Vestax VCI-380 – New Controller for Itch

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Today Vestax announced a new controller in their VCI lineup of digital gear, the VCI-380. It’s a long awaited replacement for the VCI-300, which started off as the go-to Itch controller but was soon left behind by more advanced entries from Pioneer and Numark. The 380 offers one element that might pique the interest of controllerists: the same after touch/velocity sensitive pads found on the Pad-One.

A few notable points

  • Aftertouch sensitive pads send out CC information with additional pressure (remember the Pad one?)
  • LED rings in the jog wheels can display track position information
  • Re-engineered sound card with new drivers and better converters
  • Stand-alone mixer capability
  • Suggested Retail Price: $999/€799/£699
  • Availability: Spring 2012
  • Touch-sensitive strips for each deck
  • Ships with Serato Itch

Here are some photos and words directly from Vestax themselves. We look forward to completing a full review of the unit soon. -Ean Golden

THE VCI-380

VCI-380 is a two channel DJ controller with a built-in DJ mixer, powerful and creative, opening the door to limitless possibilities of controllerism. Mix, scratch, cue, effect, sample, trigger, loop and slice. Every feature of the VCI-380 is optimized to enhance the DJs performance and take a new approach in manipulating music. Designed hand in hand with Serato, VCI-380 is bundled with ITCH, providing an arsenal of musical craft tools with perfect integrity, straight out of the box.

EVERYTHING IS AT YOUR FINGER TIPS

The 2 x 8 banks of FSR trigger pads on the VCI-380 are jam packed with creative Performance Modes such as the Slicer, Roll, Sampler, Loop, Hot Cue and Pad FX. With the given features you can trigger cue points, samples, loops, slice up beats, and shoot off Pad FX together.

Pad FX creates amazing combinations to manipulate music in ways nobody else has before: holding each pad (aftertouch) will modify the FX parameter, along with triggering Performance Mode functions. FX are an essential tool to spice up your performance; in addition to Pad FX, each deck features classic FX controls. The Ribbon control on each deck alters the parameters of Pad FX, swipes, holds and needle drops tracks.

ULTRA-STABLE  PERFORMANCE

The legendary jog wheels from the Vestax VCI series have stepped up in their game with an advanced structure and larger platters for extra stability and smoothness. The platters of the VCI-380 are highly responsive, transmitting MIDI signals with extreme accuracy. The LED needle point embedded in the jog wheel provides excellent visual monitoring, indicating the decks playback position.  The torque of the jog wheels can be adjusted to your preference, and as like all VCI series controllers you can pitch bend the track by touching the sides of the jog wheels.

STAND ALONE MIXER

The stand alone mixer function of the VCI-380 has great capacity for adaptability. The two hybrid channels are capable of mixing external devices such as CD players, turntables and MP3 players, together with tracks and samples Serato ITCH is playing. Each channel has an RCA Phono/Line input for limitless connection options, and the crossfader and input faders curve can be adjusted like any DJ mixer. Mixes with the input source can be tweaked with Trim, EQ and in addition, the FX knobs on each channel function as Hi-Pass filters, to add an extra touch to your performance.

AMAZING SOUND

The built in high quality 24Bit/48kHz audio interface based on technology developed with the critically acclaimed Vestax VCI-400, features BIT-Perfect audio powered by a studio grade asynchronous USB streaming system. This extremely advanced technology provides low latency, premium sound quality and outputs your mix, analog or digital, at its true clarity. Some say seeing is believing. For the VCI-380, listening is believing.

FEATURES

  • 2 Channels USB MIDI controller for Serato ITCH
  • Built-in 24Bit/48kHz audio interface
  • 2 x 8 Performance Pads with Velocity & Aftertouch
  • 5 performance modes (Hot Cue, Auto Loop, Slicer, Roll, Sampler)
  • PAD FX function
  • Channel FX controls
  • Ribbon (strip) control for Pad parameters and Needle Drop
  • Large scale 5 1/3 inch jog wheels with needle position display
  • 2 Channel stand-alone audio mixer with Phono / Line input
  • Hi-Pass filter, Trim and 3 band EQ on stand-alone mixer.
  • 2 Mic inputs with volume control
  • Balanced Master output (XLR) & Booth output (RCA)
  • 19″ rackmount kit (optional)
  • Robust metal body construction
  • CFX-2 (Digital Crossfader) compatible

IN THE BOX

  • VCI-380
  • Power Adaptor
  • User’s Manual
  • USB cable
  • Size: 427(W)x304(D)x60(H)mm (knobs included)
  • Weight:3.5kg
  • Power: SDC-7 Power Adaptor
  • Pingback: Dj Stuff Vci 380 | Computer DJ Midi()

  • So when is the full review coming?

