RE-Reworking My Small System... AGAIN

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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#1
This is not a joke, but I know some of you wish it was. But HEY!!!... Some of you guys are on this forum ALL THE TIME and NOT posting anything, so I'll keep posting about my DIY projects to give all you lurkers something new to read.

As you may (or may not?) know, I did a pretty complete redo of my Small System last Summer (see Slight Miscalculation). Then I just recently finished reworking my Large System; replacing my old 14U rack with two smaller stacked racks (see Reworking My Large System).

Is there a PERFECT system? I dunno??? After spending the last week or so testing my new Large System, and then using my Small System again for the first time in several weeks (for last night's event), there's a few things I've discovered about my Small System I'd like to change. This is NOT gonna be a COMPLETE rebuild. Not this year. I DON'T want a different rack, and I DON'T want to add a significant amount of additional weight. This Small System is not perfect yet, and may never be, but I think it can be better.:djsmug:

1529869525622.png

The main difference between my Small System and my Large System is backup and redundancy. My Large System has 2 computers, 2 monitors, and the Denon DN-410X mixer. If my main PC fails, the second one is plugged into the Denon mixer, and I can continue playing music almost instantly. I also like having the wireless microphones plugged into the mixer. In my Small System, the wireless mic system plugs into the second microphone jack on the controller, and the mics just don't sound as good. I had a mixer in the Small System previously, and I want to put one back in, but not in the top portion of the rack this time. I'm willing to give up the 1U drawer in the front section. So here's my first crack at the list of changes/improvements I want to make to my Small System...

1. I want to put a 1U mixer in the Small System rack. As you might remember, before I reworked this Small System last year, I wanted to replace the old mixer with something of higher quality. I bought the Denon DN-410X, but it didn't fit, so it ended up in my Large System and I LOVE it. I replaced the old mixer and the American Audio DP2 (controller) with a Denon MC6000MK2... a SIGNIFICANT UPGRADE. However, I would still like to have a small 1U mixer for my wireless microphones. If I can get one with Bluetooth too (like my Denon DN-410X), that would be even better. I'm fine with losing the 1U drawer in order to have a space for the mixer, as a 1U drawer doesn't really hold much anyway.

2. I think the Floating Facade I built for my new Large System looks incredible compared to the table cloth I place on the table I use with my Small System. I want to figure out a way to incorporate it with my Small System. This is going to be a challenge because the table I use with my Small System is NOT mobile (no wheels). The reason I built the FLOATING Facade in the first place is because I had to move my setup over about 15 feet at a recent gig, and it was a PITA with my previous Large System with this same table sitting above the rolling rack. My controller case used to sit atop the table, with the rack slid underneath. My Small System sits on the same table, but there's nothing that slides underneath.

3. The next change(s) is pretty easy. I need more outlets on the back, so I need to change out the PDU. The current one only has 2 outlets in the back. Just enough for my two EVOX 8's, but when I want to use lights or monitors, I have to use a power strip, and I hate using a power strip. I also want to put in a hinged access panel and change a couple of ports on the rear patch panel. I need two more speaker jacks, and I want to change out the electrical inlet for a powercon connector.

4. The final change (or improvement) is to find a better way to attach a backup computer. Keep in mind, the current computer for my Small System is a 23" Dell (Optiplex 7440) AIO computer... computer and monitor all-in one, so using a small PC (like my Nano-PC's) for a backup would be difficult because there's NO monitor and no place to mount one if the Dell AIO fails. The previous version of my Small System had a 1U rack-mounted computer and 22" monitor. If I had kept the monitor, I could have used a couple of small computers (like the Nano PC's) and mounted them in the 1U space currently occupied by the drawer. However, I can't mount PC's AND a 1U mixer in the same space, so WHAT'S it gonna be? I REALLY do LOVE the Dell AIO computer, and it has worked GREAT. Paired with the Denon MC6000MK2 controller, this current version of my Small System is pretty nice!

5. Not really a change to the system itself, I WOULD like to change the way I transport my Small System rack. Currently, I use the same Gator Case soft-sider rolling case I've been using for years. It's TOO LARGE, with about a quarter (or more) of the interior space inside being unused. I have difficulty getting it through some doorways the way the wheels are situated, so I sometimes have to pick it up and slide it through sideways. I had planned to order a custom case for it last year, but cheaped out at the end of the project after spending more than I expected on other components.

Like I said, I'm NOT planning a complete REBUILD, and I'm not going to add other unrelated projects (like I did with my Large System reworking project; reusing the old rack to replace my 24U home server rack and consolidating servers). Not gonna set a deadline, and I can't deconstruct my Small System until I'm ready to start using my Large System. One of the benefits of the New LARGE system is; the top rack CAN be used as a standalone system (without the bottom rack), so it can be used much like I use my Small System.

