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5 Best DJ Headphones Reviews & Buying Guideline 2022

What headphones do DJs use? How to choose a pair of DJ headphones?

DJs are often pictured out with headphones on and turntables because these items are essentials when DJing.

Headphones, in particular, are not just accessories. While it’s true that you can perform without it, for me, it’s something that you shouldn’t forgo. They are a must!

Yes, one can play without a headphone, but mind you, it’s either the DJ has to put his ear next to the needles and listen to the hi-hats to beat match, watch the waveforms on the screen and beat match manually, or he is not mixing at all just playing a prerecorded set.

If you are new in the DJing world and you need a complete guideline in choosing the best one then you are on the right page. In this article, I will discuss why headphones are essentials, why you should not perform without it, and how to choose the best DJ headphones in the market.

Best DJ HeadphonesPrice CheckEarcup StyleFrequency ResponseImpedance (Ohms)Weight (g)Features
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Click Here To BuyClosed Back15Hz-28KHz38 Ω283gGreat build, high quality. Excellent sound. Long cords. Offers noise cancelation. Detachable cables.
Sennheiser HD 25
Click Here To BuyClosed Back16Hz – 22KHz70 Ω140gVersatile. Lightweight. Small and portable. Decent isolation quality. Solid build quality. Replaceable parts.
V Moda Crossfade Wireless
Click Here To BuyOpen back5Hz - 30KHz30 Ω292Powerful bass. Great soundstage and battery quality. Excellent Bluetooth.
Pioneer HDJ01500Click Here To BuyClosed Back5Hz - 30 KHz32 Ω285gImpressive sound quality. Lightweight and comfortable. Removable and replaceable cable. Collapsible design. Has memory foam.
Tascam TH-02Click Here To BuyClosed Back18Hz – 22KHz32 Ω425gVery affordable. Great audio quality. Lightweight and portable.

What Are DJ Headphones

DJ headphones are specifically designed for a purpose – DJing!

They are created with the highest sound quality, and highest noise cancellation quality. Moreover, they are more durable than the usual headphones.

DJs need a higher level of noise isolation than what on-ear or in-ear headphones offer. The headphones for DJ offer better audio and sound quality because they have bigger drivers.

Most importantly, DJs headphones have the ability to play different tracks in different ear cups to help DJs cue up music. They play the current track in one ear and the next track in the other.

Moreover, they are extra flexible because you can swivel them. They are designed that way because DJs often use one ear cup only.

Considering the qualities mentioned above, expect DJ headphones to be at the higher end of the price spectrum because they are specifically constructed for professionals, in particular, music production and mixing, which make them perfect for DJs.

They are often more expensive than audio headphones, and yes, you can use them to enjoy music or for gaming. However, using them for normal use or gaming is impractical.


Why Do DJs Wear Headphones?

We often picture out DJs with headphones and they look cool.

However, many still wonder if headphones are essential when DJing or if they are just plain accessory.

Do DJs need it or they just want it to look cool?

DJs can actually perform without headphones, but I tell you, it’s very difficult and as a DJ, I won’t do it. Here are some reasons why a good pair of headphones are a need and not just a want.

1. Cueing

Headphones are particularly useful for cuing. DJs do not need to hear the sounds of the crowd because what’s more important for them is to listen to the next track into the mix.

DJs will incorporate the tracks into their mix as smoothly as possible. The DJs will increase the volume of the next track so that both tracks play at the same time and crossfade the two so that the transition seems smooth. The process is called cuing and it’s the main reason DJs need headphones.

DJs use headphones to cue their next song on the desk before they bring it into the mix. They listen to only one cup because they beat match the next song to the one playing on the speakers.

A typical DJ mixer has a cue button for each channel that lights up when pressed. When it is active, it will send the audio from the channel to the headphones even if the channel line fader is completely down. In that way, the DJ can still hear the music, but the audience can’t.

DJ mixers also come with headphone controls, including split cue function, a mixing knob, and a level knob.

? Split cue function. When this is set to mono split, the mixer will send the cue signal in mono to the left ear cup of the headphone and the master (actual sound heard by the audience) signal to the right. In this way, DJs can match up to the upcoming track tot he playing track in the headphones.

? Mixing knob. When the split cue function is set to stereo, the knob will determine the amount of cue (sound coming into the channels) that have the cue button activated versus the master signal heard in the headphones. If DJs are using an external monitor to mix, the knob will be all the way to the left, set to CUE.

? Level. It refers to the volume of sound you heard in your headphones.

2. Headphones

DJ headphones are more powerful and yes, they are special.

You can fold the left or the right ear to have one ear covered by an earcup and one ear free to listen to the master sound (what’s playing through the monitors).

They can also be used to hear the cue sound.

Although they offer so much more than a regular headphone, they can be used to for listening, but for both

3. Monitors

In a typical DJ setup, you will see big speakers which are critical in big venues or stadiums because the actual speakers can be far from the DJ.

In order to properly mix the incoming track with the one currently playing, the DJ needs to hear the playing track with the least possible delay using stage monitors and headphones can do the same job.

4. Other reasons

The stage volume can get dangerously loud. A good pair with a quality noise cancelation feature can block out the ambient noise coming in from the crowd. When one performs It’s also useful to block out the bass coming in from the music played from the speakers.


Why Do DJs Hold Their Headphones?

If you notice, most DJs are often photographed holding their headphones to one side. So, why do DJs do this?

As mentioned above, headphones are used for mixing and cuing up music.

They put one side of the headphones against their ear to listen to the next track that they are about to mix.

One side of the headphones plays the incoming music for DJs to beat match, but the crowd does not hear it.

By holding only one side of the headphones next to their ears, DJs can listen to both the music played out of the speaker and the next track on their set. In this way, cuing up and mixing music become easier for them.

DJs will match the beat of the songs playing and coming up on the playlist. This makes the headphone volume knob on the mixer very helpful because it helps DJs listen to the upcoming track when they wish to by simply adjusting the volume.


Do DJs Use Wireless Headphones?

The idea of DJs using wireless headphones has received mixed reactions from various from DJ community. My opinion here might not be the same as what you hear from others.

If you are wondering if DJs can use wireless headphones, the answer is “yes.”

It’s actually cool to mix and DJ using wireless headphones because it gives you more freedom to move as the headphone is not connected to the mixer or the laptop.

Do I recommend it? There are fabulous wireless headphones on the market but they are pretty expensive. Even if you can afford it, I still suggest that you get the one with a direct wire connection.

Why do I prefer wired headphones? Wireless headphones usually connect via Bluetooth. Some models connect via Wi-Fi as well. However, wireless headphones have high latency compare to their wired counterpart by about several hundred milliseconds. The duration is enough to create a lag between the headphones and monitors.

When there is lag, it will be more difficult to match the beat, queue the next track, and mix. Actually, it doesn’t just make mixing extra challenging, it makes the job almost impossible to do especially for beginner DJs who have trouble beatmatching and mixing in the first place.

Remember this, high lag is equal to impossible mixing and most wireless headphones have high lag. So, in most cases, wireless headphones are not really great for DJing.

But if you have the extra money and you want a more comfortable and convenient DJing experience, go ahead and invest in a really good wireless Bluetooth headphone.


Are Noise Cancelling Headphones Good For DJing?

Noise-canceling headphones are very helpful because they reduce the noise from the outside world.

They are perfect in a DJ both because it lets DJs monitor music at a much lower volume and protect one’s hearing too.

However, they also come with some disadvantages. For instance, active noise-cancelling headphones use battery power.

Some models just cut the sound completely when the battery dies which is not a risk worth taking for a gig.

Also, microphones in noise canceling headphones would not withstand the volume in a loud environment especially bass that’s why some don’t find them suitable for DJing.


How To Choose The Best Headset?

You have to consider a lot of things to choose the best DJ headphone for your set.

There are tons of headphones available on the market and choosing the best one can be confusing.

So, I created this guideline to help you choose what suits you best.

For newbies, before buying your first headphone, I urge you to see the checklist below.

Sound Quality

Each headphone offers different sound quality and this is among the first things that you should identify. What do you want to achieve?

Do you want loud and thumping bass music or do you want that feeling of watching an opera? Another thing that might affect your choice of headset is your musical preference. You should get a headphone that can deliver the full range of notes and tonality.

Among the items that you should consider for these categories are the driver diameter, maximum input, sensitivity, frequency range, and its design.

Noise isolation

It is vital for a headphone to have a noise isolation feature. When DJing, you will realize that it can be noisy, so a headphone with good noise isolation will give you a better experience. It will block out the sound coming from the club speakers or booth monitors.

When you are working with a quieter headphone, you will appreciate how it can make you perform better and make the whole experience more enjoyable.

Comfort

You will be performing for an hour or more, so you better make sure that you are getting one that you can wear comfortably for the whole duration of your setup.

Remember, you may perform for a couple of hours, so it is important that your headphone is comfortable.

One of the things you have to look out is the earpad and headband design.

Padded earpads are more comfortable to wear, but make sure that it encompasses your ears. Also, the headband design should be easy to adjust while it maintains enough side pressure to keep a single ear cup secure when you are monitoring the cue and room mixes.

Also, if you wear your headphone around your neck, the headband should allow you to do so without chafing.

Durability

DJs usually twist and forcefully form fit their headphones, so get one that is durable enough to survive the abuse at least for a year or two. Of course, you do not want to perform and suddenly have your headset snap in the middle of your set.

So, when you buy a headphone, take the time to check the joints and hinges. Also, check the quality of the materials used.

Portability and Weight

Again DJ headphones are essential and once you start DJing, you are more likely to perform in different venues and locations. Thus, it is important than your headphone is lightweight as possible and portable, too.

Top-rate DJ headphones that excel in this department are made of aluminum, magnesium and titanium. So if you want a portable headphone, consider these headphones designed with any of those materials.


Best DJ Headphones

There are a lot of great headphones in the market and choosing the best can be confusing and challenging. I’m here to help you, so I listed the top brands that really stood out for me considering their build, quality, performance, and price. Here are my top 5 favorites.

1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The Audi Technica is very popular among DJs because it is a good value for money. It is lightweight and portable, but sturdy and durable at the same time. It is not prone to breakage because of its sturdy built. So, you can bring it along wherever your gig is without worrying too much if it will break or snap because it will not.

When it comes to comfort, you will love this too. It is very comfortable to the ears because it has properly contoured ear pads and 90-degree swiveling ear cups. It looks stylish too thanks to its black rubberized PVC exterior finish and velvety lining.

Aside from its impressive and beautiful built, it comes with 45 mm large-aperture drivers with rare earth magnets connected and powered by copper-covered aluminum wire voice coils to give you clear, crisp, and flat responses.

Audio Technica ATH-M50X is also equipped with a 15 Hz and 28 kHz frequency response which are more than what you need for an average mix. Aside from the aforementioned, it delivers a lively and vivid sound with added weight to the bass and detachable cable system.

Considering its sound quality, noise isolation capability, and price tag, Audio Technica ATH-M50X is the best starter DJ headphones for beginners.

Pros
  • Tuned for EDM
  • Best value for money
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Do not require batteries
  • Noise cancelation feature
  • Detachable headphone cables
  • Good for monitoring and gaming
  • Lightweight, comfortable and portable
  • More balanced Mids for better sound separation
Cons
  • Proprietary audio cable
  • Narrow soundstage (for some users)
  • Headphone’s jack has locking mechanism
  • Build quality is good but not comparable to premium headphones

2. Sennheiser HD 25

Sennheiser HD series are very popular because of their quality and performance. Sennheiser HD 25 is a pair of an on-ear set of DJ headphones with a clean and simple design.

If you are a minimalist you will love its design because it is so simple even its split headband design is straightforward. It is the definition of the no-frills approach to design.

But others might find it boring because it’s too simple. It is all black with no accent colors and rounded earcups. You can’t personalize it, but it is very functional and it is tough.

Yes, it excels in the durability department. At first glance, it appears lightweight and breakable. But I tell you, looks are deceiving. You can throw this around without fear of breaking it. I’m not saying that you don’t look after the headphone but you need not treat it like a breakable glassware.

When it comes to comfort, you won’t be disappointed. I love its headband because it was very comfortable. I can adjust the two headbands to find the sweet spot easily. It also includes a good amount of padding for comfort and enough clamping force to stick in your head even when you are bopping away.

In fact, when I slid one ear cup it felt smooth and natural. The headphones were on a great place, it didn’t feel like it would slip off my head.

As for the sound quality, it’s impressive. It has amazing passive isolation. It is very clear and detailed with more emphasis on bass, clear and neutral Mid, and clear High without sounding bright.

Overall, Sennheiser HD 25 is a ready good pair of headphones. It’s not very cheap, but it is built to last, so yes, it’s worth it.

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Decent isolation
  • Solid build quality
  • Small and portable
  • Smooth mid-range
  • Replaceable parts
  • Clear and pure sound
Cons
  • Small soundstage
  • Bass not too deep
  • Not comfortable at first use
  • Expensive replacement parts
  • Neutral sound is not for everyone

3. V Moda Crossfade Wireless

V Moda is a popular brand when it comes to headphones. I’m including V Moda Crossfade Wireless on my list to let you know that yes, there are good wireless DJ headphones out there, too. V Moda Crossfade has a good sound quality, impressive Bluetooth performance, long battery life and satisfying durability.

Its design is customizable, you can choose from four different color options, design the shields that cover the ear cups and provide a design or structure that will be laser etched or 3D printed on the headphone. V Moda really impressed me on this part happy because the personalization experience is something not every brand offers to you.

As for the build, V Moda Crossfade uses lots of metal, so I cannot say that it is light. However, it has well-designed headbands and ear pads that do not feel heavy at all. In fact, it sits comfortably on the head.

And as I mentioned, it is customizable, you can even adjust the ear pads to cover your ears comfortably. V Moda is the brand to go if you want to use a customized pair of headphones

Also, this is both wired and wireless. When you use the wire it switches into “passive mode” and you won’t need batteries. When use as wireless it works via Bluetooth and I’m very impressed because it’s Bluetooth is very reliable.

As for the sound, it has impressive soundstage, punch and tight bass, clear and detailed highs, and open sounding mids. It sounds better than the previous models.

I’m super happy with V Moda so, I highly recommend it.

