The best dj controllers

The best dj controllers

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The best DJ controller depends on some features not only related to DJs. One of the favorite models of users is the Numark Mixtrack Pro II dj controller.

What is a DJ controller?

The word controller is widely used in music, both for midi controller keyboards and daw controllers. A DJ controller is similar, it allows you to control the DJ software externally. There are various models, some are all-in-one with JOG wheels, mixers, drum pads and effects, other models are only equipped with a mixer, still others are specific for effects and come with sliders, switches and rotary controls.

How to choose a DJ controller

First you need to evaluate your budget, then you need to evaluate which software you are going to use even if some models have proprietary software. Among the most popular software we find DJ Serato which works with most controllers, Traktor which is only compatible with what Native Instruments offers and many others. Some controllers are compatible only with some dj software, they are often offered with the trial version that expires after 30 days, but there is no shortage of controllers that are even offered with the full version.

Beginners may wonder what controls they need as controls change quite a bit from model to model. You have to figure out in advance what controls you need otherwise you risk getting a half-useful controller. Do you want to use the controller live, in the studio or both? Last but not least is the size of the model you are going to choose, maybe a compact controller is better right?  Some controllers  RGB backlit provide a fresh look and allow you to easily remember the controls.  Meanwhile, here is the list of the best controllers for DJs.

The best DJ controllers

We have created the list that you find below based on the experience of various professional users, also covering a wide range of prices, passing from simple models to those with extra functions.

Numark Mixtrack Pro II Controller – See price or buy

Numark Mixtrack II has  a streamlined design and extensive layout of professional controls including 16 backlit multi-function drum pads and illuminated touch cymbals. By connecting it to your computer you can start DJing; Mixtrack II comes with Virtual DJ LE software to start mixing right away. Mixtrack II is equipped with DJ controls and includes automatic synchronization of beats, hot cues and loops. It is also possible to add effects such as flanger, phaser and echo to experience music like never before. Mixtrack II is tailored for dynamic performance and allows you to create loops and launch samples, providing control cues with the 16 backlit rubber drum pads. Also you can instantly switch between Loop mode, Sample mode and Hot Cue mode. The Mixtrack II boasts a new slim, low-profile design, made to be played with a full section of mixer, crossfader, 3-band EQ and a music library of navigation controls.

You’ll be able to spend more time interacting with music by spending less time staring at your computer screen. Pitch and sync functions are on board for perfect and easy mixing while the 16 dedicated effects controls allow you to add and manipulate flangers, phasers, echoes and more. The cymbals are capacitive and dual-zone and allow you to add scratches or stop a song simply by touching the top of the cymbal, while at the same time you can adjust the pitch by manipulating the cymbal from the side. Virtual DJ LE is included and allows you to create professional mixes for playing live at parties or clubs. In addition, Mixtrack II operates through standard MIDI technology, so it is compatible with almost all popular DJ software. With its built-in audio system in Mixtrack II you can plug in your headphones, microphone or PA system and start mixing right away without the need for an external audio interface. Additionally, Mixtrack II is equipped with two headphone jacks making it easy to mix with friends and fellow DJs.

Hercules DJ control Instinct controller – See price or buy

Hercules DJControl Instinct is one  computer mixing console. This unit is compact and lightweight, equipped with a large number of audio outputs, rotary knob detectors and mixing software. This unit can be connected to a computer (Mac or PC) via a USB port, it also allows you to connect a pair of amplified speakers and  headphones and select  audio files from your computer.  This console is really attractive, especially considering its price of  $ 129.99. It only clutters 19 x 26.5 cm and weighs around 1 kg. The DJControl Instinct has a brushed metal center mixer. Among other features  we find the orange and red backlighting, two jog wheels and the Pitch Bend function. It is possible to find 2 RCA audio outputs, as well as an output  stereo mini-jack  3.5mm, useful for PA systems, multimedia speakers  or systems  high fidelity. Bundled software is offered for  DJ DJUCED that allows you to  view the beats  of music, together  to the length of the tracks. DJUCED allows you to use the pitch or auto-sync functions ensuring that the tracks remain  in time. You can use this software to customize your mixes with loops, effects, samples and Hot Cue points. For more info you can visit the hercules.com website.

