Reworking My Large System

tunes4046

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 24, 2008
5,865
48
Fennimore Wi
Closure???... OK, but I'm still not done recounting my mistakes. Everybody likes reading about someone else's F-Ups, don't they??? This project can't really officially end until I actually use the reworked Large System for real (not just practice). Not sure when that will happen? I have one (small) event (this week), but nothing else booked until OCTOBER, so I might start another DIY thread BEFORE I use this system for an actual event.
I figured this whole deal out. You like building the systems far more than DJing, I rarely see any gig logs from you
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,829
Oklahoma City
I figured this whole deal out. You like building the systems far more than DJing...
Not sure that's true, but let's see??? I've been pretty up-front about NOT being a full-time DJ. I started my DJ business to keep myself active during my retirement. I don't do school dances or proms or any event where hip-hop music is required. I don't do weddings for young people, because I don't think young brides want a DJ who's old enough to be their grandpa. So I do corporate events (office parties), political events, birthday parties, anniversaries, and retirement parties. I also do church events (Christian Rock) every once-in-a-while. All my business is on referral... no advertising. And I'm not in it for the money. So no, I don't do as many events as someone who's out there working their tails off to make a living.

Since I don't do frequent events, I fill my time practicing, listening to music, and yes... improving my systems. Doesn't mean I don't enjoy the performance part, there's just far less of them than there is the time between performances.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,829
Oklahoma City
... I rarely see any gig logs from you
I've posted a couple, but you won't see many. Why???... Well, take this weekend's gig for example. It's a private fund-raiser for a political candidate. It's at a country club. Cocktails, dinner, and a very brief speech. No lights. No press. No pictures. The music will be mostly instrumental. I have a HUGE library of instrumental music. Do you think anyone on this forum would be interested in a gig log from this event?? I doubt it. I do a lot of this kind of event, because I know a lot of politicians, and they like the kind of music I play for these occasions. They also like that I'm discreet. Many of the parties I've done are for (and in the homes of) some of the same people who have attended similar fund-raisers I've done. Even if I liked taking pictures and videos of my events (and I don't), it's typically not appropriate for the types of events I most frequently do. A posted pic of a political candidate with the WRONG person, or with an inebriated guest could have some serious unintended consequences.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,829
Oklahoma City
Let’s see… now, where were we? Oh, yeah; mistakes I made reworking my Large System…

Mistake #5: The Monitor Mount… Works GREAT. Took a few tries, but this one works. It was actually made from parts of the laptop stand that came with my Griffin Folding Table. Here’s the mistake… what if I decide to use a single large PIP/PBP monitor???...

1529347657630.png

The mount is placed on the left side to accommodate DUAL monitors, and to place the monitor of the computer running Traktor directly in front of me. If I want to move it, it leaves a big hole (which isn’t the biggest issue), but more importantly, my LED light is mounted on the underside of the area where the bolt for the monitor mount would need to go...

1529348139927.png

I’m sure I could figure out a way to move the LED light, but it would be a PITA. Not really necessarily a BIG mistake, but still a mistake that may be a bigger issue down the line.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,829
Oklahoma City
Mistake #6: The Antenna Slider… Again, works great. The antennas fold down and it slides neatly into the rack. The rear cover attaches to the same latch I use to attach the Floating Façade when it’s extended. The down sides??? It’s a CONTRAPTION…

1529352748519.png

...maybe even an eye-sore if it was not hidden behind the Facade. It could have been made more simply, but I was too far into it when I thought of a simpler design, so I went with it. Besides the aesthetics, though, it does not extend as far out as I would have liked. The problem is the location of the computers on the front side of the rack, which limit the amount of travel available to the slider. It had to retract all the way into the rack, so the rear (opening) cover would fit, but it bumped into the computers, so it had to be shortened. I would have preferred it slide out another two inches in order for the Floating Façade to sit a little further away from the main rack. The slider in the High Heels would have handled a longer extension. This is another mistake that doesn’t need correcting (either immediately or later). I can remake it any time and replace the existing one because it simply installs in the top 1U of the rear rack. The only problem is; to remove or install a component on the rear rack requires removing ALL the other components (controller, computer shelf, wireless mic system, and Denon mixer) from the rack first. That takes about a half an hour, and another half an hour to put it all back.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,829
Oklahoma City
Back to more mistakes I made when I Reworked My Large System....

The FINAL MISTAKE (I choose to post about); Contingencies… I like having built-in contingencies (backups). The difference between my Large and Small systems is supposed to be the contingencies, but the only backup I really get with this new system is a backup computer. There’s really no built-in backup for anything else. If the controller fails, switching it out with another controller would be pretty impractical on the fly during a gig… too many internal connections. The backup (for a failed controller) is to use the backup computer, which connects to the Denon mixer. But if the Denon mixer fails, the ONLY backup is to connect the speakers directly to the controller; thereby losing the wireless microphones and backup computer audio. Also, I have a laptop and mixer I could use for a backup system, but NO room (no table) to set it up. Do I need to take my table just in case???... That was something I was trying to avoid, because that table top is HEAVY! Perhaps I can find a lighter weight top. I GOUGED it anyway and it needs repairing before my next gig with my Small System, which MUST sit on a table.
I used to carry another controller (Pioneer DDJ-T1) in a separate case as backup. Theoretically, I would swap the VMS 4.1 Case with the DDJ-T1 case, and I'd be up and running in a few minutes. But with the monitors mounted on a pole in the back of the case, it really took more than just a few minutes. At least with my Large Systems (old and new), I could continue playing music on the backup computer while I worked on the other computer or controller. The dual monitors give me a backup if my main monitor fails, and I set up the backup computer to run Traktor, so I have a completely redundant system when I switch the USB cable from the controller to the backup computer. I can even switch the monitors to have the one running Traktor directly in front of me by simply swapping the RJ-45 jacks on the patch panel (running DVI over CAT5 to my monitors). I'm looking at how I'll handle other potential failures, though, and rewriting my contingency plans. This takes some time, and I won't use this system until I have it worked out as best as I can.:)

