As mixing old songs evolved into a stand-alone profession of its own, the art of disc jockeying also saw a massive shift in the way DJs create music. These days DJs do much more than play at the local bar or social event; armed with the right equipment and an undying love for their music, serious DJs swoon large crowds of thousands of music lovers with élan.
However, every successful DJ started out small and struggled their way to the top, often managing with the most modest equipment. Indeed, keeping your expenses low when you’re just starting out makes sense as you don’t want to be stuck with costly DJ gear you don’t really know that well.
Therefore, if you’re just venturing into the awe-inspiring world of disc jockeying, you want to invest in an affordable DJ setup that suits your music-making style as well as your budget.
Should You Buy An All-In-One DJ Controller?
DJing has come a long way and so have the instruments and equipment modern DJs use to churn out exceptional music for their audiences. We have DJ controllers and compact disc jockeys (CDJs) that lend the art of music mixing a much-needed technological edge. These mean devices come equipped with a host of great features that allow manipulation of sound like never before.
If you’re just entering the world of DJing, you might find very few new DJs using analog turntables or vinyl decks—the old-school gear that’s still a favorite with some. Most DJs, however, have moved on to laptops and DJ controllers, which offer convenience, portability and exclusive software custom-created for the job.
The greatest reason behind the popularity of DJ controllers is that they combine the old-world analog setup with computerized mixing. The DJ mixes the music using an array of decks and knobs (the analog way) and manipulates the sound even further on the computer (the digital way). This allows seasoned DJs to retain the old style of touch-and-feel mixing and yet exploit the latest technology to create superlative sound effects.
To sum up, a low- to mid-range DJ controller that can be hooked to your laptop or touchscreen device is good for starters. But before you pay up, take time and do your research on the best budget DJ controllers that won’t burn a hole in your pocket and yet have many features found only in high-end models.
How To Choose Your DJ Controller:
Here are the must-have features you’ll find in most mid-segment models:
- Ready to plug and play
- In-built audio output
- Integrated latest DJ software
- Two scratch wheels
- In-built headphone output
- Dual crossfaders
- Multiple effects and filters
- Three-band equalizer
- USB interface
- Good battery life
Optional features include an in-built sound card, compatibility with online music platforms and apps, attached USB cable and backlit controls that aid playing in the dark.
Bonus tip: Avoid going too cheap or you’ll end up with a DJ controller that will either fail at making great music or will give out sooner than you expected.