  • BigMoney

    It looks like a nice piece but again the question arises, why not do it right the first time or at least the second? It always comes down to the mighty dollar. It’s nice to see that they put XLR outputs for the main but why RCA for the booth? They could have at least put 1/4 inch outs… And why is the volume control for the booth out on the rear of the unit when common sense should tell you to put it in a much more accessible area. Most DJs constantly turn the booth on and off when mixing. It would also to be nice to have the volume control for the mic on the face of the unit as well as a mic EQ. Minor details that would make so much more sense. I guess we will have to wait for the next few modèls to come out for for those “Upgrades”.

  • Any word on a Ean Goldmen updated version???? with better faders?

  • can this record live samples as your playing like the s4?????

  • Rudj

    Are you gonna make an EAN GOLD Special Edition ?

  • Sdyksterhouse

    will you guys be doing a Ean Goldmen edition for the 380???? I ask because the faders need to be changed out. i don’t get why they didnt keep the 4 channels….this is better than the 400 and works with better software. 

  • Cool Claxon

    It’s posible use crossfade in reverse mode?

  • Cool Claxon

    You can use the crosfader in reverse?

  • mike313

    it looks like a Twitch had sex with a MixTrack

  • Does anyone know if it has the efx single channel option like twich, that converts the vol sliders into gain sliders?

  • Mrrawuk

    Will this be able to run traktor 2 and itch?

  • guuuforu

    does it go with vfx1? or no need?

  • Dj Deibys Miami

    I do have the VESTAX VCI-300 MKII I love it let’s see how is going to cost this one!!!!

  • BelgianJungleSound

    DJTT, you should consider adding this link to these press release type articles so that people stop moaning about how expensive stuff is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suggested_retail_price

  • Audio Outlaw

    Overpriced. For $200 more you get the NS7FX.

    • Jack

      Huh? Apples n’ Oranges dude. The two shouldn’t even be compared.

    • Mrrawuk

      Mate they are not in the same ball park….vci can go in a laptop bag,,,,the NS7FX needs like a trunk.

  • Djfrankiefiore

    I was waiting for this day, price is nothing. Vestex is solid, so if this is as solid as my vci 300 im down to buy!

  • Steve

    Looks like a good controller i like the implication of the pads

  • It does say “Suggested Retail Price” of $999

    The  SRP or the VCI 400 is $1399.

    So my guess the VCI 380 will be in the 600 – 700 range.

  • Joe

    I guess like many others I am wondering, why DJTT and Vestax put out the VCI-400, when this was just around the corner?

    There are so many advanced features on the 380 (ribbon strip control, standalone mixer, performance modes, needle position display just to name a few). Compared to this the 400 seems so crude. I would like to see all these features on a four-deck layout, usable with Traktor. But no, we got the 400! I meant to buy it, but now I’m almost glad I didn’t yet…

    • Every controller does not need 4 channels and with samplers and all the features of the 380 there is more than enough to keep us busy and be very creative. I think its nice vestax didnt jump on the 4 channel bandwagon. Just my two cents. The 400 is obviously aimed at the demographic that is dj tech tools community, would have thought everyone here would love it. The 380 is most certainly aimed toawrd the “turntabilist” with some extras to entice them to the “darkside”. Many dont care for itch but at the end of the day itch’s simplicity is what makes it so great. To each their own i guess. 400 and 380 are great peices of kit. Im just happy to finally see some choices.

  • Paradise Dam

    The MSRP on the Vci 400 is $1,399, and sells for $999, which is minimum advertised price. The simple math will put the MAP of the Vci-380 @ $699. I believe Vestax can sell boatloads of the Vci-380 @ a $599 pricepoint;). This thing will smoke the Twitch, which I currently own. I come from PDx-2000’s and a rane Ttm-56, and the Twitch is cool, but the build/knob performance just doesn’t compare to my previous setup. I’m stoked for the Vci-380.

