When people think about a DJ, they usually picture someone hunched over a turntables. It’s not far from the truth; in fact, a DJ is nothing more than an excellent producer. The unique ability of DJs to blend different songs together, create atmosphere with sound effects and to keep people dancing all night long comes from their mastery of their software and hardware instruments. But what if you are not the next big producer? What if you want to throw your friends a surprise party but you can’t play your own music? Or you want to impress that special lady by playing some slow romantic tunes? Instead of asking everyone to bring their laptops so you can hook them up with your Spotify account and let them stream music, why don’t we make it easier on you by skipping the technical stuff? A DJ controller is the answer for all these questions and more. If you have no idea what we are talking about or how much it will transform your performance, read on for further details.
What Is a DJ Controller?
A DJ controller is a device that is used for both performance and production of electronic music. It differs from a regular turntable setup in that it comes with built-in features for controlling of audio and visual elements. With a DJ controller, the DJ can prepare visuals, control lighting and sound, and connect with the computer system to play back music. A DJ controller can come with an integrated software that offers a wide range of basic and advanced effects, such as beat syncing, looping, scratching, and more. These controllers can come in a variety of formats, such as a laptop, a mixer, a podium, or a software-only model.
How Does a DJ Controller Benefit Live Performers?
DJ Controllers go beyond just the technical aspects of producing music. They allow DJs to perform outside of their studio environment, which can be especially beneficial for live performances. DJs can now create a fully immersive atmosphere with the help of lighting and visuals. The controller also allows the DJ to play along with music that is streaming from their computer, which means they do not need to rely on other sources for their tracks. It is also possible to adjust the volume and pitch of music on the controller, which is especially helpful for live performances as it allows the DJ to customize their set for each audience.
But Why Should I Get One?
We have discussed above how a DJ controller can help you with your music production, what about the performance aspect? Having a controller will allow you to play your music outside in a club, park, or festival setting, and you no longer have to rely on other DJs for music, as you can now play your tracks live, or in real time. You can also tweak the volume, playback speed, and pitch on your controller so you can customize your music to fit your audience.
5 Best DJ Controllers for Live Performances
With the rise of virtual reality, DJs are now able to perform live in VR. The best controllers for VR are the ones that have multiple buttons, sliders, and knobs, to create the most immersive and interactive experience. All the controllers listed below come with a built-in audio output, which means you no longer have to pair your headphones to it and can now simply plug them in and enjoy. Numark iControl Vest – A controller that is perfect for both beginner and professional DJs. It comes with a built-in audio interface, so you don’t need to pair your headphones. It also has a built-in soundboard to play your music, a color-coded performance rack, and lights that can be synced to your songs. T-Amp Ultra – This is one of the most affordable and commonly used controllers for live performances. It comes with a built-in audio interface, so you don’t need to pair your headphones, and has a built-in soundboard to play your music and lights that can be synced to your songs. It also comes with a wireless receiver so you can control your laptop and lights from one controller without a laptop sitting between you and the DJ. Mixdeck – The Mixdeck is a controller that is focussed on the live performance aspect. It has a built-in audio interface so you don’t need to pair your headphones, and a built-in soundboard to play your music, a performance rack for visuals, and a wireless mixer that can be used for both recording and mixing. Traktor Kontrol S2 – The Traktor Kontrol S2 is the world’s best controller for DJs. It comes with a built-in audio interface, so you don’t need to pair your headphones and has a built-in soundboard to play your music and a performance rack for visuals. It can also be used to control your software and software-only setups. It is designed with DJs in mind and is packed with features such as multiple track browsing modes, looping, and multiple effects.
We hope you have enjoyed reading our guide to the best DJ controllers. If you would like to learn more about a specific controller, feel free to check out our individual controller reviews, which provide an in-depth analysis of each controller. We hope you have now a better idea of what a DJ controller is and how it can benefit your live performances. If you would like to learn more about the history of DJ controllers and what it means for live performance, you should definitely check out these fun facts.