The DJ controllers of late have undergone some extensive evolution. These incredible changes seem far from over as some really exciting and new features are seen coming now and then. The modern controllers made the DJ job worth it. If as a DJ you want to make a good impression then you need to have the best equipment in hand. This is where you will feel about the importance of DJ controllers.
It is critical equipment that allows DJs to mix music. This is an alternative to the traditional mechanism of having a separate mixer and physical turntables. Therefore, the DJ controller is standalone equipment that already has simulated turntables known as platters and also a mixer with simple controls.
You need to consider all the related features of a DJ controller before you could get any close to the best and your desirable subject equipment. Also, check out the montypythonlive.com.
Here is a quick preview of our top 10:
#1. Pioneer DJ Controller DDJ-SB3
#2. Hercules DJ Controller Starter Kit with 15W Speakers
#3. Roland 2-Channel DJ Controller
#4. Reloop Beatpad Cross Platform DJ Controller
#5. Gemini Sound Pro 2-Channel MIDI DJ Controller
#6. Denon DJ Prime 4-Channel DJ Controller
#7. Magma Workstation DDJ-SX DJ Controller
#8. RANE One DJ Controller Set with Pro Serato DJ
#9. Numark DJ2G02 Touch USB 2-Deck DJ Controller
#10. Pioneer DDJFLX6 Pro DJ Controller
DJing indeed requires a lot of practice before you could call yourself an expert. At the same time, it is also true that the quality of the DJ controller would also take your DJing game to the next level. In that regard, the following are some of the most high-rated DJ controllers which you could consider purchasing right away:
If you are looking for no compromise with the functionality and performance of your DJ controller then this one from Pioneer is one of the best. It comes with a desirable intuitive layout. The entire range of features is specifically designed in the best possible layout which will enhance better usage.
This is the controller which will allow you to add the excellent scratch effects to the currently playing tracks and also those which are in a cue. All this is possible with no need for the turntable and all thanks to the effect pad scratch option.
If you are looking to mix sound then that could be seamlessly done with the productive FX fade feature. The jog wheel on offer is 0.5 inches which is made from durable quality aluminum.
- Premium material used in its manufacturing
- Large jog wheels with low latency
- The lightweight of 4.6 pounds only
- Intuitive layout
- Productive FX Fade feature
- Only the RCA output option
This is an excellent DJ controller beginners’ kit that comes with all you need in a fully-equipped DJ system. It comes with the productive Serato DJ Lite software app, 15W speakers, and headphones as well. This dual deck system has got some incredible built-in audio features.
A couple of 15W active speakers will allow you to easily mix sound at home. The useful DJ Lite software app is compatible with Mac and Windows-based laptops.
The DJ headphones on offer are capable of isolating sound which the DJs highly prefer to have. The manufacturer has ideally designed this DJ controller system for beginners. You will find this one to be quite easy to carry and fairly easy to install as well.
- Lightweight and compact controller
- Jog wheels are touch-sensitive
- Professional headphones with reliable sound isolation
- On-board lighting for easy mixing learning
- Top-quality design
- Complicated controls for a starter kit
This one from the Roland brand is a 4-deck and 2-channel DJ controller. It is compatible with Serato DJ Lite and it comes with the free upgrade to DJ Pro if the purchase is within the USA. There are large platters on offer that come with the lowest level of latency.
It is optimized to scratch as well. There will be drum kits built-in to this system while offering patterns 606, 707, and 909. On top of that, there is advanced Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology inculcated in the unit.
Each TR kit comes with eight different sounds. Those sounds include the snare drum, bass drum, open hat, closed hat, clap, tom, rim, and ride. The current that it draws is 500 mA.
- Lightweight, compact and rugged design
- The onboard sequence provided for controlling the sampler
- Handles provided for easy portability
- MIDI output to sync external devices
- Built-in type of drum kits
- Jog wheels don’t offer a reliable spinning
The unique selling point of this DJ controller is its multi-sensor pad section. This will give you enough variety and options to make it an excellent experience while engaging your audience with ease. The hot cue option is provided with a color-coded feature and the same is the case with the sampler mode.
There is also the option of bounce loop, auto loop, jog FX, touch FX, and slicer loop modes. You will have access to the equalizer preset switch for 3-band EQ/ filter along with the harmonic mixing to go with. Spotify and DJAY access will allow you to easily mix millions of different songs with ease.
- Advanced level track management
- Elegant and lightweight design
- Multi-sensor type of pad mode
- Unlimited creativity possible
- Productive EQ switch
- No good balance with the loudness of sound
As a beginner-level DJ, you can trust this DJ controller to offer premium performance. A couple of DJ decks provided here will offer complete control of this 2-channel controller with 4 virtual software-based decks. It comes with 16 multi-function types of the performance pas along with the assignable type of the rotary encoders. The FX controls are pre-mapped.
