The Top 10 DJ Controllers You can Get Your Hands On Right Now

DJing is a lot like being a general. The dance floor is the battlefield you need to survey and control with iron-fisted precision. The DJ’s arsenal depends on the DJ and what music he dishes out. DJs can either use a set up with a DJ mixer at the core or go all-out digital and use a DJ controller paired with DJ software.

DJ Controller

DJ Controller

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If laptops and DJ software are more of your speed, this article reviews the best DJ controllers you can buy now. We are in the cusp of becoming a digital world anyway, might as well join the bandwagon! Don’t believe us? Well, please consider these facts:

  • Video and music streaming has taken over traditional media.
  • Cloud storage and computing have taken over for actual hardware, rendering most obsolete.

If you’re more of an old soul and want to take a more traditional route, read our DJ mixers review page. It’s a good read, and you’ll learn a lot!  Now, if you’re interested in the next stage of DJing evolution, read on. Let’s begin.

Controlling the Dancefloor

“The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies.” Napoleon Bonaparte

It’s no secret that a good DJ should be able to control the party like a grizzled general. This means knowing when to play the right track, speeding it up, slowing it down or even stopping everything for a second. DJs do this by either the tried and tested DJ mixer setup or with a DJ controller.

Some DJs find DJ controllers tacky and prefer the old-school setup using turntables. Others have embraced the freedom of using a single device to play digital music. Many DJs actually use both in their configurations, giving them even more options during an event.  

The choice on which one to use depends entirely on you, what type of DJ you are and your current music arsenal. DJ controllers work best playing digital music. If you have millions of audio tracks saved on your computer, a DJ controller is worth taking a look at.

What is a DJ Controller?

In the world of DJing, a DJ controller is an alternative to the standard setup of 2 turntables or CDJs and a DJ mixer. DJs use this device to mix music with the help of DJ software and a laptop. Some of the essential components of a DJ controller are:

  • Knobs
  • Faders
  • Encoders
  • Jog wheels
  • Backlit buttons
  • Touch Strips

DJ controllers give the DJ better control of the software installed on her computer. With precise controls, the DJ doesn’t need to use the keyboard, mouse or trackpad on a laptop. Controllers also work with most tablet computers and smartphones.

How Does a DJ Controller Work?

Controllers work by sending signals to a host computer running DJ software. The DJ controller “tells” the software how to mix the audio, when to cue in a new track and so on. This is all done by the DJ using the physical knobs, faders and other components of the DJ controller. Not to be mistaken for a DJ mixer, which mixes audio signals from different sources.

DJ controllers have built-in sound cards to help handle the audio, with 4 output channels. The output channels are in stereo and let the DJ preview audio using headphones before he plays it. Most controllers use MIDI or HID protocols that talk to the computer via a USB connection.

Advantages of Using a DJ Controller

There are many advantages of using a setup with a DJ controller as the main piece of hardware. Here’s a brief rundown of why you should consider getting one:

  • More affordable than a DJ mixer and two turntables.
  • Can emulate the functions of turntables and CDJs paired with a mixer.
  • Since all the music is digital, DJs carry less equipment during events.
  • Can take full advantage of DJ software flexibility, like letting DJs store cue points on music files.
  • DJ software allows users to remap the components of DJ controllers, like remapping controls on a video game.
  • Designed for live PA performances using DJ software to create electronic music and timecode vinyl.

Disadvantages

The main disadvantage of using a DJ controller is the software constraints imposed by the manufacturer. This is typical, like any other large corporation such as Apple or Microsoft. In most cases, you can only use DJ software created or endorsed by the manufacturer.

The bright spot is that most controllers use standard MIDI or HID protocols. With tweaking and a little elbow grease, you may be able to make your preferred software run on a DJ controller. But, it might take some considerable time and effort to make a controller work with different software.

Some of the controls may not even work, or they may do different things if they work at all. If you’re a computer and hardware wizard, go for it! You may unlock new hidden functions that the manufacturers hoped users won’t find.

Welcome to the Digital Revolution

With the advent of digital technology, it’s no wonder many DJs are itching to get a DJ controller into their setup. A digital music and DJ controller configuration is becoming the norm these days. While the exact figures aren’t known, many new DJs are starting their musical journeys with DJ controllers.

DJ controllers are more affordable than DJ mixers, plus they can do almost everything a mixer does. Speaking of hardware, we will be reviewing ten of the best DJ controllers out on the market today. From Pioneer to Numark, these brands are synonymous with building phenomenal equipment.

Are you ready for the revolution? Get your game on and take notes, because the top ten DJ controller review starts now!

The Best DJ Controllers On The Market Reviewed

  1. Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-SX2
  2. Pioneer DDJ-WeGO3-K
  3. Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
  4. Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro
  5. Numark Mixtrack Pro II
  6. Pioneer DJ DDJ-RX
  7. Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2
  8. Denon DJ MCX8000
  9. Numark Mixtrack Platinum
  10. Gemini G4V DJ Controller

Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-SX2 Review

Pioneer Pro DDJ-SX2 Review

Pioneer Pro DDJ-SX2 Review

Intro

If you’re looking for a premium, 4-channel, Serato DJ ready controller to be the star of your setup, look no further. The Pioneer Pro DDJ-SX2 is the one controller to rule them all. You’ll be calling this controller “my precious” before our review is over!

Main Features

  • Plug & Play
  • Unlocks Serato DJ Pro* (*via download using the Serato DJ Expansion Pack Voucher)
  • DVS upgrade ready
  • Comes bundled with DJ Software such as Serato Flip and Serato Pitch ‘n Time* (*free license only for DDJ-SX2’s shipped June 2017 or later)
  • Compatible DJ Software such as Rekordbox DJ, Rekordbox DVS and Melodics (not included)

Why You Should Get the Pioneer Pro DDJ-SX2

Pioneer DJ DJ Controller, 17.70 x 29.90 x 6.90 (DDJ-SX2)
77 Reviews
Pioneer DJ DJ Controller, 17.70 x 29.90 x 6.90 (DDJ-SX2)
  • Dedicated buttons for Serato FLIP
  • 4-Channel Performance DJ Controller Designed for Serato DJ
  • Updated Jog Wheel with "Hot Cue Countdown"
  • Multi-Colored, Velocity Sensitive Performance Pads,Serato DVS Upgrade Ready
  • Software System Requirements : Windows 10/8.1/7 : 32-bit: (CPU) Intel Core i5 or i7 1.07 GHz / (Memory) 4 GB,64-bit: (CPU) Intel Core i5 or i7 1.07 GHz / (Memory) 4 GB. Mac OS Sierra : Mac OS X...

Okay, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: We like the DDJ-SX2. We like it a lot. It’s more like a love-child between the original DDJ-SX and the top of the line SZ. It builds on the fantastic features of its older bro, the SX and combines these with two uber-awesome features of the SZ. These are the multi-colored, cue-point, LED performance pads and an on-jog cue countdown.

The main sell of the DDJ-SX2 is it performs best with Serato DJ, as the DJ controller is Serato DJ DVS upgrade-ready. The Serato DJ DVS is an expansion pack that lets you connect CDJs or turntables to the DJ controller. With the DVS, you can scratch with CDJs or analog turntables using NoiseMap control CD/vinyl.

Then, you have native Serato Flip* controls. The DDJ-SX2 has three dedicated buttons (record, start, and slot) to access Serato Flip without having to use your computer. The DDJ-SX2 also has improved jog wheel latency, which is terrific news for scratch DJs.  

*The Serato Flip is an expansion pack that gives DJs the ability to record and replay hot cue sequences on the fly.

Hands On with the DDJ-SX2

The Pioneer Pro DDJ-SX2 is an all-in-one DJ controller that can do almost everything. It features four external inputs that you can connect to CD players, turntables, mics, and more. When the situation calls for it, this controller can also act as a stand-alone mixer even without a PC connection.

For connecting public address (PA) equipment, the DDJ-SX2 has two Master Out and one Booth Out outputs. Full Serato DVS support means that you can perform Serato DJ deck control on this controller using CDJs or turntables.

The large aluminum jogs are a slight improvement over the old SX. The full-sized jog wheels are simply perfect for scratching! The DJ controller also comes with illuminated cue point markers with cue countdown so you won’t have to look at your laptop. Another great addition is Slip Mode, which keeps playing tracks muted during loops or scratches. Releasing the jog wheel returns the track at exactly the right place.