For this project, I think I'll take suggestions (constructive one's please?), mull over the options, formulate a plan, then work just ONE endeavor at a time, and I'll post my progress for each phase until it's complete. Let's start with Objective #1 - 1U (or small) mixer for my microphones.

Thanks in advance for your input.:)
 
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steve149

Urbane Legend
Sep 26, 2011
19,798
27,796
115
Prospect, CT
#2
Depending on how many inputs you need, could get the same one I bought a couple weeks ago ... Samson SM4 4-channel Mixer

Half rack, but comes with full rack mounting plates.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#3
Depending on how many inputs you need, could get the same one I bought a couple weeks ago ... Samson SM4 4-channel Mixer

Half rack, but comes with full rack mounting plates.
In order for it to be REALLY useful for me, I'd want an input for my controller, 2 inputs for wireless microphones, and 1 input for a backup computer. Doesn't look like the SM4 would handle it, but I'm curious to know how you're using it (input and output devices), and what you think about it so far?
 

steve149

Urbane Legend
Sep 26, 2011
19,798
27,796
115
Prospect, CT
#4
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TES3S

Well-Known DJ
Sep 18, 2016
213
124
45
Los Angeles, CA
#5
thanks for sharing. Pretty tidy!

I have to ask, why use a computer monitor, keybord and mouse when all you need is a laptop. Would be a lot cleaner plus give you more freedom and better visability?

Using a trackpad is a lot more efficient and speedier than using a seprate mouse!
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#7
thanks for sharing. Pretty tidy!

I have to ask, why use a computer monitor, keybord and mouse when all you need is a laptop. Would be a lot cleaner plus give you more freedom and better visability?

Using a trackpad is a lot more efficient and speedier than using a seprate mouse!
I don't like laptop screens (too small), laptop keyboards, or mouse pads, nor do I like reaching across the controller to use the keyboard (and the controls to browse for tracks on the controller are even worse IMO). So if I'm gonna use an external mouse, keyboard, and monitor, the laptop is not very useful (except for having a battery). As for visibility, I can actually see what's on the screen of my AIO PC, and seeing over and around it don't seem to be a problem.:) It's different admittedly, but that's OK.:laugh:
 
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TES3S

Well-Known DJ
Sep 18, 2016
213
124
45
Los Angeles, CA
#8
sure, it's ok, and if it works for you. You must be really tall. I just would be really bothered by it, haha. I would HATE having seprate keyboard and mouse. It takes a lot longer to control like that, not to mention find songs.

Why not buy a big laptop? You also could just place it right next to it on a slick laptop stand. I do that anyways at club gigs.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#9
^^unrelated, how do you find that micrphone?

I have thought about getting a gooseneck mic like that. Is it dynamic or condenser?
The mic is a Bogen dynamic mic... Kinda like this one...

Bogen Communications GDU150 Dynamic Gooseneck Microphone GDU150

I like it. I've been using it for several years and it's perfect as a DJ mic, but I always try to keep a wireless hand-held mic handy in case I need to venture away from my booth. With my Large System, I have a wired mic I can quickly detach and move away from my booth with whenever I want.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#11
and it sounds decent-- only $64
It sounds just as good as the Sennheiser mic I use with my Large System (mind you I'm not singing with it). I don't think mine is that same model I posted, but it's similar. I bought mine 4 years ago and paid close to twice as much, so I'm pretty sure it was a little more upscale model.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

TES3S

Well-Known DJ
Sep 18, 2016
213
124
45
Los Angeles, CA
#12
ya, i love the idea! I can plug in straight into the back of my T1 mixer and make announcements without holding a mic.

Is the gooseneck pretty flexible and easy to move out of the way.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
5,603
8,486
115
Oklahoma City
#14
For me, it's just a mini mixer to hook a music device to a pair of speakers. It can run with 2 mics, but 1 needs to be a Samson unit that uses the front panel USB input .. Samson Stage XPD1 Handheld Digital Wireless System .. or .. Samson Stage XPD1 Presentation Digital Wireless System
I have a Samson SM10 like this one...

https://www.amazon.com/Samson-Techn...pID=311KnChfvhL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

... that used to be in my initial Large System rack. I replaced it because it lacked the EQ's I wanted. I could use it, of course, if I was willing to compromise. This isn't going to be my MAIN system, so it doesn't have to have ALL the bells and whistles. And if I wanted to, I could hook a Bluetooth receiver up to it. It's an option. @djmm is using a Denon DN-312, which I'm certainly considering, but I don't see where it offers anything my Samson SM10 doesn't.
 
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steve149

Urbane Legend
Sep 26, 2011
19,798
27,796
115
Prospect, CT
#18
How do you use yours? Do you think it would work for what I'm trying to do?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I had it in my smallest system for the past few years .. small, playlist events and carried it as a backup. It was in a case with a Rane MP-4 as a DJ mixer backup as well.
 
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