    • Djred24

       I agree, I came from 2 v7’s Rane ttm56, downsized to twitch good price new. But twitch is just a good ad on? I will own both I like my mobile back pack DJ rigs.

  • Chfezza

    I’m very surprised no one has mentioned here that Itch needs to update their effects in the SOFTWARE, otherwise there is no point in spending any $ on ANY controller (even with cool pad fx)

  • Elevations

    MINUSES (——-)
    -2 channels for a $1000 – where’s the evolution in that ????
    – no strip channel LED’s
    -scroll wheel too small and inconspicuous
    -size a bit too compact for performance
    – No digital IN/OUT
    -Serato ITCH modded (WTF? TRAKTOR…???)

    PLUSES (+++++)
    -looks like a stand alone mixer
    -XLR outs
    -LED Jog wheel
    -color touch pads (bite F1)
    -“Twitch” (bite) perofomance modes

    Conclusion:
    Not worth the asking price
    Not professionally ergonomic
    Still a nice little controller that can rock the house !
    Looks like a Twitch deluxe

  • 1000 bucks does strike me as a bit high, im guessing the suggested retail is 999 but will probably be 799 or 899 sans the original vci 300

  • Jack

    #1) Thank God it has booth outputs. Why some manufacturers refuse accept the vital importance of this basic feature for so many DJs is beyond me.

    #2) Kudos on XLR main outputs. This will make many DJs’ lives a whole lot easier since XLR is the norm in the field making adapters a whole lot less frequently needed.

    #3) It appears the at the control surface is now a nice, professional, non-glare matte texture rather than that horrific, shiny, glossy, fingerprint magnet, cheesy, crap plastic many other manufacturers and models (e.g. VCI-300) used. Please tell me the VCI-380’s control surface is black anodized aluminum. For $1K it better be. 

    #4) The SYNC, CUE, and PLAY/PAUSE buttons look awfully cheap for a unit at this price point. So do the fader caps. Finish this detail and you’ve got a real winner. 

    #5) This better not have the poor audio output level problems that Novation’s Twitch does. What a debacle that was.

  • worth 1000 if it was a 4 channel mixer

  • Walter

    I really like this piece of hardware, despite of the position of the booth out knob.

    Can somebody explain to me why they put it on the back of the controller? That makes absolutely no sense to me…

    • synthet1c

      Because only 1 in 20 people will actually use it, the rest of us plug the master out of a controller to a mixer channel and use the booth out on the mixer…

  • looks like i have some saving to do, wonder what the price will be by xmas 2012?

  • RockingClub

    The 8 pads on each side seem to able to light in different colours. Could be interesting for someone who needs a new mixer and loves the new Remix Decks from Traktor 2.5 for which he would elsewhere need the Traktor F2, but with this device he might map some Remix Deck Triggers on these pads…

  • Djluke3

    1. price needs to be way lower if they think anyone is gonna buy it2. will djtt make mappings?

  • Jones Chris091

    … Now this looks like a step in the right direction, a controller that visually looks like cdj’s and has vinyl like touch strip with added pads for triggering loops, samples an fx’s and is stand alone! Thumbs up Vestax!……. And just after I bought 2nd hand vci mk2!….. This market moves too fast!

  • 2ez

    Do you know why they call it a 380? Because when you see it you do a 380 and walk away!

    • Guest

      So you you look at it and the turn around so you wind up looking back at it, but 20? off? thereby bumping in to it?…

      • Guest

         Guess someone didn’t hear that old Xbox 360 joke.

        • Guest

           I guess someone missed their maths lessons

  • jprime

    Nice.  Itch FTW!   Looks like a great piece of gear 🙂   Looking forward to your full review!

  • A S I K

    maybe worth 1000 if it was a 4 channel mixer

  • Patrickwdoyle

    As a long time Itch user, I’ve had both a VCI 300 and a Twitch. The Price is the same as the VCI 400 because there is no associated software license with the VCI 400. The VCI 380 comes with Itch, and all future upgrades, so there is a premium charge for that.

    If Vestax’s two channel itch controller is -20, then my guess is the 4 channel Itch controller will be +20, or the VCI 420. I will be holding on to my Twitch until I can upgrade to a VEstax VCI 420.