Some DJs don’t like the backlit performance pads, while some think it looks slick in a dark club. It all boils down to personal preference. For us, the performance pads look fantastic. The pads are useful for triggering Quantized Hot Cues, Roll, Slicer and Sampler. The colorful, backlit LEDs also give you a visual reference on which modes are in use.

Pros & Cons of DDJ-SX2 Controller

Pros
  • Clear Sound
  • Durable, with an excellent build quality to round up the package
  • Multi-use DJ controller with plenty of inputs and outputs
  • Serato DJ compatible and expansion pack ready
  • Easy To Use
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Great for mobile use
Cons
  • Not compatible with all DJ software
  • Traktor (and other) software may have issues with control mapping
  • Performance pads are on the smaller side

Stats For Nerds

We love crunching the numbers and going over even the smallest of details when making a purchase. If you’re like us and you’d like to make an informed decision each and every time, check this portion out for specs and other useful stuff! If not, you can always scroll down to our conclusion.

Software System Requirements

Display Resolution – 1280 x 720 or higher

For Windows 10/8.1/7

  • 32-bit: (CPU) Intel Core i5 or i7 1.07 GHz / (Memory) 4 GB
  • 64-bit: (CPU) Intel Core i5 or i7 1.07 GHz / (Memory) 4 GB

For Mac OS Sierra:

  • Mac OS X 10.9.4/10.8.5/10.7.5
  • 32-bit: (CPU) Intel Core i5 or i7 1.07 GHz / (Memory) 4 GB
  • 64-bit: (CPU) Intel Core i5 or i7 1.07 GHz / (Memory) 4 GB

Dimensions

  • Width – 664 mm
  • Height – 70.4 mm
  • Depth – 353.4 mm
  • Weight – 5.8 kg

Technical Specifications

Soundcard

  • 24 bit/44.1 kHz
  • Frequency Range – 20 – 20000 Hz
  • Distortion – < 0.003 % (USB) / < 0.005 % (LINE)

Performance Controls

  • Channels – 4
  • Deck Control – 4 / Dual
  • Jog Wheel – 132.5 mm durable aluminum jog wheel (center illumination)
  • Filter – High & Low Pass filter
  • Serato DJ FX powered by iZotope
  • FX Parameters – 4knob x 4button
  • Sampler – 6slot x 4bank
  • Hot Cues – 8
  • Manual Loop
  • Autoloop
  • Slip Mode
  • Needle Search
  • Native Serato Flip
  • Talkover Function
  • EQ Isolator
  • Fader / Fader Start
  • Crossfader Curve Adjust

Terminals

Inputs

  • 2 CD (RCA)
  • 2 MIC (XLR/1/4 inch jack Combo, 1/4 inch Jack)
  • 2 PHONO/LINE (RCA)

USB

  • 1 USB B port

Outputs

  • 2 HEADPHONE MONITOR (1/4 inch Jack, mini-jack)
  • 2 MASTER (XLR, RCA)

Conclusion

If you’re heavily invested in Serato DJ products, the Pioneer DDJ-SX2 is a no-brainer. It’s fully compatible with Serato software and works out of the box. There are plenty of expansion packs and upgrades if you want it, plus the ability to use Deck control. Connect a CD or an analog turntable and get ready to throw down scratches and beats!

The DDJ SX-2 does it all, and then some. One caveat: if you already own the DDJ-SX, you may want to skip the SX2 because the upgrades are minimal. It’s best to wait for the next update to this awesome DJ controller.

Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-WeGO3-K Review

Intro

Are you starting out as a DJ and don’t know yet if this something you’d like to pursue long term? We get it! Spending too much, too soon is always a recipe for disaster, especially if you have no clue what you’re doing. A decent entry-level controller can help get your feet wet and show you the ropes.

The problem with entry-level is always the same: they’re cheap, ugly and they sound terrible. In this review, we’ll tell you why that’s not the case with the Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-WeGO3-K. You’ll learn why this nifty little piece of hardware is the best consumer-grade DJ controller out there. Ready? Let’s roll!

Main Features

  • USB Bus Powered – The WeGO3-K gets its power from the same connection it uses to transfer data.
  • Plug and Play – Works out of the Box
  • Bundled with DJ Software – Includes Virtual DJ Limited Edition and Algoriddim’s djay for Mac
  • Compatible with popular touchscreen DJ Software* such as Algoriddim’s djay 2 (iPad/iPhone/Android), and vjay (iPad/iPhone)
  • Unlocks Serato DJ Lite, with an optional paid upgrade to Serato DJ Pro
  • Compatible with Virtual DJ PRO 8 and TRAKTOR PRO 2**
*DJ Software sold separately via iTunes and Google Play
**Setting file required

Why You Should Get the Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-WeGO3-K

Sale
Pioneer DDJ-WEGO3-K Compact DJ 4/Dual Deck Controller, Black
63 Reviews
Pioneer DDJ-WEGO3-K Compact DJ 4/Dual Deck Controller, Black
  • Intuitive Layout - buttons and dials are arranged around the backlit jog wheels for easy access
  • The Pulse Control lights add a visual element to DJing, showing when a track has loaded, as well as which effects and filters are engaged
  • Comact, easy-to-carry weighing just over 2 lbs. and small enough to fit in a backpack, the DDJ WeGo3 is perfectly portable

In a world where everything seems to get bigger, the DDJ-WeGO3-K defies everything and remains true to its purpose. Built by Pioneer Pro DJ for new hobbyist DJs who either play at home or at the occasional house party. Weighing in at 1.8 kg, this lightweight DJ controller can easily fit in a backpack and can be set up in a jiffy.

With the name WeGO3, Pioneer’s mission for this DJ controller is to be the go-to controller for the mobile DJ. Well, this piece of hardware accomplishes its task with flying colors! It works with all sorts of DJ software, from apps bought off iTunes and even Serato and Traktor. Heck, you can also play music from Spotify while you’re at it!

But the main reason to get the DDJ-WeGO3-K is if you still don’t know or can’t decide yet what DJ software you’ll be using. Granted, you may have decided already that being a digital DJ is your path. If that’s the case, the WeGO3-K is a fun, colorful DJ controller loaded with features aimed at beginners.

Hands On with the DDJ-WeGo3-K

We tested the Pioneer Pro DDJ WeGO3-K with the bundled software, and it performed pretty well. On iOS, it connected to Spotify and our iTunes library via Algoriddim’s djay 2 without a hitch. It’s this connectivity that gives you unlimited musical choice. Using the console’s buttery-smooth jog wheels, buttons and dials felt good.  

If you prefer to use a full blown computer, you can connect your PC or Mac and mix with any compatible DJ software. We tried djay (Mac) or Virtual DJ 8 Limited Edition (PC). The layout of the DDJ-WeGO3-K is simple and designed for beginners. The Pulse Control LED lights work and can guide you while you’re performing.

Pros & Cons of DDJ-WeGO3 DJ Controller

Pros
  • Compatible with most DJ software for touchscreen iDevices, Android and PC’s/Macs
  • Compatible with Serato, Traktor, and Rekordbox DJ
  • Dedicated slot for iPad and iPhone, with lightning connector
  • Lightweight, weighing only 1.8 kg
  • Compact and perfect for on-the-go mobile performances
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use and perfect for beginners
  • Durable, with excellent build quality
  • Comes in three colors (black, red and white)
  • Good sound quality
  • Smooth faders
Cons
  • Short-throw pitch controls
  • Missing gain controls
  • Lacks dedicated filters
  • No cue mix for headphones
  • Limited FX
  • Compact area makes it difficult to scratch without accidentally hitting something

Stats For Nerds

We love crunching the numbers and going over even the smallest of details when making a purchase. If you’re like us and you’d like to make an informed decision each and every time, check this portion out for specs and other useful stuff for the Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-WeGO3-K! If not, you can always scroll down to our conclusion.

