DJ controllers are an essential device for any professional or aspiring DJs. Even if you want to pursue it as a hobby, a DJ controller is a must-have. DJ controllers are made of a variety of different components and also run on software. They are often mistaken for DJ mixers, but you will be surprised to learn that the two are actually different devices. In case you are new to the world of DJing and mixing music you may wonder, what is a DJ controller and how it works?
Believe it or not but you will also need one to kickstart your DJ career. A DJ controller may look like a small device, but it is an important one. This is especially true as every DJ needs to learn and master it.
This article will comprehensively cover everything you need to know about DJ controllers, how they function, and the benefits they can bring to your DJ career!
A DJ controller is basically a device that DJs use to mix music. It allows them to control DJ software by essentially functioning as a microprocessor. Music mixing software can be hard to control through traditional computer keyboards and touchpads. These controllers are tailor-made for use on specific DJ software. It makes the lives of DJs easy by eliminating the need for a mouse and keyboard.
DJ controllers work in a rather straightforward manner. You have to attach the device to your laptop or computer using either USB or Bluetooth. Make sure the computer or laptop you are using already has working audio mixing software.
Many DJ controllers come with preloaded audio cards which allow you to send your music output to the controller digitally. The sound cards are used to adjust and manipulate audio levels, essentially operating as an audio mixer.
To sum it up, DJ controllers are a way of using the music mixing software on your laptop/computer and they work in a relatively straightforward manner as illustrated above.
While a DJ controller is an essential device for every DJ, it alone is not enough to sustain audio mixing and editing. To have a complete and reliable DJ setup, you need other components as well!
Here are some essential components you will have to invest in as well:
Besides these essentials, there are also some DJ accessories such as cables, stands, and cases that can help elevate your setup.
Below is a complete guide on cables you can use with your DJ controller setup.
DJ software deserves a section of its own as it can be the defining factor for the quality of your mixing. Even if you use some CDs and vinyl instead of an entirely digital setup, good software is essential for enabling you to use your controller and create mixes.
Using the software, you can mix and edit music by mashing different tracks, experimenting with effects and creating playlists, etc. Many DJ controllers come with pre-installed software that can help you learn and get a hold of the whole music mixing thing. Once you have a hold of it, you can move on to more advanced software.
As we have discussed above as well, DJ controllers are essentially an alternative for the traditional keyboard and mouse. They allow you to control the software on your laptop/computer so you can easily mix and edit music.
DJ controllers have different knobs, wheels, encoders, faders, and other types of buttons that allow you to control the software. Some basic features include play/pause buttons and jog wheels that allow for scratching and adjusting of audio. So long story short, DJ controllers are used to controlling your DJ software and mix music.
You should learn more about the nitty gritty’s of what DJ controllers are used for if you are an aspiring DJ.
In case you are still not sure about the usefulness of a DJ controller, here is a list of the benefits you get from owning one:
People often confuse DJ Controllers and DJ mixers to be the same thing. But as someone who wants to enter the world of DJing, it is imperative that you learn the difference between the two.
A DJ mixer is an audio mixing console you need if you are using CDs and Vinyls. It allows you to transition between music and create different effects and loops.
However, if you own a controller, you do not need a separate mixer as most DJ controllers now have mixers built-in. A mixer would previously require a separate media player so you could use it, and this would create a lot of bulk- making your DJ set up hard to carry around.
Therefore, while a DJ controller fulfills the role of a mixer, it has many more uses as well which makes it quite different from a mixer. A DJ controller also eliminates the need for owning a mixer.
If you have made it this far, you now know what DJ controllers are and how they are used. They enable you to control software and create amazing mixes. They also remove the need for you to own traditional DJing devices that tend to be bulky and not portable. You must also be considering investing in one. You may want to look at some of the best available options but in case you are a beginner you should opt for something that is tailor-made for beginners so you can learn.
Every DJ has different needs. If you discover you are someone who leans towards an entirely digital format you should consider an option that is built for DJs that are purely digital. In case you plan on infusing a mix of digital as well as CD and vinyl in your work, you should consider a more traditional option.
Understanding what is a DJ controller and what is a DJ controller used for are the first essential steps in understanding DJing and building your own setup. Now that you have taken this first step, we wish you luck in learning more about DJing and creating amazing mixes!