Pros
  • Powerful bass
  • Good battery life
  • Great soundstage
  • Excellent Bluetooth
  • Military spec durability
  • Balance and complete sound signature
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Slight treble roll in wireless
  • Uncomfortable when wearing glasses

4. Pioneer HDJ 01500

Pioneer HDJ-1500 is a great headphone from the first time I look at it, I know, it is great for DJs because it is lightweight, has solid built and evolutionary. By just looking and feeling it, I know it is durable and functional. I have confidence in it even before I use it.

When I put it on, I was satisfied because it was a good fit for me. And it is easy to adjust, the earcups aren’t too tight and can be twisted 90-degree forward and 180-degree up and down giving you more freedom to work around for single-ear monitoring.

The earpieces and headband are made of urethane padding with memory foam inside which offers extra comfort during short and long performances. It also feels comfortable when you dangle it around your neck. So, it’s a yes, in terms of comfort.

As for durability, the design looked sturdy. The headband is flexible, the cable is detachable and replaceable, and the hangers that hold the actual earcup is made of tough and durable magnesium alloy to deliver a durable product while saving on weight.

Meanwhile, the sound quality is fantastic. It has deep and vibrant bass while delivering crisp highs and accurate mids.

Another thing I love about it is its closed back and collapsible design. It is designed to be foldable and collapsible for convenient storage. It also comes with a lot of features, so yes, this is something to beat. I really love it.

Pros
  • Closed back design
  • Impressive sound quality
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Removable and replaceable cable
  • Memory foam pads
  • Foldable and collapsible design for easy storage
Cons
  • Plastic hinge design

5. Tascam TH-02

The Tascam headphone brand really surprised me because it is very affordable compared to most headphones. But don’t be fooled because it offers all the basic features and more.

So, yes, this is pocket-friendly making it the best choice for beginners or those who want a good headphone without spending too much.

Its frequency response is between 18Hz and 22 kHz which covers the entire spectrum. It has a decent sound handling too at 98 dB. But it has a low impedance.

In terms of build and design, it includes cushioning for ear cups and headbands. I wouldn’t say it’s very comfortable but it is good enough for the price. I managed to use it for a couple of hours without discomfort except for the first few minutes or hours the first time I used it.

When it comes to sound quality, I must say I’m very impressed. In the first place, I didn’t expect so much from it because it is very cheap but when it comes to this department, it is very competitive.

It offers a crisp and clear sound regardless of the genre of music. Don’t expect it to perform like the high-end headphones, but they offer tough competition.

I included this on my list because I am very impressed with its quality, performance and price. So, I highly recommend this pair to beginners who are on a tight budget.

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Great audio quality
  • Flat frequency response
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Great as studio headphones
  • Has folding and rotating ear cups
  • Works well for recording vocals and monitoring
Cons
  • Don’t feel durable enough
  • The ear pads felt uncomfortable in the first hour

Conclusion

DJ headphones are very useful when performing your set. While it’s possible to cue and mix without a headphone, I highly recommend all beginners to get a pair of quality headsets.

If you are learning, headphones will help you learn faster and perform better especially if you are still developing your beatmatching and mixing skills.

When it comes to choosing the best headset for you, I suggest that you select one that fits your budget without compromising the quality, durability, and performance.

Also, make sure that it is comfortable because you will be using it for hours and as I said, it is very useful. You can’t just dish it in the middle of your performance because it is too tight in your head or too loose. So, make sure to get one that could match your performance.

If you wish to learn more about DJing, I suggest that you check our homepage.

Related:

Best DJ Mixer Software, Best DJ Controllers, Learn Scratching for Beginners

References

• digitaldjtips.com/2017/06/5-things-to-look-for-in-dj-headphones/
• musiciansfriend.com/thehub/how-to-choose-the-best-dj-headphones
• musiccritic.com/equipment/headphones/best-dj-headphones/
• digitaldjtips.com/2010/07/how-to-choose-a-pair-of-dj-headphones/
• stylistheadphones.com/ways-to-choose-the-best-dj-headphones/
• headphonesaholic.com/best-dj-headphones/
• rtings.com/headphones/reviews/best/dj
• djtechzone.com/djs-use-headphones-mixing-explained/
• headphonesproreview.com/are-dj-headphones-good-normal-use/
• headphonesproreview.com/why-djs-hold-headphones-one-side/#:~:text=So%2C%20DJs%20often%20put%20one,the%20music%20which%20is%20incoming.
• djmusicgeek.com/why-djs-use-headphones/

Learn Scratching: Beginners Guide To Learn How to Scratch

Do you want to learn how to scratch? Do you have time to practice and do scratches regularly?

Scratching is not an easy task. In fact, not all DJs do and many don’t bother to learn because this skill takes thousands of hours to master.

Honestly, It took me over 2 years of practicing to be confident enough to incorporate scratching in my performances. Yes, it isn’t easy, so don’t be discouraged if you are still learning how to scratch and you are finding it hard.

For newbies who are interested in learning this skill, continue reading to learn how I did it! But, again, be reminded that performing a scratch isn’t easy and it may take thousands of hours to learn the craft perfectly.

How Do DJs Learn To Scratch?

Before you start, it’s important to equip yourself with the right materials to get started.

So, here are some things that you need to do to get started.

Get the right gear and set-up

It is very important that you get the right equipment.

Getting the right DJ gear is important to ensure that it is capable of allowing you to scratch.

Once you’ve got the right equipment, you need to get a basic, beginner DJ set-up for you to practice. So, make sure to get a pair of direct-drive turntables, a mixer and a collection of vinyl records to practice sampling and scratching.

Digital controller and CDJs (CD turntables ) also work. They are increasingly more popular and offer features that enable them to be used to scratch, create beat loops, play tracks in reverse at fast or slow rates, and more functions that make them great for turntablism.

If you don’t own a gear, buying your first can be intimidating. If your budget is tight, you can start with a single turntable. Always remember to don’t break the bank.

For starters, get a mixer with curve adjustments on the crossfader. This will allow you to switch back and forth between the turntables more easily. Remember, a good scratch mixer includes a crossfader that does not have to be exactly in the middle before the sound is crossed over into the new channel.

Make sure to use anti-static slipmats because these are essentials when scratching. They are helpful in stopping the record from moving without stopping the whole platter from moving when you are scratching. You can also use “magic carpet” to reduce friction or “butter rugs” as your permanent slipmats.

Learn the basics

If you’ve been itching to start scratching, there are some basic skills that you need to learn.

Before you get your gear or do the other staff, I want to orient you with the different types of scratches.

There are actually too many types of scratches including basic scratch, scribble, tear, stab, repeat, chirp transformer, flare, orbit, tweak, loop, strobe, crab, hamster style, hydro plane, click flare and more.

For beginner DJs, you don’t have to learn everything. But it’s a must to learn the basic scratch a.k.a the baby scratch.

I’ll discuss the baby scratch in details in the another section.

Nail the technique

Choose a sample or sound on your record that you can practice scratching on.

Listen closely to records and stop when you hear something you might like to use.

Go back and find the exact moment the sound begins.

Once you find it, mark the groove. DJs used to place stickers on the vinyl, but you can also mark the groove.

Stop the record with your finger.

I’ll discuss this in detail in the next section.

How Do You Practice Scratching?

I know that you are itching to start scratching and this section will surely make you happy because I’ll be sharing with you a step by step guide to teach you how to scratch.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Select a track to practice

Select a track and listen to it. Familiarize the sound and every detail of it before your proceed to practicing it.

Observe the characteristic of the track when only the drum remains and the other instruments are dropped. All these details will help you scratch more professionally.

After analyzing the music sound, you will automatically be able to start scratching. Listen carefully to the track until you find something that you can use. Go back and analyze the track to find the exact time that sound comes out.
So, the first step is to interpret the track!

Mark the groove

Once you find the sound, mark the groove. There are several ways to mark the groove, so this depends on your personal preference.

The traditional way is to place an essay sticker directly on record to mark the groove. However, modern DJs no longer do this because they considered it an outdated technique.

Use your fingertips to stop the record

Once the sound you want to use ends, start to bring the record backward slowly at almost the same speed as it was played forward.

Listen carefully and notice the effects of the action you’ve just performed.

It will sound like you tapped reverse on your turntables.

Find similar usable sounds repeat the process and practice. But remember that there are two crucial keys to scratching in this step.

First, focus on the start and endpoint of the sound.

Second, once the sound ends, you will have to bring the record backward to the start point of the sound at almost a similar speed as the sound/track was played.

Put another song

If you want to be a pro scratcher, you need to learn to pair all your samples and track manipulations that you have done with the beat.

Start by finding a beat on which you can build your music. Analyze tracks thoroughly to find the breakbeats that you like and use them, accordingly. R&B, Hip Hop samples and classic souls can be an excellent source for you to find the breakbeats.

Learn baby scratch

Baby scratch is the backward and forward motion on a jog wheel.

It’s the first scratching method you should learn because it’s the foundation for many advanced scratching techniques and the easiest to learn.

How to do this?

? Simply place your index and middle finger on the record/jog wheel.

You can decide where on the wheel to place your fingers. You can also place your fingers close to the inner circle of the wheels to use smaller movements to create the sound. Choose your preference.

Make a forward and backward motion on the record/jog wheel.

That’s it! You just did your first baby scratch. To master it, you can practice with different finger placement, speed and range of movement. So, explore and find your sweet spot because this is the foundation of the other scratches.


How Long Does It Take To Learn To Scratch?

How long should you practice scratching? I could not give a fixed number of hours for this question because it’s a bit tricky as each of us has a different learning phase.

In general, scratching is not easy and as I said, it may take thousands of hours to master the skill. For instance, when I start DJing, I didn’t bother learning this because most I know also do not know how to scratch.

But when I witness an old friend’s performance and he scratched like a pro I was impressed. It’s not a huge surprise though as he has been into DJing since high school.

But watching him perform that night awakened my interest in scratching. That’s when I started to learn how to scratch
At about the same time, another friend also joined my journey into scratching. So, yes we learn scratching together.

However, we didn’t dedicate the same amount of time because I was also very busy at the time.

He practiced 4 hours a day. I could only do 1 to 2 hours because I was also finishing college. There were even days or weeks when I can’t practice because my attention was divided between school and learning scratching.

After a year, his scratching skills were so much better than mine. I wasn’t surprised because as I said, I gave more time into practicing.

But you should also take note that aside from the technique, your mindset when you practice matters. The quality of your practice is just as important as the number of hours you spent.

When you practice, you should practice deliberately and you’ll be surprised at how much it can improve your learning. By deliberate practice, you’ve got to practice mindfully.

I continue practicing scratching but after the first year I learned about deliberate practice and mind you, it was life-changing. I still practice 1 -2 hours but every practice has become more productive.

“Practice with your fingers and you need all day. Practice with your mind and you will do as much in 1 1/2 hours,” Leopold Auer said.


How Do You Make A Crossfader For Scratching?

Many believed that you need turntables to scratch, but you might be surprised with this – the majority of scratching is actually done with crossfader!

Crossfaders work well for scratching because it has two channels and it’s generally looser, meaning it needs minimal effort to scratch. However, I know that only a few thought of setting up their crossfader like a scratch

When you use crossfader, you have to adjust the crossfader curve setting, which is built into most DJ software and hardware that create nice cutting wounds when scratching.

When its set to slow, it is ideal for mixing. But if you want to use the crossfader for scratching, then set the crossfader curve to fast. Once the crossfader leaves one edge, you will hear the opposite track at its full volume than track gain in volume as it travels from left to right or vice versa.

Setting up the crossfader correctly will help you big time in learning how to scratch. Make sure to check the settings and alter them to a fast or picnic bench position.

Also, use a scratch sample and practice cutting your crossfader in and out.

For Rekordbox users, the crossfader curve settings can be found in the preferences under the DJ controller header under the mixer tab. Make sure it’s set to the picnic bench position.

If you are using Pioneer DJ, look for the crossfader curve options. It’s usually a switch. When you do this, make sure that have more than 2 channels.


What Is Scratching

Scratching refers to DJ and turntablist technique of moving a vinyl record back and forth to produce percussive or rhythmic sounds. A

DJ mixer’s crossfader is used to fade between two records simultaneously. Scratching is also referred to as scrubbing.

If you are an aspiring DJ, you have to learn the art of scratching. Not every DJ is a pro when it comes to scratching because it’s hard. But it’s also satisfying and not to mention, a lot of fun!

Also, if the transition from one track to another doesn’t work, you can use scratch techniques and create a “train wrecked” transition that sounds like you intended it that way. When you know how to scratch, you are in control of your controller!

Tips To Learn How To Scratch Like A Pro

Improve your scratching skills by taking these tips to scratch wholeheartedly.

These help me learn various scratches with ease and I must say, these are very effective and helpful, so don’t be afraid to try them.

Research and listen

You can always start by researching on how your favorite DJ develops beats, and add elements and texture to a track from various sources. You can also look for scratch samples online on Google or Youtube.

If you have the time and budget, you can check for online courses. I recommend School of Scratch, their courses are really good and effective.

Also, the School of Scratch connects you to more DJs worldwide. So, yes, it is more than just a training ground because it also provides you a happy community. Sign up is easy because it will only ask for your email address.

Learn beatmatching

Just like scratching, not everyone is a pro in beatmatching because of the Sync function. However, the classic DJs would agree that developing the beatmatching skill is a must in this craft.

If you are good with beatmatching, you won’t have trouble pairing two tracks for your DJ mix. You need a good ear for beatmatching and once you do, you will not have a problem matching the beat with the music you are building to produce a quality sound.

Experiment with sounds

To be a pro you’ve got to be confident in your own skills. Push your limit by experimenting with sound until you find the best technique for you. Try different tracks and texture. You can also experiment with different speeds and tempo.


Conclusion

For those who want to learn how to scratch, be kind to yourself.

Remember, it’s not easy to scratch and it will take a lot of scratches to master the craft.

There are various scratches to practice on and it usually takes thousands of hours to perfect this skill.

You’ve got to keep practicing and incorporate and experiment with a better scratch combo for your scratch routines. Also, whenever you practice, you should practice deliberately.

Practice with your scratch records with your mind and heart not just with your fingers to make the most of every hour you practice.

And again, for beginners, get the right DJ equipment and scratch from your heart to effectively improve your scratches. Also, if you want to take a course to scratch or to learn scratches formally, check out the School of Scratch because that’s their expertise.