Software System Requirements

Display resolution – 1024 x 768 or higher

For Windows 8/7/Vista/XP (SP3)

  • Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon XP with 512MB RAM or more

For Mac OS X v10.8/10.7/10.6/10.5

  • Intel processor platform with 1024MB RAM or more and 50MB of free space

Additional requirements for video mixing (sold separately)

  • ATI or NVIDIA video chipset with dedicated 256MB of DDR3 RAM video memory

Dimensions

  • Width – 380 mm
  • Height – 59 mm
  • Depth – 240 mm
  • Weight – 1.8 kg

Technical Specifications

Soundcard

  • 24 bit/48 kHz
  • Frequency Range – 20 – 20000 Hz
  • Distortion – < 0.006 % (Master Out)

Performance Control

  • Channels – 2
  • Deck Control – 2
  • Jog Wheel – 102 mm
  • FX Parameters – 3 buttons
  • Sampler – 4 per deck
  • Hot Cues – 4 per deck
  • Manual Loop
  • Autoloop
  • Pulse Control
  • Beat Pulse
  • FX Pulse

Terminals

Inputs

  • 1 MIC (1/4 inch Jack)

USB

  • 1 USB B port
  • 1 iOS device connector

Outputs

  • 1 Master (RCA)
  • 2 Headphone Monitor (1/4 inch Jack, mini-jack)

Our Verdict for The Pioneer Pro DDJ-WeGO3-K

With the crowded entry-level controller scene, the  Pioneer DDJ-WeGO3-K is like a breath of fresh air . Designed to be light, nimble and easy to use, this unassuming little DJ controller is perfect for complete beginners. The functions are somewhat basic, but beginner DJs can do a lot with the low – high nobs and loop keys. It even comes in three colors and has cool looking “Pulse Control” LED jog wheel lights.

Buy this DJ controller if you’re a super novice DJ who has never used any DJ equipment before. The WeGO3-K has tons of excellent features and even connects to Spotify. It works out of the box and is compatible with A LOT of DJ software, from apps for iOS and Android to Macs and PC’s.

Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 Review

Intro

The entry-level DJ controller scene follows a design trend of being compact and lightweight equipment. Although small and lightweight are great, some of the DJ controllers in this segment feel too cramped. Enter the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3, an amazing DJ controller from one of the world’s most innovative brands.  

The original Numark Mixtrack was a fantastic piece of hardware. Numark improved on that winning design and gave us the Mixtrack Pro 3 – all grown up and ready to party. In this review, we’ll check out why this particular iteration of a well-loved classic is worth taking a look at.

Main Features

  • Versatile Touch Strip for fluid FX control  
  • Features Track Search and dedicated track controls for browsing your digital library (using Touch Strip)
  • New 5-inch Hi-Res metal jog wheels
  • Class compliant, built-in audio interface with 1/4″ and 1/8″ headphone connections
  • Proper 1/4″ Microphone Input
  • Full-sized 100mm pitch sliders for precise pitch adjustments and manual beatmatching
  • 16 multi-function performance pads
  • Dedicated filter knob per channel
  • Bundled with starter DJ software: Serato DJ Intro (upgradable to Serato DJ) and Prime Loops remix toolkit (6 sample packs with over 380 premium loops, drums, etc)

Why You Should Get the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 DJ Controller

Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 | USB DJ Controller with Trigger Pads & Serato DJ Lite Download (Includes Built-In Sound Card)
336 Reviews
Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 | USB DJ Controller with Trigger Pads & Serato DJ Lite Download (Includes Built-In Sound Card)
  • ONE PLUG: DJ Controller powered by USB connection to computer for home and aspiring DJs
  • BUILT-IN SOUND CARD: Connects directly to headphones, microphones, and speakers.
  • SERATO DJ LITE: Software download included after free controller registration
  • BEAT MATCHING: Long, 100mm pitch sliders to keep beats in perfect sync
  • PRO FEATURES: Touch-sensitive metal jog wheels, multi-function touchstrip, 16 backlit, rubber trigger pads, volume levels display

The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 is a reasonably priced, 2-deck controller that has all the essential features for basic DJing. It’s compact and lightweight enough to be your on-the-go setup for mobile gigs. The control surface is extensive and isn’t cramped at all, which is great for a DJ controller at this price point. If you’re a beginner, the Pro 3 is an excellent first choice for a DJ controller.

The Mixtrack Pro 3 throws in a copy of Serato DJ Intro, which is enough to get you started when you take the controller out of the box. You can pay to upgrade to the full version of  Serato DJ, but it will cost you extra. There’s also 6 sample packs of the Prime Loops remix toolkit for instrumental loops, drums, etc.

By far, the best feature on this baby is the 100mm pitch sliders. The sliders on the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 makes the 60mm sliders on the competition look like toys. It offers precise pitch adjustments, giving you the freedom and creativity to sync and beatmatch with confidence.

Hands-on with the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3

Out of the box, the Mixtrack Pro 3 sets up easy with the included Serato DJ Intro. The integrated audio interface didn’t give us any issues when we connected the office Mac. You can start playing with the Mixtrack Pro 3 as soon as you get it!

The jog wheels are adequate and responsive for an entry-level controller. The faders and knobs are of the budget variety, but they work fine and get the job done. Fine pitch tuning and beatmatching are fantastic when using the 100mm long pitch slider. The bundled Serato DJ Intro also works really well with the controls of the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3. We were able to cue, play and sync without a hitch.

For FX control and track searching, we used the Touch Strip, and it didn’t disappoint. Although, the Touch Strip could be better served it could scrub through tracks, too. The Mixtrack Pro 3 lacks a dedicated knob for wet/dry effects, which is a bummer but not a deal breaker. The backlit performance pads are more for show than anything else and work as standard buttons for manual looping, auto looping, etc.

Pros & Cons Of Numark Mixtrack Pro 3

Pros
  • 100 mm long pitch fader that’s great for beatmatching
  • Great looking, responsive jog wheels
  • Lightweight and wide
  • Durable, with an excellent build quality and components that can take a beating
  • Easy to use, designed for beginners
  • Built-in Soundcard
  • Affordable
  • Clear Sound
  • Top-notch mixer equipped with a 3-band Equalizer, dedicated filter knobs, and a Master VU meter
Cons
  • Only comes with RCA master output
  • Limited Function performance pads
  • Cumbersome autoloop
  • Lacks dedicated knobs for setting wet/dry effects
  • No failsafe option. You can’t connect to any external source other than what is currently in use, so when your source fails, the music stops.

Stats for Nerds

We love crunching the numbers and going over even the smallest of details when we buy something. If you’re like us and you’d like to make an informed decision each time, check this part out! We laid out all the specs and other useful stuff for the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 DJ Controller. If stats are not your thing, you can always scroll down to our verdict.

Software System Requirements

Display Resolution – 1024 x 768

For Mac

  • Mac OS X 10.6 – macOS 10.13 High Sierra
  • 1.6GHz Intel Core Duo
  • Supports all Intel i3, i5, and i7 Processors
  • RAM 1GB (min)
  • Available USB 2.0 port

For Windows

  • Windows Vista with Service Pack 1, Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
  • 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Available USB 2.0 port

Dimensions

  • Width – 550.9 mm
  • Height – 30.3 mm
  • Depth – 233 mm
  • Weight – 1.5 kg

Technical Specifications

  • 24-bit, 44.1k audio interface
  • RCA, unbalanced outputs
  • 1/8″ headphone
  • 1/4″ headphone
  • 1/4″ microphone input
  • Communication Protocol – MIDI

Line Out

  • Output Level: 1.3V±0.2V
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: More than 80dB (A-weighted) THD: <0.03%
  • Frequency Response: ±3dB(20Hz~20KHz)
  • Channel Separation: More than 80dB

Headphone Out (with 32 Ohm load)

  • Output Level: 0.65V±0.1V
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: More than 80dB (A-weighted) THD: <0.03%

Our Verdict on the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 DJ Controller

The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 is an all-in-one, 2-deck DJ controller that gets the job done. No frills, no fancy LEDs (although it has a few lights) and no BS. Just pure DJing without distractions and the feeling of spinning using a milk carton. This DJ controller is wide and evenly spaced for the segment, which is always a welcome feature.

 Beginners and experienced DJs alike will enjoy using the Mixtrack Pro 3 . It’s design and control layout is practical. The build quality is good, and it has a 100mm pitch slider that steals the show! If you want a value-driven, bang-for-your-buck DJ controller, the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 is the one for you.

Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro Review

Intro

If you’ve been DJing for a while now, and feel that you’ve outgrown your current setup, then it’s time for an upgrade. The mid-tier segment of DJ controllers is where the party is at! This is the home of beefier controllers, with more functions and better build quality.

