you can only download files on an individual basis -- there isn’t a batch release of a particular genre. This makes it a bit tedious when you need to download a large batch of current music.

Price: $19.99/monthly (also includes video content)
Pros: Outstanding collection of current music and video, unique remixes as well as mix friendly versions of nearly EVERY song available; web based so you can log in from anywhere and on any computer to download tracks.
Cons: Users search for single tracks and add them to a cart to batch download, this process can get tedious vs. having an option to download a monthly release with several tracks of a particular genre with one click.
Website: BPM Supreme Pricing

What music pools do you use? Comment below and let me know what you love and/or dislike about the options out there.

Cardio Circuit with Natalie - Corepower Yoga Point Loma

San Diego based yoga DJ, Justin Kanoya, DJs a cardio circuit class at Corepower Yoga. 

I continue to be impressed with the variety of classes and fitness options available to Corepower Yoga members. I had the opportunity to spin for a Cadio Circuit class. It's a bit similar to yoga sculpt, however there are stations for the excercises so the attendees are in constant motion.

It's fun to create beats and mixes to keep people motivated. Here's what was in store for them on this particular day.

  • Sunlounger - Punta Galera (Chill Version)
  • Rihanna ft Drake - Work (Lost Kings Remix)  
  • Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On (Mayeda Remix)
  • Major Lazer ft Justin Bieber & MO - Cold Water (J Rythm BPM Supreme Remix)
  • Charming Horses feat. Grace Grundy - Higher Love (Original Mix)
  • Sia ft Sean Paul - Cheap Thrills (Xemi Canovas & David Pateo Mambo Remix)  
  • The Notorious B.I.G. ft Mase & Puff Daddy - Mo Money Mo Problems (Shoe Scene Remix)  
  • Pharrell ft Jay-Z - Frontin (Disclosure Mix)
  • DJ Snake ft George Maple - Talk (Supernatet Edit)  
  • 50 Cent - In Da Club (Bender Remix)
  • Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop The Feeling (Loud Luxury Remix)  
  • Backstreet Boys - Everybody (Backstreet's Back) (Lazy Bear & Zerky Remix)  
  • The Chainsmokers ft Halsey - Closer (Kahikko & Jespr Remix)  
  • The Game & 50 Cent - This Is How We Do (Shoe Scene Symphony Remix)  
  • Dr. Dre ft Nate Dogg - The Next Episode (Tuner & Ill Remix)
  • Flume ft Kai - Never Be Like You (Martin Solveig Remix)  
  • Rihanna - B***h Better Have My Money (R3hab Remix Edit)
  • Rihanna - Pon De Replay
  • DNCE - Cake By The Ocean (Riddler Remix)  
  • Beyonce - 7/11 (Tracy Young's Smack It In The Air Radio Edit)
  • M.I.A. - Paper Planes (MIME Remix)  
  • Bingo Players - Cry (Just A Little) (A-Trak & DiscoTech Remix)  
  • Flo Rida - I Cry
  • Kygo ft Ella Henderson - Here For You (DAO Remix)  

Using Folders Within Virtual DJ - Tips & Tricks

Deciphering the differences between Filtered, Favorite and Virtual folders in Virtual DJ

Perhaps the most important feature of any DJ software is the potency of its file management system. Yes, you can always search for a track you need, but that’s not how DJs work. Many times I have a song in mind based off what I am currently playing; a certain genre, tempo, artist, etc. It’s at these times that it’s nice for me to see a list of related songs to give me an idea of what I want to play next.

The folder system within Virtual DJ is extremely powerful and when used correctly is truly the powerhouse of my workflow.

Folder Types: Virtual vs. Filtered vs. Favorite
Before diving into the organizing of your music within VDJ, it’s important to understand the difference between the three folder types within the program. They each serve a specific purpose and have certain advantages depending on their use.

All of these folders are essentially “baskets” that we can place our music into. So I’ll use this analogy as I describe the differences below.

Favorite Folders
Favorite folders are a way to ensure a specific folder within your computer's folder structure shows up directly in the Virtual DJ browser. This is helpful if you have a folder of music files that is buried a few layers down in a file structure and you only want that one folder to display. Rather than seeing, for instance, four layers of folders, you can see just the one.

This is better understood by looking at this screen capture.

The 20 Good Vibrations Beach Boys album is nested three levels down in this file structure. Assigning it as a favorite would put in right within the VDJ browser without having click down so many levels. 

Creating a virtual folder titled "Promo Only" enables me to keep my collection of Promo Only favorite and filtered folders in once place. 

Virtual Folders
A Virtual Folder is just like a basket and works similarly to the folder structure on a PC. Virtual Folders are created when you want to organize other folders you have created within VDJ.

For example, let’s say you have folders sorted with three types of dance music. Those folders are labeled, House, Nu Disco and Electronica. To keep things tidy, I would create a Virtual Folder titled “Dance” and then drag those three other folders into them.

In the example shown, my system has several Promo Only folders and I created a "parent" folder to house all of the "child" folders. 

