Xone DB4

I am thinking of selling my Octatrack and go for a Xone DB4. I used to have this one and I love it, but never used it with Elektron equipment.

What do you think, is it a good idea to use this DB4 with my A4 and AR
I can loop inside DB4, and mix on to next song from my AR & A4.

Will looping be as perfect as looping in AT?


Biggest reason for me to sell my OT, is that it makes making music too complex. I love the A4 and AR, they are like 1 machine, with a 100% same in workflow. Many times I mess up all sound because of the OT.

Be careful with the Xones when on OSX, drivers are quite unreliable. The DB2 is the real problem-child(I have one, don’t get me started) but also the DB4 has messy drivers. And A&H support are vile and unhelpful, worst support desk I’ve ever encountered in my 20+ years of dealing with gear.

I have a feeling they outsourced their computer-interfacing and sound card manufacturing and its not a very smooth relationship. I believe internally they are Ploytec?

Anyways, beware :slight_smile:

i never had any problem with it… although…
i remember when I took it out of my computer, I had to reconnect it manually in the settings of my NI Maschine… this sucks…

on the other hand…

I don’t use my computer anymore. Only for my work I use it… it’s lovely not to use any computer while making music. Love it…

Just check the Xone-userforum and ask yourself if you want to be part of this user group, not a lot of positive posts on there, about the Xone’s or about A&H support. Other than that its an ok sounding mixer, fx are good, not a lot of parameters you can change. But you already know this :slight_smile:

I’d say look for a good 8(or any number you need) channel mixer and some nice fx you can put on the auxes. For the price of a DB4 you can build quite a nice setup. And avoid built in sound cards maybe, if you’re not gonna use the computer in the setup anyway. Less is more.

I would say its a great piece of equipment but mainly for djing. I have one and im putting IT out for sale…i need more in/outs then the standard DJ mixer.

My live setup is a little like a dj set. I play a song on rytm and four, then loop it and mix the loop with a new song from four and rytm.

I think the sound of the db4 is really good…

When i just use four, rytm and db4… Will the sound be good enough?
Will looping be as good as looping in octatrack?

Is it a normal or a strange workflow for a lifeset?

the best way to find out is to try one out IF u can and see if its a mixer for u. Solid build quality, good effects and 2 filters. The loopers are almost seemless…dosnt Take BIG effort to get good loops but its limited in lenght.

I’m using Elektron gear with a DB4. The DB sounds fantastic, the filters and especially FX are top notch, esp. the reverb and delays. The BPM sync is absolutely spot on. The loopers are very useful and easy to handle, though they don’t offer much editing.
One thing that I really love is the input matrix where you can assign the same input on different channels. you can do some crazy layering with FX on different channels with it.

I wil get one today…
The flexible inputs are very Nice indeed, but… I don’t understand what you mean with crazy layering with fx?

To me, the weak point is that there is only one fx per channel, there is no cascade fx on db4 like on db2.

I mean assigning the same signal to different channels, filter them differently, loop them or put fx on them.
Yes, actually chaining fx on ONE channel would be nice, that has been a feature request since a long time.
And you can have a workaround for an external fx loop with cue/record out but I’m sure you are aware of that.

i was thinking about this too (keeping the OT, though!), but i didn’t like the build quality/feel of the DB4. the FX screen screensaver put me off too!

A&H have just revised the Xone 42 into the 43 which is styled with the same backlit soft buttons as the Xone 23. maybe as the DB4 is almost 5 years old, they might be making that one over too. it would certainly make it more appealing to me.

i’d still have big reservations about the future considering the bad experiences listed on the A&H forum re: quality, support and OS woes…!

let us know how you get on if you go with it, though :slight_smile:

I just got the db4, it is cool, but iT also contains some background noise on the master. Is that normal? I am pretty disappointed with that… My octatrack was 100% silent.

Haven’t used the DB4, but that doesn’t sound normal. My Xone 22 was very clean, no noise anywhere. Maybe check if the mixer’s PSU cable is touching an audio cable somewhere? It could cause that.

Sorry, I’m late. My DB4 had the same issue for about four years now. It is an anomalous flaw in the build of your unit and doesn’t happen in all units. Since it is new, I would return it.but if your Record Out, SPDIF Master, Booth, and internal USB routing are fine, it’ll be fine to use.