There’s also a jump in price, but that’s to be expected everytime you update your kit. In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the  Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro, and why it should be on the top of your shopping list.

Main Features

  • Integrated 2-channel mixer for 4-deck mixing
  • Sizeable 6-inch aluminum jog wheels for precise scratching and mixing
  • New “Pad Plus” feature provides ComboFX, Sampler Roll, Trans, and Hot Cue Roll
  • Serato DJ Pro full version included
  • Plug and Play
  • USB Bus Powered – The Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro gets its power from the same connection it uses to transfer data.
  • Built-in Serato soundcard
  • All knobs, faders, controls, and features are an exact match to the bundled Serato DJ Pro software
  • 16 backlit Performance Pads for Slicer, Roll, Sampler and Hot Cue functions
  • Compatible with other DJ software (Traktor, Virtual DJ, Cross DJ)

Why You should get the PIONEER DDJ-SR Pro

PIONEER DDJSR Pro DJ Controller
94 Reviews
PIONEER DDJSR Pro DJ Controller
  • 16 Performance Pads provide HOT CUE, ROLL, SLICER and SAMPLER functions
  • New PAD PLUS provide HOT CUE ROLL, TRANS, COMBO FX, and SAMPLER ROLL
  • Large Jog Wheels for precise scratching and mixing capabilities
  • Please refer User Manual before use.

Do you want to take your skills to the next level? It takes a superhuman level of commitment and perfect DJ controller to do that. If you’re lacking in the latter, consider getting the Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro. It’s a proven workhorse in the industry. It’s at home at house parties and can even go toe to toe with the big boys during live events.

This 2-channel, 4-deck DJ controller comes with a full version Serato DJ Pro out of the box. The DDJ-SR Pro gives you native control of the DJ software on your computer. It also matches the Serato DJ software 1:1. Whatever you see happening on your monitor is happening on the DJ controller.

The large, 6″ jog wheels are pure heaven to use when scratching and beatmatching. 16 Performance Pads with Pad Plus give you a flood of triggers for Hot Cue, Roll, Sampler, Combo FX and more. This is excellent tactile control at your fingertips. Use slip mode to keep tracks playing muted when you’re doing live edits such as loops and scratches.

It has loads of other features as well, and you’ll be finding more ways to create music using the Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro for many, many years. This is one DJ controller you’re never going to out grow.

Hands-on with the Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro DJ Controller

The Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro is easy to use, with a thoughtful control layout and large jog wheels that give excellent tactile feedback. The performance pads have a rubbery feel, but are firm and works every time. The subtle feeling of the high pass/low pass filter on the EQ knob helps you differentiate the knobs, even in the dark.

There are plenty of options to adjust the sound using the EQ, Trim, and faders. Loops, transitions, and music color also have many options, mainly since the entire kit works seamlessly with Serato DJ. We were pleasantly surprised by never running out of new things to discover when using the pads, effects, and filters.

Pros & Cons Of Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro

Pros
  • Master level and channel level meters allows instant identification of each channel level
  • Integrated grip handles on each side for easier setup
  • Channel fader can control Cues
  • Adjustable Crossfader curve to adapt to any type of sound
  • Excellent sound quality designed to match all the audio features of Serato DJ Pro
  • Compact and Durable
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Heavy
  • No XLR output
  • No indicator to show play position

Stats For Nerds

We love crunching the numbers and going over even the smallest of details when we buy something. If you’re like us and you’d like to make an informed decision each time, check this part out! We laid out all the specs and other useful stuff for the  PIONEER DDJ-SR Pro DJ Controller. If stats are not your thing, you can always scroll down to our verdict.

Software System Requirements

Display Resolution – 1280 x 720 or higher

For Windows 7

  • 32-bit: (CPU) 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo, (Memory) 2GB
  • 64-bit: (CPU) 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, (Memory) 4GB

For Mac OS X 10.7.4/10.6.8

  • 32-bit: (CPU) 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo, (Memory) 1GB
  • 64-bit: (CPU) 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, (Memory) 4GB

Dimensions

  • Width – 553.6 mm
  • Height – 65.3 mm
  • Depth – 319.1 mm
  • Weight – 4.5 kg

Technical Specifications

Soundcard

  • 24 bit/44.1 kHz
  • Frequency Range – 20 – 20000 Hz
  • Distortion – < 0.006 % (Master Out)

Performance Control

  • Channels – 2
  • Deck Control – 4
  • Jog Wheel – 132.5 mm durable aluminum jog wheel (center illumination)
  • Filter – High & Low Pass filter
  • Serato DJ FX powered by iZotope
  • Hot Cues – 8
  • Manual Loop
  • Autoloop
  • Slip Mode
  • Fader
  • Fader Start
  • Crossfader Curve Adjust

Terminals

Inputs

  • 1 AUX (RCA)
  • 1 MIC (1/4 inch Jack)

USB

  • 1 USB B port

Outputs

  • Headphone Monitor – 2 (1/4 inch Jack, mini-jack)

Our Verdict for the PIONEER DDJ-SR Pro

The Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro is one of the best DJ controllers for the mid-tier segment you can get right now. The build quality of this Pioneer is second to none, using a metal sheet for the surface and hard plastics for the sides. It even comes with side grips to make it easier to haul this controller around. It’s a little on the heavy side though, weighing in at 10 pounds, so best prep your DJ muscles for a workout!

The DDJ-SR Pro is a DJ controller that you’ll own for a long time as long as you take care of it. If you want a DJ controller for the long-term progression of your skills and one you can grow with, you can’t go wrong with the Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro.

Numark Mixtrack Pro II Review

Intro

So you want to be a DJ?

It takes more than passion and skill to be a DJ. You’d need the right amount of tech to get the music flowing, and the crowd pumped up.  If you’re an aspiring DJ and you’re hunting for your first DJ controller, the Numark Mixtrack Pro II is an excellent choice.

The original Numark Mixtrack Pro is one of the top-selling DJ controllers of all time for a reason, and the Pro II improved on the winning design. In this review, we’ll discuss what makes the Pro II unique and why it should be on the top of your list for entry level controllers.

Ready?

Let’s get down to it!

Check out the Main Features of the Mixtrack Pro II

  • Bundled with Serato DJ Intro and upgradeable to Serato DJ (via download)
  • 16 backlit, rubber “drum pads” with Hot Cue Mode, Loop Mode and Sample Mode
  • Works out of the box with your laptop (Mac & PC) with no extra drivers needed
  • A built-in audio interface system for mics, headphones and PA systems
  • 5″ illuminated, touch-activated jog wheels for precise scratching and control
  • Easily manipulate effects such as flanger, echo, phaser, etc. with 16 dedicated controls at your fingertips
  • Sync and pitch control
  • 3-band EQ with crossfader and controls to navigate through your music library
  • USB Bus powered

Why You Should get the Numark Mixtrack Pro II

Here’s the deal:

You have a few months to learn how to be a digital DJ for that upcoming party you pledged you’ll play at because you told everyone you knew how. Oops.

Sound familiar? Don’t beat yourself up about it! This happens to the best of us. It’s not the end of the world though, because the Numark Mixtrack Pro II has got your back.

The reason?

It works right out of the box with the included Serato DJ Intro software. Numark and Serato nailed the integration of software and hardware really well. You don’t need to install any extra drivers on your laptop. Get the Mixtrack Pro II out of the packaging and start DJing.

Another thing…

For a DJ controller at this price point, we love the fact that it has an audio interface system built-in. You don’t need to use (or buy) an external audio source if you need to use the Numark Mixtrack Pro II as a PA system. The dual headphone inputs also make it easy to mix with friends or trade-off between sets.

Hands-on with the Numark Mixtrack Pro II

Want to see how the Mixtrack Pro II works right now? We took this DJ controller for a spin and here’s what we found:

It’s one of the easiest controllers to set up and start using. It truly is…

We took it out of the box, waited a few minutes for the download to finish, plugged our laptop and bam! We were DJing. The 16 drum pads on the Numark Mixtrack Pro II felt solid and pleasant to touch. It could use a little more color though because we had a hard time seeing the backlight in daylight.

