Building A Podium Style DJ System

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,631
Oklahoma City
Now I have the NAS setup and my NUC computers attached to it. I need to start testing it with Traktor next. I’m a little disappointed in the size of the NAS. In this picture, the two NUC computers are on the right, and the NAS is on the left...

... For comparison purposes, the red device sitting on top of the NAS is the portable USB drive I used to copy the music library to the NAS. The perspective is distorted a bit in the photo, but the NUC’s are 4.5” square, and the NAS is 7.5” square. I think I’d prefer a box the same size as the NUC’s, so maybe I need to buy another NUC at some point. This setup will be fine for now for testing.
 
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dunlopj

DJ Extraordinaire
Aug 14, 2008
4,481
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Belair MD
...so maybe I need to buy another NUC at some point. This setup will be fine for now for testing.
Aaahhhh!!! Maybe?? This is never gonna be finished! But truthfully, I do enjoy watching your constant updates, fixes and changes.:sqbiggrin:

I do NOT have any of the skills needed to do any of this, so being an observing bystander is fine with me!
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,631
Oklahoma City
So far, so good (running Traktor on my NUC with the music library residing on a NAS with network attachment). You’d expect a quad core i5 computer to run Traktor without any issues, but these are fanless PC’s, so I need to monitor CPU temps, and with 1GB network speeds you’d expect adequate bandwidth for accessing files across a network with minimal traffic. So far, my tests are meeting those expectations. I still have plenty more testing to do. I have not put a load on the computers yet, as my initial focus is in getting everything to function. That’s going pretty good, but I haven’t worked much with the PreSonus Studio Live software yet. Also, my test setup is connected to my home network in order to have access to the Internet and my software repositories. Soon, I’ll need to cut that connection to ensure that everything still works on its own LAN. I have no doubt it will work fine because I already have local LANs built into my Small and Large systems, but all that doesn’t simply work right out of the box. It takes a little planning, configuration, and testing to get everything working seamlessly as soon as all the components are turned on at an event. I still have lots more to do, but haven’t hit any snags yet.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,631
Oklahoma City
I’ve had some time today to work with the dual Intel NUC computers, shared NAS with music library, Pioneer DDJ-T1 controller, and PreSonus Studio Live AR-8 mixer. I have one NUC computer attached to the DDJ-T1 via USB, and the other NUC attached to the PreSonus mixer. Everything is working OK, but I’m not sure things are hooked up to the PreSonus mixer the way I’d ultimately like.

I installed the PreSonus Universal Control software, which I discovered loads the ASIO drivers. I thought the Capture application would do that, but that was not the case. I loaded Capture as well, but haven’t tested it yet. I had already loaded Traktor 3 on the NUC that’s connected to the DDJ-T1, so I loaded Traktor 2 on the other NUC and set it up to play through the PreSonus AR-8. Traktor plays just fine through the PreSonus mixer, but without a controller, I would not want to have to mix with it without one. Using the mouse to move the sliders and knobs on the screen is kind of a PITA. The BEST option IMO is to have a controller with dual USB ports like the Denon MC7000.

Given this gear/configuration, the best way to use the backup NUC computer attached to the PreSonus mixer would be to put Traktor in Cruiser mode. Not ideal, but not the worst scenario I could imagine.

Playing Traktor on both computers simultaneously produced NO issues at all... even when playing the exact same file from both computers simultaneously. Still have a lot more testing to do, and I need to work on the optimizing the connections and Traktor configuration on the backup NUC.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,631
Oklahoma City
Finally made it to the Sam’s Club store this morning. My wife has been after me to go and buy a set of bed sheets, so I took the opportunity to look for an Ultra-widescreen monitor. Unfortunately, they only had a 29” LG, which was selling for $189. That’s a good price; about $40 less than on Amazon. Looking at it, I think 29” would be pretty similar in size to the two 15” monitors I’m using in my test setup, but the main difference is, with the ultra-widescreen, I would be able to make the screens wider (16:9 ratio) and layer them, instead of having side-by-side 4:3’s. I don’t need to have the backup PC’s monitor fully visible at all times. I just need to have it available when needed. I really prefer a 32-34 inch ultra-widescreen monitor, but I might have bought the 29” model had it been white. I’m not doing black with this Podium System.

They (Sam’s) had a curved 34” Samsung in white, but it was the 16:9 version, rather than a 21:9 (ultrawide), so I think it would be much too tall. It had the dual HDMI inputs, so it would likely have accommodated my dual PC’s; just not exactly what I’m looking for. Guess I’ll keep looking.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,631
Oklahoma City
Regarding the ultra-widescreen monitors; like I said early on, the convenience of having just one monitor shared by both computers is somewhat offset by having a single point of failure. If the only monitor you have goes out, neither computer is usable. Monitors DO fail... more often than you’d think. I’ve had two fail within the last year (one HP and one LG), plus the HP monitor we gave my wife’s parents a few years ago crapped out on them. It’s usually the internal power supplies that crater, so having a monitor with an external power block is not necessarily a bad thing (even though the power blocks can be a PITA to hide sometimes). So if I go with the ultrawide, do I need to buy two (one for a backup)??? Then that becomes much more costly than simply buying two standard widescreen monitors. Is the time saved in the setup worth the extra cost???
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,631
Oklahoma City
I’m really liking these Intel NUC PC’s. They are performing perfectly so far. The only down side I have with them so far is when power is plugged in, they instantly boot up without pressing the power on button. This typically happens with computers in need of replacing the CMOS battery, but the batteries are fine in these computers. The Zotac Computer I’m using as a NAS does not boot up when the power is plugged in, and when turned on, takes MUCH longer to boot up than the two Windows 10 computers, which take just seconds to boot up from their built-in 128GB SSD’s. The NAS has a built-in SSD as well, so you’d think booting up a FreeBSD OS would be faster, but it’s not... not even close. This isn’t a problem necessarily, but it could be an issue after a power failure, since we’re taking about more than a minute to boot up the NAS.