I was looking at the new Large System last night (just staring at it) and thinking the WHOLE thing is riddled with mistakes. I could have mounted the Nano computers in the top of the rack above the controller (where the hinged access door is)… woulda been easy and convenient (maybe not as uncluttered looking). I could have hinged the keyboard shelf so the folding extension folds in rather than out... there’s a perfect amount of space for it in front of the computers (which didn’t need to be mounted there anyway). It would have reduced the keyboard shelf overhang in the front by 3 inches. I could have done SO many other things differently (maybe even better). Do I have a system that works better than the previous version? Yes. Does it look good? I think so. Is it COOL??? You be the judge.:) Will I rework it again? Probably… but not for at least 6 months.
 
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steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
32,258
Prospect, CT
Back to more mistakes I made when I Reworked My Large System....

The FINAL MISTAKE (I choose to post about):laugh:; Contingencies… I like having built-in contingencies (backups). The difference between my Large and Small systems is supposed to be the contingencies, but the only backup I really get with this new system is a backup computer. There’s really no built-in backup for anything else. If the controller fails, switching it out with another controller would be pretty impractical on the fly during a gig… too many internal connections. The backup (for a failed controller) is to use the backup computer, which connects to the Denon mixer. But if the Denon mixer fails, the ONLY backup is to connect the speakers directly to the controller; thereby losing the wireless microphones and backup computer audio. Also, I have a laptop and mixer I could use for a backup system, but NO room (no table) to set it up. Do I need to take my table just in case???... That was something I was trying to avoid, because that table top is HEAVY! Perhaps I can find a lighter weight top. I GOUGED it anyway and it needs repairing before my next gig with my Small System, which MUST sit on a table.
I used to carry another controller (Pioneer DDJ-T1) in a separate case as backup. Theoretically, I would swap the VMS 4.1 Case with the DDJ-T1 case, and I'd be up and running in a few minutes. But with the monitors mounted on a pole in the back of the case, it really took more than just a few minutes. At least with my Large Systems (old and new), I could continue playing music on the backup computer while I worked on the other computer or controller. The dual monitors give me a backup if my main monitor fails, and I set up the backup computer to run Traktor, so I have a completely redundant system when I switch the USB cable from the controller to the backup computer. I can even switch the monitors to have the one running Traktor directly in front of me by simply swapping the RJ-45 jacks on the patch panel (running DVI over CAT5 to my monitors). I'm looking at how I'll handle other potential failures, though, and rewriting my contingency plans. This takes some time, and I won't use this system until I have it worked out as best as I can.:)

I was looking at the new Large System last night (just staring at it) and thinking the WHOLE thing is riddled with mistakes. I could have mounted the Nano computers in the top of the rack above the controller (where the hinged access door is)… woulda been easy and convenient (maybe not as uncluttered looking). I could have hinged the keyboard shelf so the folding extension folds in… there’s a perfect amount of space for it in front of the computers (which didn’t need to be mounted there anyway). I could have done SO many things differently (maybe even better).:laugh: Do I have a system that works better than the previous version? Yes. Does it look good? I think so. Is it COOL??? You be the judge.:) Will I rework it again? Probably… but not for at least 6 months.:laugh:
6 months .. 6 days .. 6 hours .. who's counting ...
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
32,258
Prospect, CT
I think that's GREAT if you can find something that's exactly what you need. Unfortunately, @steve149 wasn't selling a rack that was a PERFECT fit... so I had to TWEAK it a little.
It was a perfect fit ... just maybe not for you ...
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,829
Oklahoma City
I'm really thinking seriously about using this new system on Saturday. It's working GREAT, and I think it will look really nice at this venue. However, it would certainly be OVERKILL for this event, since no lights are needed and only one hand-held microphone was requested. I've played this Venue before, and I suspect I'll be setting up in a corner in the front of the room. I might keep both EVOX 8's close to my booth, but I could run a long cable and put one in the opposite corner. Won't be any dancing, nor any dance music at this gig. Very easy three hours.

What I'd REALLY like to do is figure out a way to use my Floating Facade with my Small System and the table it sits on. I won't have time to do it for this gig though. I have an idea of how to do it, but it's just not real clear in my mind yet. In any case, I need to fix the gouge in the table top today if it's going to get fixed before Saturday. Not a big deal if it doesn't get fixed since my table cloth covers the table anyway, but you know???... It's the OCD!!! If it ain't perfect, it makes me CRAZY!
 
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steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
32,258
Prospect, CT
I might keep both EVOX 8's close to my booth, but I could run a long cable and put one in the opposite corner. Won't be any dancing, nor any dance music at this gig.
Wireless, baby ...