A few more angles:

The knobs and controls are plastic but feel durable enough. Actually, the entire Mixtrack Pro II is made from hard plastic, but it felt well-built even for its compact size and weight. We like the all black surface and faux brushed metal sidings that kind of reminded us of an old iPad.

The 5″ jog wheels more or less felt like the ones on the old Mixtrack Pro, which were pretty good. The only odd thing we noticed was that what was happening on the laptop wasn’t in sync with what was happening with the Mixtrack Pro II. This could very well be a bug.

Speaking of bugs…

We also noticed that even though the included Serato DJ Intro software worked reasonably well, it had a few minor bugs. Not a deal breaker, for sure. But they’re there. Maybe a future patch from Serato can iron things out.

Pros & Cons Of Mixtrack Pro II

Pros
  • Serato DJ Intro software included, with full MIDI mapping
  • Sleek design that looks more expensive than it actually is
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Works out of the box
  • Super easy setup, just download the software, plug your laptop and start DJing
  • 16 solid feeling rubber drum pads for triggering Cue, Sample, Effects, and Loops
Cons
  • Limited input and output options
  • All plastic construction built to budget spec
  • No gain controls or level meters
  • The software is a bit buggy, especially during jog wheel rotation (it’s not synced)

Stats for Nerds

We love crunching the numbers and going over even the smallest of details when we buy something. If you’re like us and you’d like to make an informed decision each time, check this part out! We laid out all the specs and other useful stuff for the Numark Mixtrack Pro II DJ Controller. If stats are not your thing, you can always scroll down to our verdict.

Software System Requirements

  • Works with any Mac or Windows system

Dimensions

  • Width – 18.3 in
  • Height – 2 in
  • Depth – 10.4 in
  • Weight – 4.7 lbs

Technical Specifications

  • Communication Protocol – Standard MIDI compatible with most DJ software
  • Power – Bus powered (USB)
  • Data connection – USB

Outputs:

  • RCA, unbalanced
  • 1/4″ headphone
  • 1/8″ headphone

Inputs:

  • 1/4″ microphone input

Our Verdict on the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 DJ Controller

Here’s the bottom line:

If you’re new to the game of DJing and would like try it out for the first time, you can’t go wrong with the Numark Mixtrack Pro II. It’s compact, lightweight and works out of the box with nearly no configuration necessary. It even looks more expensive than it actually is!

You don’t need to fiddle with your laptop either, because any Mac or Windows system will work as long as it has Serato DJ Intro installed.

Get the Numark Mixtrack Pro II if you want a DJ controller that just works.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-RX Review

Intro

You know the score.

Wholly invested in digital controllerism, you feel it’s the perfect time to upgrade your old gear. Right?

We know the answer is a giant YES! If you’ve been fiddling about with mid-tier gear for a while now, then it’s definitely time for an upgrade. But upgrades often come with a chance to try something new, which can be either good or bad.

Lucky for you, this is upgrade is good. Very good.

Enter the Pioneer DJ DDJ-RX, a DJ controller made for Pioneer’s own rekordbox DJ software. In this review, we’ll talk about what makes the DDJ-RX stand out from the Serato DJ crowd and why you should break the mold and take a chance on it.

Itching to know more? Read on then!

Main Features

  • Specially designed for use with Pioneer’s powerful rekordbox DJ, exactly mirroring the software’s layout with extra controls, knobs, pads and more
  • Includes rekordbox DJ license key
  • Full-sized, aluminum jog wheels with “On Jog” display for quick cue and playback info
  • 16 velocity sensitive Performance Pads with Pad FX to trigger Slider, Sampler, Hot Cues or FX chains
  • Can be used as a standalone hardware mixer
  • True “Plug and Play” with no extra drivers needed
  • DVS Control with rekordbox DVS (sold separately)

Why You Should Get the Pioneer DJ DDJ-RX DJ controller

You should get the DDJ-RX for two reasons:

  1. You want a DJ controller that grows with you.
  2. You’re tired of Serato and all-in for rekordbox DJ.

Intuitive button layout, large aluminum jog wheels, 16 performance pads with Pad FX…

What’s not to like?

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-RX is a durable, 4-channel DJ controller that has rekordbox DJ by default. It’s battle-ready, and you can even use it as a standalone mixer in a pinch.

Change up to rekordbox DJ and discover a slew of other options.

You can use rekordbox DJ to manage your music library, making it easier to jump to CDJs in the future. All you need is to export your tracks to a USB, and you’re good to go. Rekordbox DJ software also lets you record samples on the fly and is auto-saved in a folder for future use. Upon testing, the software analyzes tracks more accurately than the competition.

Hands-on with the Pioneer DJ DDJ-RX

Let’s kick off things with build quality.

Out of the box, the DDJ-RX DJ controller screams quality components and excellent craftsmanship. The build quality is fantastic. The metal surface works great with the hard plastic sides, making the controller feel really solid. The whole thing looks and feels like it can take a tremendous beating!

Now, on to the juicer parts…

Feature-wise, the Pioneer DJ DDJ-RX is as loaded as they come. Let’s not forget that this DJ controller is a twin of the uber-famous Serato DJ controller, the DDJ-SX2. So, dimensions and features aside, they are almost identical. The DDJ-RX does have extra controls specific for rekordbox DJ.

The included Pioneer rekordbox DJ software that the controller was designed for is impressive. It’s so easy to use and configure. There will be a small learning curve, especially if you’re coming from Serato DJ, but you’ll figure it out in an hour or so. Rekordbox DJ also lets you split its browser into two, for use in different screens.

Now, let’s see if the Pioneer DDJ-RX is really superhuman.

Pros & Cons Of Pioneer DDJ-RX DJ Controller

Pros
  • Integrated hardware mixer that could hold it’s own against standalone mixers
  • Loaded features work seamlessly with rekordbox DJ
  • High-quality sound-color effects
  • Large, full-sized aluminum jog wheels
  • Superb sound quality
  • Durable construction, with excellent use of metal and hard plastic components
  • Knobs and buttons made of tough, rubber
Cons
  • Features located on the front are hard to reach and use
  • Mic inputs take up one channel each (you’ll sacrifice a channel for a mic)
  • Difficult to change the effects of each button on the mixer, if possible at all
  • Slow refresh rate during screen changes

Stats for Nerds

We love crunching the numbers and going over even the smallest of details when we buy something. If you’re like us and you’d like to make an informed decision each time, check this part out! We laid out all the specs and other useful stuff for the Pioneer DJ DDJ-RX Controller. If stats are not your thing, you can always scroll down to our verdict.

Software System Requirements

Display Resolution – 1024 x 768 or higher

For Mac

  • Mac OS X 10.10/ 10.9/ 10.8 (latest version)
  • (CPU) Intel® Processor Dual Core 2.0 GHz or higher
  • (Memory) 4GB or more

For Windows

  • Windows 10/ 8/ 8 Pro/ 8.1 Pro (latest service pack)/ 7/ Home Premium/ Professional/ Ultimate (latest service pack)
  • (CPU) Intel® Processor Dual Core 2.0 GHz or higher
  • (Memory) 4GB or more

Dimensions

  • Width –  664 mm
  • Height –  70.4 mm
  • Depth –  353.4 mm
  • Weight – 5.8 kg

Technical Specifications

  • Soundcard: 24 bit/44.1 kHz
  • Frequency Range: 20 – 20000 Hz
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 107 dB
  • Distortion: < 0.003 % (USB)

Performance Control

  • Channels: 4
  • Deck Control: 4 / Dual
  • Jog Wheel: 132.5 mm durable aluminum jog wheel (center illumination)
  • Filter: High & Low Pass filter
  • Colour FX: Crush, Filter, Noise, Pitch
  • Release FX: Backspin, Echo, Vinyl brake
  • Fader: Fader Start, Crossfader Curve Adjust
  • FX Parameters: 3 knobs x 3 buttons
  • Sampler: 16 slot x 4 bank
  • Hot Cues: 8
  • Others: Pad FX, Sequencer, Manual Loop, Auto Beat Loop, Beat Jump, Slip Mode, Needle Search, Talkover Function, EQ Isolator

Terminals

Inputs

  • 2 CD (RCA)
  • 2 Phono/Line (RCA)
  • 2 Mic (XLR/1/4 inch jack Combo, 1/4 inch Jack)

USB

  • 1 USB B port

Outputs

  • 1 Booth (1/4 inch Jack)
  • 2 Headphone Monitor (1/4 inch Jack, mini-jack)
  • 2 Master (XLR, RCA)

Our Verdict for the Pioneer DJ DDJ-RX Controller

Two things.