I’m not too thrilled with the size of my HP Ethernet switch. It’s almost the same size as the two NUC PC’s combined. It’s really a router that can also be set as a WiFi hot spot, but I don’t need the hotspot capability. I already have a WiFi router I take to events where it’s needed. What I need for this purpose is just a 5 port Ethernet switch with the RJ45 jacks and the power input on the back, and the link lights on the front. You’d think that would be no problem; right??? WRONG!!!... Seems most have the power input on the front or the side, and some are putting the link lights on the top now. I found one option, but it’s kind of a funky shape...



...I can work with it I suppose, but I’m not ready to buy it just yet... GEEZ!!!
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,631
Oklahoma City
Not sure how much others like reading about my GOTCHAS, but like U.S. Congressional Democrats, I’m suddenly feeling the need for full disclosure....

Is anybody using Mouse Without Borders? I’ve been using this product for a while with my Small and Large DJ Systems, and it works GREAT for sharing a mouse and keyboard between two (or more) computers. A KVM switch is an option, but the software works fine, so why add the weight and extra cabling?

But here’s the GOTCHA... I noticed that the mouse cursor on the second PC (the one sharing the mouse and keyboard attached to the primary/host computer) was larger than the cursor on the host PC, and that the cursor was not on top of the menus the way it should be. I thought I had this problem solved by installing the latest version of the application, but the problem resurfaced. So when troubleshooting the problem, I discovered I could not change any settings for the mouse on the second PC... Why???... The PC doesn’t think there’s a mouse... NO mouse driver. When I plug a mouse into the USB port of the second computer, it instantly fixes all the problems. I can still use the shared mouse and keyboard; the USB mouse is just extra. Why didn’t I notice this before on my other systems???... The answer to that is simple; The backup PC (Surface Pro) in my Small System has a Bluetooth mouse, as does the backup Nano PC in my Large System. The previous version of my Large System had a keyboard/mouse combo unit in a drawer which controlled backup computer when not able to share the mouse and keyboard of the primary computer. I think it’s interesting that the backup NUC PC didn’t squawk when booted up without a mouse and keyboard. Had it done so, it would have alerted me to this issue from the beginning.

So the solution is simple... just plug a mouse into the backup computer, add a Bluetooth mouse, or get a KVM switch. For now, the USB mouse will do the trick, then I can decide about the long-term solution.
 

Big Dan

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 20, 2006
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New York
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Would you be able to stick in one of those cheap wireless mouse transmitters to trick it? If you have an extra Logitech Unifying receiver laying around that could work. Or a $10 wireless jobber like this : Amazon.com: TeckNet Classic 2.4G Portable Optical Wireless Mouse with USB Nano Receiver for Notebook,PC,Laptop,Computer,6 Buttons,30 Months Battery Life,4800 DPI,6 Adjustment Levels: Computers & Accessories - (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ECZFDYC) <-- I bought a couple of them over the years they're decent enough.
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
34,530
Prospect, CT
I use the Logitech M585 .. it pairs to one PC via BT and a 2nd via the unifying receiver. Once it installs, you can switch between machines with a button on the mouse or by dragging the cursor to the screen edge. You can also cut and paste between PCs.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,631
Oklahoma City
Would you be able to stick in one of those cheap wireless mouse transmitters to trick it? If you have an extra Logitech Unifying receiver laying around that could work. Or a $10 wireless jobber like this : Amazon.com: TeckNet Classic 2.4G Portable Optical Wireless Mouse with USB Nano Receiver for Notebook,PC,Laptop,Computer,6 Buttons,30 Months Battery Life,4800 DPI,6 Adjustment Levels: Computers & Accessories - (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ECZFDYC)
Yep... a Logitech Nano transceiver would probably work fine. The main thing is NOT to have identical transceivers plugged into both computers as the mouse would not move BETWEEN computers, but would mirror the movements and clicks on BOTH computers simultaneously. That would NOT work well at all!

Fortunately, I’m using a wireless Gearhead Keyboard and Mouse, so a Logitech transceiver would not interfere.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
11,631
Oklahoma City
I use the Logitech M585 .. it pairs to one PC via BT and a 2nd via the unifying receiver. Once it installs, you can switch between machines with a button on the mouse or by dragging the cursor to the screen edge. You can also cut and paste between PCs.
I’ll have to check into that. Seems like a good option that I was unaware of. That’s the best part of sharing ideas on this forum... You sometimes learn something new.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Big Dan

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 20, 2006
5,756
35
New York
danhutter.com
If Bluetooth isn't built into the computer you could introduce some lag if you use a USB Bluetooth dongle. My Logitech trackball is next to my keyboard and paired with a unifying receiver. My Surface mouse is on the top shelf of my desk and paired via USB BT - there's noticeable lag (for a handshake..I guess?) when I don't use it for a few minutes. This lag doesn't happen on my laptop with built in BT.
 
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steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
34,530
Prospect, CT
My laptop has BT, so it's quick, but it won't wake the laptop if sleeping. The M585 is supposed to be able to use 2 unifying receivers as well .. Haven't tried it.
 
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