How to Choose the Right DJ Controller!
Choosing the right DJ controller for your DJ hardware can be a daunting experience knowing that if you end up with the wrong controller it can mean much more than some compatibility or synchronizing problems between your turntable, headphone, CD, or DVD player, mixer, and other audio devices. The worst that can happen to a DJ is creating poor-quality music. That is why it is so important to get it right the first time and choose the best DJ controller that is compatible with your hardware and can synchronize perfectly.
Nowadays, DJs use modern hardware that consists of digitized turntables, computer hardware, DJ software, smartphone-enabled apps on both Android OS and Apple iOS. Controlling all this hardware using a keyboard or mouse is just too cumbersome. Would it not be better if you could control them using a controller just like playing video games on a PlayStation controller is much more fun than using a personal gaming computer? In this article, I will talk about the DJ controller.
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DJ Controller – What is It and How Does it Work?
A DJ controller works like a physical interface that you can use to control the functions in your DJ software. It behaves exactly like a PlayStation controller but does not look like one! A DJ controller from a reputed company will have its own software pre-included with your purchase. You can connect your DJ controller with your hardware via cables such as USB and on newer models, you can even connect using Bluetooth. The most basic controllers have MIDI controls such as play, pause, rewind, fast-forward, volume. Using these controls you can work the software features from the convenience of your palm without having to move towards the computer all the time.
DJ Controller – All that You can Do with One
Using a DJ controller, you can play your vinyl records. That sentence pretty much explains what a DJ controller does. It lets you set the correct beat-per-minute, map out the beat grid, and set cues or hot cues. The cues are crucial places within songs where there is a chorus or background music. Using the controller, you can set the music to replay these cues repeatedly throughout the mixed music. This way you can play music from both your vinyl decks and you can mix the songs from the two decks into some really great dance music and fill the club with some bump and grind action!
Although DJ hardware consists of a separate and independent mixer, each controller also has a built-in mixer that has between two and four channels. Using the controller, you can adjust the volume of the music being played on either of the two decks. Ideally, you should play the music from the decks as loudly as you can without reaching the maximum threshold. Then, with the gain function, you can tune the music to make the tone balanced and smooth. The crossfader function lets you make small changes that make the sound seem as if it is flowing from channel to channel and deck to deck. Some DJ controller built-in mixers have audio filters, which enable you to filter out any high or low frequencies and add some sound effects to spice up your music.
Then there are the equalizer controls that let you control the tone, tempo, bass, treble, the pitch of the music to your liking. Finally, the volume controls which include the master volume, individual device volume controls such as headphones, or speakers, help you keep an eye on the total volume of the sound. Beginner-level DJs who are just starting out in the DJ world, do not need cumbersome DJ hardware. For them, the DJ controller is a perfect tool as it contains pre-built or built-in components such as mixers, turntable decks, and audio interfaces.
Take a look at this awesome: How to Connect a DJ Controller to a Speaker
Devices that can be connected to a DJ Controller
With most DJ controllers having a USB port, it is a breeze connecting a DJ controller to your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. While having a USB port is almost universal, getting free cables is another thing! Always make sure to check before purchasing if your controller comes pre-packaged with a free USB cable or if you need to purchase one separately.
More expensive DJ controllers will have an audio interface with jacks to connect your headphones and speakers. The not-so-obvious advantage of this feature is that you can secretly preview the track playing through your controller’s built-in mixer before releasing it to your audience. Such DJ controllers with a built-in audio interface also have RCA jacks for attaching amplifiers, turntables, and tabletop players to your setup. Other professional DJ controllers will have XLR (6.3mm) jacks. In short, the more expensive a DJ controller is the more options you can expect it to have. Additionally, power adapters being bundled with DJ controllers is not a common scenario, so you should look into that as well before making your purchase.
Choosing the right DJ controller does need a lot of research. However, in order to not make a costly mistake, it is necessary for your due diligence and make an informed decision. If you are a DJ who is mixing music that has already been produced such as CDs and vinyl records, then getting a good quality DJ controller that is fully compatible with your hardware and can synchronize with your software, is essential.
Another thing to consider is the software. Buying the best hardware will not matter if the software cannot back it up. Nowadays since most DJs who are starting out use digitized hardware, stellar software is the backbone of your DJ basics. To wrap it up, never take the plunge to purchase any controller without first getting to know the system requirements and whether your hardware has the latest device drivers and firmware updates.
If you have a problem deciding what to buy check out: Tips On Buying A Good DJ Controller For Beginners