Dj

DJ Controllers – What They Are and Best Products in the Market Today

4 Mins read

With the advent of electronic dance music, techno music, trap music, and other genres, musicians are continuously on the lookout for the best instruments to make their concerts more lively and entertaining. Similarly, rapid technological advancements have led to great improvement in musical instruments and gadgets. This has faced out traditional DJ mixers and turntables that took a lot of space and time during setup. Currently, any freelance DJ in Dubai leverages modern DJ controllers to play better music for their audience. 

But, What are DJ Controllers and How Do They Work? 

Novice but enthusiastic DJs are certainly wondering what a controller is and how it accomplishes all these tasks. DJ controllers are equipment that enables the DJ to emulate both the turntable and traditional mixer on a single piece. Simply put, a DJ controller is a combination of DJ mixer and turntable. The controller has knobs that enable the DJ to adjust frequencies, bass, volume, and other vital aspects when track mixing or DJ-ing. 

DJ controllers primarily work when connected with a computer via USB. The laptop should have a complementary DJ software installed to facilitate this functioning. Once the computer and DJ controller establishes the connection, the computer automatically transmits track information into the controller’s trackwheel and the DJ can start mixing. The signal is then sent back to the computer and to the speakers, amplifiers and other audio equipment. 

Review: Best DJ Controllers on the Market 

The use of DJ controllers is on the rise. Similarly, new products are being introduced into the growing market. Despite this being good news for DJs, it makes shopping a daunting task. For any new freelance DJ in Dubai, below are the best products on the market;

1. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Controller

Freelancing - ddjsb2

Pioneer is well known for manufacturing state of the art musical instruments. Being an industry leader, it offers a wide range of products with great quality. The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Controller is a top-entry controller with professional features. 

Features 

  • Trim knob and level meters make it easy to adjust the input volume 
  • Large, low-latency wheels that give an awesome scratch response 
  • The four rubber pads trigger hot cue, auto loop, sampler, and manual loop 
  • Independent low and high pass filter dials 

Pros 

  • Easy to use 
  • USB powered 
  • Great feature set 
  • Compact size 
  • Affordable 

Cons 

  • Doesn’t come with software 

2. Pioneer Pro DJ XDJ-RX DJ Controller

Freelancing - xdj

Most DJs hate lugging their laptops to gigs. If you are in this fold, Pioneer Pro DJ XDJ-RX DJ Controller is an absolute revelation for you. With an impressive price and amazing features, this controller is a winner. It shares the same features with high-end and expensive models. 

Features 

  • Dual waveform display with creative freedom slip mode 
  • Integrates two USB-driven players 
  • Additional turntables or CDs can be connected 

Pros 

  • The in-built LCD screen makes it easy to practice and mix 
  • Easy to set up 
  • Works with Pioneer’s software 
  • Affordable 

Cons 

  • Standalone is 2-channel only 

3. Numark Mixtrack Pro II Controller

Freelancing - numark mixtrack proII hero shot xl

The Numark Mixtrack Pro II Controller is a continuation of the Numark Mixtrack Pro with nearly all the features of the original model. However, it has some improved and modern features. It is also more compact than the initial version. 

Features 

  • Illuminated touch-sensitive control wheels, integrated audio interface and FX controls  
  • Backlit multifunction drum pads 
  • In-built audio interface for PA system output 

Pros 

  • Lightweight and compact 
  • Easy to use 
  • Compatible with Serato software 
  • Has an auto-loop feature 
  • Durable 

Cons 

  • Old version Serato – requires an upgrade 

4. Akai Professional AFX Controller

Freelancing - b72416deb77873011e47a2a5e108c09f

For any DJ, anything they need to create high-quality mixes can be found in the Akai Professional AFX Controller. Akai is among the popular musical instruments brands with a long history of producing great music gear and equipment. In most cases, it is the go-to brand for professionals globally. This model makes mixing more fun and enhances learning for beginner DJs. 

Features

  • Offers extensive hands-on audio command 
  • Great tweak effects, trigger samples, set cue points and manage loops 
  • Allows for Serato flips – enables DJs to create custom edits, extend music and more 
  • A wide array of control options including DVS and HID players 

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use 
  • Comes with Serato software 
  • Easy USB connection 
  • Easy to customize effects and EQs 

Cons

  • Quite heavy 

How to Choose the Best DJ Controller 

There are several decisions to make when searching for the right DJ controller. This could either be for personal or professional use. Below are some tips to help you select the right product. 

  • Primary use – you could be searching for a DJ controller for home practice or professional use in events. For personal use, find a simple controller to setup with standard features. For professional use, go for the best feature-packed controller. This will enable you to advance your profession. 
  • Budget – this is also directly related to the intended use. Personal use DJ controllers don’t need to be pricey. However, if you are purchasing one to use in making money at events, make a sound investment. 
  • USB or CD connectivity – consider a DJ mixer with these features if you are used to playing music on these devices. Nonetheless, most controllers currently feature efficient CD and USB connectivity. 
  • Compatible software – DJ controllers can work with Traktor, Serato or Virtual DJ. Most of these systems come with introductory versions in the rig that require updates. Always check for this. 

The Bottom Line  

DJ controllers are very easy to set up and use. Serious DJ-ing enthusiasts have attributed their improved DJ-ing skills and confidence in their musical skills to these controllers. That aside, they are making parties livelier and any freelance DJ in Dubai can play their mixes, favorite songs and special tracks anywhere, thanks to its portability. If you think you have practiced your skills enough, you should sign up at Bawabba to market your services. The platform opens up potential opportunities for gigs as an event DJ. 

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