Now that you have it, with a Digital SPDIF cable you can do a trick called the “Feedback/Loop Trick”
Just connect the Mixer’s SPDIF Master Out to any SPDIF “DIG” input and use the Matrix to select that DIG input on any/all of the other (non-Source) channels and you can re-loop it…!!!CAUTION!!! you will get feedback into the Main over-all signal so be ready to easy the faders down or cut them when it gets wild, but since it is the DIG feeds, the mixer’s internals can compensate/buffer for a bit of the good in all that. You can get creative if you Loop resample the signal on another channel situation with the volume fader cut down), then switch from the Playing to the looped. Lastly, Add Reverb/Delays FX on the Master, loop it and flip the playing channels to the looped version.

For the user that said there’s no way to edit the Loopers, it is true if you meant select parts in the loops but…you can use the above trick to pick-out and grab parts in the playing loop. It takes some practice but…you can add a K2 for more Looper control. And…you can watch this video I did with A&H concerning these very same things mentioned that can be done with the DB4 (no I don’t work for them):

1 Like

I think they are 2 very different machines if I’m honest. I was an early adapter of the DB4 and would use it purely for DJ purposes with Traktor… I had done a video back in the day showing its capabilities using MixArkitekts tsi file for mapping and it worked wonders.

Overall I was very pleased with the sound quality, although the build quality didnt feel like its earlier mixers… .(think Xone92 rotary etc).

But my advice is dont replace one with the other. They are 2 very different machines. Sure the matrix is mega cool and the studio effects are awesome on the DB4, but swapping the OT for it, you will miss out on so many other features (primarily proper sampling).

The looper on the DB4 is mega cool and its BPM detection engine is also very robust. However, having the ability to edit samples, chop them up, and then re-arrange them is invaluable. Furthermore, the sound editing features on the OT are wicked. You can completely mangle the sound, something that cannot be done with a DB4.

If you want to use it as a live DJ setup, I can understand your frustrations with the OT as it is not used in the same conventional way a proper DJ mixer is used. But you can’t sequence on a DB4 or any mixer for that matter.

Now, if you’re main concern is more ins/outs, then maybe just buy a very robust RME fireface with zillions of connections, or something similar. Personally, I use an Apollo quad and the sound quality, D/A and A/D converters are pristine. Couple that with some of UAD’s plugs and you have a very powerful setup.

My 2 cents…

today I kind of solved the background noise problem. I found out, the level of the noise is not affected by the loudness of the sound from the tracks. So the louder the music, relatively the less noise.

The input level of my monitor speakers was +4db
Now I changed this to -10 db
I don’t hear the noise anymore, and I can turn up the volume to hear my now input properly.

new problem:
I have the feeling the mixer creates much more low sounds.
My house resonates since I use the mixer
I am afraid my sensible neighbour doesn’t appreciate this very much
Also I am afraid it will be difficult to create ‘the right sound’, since the mixer doesn’t create a ‘flat’ sound.

Hey Nikarga!.. You’re in here too. I agree with you wholeheartedly on that advice. I only replied to the interest and wonder on the mixer.
FYI, my DB4 has been given a desk job as part of my production side of the house. I replaced it for DJ’ing with a Rane MP-2015 and the DB4 feels fine in it’s new duties. It’s not a big jump, I had a MP-2016/XP-2016 combo 12 years ago and haven’t been using my DB4 with DVS for a long time.

Hey Nikarga!.. You’re in here too. I agree with you wholeheartedly on that advice. I only replied to the interest and wonder on the mixer.
FYI, my DB4 has been given a desk job as part of my production side of the house. I replaced it for DJ’ing with a Rane MP-2015 and the DB4 feels fine in it’s new duties. It’s not a big jump, I had a MP-2016/XP-2016 combo 12 years ago and haven’t been using my DB4 with DVS for a long time. [/quote]
+1
Hey man, long time! we should get together and jam one day! am in London… fwiw, i saw pics of your setup posted on this site… S I C K.

Ha…thanks…it changes all the time. I still keep my Octatrack in the DJ set-up…but I really don’t use anything else other than records these days…I don’t desire to be glued to my studio or trouble-shooting issues with too many things so I don’t try to take my unrealized Live hardware rig idea on the road. I enjoy working with finished tracks so those Live ambitions are strictly limited to what I can playback on the OT…other things in my studio are for the hours in the studio… DJ’ing is simply more fun and functional for working a crowd with fresh - new or timeless stuff.

Anyway, my DB4 is up for Auction on eBay. I’m parting with it for redundancy reasons…I also need a more functional line mixer.

1 Like