Akai AMX Controller – See price or buy

Although it is a different model than the models seen previously it deserves to be looked at as it is aimed exclusively at the club with its 2 channels and is oriented towards mixing capabilities. You can control 2 decks (especially with Serato DJ), get some faders, touch knobs and numerous buttons. The fader has a lot of quality  high. The controller can be connected  via USB and is recommended for those who use it  Serato DJ because it was literally made for it. However  allows you to assign faders, knobs and buttons with other DJ software.

Dimensions: 1.7 “x 10.7″ x 5.3 ”
Powered via USB
InnoFADER mini crossfader (adjustable)
Reverse switch
Outputs: RCA, headphones (1/8 “)
Inputs: Line / Phono (2 sets)
Buttons: Upload, search, transport, sync and report
Knobs: Dedicated Cue Mixer, Cue Gain (via Headphone Out)
3-band EQ per channel
9 knobs for EQ and filters

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MK2 (One of the best DJ controllers)  – See price or buy 

Native Instruments announced the Traktor Kontrol S2, a versatile system that integrates  functionality for  DJ designed to set a new professional standard. Based on a compact version of the KONTROL S4 hardware, the KONTROL S2 provides a “2 +1” configuration with sample bridges, as well as extensive  mixing and effects. To offer DJs a more portable alternative  The KONTROL S2 is centered around a new compact hardware controller with a  high resolution jog wheel, combined with ergonomic controls for pre-listening, loops and effects. The integrated sound card works at 24bit / 96 kHz with its stereo outputs based on the award-winning technology of the TRAKTOR range. The TRAKTOR KONTROL 2 benefits from the same software-hardware combination as the Kontrol S4 with a comfortable grip, backlit dynamic control elements and  a high resolution of the NHL protocol for maximum efficiency both during installation and during performances.

Weight: 5.7 lbs
Dimensions: 43.8 x 30.8 x 6.7 cm
2-level regulator
Pro-grade mixer with multifunction unit
RGB backlit keys
3-band EQ
Two high-strength wheels
Built-in audio interface a  24 bit / 96 kHz
Microphone input  with gain control and deactivation button
Check for  headset on the front panel
Direct iTunes integration
Connection via USB 2.0
Comes with Traktor Pro 2

Allen & Heath Xone: K2 – See price or buy

Allen & Heath’s Xone K2  is a midi controller that interfaces with any DJ software. The Xone: K2 offers power and flexibility by putting you in touch with all the functions of the software of your choice. The controller features 52 hardware controls providing up to 171 MIDI commands in 3 layers plus the ability to connect multiple units. According to Allen & Heath, quick and easy mapping allows you to create a unique layout that reflects your style by putting the functions that matter at your fingertips. As a universal controller, the Xone: K2 is ideal for use with all major DJ software, such as Traktor Pro, Ableton Live, Virtual DJ, PCDJ and MixVibes. The Xone K2 can also be used to control VJ lights or software. The controller  Xone: K2 features 52 physical controls – including 12 analog and 6 endless rotary encoders with a push switch, 4 linear faders and 30 backlit switches.  They can be assigned  multi-level controls, up to 3 functions can be assigned  to a single physical control. It is possible to configure all, some or none of the controller commands to be linked to the layer docking system. As a quick visual reminder, when  you scroll through the  layers all switches assigned to a particular layer light up in the appropriate color. As for the unit’s audio interface, the Xone: K2 is of high quality with its own  four channels (two stereo). Two Xone: K2 can be linked via X: LINK, a protocol of  Allen & Heath, giving the capacity of double  control.

Pioneer DDJ-SR – See price or buy

Here’s another two-deck DJ controller that offers a ton of  features like the previous Numark, are on board  some very nice quality MIDI pads and is offered  with the Serato DJ software (the full version). Other additional features include the ability to control four decks simultaneously, a “pad plus” button for converting function buttons to hot roll cue, trans, Combo FX etc. Another notable standout feature is the large scroll wheel.

2-channel mixer (can be used with four decks)
Serato DJ software included
16 large pads
Reverse crossfader
Big wheels for one  cmodo mixing
Starting the channel fader
Integrated grip handles for travelers
Built-in audio interface
Powered via USB

Vestax VCI400 controller

With lots of controls in one compact unit – Vestax Corporation VCI-400 is a  midi controller for dj  four-channel for versatile control e  a high  sound quality. The VCI-400 works with its bundled software (Serato DJ Intro and Virutal DJ LE 4 Decks), of course, as well as any other software  for DJs, such as Traktor Pro 2, MixVibes, Deckadance and more. The VCI-400 allows you to customize the control assignments it is equipped with  4 channels  ergonomic with all standard controls such as the  cueing, pitch control, loop, FX, navigation / load track, activation of  samples and scratching. This control surface consists of a pair of  Jog wheels ad  high resolution  and sensitivity control. In addition, the Vestax controller features large aluminum knobs, multi-mode response, backlit buttons with high intensity LEDs and much more. Overall the VCI-400 offers very versatile control functions with excellent visual support for DJs in any environment. The integrated audio interface uses a studio-grade USB streaming asynchronous system providing low latency and a  24-bit and 48 kHz. This audio system combines a dual-core digital processor with a careful selection of analog components to deliver clear and powerful sound. The VCI-400 will come bundled with Serato DJ Intro and Virutal DJ LE 4 Decks. MIDI Maps will be available on the Vestax website for a variety of software – including Traktor Pro 2, MixVibes, Deckadance and more.

Dimensions: 457 x 328 x 61mm
4-channel layout
2 channels
Transport buttons (3 mapping banks)
Immediate bridge
Touch keys  soft
Large JOG wheels
Built-in dual core digital processor
He works at  24 bit / 48 KHz
It is offered with Virtual DJ LE and Serato Intro
XLR and PHONE outputs
Two microphone inputs and one AUX input

Novation Twitch Controller

Twitch was developed in collaboration with Serato and comes with Serato ITCH DJ software. It can also be MIDI mapped with other DJ software such as Traktor or Ableton Live. Twitch offers a whole new perspective on DJing. The Twitch Control Surface –  has two banks of the eight large Triggerpads, cross-fader and fader for the FX channels. The two Touchstrip LEDs allow you to manipulate tracks with the touch of your fingers, as you would on a multi-touch trackpad or touchscreen. It has four performance modes (Hot Cues, Slicer, Auto Loop and Loop Roll) which interact perfectly with the ITCH. Hot Cue Mode allows you to instantly skip markers in tracks, and it’s possible  re-trigger up to eight hits, just like you do with a sampler.

The Slicer Mode allows you to do something completely new, and re-arrange your tracks while you are using them with a sequencer. Twitch Auto Loop and Loop Roll mode allowing you to further manipulate your tracks and in combination with the Touchstrips change the length of the mix loops to create glitchy effects – without  get out of time. Expand further increase your creative potential with  effects that can be assigned to channel faders at the touch of a button. Twitch is solid rock – it’s a sturdy and compact slot, ready to use in tight spaces  like the  cabins of the  DJ, and can be easily carried away by a  concert  via a laptop bag. Twitch is also bus-powered – just plug in the USB cable and audio cables. It includes a high quality in 2-4 outputs  USB audio interface, high-level master and outputs that can be connected directly to any PA system for excellent audio quality. There are also  the mini-jack headphone outputs provide and the Mic / Aux, RCA and MC inputs.

Dimensions: 17.1 x 13.6 x 4.7 inches
2 x 8 triggerpads, 8 knobs  (EQ and trim)
2-channel fader and 1 main crossfader (replaceable)
2 rotary encorders and 2 FX Fader assign buttons
2 headphone assign buttons
Touchstrip (modes scroll and drop)
Cue, play \ pause buttons
Outputs: L / R on the TRS sockets (2)
Inputs: 2 AUX
Microphone input

Allen & Heath Xone: 4D – See price or buy

Who needs 20 channels? Xone 4d tends to exaggerate by offering the best of the best at a cost that is certainly not cheap. The mixer features four multi-channel stereo channels, 3-channel preamps, one sound card output, 3-channel EQ, 2 FX, 2 stereo jacks, an XLR microphone input with level control and even more. The sound card is of the highest quality, being 20 channels and a 96 kHz / 24 bit sampling rate (USB 2.0). Works with PC and Mac and also has MIDI control: 227 mappable MIDI messages sent to the mixer, eight faders, 16 knobs  rotating, 50 switches, two sliding wheels and finally eight switches.

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