I recently found a good price on a Vestax VCM-600 controller. It is a specially made MIDI controller for Ableton Live, with the same build quality as a DJ mixer. It allows for control over 6 channels in the Ableton Live ‘session’ view, which is arranged similarly to a mixing console. It also adds DJ controls such as the traditional Hi, Mid and Lo EQs, a crossfader, a filter control, control over a lot of Ableton FX, and more. It has 6 channel faders + 2 send faders for FX.
I have decided to build a setup around this. It will replace my Pioneer DJM-S3 mixer. I will buy an 4×4 interface compatible with Serato DJ Pro, such as the Denon DS1, and run the timecode audio from the decks through the Denon DS1, and it will output the Serato DJ Pro modified audio for both decks. The outputs of the DS1 will be connected to the UMC1820 audio interface which is connected to my broadcast PC running Ableton.
When I move the faders on the Vestax VCM-600 controller attached to the broadcast PC, it will function as a DJ mixer, with the actual mixing taking place in Ableton through the UMC1820 audio interface.
The advantages of this setup over my previous setup are multifold, as I now have a 6 channel mixer. Firstly it will allow me to bring in various external hardware instruments such as drum machines, hardware synths etc, all controlled via Ableton. I could also bring in software instruments/VSTs. It would allow me to use high quality studio software FX in my DJ sets. It would also allow me to trigger samples from Ableton Live and have them output on one of the channels, synced to the beat.