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Be the Hit of the Party With DJ Controllers

DJ controllers are the best way to get into DJing on a budget. Each controller offers unique built-in features, such as four-channel mixers or loop functions, and all are extremely portable. Finding the right DJ controller for you is about understanding the technical level of controller you want and the features that work best for your DJ style.

How do DJ controllers work?

Controllers, like the new and used ones available on eBay, are condensed versions of full DJ setups. The two mixing decks are in the same piece of equipment as the mixing board, and no wires are needed to pair together the decks and the mixer. This means that you just sync the board with the software you're using, click the play button, and you're good to go. Mixing songs requires practices, but in no time you'll be able to blend songs together with ease.

What do beginners need to consider when buying a controller?

Picking out your first controller can be difficult. However, there are some simple things to consider to find the best DJ controller for novices. Don't forget that you'll also need software, such as Rekordbox.

  • Skill Level: Do you or the user of this board have any musical or technological experience? Having a bit of musical experience will expand your choices past the basic boards that will sync music for you. A knowledge of electronics
  • Customizability: Do you want something with tons of effect choices and options for how you use it? The more upscale options, such as most Pioneer equipment, will have more built-in choices.
What do you need to know about software compatibility?

DJ controllers are designed to work with your computer programs. The controller you buy will typically be compatible with one or more of the standard DJing software programs. The two most commonly used programs are Rekordbox DJ and Serato DJ. Serato DJ is meant more for classic turntables where you scratch vinyl-like platters and beat match on these platters. Rekordbox DJ is a more technological program that pairs extremely well with any Pioneer controller.

  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2: The SX2 is a Pioneer DJ controller that is built to work with both Serato DJ and Pioneer software, though it is optimized for Serato. Every feature you can possibly dream of is included. If you prefer the Serato software but use Pioneer equipment exclusively, this is a great choice.
  • Numark Mixtrack: This is the perfect beginner controller with bare-bones features that will still let you mix tracks with ease. It works with Pioneer DJ and Virtual DJ quite well.
  • Traktor S4: If you want a 4-deck mixer, the S4 from Native Instruments is a great option. This mixer is optimized for Traktor software but can be mapped to any of the other programs mentioned above using its MIDI functionality.
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