DJ gear buyers guide for beginners
DJ gear buyers guide for beginners.
If you need help with what to get for the DJ in your life, or you are thinking of taking it up or getting back in to it, we are here to help you navigate the minefield of equipment out there.
Here we are going to suggest some controllers based on which devices they are going to be used on.
DJ’ing on an iPad / iPhone or Android device:
This has become a hugely popular way for young DJ’s to start up and are ready for the step to using physical controls instead of just a touch screen.
1. Reloop Buddy £199
This compact controller is perfect for beginners with all the essential controls you will find on a full size unit. It features jog wheels, performance pads, mixer controls and audio connections for headphones and speakers.
It is powered by your typical mobile device charger and then connects to your device with a USB cable.
The Buddy works with Algoridims djay app, on an iPhone / iPad and Android devices and has a built in slot to stand your mobile device.
Djay supports locally stored music, Tidal, Beatport Link, Beatsource Link, Soundcloud Go subscription services (Android only supports local, Tidal and Soundcloud)
2. Pioneer DDJ-200 £139
This has been a massive hit since release, a compact controller laid out in a similar way to the typical Pioneer DJ range. It connects to your mobile device via bluetooth and uses the built in headphone socket (or an adaptor) to output the sound to some speakers and headphones.
The DDJ-200 uses the Pioneer WeDJ app (free) and can be used with the paid version of Djay
WeDJ supports locally stored music, Beatport Link and Soundcloud Go subscription services (Android only supports locally stored music)
Another great plus with the DDJ-200 is that if you want to use it with a computer, it unlocks Rekordbox DJ performance mode, the same software included with the top flight controllers.
3. Traktor Kontrol S2 mk3 £249
This works on iPad only and also with a computer. Working with the iPad version of Traktor DJ giving you the full controls and audio connectivity. This also works with the full version of Traktor Pro which is included for use on a Mac or PC.
The Traktor DJ app works with locally stored music and Soundcloud Go.
4. Hercules DJ Control Mix £89
This great little controller connects easily to both Android and iOS devices via bluetooth. It only needs power from a regular USB charger or power bank. It works with djay seamlessly and even lets you use your existing bluetooth speakers or headphones listen with.
If you want to pre-cue tracks, you can use the included splitter cable to have the cued deck through wired headphones and the main mix through wired speakers. It even comes with a handy foldable phone stand.
We think this is perfect for beginners!
DJ’ing on a computer
This is an open ended list as there are so many to chose from, but we’ll cover the basics. There are two main softwares; Rekordbox and Serato DJ. Here are the most popular ones for entry-mid level DJ’s
Our most popular controller by far, with all the essential controls you need laid out in the same way as the infamous Pioneer club systems. Includes the full version of Rekordbox DJ making it the perfect entry point in to the Pioneer DJ eco-system.
Similar to the DDJ-400 with a 2 channel mixer and jog wheels, pads and some cool scratching modes, the DDJ-SB3 works with Serato DJ Lite, giving you essential features and functions and is upgradeable to the pro version.
This great compact controller features some basic controls and even has built in speakers and little light show. Working with Serato DJ Lite, you just need to add tunes and some headphones and off you go.
The Inpulse 500 certainly wins "best in class" with its grwat build quailty, larger format and improved features over the other controllers in this price bracket. Working with the included Serato DJ Lite and equally well if you upgrade to Serato DJ Pro.
Others to consider:
Numark Mixtrack Pro FX | Roland DJ-202 | Numark PartyMix 2
All in one controllers:
These controllers don’t require a computer or mobile device to operate and are standalone with on board controls to browse and load track from a USB stick and some have built in wifi to connect to streaming services.
1. Numark Mixstream Pro £549
This awesome controller really does do everything. Using the built in Engine DJ OS with a 7 inch touchscreen you can load up tracks from a USB drive or connect to streaming services over WiFi like Tidal, Beatport Link, Beatsource link and Soundcloud. It has all the essential controls a DJ needs and even has built in speakers. The Mixstream Pro with a service subscription like Tidal will be all any DJ needs to get going.
2. Denon DJ Prime 2 £1299
A “full size” DJ controller with built in Engine DJ OS giving you WiFi connectivity to streaming services, an internal drive bay to install an SSD with all your music on it, large jog wheels, multi touch screen and 8 performance pads per deck. The 2 channel mixer is loaded with effects as well.
3. Pioneer DJ XDJ-RR £1029
The XDJ-RR is a great entry level standalone unit which will play USB stored tracks that have been prepared in Rekordbox (free software for a computer).
With a central display, compact mixer section and decks that resemble the typical Pioneer club style layout. The XDJ-RR is a great way to have a complete DJ system in one easy to use console.