Controllers are the latest innovation to revolutionize the DJ scene. Not only do you have they have a setup that is familiar to experienced DJs but they also have extra features like looping and effects.
They are generally all in one units which makes them more economical, as you don’t have to buy multiple pieces of equipment (like a separate mixer).
Why I recommend the Pioneer DDJ-800
Pioneer decks are the industry standard and you will find them at every club and festival that you are likely to play at.
Therefore it makes sense to have a similar setup at home, which is what the Pioneer DDJ-800 will do for you (push here to price check on Amazon). You will be able to familiarize yourself with the equipment so you are comfortable as soon as you get on stage.
It is worth noting that the DDJ-800 features 8 pads which the CDJ do not. Meaning that it gives you extra options for triggering samples or jumping to cue points.
Pioneers are the industry standard for a reason. Their equipment is made to a high standard so it will last you through years of use. The last thing you want is to buy something not up to the job that ends up breaking and you just have to buy again.
- Very similar to the CDJ-2000NXS2 layout (so you can familiarise yourself with the industry-standard)
- Lots of features for the price
- Mixer can be used independently by plugging in extra decks
- Compact design makes it highly portable
- 8 rubber pads which can be used for cueing, FX, sampling, looping and more
- Includes full Rekordbox license
- Highly customizable via Rekordbox
- Perfect for mobile DJs
- Requires a laptop to function fully
Want a Controller Without Needing a Laptop?
Due to the large HD display above the mixer you will be able to manage your music library and make complex edits, without having to plug into a laptop.
It inherits the layout and a lot of the features of the NX2 series so you will feel comfortable in any club DJ booth you go play in.
Push here to check the XDJ-RX2 on Amazon.
Features to look for in Controllers
- Robust and reliable jog wheel – This allows you to manipulate your tracks so you want it to be accurate, which Pioneer’s are.
- Built-in FX – These help you add extra layers to your mixes and make them more dynamic.
- Sync – This is totally optional but can be helpful to learn beatmatching when first starting.
- Portability – One of the huge benefits of controllers is that they are all-in-one units. Making them easy to move around.
Push here to price check the DDJ-800 on Amazon.
As CDs faded as the main music format manufacturers had to move with the times and introduce units capable of handling digital music. This is why all controllers are compatible with USB sticks. The removal of a CD drive also meant that units could be more compact, or at least use the added space to pack in more features.
Controllers will continue to evolve as technology advances. However, due to being compatible with digital music and the firmware also being updateable, any controller you buy will continue to serve you for years to come.