If you’re in the market for an outstanding 4-channel DJ controller with rekordbox DJ baked in, the DDJ-RX is the one for you. It’s packed with features, has an excellent jog wheel, and built to last. This is a DJ controller that will grow with your skillset as a DJ. It’s at home on the road, in the studio or during a live show.

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-RX is also a beautiful piece of professional DJ kit. We kid you not. The backlighting is heavenly, and if you’re serious about getting the DDJ-RX, go to a real store and check it out in person. YouTube videos and images on the internet don’t do this DJ controller justice.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 Review

Intro

Ever noticed how every single DJ worth his salt is capable of such otherworldly feats…

Using a DJ controller?

If you’ve been DJing for a few years, you know that a wall of earth-shattering music is possible while using a controller.

But.

You’d have to ditch the old beginner’s toy you’ve been messing around with and switch to something with a bit more oomph. In this review, we’ll be taking a gander at Native Instruments’ Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2. With a name this long, we hope that it carries a long list of functions, too.

Now.

You ready for some Traktor? Let’s bounce!

Main Features

  • 4-deck controller designed for Traktor DJ and PRO 2 DJ software, with all functionalities and controls baked-in
  • Aircraft-grade, aluminum plated jog wheels with silicone dampeners
  • Bundled with Traktor PRO 2 DJ software and works with iPhone/iPad app
  • Built-in 4-channel mixer with ergonomic controls and faders
  • Club ready output with Flux Mode and Loop Recorder controls for each deck
  • Bright, color-coded RGB indicator buttons
  • Comes with more than 30 DJ-approved effects and 2 customizable FX units
  • Low latency 24-bit/48kHz audio interface
  • Cirrus Logic AD/DA converters with MIDI I/O
  • Charges your iPad/iPhone while DJing

Why You Should Get the Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2

Imagine what would it be like to own an Iron Man suit.

Ok, that’s probably never going to happen, but you can get the next best thing. With a name that sounds like one of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suits, the S4 MK2 is a cool piece of tech gunning to be the center of your DJ rig. If you’re going for a mid-tier controller upgrade, get this…

It’s glorious!

Also, if you’re a user (or fan) of Traktor DJ software, this DJ controller was built with you in mind. The hardware and software integration just works. It also plays exceptionally well with iOS devices, a boon if you own an iPad or iPhone. It comes with a Traktor PRO 2 license, which will get you up and DJing in no time.

Hands-on with Native Instruments’ Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2

Let’s dig a little deeper.

The Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 feels sturdy and durable. This controller can take a beating. If you’re migrating from an entry-level controller, the S4 MK2 won’t feel much more significant as there’s barely any noticeable change in size. Rubberized knobs are slip-free and feel solid. Faders and knobs are smooth, with varying resistance levels for better control.

The crossfader is like butter, it’s incredible.

The jog wheels on the Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 are very responsive. Anytime you want to do a scratch, just press down on the plate and go to town! The wheels also function as a nudge for beat matching when you move them from the sides. You’ll need to keep your eyes on your computer screen though because the jog wheels lack indicators.

There’s more.

The S4 MK2 gives you total control of the Gain, Cue, volume, 3-band EQ and Filter. You can also assign what decks will be getting the effects. What we like about the Traktor Kontrol S4 is it has a lot of inputs and outputs. You can use vinyl turntables, CDJs, or even have your iPhone as a backup in the event your laptop crashes.

The Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 has loop controls on each side, located below each jog wheel. This makes it super easy to create loops on the fly. There are a total of 8 performance pads, but these offer the standard controls like play, stop, forward, etc.

With so many things going for it, does the Kontrol S4 MK2 have any weaknesses?

Let’s find out.

Pros & Cons Of Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2

Pros
  • Compact and Durable
  • Aluminum jog wheels
  • Compatible with the Traktor DJ App
  • Backlit RGB Buttons
  • Full control of Traktor PRO 2
Cons
  • Basic functionality using remix decks
  • BNo jog wheel display
  • BPerformance pads have limited functions

Stats for Nerds

We love crunching the numbers and going over even the smallest of details when we buy something. If you’re like us and you’d like to make an informed decision each time, check this part out! We laid out all the specs and other useful stuff for the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 DJ Controller. If stats are not your thing, you can always scroll down to our verdict.

Software System Requirements

  • Display Resolution: 1024 x 768

For Windows

  • Windows 7 or 8 with the latest service pack, 32 and 64-bit versions
  • 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • 1 GB free disc space
  • USB 2.0
  • High-speed Internet connection

For Mac

  • Mac OS X 10.78 or 10.8 with latest update
  • Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2 GB RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • 1 GB free disc space
  • USB 2.0
  • High-speed Internet connection

Dimensions

  • Width – 19.70″
  • Height – 2.83″
  • Depth – 13.30″
  • Weight – 7.5 lb (3.4 kg)

Technical Specifications

  • Audio Interface: 24-bit/96kHz
  • Audio Input Channels: 5
  • Audio Output Channels: 4
  • Bit Depth 16, 24-bit
  • Converter: Cirrus Logic
  • Audio Formats: MP3, WAV, AIFF, Audio-CD, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, non-DRM WMA (Windows only) and non-DRM AAC
  • Software: Traktor Pro 2 (included)

Performance Control

  • Channels: 4
  • Deck Control: 4
  • 3 band EQ
  • 2 x aluminum jog wheels
  • Effects: 30
  • Fader
  • Loops: 64, with 40 original Loopmaster content

Terminals

Inputs

  • 4 x RCA unbalanced inputs
  • 1 x 1/4″ TS unbalanced input
  • 1 x MIDI input
  • 1 x footswitch input

Outputs

  • 2 x 1/4″ TRS balanced outputs
  • 2 x RCA unbalanced outputs
  • 1 x 1/4″ TRS headphone output
  •  1 x MIDI output

Our Verdict for the Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 Controller

If you’re looking for a controller with full Traktor functionality, the  S4 Mk2 will suit you just fine. Not only will this controller work with your laptop, but it’ll also work with any supported iOS devices you have. You’ll get to expand your use of Traktor DJ software with the PRO 2 thrown in. It has loads of effects and even has an integrated 4-channel mixer for better output control.

In short, the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 is a good buy. Consider it the next step in your evolution as a DJ.

Denon DJ MCX8000 Review

Intro

We’ve been there before.

You’re getting tired of lugging around tons of equipment for every show. You wish that there was something out there that’s part mixer, standalone USB controller, and Serato DJ, controller.

All without using a laptop.

Is this wishful thinking? Not anymore, with the Denon DJ MCX8000 controller. This little monster won Tech Awards’ “Ultimate DJ Controller” back in 2016 for a reason; and in this review, we’ll try to find out why.

Let’s get things underway.

Main Features

  • All-in-one DJ controller – play using Serato DJ, USB stick and vinyl (or CDJ) turntables
  • Bundled with 4-deck Serato DJ and DJ Pitch expansion software
  • 8 Velocity-sensitive performance pads for samples, rolls, cues, and slicer
  • Includes Denon DJ Engine standalone technology with built-in Serato Cue point support
  • 2 Hi-Def displays show Engine and Serato DJ operation, no laptop required
  • Professional 4-Channel Digital Mixer w/2 Mic Inputs and Dual XLR outputs
  • Built-in Instant Effects for Engine playback and line inputs
  • Engine playback in standalone mode with 2 USB inputs at the ready
  • All metal construction

Why You Should Get the Denon DJ MCX8000

If we had a dollar for every time we wished for an all-in-one controller to take the place of everything on our rig, we’d be rich.

If you’re thinking along those lines, you should consider making the Denon DJ MCX8000 the core of your setup. It’s such a fantastic piece of hardware that has almost everything a DJ needs. You don’t even need to your laptop while using the MCX8000.

It has a pair of hi-definition displays that give you all the information you’d see on a laptop. You can DJ three ways with this controller: as a Serato DJ controller, with USB sticks and with connected vinyl or CDJ turntables. The all-metal design is a winner that can take a tremendous amount of punishment.

And.