If you wish to learn more about DJing, feel free to check our homepage.

Related:

Best DJ Headphones Reviews, What is Club DJ Pro, Club DJ Pro Features

References

  • musicradar.com/news/jazzy-jeffs-6-top-tips-for-djs
  • djingpro.com/learn-how-to-scratch/
  • scratchgeek.com/scratching-101-introduction-to-scratching-and-basic-scratch-tutorials/
  • djingguide.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-learn-how-to-scratch/
  • digitaldjtips.com/2011/03/learn-to-scratch-with-dj-controllers/
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scratching#:~:text=Scratching%2C%20sometimes%20referred%20to%20as,fade%20between%20two%20records%20simultaneously.
  • digitaldjtips.com/2018/07/5-reasons-why-every-dj-should-learn-to-scratch/
  • studioscratches.com/the-scratch-djs-guide-to-deliberate-practice/
  • wearecrossfader.co.uk/blog/scratching-crossfader-curve/
  • metro.co.uk/2020/07/29/brad-pitt-jennifer-anistons-1million-wedding-20th-anniversary-13055448/

How To Be A DJ For Beginners: Ultimate Guide To DJing

Do you want to know what DJs do? Are you ready to take the challenges that every DJ does?

DJing looks fun and it is. However, it’s not an easy job if you want to be one.

For aspiring DJs who are complete beginners and do not know how to start pursuing their dream job, this article is for you.

When I was a newbie, I was very excited when I finally decided to pursue my dream job. Of course, I thought I had it all figured out, but I was a complete beginner and only realized at that very point that there were too many things that I still needed to learn.

Yes, I dedicated weeks to months of reading before I decided what mixer or DJ controller to get. And how I will proceed to further my DJing skills. It was overwhelming, so I write this beginner guide to help you get started!

What Does a DJ Do?

For beginners, there are still a lot of things that you need to know. For instance, what do DJs do?

It’s given that DJs mix music and use turntables or CD players, but they actually do more than that.

To give you an overview, there are many types of DJ, there’s a turntable master, club DJ, radio DJ and mobile DJ.

You can specialize in one, but a good DJ needs to be versatile, so you should learn to work oon a number of these disciplines.

Just put it this way, a versatile basketball player who can shoot, play defense, rebound and do more will always be more beneficial to a team and he can easily find a new team because most, if not all, want him to be with them. If you know various DJing techniques, you are more likely to find gigs.

DJs mix different types of music. But aside from mixing, you are expected to also work with production software.

You need to be proficient with mixing and production software. You need to learn those tools, explore what they offer, and get comfortable with working with them because they will help you get accustomed to breaking down the music and mixing songs.

If you want to be an old school DJ, you do not need software, but you have to be pro in scratching the old vinyl. It is a highly respected form of art and very fun.

But mind you, it is very difficult to master. In fact, you need pure talent and skill to be a pure scratch DJ. Also, it can be expensive in both time and money because there are only very few vinyl stores.


Is It Easy To Learn To DJ?

The answer to this question may depend on your dedication and reason what drives you to become a DJ. People have different reasons why they want to become one.

Some do it because they want to be popular. When I started to make a name for DJing in our area, I noticed that a number came forward to me to ask the same question, “how can I become a famous DJ?”

I know what you have in mind, you’re probably imagining the superstar DJs you see on TV. However, I tell you, it will take time before you reach that point, so it’s best if you do it because you love and enjoy it.

I also knew a few who consider themselves a bedroom DJ. They do it because it gives them joy. They don’t perform in bars or look for gigs elsewhere because they are satisfied showing off their skills to the people very close to them.

However, most of those I know want to become a DJ because they find it fun and they want to earn money too. DJing is a good source of income especially if you are already skilled and have a good reputation in this niche.

It would be helpful for you if you determine the reason why you want to join the world of DJing. From there, you could gauge yourself if this hobby is or you or not.

Personally, I would say, some skills are easier to learn if you have a natural interest in doing it or if you already have an innate talent for it. However, other DJing technique takes time to master like scratching.

I must say, DJing is fun to watch and very enjoyable. However, it’s really not easy to learn especially if you want to progress your skills over time. You must be really into it to excel. After all, if you love what you do, no job is too difficult to learn.


How To Prepare Your DJ Equipment

Choosing what equipment to buy is among the challenging things for beginners. DJ equipment and DJ gear are expensive and if your budget is tight, you can’t afford to get it wrong.

For new DJs, I created this section to help you find the best set up possible and decide what gear to buy, so you can start DJing without breaking the bank.

For starters, again, DJing requires you to do a lot of things other than just playing songs. Thus, you have to learn to structure a set, mix on the fly and get the crowd grooving with what’s on your deck.

To do this, you have to equip yourself with the basic equipment. There are two types of set-ups when it comes to your DJ equipment – digital and analog.

You can either use the direct-drive turntables and play vinyl records or use straight-digital set-ups. Both allow you to mix and offer certain advantages that the other doesn’t.

Digital Set-ups

Digital DJing is for you if you wish to be a digital DJ. It is easier than the traditional way of getting the job done. Digital set-ups are for those who are always on the go because they are portable and the learning curve is smaller.

For instance, beatmatching and phrasing are easier to learn because it has a BMP counter and a software system like sync button.

If you decide to go this route, you need these five equipments in your basic beginner DJ setup to start mixing right away.

Computer

You need a computer for DJing when going digital because DJ software is a requirement for mobile DJs and you need a computer for it.

A DJ mixer software is the “brain” of your digital setup.

Make sure to get a powerful computer because most DJ software has a system requirement to run it smoothly.

There’s an ongoing debate between Mac or PC for this, but if you dedicate your computer to your DJ software, both work fine. If you plan to add video mixing capabilities, I suggest that you purchase a

Windows machine with the required high-end video card.

Tip: Purchase a laptop within your budget that meets the recommended requirements set by the DJ software.

Controller

Others might disagree with the inclusion of DJ controllers as this is really not a requirement, but I don’t DJ without it.

DJ controllers give you an easier and more convenient way to control the DJ software because it eliminates the need to use the mouse.

The most popular DJ controllers in the market are from Pioneer DJ and Denon DJ but they have entry-level solutions.

For newbies, check out the DJ controllers for beginners like Numark, American DJ or Hercules because the are the basic DJ controllers.

Tip: While I don’t recommend a professional controller, I suggest that you choose a not so entry level controller, so you still have enough room to grow.

Headphones

I find headphones a very important item for a DJ set-up because it allows you to cue-up or pre-listen to tracks using the DJ controller.

You can find tons of DJ headphones on the market in different colors and styles.

When buying, always remember to buy one that meets your DJ equipment and consider the frequency range.

Tip: Get a DJ headphone with a high frequency range that ensures the bass cuts through the mix because this is very helpful in a noisy club or when you are at a loud event.

Speakers

Speakers are important because it brings your music to your listeners.

Any speaker will work for your DJ equipment, so you can use your home theatre system or computer speakers for practice.

However, those speakers don’t give you the same quality of sound as the larger mobile DJ speaker system.

Get basic self-powered speakers setup because they are perfectly tuned and optimized for easy set-up.

They are the best to get for beginners especially if you travel a lot to perform or if you want to show off your skills to parties and gatherings.

Cables

Basic digital equipment will always need cables and the most commonly used is RCA because DJ controllers and DJ sound cards offer RCA connections.

RCA cables are the primary pick because they include audio I/O options such as 1/4 and provides better sound quality.

The DJ hardware for RCA connections uses two different levels – a phone and a line. Many mixers have inputs that are switchable between phone and line or separate inputs for two, so make sure to know what kind of level you are using.

Analog Set-ups

DJ equipment is usually expensive and you don’t really need a lot of things to start mixing if you go for the analog set-up.

This setup allows you to DJ in the traditional way, learn the basic skills especially scratching a stylist against vinyl.

However, it may require a sizable collection of vinyl records to play which can be expensive.

If you prefer the traditional or classic analog setup because you want the old-School DJ’s approach or because it requires less materials then go for it.

In the traditional approach, you only need turntables, a mixer and tons of skills (which beginners pretty sure lacks) that is why using this route isn’t that beginner-friendly.

Turntables

One isn’t a DJ unless there are turntables on his setup. Turntables allow one to scratch, switch songs and albums, slow down tempos, change the switch and do more.

At present, turntables seem to be a thing of the past because in most cases they are replaced with MIDI controllers and other sync devices in the digital set-up.

Aside from requiring a steep learning curve, finding tracks that people haven’t heard can be a real challenge. Besides, it also requires buying expensive vinyl. While it isn’t easy to use, you’ll be a respected DJ once you master the use of turntables.

Turntables is only the device that spins the record and will need an external amplifier, speaker, headphones and more.

Turntables’ prices usually start from $50 to $20,000. I suggest that you for a turntable that costs at least $100 because turntables at that price range are usually of much higher quality.

Mixers

Mixers are the centerpiece of an analog DJ setup because they are used to transition between songs, create seamless mix or mashup, add few tweaks to your song, plug your headphones and speakers and more.

You do most of the works to control your performance through the mixer.

DJ mixers have at least 2 channels which means that they have two different audio source and their audio signals mixed together.

Every channel has a dedicated channel strip. It also comes with dozens of knobs, buttons and sliders.

Tip: All you need is a 2-channel mixer to start DJing. However, investing in a mixer with more channels will be helpful as you progress.

For instance, 4-channel mixers offers more audio sources which allows you to connect additional gear toys to improve your performance like samplers, drum machines, and more. So, if you have a budget get a 4-channel mixer or more.


DJ Skills To Learn

DJ needs to learn a set of skills and you have to master them. If you decide to start Djing, you have to learn beatmatching, phrasing and equalizing.

For beginners, I will describe each of those words, so you will have a better grasp every time we refer to it in the next sections.

Beatmatching

Beatmatching is matching two tempos of two separate tracks so that the beats are hitting in a synchronized fashion.

With beatmatching, you get two tracks to play the same tempo (the speed at which the song is playing) and phase (the beats from both tracks playing in-time with each other).

You can accomplish this using the player’s pitch fader. You’ve got to remember this – beatmatching is about tempo and phase.

Beatmatching is among the DJ technical skills that take the most time for people to learn. You need to persevere until you can pick it up.

Thus, you need to allot time to learn this because it is the foundational pillars of DJing. Also, once you beatmatch manually, you can play on anything, mix songs with tempo variations and you can work with other DJs too.

When you master beatmatching, you will gain others’ respect because it isn’t something easy to learn. You have to rely on your ear to master it because even if the technology is good it is not perfect.

“Your ear begins to zero in on auditory cues, such as a distinct snare or hi-hat. You start to notice how the percussion is structured… the syncopation and groove of the rhythm. This, in turn, helps aid you with things like switching up genres and subtle mixing,” David Michael wrote.

Modern DJ hardware can now sync tracks with the push of a button and many depend on those buttons. While you can consider that God sent, always remember that the sync feature doesn’t always get it right.

Yes, it’s not perfect, so there will always be a time when you have to rely on your own skill when beatmatching instead of simply pushing the Synch button.

In fact, for some, you are not a DJ unless you can perfectly beatmatch two tracks or disable the syncing feature.

So, I urged you to keep practicing. Start with one track and learn to adjust the temp. Listen for the little signals when your track is slipping out of time.

Don’t look at beatmatching displays either, instead, focus on listening and use your ears. Trust your instincts and master it because it is among the very basic DJ requirements

Phrasing

Phrasing is also called stage matching because it refers to the alignment of phrases of two tracks in a mix.

It allows the transition between the tracks to be done without breaking the structure of the music. You can consider phrasing as an aspect of beatmatching or beatmixing and not a separate technique

In layman’s term, it is mixing your tracks together at points in the songs which make sense. Most music you will be DJing is in 4/4 whether you play electronic dance music, hip-hop, or funk. This means they have four beats in a measure and the quarter note gets one beat.

A DJ rig has different volume level adjustments. Each mixer channel has a gain knob that allows you to adjust the level by watching the meters and each channel has a line fader.

There’s also what is called a crossfader that allows you to fade between one channel and another in a left/right motion. For newbies, it’s a general rule to stay out of the red. To boost the volume increase the amp or speaker side.

EQing (Equalizing)

This refers to the act of boosting or cutting frequencies so that multiple audio tracks blend nicely. When this is used properly, it’s a useful tool for creative expression.

However, equalization will not fix a bad mix, but you can use it to “smoothen together” multiple audio signals to make your mixes more polish.

The EQ function on your mixer or software offers a number of uses to help improve your mixing. In fact, DJ EQ mixing is another skill that you have to master to improve your mixing and save from a hefty bill.

Usually, a standard DJ mixer or software interface will feature 3 band equalizer (EQ). Some offer a 2 band EQ while others come with more, a 4 band EQ.

EQ is used to control different frequencies and alter the prevalence of a certain sound in a track and make it more seamlessly fit together. DJs use EQ to add or cut something from a track.

One could cut the low range or bass frequencies on the build-up after a breakdown to make the drop feel more intense. Or a DJ can add mid-range to vocals to make the mix stand out while using the filters.

I suggest that you explore the EQ settings to find what’s best for the different genres. When you master this skill, you’ll be amazed at how those little tricks can make a huge difference to your sets. In fact, EQing can blow your set in ways you have never imagined and in a positive way.

Mixing

When you start DJing, you have to get yourself familiarize with mixing and learn how to DJ mix.

This is the process when a DJ mixes a sequence of several songs played one after the other with each modified so that they blend together into one continuous track.

You can use other skills to hone your mixing skills like beatmatching. This might not be an easy job as beatmatching isn’t easy to master for novices.

So, for beginners, the easiest way to start is through the help of software which in this case is available in two versions – production software and mixing software.

The best thing with using software is that it helps you learn as many skills in a short amount of time.

But, you should know the difference between the two, so you will know what’s more appropriate to depending on your application.

Production software is a tool you use to make new songs. As its name suggests, it is used for “production.” With this, you can produce a new song because it includes a selection of instruments including drums, piano, bass, and optimizers.

Mixing software is another tool that offers an interface to evaluate the BPM, key, and measures of two songs, so you can best blend them together. The software enables you to combine multitrack recordings in a final mono, stereo or surrounding sound product.

After mixing, the final product will be ready for production.

