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Thread: Vca Fader ....?

  1. #1
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    What's the difference btw VCA fader and "normal fader"? do they exist for all mixer?

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    A normal fader is basically just an adjustable resistance. If you close the fader, the resistance will increase, and you audio signal will decrease. Has been used for a long time and is still used, because it's cheap. But it has a major drawback. It wears fast. Several things can change the resistance of the fader : liquids, dust, much use. Eventually this will cause the famous crackles, and in a longer extent complete drops of signal.

    VCA means Voltage Controlled Amplifier. Unlike normal faders, there is NO audio signal going through the fader, but it's a voltage that controls the audio level. This voltage will be filtered and treated several times. For you it comes down to this : the fader will last longer. You won't have pops and crackle as fast. And it can be used for other features like curve control. VCA has been existing for a long time on high end studio mixers. Besides the better quality it has other advantages, for example multiple control. Because it's merely a voltage, you can control several sources with one faders, very useful in grouping tracks. Precise automation is also an extra of VCA.

    There are two sorts of VCA, if you categorize them in build method. The first VCA's used (and some still use) carbon layers. The drawback is that carbon wears off after some time (but still a carbon VCA fader lasts longer than a regular resistive fader). Nowadays the better VCA's are Plastic Conductive (PCF). Those are the top of the range faders you find in many studio mixer nowadays and on the better dj mixers.

    And to answer your second question : no, VCA is a completely different technology. Only mixers that were originally designed for VCA use will be able to use them (and even then this doesn't mean that you will be able to put ANY vca in ANY vca capable mixer). And usually VCA can't be found on budget mixers...
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    Originally posted by Dj Thy
    And usually VCA can't be found on budget mixers...
    Well, you do have the Gemini UMX and Vestax PCV mixers now, that have VCA technology AND are budget mixers...
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    are u sure the PVC mixers are VCA?
    i don't think so...
    CPF (Conductive Plastic Fader) can also "carry" regular audio signal, so instead of using a regular carbon fader, they use CPF...
    i think that if Vestax would use VCA technology in their new PCV line they would advertise it...
    so my guess is, it got CPF, but not VCA

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    Man, I was under the impression that the PCV fader was VCA. The press release for the PCV fader on their website www.vestax.com.au (the co.uk site is NEVER updated) just states "The PCV (Plastic Conductive Volume) Crossfader, is a great innovation that has been researched, developed, designed and manufactured exclusively by Vestax. It improves the quality and durability of the cross fader to the highest possible level available today. "

    So who knows? The Gemini UMXs are VCA, that much I know.
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    thanks everybody for these complete answers. So if I understand Ican't put VCA fader in my stanton RM100 mixer. sniff...

  7. #7
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    Hey Angelic I didn't say all Plastic conductive faders are VCA. I said there are two sorts of VCA faders : carbon types and plastic conductive.

    This doesn't mean by definition that PCF = VCA.

    And mattu, I don't really consider the UMX and PCV mixers as budget. With budget I meant the mixers most young dj's start with (you know cheap Gemini series, Numark DM100x/200x series, Omnitronic and such). Personally I'd already consider UMXs as middle class.
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    i didn't say u did
    i know u know PCF dosn't = VCA
    my Q was directed to mattu
    Last edited by Angelic DeeJay; 11-24-2001 at 01:50 PM.

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