review

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.

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Fitbit Flex 2 and Fitbit Charge 2 are the ‘Next Big Step’ in Wearable Fitness Trackers

  The Fitbit Charge 2 will be available for purchase in September 2016.

The Fitbit Charge 2 will be available for purchase in September 2016.

The Fitbit Charge 2 has interchangeable bands to fit your style at the gym and a night out on the town. 

Fitbit, the leader in wearable fitness trackers, has been rolling out new products in the past year, and just this week announced upgrades to two of its most popular products, Flex and Charge/Charge HR.

The upgrades, naturally named Flex 2 and Charge 2, are currently available for pre-order on Fitbit’s website and other major online retailers. They will be in stores this Fall.

Here’s a brief overview:

Fitbit Charge 2
The updated version of the Charge/Charge HR has PurePulse® heart rate tracking, and now features an enhanced exercise experience, new health and fitness tools, the smart notifications (such as text message and call notifications right on your wrist). The new design with it’s larger display, is reminiscent of the sleek Fitbit Alta, but a bit heftier and dare I say, more "manlier." Like Alta, Charge 2 has the ability to interchange bands that easily let you go from a workout to a night out.

Pricing
SRP $149.95; packaged with one of these classic fitness band colors; black, blue, plum or teal

Additional bands for purchase include:

  • Classic fitness accessory bands in four colors, sold separately ($29.95)
  • Luxe premium leather accessory bands in blush pink, brown and indigo ($69.95)
  • Special edition series in gunmetal and rose gold coming soon ($179.95)

Fitbit Flex 2
Flex was my first daily wear fitness tracker and it’s great to see an updated version of what I would call Fitbit’s “base model.” The first version was essentially a fancy pedometer, with an unreliable clasp that I always worried would fall off. In fact, I’ve known more than a few people who lost theirs.

Flex 2 is completely redesigned and reengineered - including a much more secure clasp. It’s an ultra-slim, first-ever swim-proof fitness wristband featuring a removable tracker that transforms with classic bands, elegant bangles or pendants, allowing you to effortlessly track all-day activity, exercise and sleep in a style that’s all your own.

The fashion accessories are really where Flex 2 outshines every other fitness wearable, even within Fitbit’s own product line. Users can choose from a range of luxe, premium mirror-finish bangles in silver stainless steel, and 22k-plated gold or rose gold stainless steel, or elegant lariat-style necklaces in silver stainless steel or 22k-plated gold stainless steel for an elevated look that fits seamlessly into everyday life. Tracking 10,000 steps has never looks so stylish.

Pricing
SRP: $99.95 packaged with one of these classic fitness band colors; black, lavender, magenta or navy

Additional accessories for purchase include:

  • Classic fitness accessory bands in seven on-trend shades of black, blush pink, gray, lavender, magenta, navy and yellow, coming soon and sold separately ($14.95)
  • Classic 3-pack fitness accessory band hues in Pink (blush pink, lavender and magenta) and Sport (gray, navy and yellow) coming soon ($29.95)
  • Bangle accessory in gold, rose gold ($99.95) and silver stainless steel ($89.95)
  • Pendant accessory in gold ($99.95) and silver stainless steel ($79.95)

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.

Review of Chroma Caps from DJ Tech Tools

Chroma Caps Bring Style and Life to Your DJ Mixer

NOTE: For my complete video review of Chroma Caps, scroll to the bottom of this article. 

  Chroma Caps from DJ Tech Tools are a great way to dress up your mixer while also adding practical functionality to your DJ performance. 

Chroma Caps from DJ Tech Tools are a great way to dress up your mixer while also adding practical functionality to your DJ performance. 

A dimly lit DJ booth or dark corner of a ballroom is a scene quite familiar to DJs. Without proper lighting over a mixing board, those stock knobs and faders -- with their dark black and gray colors -- can be hard to see. Also, since they are mostly made of plastic, the tactile feels isn’t great, something that DJs underestimate. When you consider how much we grab these things, several times throughout a gig, comfort should be a concern.

If you want to view your mixer in better in low light situations, while also customizing it so it’s unique when compared to all the same mixers out there, look no further than Chroma Caps from DJ Tech Tools.

What are Chroma Caps?
Chroma Caps are replacements for the factory stock knobs and faders that are installed on DJ mixers. They are designed to be slightly larger to enhance grip, and in a multitude of colors with wider position markers to enhance visibility. They are also a great way to “pimp” out your mixer while adding some practical use to it as well.

Chroma Caps come in 12 different colors and multiple sizes:

  • Fader (channel and crossfader)
  • Super knob (typically the smaller knobs found in EQ or gain sections)
  • Fatty knob (slightly larger than the super knob, works well for filters
  • Encoder (same as the fatty knob, but without a marker position; works well on knobs that have an infinite turn such as browse or loop functions)

You may think swapping out perfectly good knobs and faders is waste of time and money. But overhauling your mixer this way can also improve your workflow and performance.