A Virtual Folder is useful if you need a handful of specific tracks at the ready for a gig ... for instance, the key songs needed during a wedding. 

You can also use Virtual Folders as a file management tool, such as keeping all the tracks of a particular artist into a folder. However, keep in mind that virtual folders only change if you alter them. So if you created, for instance, and Adele folder on Monday, but add more Adele tracks to your database on Tuesday, that folder would need to be manually updated.

Is there a way to have that folder update on its own? Absolutely, and that's the perfect segue way to a little thing called, Filtered Folders.

Filtered Folders
This folder type is truly the workhorse of my system. Between my subscription based releases from Promo Only, BPM Supreme and Select Mix; my own music collection and other random music I may pick up digging through $1 bins at the store, I have a lot of music that gets dumped into system. It’s nearly impossible to know where everything is and certainly would be a major headache if you physically had to sort, drag and drop into Virtual Folders.

You could be the most advanced digital organizer and it would still take hours to sort music files within your computer folder system.

Imagine the basket example from earlier and having 20 baskets in front you, all representing a specific genre of music. You’ve just been given 150 music files to sort and drop into each basket. First you need to see what genres each one of those tracks are and then drag them to a specific folder.

You drag hip-hop to its respective folder. Then you drag rock to its folder, and so on and so forth. This would be tedious and take a lot of time. Further, if you were doing this sorting just within your hard drive, that one track would show up in that folder and nowhere else.

Filtered Folders not only does the sorting for you, but it enables you a seemingly infinite number of ways to sort music. In short, it’s amazing.

As I mentioned above, a lot of times when I am DJing I’ll be in a certain genre and I want to see what my options are within that genre. Within VDJ, I have genres such as 2015 Top 40, 2013 Dance, House 2014, etc. All of these are Filtered Folders and the music automatically shows up in those folders based on specific criteria.

Filtered Folders within Virtual DJ act like assistant you always wish you had. 

How does this all happen? It’s through the magic of assigning a specific script you want to each folder. I know the word “script” can be a bit scary as it relates to a computer program, but it is not as difficult as it sounds.

Let’s say you want to create a filtered folder of 2015 pop songs. To do this, you click on the blue filtered folder icon to create a new filtered folder, give it a name (whatever you like, but 2015 Pop would be more than appropriate) and then proceed to the script screen. You then type in the criteria based on your needs. The script for this example would be: “year is 2015 and genre is pop.” Click “ok” and you will see that folder populate with all songs that are tagged with the year 2015 and a genre of pop.

As you add additional music files with those same tags, the folder will continue to populate and grow without you having to lift a finger.

Filtered Folders are so powerful that you can include criteria in a script to eliminate certain tracks. Taking the above example, let’s say you want 2015 hip-pop songs but do not want songs that have explicit lyrics to show up in the folder. If you’ve tagged those particular songs with the word “explicit” in the title, the script would be:

“year is 2015 and genre is pop and title doesn’t contain “explicit.”

This results in having a filtered folder of 2015 pop songs unless the word “explicit” is within the title.

A plug-in that is available to VDJ Pro Users was created called My Library. This has a host of Filtered Folders that someone else has already created and thus finished a lot of the legwork for you. I highly recommend installing it. 

Tag You’re It
Filtered folders will only be effective if your music files are tagged properly and have a consistent naming convention. It’s best to decide on how you will assess certain genres i.e. is “pop” going to be “mainstream” or is mainstream going to be “pop.” You could possibly do both and create a filtered folder to look for both, but in general it’s easier to keep it to one specific genre.

While you can batch tag files in VDJ, there are also many third party programs that do a great job tagging and renaming your files. Coincidentally I use a program simply called, Tag & Rename. It is a great program that enables you to tag several files, as well as rename them, all at once.

Folders within Virtual DJ are an effective way to manage your music files. Add in the fact that there is so much it can do in the background and you’ve got a robust music management system. This ultimately will make you a better DJ as you can concentrate on your mix and keep your focus on the dance floor and not have to stress as you try and navigate through an unorganized file structure.

What are some of your folder management tips? What are some of the ways you use filtered folders? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to check out this informative video from VDJ's own Adam Whytall.

Justin Kanoya is a wedding, yoga and fitness DJ based in San Diego. He is also the official DJ for Fitbit events that take place all over the United States. 

Review of the Chauvet DJ Intimidator Wave IRC

The Intimidator Wave IRC from Chauvet DJ

Moving head light fixtures, the type with strong, bold color beams, are a sure fire way to upgrade a mobile DJ’s lighting show. But at the very minimum, moving heads work best in multiple units. One beam of colored light shooting around a ballroom is okay, but add another one, or two … or five?

However, hauling around several moving heads, along with its cabling, can get a bit cumbersome. Enter the Chauvet Intimidator Wave IRC from Chauvet DJ.  Today’s review takes a look at this compact, multiple moving head light fixture.

My complete review of this light fixture is available on Digital DJ Tips and the video is below.