[Video] DIY: Traktor/Serato DVS Soundcards Installed Inside Your Mixer
In my latest DIY Video, I'm showing the masses how they can install a Traktor/Serato DVS soundcard inside of your favorite mixer for a nicely updated and compact setup. Some new mixers on the market today come with a DVS soundcard already installed (Traktor Z2, Pioneer DJM-T1, Rane Sixty-One) so that the user only has to connect their CD or vinyl timecode decks directly into the RCA inputs for a plug-and-play solution. I installed a Traktor A4 inside of the Korg KM-202 & a Traktor A6 inside of the Vestax PMC-05ProIV. Check out the writeup & video below to see how it's done.
(Disclaimer: I'm pretty sure that this will void your warranties on any mixer that you own and it is possible to damage the mixer or soundcard themselves if you don't know what you are doing. Do anything you see here at your own risk and I am not responsible for any screw-ups...because mine both work fine!)
The reason that most people would want to do this type of Mod to their mixer would be to create a more-compact setup and eliminate all of the RCA cable clutter that ends up running all over the place to connect the mixer, decks, and the Digital Vinyl System DJ soundcard. The DVS sound card is used to convert the timecode signal on CD's or vinyl records to a digital signal that Music can be applied to via DJ software on a computer. With this Mod, users will be able to simply plug a standard USB cable directly into their mixer to their computer and then plug the timecode vinyl or CD decks directly into the new RCA Traktor ports found on the back of the mixer. It also provides a cool new update to your mixer which is fully reversible since I didn't have to use solder any permanent connections and I didn't disconnect anything within the mixer or the soundcard to get this to work. I can also easily separate the soundcard from the Mixer at any point in time and both pieces will be in perfect working order.
The first thing that must be done is to take measurements to see whether or not your DJ soundcard can properly fit inside of the Mixer in question. Most DJ mixers have lots of space inside as the top panel can usually be removed by simply unscrewing side screws or rear screws. Simply lift the top panel up and it will reveal lots of space underneath for this mod. Every mixer is different, so you'll have to do some experimenting to determine how to disassemble, mount the DJ sound card, and reassemble with good fitment. Remember that we are only using DJ DVS soundcards that do not require any power other than the USB power provided by the computer connection. The Traktor Audio 4 and Audio 6 do not require outlet power to work and they are both powered via USB. The Serato SL1 is USB powered but its rather big compared to the SL2 or the SL3 when using Serato Scratch Live. (The SL1 will not fit inside the TTM-56 without extreme modification...I've already tried it; The SL2/SL3 fits just fine)
When I installed the Audio 4 inside of the Korg KM-202, I had to remove the internal power module which was dead in the middle of the mixer to a side-mounted location in order to fit the Audio 4 inside. The Audio 4 is then mounted inside of the Mixer using super-heavy-duty Velcro. This stuff works wonders and it is extremely secure. For the Vestax PMC-05proIV, I was not able to fit the Audio 6 as is. I had to remove the metal housing of the A6 to reveal a slender plastic housing which was just thin enough to fit underneath the fader area of the mixer. Again, I used the same heavy-duty Velcro so that the unit can be easily removed if necessary but still very sturdy and doesn't shake or rattle even when turned upside down.
After you find that you have enough space to fit the Serato or Traktor box, you must also make sure that you have enough space on the rear panel of the mixer to drill a total of six-holes. *Note: when drilling through metal make sure you drill in small to larger size increments until you get to the intended hole size or your metal will bend and bulge. The first four holes which are 3/8-inch each. This is where the four new Gold RCA coupler Traktor inputs will reside. The RCA couplers can be purchased on ebay or at any wall-mount RCA electronics supplier. You will need two red and two white couplers to account for both timecode decks. The next hole is about 1/2-inch which is for the internal USB-Mount port. This is basically an extension cable that runs from the Soundcard USB port to the rear of the mixer to provide your mixer with the USB B port. The sixth hole is so the RCA output cables of the soundcard can pass through the mixer cabinet and into the Line level inputs of the mixer.
Parts Needed (a google search will reveal all):
1. DJ DVS Soundcard *USB-Powered Only (Traktor A4, A6; Serato SL1, SL2, SL3; Electrix Ebox44, and more)
2. Mixer with space inside for the soundcard and on the rear panel for drilling (see a quick-list of mixers it will work on below)
3. Four RCA cables (2 sets should be 90-degree angled Hosa CRA-201R for soundcard outputs and 2 sets should be straight RCA for soundcard inputs)
3. StarTech USBPNLBFBM1 Panel Mount USB Cable - 1ft
4. Four RCA Wall-Mount Gold Plated Couplers - (2 red and 2 white Found on ebay)
5. A Drill with various bit sizes (3/8th-inch for RCA-couplers & 1/2-inch for USB panel mount)
6. Heavy duty Velcro from Local Home Depot
After you have all the parts and you know where you want to mount the soundcard inside of the mixer, its time to put it all together. First, pick out the placement of the soundcard and either install the soundcard as-is or remove any panels to the soundcard if space is tight. The soundcard will still work just fine without the outer housing as long as it is secured with zip ties or Velcro where appropriate. Next, it's time to drill the holes on the rear panel. *Note: when drilling through metal make sure you drill in small to larger size increments until you get to the intended hole size or your metal will bend and bulge. Make sure you pick a logical place for the Deck A RCA input pair and the Deck B RCA input pair. Drill the four holes, place the gold RCA connectors into the holes, and then tighten down the gold RCA wall-mount connectors in place.
Next, run the straight RCA cables from the DJ soundcard inputs to these new coupler inputs that are now on the outside of your mixer. Next, connect the other two RCA angled cables to the output RCA connectors of the soundcard and drill the hole that will allow them to pass through to the outside of the rear panel so that the angled-sides can connect to the Line inputs of the channels on the mixer (see the video and pic). The only thing left to do is drill a 1/2-inch hole for the USB connection and plug the USB cable into the soundcard while mounting the other side of the USB mout cable to the inside rear of the mixer. After you connect everything back together, you should be all-set and ready to enjoy your DVS enabled mixer!
Now you can plug your Timecode decks into the appropriate new Traktor Ports and connect the USB cable from the mixer to the computer and enjoy the DVS playback advantages in an easy-to-setup and compact package.
This Mod will Potentially work on many mixers including:
Vestax PMC-05pro (All Models), PMC-07pro (Except ISP Model), PMC-280, PMC-580 (very-tight)
Korg Km-202, KM-404
Pioneer DJM-909, DJM-707
Stanton SA-12, SA-5, SA-3, SK-6F, SK-2F, M.203, M.207
Numark DXMPro, M-Series,
Rane TTM-56, TTM-54 (SL1 will not fit, only SL2 or SL3)
Ecler HAK-380 HAK-320
Urei 1601 (All Models)
Allen & Heath Xone:22
This may be a little confusing to some, but if you understand your DVS soundcard, then you can probably understand how to do this. If you do have any questions regarding this or any other of my DIY videos, then email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org for some assistance. Happy Modding!