This means that you will have the flexibility to create or show your creativity right out of the box. The mixing options will also be endless here as it comes with a 3-band equalizer. There are hotkeys provided for manual loop, auto loop, hot cues, and sampler.
- Intuitive controls
- Backlit provided onboard
- Excellent filter and gain control
- LEDs for useful visual feedback
- 8 pads of multi-function type
- The rubber feet glued is not long-lasting
This DJ controller from Denon is a full-featured and extremely portable smart console. It comes with a 10-inch touchscreen which is powered through the manufacturer’s own DJ Engine OS. There is a dedicated type of XLR Zone output that is capable of providing music to the different rooms.
You will also be facilitated with a couple of XLR inputs that are apt for microphones along with the individual control option. Wireless streaming is also possible with this variant.
You will have the opportunity to stream anything you like from the streaming partners which include SoundCloud Go+, TIDAL, Beatsource, and Beatport Link. The jog wheels provided are 6 inches along with the HD displays. You will also be able to analyze all of the music files with utmost ease.
- Touch-sensitive jog wheels
- 8 performance pads for every deck
- FX with dual functionality
- Useful onboard screen
- Integrated DJ mixer of digital type
- No sampler in the pads
This one from Magma is a useful option with a good range of features that DJs look for in a DJ controller of today. It comes with a Pioneer DDJ-SX or SX2 along with a laptop. There is a gliding laptop platform included as well which will allow you to place your DJ controller and laptop in the most ideal setting.
However, the given platform could be easily removed if that is not required at any given time. The aluminum profiles of the equipment are quite solid and long-lasting. The latches provided are all spring-loaded as well along with the ball corners of stackable type. The interior is found to be fully padded and that keeps the DJ controller quite well-protected.
- Protective design with easy placement of controls
- Laptop with removable platform
- Comes with Serato software
- Solid build with aluminum profiles
- The front panel is detachable
- No sampler in the pads
This one is a complete DJ controller system with all that you need for Deejaying. It comes with an integrated DJ mixer along with the Serato DJ Pro software with a free download option. It features a couple of deck controls along with dual USB connections to be made with the laptop.
This will provide you with seamless handoffs. You will be really at ease with a lot of versatility if you want to personalize this DJ system. This is all thanks to as many as 6 different FX along with a couple of metal paddles as well. There is an option for quick loop controls as well. On top of that, there are 8 different performance pads for each deck for accessing loops, cues, rolls, and samples, etc.
- Quick-release acrylic disks with Motorized platters
- Dual USB connections
- 3-band equalizer with HP/ LP filter
- Flexible torque motor
- Start/ stop of turntable type
- low-quality soundcard
This variant of DJ controller from Numark manufacturer is ultra-portable and packed with a lot of exciting features. This is a 2-channel variant that offers convenient USB connectivity with your laptop which could be a PC or a MAC. The MIDI mapping is available to be maximized to use with some of the other popular DJ software apps.
There is an onboard audio interface along with 1/8 inches main output along with the same size of headphone output as well. You will have complete flexibility for hooking up other DJ equipment such as speakers, mixers and PA systems, etc.
A couple of DJ decks will offer complete mix control which comes with a crossfader as well. The jog wheels provided onboard are touch-sensitive. There are pitch faders as well. You will have easy access to all the necessary tools to allow for easy blending.
- Comes with Virtual DJ software
- 4 pad modes give superior cue points control
- Auto and manual looping option
- Easy to install and use
- Capable of streaming millions of audio tracks
- No equalizer (EQ controls provided
This is the professional DJ controller which will easily captivate your audience. This 4-channel system with a range of top-end features which allow for easy mixing of tracks of different genres. You will have the extraordinary option to add excellent scratch effects. The jog wheels provided are productive and full size. This will allow the scratching and pitch bending to feel all-natural.
The sample scratch is good enough to enable you in going creative with your most favorite sounds. It comes with an all-new pad mode which will allow in choosing the sounds that you have assigned for the sampler and subsequently loading on the decks. The performance pads could be accessed for triggering pad FX, hot cues, sampler, and beat jumper.
- Four channels mixer
- Built-in sound card option
- Convenient layout of controls
- USB connectivity with a laptop
- No audio driver installation required
- Fragile cue button and jog wheel
Frequently Asked Questions about DJ Controllers
Can I use a DJ controller without a laptop?
Yes. In that case, you can use a DJ controller which comes with its dedicated screen.
What is the best way to source tracks with my DJ controller?
It is always best to source tracks through any reliable MP3 subscription as it offers huge variety.
How can I add sound effects through my DJ controller?
The DJ controllers come with an FX section which could be used for adding special sound highlights.
Are DJ controllers compatible with both iOS and Android phones?
Yes and No. You need to find a DJ controller which is compatible with your smartphone.
