M-Audio Conectiv & Torq 2.0 Digital Vinyl System Review
Overview: In my bid to find great savings for DJ's all across the land, I ran into an extremely inexpensive Digital Vinyl Hardware and Software Package that will allow DJ's to use their external CD and Vinyl Decks in conjunction with their computer and audio files for playback. The M-Audio Conectiv USB DJ soundcard comes bundled with Torq 1.5 and a free upgrade to the new Torq 2.0 full-featured DJ software all for only $70. Also in the box DJ's will get the timecode vinyl and CD's necessary for external deck control. All the user needs is a computer and music files for mixing. Check out my HD-Video review inside.
Review Video & Demo
Setup & First Impressions
In my bid to find great savings for DJ's all across the land, I ran into an extremely inexpensive Digital Vinyl Hardware and Software Package that will allow DJ's to use their external CD and Vinyl Decks in conjunction with their computer and audio files for playback. The M-Audio Conectiv USB DJ soundcard comes bundled with Torq 1.5 and a free upgrade to the new Torq 2.0 full-featured DJ software all for only $70. Also in the box DJ's will get the timecode vinyl and CD's necessary for external deck control. All the user needs is a computer and music files for mixing.
This is the absolute BEST-VALUE Digital Vinyl System that I have ever seen. You get superb CD and Vinyl Timecode Control Response that is very accurate and very low-latency. You also get a full-featured Torq 2.0 software with up to 4-Decks of control, 5 Hot Cues per deck, 2 Effects per deck, 16 Sample Banks and a loop controller for each deck. There are only 10 effects in Torq 2.0, but the main ones are all covered here. Some of the advanced effects that EDM style DJ's need may be disappointed with the final number of effects offered.
Torq 2.0 also has a built in recorder so you can record your mix and even load it into one of the sample banks for immediate playback. The browsing functions are easy to use and similar to the layout of Serato. DJ's can also plug in any MIDI Mappable device in order to control basic functions like Cue Points, effects, playback, loops, browse, and loading. The MIDI mapper that is built into the software allows you to map lots of controls, but it doesn't quite allow users to go in and Map every single feature like what is found in the Traktor mapping program. It's still good enough for most DVS user standards, but the super-controllerists may want something else.
The M-Audio Conectiv Hardware is made up of almost all plastic but it serves its purpose. Just don't go banging it around if you are a Mobile DJ or crush it in transit. The M-Audio Conectiv soundcard can be used as a mixer as well with the two front "MIX" knobs to blend music. It also has a headphone and microphone jack for users who do not use the system with an external Mixer or decks. The M-Audio Conectiv hardware is also only 16-Bit as opposed to "industry standard" Serato and Traktor Soundcards that are 24-bit. I didn't notice any issues with the sound throughout my use but it's worth pointing out that you may not get the same sound quality when compared to the higher priced DJ soundcards.
Conclusion / Recommended For
In Conclusion, the M-Audio Conectiv Torq 2.0 DVS system is an excellent low-cost alternative to the higher priced setups on the market. The DVS setup is complete and there are lots of software features that DJ's will appreciate. The 16-bit all-plastic Conectiv hardware and limited effects and mapping functions in the software are the only negatives I could find with this system. Everything else works just as advertised and the most important function of all... the Timecode control response is right on the money. I will recommend this setup for DJ's who want a backup DVS system or someone who doesn't want to spend lots of money on a proper DVS setup. It's also a great system for users who don't have the latest and greatest computer system as this particular DVS does not need much computing power to run perfectly.
Pros & Cons
- Complete Hardware (M-Audio Conectiv) & Software (Torq 2.0) DVS Package
- Best Value DVS Solution I've Ever seen ($70 www.pssl.com)
- Excellent CD & Vinyl Timecode Control Response
- Good Torq 2.0 Features (4-Decks; 5-HotCues/2-EFX Per deck; 16-Sample Banks; Loops)
- Limited Effects & MIDI Mapping Functions in Torq Software
- M-Audio Conectiv Hardware (16-Bit) is Slighty inferior in Build & Sound Quality
Features & Specs
-Torq DJ software > instantly turn any Mac or PC into a powerful DJ rig
-Conectiv 4 x 4 USB audio interface with 16-bit/48kHz fidelity > CD quality and beyond
-4 RCA inputs configurable for line-level or phono signals > connects to all standard DJ mixers, turntables and CD players
-Supports MP3, AIFF, WAV, WMA and AAC files > cue, beat-match and mix standard digital audio files
-Use as a self-contained digital system, multi-effects processor or slave from included Control CDs/vinyl > totally flexible
-Hosts standard VST effects > powerful, expandable digital processing
Torq Conectiv—including the revolutionary Torq DJ software and Conectiv bus-powered 4 x 4 USB audio interface—is the breakthrough hardware/software system designed for DJs who perform and produce tracks with a laptop. Torq Conectiv delivers high-fidelity audio, all the right kinds of I/O (including dual phono preamps), and the ability to mix, beat-match and cue digital files with ease. Use it as a completely digital solution or process your vinyl and CDs on the fly. You can also create a hybrid digital/vinyl DJ rig with specially encoded Torq Control CDs and Torq Control Vinyl disks (both included).
Torq supports popular file formats such as MP3, WAV, WMA and AAC files and is configured to automatically work with Conectiv right out of the box. And unlike most digital DJ systems, the Conectiv interface works with other third-party software as well.
Note: Everyone purchasing Torq Xponent or Torq Conectiv from January 13, 2011 to December 31, 2012 will receive a free upgrade to Torq 2.0.
includes revolutionary Torq DJ software, Conectiv USB audio interface, plus 2 Torq Control Vinyl disks and 2 Torq Control CDs
Torq software features:
cue, beat-match and mix digital audio files (including MP3, AIFF, WAV, WMA and AAC)
works instantly and seamlessly with Conectiv
organizes digital audio files (including iTunes libraries) into easily searchable database
automatic beat-matching and integrated time-stretching/compression
2 virtual decks for loading and playing files
2-channel mixer with 3-band EQ, level control, headphone cueing and crossfader
supports two inputs for source music, microphones and more from compatible interfaces
includes 10 effects including filter, phaser, strobe, delay, flanger, reverb, distortion, repeat, brake and reverse
supports optional third-party VST effects
16-cell, tempo-synced sampler
QuickScratch feature allows instant scratching with two loaded samples
snapshot function for instant recall of mixer and effects settings
vinyl, CDJ and hybrid emulation control modes
controllable via mouse, keyboard or MIDI controller
controllable with traditional DJ hardware using Torq Control Vinyl and Torq Control CDs
multiple operating modes for emulating turntable, DJ CD player or a hybrid of both
functions as a ReWire slave
Conectiv hardware features:
4 x 4 USB 1.1 audio interface with 16-bit/48kHz fidelity
4 RCA inputs configurable for line-level or phono signals
4 RCA line outputs with +2dBV peak output level
2 mix knobs for blending between the audio input and computer output
¼” TRS headphone output with volume control
crossfadable cue source with headphone split function
¼” TS microphone input (dynamic mics only)
Core Audio and ASIO compatible
Pro Tools M-Powered compatible (version 7.3 or later)
Torq Control Vinyl and Control CDs features:
Best Price for the M-Audio Conectiv & Torq 2.0 Digital Vinyl System
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