Among the most popular DJ software applications are Ableton Live, Serato DJ Pro, Mixxx, Rekordbox DJ, Traktor Pro 3 and Deckadance to name a few.

Scratching

This is a turntablist technique of moving a vinyl record back and forth on a turntable to produce percussive or rhythmic sounds.

If you are using a DJ mixer, the crossfader may be used to fade between two records simultaneously.

Usually, scratching is associated with certain music styles like hip hop music, rap rock, rap metal, a nu metal. In hip hop culture, scratching is one of the measures of a DJ’s skills.

In fact, DJs compete in scratching competitions at the DMC World DJ Championship and IDA (International DJ Association).

Learning to scratch is a great skill to add in your portfolio as you progress with your DJing skills. I don’t recommend this if you are a total novice because it takes time, talent, practice and tons of patience to master.

Scratching can help you add flair to your set, but then again, it’s not easy, so give yourself enough time to master it.


How To Be a DJ

Now that you already know what DJs do, what is included in the basic setup, and what are the skills required in DJing, it’s high time that we start to discuss the overall process of DJing.

This will be a step-by-step guide, so expect it to be lengthy. Are you ready? I know you are, so let’s get started!

1. Gather your equipment

By now, you should have decided what set-up you want.

Basically, for your DJ set-up, you should include the following:

• Two turntables or two CD players (or more optionally)
• 2-channel mixer
• Headphones
• Speakers
• Mixing software (optional)

Tip: Don’t invest in expensive DJ equipment right away. Focus your budget in getting good turntables and a mixer.

2. Consider a software package

I highly recommend this especially for beginners because it makes the learning process easier and more fun.

In just a few weeks, you’ll surely see a huge improvement in your DJing skills because many functions automate the process like some come with looping and scratching capability, delays and reverberations, real-time control and more.

Also, it enables you to access a library of MP3s on your hard drive to complement the vinyl and CD selections.

DJ software is available at various prices, there are good ones that are also affordable. There is also free software that you can try on.

For those who aren’t sure if they will stick with DJing, I suggest that you try the free software to test the waters. In this way, if you lose interest after a few weeks, you would save yourself from purchasing software that you won’t be using.

Tip: If you are eager to purchase software, I suggest that you get a mixing software package because they are more affordable and user-friendly.

3. Work on the music

Here’s what to do to get yourself familiar with the music and process it.

Learn the song’s BPM. It’s very important that you listen to the music’s BPM (beat per minute). Some mixers come with BPM counter, but not all are accurate.

Look for two songs that are only within 3 BPMs off.

Familiarize the intros and outros. Listen carefully to the intros and outros because when you mix songs, you have to blend one song’s intro to the other’s outro.

Learn how to scratch. Listen carefully to the song and you might find particular parts of the track that are prime for scratching. Yes, I said scratching is difficult, but you can start with baby scratches. It’s very easy to do.

Start with two songs. Since you are a beginner, make the process simpler by sticking to two songs. You can experiment with looping then as you progress, try toggle function and add your favorite effects.

Make a smooth transition between songs while keeping the beats constant. Listen to the second song in your headphones and move the pitch slider until the songs play at the same speed and cue the songs simultaneously with the preceding song. Doing this process smoothly is a significant skill in DJing.

You may also need to adjust the volume levels of the songs because the song you are mixing out will be playing at full volume, so adjust the second to start up slowly and bring it up subtly until it matches the beat.

Tip: Never mix vocals with vocals.

4. Record your mix

You should record your DJ set, so you can hear it again. This is critical for beginners, so you could listen to your music.

When you mix, you are too busy doing it, so you won’t be able to listen or enjoy your sets.

Thus, the need to record. You can put it this way, have you heard your voice on a recording? Probably, not! And that’s the same case with DJing.

If you are using a laptop and DJ controller, it’s so easy to record because most DJ software are capable of recording by simply a click of a button.

Alternatively, you can record using your computer’s audio input or use an external handheld recorder. You can also connect a decent portable to the mixer as another option to record your Dj set.

Recording a mix can help you recognize the strength and weaknesses of your set. However, remember that if you are recording a bedroom mix, it would be different when you are playing in front of an audience because there are certain skills required in a live setting that you won’t use when recording a personal mix.

At this stage, try to create a story and think about how you want to start, finish and get it to something where you want it to be. It’s important to have the context of the whole track instead of its individual parts.

Novice DJs tend to hammer out tracks and it lacks the sense of ebb and flow. The music has no sense of direction making it boring and tiresome to listen to in the process.

Decent DJs treat the whole setup as an album with cohesive tracks. Use this strategy to improve your performance.

Tip: Put your recorded mix for a few days and listen to it again. In that way, you will have a fresher perspective when listening to it.

5. Publish and share

If you want to earn money through DJing or if you want to be popular, you’ve got to show off what you’ve got.

The best thing to do that is to publish and share your mixes. This is one of the reasons, why you have to record it so that you have something to share with the world

When looking for a place to host your mixes for public release, I suggest that you start with MixCloud because it’s great and it’s free.

It offers you a safe place to host your recordings without copyright takedown which makes it much safer compared to YouTube and SoundCloud. Another option for live streaming is Twitch.

When you upload or stream, make sure to use all their feature. Start by filling out everything and put on a little effort in the description. I also suggest that you add relevant tags.

You can also ask feedback on your mixes from family members and close friends. Getting feedback is a necessary step for improvement because sometimes, you aren’t aware of what you need to change or improve,

Tip: Be open to constructive criticisms.

6. Build your following

Of course, don’t be contented with just publishing and sharing your mixes, you need to have an audience.

So, create a brand and build a following. In this section, I’ll give you some tips, to get this done.


How To Gain More Audience As A DJ?

There are several things that you should do to make others feel your presence as a DJ and in turn get more audience.

Of course, don’t be contented with just publishing and sharing your mixes, you need to have loyal fans. So, create a brand and build a following. In this section, I’ll give you some tips, to get this done.

Create an online presence

It’s not that very difficult to build a brand now because your audience is within reach, you just need to know what you should do.

And thanks to social media, you can easily let the world know what you do!

So, create an account on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Fill out your profiles and post the link to your mixes there.

Remember, you are building a following. You want an audience, so you need to keep the content flowing. If there are no likes or comments on your posts, don’t be disheartened, just continue sharing.

Be consistent

Don’t just promote once a month or anytime you remember, you need to have regular updates. You need to be consistent in your content.

I suggest that you create scheduled tweets or posts. Say post every Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. You can share anything related to your mix.

If you have a new mix, share the link, or promote an upcoming mix or the old ones. Just be present and be consistent.

Post different content

Be creative about your posts. You don’t have to post a link of your mix all the time. You are building a brand, so share crucial details about your DJing journey.

You can share what inspires you to do a particular mix, how you get started, share tutorials and more. Also, mix up your posts, share videos, texts, or images.

Engage with followers

Aside from sharing your posts and other relevant content, engage with your audience. If someone comments on your work, or asks questions, take the time to respond.

You can also follow other DJs or those in your similar niche and start the engagement.

Comment on their works or ask if you have any questions and maybe bring them to your page, so they will return the favor.

Be productive on social media by engaging with others who can potentially help you grow your audience.

Find gigs

Aside from being present online, you’ve got to expose yourself to the real world. You can visit clubs and offer to play.

Or you can perform at family gatherings or small events. While they might not be paying gigs, at least they will give you actual experiences.

I also suggest you find like-minded people or a community with members who share the same passion as you in DJing.

They can help you find gigs or help you hone your skills. Also, make yourself valuable to them.

You can support their shows and gigs. And they will likely return the favor to you.

Tip: Be present online and give your followers regular updates. Learn to engage with others, too.


Conclusion

DJing is fun and very enjoyable. However, it can be expensive and time-consuming too. If you love the craft, you will surely improve and excel, but most of the skills take time.

So if you want to become a DJ, you have to be dedicated to it and the best way to do that is to give it time.

Of course, you don’t want to waste your time in this activity and remain mediocre after a year or two.

Again, the complexity of the process might depend on how much you really want to learn it. And for novices, I suggest that you don’t buy the most expensive materials first so you won’t’ regret in case you lose interest in DJing.

Also, don’t get a pure entry-level material either. Get an industry standard DJing equipment and you’ll see the difference a quality instrument delivers.

If you wish to learn more about DJing please feel free to visit our homepage.

Related:

What is Club DJ Pro, Club DJ Pro features

References

  • wikihow.com/Be-a-DJ#Working-the-Music
  • musicaroo.com/learn-how-to-dj/
  • medium.com/@asantash/how-to-get-started-with-djing-495c275be5e4
  • passionatedj.com/how-to-become-a-dj-ultimate-guide/
  • bestdjtips.com/30-dj-tips-and-tricks-for-beginners-that-actually-work/
  • wirerealm.com/info/how-to-become-a-dj
  • djtoptips.com/better-dj-advice/
  • djingpro.com/dj-eq-tips/#Different_types_of_EQ
  • wikihow.com/Be-a-DJ
  • pcdj.com/dj-equipment-for-digital-djs-a-beginners-guide/
  • dawsons.co.uk/blog/beginners-guide-to-building-a-home-dj-setup
  • equipboard.com/posts/best-dj-mixer

Best DJ Setup for Beginners 2022: Learn How to DJ Set Up Controllers

What equipment do you need for your DJ setup? What are the essential ones?

For beginners who are struggling with how to start their setup, this article is for you!

I understand the excitement of having your own equipment and the challenges that go along with it.

I also get it that you are here to learn the basics about DJ setup for beginners and that’s exactly what you’ll be learning here, so let’s get started!

What Is The Best DJ Setup For Beginners?

Starting your own DJ setup can be daunting, confusing, and overwhelming.

When you start your research, you will be amazed at the different setup ideas available and the various equipment you can choose from.

If you are new to DJing, you’ll probably want a DJ setup for beginners.

Something that is simple and easy to operate without the complicated controllers and mixers.

The simple, the better and the easier it is for you to master before you take your skills to the next level.

Here are the different DJ setups that are friendly for beginners according to DJing Pro.

1. Traditional CDJ setup

This is the best setup for newbies because it is the simplest you can get your hands on.

It includes two multi-players to play your music and a mixer that you can use for the transition. It’s a simple 2 channel setup with two sources supplying your audio.

2. DJ Controller setup

This DJ setup makes use of a laptop and a DJ controller. When using this, you will play your music directly from the computer and mix it with the controller.

However, controllers do not allow playback of CDs. It uses DJ software in conjunction with the controller. Once you install the software, you will just drag and drop music tracks to the onscreen deck.

While the track play, you can control everything from the controller and even have the ability to add samples and effects to your set.

There are controllers with software and a built-in sound card. This version will make the entire experience easier because you just have to plug and play via your laptop or PC’s USB port. Any laptop will do, so you don’t need a new one for this setup.

DJ controllers are more affordable than a typical CDJ and mixer setup. That’s why many choose this. Also, this is versatile. You can use it if DJing if your hobby or if you are an established DJ who is always on the move.

This approach could be the cheapest and the best DJ setup for beginners especially for those who are in a budget.

3. Traditional turntable setup

This traditional turntable setup started in 2006 which is very helpful especially if you want to learn beatmatching with turntables. When you learn how to match beats perfectly on turntables, it will be easier for you to beatmatch on more modern DJ equipment.

4. Digital vinyl system

This is the hybrid version of the traditional DJ setup.

It is called a digital vinyl system (DVS) because it lets you play music from your laptop using a special timecode vinyl.

For this, you can also use multi-players instead of turntables using timecode CDs.

You can opt for Pioneer DJM-250 MK2 that comes with bundled software. With it, you can simply plug and play for easy setup.

If you want to purchase a normal mixer without DVS capabilities, you have to secure a sound card. In this arrangement, you will use your controller as the mixer. A controller with 2 phono/line input is recommended because it’s where you plug in your turntables.

Choosing a controller with soundcard will also make things easier for you. You can simply connect the mixer and turntables to it, then plug the sound card into your laptop’s USB port.

It’s best to get a full package like Denon DS1 which includes all the things you need like sound card, Serato DJ software, 2 timecode CD’s

5. Best of both setup

This DJ setup is may look complicated, but it’s actually still simple enough for beginners. Compared to the previous setups, this includes a lot of extra features without skipping the basics.

In this setup, you will need a controller to act as the mixer. I recommend a controller with 2 phono/line inputs where you can plug your turntables.

But if your controller has a soundcard, you’ll be able to plug it straight into your laptop or PC. A soundcard is necessary but don’t worry because most controllers have a built-in sound card when you buy it.

If you want this setup, choose one that comes with the necessary photo inputs, built-in sound card and software.


What Do I Need For A DJ Setup?

You are probably familiar with DJ setups. Of course, I assumed you have at least played it using pal’s and now you want your own setup. For starters who want a basic DJ setup, you need the following DJ equipment:

• Mixer
• Turntables
• headphones
• Vinyl records
• Laptop
• Controllers
• Speakers
• Cases and mounts

I will explain each of those below to give you an overview of why beginners need them.

Turntables

This is necessary to be a full DJ, without this, you’ll never get the feel of an actual DJ.

Turntables let you scratch, switch songs and albums, slow down tempos, change the pitch and more.

Even if it’s possible to DJ using a laptop only, I still recommend that you get at least one turntable in your DJ setup.

Honestly, it’s odd to consider yourself a DJ without an actual turntable, so please get one.

Mixers

This is a requirement, it’s the centerpiece of an analog DJ setup.

Mixers help you deliver a powerful performance by allowing you to transition between one song to another for a smooth mix.

You can also create a few tweaks in your sounds and tracks using this.

I suggest that you integrate the slider to add DJ scratching properly. However, many also use it to control volume levels, panning, FX, tone and more.

High-end mixers usually come with better built-in sound cards. However, expect them to be more pricey too.

Controllers

I know that you are impressed after learning about turntables and mixers, but braced yourself because this new DJ gear world will surely take your breath away.

DJ controllers is a 2-in-1 instrument because it combines turntables and a mixer into one. Thus, it allows you to control more features, customizations, and settings. If you have a controller, you no longer need a mixer.

There are several DJ controllers for beginners in the market. They come in different shapes, sizes, functions, feels, and more. Some of them are great for tweaking track settings, volume, panning, and more.

Meanwhile, others offer you a platter of jog-wheel that lets you scratch on them (like turntable), and literal digital audio track (without having to fuss with records) with others even coming with built-in drum pads to let you experience with a variety of sounds.