  • bloodhound

    i was in heaven… until that price came…

    this looks like the meanest beast on the market right now, and with all those features (and built by VESTAX!!!!) this thing deserves some room to boast. but strutting its stuff at 1k… not happening. 

  • Jimbrowski00

    those moving led’s on the jogs are an awesome feature!  Damn I wish this was a traktor controller… dont know if its compelling enough to get me to switch to itch though

    •  I see no reason why this couldn’t be a Traktor controller. Certain HID functions can’t be used in Traktor, but that seems to be a function of the controller, not an HID command.

  • Tigreagle

     Damn, it’s like the typhoon I just sold and the twitch I replaced it with had a baby…This thing looks like it packs a mean punch, and I’m sure the sound quality is amazing, but they should really come down on that price.

  • Michael Nelson

    THE REASON ITS MARKED $1000 is due to the  fact it has a stand alone 2 channel mixer bult into it . 2 knowing vestax its built like a brick . 3 the s2 isnt a stand alone mixer nor can you connect other devices to it like you can with the vestax . the vestax vci 400 isnt a stand alone mixer  but its midi mappable with every single dj and daw soft ware out . i think this is great seeing i dont like serato scratch live i like itch and would defiantly buy this for the fact i can connect cdjs to it or turn tables…..sure 1000 is a hefty price but i had the s4 and s2 my s2 didn’t last long nor did the s4  love my vci 400 though

    • Fabian Castro

      The Denon DN MC-6000 is a 4deck Stand Alone 4 channel mixer.
      It’s built like a brick. 
      It’s around 750$.
      Granted, it doesn’t have any pads, but for the 250$ difference, and the 2 extra decks, i can live with it.

    • 4321djgear

      Michael,

      The S4 allows folks to connect turntables and CDJs if needed.
      I just wanted to make sure anyone reading your comment (last sentence..) doesn’t come away thinking S4 doesn’t have this option.
      Build quality on S4 is excellent too.

      • But the VCI 380 has the added bonus of being a real mixer too, yes you can use the S4 with TT or cdj but you gotta have it hooked up to a computer. The fact the VCI 380 filters are hardware as well is a nice touch. As mentioned the denon also works as a standalone mixer but it’s cramped cluttered controls really puts it in more of non performance friendly category 

      • Michael Nelson

        understood but i never said it didnt but the clarification might needed to be …. basically the s4 is great but the flaws it has are no stand alone mixer yes it DOES consecutively to cdjs or turn tables but  if you need your computer in order to use the cdjs it kinda defeats the perpous  to use the s4 . with the vestax vci 380 you wont need a comp , or if the comp gives out or crashes you still have the option to use just the cdjs and the vci 380 that was my point … the s4  is a dope controller but the build quility and no stand alone mixer is a bad thing and a flaw . …. im not sure if traktor is sponcering you but a brushed aluminum is not any ones idea of great build quialty .. steel metal fully threw out the product like the denon and the vci 400 are . trust i been threw all the controllers and the vci 400 is the best bet ..  this vci 380 will be the ultimate controller for itch … numark is a piece of shit . pioneer isnt taking dj controllers serious because there to busy catering to the big name djs with cdjs and djm .traktor considerably makes new controllers but still have flaws in the traktor software …. thats why my statement on the vci is king .. a controller that can be used with almost all dj software’s  perfectly  with no latency issues is great …. 

  • Features I liked:

    * I’m glad to see that this controller has it’s own power input and has external inputs, this makes me believe that it will work without a computer (which we are led to believe when it says “Stand Alone Controller”…) you know, for those people who are slow to adapt to computers.

    * I’m glad to see the same pad layout as the Twitch in other controllers (including slicer mode), it means that part is right (at least for now) including the touchstrip. 

    * Thankfully, this deck does not have those; big, red, angry (filter) knobs in the middle of the board.

    * I really like that the crossfader controls are right on the front of the controller.

    * XLR Out is great for mobile DJs who just want to plug into their self-powered speakers.

    * The moving LED position indicator… not sure why the position matters, but it looks neat.

    *Full-color, back-lit LED Trigger pads with after-touch (which means you can make use of the new Traktor Pro 2.5 lighting system).

    Things I didn’t like:

    * I can’t say that I’d recommend this controller to anyone for $999, but $599, maybe… this is a Two-Channel mixer (with some neat features) for crying out loud!