It’s also a pretty awesome, 4-channel mixer for both DJ booth and PA system setups. Aside from a full version of Serato DJ, Serato DJ Pitch ‘n Time expansion is included via a voucher when you register on Denon’s site.

Hands-on with the Denon DJ MCX8000 Controller

What a blast.

We tried the Denon DJ MCX8000 controller on for size, and this is what discovered: We had a darn good time using it!

First off, the software.

Denon’s DJ Engine software was pure fun to use, and we did all the track analyzing on our laptop before we plugged in our USB. That’s the only time we used a computer, and we played our entire library from a USB. A combo of dual USB ports and the controller’s software makes it easy to switch between DJs.

Next up: superpowers.

Two large screens on the MCX8000 gives standalone control over Denon’s Engine 1.5 software and Serato DJ, without the need for a laptop. It’s also Serato DVS ready for control with turntables. The Ethernet-based lighting and video control capabilities are gravy.

The MCX8000 has integrated effects that uses true 24-bit sound quality with Noise, Echo and Delay. The MCX8000 has master output and booth outputs that have balanced XLR outputs. The full, 4-channel digital mixer is a winner, with 3 immediate effects. Another super feature is the velocity-sensitive performance pads used for cues, samples, and slicer.

Finally.

The build quality of the Denon DJ MCX8000 is second to none. The all-metal construction is sleek, sturdy and durable. It’s a little on the heavy side, but that’s to be expected from an all-metal chassis.

But all these nifty features begs a question.

Is the MCX worth its price in gold?

Let’s find out.

Pros & Cons Of Denon DJ MCX8000

Pros
  • All-in-one DJ controller with multiple functions
  • Excellent Denon DJ Engine
  • Switch seamlessly between sources even during a set
  • Play without a laptop
  • Serato DVS Upgrade Ready
  • Great sound quality
  • Flexible controller with plenty of features
  • Durable and sturdy metal construction
Cons
  • Engine music analyzer crashes on some users
  • Display screen freezes
  • DJ Engine not as refined as Serato
  • Standalone USB firmware issues cause the operation to stall at times if not updated

Stats for Nerds

We love crunching the numbers and going over even the smallest of details when we buy something. If you’re like us and you’d like to make an informed decision each time, check this part out! We laid out all the specs and other useful stuff for the Denon DJ MCX8000 DJ Controller. If stats are not your thing, you can always scroll down to our verdict.

Software System Requirements

For Windows

  • Windows 7 SP1 or later

For Mac

  • OS X 10.11 or later

Dimensions

  • Width – 28.68″
  • Height – 2.76″
  • Depth – 7.04″
  • Weight – 18.4 lbs.

Technical Specifications

  • Audio Interface: 24-bit/44.1kHz
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/8″, 1 x 1/4″
  • Data I/O: 1 x RJ45 Ethernet (light/video sync}
  • Serato DVS Compatible
  • Power Supply: 12V DC
  • Software: Serato DJ Pro, Serato DJ Pitch ‘n Time expansion  (included)

 

Performance Control

  • Channels: 4
  • Deck Control: 4
  • Onboard Effects: Echo, Mic, Filters
  • 2 x 5.2″ Jog Wheels with adjustable torque/sensitivity
  • 8 Velocity-sensitive Performance Pads
  • Faders: 4 x Volume, 2 x Pitch
  • Crossfader

Terminals

Inputs

  • 2 x Dual RCA Stereo (line/phono)
  • 2 x Dual RCA Stereo (line)
  • 1 x XLR-1/4″ combo, 1 x 1/4″ Mic input

Outputs

  • 2 x XLR (master out)
  • 1 x Dual RCA Stereo (master out)
  • 2 x XLR (booth out)

USB

  • USB Type A
  • USB Type B

Our Verdict on the Denon DJ MCX8000 DJ Controller

Here’s the deal.

There aren’t too many all-in-one DJ controllers out there, and if you’re planning on getting one, the Denon DJ MCX8000 should be in your top 3.

The thing is solid, and we mean both literally and figuratively. It’s all metal construction is built to last. You can prop it up a stand and play instantly, using whatever mode you want – USB stick, Serato DJ or turntable. The 2 hi-def colored screens on each side give you a side by side view of waveforms and other useful track data.

Denon’s DJ Engine is also one of a kind and works great with the hardware. So, if you’re still on the fence about an all-in-one, try the MCX8000 and get blown away.

Numark Mixtrack Platinum Review

Intro

Digital DJs nowadays are a spoiled bunch.

Manufacturers are always pumping out game-changing controllers these days, it’s hard to keep track of the lot! One top DJ controller to look out for is the Numark Mixtrack Platinum.

It’s jam-packed with useful features for an entry-level controller, it would be a shame not to try it. In this review, we’ll talk about why this particular Numark Mixtrack is worth its weight in Platinum.

All set? Let’s dive in!

Main Features

  • Dual hi-res multi-function LCD displays on each jog wheel
  • Bundled with Serato DJ Intro software (upgradeable to full version)
  • Two 5-inch touch-capacitive response, metal jog wheels
  • 100mm pitch sliders on each side
  • Prime Loops remix tool kit included
  • 16 multi-function performance pads
  • Multi-function touch strip for track search and FX control
  • Each channel has dedicated filter and gain knobs
  • 4-deck layering and mixing capability
  • Built-in audio interface
  • 2-channel mixer
  • Plug and Play

Why You Should Get the Numark Mixtrack Platinum

OK, we’ll try to keep this short and sweet.

Get the Mixtrack Platinum if you’re a beginner. The dual LCD’s on the platters are an excellent feature that should be standard on all controllers. You won’t have to keep looking at your laptop, because the hi-res LCDs will show you BPM, time remaining on the track, needle drop and other useful information.

This feature alone should sway you to get this controller. But throw in 100mm pitch sliders, metal platters, a built-in audio interface and 4-deck mixing capabilities?

You got yourself a winner.

Hands-on with the Numark Mixtrack Platinum

Taking the Mixtrack Platinum out for a spin was a blast.

All you need to do is download Serato DJ Intro, plug your laptop to the controller, and you’re ready to go! Although, we found that free software has a lot of limitations. For beginners to really learn DJing, upgrading to the full version or using other compatible software is recommended.

Now, for the wheels:

The 1.75″ LCD displays on the jog wheels are an excellent addition to an entry-level controller such as the Mixtrack Platinum. The metal platters are capacitive and give good feedback, but are not velocity-sensitive.

And there’s more:

The touch strip was a nice addition, especially for track search and FX control. But we found it a bit iffy to use. You’d have to exert a lot of pressure for it to get going.

One of the best features of the Numark Mixtrack Platinum is the 100mm sliders positioned next to the sliders. These were a joy to use with the jog wheels, giving us excellent pitch control and beat matching.

Rounding things up: Build quality

For the build quality, everything looks and feels sturdy enough considering everything is plastic. Don’t expect a metal top for a controller in this price segment, but Numark did a good job making the Mixtrack Platinum not feel like a toy.

Speaking of toys, let’s take a look at the good stuff and the knocks on the Numark Mixtrack Platinum.

Pros & Cons Of Numark Mixtrack Platinum

Pros
  • Useful 1.75″ LCD screens on jog wheels show all vital info
  • 100mm pitch sliders
  • Multi-function touch strip a time saver
  • Simple, clean design
  • Functional control layout
Cons
  • Lacks AUX input
  • Software limitations will force users to upgrade
  • Confusing performance features

Stats for Nerds

We love crunching the numbers and going over even the smallest of details when we buy something. If you’re like us and you’d like to make an informed decision each time, check this part out! We laid out all the specs and other useful stuff for the Numark Mixtrack Platinum DJ Controller. If stats are not your thing, you can always scroll down to our verdict.

Software System Requirements

  • Display Resolution: 1280 x 720

For Windows

  • Windows 7 with SP1 Windows 8.1, Windows 10
  • Intel i3 i5 i7 1.07GHz CPU
  • RAM 4GB (minimum)
  • Available USB 2.0 port
  • Free HDD Space 5 GB

For Mac

  • Mac OS X 10.8 – macOS 10.13 High Sierra
  • Intel i3 i5 i7 1.07GHz CPU
  • RAM 4GB (minimum)
  • Available USB 2.0 port
  • Free HDD Space 5 GB

Dimensions

  • Width – 21.6”
  • Height – 1.1”
  • Depth – 9.1”
  • Weight – 4.89 lbs.