DJ Software

Consider DJ software as the backbone of a digital and hybrid setup.

Once you connect your controllers to your computer via USB, the software will allow you to merge the two and operate.

You can then proceed to DJ mix, edit, copy, cut, paste, add FX, mashup, change tempo, organize files and playlist, scratch using MP3s and more. A DJ software also makes it easier for you to get into the rhythm.

Speakers

This is important if you intend to play live or travel with your DJ gear. When you buy, get one that is powerful enough that it is suitable for the environment where you will be DJing.

DJ Headphones

These are absolute must regardless if you are Djing at home, at a club or anywhere in the world.

DJ headphones are necessary because they allow you to hear what you do before you portray it to the audience.

Do you notice how DJs hold one side of the headphones to their ear with their shoulders with the other half hanging by their neck?

While they look cool doing that, they actually do so because they listen as they mix the sound.

While the audience hears the tracks play, DJs can hear what is coming up so that they can tie the music correctly while the current track plays for a “proper mashup” and transition.

Cases and Mounts

Professional DJ equipment tends to be pricey especially, so I do not recommend that you just place your gear on any surface.

You have to invest in DJ equipment cases especially if your gear is expensive to keep it safe.

Choose one with a foam padding interior to keep your controller safe.

Also, you should consider a case with lightweight construction and an adjustable padded shoulder strap for optimal comfort when carrying.

The go-to brand for this is EVA series by Gator Cases


What Is A Good DJ Mixer To Start With?

What Is A Good DJ Mixer To Start With

There are tons of great DJ mixers on the market. However, for beginners, I highly suggest that you get the Pioneer DJ DJM-S3 2 Channel Mixer for Serato DJ.

This DJ mixer is a 2-channel mixer with a built-in sound card. It features highly durable MAGVEL crossfader inherited from the DJM-900NXS2 model and independent channel filters.

It also comes with a scratch-friendly layout that creates room for you to be creative in the booth. If you want to take your creativity to the next level, you can connect the DDJ-SP1 controller and use its large Performance Pads for tactile control of many Serato DJ Pro features, including its FX. This offers flexible connectivity, so you will surely love it!

I highly recommend this for beginners because it has a simple design and it is very easy to use. In fact, it is Serato ready, you just have to plug and play Serato. Also, it has a compact design and solid feel.


How Do You Set Up A DJ Controller?

Setting up your controller might be smooth and easy at home. But when you take your DJ setup outside, say in your first gig, you were shocked to find out that it didn’t work as you expected.

There are actually several factors that might affect your set-up.

Here are some tips to set up your controllers with the least stress and maximum respect for other DJs especially if you have a gift outside.

? Set-up all the equipment in the most ideal positions possible and test as if you are DJing.

• Tuck away the sound card and leave it or RCA extension plugged into the mixer
• Leave the USB cable running to where your laptop will live
• Tuck away controllers but keep USB cables running to eventual laptop position
• Leave power cable plugged in

? Just before the show

• Connect the controllers and sound card to computer off to the side (out of the way of the other DJs)
• Bring a long USB cable for the sound card in case your setup area is far from your eventual DJ area
• Boot up programs and make sure that the audio signals are running into the mixer properly
• Test if controllers are working properly
• Close the laptop and place controllers on laptop

? Once it’s time to switch

• Move the laptop into position
• Place the controllers in position
• Everything should be connected and ready to go
• Switch over to your input on the mixer
• Plug in the headphones and rock it!

? During your timeslot

• Bring MP3 player, CBD or anything that can record for at least 20 minutes
• Mix into your pre-recorded mix in the least invasive way possible
• CD’s off the CDJ’s are generally the easiest
• Wait until the other DJ has completely left the booth

Conclusion

Your DJ setup may be as simple or as complex as you want them to be. For beginners, I suggest that you get a simple setup.

Aside from the fact that you won’t be spending too much on it, they are beginner-friendly, so they will be very helpful to you.

Also, when you are working on your DJ set-up, consider your choice of equipment because it matters.

Also, your experience might be another factor. Whether you are a beginner DJ, Home DJ or Professional DJ get a setup that best reflects your application or the way you will use.

Check out our homepage for more guides to DJing and other essentials for you to become a DJ.

Related:

What is Club DJ Pro, Club DJ Pro features

References

  • wirerealm.com/guides/best-beginners-dj-gear-and-equipment
  • adorama.com/alc/dj-equipment-guide-how-to-build-a-beginner-dj-setup
  • djingpro.com/best-dj-setup-for-beginners/
  • djingpro.com/best-dj-setup-for-beginners/#1_Traditional_CDJ_setup

How To DJ Mix: Best Mixer, Tips for DJ Mixing In 2022

Do you want to become a DJ? Are you new to DJing? Do you want to learn how to DJ mix?

If you are new to Djing and wondering how to get started, this article is for you.

DJs are very cool, they make you groove into your feet. However, you should know that while it looks fun, the task itself is challenging for starters especially if you are still learning the art of beatmatching.

For beginners, beatmatching involves matching the tempo of two tracks so they hit key points at the same time. It’s challenging at first, but as you go along with DJing, you will eventually learn it naturally. Also, there are DJ software packages to help you DJ mixing fast. So, if you are really into this thing, let’s get started!

DJ MixerPrice CheckRatingProsCons
Traktor Kontrol Z2
Click Here To Check Price4.9Solid construction. Built-in Traktor Audio Interface. Traktor Pro 2.6 Software for DVS Timecode. Additional Aux/Mic Input w/Tone Control. Lots of inputs and outputs. Scratch-worthy Mini-Innofader, Crossfader and LinefadersNo Linefader Curve/Reverse Functions. On-board controls for only one effect per module. Rotary knobs have plastic post instead of metal
Behringer Digital Pro Mixer DDM4000
Click Here To Check Price4.8Has four multi-FX sections. Two BPM counters. Digital crossfade section. Includes photo input. Wonderful USB sound card. Mono/Sterio switch on output. Mic audio extends the base a bitNo MIDI USB connection. Lacks support and user base. Some experienced issues with the crossfader selector switches
Pioneer DJ DJM-S9
Click Here To Check Price4.62 built-in USB soundcards. Filter FX. Style levers. Magvel Fader Pro. Compatible with rekordbox dj dvsFaders are not user-replaceable
Mixars DUO MKII 2-Channel Mixer
Click Here To Check Price4.32-channel battle style mixer. New and better crossfader. 8 dedicated trigger pads. Fully MIDI Mappable. Free softwareLacks post fader effects
Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 Professional
Click Here To Check Price4.2User-friendly interface. Allows you to add echo to vocals. Double-up rhythms. Extensive filter and effects control on board. Can be linked to other DJsCan get hot after running for several hours

What Is Mixing In DJing

A DJ mix or DJ mixset is a sequence of musical tracks typically mixed together to form one continuous track.

DJ mixes are performed using a DJ mixer and multiple sounds sources including turntables, CD players, digital audio players or computer sound cards.

Sometimes DJs add samplers and effects units into their mix, but it’s also possible to create one using sound editing software.

Mixing is very different from live sound mixing. The remix services began in the 1970s to provide music that was more easily beatmixed for the dance floor.

How Do I Learn To DJ Mix?

DJs are popular for mixing music, so I understand if you are an aspiring DJ who wants to learn this skill. The first thing you need to learn when mixing is choosing the right songs.

Basically, you have to choose those music from genres that fit into the more general term “electronic dance music.”

Other genres that DJs usually mix includes hip hop, breakbeat and disco music. Four on the floor disco beats can be used to create seamless mixes to keep the dancers on the dancefloor.

Usually, the tracks used for DJ mixing have two main characters – they have dominant bassline and repetitive beats and tempo between 120 bpm up to 160 bpm.

What I just shared is only the basic in DJ mixing. I have a dedicated section below where I’ll share more tips on how to DJ mix.

How Do You DJ Songs?

Basically, here’s an overview when you DJ mix songs.

1. Choose a song. You can start by choosing two music tracks that are of similar style. You can either choose two house, trance or techno tracks. The idea is to find twos songs that are built around similar bpm (beats per minute).

2. Load two tracks into your decks. Load the tracks and have your pitch faders set to 0. Usually, you’ll notice that even if the tracks of the same genre, they have different bpm’s.

For example, one could have 133 bpm the other with 129 bpm. The bpm counters on the player will give you a good estimate of the BPM but the best DJs who know to sync the songs up by ear alone.

3. Use headphones for beatmatching. You will need DJ controllers that’s why some manual beatmatching using headphones is necessary. Also, using DJ headphones make you work in private without interfering with the master output.

4. Play the two records. Get the two records playing in time with each other by moving the pitch control on the deck up or down. You can slow down or speed up the music and this might appear tricky at first.

5. Use crossfader or center spindle. If you have a mixer with a mini headphone crossfader or cue mix, you will find it helpful. Try fading the one record out slightly and that might help you workout out which way to go.

If you are using vinyl, try to use the center spindle to nudge the beat or touch the platter to slow it down. With a little practice, you will soon be able to move the mixer’s crossfader to the center.

Once you hear both tunes playing in perfect timing, that’s a good sign that you are on track. However, remember, tracks will almost always need a slight nudge to keep the mix in beat during the transition, no matter how the beatmatch is.

Figure out the way before you start the mix. But don’t worry because as you progress, you’ll be able to gently nudge the beat before it drops out.

6. Use the sync button or beatmatch manually. If you are using DJ software, you can use the sync button. This function changes the speed of the selected track to get them both playing at exactly the same BPM and ready to mix.

The “sync” button works on the controller in the software and syncs the tracks you selected to produce a new sound. The sync button is great to get your started with mixing and playing around. If you do this manually, it’s called beatmatching.

You should remember that even the sync button is not always perfect and the tracks may still need some adjustment.

7. Use a production of mixing software. You have to familiarize yourself with mixing and the easiest way to get started using the software. The mixing software usually falls into two categories – production software and mixing software.

Types of Mixing Software for DJing

Here’s an overview of the best software that you will be using for DJing..

Production Software

The production software usually refers to a tool used to make new songs.

It is usually a selection of instruments including drums, pianos, and bass.

Ableton Live – It uses a different approach to mixing which involves sampling a lot of tracks.

It also involves several hardware tools than the normal mixing software uses.

It’s not just for production software, it can also be used for live performances, hence the name, Ableton Live. This software is popular among mainstream artists including Alison Wonderland and Kanye.

Mixing Software

For mixer software, the two major players are Traktor and Serato. The two don’t look and feel the same. However, they are pretty the same in terms of what they can do.

Both can analyze your tracks to tell what musical key and BPM (tempo) each song is. It will also automatically sync any song to match the track that is currently playing.

Traktor Pro – It is an industry-standard and one of the giants when it comes to mixing software. The majority of the DJs used this because it is often sold along with hardware DJ controllers, so you can buy a controller bundled with software to save money. The controller that comes along with perfectly mapped to the software.

Serato – This is also designed with industry standards. It the direct competitor to Traktor. Several users prefer Serato’s interface. However, Traktor has superior features.

How To Choose Songs to DJ Mix

When choosing songs to mix DJ, better consider the following conditions:

1. Make sure that the songs suitable for beat-mixing.

2. Make sure to have both tunes at the same speed, have their kick drums lined up, and are at a similar volume.

3. Consider the song’s BPM. It is ideal if the two songs are 5 BPM from each other. So, when mixing a song t 120 BPM, select a song to mix which has 115 to 125 BPM. Also, make sure that both songs have a “1” beat at the same time before bringing the second song’s volume up.

4. Only one kick drum playing loud at once. You can do so by turning the “bass” or “low” EQ down on the incoming tune and leave it at 12 o’clock on the other.

How Do I Make DJ Mixes On My Computer?

In the former section, I give you an overview of how DJ mixing song works. In this section, we will focus on mixing tracks on your computer.

There is a wealth of filters and effects that can help you seamlessly mix the tracks. However, there are things that you need to consider before you start mixing tracks.

  • Is the musical genre similar?
  • Do the two tracks have ample mix-in and mix-out zones for you to play with?
  • Do the instruments and sounds in the tracks compliment each other?

All of this comes from analyzing the tunes in your record box before you try mixing them.

DJs generally group their tracks into complimenting groups of 3 so try to organize yours this way. You can also color code them in your playlists or set ratings and comments so you know which tunes work best with others.

If you are eager to start mixing as a DJ, you can do so with your computer. VirtualDJ lets you do that. With it, you can practice and learn or prepare sets and playlists.

Although learning how to DJ mix can be challenging, there are already tools that can help you accomplish it without a sweat. In fact, MC Arabiani shared some tips on how you can learn the craft within six minutes using your PC.

Also, DJ mixing using your computer is very convenient because you can get it done without any additional hardware. You just need your PC and you are good to go!

Don’t worry, you will not shed any money because you don’t have to pay for the software or hardware.

How To DJ Mix on Computer?

Here are the things you can do to get started.

1. Install Virtual DJ. Just Google the software, download and install it. This software is necessary to make DJing easy.

Also, it comes with powerful features that are more than enough for you to learn and experiment with mixing.

You can choose the free version of the software. It doesn’t include the overhead of complex sound configurations, complex controller setups, broadcasting, or full video output. VirtualDJ Home is built for a simple at-home beginner DJ setup making it the best option for beginners.

2. Choose 2 tracks to mix. I suggest that you choose dance music songs with the words “club mix” or “extended mix” in their names. These song choices are more appropriate for mixing compared to the normal tracks.

3. Launch Virtual DJ. Just open the app after the installation and explore it. You may need to explore the app to better use it. Don’t worry, you can find a lot of tutorials online. Also, you will only use the keyboard, mouse, and built-in sound card to start mixing using this app. So, you can surely make it.

4. Load the 2 songs into Virtual DJ. Place one song on each deck.

5. Press Synch on one of the two decks to get the two songs to be at the same tempo

6. Set crossfader completely on the side of the deck that you want to start playing first

7. Play your first song

8. Play second track. When the first song has about one minute left and its beat marker at the top is at the same location as the beat marker for your second song, then play your second track and immediately hit Synch.

If in case you don’t get the two markers in synch, you can press stop on your second song and try again until you achieve to perfect synch.