    * I was shocked that this controller doesn’t have a Deck switch (like
    the VCI-400) because this is no lowly S2 to the S4 controller Native
    Instruments puts out, this deck has a stylus drop which the VCI-400 does
    not.

    * The crossfader and up-fader are still not removable (so you can’t clean them if someone spills on them), they still look cheap and the crossfader is still short-throw.

    • Atom12v

      As a “computer guy” my hat off to you on your approach to computer.
      agree with 100% in all you said. Have my mind set in terminal 4 until this article came out and make me think about it, then the PRICE…

  • Topa

    why do they use dubstep in every fucking promotional video of something that has to do with electronic music nowadays :/ seriously thefuck. marketing towards……..

    • Brian Foster

      Tell me about it.  I’m sick of that awful crap!  I was thinking the same thing.

    • Lolni

      Its 10000 times harder to sell a controller and controller related stuff to someone long established in DJ’ing… its much much easier to target and market to newcomers to DJing… Almost all newcomers are young young young, and what does the young kids want? Dubstep Its just marketing…. 4 on the floor just isnt interesting enough in short amounts of film

    • Owen

      That isn’t dubstep mate. It’s brostep. 

      • RAINESUPREME

         hate to tell you mate, brostep is a part of dubstep. Just as Krunk is a part of hiphop.( NOt saying that i like brostep or krunk..)

    • dubstep tends to lend itself better to glitchy type effects (mainly because of its half time style beat)..  

    • 4321djgear

      Don’t tell me you buy a car according to how good the commercial music is..

      Lighten up.

  • Mike

    A Twitch with jog wheels and XLR outs should be priced accordingly. Looks pretty cool though.

    • Djluke3

      Dude thats prett much what every dj controller is. A twitch is a dj controller without jog wheels.

    • I think it is, the Twitch has a very cheap feel plastic construction, for the extra couple hundred the VCI 380 is worth, you get alot more than twice construction quality and features

  • Anonymous

    I will trade someone my vci400se for this.

  • smuve415

    hey — at least it has a BOOTH OUT!!! that’s an remarkable achievement indeed.

  • Mattmangrease

    Going over the features, this seems like its worth the money, but it also feels kind of silly to have two controllers in the ~$1,000 range. Almost like when Sega had the Genesis, Saturn, and Sega CD out, that didn’t work out too well. This would be perfect at 6-700 dollars.

  • Djluke3

    1. price needs to be way lower if they think anyone is gonna buy it
    2. will djtt make mappings?

    • oneend

      djtt will of course make mappings. Vestax and Ean are like bff’s. Seems like an amazing controller to me, I don’t think they’ll sell at $1000 though.

      • Lolni

        if you cant map itch – jump ship now.

  • steve

    are that pads same from vci400?

  • $1000???? Are you joking? This should be priced the same as the S2. The VCI-400 is priced at $1000. 

    • Agreed. A lower price point would force me to consider leaving Traktor but… Nah.

    • Michael Nelson

      read my comment 

      • I would never use this as a standalone mixer. My Vestex VMC-002 would do the same thing as this for a lot less. If the reason for the 2 ch mixer is for when your laptop breaks, there are other ways to have a “backup”.

  • dj flb

    i got a boner, than i saw the word itch

    • You don’t have to use Itch if you don’t want to, but you’ll get access to Whitelable.net as a Serato product owner.

  • Rutger Willems

    nice

    • Bernamato

      Very poor … It is good for vestax company to gain money with a poor product and low cost product

      • DeeJayIvan

        why do you think this is a poor product?

    • Tgunn897

      Very nice indeed, i have no idea why people are so down on itch, i understand everyone has preferences but come on. For some reason i think some people are more about being able to map stuff and tinker around with things other than trying to master their dj/performance skills. SSL is the standard for a reason. Dont get me wrong Traktor and itch are both very nice for the different things they do and what they bring to the game. It would just be nice to see people appreciate all the innovation all the companys are bringing to the table these days. We have alot to be thankful for in the gear available these days. So much elitist attitudes in the dj community these days. I think in the end no matter what format you like or use, if no one is dancing to whatever your pushing thru those speaks then who really cares. Im pretty sure Itch doesnt select your tracks for you.Just my two cents.

      This controller is absolutely sexy btw! Will be owning! 

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