Things to consider when buying DJ Controllers
The DJ controllers are a sophisticated piece of technology. Considering their nature, you need to expect to have the know-how of a good range of features before you could be in the position to take the pivotal decision. Do take note of the following features to ensure that you have the best DJ controller for your use:
There are two different types of DJ controllers which are briefly discussed below:
Modular Rigs DJ Controller
It is a type of DJ controller which comes with an independent audio source. The audio source could be a CD player or a turntable. An analog mixture is also required to be there with such type. On top of that, it is dependent on a sound card to play the music that you like. This sound card is the one that enables you to operate the main DJ controller through an associated DJ controller software program. This type is not much popular due to the need for having other independent components to make the DJ controller system work. However, it is still in use by some experts or those who already have their best setup ready with all the required components. Also, check out the DJ Equipment Rental: How much does it cost?
All-in-One DJ Controller
This is the modern and most advanced DJ controller setup of type. It combines all the required components of a DJ controller in one and for that reason, it is given the subject name. The equipment combines a mixing section, media player, and a computer or mobile app-based interface into a single unit. This type will allow you to operate quite a few of the DJ functions through the keyboard of your laptop.
This type of DJ controller
is preferred because of its simplicity and diversity in its operations and functions. You can opt for it to DJ as in a standalone mode and with no need of connecting the gear with a laptop or mobile device. This is an incredible option for all DJs who prefer to play music on request from the USB flash drives or CDs it is because they will have the ability to switch between laptop-based functions and their analog collection of music.
It is all about the number of channels in the DJ controller which will determine that how many audio tracks the DJ will be able to control in the mix. The majority of controllers today are found with 2 or 4 channels. It can be safely stated here that all of the high-end and professional DJ controllers will come with 4 channels at the maximum. This doesn’t mean that the DJ controllers with two channels are any less. You may find some of the best controllers with two channels only and they are still trusted by the experts.
Deck Control and Jog Wheels
The DJ needs to have a very comfortable feel about the deck. This is where the jog wheels are really important. They are specially designed to conveniently replace the conventional turntables which were used for the old vinyl records. However, they are still in use by some DJs for the sake of slowing down or speeding up the audio tracks.
If we talk about the innovative jog wheels then those come with varying levels of sensitivity. They could well be motorized or simple ones as well. Moreover, they also vary considerably in sizes where some could be smaller while the other could be as big as the size of that traditional vinyl. All this comes down to your personal preference and what you like to have.
You need to take a note here that every DJ controller will not be compatible with every DJ software app. You need to get one where the DJ controller is compatible with the DJ software app or vice versa. The expertise lies in the usage of the software app.
If you are accustomed to one type of software app then you must find a DJ controller that is compatible with that particular application. Otherwise, there will be a huge knowledge gap and you might not be at the top of your DJing game if you do not have a familiar software application in hand. However, if you are not satisfied with your existing software app due to one or more cons then there is always a great opportunity to try out something new.
If you are facilitated with top quality and an efficient audio device then you can expect it to provide excellent frequency response. A good response comes in a wide range as well. Some of the cheaper controllers might offer you good sounds but they will be disappointed with their higher or lower tones. This is where you need to be very careful. The idea here is to have a DJ controller which could offer a good balance intones.
This is where you need to think about compatibility between the different devices. You need to have a DJ controller, laptop, software, and a smartphone which could all be used together. Finding the right combination here should not be a big issue. But, it is just that you need to double-check before making your decision for a purchase.
There are plenty of advanced DJ controllers which reduce your dependency on the laptop by offering their dedicated onboard screens. This even allows DJs to play the system with no laptop connected at all. Others still have a laptop connected just to have a backup option.
Inputs & Outputs
The inputs & outputs play a pivotal role in setting up the DJ controller. You are supposed to connect a laptop and a microphone along with the USB connection. The more options you have with input, the better it will be. The requirement for the number of output channels is dependent on the speaker system you have.
If you are a DJ with a lot of mobility around to different venues and halls then the portability of the DJ controller is of the essence. The DJ controllers can broadly vary in their dimensions and weight. The need is to have one which is not only compact but lightweight as well.
DJing is very popular and conventionally, you will find it to be an analog type of art. The sprucing up of technology couldn’t spare DJing as well. There are now innovative DJ controllers available which have overtaken the need to have individual DJ mixers and turntables.
You could now have a single DJ controller equipment only to make up for both needs. A laptop with DJ software is required to make it work. Apart from that, it comes with many sophisticated features about which you need to vary of.
The pivotal features include frequency range, deck control, intuitive controls, inputs & outputs, compatible formats, and screen, etc. The dimensions and portability factors are also worth considering especially if you are a mobile DJ and require to move frequently with your equipment.
If you consider all these features with their due importance then you will have your best DJ controller which will allow you to completely own the venue where music is played.