9. Move crossfader slowly towards the new song’s deck.


DJ Mixing Tips

Now that you are already aware of the basic things to DJ mix, it’s time to give you some tips to level up your game. In this section, I’ll be sharing with you new ways to make the task easier and more enjoyable. I found these tips from DJ TechTools very helpful, so I’m sharing it with you.

1. To mix live or not

If you are wondering whether you should mix it live or not, consider the purpose of your performance. If you want to get a gig, mix it live. Of course, you want the mix to represent what you can do live. Recording live sets is also the best way for parties.

However, if you are making a mix for a podcast or sale, you can mix with your computer to produce a more polished mix.

2. Know your audience

The DJ mix you will be playing at a nightclub will be very different from the set you will be making for a dinner party with your closest friends. Thus, it’s important to know your audience to narrow your track selection, determine the appropriate length and decide for the energy level.

For instance, if you are mixing for an aerobic class get a high energy track (130bpm), those with upbeat feel. If it’s for yoga, consider downtempo breaks between 90 to 110bpm that reflects the slow focused pace of the workout.

3. Diagram your set’s direction

It will be helpful to diagram your set to illustrate the energy levels. Then, apply the energy diagram to a mix.

The most common include diagram includes:

  • The Ramp – a steady rise from slow BPM to high with matching energy
  • The Mountain – a rise to a peak halfway through the mix and a symmetrical descent
  • The Wave – a series of peaks and valleys where you bring the listener up and down throughout the course of mix

4. Track selection

Many struggle when it comes to selecting tracks, so, let’s make it easy. Choose music that represents the direction of your music collection not necessarily the most popular tracks.

5. Transitions

There are different types of DJs and each of them has different preferences when it comes to mixing.

Dance music DJs favor beatmatching, Hip Hop DJs cutting and radio DJs fading.

While you can make an excellent mix with a single transition type, using a combination of transition can help some tracks to fit together.

However, if you are only playing a single genre, then use a seamless beat matching all the way through is the way to go.

6. Mixed in Key

When it comes to mixing, take note that not all tracks of the same genre and BPM fit together. Most musicians find the answer to the track’s key. Mixing in key will improve the mix.

Mixed in Key is a piece of software that you can use to update your music library’s ID3 tags with the musical keys of each track. The keys will serve as a reference for playing tracks in the same or complementary key via harmonic mixing.

7. Phrasing in your DJ mix

Good phrasing is knowing how one track ends and the next begins. When one track builds up to a big drop at the peak of the song, you should create space before you drop the next track. Dropping the next track too early could burn out the listener. Using mixers like Traktor or Serato can help you to seamlessly phrase your mixes.

8. Create your signature DJ mixing style

Manipulate your tracks and explore your own mixing technique using various tools like looping, filters, EQing and effects. This is the only way to make a difference from other DJs and create your own mark in the DJing world.

9. Packaging and distribution

For packaging, you must choose the right name and artwork that reflects your style. As for distribution, it’s easier to go digital and use media sharing sites like Mixcloud.com, Mixcrate.com or House-mixes.

What Is A Good DJ Mixer To Start With?

DJ mixers and controllers can now be easily connected to computers and smartphones. So you can use them with various apps.

If you are serious with DJing, I suggest that you spend a bit extra on a more capable mixer or controller it is a necessity.

Also, by doing so, you can avoid outgrowing the device quickly and maximize its full potential instead.

There are tons of mixers in the market, but among the top choices for me are the following:

1. Traktor Kontrol Z2

This is a 2-in-1 device making it a wise investment for beginner DJs. It gives you the best of both worlds because it can serve as your controller and mixer at the same time.

It comes with two stand-alone channels and offers hands-on control for two remix decks.

Also, it comes with a sturdy with aluminum chassis and plenty of power and connectivity ports. It ha a spacious control surface, a three-band EQ section, and dedicated filter knobs for each channel. Also, for a more convenient mixing experience, its four trigger buttons were color-coded which helps you avoid getting things mixed when during your setlist.

Pros
  • Solid construction
  • Built-in Traktor Audio Interface
  • Traktor Pro 2.6 Software for DVS Timecode
  • Additional Aux/Mic Input w/Tone Control
  • Lots of inputs and outputs
  • Scratch-worthy Mini-Innofader, Crossfader and Linefaders
Cons
  • No Linefader Curve/Reverse Functions
  • On-board controls for only one effect per module
  • Rotary knobs have plastic post instead of metal

2. Behringer Digital Pro Mixer DDM4000

If you are in a tight budget and want a mixer under $500, this is highly recommended. At first glance, you might find this intimidating due to the numerous buttons and knobs. But you once you use it, you’ll see that it isn’t really that intimidating.

It offers a beat-synchronized sampler, four multi-FX sections, two BPM counters, and a digital crossfade section. It has an intuitive layout and many helpful features for its prices. But it doesn’t include a USB MIDI connection. So, you can connect it to your computer straight from the box. You have to spend more to connect this to your PC.

Pros
  • Has four multi-FX sections
  • Two BPM counters
  • Digital crossfade section
  • Includes photo input
  • Wonderful USB sound card
  • Mono/Sterio switch on output
  • Mic audio extends the base a bit
Cons
  • No MIDI USB connection
  • Lacks support and user base
  • Some experienced issues with the crossfader selector switches

3. Pioneer DJ DJM-S9

This is the first two-channel battle mixer for Serato DJ, the fully customizable Magvel Pro crossfader, tactile performance pads and FX buttons let you tailor the mixer according to your preferences.

It comes with a durable Magvel Fader Pro magnetic crossfader that delivers a smooth response. It has Performance Pads too for dynamic mixing. The 16 multi-color touch pads give you access to Hot Cue, Roll, Slice, Loop, and more. They are designed with an optimized shape and seat switch connections for great accuracy and responsiveness.

Aside from the aforementioned, it has six customizable FX buttons, high/low pass filter to FX on each channel, style levers, and two-built-in USB soundcards.

Pros
  • 2 built-in USB soundcards
  • Filter FX
  • Style levers
  • Magvel Fader Pro
  • Compatible with rekordbox dj & dvs
Cons
  • Faders are not user-replaceable

4. Mixars DUO MKII 2-Channel Mixer

This mixer is an update to the popular DUO two channel Serato DJ mixer. It features the all-new Galileo Essential crossfader that is exclusively designed in collaboration with Pro X Fade.

It is built using the latest conductive plastic technology and includes razor-sharp cuts for precise scratching. That’s not all, it has eight RGB backlit selection, two push-encoders for looping, two push-encoders for effects controls with beat buttons for the speed of the effect. In fact, it has tons of positive reviews.

This mixer is visually appealing, has very good construction and solid feel. It is simple to use and work really well. The crossfader is also very light. Overall, this is an excellent mixer for its price. It is very impressive and highly recommended.

Pros
  • 2-channel battle style mixer
  • New and better crossfader
  • 8 dedicated trigger pads
  • Fully MIDI Mappable
  • Free software
Cons
  • Lacks post fader effects

5. Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 Professional

This is the pro version of the first Pioneer DJ DJM mixer I mentioned above. It offers studio-quality refined on-board digital signal processing that results in a truer representation of analog sound. This is worth ugprade as it can perform at 96kHz/64-bit. With it, you will get a high quality, low jitter clocking studio-level piece of equipment.

It also comes with 6-studio-quality sound FX- Sweep, Filter, Crush, Dub Echo, Noise, and Space. It has 4 types of Beat FX and Frequency FX that allows you to add echo to the vocals or double the rhythm of hi-hat with the touch of a button.

It uses built-in FX and external FX units at the same time. It also comes with a USB sound card, advanced connectivity, advanced robust faders. It also has a smoother mixer, clip display, and multiple inputs. Everything about it very impressive.

Pros
  • User-friendly interface
  • Allows you to add echo to vocals
  • Double-up rhythms with a touch of a button
  • Link feature allows you to collaborate with your mates in real-time
  • 64-bit premium quality product
  • Extensive filter and effects control on board
  • Can be linked to other DJs
Cons
  • Can get hot after running for several hours

Conclusion

DJING is challenging but fun. It might be difficult at the start but you can easily learn it especially if you are into music and you are really interested in mixing.

There are also tons of DJ software in the market that can help you get started DJing without spending too much.

In fact, you can start mixing using your computer and it’s the best and cheapest way to do it.

However, you need to learn and master the art of beatmatching and listening with your ears because it is very important in DJing even if there are already several technologies available to help you.

For more information, guides, and resources on becoming a DJ, check out our homepage.

Related:

Club DJ Pro Features, What is Club DJ Pro

References

  • medium.com/@asantash/how-to-get-started-with-djing-495c275be5e4
  • djingpro.com/how-to-dj-mix/
  • djtoptips.com/advanced-dj-mixing-tutorials/
  • djtimes.com/2016/04/how-to-dj-mixing-fundamentals-remain-valuable/
  • digitaldjtips.com/2014/08/how-to-mix-beatmix-beatmatch/
  • passionatedj.com/how-to-become-a-dj-ultimate-guide/#Step_1_Learning_What_DJs_Do
  • quora.com/How-can-I-create-my-own-DJ-mix-with-just-using-my-computer
  • bestproducts.com/tech/electronics/g1565/dj-music-mixers-for-beginners/
  • youtube.com/watch?v=-pWAljFxBUk

9 Best DJ Controllers Buying Guide 2022

What is the best DJ controller on the market? Do you want to know how to find the best one in the market?

DJ controllers are a necessity in DJing, so you need to be familiar with them. Finding the best DJ controller can be challenging and time-consuming.

So I am here to help you by giving you a list of the best DJ controllers in the market. I have tested several DJing controllers and those on my list are the ones that stood out.

Are you ready to discover the various DJ controls available in the market? If you do, continue reading to find the top Dj controllers that you should.

DJ ControllersPrice CheckFeaturesChannelsDeck ControlsDimensionsWeight
Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
Click Here To Check PricePrime Loops remix tool kit. 16-multi-function performance pads.229.10 x 1.10 x 21.60"33.98 lb
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2
Click Here To Check PriceBalanced XLR outputs. Multi-colored performance pads.2421.8 x 13.2 x 2.6"8.2 lb
Denon DJ MCX8000
Click Here To Check Price2 high-definition displays. Velocity-sensitive performance pads.4228.6 x 16 x 2.9"18.2 lb
Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000SRT
Click Here To Check Price16 Performance Pads. Big jog, Marvel Fader.44708 x 73.4 x 361.4 mm6 kg
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3
Click Here To Check PriceFX Fade. Pad Scratch. Independent Auto Loop buttons and knobs.24482.6 x 58.5 x 272.4 mm2.1 kg
Denon DJ MC4000
Click Here To Check PriceLong-throw 100mm pitch faders. Balanced Main and Booth Outputs.22505 x 312 x 69mm4 kg
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2
Click Here To Check PriceHit Filter Fade. 4 Rubber pads. Large Jog Wheels. Performance pads.23487 x 58.5 x 271.2mm2.1kg
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4
Click Here To Check PriceMixer FX. Reinvented jog wheels. Turntable mode for Viny Style Mixing.44339 x 542 x 60.5mm4.3 kg
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2
Click Here To Check PriceFour decks. Tempo Sync. Cuing, looping. Flux mode. FX suite. Mixer FX.24486 x 265 x 59mm7.5 lb

What Is The Best DJ Controller On The Market?

Finding the best DJ controller can be challenging because most, if not all, claim to be the best. Besides, most of the DJ controllers offer the same thing. Thus, the task can be a bit challenging and confusing at the same time. To help you decide which controller to get, I have listed the best in the market.

1. Numark Mixtrack Pro 3

Numark is the world’s leading innovator of DJ equipment and technologies. Thus, you can expect nothing but the best when you turn to this brand.

Numark Mixtrack Pro is an improvement of the first version. It offers all the original features from the brand and more with improved design and better performance. This is so much more than the other version that you can consider the all-in-one controller for DJ using Serato. So if you are among those who love Serato, this is probably the best controllers you can get hands-on.

It offers a whole host of features and performance that sets it above its competitors. Its design is much more compact compared with the original version. It also includes illuminated touch-activated low-profile platters and 16-backlit multifunction drum pads. This is the best addition to your DJ set up especially if you are using a computer.

Mixtrack Pro 3 DJ controller is for skilled and professionally-aspiring DJs. It offers a lot of new features that make it different from conventional DJ controllers making it a good value for money.

Mixtrack Pro will never let you down in terms of performance, and quality. There is no limit to your creativity when it comes to this controller. It gives you exclusive access to download studio-grade audio stems from the Toolroom Records catalog, allowing you the freedom to layer, tweak and chop the most relevant sonic textures.

?️ Features

• 6 sample packs
• Mix Control
• Multi-function touch strip
• 2 channel mixer
• Includes Serato DJ Lite
• On-board audio interface
• 380 premium instrumental loops
• Numark Expansions remix toolkit
• 16 multi-function backlit performance pads
• DVS-upgrade ready
• Dedicated filter knobs
• Integrated audio interface
• All-new 5-inch high resolution metal jog wheels.

Pros
  • Simple layout
  • Light but robust
  • Long pitch faders
  • Has two channels
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Crisp and clear sounding audio
  • Great entry level DJ controller
Cons
  • Not compact and travel friendly
  • Doesn’t come with the full Serato version
  • Faders and knobs could break easily

2. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2 is the best controller from the brand. Not to mention, it’s the best option for Serato DJ users too.

At first look, you can already tell how powerful and impressive this DJ controller is. It has large low-latency jog wheels for a great scratch response and accuracy, multi-colored performance pads to trigger the Hot Cues, Roll and Sampler features, needle search for intuitive and fast searches.

It’s very easy and fun to use. Its dedicated buttons were created to trigger the key-related functions and the pads’ color changes indicating that selected pad mode and playing status. In short, it’s very smart and helpful especially when you are in the middle of mixing.

It also includes Balanced XLR outputs that let you connect to a professional PA system while the booth and two master outs allow you to monitor your mixes. It is also versatile, you can use it as a mixer with multi players or turntables using the line and phono inputs.

This is also great for beginners because it is very easy and smooth to use. But it is also highly recommended to professionals who are always on the go because it is lightweight and compact making it portable and travel-friendly.

There is nothing to complain about. In fact, I love everything about it from its design, features, performance, aesthetic and feel.

