Like any new equipment that hits the market, DJ controllers were met with an amazing reception and the demand only kept growing bigger. This encouraged several top brands and certainly new ones to release their own line of best DJ controllers. Though this might be a good thing since you have a lot of options to choose from, it can also be a bit of a headache to sort all these choices and arrive at the best DJ controller.
What is a DJ controller made of and why is it used?
Before getting into the criteria for selecting the best DJ controller, let us first understand the basics of the DJ controller. To start with, in general, all modern DJ controllers have three main elements:
Usually, a DJ controller software can be used along with a mouse and a keyboard. Since this is non-intuitive and can take a lot of time to access the menus, a hardware controller is used to better cope with the needs of the DJ software.
Tips to select the best DJ controller
Now before you select the best DJ controller, it is essential that you go through a few points so that you can be sure that you have made the right choice. It goes without saying that the above mentioned three elements should be incorporated into the best DJ controller. Apart from this, there are a few other factors that you should check. These factors include:
The durability of the equipment, as well as the aesthetic appeal, depends on this factor. Buying a DJ controller is quite a hefty monetary investment. So make sure that every penny is worth the cost. Build quality is especially important if you travel a lot and the controller equipment will always be shifted here and there. After all, you do not want your precious controller falling apart when you travel through a bumpy road.
Different brands and models have different settings and spaces for the controls. There is no right or wrong with this spatial arrangement. It all depends on your unique taste. If you are comfortable with the way the controls are set, then you can go ahead and choose that DJ controller. The arrangement does not necessarily have to make sense; they just have to be easy to operate.
Type of controller (all-in-one or modular):
In simple terms, a modular system contains separate components joined together, whereas an all-in-one system comes as one whole package.
If you want to experiment with stuff or prefer more flexibility, a modular system will be better.
The right software:
This is perhaps the most important factor while picking out the best DJ controller. The DJ controller package comes with inbuilt software. If you have no idea how to modify this, then the software is best left alone.
Some DJ controllers come with certain additional features such as CD players and USB connectivity. This naturally increases the cost of the controller. Before you buy, think twice if you will actually use those functions (as most people think the digital function of the controller would by itself suffice). If the answer is no, then it is probably best to skip such controllers and cut down the cost.
Soundcard or audio interface:
The good news is that most of today’s best DJ controllers have inbuilt audio. To quickly check if your DJ controller falls under this category, look for a headphone socket. If it is present, then the answer is yes. If not, you will have to get a sound card.
Second-hand or new:
As far as digital goods are concerned it is always best to buy the new one. But if you are on a tight budget, then there is no harm in going for a second-hand cheap DJ mixer.
Hope this list has helped you complete your quest of finding the best DJ controller.
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 DJ Controller
If you love to DJ but are yet to try your hand at it, Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 DJ controller can give you the best kick start, thanks to its intuitive layout which means all the features are lined up at the place where you will need them. This makes it more accessible to learn to DJ and is a perfect tool for the beginners who are looking to hone their skills.
The Pioneers DJ controller has a durable and long lasting design since it is constructed of premium quality materials and audio circuitry. Even though it is robust and durable inbuilt, it looks highly professional with the aluminum jog and distinctive styling that has been given special care.
Numark Party Mix
The Numark party mix allows anyone to become a DJ from the comforts of their own home and with their favorite music. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional DJ player, this controller has everything that is necessary for some fun.
Whether you want to use it for entertainment or for learning, Numark Party mix is a great tool for both the purposes. The unit has built-in audio equipment outputs so you can enjoy the mix straight on your speakers without requiring any extra equipment for the purpose.
The mixing comes smoothly and almost seamlessly with the easy to use the mixer. You can comfortably customize and blend and get the perfect sound you have been looking for.
The controller also has a headphone jack to preview the upcoming track. It helps in cueing and keeping the party alive.
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Portable 2-Channel Controller for Serato DJ
This controller from Pioneer has all the features from DDJ-SB and has some other amazing functions too. The model has been upgraded with dedicated buttons that help to switch between the different channels almost seamlessly, a 4-deck control and a trim knob, level meters to take care of the input volume. The users can make use of the trim knob and the level meters to check the input volume at different channels and make the adjustments whenever required.
DJ DDJ-SB2 has large jog wheels with low latency that give an amazingly accurate scratch response to the performer.
This is an ultimate tool to uplift your DJ skills if you are just a beginner at it and enjoy complete freedom and creativity with music if you are already a professional DJ.
Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
Numark is considered as a leader in technological innovation and DJ equipment around the world. The Mixtrack Pro 3 controller from the company is another example of its fineness in technology and DJ equipment.
The model has been especially designed for the professional DJs or ones aspiring to take up their passion professionally. And for this reason, it has all the features that are required by a professional, a class above the conventional DJ controllers, yet offering reasonable pricing.
