Friday, May 15, 2015

Gear Reviews #1: Best DVS Interface For Your Money (but archaic, so go figure...)

Flashback with nerdy DJ talk: The M-Audio Conectiv

In my honest opinion (as much as I love Traktor), I think the M-Audio's Conectiv was the greatest DVS interface ever created.

Here's why:

1.) (Duh...) It's a DVS system for DJing
2.) Mic input
3.) Headphone cue
4.) DC powered input

And most of all:
5.) Those two huge pots could be used to input/output two audio sources

M-Audio was smart, yet shot themselves in the foot. They created an interface that wasn't limited to their own software, and had external capabilities that other DVS systems lacked. If you have an SL box, then you can only use it for one thing, Scratch Live. But with the Conectiv, you could use this interface on any DJ software or production program (of course using ASIO4ALL), and use its output to send audio signals to other external devices, and this gave a DJ tons of options!

If your DJ controller only had one master out and no booth control, it's possible that your DJ software could use ASIO4ALL to send audio signal to this interface, and booth control would technically be available through those oversized rotary knobs. In fact, you could have up to two booth/audio source controls, assuming you had more studio/active speakers that connected via composite.

Some beginner controllers don't even have audio outputs (you suck, Numark). Using Conectiv would easily allow a headphone output and two audio signals for the DJ.

But with all these neat features, this obviously didn't help keep Torq alive (remember Torq?) as folks probably hopped onto better available software while using this interface (I used it with Virtual DJ, then used it with Traktor when Scratch was becoming popular). Folks eventually left M-Audio's Torq and Conectiv in the dust to competitors like Serato and SL1 (which the box really sucks as it was limited to just a mic output), and NI's Traktor Audio boxes. Conetiv was a brilliant device!

Aside from software, it's biggest drawbacks was that it was a 16-bit soundcard and USB 1.1. But that's only important if you were using it do produce and record.

Today, I still use my interface to relay audio signals from and to controllers and sound systems around my pad. I never thought I'd be using it up to this point, but it proves to be useful than any other DVS interface I've ever owned. In fact, to this day I still haven't seen a DVS have features like Conectiv.

Torq was really ahead of its time, as much as Traktor was, yet even with an earlier start, it still failed to capture the masses, possibly due to CDJs popularity with the House scene and lack of controllerism in the market. I'm still curious to how Torq fell off the rails, and why M-Audio gave up its DJ division and failed to keep the fire burning when back then, its only competitive rival was Serato.

As for now, I think I'll be holding onto this DVS for years to come. Maybe one day, I'll be using it again for a cheap gig, using 2.1 channel computer speakers, and probably DJing on an incredibly small table with just my Surface Pro and a water bottle.

Let's hope it never comes down to this, haha!

An Unofficial Comeback

Hi folks! Just wanted to share a personal note since it's been so long! It's been years since I've written, posted, spilled my guts all over this blog (figuratively speaking), about music, records, mixtapes, and DJing. I wasn't planning on making a comeback, but I'm beginning to think that I need to start doing something again to keep me active, and writing about DJing and my experiences is definitely one of them. After hours of videogame let's plays, watching DJs record display their mixing in live performances, I've finally decided to start posting again. So let's hope that I continue to be consist, and hope people continue to find inspiration here at look&listen.