?️ Features

• Audio mixer
• 2 channel controller
• DVS upgrade-ready
• Dual level meter
• Needle search
• Touchstrip and jog wheels
• Performance pads
• Loop section
• Harmonic control

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Compact size
  • Portable design
  • Large jog wheels
  • Multiple connections
  • Integral control Serato DJ pro
  • Multicolored performance pads
Cons
  • Small interface
  • Small pitch fader
  • You can’t activate a single effect mode

3. Denon DJ MCX8000

I must say, Denon made a huge improvement in this model that everything I wanted from Pioneer, Numark and previous Denon controllers are rolled into one unit that’s why this made it into my list!

MCX8000 is a professional 4 channel DJ controller for Serato. It is a standalone DJ player and DJ controller. It is one of the only media player/controller that has its own built-in software and interfaces seamlessly with Serato DJ. It has a solid professional 24-bit 4-channel mixer which enables you to be as creative as you can.

Since this is stand-alone, you do not need a computer when mixing. It comes with two hi-definition display screens control and a built-in engine software which is the exclusive revolutionary DJ software for MCX8000. It brings you front and center to play your sets with the ability to just use a thumb drive with Engine. Imagine DJ mixing without a laptop, yes this DJ controller allows you to do that.

There are also no interruptions between sets because Engine enables you to either plug into the MCX8000 via USB or Serato DJ while in sync with the vibe. There are two USB ports and on the back is a powered USB port for external hard drive used.

Denon is making waves in the DJing controller world because of its awesome performance. Plus, I must say, this is one of the few DJ controllers that deliver a heavy and sturdy feel. Most feel like plastic and It’s really good from its build quality to its feature and the sound it delivers.

?️ Features

• Revolutionary Denon DJ Engine standalone technology
• 2 USB inputs for Engine playback
• 2 High-definition displays
• 4-Deck Serato DJ software
• DVS upgrade ready
• StagelinQ network
• Professional 4-channel digital mixer with 2 microphone inputs and dual XLR output
• Velocity-sensitive performance pads for cues, rolls, slicer and samples
• 3 built-in instant effects for Engine playback and line inputs

Pros
  • Flxible Standalone unit
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Great screen
  • Hardware mixer with DVS option
  • Can play from USB
  • Doesn’t need a laptop
  • Comes with own built-in software
Cons
  • Large and heavy
  • Freezes in standalone mode
  • Software needs to be improved

4. Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000SRT

This DJ controller is compatible with Serato and has full-size jog wheels and Magvel fader. These two features are among the things I really love about this because they make scratching intuitive by allowing you to set your preferred resistance. It is highly durable for over 10 million movements with the Magvel Fader making you perform intricate performances smoothly and easily.

This 4-channel DJ controller comes with colorful jog display that helps you focus on your performance and keep your eyes off your laptop because it is designed like a club-standard CDJ+DJM setup. Its buttons and knobs are arranged like NXS2 DJ equipment.

Meanwhile, its On Jog Display feature gives you all the information you need through its full-color, high-definition LCD screen the center of each jog allowing you to monitor the playback time, playback position, and more. This particular feature is easier to use with Serato DJ Pro GUI because the latter matches its display. It also comes with 16 performance pads to trigger Hot Cues, Rolls, Slicer, Sampler and Pitch Play at a touch

This 4-channel Dj controller could enhance tracks using four popular Sound Color FX – Pitch, Filter, Dub Echo, and Noise. Thanks to these, you can be as creative as you can. On top of that, it has 14 Beat FX. For a smoother experience, you can instantly reference BPM and the selected FX will appear on the dedicated Beat FX screen.

This Serato DJ Pro controller will help you take your gigs to the next level so you and your audience will surely enjoy it.

?️ Features

• Jog wheels
• On Jog Display
• Mixer section
• Pitch Faders
• 16 performance pads
• Includes full Serato DJ Pro
• Ready for DVS upgrade
• 4 Deck
• Four channel controller
• Professional FX.
• Key Shift and Key Sync.

Pros
  • Professional Level Layout
  • Full-Size Jogwheels
  • Upgraded Crossfader
  • Impressive Connection Choices
  • Jogwheel Display
  • Club-standard layout
Cons
  • Lacking Some of The DDJ 1000’s Features

5. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3

If you are fond of DDJ-RB, you will love this too because the two are very similar. However, they have noticeable differences too. RB features the full license key to Rekordbox while this one only comes with Serato Intro. It’s cheaper than DDJ-RB, but you have to pay at least $100 to get an upgrade.

DDJ-SB3 is constructed using premium materials and audio circuitry. It has robust build making it durable and stylish at the same time with its aluminum jog wheel that also delivers a professional feel. Its low-latency jog wheels enable it to deliver a great scratch response and accuracy.

Furthermore, this 2-channel DJ controller has an intuitive layout that is designed to cater to your need. You can add scratch effects to cued and currently playing songs without a turntable thanks to its Pad Scratch. Also, it has a portable design. It is lightweight and small enough, so you can take it with you wherever you go conveniently. Simply connect the USB cable to begin playing.

Whether you are an experienced DJ or beginner, you can mix seamlessly with its FX Fade.

Simply reduce the volume and apply FX because it smoothly blends tracks even those from clashing genres.

With this feature, you can choose eight combinations of these four FX patterns – high pass filter, low pass filter, loop playback and backspin.

?️ Features

• FX Fade
• Pad Scratch
• Serato DJ Lite/Serato DJ Pro
• Portable design.
• Large jog wheels.
• Performance Pads.
• On-board Serato sound card. Paid upgrade to Serato DJ Pro.
• Independent Auto Loop buttons and knobs.

Pros
  • Clear audio
  • Intuitive layout
  • Smooth transition
  • Large, low-latency jog wheels
  • Durable and portable design
  • Has on-board Serato sound card
Cons
  • Paid upgrade to Serato DJ Pro

6. Denon DJ MC4000

MC4000 has a businesslike and professional feel and it is designed for mobile DJs. You will immediately notice that it has a great build quality, with a dark metal top. It feels heavy and sturdy but the sides of the controller are plastic.

Another great thing about it is its fast and impressive connectivity. It has a comprehensive library too that is very well-thought. It is placed in the top center which makes it easier for you to scroll through the lists and load tracks into virtual decks without you having to touch your laptop making the whole experience easier and more fun.

I also love its full-sized pitch sliders which is very helpful if you beatmatch by ear because it will make fine pitching easier. I also appreciate the Cue Mix and Split Cue controls because it makes the use of headphones mixing friendly and I practice mainly in DJ headphones, so these features are very convenient.

It has 2 mic inputs with EQ and volume controls for each, an XLR as well as an RCA master output and a booth output. There’s also an RCA master output and a booth output.

However, the controller doesn’t let you control the third and fourth virtual decks unlike other brands. Also, its mixer features the standard three-band channel EQs with gain knob and a dedicated filter knob for each channel.

Meanwhile, the FX section lets you assign up to three effects and has a separate level knob for each.

Overall, Denon DJ MC4000 is a joy to use. It is something beginners would surely love. So, if you are looking for entry level DJ controllers, this is something

I highly recommend. This is actually, among the best DJ controllers for beginners, so don’t hesitate to get it.

?️ Features

• Premium 2 deck controller for Serato
• Serato DJ Lite
• Touch activated jog wheels
• Hot cue and sample trigger pads
• Long throw 100-millimeter pitch faders
• Dedicated EQ and FX control knobs
• RCA auxiliary input for external device mixing
• Pro-grade steel construction ensures long-term durability
• Compatible with Traktor.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Impressive sound
  • Simple plug and play
  • Delivers what it promises
  • Spacious knobs and buttons
  • Functional and very professional
  • Good for beginners and experienced
Cons
  • You need a laptop
  • Doesn’t support Rekordbox DJ
  • Slow service

7. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2

There are too many reasons why I love this controller. First, it is very easy to setup. It’s also very functional and easy to use making it perfect for beginners. Also, if you are a complete newbie and have zero experience. It is simple and straightforward with fewer buttons.

It’s very nice and responsive, so you will surely have a smooth experience when using this. It also works well with Sertao and Virtual DJ.

If you frequently travel and need a DJ controller that you can easily take wherever you go, this one will surely work well for you because it is lightweight and portable. It’s perfect for DJs who travel frequently and regularly do gigs out of town.

Prior to choosing this, I was considering another controller, but this 2-channel 4-deck DJ controller is a steal due to its layout, dedicated filter and gain knob per channel, filter fade crossfader setting and pad transform FX.

?️ Features

• Jog wheels
• Transport section
• Effects section
• Mixer
• 4-deck control
• 16-rubber pads
• Filter Fade
• Inputs and Outputs
• Trim Knob.
• Level Meters.
• Includes Serato DJ Lite.
• Serato DJ Pro upgrade ready.
• Supports Rekordbox DJ.
• Independent low/high pass filter dials.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Easy setup
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with the full version of the software

8. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4

If you want the smoothest hardware and software combination, Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 is the controller to get.

It is the first-class DJ system tailor-made for Traktor to deliver an inspiring DJ experience by combining a premium four-channel mixer, built-in 24 bit/96 kHz sound card, an intuitive interface, and Traktor PRO 2 software with Remix Decks.

Native Instruments designed this to be the ideal one-stop package for DJs looking for pro features, instant usability and portability.

Its layout is designed for perfect Traktor integration and all controls feel naturally right when you are on it. All the necessary buttons and elemental transport controls are accessible including its 4 channels component.

Aside from the easy control, its four-channel mixer allows you to explore your creativity to heights. It has 3-band EQs and a filter control knob on each channel that you can switch between Traktor, Xone and other industry standard styles. Meanwhile, its intuitive Loop Recorder can also act as a fifth deck by allowing you to record and loop audio on-the-fly.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 also offers you new ways to connect with your tracks. It comes with motorized jog wheels spin and react to nudging, scratching, pitch-fading and backspin.

It also lets you connect with your tracks in entirely new ways: Not only do its motorized jog wheels spin and react to nudging, scratching, pitch-fading, and backspins, they transmit cue points, loop markers, and more directly to your fingertips.

And with RGB LED rings and high-res color displays keeping all the info you need front and center in the booth, everything you need is right where you need it – so you’re free to focus on your mix.

Among the best features that come with this controller is the Haptic Drive! This new feature reconnects you with your music with its new, motorized, touch-sensitive jog wheels to give you haptic feedback.

Since they spin like vinyl, you can nudge, stop and spin them back. To match your mixing style, you are also free to adjust the start and stop time and even the torque.

Overall, it’s really very fun to use and it gives you the freedom and flexibility to be as creative as you want to be. It is smart, intuitive, easy to use and very efficient. I highly recommend this DJ controller by Native Instruments!

?️ Features

• Mixer FX
• FX Suite
• Flux Mode
• Tempy Sync
• Cueing and Looping
• Sample decks
• Remix deck
• Onboard audio interface
• Motorized jog wheels
• Loops and cue points with Haptic feedback
• Turntable mode for vinyl-style mixing
• Jog mode to beatmatch with a spin
• 16 RGB Pads
• RGB LED rings
• Pattern Recorder
• High-res color display
• Includes Traktor Pro 3 full version
• Integrate pro-grade audio interface

Pros
  • Four decks
  • 16 RGB Pads
  • Amazing software
  • Club-standard layout
  • Customizable layout
  • High-resolution display
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Color coded deck visualization
  • Well built and feel good knobs and buttons
Cons
  • Expensive

9. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 is another great controller for those who are into DJing especially for beginners because this is easy to use. It’s a great all-in-one controller package. In fact, some consider it a lighter version of Traktor S4 calling it S4 Lite.

Traktor Kontrol S2 is everything that you need to mix music if you are always on the go because it is lightweight and portable. You can conveniently carry it anywhere you go.

Even if it’s great for beginners, it is also designed for experienced DJs. Native Instruments added professional features in this DJ controller like Mixer FX, Hot Cues and loops control that are presented to you on a club-standard layout.

The buttons and knobs are accessible. You can get your mixes super quick, line up your track, and find the cue point, cut the kick and bring in some reverb before the drop.

Enjoy seamless transitions and hear the sound you have in mind through the speakers in a matter of seconds.

If you are very hands-on and want a lot of jog wheel when DJing, no problem. You can use it to beatmatch tracks, nudge the deck forward or back with the jog wheels to get a track in sync, use the touch-sensitive top-plate to find the starting position and even spin it back for high-energy rewinds.

One of the most notable features of this controller is its awesome sound quality that is similar to S4 and other NI audio interfaces. It also comes with additional control for the booth outputs and a Mixer FX on each channel.

You can do so much with it like opening up a big reverb, dubby delay, smooth filter to pop your tracks during the mix. choose from eight club-grade effects and three filters, and use up to four at a time with its dedicated Mixer FX control.

I am very happy and impressed with this controller especially because it comes with the full version of Traktor Pro 3 that offers you intuitive professional tools to define your DJing style. Native Instruments once impressed with Traktor Kontrol S2!

I highly recommend it for those looking for entry level DJ controllers. But then again, this isn’t just designed for beginners, even experienced DJs will surely love this too.

?️ Features

• Four decks
• Tempo Sync
• Cuing, looping
• Flux mode
• FX suite
• Mixer FX
• Includes Traktor Pro 3 and Traktor DJ 2

Pros
  • Plug and play
  • Sturdy and well-built
  • Customizable layout
  • Club-standard layout
  • Lightweight and portable
Cons
  • No dedicated filter knob
  • Restricted deck configuration

What’s The Best DJ Controller To Start With?

For those who are new to DJing or aspiring to be a DJ but are still looking for the best DJ controllers out there for them, I highly suggest Denon MC4000.

Denon comes close to Pioneer and Native Instruments when it comes to DJing brands, so yes, you can bank on them when it comes to quality and performance. I chose this because of the features it offers.

Denon MC4000 comes with the features that help one develop his skills which is very helpful for beginners. I also understand that those who are new to the craft want to practice all the time and this controller is lightweight and portable. You can bring it with you wherever you go.

It also comes with Serato DJ Intro which is great for newbies to start with. Once you feel that you already outgrew it, you can upgrade it to full Serato DJ software. However, please keep in mind that you will have to pay for the upgrade, which means additional cost.

Also, this controller is compatible with Traktor 2, Algoriddim Pro and Virtual DJ 8. So, yes, you have a number of options when it comes to choosing what mixer software to use.