The control helps to boost your creativity with the multi-function backlit performance pads that allow you to launch samples, add loops, and take care of the cues while you perform.
Since the controller is class compliant with both Mac and PC, you just need to plug it into your laptop and you will have everything that you ever need to start mixing some great music.
Pioneer DJ DDJ-RB Portable 2-Channel Controller for rekordbox DJ
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-RB portable controller is popularly used across the world both by the beginners as well as the DJs who are pro. It has been made exclusively for rekordbox DJ and comes included with the license key that allows the users to access cues, loops, FX and more. You can unlock and use the latest features including the expanded settings preferences.
The layout of the controller has been deliberately kept similar to the layout of rekordbox DJ so the user can mix instinctively using all the buttons such as play and cue buttons, jog wheels, mixer knobs and faders and dedicated buttons for a loop.
You can be creative with your sequences and then choose to play them directly on the chosen hardware by using the sequence call button. You can choose how you wish to listen to your mixes-through the internal speakers of the computer, connected desktop speakers or wireless speakers. While you listen to your mixes, make use of your headphones to select your cues and let your party go on uninterrupted.
Numark Mixtrack Platinum 4-Channel DJ Controller
The Mixtrack DJ Platinum Controller comes from Numark, the world leaders in technological innovation and DJ equipment. This is the latest addition to the NumarkMixtrack and is meant to enhance the performance of any DJ, whether skilled, amateur or highly professional.
The unit offers a host of variant features and still very moderately priced.
You can try all your creativity with the multifunction performance pads that are back-lit. Use them to add loops, launch samples and control the cues at the same time as you perform.
The NumarkMixtrack Platinum is powered by a USB connection to the computer; it also has a built-in sound card that lets you directly connect to a microphone or a PA system.
The NumarkMixtrack Platinum controller includes the Serato DJ intro that gives a comprehensive control to the performer. Since it is also class-compliant with both Mac and PC, you can just plug in and start mixing almost instantly.
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2 Portable 2-channel Controller for Serato DJ
Professional DJ gear, multicolor performance pad, dedicated key controls for Serato DJ Pro and a spacious layout, this portable DJ controller from Pioneer has everything that you could have asked for.
The controller is compact, light in weight and very portable. It can be easily carried from one place to another. Even though it is compact, it has jog wheels that are large and low-latency and delivers great and accurate scratch response.
The controller has attractive multi-colored, large and tactile performance pads, and these are used to work on the hot cues, sampler and roll features. As you will hit the pads, you will see that they change their color and indicate the current mode or the playing status.
The needle search makes your mixing a completely creative affair. You can jump to any part of the track simply with a single touch since the feature provides a touch strip that allows fast and intuitive searches.
Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 Professional DJ System
You can take your performance to new heights with the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 Professional DJ system. It features a very new 64-bit mixing processor that promises a warm and nuanced sound. The unit gives you the flexibility to set it up in your own personal style with 2 USB ports, 4 phone inputs, and independent send or return.
The Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 is not called a professional DJ system without reason. The controller has a professional sound design, thanks to the studio-quality digital signal processor that makes use of dithering technology together with a low-jitter clock to deliver a natural analog sound. There is also an added improvement in the analog sound due to the output circuits and improved pre-amp.
Pioneer DDJ-SR2 with Pioneer DJC-SC2 and Shure BLX24/PG58
The Pioneer DDJ-SR2 has been designed specifically to be used with the Serato DJ software. This DDJ-SR is small and compact but has almost all the features and specifications of DDJ-SX that was introduced in the year 2012 and was much larger than this. These features include integrated performance pads, large aluminum jog wheels and PAD PLUS feature that is absolutely new. Has contributed to the addition of four more audio effects to the performance pads of the controller.
The controller includes Pioneer DJC-SC2 soft bag that gives protection to the controller. The bag is easy to carry since it has a vertical structure, has an accessible laptop pocket, cushions that protect the devices and large storage pockets to make traveling and storage easy.
The controller is built with precision and is available in multiple configurations. It is the best way to rule any party-small or big.
Roland DJ-808 4-deck Serato DJ Controller
This outstanding DJ controller from Roland has built-in drum sequencing, a 4-channel mixer, vocal processing and the best possible integration with the Serato DJ Pro. It is nothing like an ordinary DJ controller and boasts of TR-S drum machine that has some of the most iconic drums sounds from across the world.
The RRC-DJ808 W Black Series road case is tough and durable. It has a rugged exterior that helps it to protect the controller against any kinds of bumps, scratches or bruises while in transit. It is a steel recessed hardware. There are removable access panels that make the entire setup of the controller easy and the built-in stand is especially for the laptop or the computer. There is nothing better than this bag for the protection on the road.