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Which Pioneer Controller to Buy…

I looked at maybe a dozen Music Library packages before selecting Rekordbox which was on version 3 at the time.  I currently use Link Mode to feed a pair of CDJ 900’s in a coffin with a Rane MP24Z.  I would like to shed a few pounds so to speak and the 2 possibilities are the DDJ-RZX or DDJ-1000.  The most important thing for me is to maintain the output signal quality of the Rane.   My setup is QSC K-12’s or JBL SRX815P’s depending on job size but I have also connected it to what I would call medium line arrays without issues.


So which is better the higher priced or the newer technology.



The following information while best suited for new Users may help others understand why they are having problems with what Rekordbox calls Missing Files and in my day job, the Computer Industry, is called Version Control.


What you have to do is forget about Music for a few minutes and learn a little about Computer Drives, Files and Folders.  While I deal mainly with PC’s this information will be valid for Macs except the names may be a bit different.  I came up with this idea when I was using an Access Database and exporting By Artist and By Song lists to Excel which were then printed, put in a binder and carried to every gig.  A lot of work that had to be done over and over again.  Once I got Rekordbox the 5 pound binder went to the round file.


Rekordbox started out as a Database which is very important to remember even now that it does so much more.   A Database is simply a “text file” that keeps track of your “stuff”.


The “stuff” we care about is MP3 FLAC WAV etc. and our “stuff” has to be stored and of course backed up which is a whole other can of worms.


So you have all of these “Music Files” from wherever named whatever.something and you save them to the hard drive in your computer.  Where you put them is very important because you will probably get more of them every few minutes and before you know it the “No Vacancy” sign comes on.  So you need to have a plan or a lot of Alcohol & Aspirin.


Along comes Rekordbox which began life as a Music Database.  Rekordbox is so much more than a Database now but for this discussion imagine that it is just a Music Database that knows where your stuff lives and what you named it.  The thing to remember is that there are Physical Folders which contain the actual Physical Music Files and then there are Rekordbox Folders that contain Folders & Playlists that contain music files or so you thought, but in reality they only contain information about the Physical Location and Name of those Music Files.  The computer geek in me knew this up front so I already knew to NEVER RENAME or MOVE a Physical File from its original location.  That is the key to avoiding most if not all of the Missing Files problems many people have. 


There are millions of Songs and Versions and Artists and Tigers and Bears so where to start.  After a couple of not great ideas I came up with the following Physical Folder Structure.


My Music drive and any External Drive USB stick etc. is always configured to be on Drive Letter “M” that contains a “Data” folder that contains a “Music” folder which then contains about 22 folders that contain the Physical Music Files but have NO FOLDERS inside of them which is the important part.  My folders are 2010’s, 2000’s, 1990’s, 1980’s, 1970’s 1960’s, 1950’s, 1940’s and you get the idea.  There are a couple of others but the fewer the better.  There can also be problems when the “file name path” exceeds 255 characters so keeping those folder names short is also better.  The reason I use M is because it stands for Music…actually as you plug in “drives” they get the next available letter so you would have to have a bunch of drives plugged in before M was used by another device.  To make your drive always use M or other letter Google “Assigning Drive Letters to USB Devices”.


So the File Name Path to “Avicii - Levels (12)(Remix)” looks like this on my drives:   M:\Data\Music\2000’s\ Avicii - Levels (12)(Remix).mp3


Why decades instead of Drum & Bass, Disco, Jazz, UpTempo, Late Night etc. etc. because when you have 50 Physical Folders that contain folders that contain folders that contain folders it got out of hand three folders ago and you also have a higher instance of multiple copies of the exact same song.  This is why you use Rekordbox, OK not the only reason, within Rekordbox you then create Folders with Folders and PlayLists and more Folders with more Playlists and Folders with more playlists but you never MOVE or RENAME the Original Physical Music Files in the process.


A Drum & Bass song that came out in 2009 goes in the Physical 2000’s folder and then within Rekordbox it can be put into as many Folders or Playlists as you want called anything you want but there is only one Physical copy of that version of that song by that artist but there can be many “Rekordbox Database links to its Physical Location”.


I currently have over 100,00 files in only 22 Physical Folders on drive “M” but in Rekordbox I have about 50 Folders that contain Folders and Playlists that contain more Folders and Playlists.  I can move them around anyway I wish without fear of getting a Missing File warning.  I also have more than one of those “M” drives just in case Mr. Murphy shows up.


When I get a song it goes into the appropriate Physical Folder on drive “M” and then it is imported into Rekordbox and placed into a Folder\Playlist as needed.  You will no doubt miss something and find a song misspelled or put in the wrong Physical Folder for whatever reason but you should never have to Relocate mass quantities of files.


Another thing to remember when using External Drives make sure they are the drive letter they are supposed to be or Rekordbox will have a cow.


One last thing for Mac Users that may not be something they want to hear.  Being a Technology Junkie I appreciate what Apple has produced and have used Macs in business but never really had a need to use them personally.  I tried ITunes but it did not do what I wanted it to do so I moved on.  ITunes is of course a Database program and will help you like a Big Brother will sometimes causing Rekordbox to go bovine again.  My recommendation is to avoid ITunes or at least think about it.  Look at the Apple 1984 commercial which was about getting people away from the everybody is the same, looks and dresses the same because Big Brother said so…











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Wow, well written thoughts and advice!  Have you looked at the new DDJ-800?  My choice for 2 channel would be the 800 and for 4 channels the 1000.  Both have great sound cards and will work well with what you are using for speakers and set ups.  It is truly a matter of fell and best fit IMHO, so that is where I would look and try out.  The RZX is a great unit, but heavy and if you are looking to slim down I don't know if it would do the trick.

Jay 0 votes
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