So, for those looking for the best DJ controllers for beginners, you should get this one.

Which Pioneer DJ Controller Is The Best?

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2 is the best from the brand. They actually hit a home run when they designed this DJ controller.

It’s the highest-rated controller in the market and very portable. So, yes, for DJs who mix when on the go, this is the best that you can get in the market.

It is a compact controller but includes all the features and effects that you need to perform in a gig. Plus, it has a perfect layout! The knobs and buttons are placed accordingly and not crammed too tightly together. They are easy to navigate making it very convenient for you to explore to deliver the music you have in mind.

That’s not all, it also comes with a full version of Serato DJ software. Actually, if you are looking for an answer to this question, “what is the best Serato DJ controller?” you just have the answer – this is it!

Also, you need a durable controller if you often travel and this one guarantees durability and longevity. It is made of solid metal on every end, so it is exceptionally stable and lasting for its price range. In short, it is built to last regardless of how many gigs you play.f

How To Choose The Best DJ Controller?

To come up with the best DJ controller, you have to consider a number of things. For instance, there are compatibility and quality issues that must be met.

In this section, I will discuss the different things that you have to take in mind before purchasing a DJ controller. Are you ready? If you are, then let’s get started.

Software

DJ software is very important because most DJ controllers are tailor-made for specific software. Although many are cross-compatible like Serato most come with its own DJ software.

Picking a controller equipped with tailor-made software to have a number of benefits. First, it makes the learning curve easier because you are dealing with one item. Second, it will help you save money because you don’t have to spend separately for your DJ controller and DJ software.

A DJ controller allows you to work around the software or app, it’s the latter that does all the cool staff for you to perform at your best when DJing.

A DJ software does more than just loading your music library into the computer’s memory. It also provides virtual transport control for playback and creating virtual decks that you will be mixing.

That’s not all, it also monitors your mixing moves, applies the filters and effects you select, trigger samples, modify the music waveforms, and enable you to do more tricks.

Again, most if not all, DJ controllers, come with their own software. However, you should also consider that the included software is a scaled-down version of the manufacturer’s full-blown version.

The bundled software versions include “lite” or “LE” as part of the version name indicating that it’s a limited edition. While LE version is fine for starters, you will likely outgrow it and eventually upgrade to the manufacturer’s full version in time which means additional cost.

So, you have to examine which DJ software makes sense for you.

Modular Rigs vs All-In-One

There are two types of DJ controllers and you have to determine which between the two you prefer more and go for it.

Modular rigs refer to a DJ setup with separate sound sources like turntables and CD/media players, analog mixer and sound card to operate your gear via DJ software. The majority of DJs today use all-in-one controllers connected to a laptop to run their software.

Meanwhile, some prefer a pair of old-school turntables or CD/media players connected to a DJ mixer to start DJing. This approach is the best solution for those who are still new to the craft and are budget-strapped.

Another option for modular rigs is to go for a digital vinyl system that offers a tactile experience of physical scratching while taking advantage of software that allows you to mix within your laptop.

All-in-one DJ controllers combine everything you need in one device. It has a mixing section and computer/iOS interfaces in a single unit. Yes, it also includes physical knobs, buttons, and sliders to allow hands-on control of the DJ software or apps running in the computer, tablet, or smartphones.

You can actually operate most software or app functions using the laptop’s keyboard and mouse or on your iOS device’s touchscreen. However, once you experience controllers with dedicated physical controls, you’ll be amazed. And once you do, there’s usually no going back because the real knobs and buttons will help you perform more smoothly and rapidly.

System

You also need to determine the system you prefer to work with. Do you want one with CD players or US connectivity?

Usually, it’s tempting for one coming from CD or vinyl to digital to go for a system that works with a laptop and software, and works with US sticks and CDs too. With this, you get the best of both worlds.

However, you should also consider that in real life, most DJs don’t use the CD or USB function because it’s so much more fun to use the digital with its waveforms, FX and extra controls. Based on experience, most I know wished that had gone all the way and chose the digital system.

If at the time you are considering on whether you should get one with CD or vinyl support, then go for it. But if you are practical and don’t want to spend on features that you will likely not use, get a DJ controller that is 100% digital.

Model

Decide ahead if you want to buy a cheap and older model or a newly released controller which tends to be more expensive.

If you get the former, the jog wheel performance won’t be as updated as the new one. They will work but the performance-wise, the latest controller offers more because they are more responsive.

Also, old controllers may not be supported actively by software companies. But if the controller you’re considering is not really old, you can still go for it.
However, it might not take you long to get an upgrade for it.

Features and Functionalities

Of course, these are essential factors to consider when you look at DJ controllers. Some controllers come with several extra features that you might need.

Meanwhile, others only offer the basic features and those that you need to mix and perform.

For starters, getting one with the basics should be enough. Traditionally, DJing was done using two turntables and a mixer. I suggest that you get one that closely emulates it.

For newbies who are looking to purchase their first controller, you have to learn the mechanics of DJing. For instance, you will surely need platters, pitch faders, cue, and play buttons, mixers with EQing, line faders and a crossfader.

You can forgo the other DJ controllers that offer tons of high end feature that you won’t need anyway. Going after it might cost you more and it won’t be worth it.

Budget

The price of a DJ controller is another factor that you should consider. As mentioned in the previous section, you’ve got to consider the features and functions.

Usually, the more features the controller offers, the more costly it is. So, deciding what features and functions you want from a controller could affect your budget.

Most Dj equipment is expensive, but you can save if you go for a simpler controller that offers the basic features especially if you are a beginner DJ.

Also, if you have the money to buy an expensive one and you are a beginner getting his first DJ controller, I suggest that you don’t buy a costly controller.

I’ve talked to several individuals who were very enthusiastic about DJing but lost interest in it after a month or so. I’m telling you this because if you end up that route, buying an expensive controller won’t be worth it. I don’t say get a cheap one, but don’t buy the most expensive one.

Conclusion

Finding the best DJ controllers can be challenging, but with the tips mentioned above, it shouldn’t be that difficult for you to find the one that suits you best.

Controllers are essentials for DJing, so it’s a must that you are knowledgeable enough when it comes to finding the top DJ controllers in the market.

Again, for beginners and aspiring DJs, I highly recommend Denon MC4000 because it is simple, easy to use, and offers all the basic features expected for a DJ controller.

Meanwhile, for those Serato users who travel a lot and want to get the best out of their money, I suggest Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2 because of its sturdy built, portable design, smart layout, powerful features and more. Both are very easy to use and they perform as expected.

For those who are interested in learning more about DJing or want to familiarize the other DJ equipment needed for the job, feel free to visit our homepage.

Related:

ClubDJ Pro Features, What is Club DJ Pro

References

  • djcity.com.au/blog/what-is-the-best-dj-controller/#what-to-consider
  • digitaldjtips.com/2013/12/7-tips-buying-first-dj-controller/
  • pioneerdj.com/en/product/controller/ddj-1000/black/overview/
  • pioneerdj.com/en/product/controller/ddj-1000srt/black/overview/
  • serato.com/dj/hardware/pioneer-ddj-sb2

10 Best DJ Mixer Software

Welcome to CLUB DJ PRO! Your Ultimate Guide to Your DJ Mixing Needs!

DJ software program or app allows you to take individual music tracks and combine them to create a new track. This emulates the old-style way that DJs used in the past to remix tracks.

Are you into mixing sounds to produce a new track? Looking for a program to help you do the job? If you do, then you will find answers here!

We understand that DJing is a great career. Meanwhile, others simply enjoy doing it. If you are into this craft and you want to take your passion into the next level, it’s time to invest in a quality DJ software. Check out our list below.

DJ SoftwareCheck SitePrice (may change)OSReview
Serato DJ ProDownload Here$9.99/month; Buy $129Windows / Mac OS X4.5/5
Serato DJ LiteDownload HereFreeWindows / Mac OS X4.3/5
Virtual DJDownload Here$19/monthWindows / Mac OS X4.5/5
Traktor Pro 2Download Here$99Windows / Mac OS X4.5/5
UltramixerDownload Here$29Windows / Mac OS X3.8/5
Deckadance 2Download Here$79Windows/ Mac OS X3.5/5
Algoriddim Djay ProDownload Here$43Windows 103.5/5
Ableton LiveDownload HereIntro - $99
Standard - $449
Suite - $749
Windows 7/Windows 8/ Windows 105/5
Cross DJ ProDownload for Android
Download for iOS
Download for PC/Mac
$99iOS/Android/macOS/Windows3.4/5
MixxxDownload HereFreeWindows/macOS/Ubuntu3.9/5

#1 Serato DJ Pro

Click Here To Try Serato DJ Pro for Free!

This is one of the most popular DJ software on the market globally. In fact, they claimed to be the “world’s best DJ software.”

The people behind this software designed this with utmost reliability because they know that this factor is crucial whether you are at home or headlining. They also boast of having the lowest latency in the market.

DJ Pro is the most popular DJ software globally. Whether you’re talking about Hip-Hop, Dance and anything in between, this is the tool for you. This is equipped with rock-solid reliability and trusted by DJs for its incredible performance. In fact, this powers the world’s top artists on some of the biggest stages.

This tool supports over 90 pieces of hardware by industry leaders and every piece is tightly integrated to ensure the best experience possible. Furthermore, it offers you freedom for limitless performance. Its innovative features and intuitive interface will unlock the creativity in you.

?️ FEATURES

Performance Mode

  • Link – Ableton Link for syncing Serato DJ Pro with other devices usually over a local network.
  • Record – Record your mixes to upload online or listen back later.
  • FX – Up to 46 different effects that range from simple to complex so you can mess with your music.
  • Sampler – Load up to eight samples into the Sampler to play during your set.
  • Cue Points – Set eight Cue Points per track which can be triggered by your hardware and are visible on the waveforms.
  • Beatjump – Instantly jump forward or backward in your track by a predetermined amount, perfectly in time.
  • Colored Waveforms – Colors in the waveform show the frequency of the sound: bass is red, mids are green, treble is blue.
  • Sync – Sync will match the BPM of your tracks to free up your time, opening up a new range of possibilities.
  • Virtual Decks – See important track info such as BPM elapsed/remaining time and tempo adjust
  • Key Analysis – Analyze the key of your tracks. This can be displayed in a number of different formats.
  • Loops – Set and use Auto Loops, Saved Loops and Manual Loops.
  • Prepare Crate – Add tracks to a holding area to prepare your set. Once played, the track is removed from the area.
  • Library – All your music in one place. You can use iTunes, Crates and other features to organize your sets.

Practice Mode

  • Use sync and onscreen Pitch Slider to control the BPM of your tracks to get seamless mixes with no hardware connected.
  • Set four Cue Points per track which can be triggered by your hardware and are visible on the waveforms.
  • Onscreen Crossfader. Play two songs in Practice Mode – without hardware connections.
  • Other features same as performance mode.
Pros
  • Intuitive interface
  • Great for beginners
  • Includes practice and performance mode
  • Offers tons of powerful features
  • Supports over 90 pieces of hardware with simple plug and play design
  • Impressive library management
  • Analyzes music faster
  • Responsive for DVS scratching
  • Customer and technical support available
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Some of the new features were already outdated
  • You need to plug in a piece of hardware or you will be limited to one on the screen deck

#2 Serato DJ Lite 

Click Here To Download Serato DJ Lite for Free!

Are you looking for a DJ software free? Then Serato DJ Lite is the one for you. This is a stripped back version of Serato DJ Pro. Lite is easy to learn and it keeps things simple especially for beginner DJs.

This is built on Serato DJ Pro technology, so you can trust on this to be reliable and intuitive at the same time. Among the best thing in this tool is that it has a Practice Mode that doesn’t require any hardware which gives starters the opportunity to start and experience what DJing is.

With it’s easy to use hardware, you will never have a hard time learning how to use this app. If in case you find you find this too challenging for you, don’t worry because they have customers and technical support teams that are ready to assist you if you need help. In addition, they have a comprehensive range of tutorials that you can easily follow to make things work.

?️ FEATURES

Practice Mode

  • Cue Points. Set four Cue Points per track which can be triggered by your hardware and are visible on the waveforms.
  • BPM Controls. Use Sync and onscreen Pitch Slider to control the BPM of your tracks to get seamless mixes with no hardware connected.
  • Onscreen Crossfader. Play two songs in Practice Mode. No need for hardware connection.
  • Set and use Auto Loops, Saved Loops and Manual Loops.
  • All your music in one place. You can use iTunes and Serato Crate to organize your sets.

Performance Mode

  • Set cue Points per track triggered by your hardware and are visible on the waveforms.
  • Sampler/Fx. Add something extra to your set and mess with your music using cool effects.
  • Colors in the waveforms how the frequency of the sound: bass is red, mids are green, treble is blue.
  • Match up the BPMs of your playing tracks for the easy transition.
  • Song Analysis. Find key and track information such as BPM and track length.
  • Other features same as practice mode
Pros
  • Free
  • Easy to learn
  • Has comprehensive tutorials
  • Includes practice and performance modes
  • Customer and technical support available
  • Comes with a free two-week trial of Serato DJ Pro
Cons
  • Limited features compared to Serato DJ Pro

#3 Virtual DJ

Click Here To Download Virtual DJ for Free!

Virtual DJ is another great DJ software for PC and MAC. A number of DJs have already replaced their turntables and CD players to use this digital music instead of vinyl and CDs.

?️ FEATURES

  • Sandbox. Help you get ready for your next mix at the same time your audience is enjoying your current song. With this feature, you can move to the end of the playing track and mix in the next track.
  • Sampler. This lets you play unlimited samples at the same time. The selected samples can be audio tracks, videos or images. You can organize and group samples like an instrument bank.
  • Sound Engine. The audio components include an equalizer, filter, limiter or pitch-stretcher are designed to leverage the strength of modern computers to deliver crystal-clear sounds.
  • Browser. This has three components – folders, file view and side view that lets you manage your folder, karaoke list, side list for easy access.
  • Effects. The effect windows can float and be moved around the computer screen. You can un-pin the effects list to place it where you want.
  • Editors. This DJ software tool is rich with built-in editing functions including:
  • Automix. Let’s you pre-edit an auto mix sequence, fine-tune mix out and mix-in marks, the transition type and with videos. The program remembers mix tuning and lets you use those settings when you use the same two songs next.
  • Track Cleaner. