DJing is growing ever popular, and why wouldn’t it? Standing on a stage in front of 1000’s of ravers looking out and seeing them interact with your set, is the fantasy many of us sit and day dream about for weeks on end. With nightlife culture growing by the day and advancements in equipment available it is easier than ever to take a step down the road to becoming a superstar DJ.
With everything currently on offer it can be very daunting for the budding DJ to know what they need to start practicing at home, especially with a lot of the high end equipment being very costly and out of budget for most of us.
Fear not!! We have compiled a list of our favourite controllers on the market that will allow you to start practising mixing. What’s more is, they are all under £250!!!
PIONEER DDJ-RB £219
PIONEER DDJ-SB2 £219
The DDJ-SB2 is the cousin of the DDJ-RB featuring many of the same features as the DDJ-RB but optimised for use with Serato rather than Rekordbox. You can check out tutorials on You Tube to see which software work flow suits your style.
DDJ-SB2 features Filter Fade and Low Pass and High Pass filters for each channels. To that, it adds new Trim Pots and VU meters, as well as two FX units per channel with six presets of which you can use three simultaneously (per channel). There’s even an entirely new effect called Quantized Pad Trans Effect which allows for seamless mixes with one hand tied behind your back! Naturally, the DDJ-SB2 also houses a sampler that lets you incorporate samples into your mix by pressing the sample buttons on the controller.
The DDJ-SB2 was designed to work with Serato DJ, which is why Serato DJ Intro is included, allowing you to upgrade to full Serato DJ at a small additional fee. The DDJ-SB2 with Serato DJ allows you to use four decks and full functions for all of them. This means that this controller allows you to do what you normally can with four players and a mixer.
NUMARK MIXTRACK PRO 3 £189.99
From Numark, comes the incredible MIXTRACK PRO 3 DJ controller, designed with the skilled, professionally-aspiring DJ in mind. It’s the latest addition to the Numark family of industry-leading DJ solutions.
This controller offers a whole host of features and performance that sets it way above conventional DJ controllers, yet it offers great bang-for-the-buck and it’s a snap to take anywhere.
Building on the previous best selling MIXTRACK PRO models and retaining all the features and benefits that made them so incredibly popular, the new models share the same basic platform and boast several performance/feature characteristics that make them particularly satisfying and effective to use. A good example is the class-exclusive 100mm pitch sliders that make it simple to execute extremely fine pitch adjustments, so it’s easy to keep two cuts in beat sync without any drift. The conventional 60mm pitch sliders on competitive units can’t come close to matching the MIXTRACK PRO 3’s performance in this critical area.
Mixtrack Pro 3 has a built-in sound card so headphone PFL is included and has no need for an outboard interface.
NUMARK PARTY MIX £79.99
Love it or hate it the Party Mix is by far the most cost effective way to harness your DJ skills. No matter what your skill level you can get any party started with the Party Mix! This is an amazing DJ Controller that connects directly to your laptop and lets you play and mix all of your favourite songs and videos with the included DJ software. Mix, blend and create just the right mood with this 2-channel DJ controller that empowers you to rock the house. Preview your mix in your headphones before you crossfade the music to your speakers—like a pro! With Party Mix, you can manually sync the beat (or auto sync) and blend your songs with your playlist. This controller incorporates a lot of the functionality of the more expensive controllers but at an affordable price tag. This controller is ideal for anyone looking to start DJing. It’s a simplified controller that will do everything you need. The controller comes complete with free Virtual DJ LE software that gives you optimal control over your songs. The controller features a full-size chassis complete with dual scratch platters and slider controls, giving you flexible control over your tracks.
With Party Mix’s built-in light show you will shower the room with beat synchronized colourful light patterns, creating the perfect party atmosphere!
KORG KAOSS DJ £159
For those of you wanting to take it one step further, The KAOSS DJ is a USB and standalone DJ controller that features a built-in KAOSS PAD, KORG’s famous and inimitable touch pad effects unit. Using these effects, along with the generous assortment of control features provided, will take your DJ performances to a whole new level. Use sweeping filters to accentuate or create your own drop; use time-based delays to manipulate the beat; employ isolators to accentuate frequencies for mashups; put a huge reverb on that snare hit… the possibilities are endless!
To allow for real-time control of effects and synths, the Korg Kaoss DJ has a Kaoss Pad integrated into its slim, lightweight housing. The controller has a compact design with an industrial look and a matte black finish that is nicely contrasted by purple LEDs. Thanks to the inclusion of the Kaoss Pad – which offers a stunning 120 different programs – the Kaoss DJ is ideal for live DJ sets. The effects unit is controlled by a touch pad that is centrally located between the controller’s two faders. Additional synth programs, inherited from Korg’s very own Kaossilator, only add to the Kaoss DJ’s great versatility.
Korg’s Kaoss DJ controller supports Serato DJ Intro – the software can be downloaded free of charge. If you’re looking for a high-quality controller with a built-in effects unit for your DJ sets, your search ends here!