Technical Specifications

  • Audio Interface: 24-bit, 44.1k
  • USB input
  • RCA outputs
  • 1/8″ headphone
  • 1/4″ headphone
  • 1/4″ microphone input with volume level
  • Software: Serato DJ Intro (included)

Performance Control

  • Channels: 2
  • Deck Control: 4
  • Multi-function touch strip for FX control and track search
  • Jog wheels: 2x 5” touch-capacitance response metal platters with built-in LCD displays
  • 16 multi-function Performance Pads
  • 100mm pitch sliders

Our Verdict on the Numark Mixtrack Platinum

To sum it up:

If you’re a total beginner looking for your first controller, this is the controller you have to get. It’s sleek, lightweight and has 2 lovely LCD displays on each jog wheel that will make your life a lot easier.

Freebies such as full versions of Prime Loops remix toolkit and Toolroom and are great for your first go round. The included Serato DJ Intro software is good, but you need to upgrade it asap to unleash the full potential of the Platinum.

Gemini GV Series G4V Review

Intro

You dream of owning the best DJ equipment money can buy, but your budget isn’t up to speed as of late.

Do not fret my friend.

There’s a piece of DJ tech out there lurking in the background, tailor-made for the budget-strapped DJ.

If you’re starting out and need an entry-level upgrade, take a long, hard look at the Gemini G4V. With Pioneer and Numark dominating the scene lately, Gemini challenges the status quo with the new G4V. Let’s see if they have what it takes to take on the big boys of the DJing scene.

This review starts now.

Why You Should Get the Gemini GV Series G4V DJ controller

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get a DJ controller that could work well with DJ software that you already have?

If you’re already using Virtual DJ PRO or Traktor, the Gemini G4V has mappings for both. Even if you don’t know a thing about Virtual DJ, the G4V comes with Virtual DJ LE so you can start using it out of the box.

The Gemini G4V has all-metal construction, a real stunner for entry-level controllers. If Gemini wanted to disrupt the plastic-filled market, they did it with a metallic clang! The thing is built like a tank and will take any abuse you throw its way. The controller is also as feature-packed as they come, with a 24-bit soundcard, sizeable vinyl-feeling jog wheels, and full deck control.

Give this controller a shot if you want something durable you can learn DJing with.

Speaking of throwing things in it’s way, we got busy with the Gemini G4V and here’s what we found out:

Hands-on with the Gemini G4V controller

Let’s start with build quality.

Man.

The build quality on the Gemini G4V is excellent. The all-metal body is a winner and is built to last. The multi-function pads and some of the knobs feel budget and plasticky, but it’s OK because Gemini had to cut corners somewhere. The knobs and buttons work well though, so there’s that.

Moving on to the decks and jog wheels:

What’s great about the Gemini G4V is you have full control over the 2 decks, with the option to use 4 virtual decks. Each deck has 8 assignable multi-function pads, with each rotary encoders assignable as well. DJ tools at your disposal are key lock, pitch faders, cue controls and on-the-fly loops (auto and manual).

The large, touch-sensitive jog wheels are OK, but they could be better. They have a lazy top section that pushes down way too easy, stopping the deck. We like the vinyl grooves on top though, which provide a vinyl-like feel when you’re using it.

We like the active LED level monitors, buttons, and backlit pads that give instant visual feedback. This is great if you can’t look at your laptop or if your booth is too cramped for one. We wished the 4-channel mixer could’ve been used as a standalone mixer, but for the entry-level price, we can cut Gemini some slack.

The pre-mapped FX controls for Virtual DJ are fantastic and can make your life easier. But we kind of wished Gemini included the full pro version of the software because we find the LE somewhat limited.

Main Features

  • Virtual DJ ready with pre-mapped FX controls
  • Bundled with Virtual DJ LE software (ugpradeable to PRO)
  • Large, intuitive, touch-sensitive jog wheels for precision control and a vinyl feel
  • Integrated 24-bit audio interface
  • Full deck control with 8 multi-function pads and 4 rotary controls per deck
  • Integrated, professional 4-channel mixer with 3-band EQ and Filter control
  • Quick keys for Auto Loop, Manual Loop, Hot Cues and Sampler
  • Full controller MIDI mapping functionality
  • Plenty of input and output terminals
  • Controller maps for Traktor available

Pros & Cons Of Gemini G4V Controller

Pros
  • Durable all metal body
  • Large jog wheels with vinyl style grooves
  • Built-in soundcard
  • 4-channel mixer with EQ
  • Decent sound
  • Plenty of features for an entry-level controller
  • Can be used with Traktor or other DJ software
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Only has one AUX input
  • Mixer can’t be used as a standalone
  • Multi-function pads feel cheap

Stats for Nerds

We love crunching the numbers and going over even the smallest of details when we buy something. If you’re like us and you’d like to make an informed decision each time, check this part out! We laid out all the specs and other useful stuff for the Gemini GV Series G4V DJ Controller. If stats are not your thing, you can always scroll down to our verdict.

Software System Requirements

For Windows

  • Windows 7 SP1 or later

For Mac

  • OS X 10.11 or later

Dimensions

  • Width – 21.02″
  • Height – 1.77”
  • Depth – 12.60″
  • Weight – 11.20 lbs.

Technical Specifications

  • Audio Interface: 24-bit
  • Type: USB MIDI Controller
  • USB Output Type: Type B
  • Power Supply: AC 100/240V, 60/50 Hz, Output Voltage 5V
  • Power Consumption: 5W, 1.1A (Power Supply) 480mA (USB)
  • Software: Virtual DJ LE

Performance Control

  • Channels: 4
  • Deck Control: 4 (virtual)
  • Virtual DJ ready keys (pre-mapped)
  • 2 x touch-sensitive Jog Wheels
  • 8 multi-function pads per deck
  • 4 rotary controls per deck

Terminals

Inputs

  • Aux RCA line input
  • 1/4” microphone input with Gain control (Front)
  • 1 x XLR-1/4″ combo, 1 x 1/4″ Mic input

Outputs

  • XLR master output
  • RCA master output
  • RCA booth output with dedicated volume control
  • Front 1/4” headphone output

USB Audio

  • Bit Depth: 24-bit, 16-bit Sampling
  • Rate: 44.1 kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz, 192kHz

Our Verdict on the Gemini Series G4V Controller

Now, the lowdown.

Durable, all-metal body. Amazing entry-level pricing. If you’re looking for a DJ controller  that is a bang-for-your-buck badass  that will last you a long time, get the Gemini G4V.

It has plenty of premium features usually not found in this segment, and with tight Virtual Dj implementation, you can go places with the G4V. The added Traktor mapping controls are also great for an already formidable controller.

So, if you already have or are using Virtual DJ and Traktor, the Gemini G4V is the controller for you.

Summary: Choosing a DJ Controller

After a long journey of 11,000+ words, we’ve finally come to the end of our mammoth DJ controllers review.

This is the part where you do two things:

  1. Do a lot of planning: A good general always has a great plan.
  2. Make a decision: This is one of the most significant choices in your young DJ career. Choose a wrong controller may alter your path for the worse.

Now for the planning part.

How to Pick a Good DJ Controller from the rest of the pack?

Good question.

First off, you have to set goals.

Like, how long you plan on being an entry-level DJ or when your next upgrade is going to be. Goals will help you determine if you can choose to jump to mid-tier DJ controllers, or just stick to entry-level.

If you’re a hobbyist and have no illusions of going pro or playing at clubs, it’s best if you start at the entry-level stage. This is where we all begin anyway, and it’s a good base point for you to decide if DJing is for you or not.

Second, check your budget.

If you’re loaded, by all means, go for the top-level DJ controller and worry about being lost in it later! If you’re hell-bent on becoming the best DJ, you’ll learn all there is to learn about the controller anyway. If you can’t afford the premium, the mid-tier controllers we reviewed here are great as well.

Finally, choose an All-In-One DJ Controller.

All-in-one DJ controllers can serve both beginner and professional level DJs. Almost all controllers have integrated audio-interfaces these days, and if you come across one that doesn’t, stay away. Also, you may want to choose a controller that will grow with your skill level and one that can connect to other sources such as USBs, vinyl and CDs.

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