Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Denon DJ X1800 Prime Review

The Denon DJ X1800 Prime sits alongside the other Prime releases, most notably the SC5000 Prime media players. In this review and video we find out if it’s up there with its sister product.

Just as with the SC5000 media player, Denon DJ has sensibly kept things predictable here. The size, feel (all-metal construction), layout and feature-set of the X1800 broadly compare to those of the market leader, and no DJ will walk up to this mixer and struggle in any way to use it right off that bat. So that means four channels, mic features down the left-hand side, effects up the right, with a big FX on/off button bottom right, and so on.

Look carefully and you’ll spot some interesting differences, though, and I’m talking about differences past the rather natty green, white and blue VU meter colour scheme: “Sweep FX” (think Color FX in Pioneer lingo) in addition to filters for each channel; a big touchstrip instead of the Pioneer DJM-900NX2‘s X-pad; and knobs to control both fader and crossfader curves being a few of them. However, the similarities, at least physically, definitely outweigh the differences between the mixers.

Setting up is a case of plugging in as with any mixer, although if you’re using it with a pair of SC5000s, you need to plug network cables in between them and the mixer in order for it all to work nicely together; this has some decided advantages as we’ll see. The X1800 Prime acts as a networking hub anyway, so this is simple. PC drivers are required too if you want to use the 10-channel built-in sound card in conjunction with your Windows machine; it works natively with Mac.

There are two USB sockets, just as on the Pioneer DJM-900NXS2, so DJs playing from laptop can plug in side-by-side; expect Denon DJ to announce software compatibilities in due course.

One setting certain types of DJs (here’s lookin’ at you, scratch fans) may want to adjust before getting going is the tension of the “Flex Fader” (Denon DJ’s top-of-the-range crossfader technology).

Alongside the SC5000 Prime

We have naturally been testing the X1800 alongside a pair of SC5000 Prime media players, so let’s first mention the ways these units work together.

The X1800s have digital outs, so you can link to the digital ins on the back of the X1800 if you like; otherwise standard RCAs will do the trick. As the SC5000s are “dual layer” (two “decks” per unit), you can DJ across all four channels of the X1800 with two of the media players.

The fun starts when you connect the network cables, which organises your “layers” (sets of decks) across the channels how you want them depending on which sockets you plug the network cables into, and enables some pretty cool colour-coding features: The LED rings around the platters on the decks determine the colours of the cue buttons on the mixer, and also when a deck is “live” (ie its fader is not down) on the mixer, the ring on the associated deck turns from white to the assigned colour. It all makes for much more intuitive mixing, and leads to fewer mistakes by accidentally doing something on the wrong deck.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

7 Common Strategies My Company Avoided That Helped Us Grow Tenfold in a Year

What does it take to grow a company tenfold in a single year?

At AdEspresso, our revenue was a “mere” $500,000 12 months ago. Fast forward a year and we recently hit $5 million.

It is easy to focus on the moves we made to reach this goal. Conversely, it is also important to focus on what we didn’t do. It may sound strange, but this was very much the case at AdEspresso.

Here are seven things you think you should do to grow your revenue, but are probably better off avoiding.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Don't Let Overthinking Your Product Launch Cost You Competitive Advantage

When an entrepreneur comes up with a brilliant idea for a business, the first step is usually to spend months on intensive research. They will develop a prototype, market test it repeatedly, and hone the design until all possible bugs have been removed.

But is this the right approach? As many entrepreneurs have learned the hard way, there’s a downside to preparing for months for a business launch. In fact, there are some good reasons to forego delaying a launch in favor of opening for business as soon as possible.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Long Game: 6 Prerequisites for a Killer Product That Lasts Forever

Given the fact that only 29 percent of startups see the light of day 10 years after opening their doors, it’s no secret that to stay in the entrepreneurial game for the long term requires not just the individual capacity to focus, work collaboratively and take calculated risks but also the market awareness to constantly refine your product for appeal.

In other words, there are two simple questions every entrepreneur must ask that will determine one’s long-term viability to stay alive in the marketplace:

What is the problem I want to solve?

How does my product or service solve that problem?
Let’s assume you’ve already defined the problem set to solve for. The next step is a bit trickier and necessitates a detailed outline that should serve as an entrepreneurial blueprint. Here are six prerequisites for how your killer product should answer the call: