The new Vestax VCI-100 is “a highly professional MIDI controller” that was on display at the NAMM show. While many of us delight in exposing highly cheesy marketing verbiage, I do have to say that in the process of trying to nudge it to get a better photo, I discovered that the VCI-100 is much heavier than expected. Its body is built entirely of metal, conveying a sense at least that it is built like a tank.

The VCI-100 works plug & play with Mac OS X and Windows XP SP2 via USB 2.0, through which it can also be powered (although as usual, the included power adapter is recommended for greatest stability).

Each of the two platters responds either to touching the metal top or the acrylic rim, so they can be programmed, for example, for scratching and pitch bending. The response curve of the crossfader is adjustable within the unit.

The VCI-100 will be bundled with Native Instrument’s Traktor 3 LE and additional MIDI maps are said to be forthcoming. It is scheduled to ship in May for a street price of $499.

More at www.vestax.com

Ed.: After a long string of not-quite-perfect DJ-style controllers, followed by M-Audio’s recent Xponent, which has ample controls but seems needlessly expensive, especially if you’re not planning on using this software, the VCI-100 seems to be the most promising controller coming out. I think it could be a hit not only with DJs but visualists and laptop musicians, too… hopefully we can get specs on weight soon. -PK

VCI-100 Product Page

Previously:
Vestax DJ MIDI Controller with Jog Wheels

  • http://waxdj.com/djs/86/ Erik Hz

    Finally something that looks less like a toy, and more like something that belongs in a DJ booth. I am not totally wowed by the design, the knobs look slippery and too small for my tastes, and the layout leaves something to be desired in terms of creativity and although it seems intuitively laid out, that doesn't make it a great tool.

    Is this thing going to have any analog mixing capabilities or is digital only?

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Hi Erik,

    It appears to be *controller* only — no mixing. But Vestax does make hybrid mixer models, as do a number other venues. (Lots of new stuff at NAMM.)

    To me, a lot of the appeal will be for the in-computer crowd, who don't need (and often don't want) a mixer built in. That can go beyond the DJ booth, to other kinds of music production, as well.

  • http://gotascii.com gotascii

    I'm surprised no one ever mentions the kontrolDJ when discussions about the sad state of dj-style midi controllers comes up. This vestax looks awesome but for something a little more compact check out http://www.kontrol-dj.com/html_eng/ I've heard it stands up to quite a beating, metal case, has a replaceable crossfader, fully programmable, and the creator is serious about support and his craftsmanship.

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  • http://www.onlyhousemusic.org Nicholas Vegas

    Finally a “serious sized” PRO &

    nice looking controller matching perfectly with my

    404. Like i said, i expected something like this from NI but it looks like the gap is filled.

    Lemme take a closer look to this one Live in Frankfurt,but im already half convinced

    that this one will make my day.

    Are the “Sensor-LED” lights under the jog wheels simulating a rotation ?

    That would be a nice point.

    love cut'n'paste ;)

    and yepp the KONTROL DJ

    is also an interesting alternative too

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  • http://www.corporation.tk corporation

    I'm loving this thing.

    I cant wait to buy one – might sell my torq/conectiv system and go back to traktor and this.

    my modded dm2/mixer combo is nice – but to have a quality product from a well known company that does a layout thats pretty much perfect for what i need – that takes the cake.

    i cant wait for it to come out.

    here's video of dj Here's a video of DJ TROUBL @ NAMM 07 using the VCI 100 and MIXVIBES DVS PRO.

    via skratchworx

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x11s9v_dj-troubl

  • http://www.kitesystems.com dachuckster

    Just had a play with it in Japan (not hooked up to the computer unfortunatley) and ordered one. It feels very robust all the knobs and buttons are there. The scrath plates feel good and I will send more info once I receive mine in the next couple of weeks.

  • http://www.corporation.tk corporation

    dachuckster:

    you bought one? where were you able to order it from in Japan?

    i would love to buy one and have it shipped from japan… through i bet shipping would be expensive…

  • djgv

    ProDJs Blog (Japanese) estimates weight at 4kg (over 8lbs). Light under platter usually blue, turns red once touched.

  • djgv

    Hands-on review from AudioFanzine, in French.

    http://fr.audiofanzine.com/produits/avis/index,id… ci100.html

  • dancinm

    This controller is completely needlessly too heavy. It's a MIDI controller, not a mixer, so it doesn't need to be built like a tank. it needs to be portable.

    It weighs more than a MacBook Pro!! Which means if you take it to your gig your computer which costs thousands of dollars more…the laptop loses.

  • Andy

    Hi, all. Can somebody ask me?

    is this device similar Hercules DJ console? If not what's the main difference? Midi Controlling? But It still could perform the same thing like Hercules, isn't it?

    Could it be used alone of other equipment? (only with notebook)

    Is there any possibilities or smth to use it with Cubase for composing music.

    Thanks.

  • degauze

    why the crap is this not listed here:
    http://reviews.cnet.com/Mixman_DM2_Digital_Music_

  • http://www.jaymis.com Jaymis Loveday

    degauze: Because that article is from 2001.

  • Hakpor

    Hey people… I am thinking about getting my self the new vestax midi controller. Does anybody know if I can use Hercules DK 1 with it?

  • Daniel Petermann

    Hi, I been waiting for something like this, I bought a Hercules Dj Console mac 2 years ago in France, nice idea but is a toy, the other aspecting choice was the Xone 3D, expensive.

    Another choice is Numark TOTAL CONTROL.

    I been looking for information about the audio outputs. I dont see any, wich means, (I think) you will need an external audio card, pls guys tell me that I`m wrong.

    This Controler by Vestax I believe is the best choice in the market.

    I live in Venezuela, and we dont have any store here where you can go and see it, tested.

    Have someone try it?

    All the best

    Daniel

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  • http://www.corporation.tk corporation

    Daniel –

    yes, you are correct – the unit does not contain an audio interface, it is strictly a usb midi controller.

    i for one am happy that vestax decided to leave an audio interface out of the design… i already have 4 interfaces (indigo i/o, fasttrack pro, conectiv, & internal onboard audio) – i dont need one more.

    i'm glad vestax focused their energy on just the midi controller part of the unit – do one thing, do it well.

    i cant wait for this to hit the streets… wished i lived in Japan right now – people supposedly have units already!

  • http://indiedanceparty.com DJ McManus

    The best of the bunch so far. At a substantial compromise in style I might end up going with the Behringer offering which is far less expensive.

    Every single DJ scratch mixer on the planet has a metal case so its nice to finally see it in a DJ midi controller. I think I speak for every computer musician on the planet when I say "Enough already with the silver painted plastic boxes!" All the plastic units in this category look like toys.

    I like that the emphasis isn't totally on the jog wheels. It would be cool if the wheels were motorized and rotated in sync with the corresponding tracks. Then they'd have to charge like $500 for this thing, wait a minute.

    I could have done without the "dj midi controller" label on each wheel. Once I've bought the thing and have been using it for a while I'm not likely to need reminding of what it is. I guess its supposed looks like a sticker guide like on beatmarked vinyl. Seems a little poorly thought out.

    I am quite curious about the lights. I'd love to see some video of that in action. Save the bundled DJ software and give us a little app that lets us adjust the onboard lights.

    The platters could have been recessed or flush with the surface. The layout is a little compromised with all the knobs pushed to the upper half of the unit. Why not a big square start/stop button like on a turntable?

    When DJing off a laptop I've used midi keyboards and all kinds of strange controllers while always wanting the perfect traditional mixing station. Here it is and I find myself wishing it had just one or two more hints at the improved possibilities beyond the physical limitations of the past, maybe a few more buttons, some endless rotary knobs, or a joystick … without a label … this is for the Traktor crowd and less for the Ableton Live scene.

    Totally agree with corporation in that I'm glad they went without the integrated soundcard but then why are they charging as much as if it were included? Why are they charging as much as if they included a full retail version of software?

  • SteveWill

    One big problem I see with it is the very short pitch/tempo slider.

    How are we supposed to get good resolution out of it???

    I am used to 0.02 with my CDJ's!