For example, the Rane 64, four-channel mixer that I “chroma capped” now has a better, more categorized layout. If you look at the stock layout, there are three types of knobs (three different colors) and the black faders. The gray knobs are primarily used for equalizer functions, but also for different volume controls.

I reorganized, using the Chroma Cap colors as a visual cue. Now, all of the volume functions on my mixer have a red knob or fader. Equalization or pan knobs are blue and filter knobs are gray, using the larger “fatty knob.”

My favorite modification I made to the mixer is using the Encoder as my new ‘browse’ knob while keeping the stock smaller ‘loop’ knob.

Those two knobs are spaced close together that often times I was grabbing/pressing the wrong one. I was looping when I meant to load; and loading when I meant to loop. Now I know which one I am touching based on feel.

By the way, if you’re looking to overhaul a Rane 64, there are 40 replaceable knobs and four faders. Unfortunately due to the construction of the crossfader, that is not replaceable. The breakdown on my mixer is as follows.

  • Faders: 4
  • Super knobs: 27
  • Fatty knobs: 5
  • Encoder knobs: 2

I did not replace the FlexFx browse knob, session in, session out or balance knobs.

Conclusion
I would highly recommend a swap of your knobs and faders. They are great way to improve performance and also stand out from the crowd -- not that that matters, but it’s kinda cool anyway.  

A look at Chroma Caps by djtechtools.com and how I applied them on a Rane 64 mixer.

Review of the Lululemon Surge Short w/Luxteme Liner

Lululemon is synonymous with quality athletic wear; primarily athletic wear for women. The athletic activity of choice … of course any proper downward dog doer is often seen wearing the “lulu” logo on their pant leg.

But Lululemon is expanding their product line … it’s not just for the ladies anymore, and it’s certainly not just for yoga either.

For the past couple of months I’ve been joining the Lululemon Run Club, which meets every Monday in and around La Jolla, CA. My association with the group has led me to some new running friends, new techniques and an appreciation for being able to run along the Pacific Ocean every Monday evening.

It has also hooked me up with some cool people at the Lululemon Girard Street store in La Jolla (just north of San Diego). With the expanding mens line, the store was seeking product testers for their new product. It made sense to take some of that product for a test spin during the during the 2014 La Jolla Half Marathon – which essentially ends just a few blocks from the stores door front. 

I decided to try out the 7-inch Surge Short with the Luxtreme Liner.

  Working my way through the La Jolla Half Marathon .. oh the hills.

Working my way through the La Jolla Half Marathon .. oh the hills.

I generally do wear a compression base layer when I run in cold weather – races or training runs that are 55 degrees or less. I like the extra warmth they give me on my thighs and it does help keep me warmer overall. This type of base layer also helps reduce any inner thigh chafing. When I do wear compression layers, I of course also slip on a pair of running shorts over them.

The Surge Short combines both a compression layer and 7-inch short in one … pretty cool. The temperature for this years La Jolla Half was just right, and ordinarily I would not have worn a long base layer. But for testing purposes I went ahead and wore these.

The Luxtreme Liner was amazingly comfortable during my 13.1 miles. Remarkably, they stayed in place the entire time, not riding up even a tiny millimeter. This is important because having to constantly reach to pull down shorts wastes energy and time.

As for the shorts themselves I really did not notice them. In fact, it was almost as though I wasn’t wearing shorts at all. In a way, I had the sensation of running around in Spandex while sparing the people running behind me the actual vision of  me running in Spandex.

  Lululemon Surge Shorts with Luxtreme Liner combines a compression base layer and running short into one happy family.

Lululemon Surge Shorts with Luxtreme Liner combines a compression base layer and running short into one happy family.

The shorts also did not bunch up in the crotch area, which is another issue I’ve had with other running shorts. It seems every couple of miles I find myself pulling my shorts down, and with the Lululemon model this was not the case.

As far as other features …. There is a zippered pocket on the left side in addition to a stuff pocket on the inside back part of the waistband. I appreciated the side pocket because it’s much easier to access on the side vs. the back. The pocket is fairly small. At most you could fit a few keys and some gels, blocks, jelly beans etc. Unless you have a real tiny mobile phone, it’s not getting in there.

One of the most interesting features is the waistband loop that is set on the right hip. For those that shed a shirt during a run, you’ve got a convenient place to hang that garment. 

  Take off your shirt and tuck it in the specially-designed waistband loop.

Take off your shirt and tuck it in the specially-designed waistband loop.

Lululemon clothing does not come cheap. These bad boys retail for $74. But as they say, pay for quality and it will last. While I cannot speak for the longevity of these shorts, I can tell you they were probably the most comfortable duds I’ve ever taken on a run. I needed something to keep me comfortable during that arduous two hour and seven minutes of running, and these did just the trick.