  • CHERRY-T

    This looks just like what I’ve waiting for. What non-expensive audio interface would you recommend for a compact set up? Also, is it reliable? I’ve heard Behringer BCD2000 crashes sometimes…

  • madamejam

    How would you monitor your mix then

  • Beep

    can. not. wait.

    Very excited. I think the only advantage the xponent has over this is the soundcard built in…but that isn't a big deal in the end.

    looks amazing.

  • cheapskate

    $500 for a simple dj MIDI controller? No thanks. Should be more like in the $200 range. It's too heavey anyway.

  • oldskool

    What are the benifits of using a mixer over this? Esentially, can't one do the same things?

  • http://www.myspace.com/avemccree Da MastaMind DJ Av.

    I was so excited about thiZ iteM until I heard it doeSnt have aN audio interface!!!! thatZ a bad deal in my eyeS 4 $500 come on!!!! 2 me it just looKS nice N it will able showTime like DJ's like myself 2 be able 2 scratch more accurately, but thatS all though… I currently own da Behringer BCD2000 N did plenty of shoWZ mixtapeS, chopped N screw'd songS, blenDZ u name it…. itZ worth every cent I spent on it…. hopefully some one could tell Me a betta reason 2 waSte cash on thiS…. please fill me in N b4 u talk trash peep my myspace page @ http://www.myspace.com/avemccree cuZ all my stuff iZ done w/ the BCD DEEJAY

  • Tanveer Jugpal

    How would one nudge on this ? Its got a scratch pad and censor, so when u nudge is there a button to be pressed to get it to nudge mode ?

    Later

    tj

  • madamejam

    No one seems to be answering any questions in here. To think I was actually considering buying one of these things. Oh well.

  • sgb

    @madamejam: You have to use a 2nd audio output, generally which is going to be a second 4×4 usb/firewire soundcard. I use the M-audio conectiv for this purpose with my Kontrol-DJ 500.

    Gizmo of Skratchworx has a little preview. I'm considering getting of these because I would be able to cut (Kontrol DJ is only good for nudging). See http://www.skratchworx.com/news/comments.php4?id=

  • madamejam

    Hey Sgb, thanks for the reply. Although I am still not quite sure how to hook it all up, I found a video of someone using it and it appears to be touch sensitive. I tried to find a diagram of how to hook it all up but did not. Anyway thanks again.

  • http://www.corporation.tk corporation

    i bought mine a few days ago from djdeals.com.

    I'll be getting it next week – i can't wait!

    according to their forums, they had 75 in stock as of a few days ago.

  • http://www.corporation.tk corporation

    I got mine.

    a very awesome unit – quality all around.

    the jogs are super responsive, the faders are smooth, and the buttons have a satisfying 'click' to them.

    totally worth the money.

    i'm really loving the jogs for scratching – no cue slippage! unlike my dm2.

    overall a 9.5 out of 10 (-.5 for being a tad bit expensive!)

    one word of advice though – even though my order arrived quickly from djdeals – they did not pack the unit in anything. they shipped it in its original box – which got smashed to sh*t. luckily the unit was fine – but just a word to the wise.

  • Beep

    Thanks to Midwest Stereo in Chicago, got mine today!

    It is unreal…I'm gonna try to do a full blog post all about it. But I'm with corporation on this one, it is everything you could ask for in a dj midi controller.

  • JonnyK

    So I just got this bad boy in the mail about a day ago, and am quite satisfied.. all around awesome controller. ive been using it with ableton and reason, as well as the traktor software that was included.

    So does anyone know exactly how the setup for an external audio interface, such as connectiv or indigo i/o would work? like, how would i use it in conjunction with ableton and/or traktor?

  • JonnyK

    and so therefore, i could use it to enable traditional headphone mixing?

  • madamejam

    If you figure it out let me know.

  • http://www.brandonhalterman.com Brandon Halterman

    I have been using Hercules DJ MK2 for about 2 years now and I am DONE! That thing kills me sometimes. I can be in the middle of mixing something and the sound card driver that works the card built in the unit just crashes! I get this crazy sound and it ruins my night. I am glad there is no built in card in this Unit. I am ordering one today and with hopes of finding a new way of getting the sound out of my computer and into my amps.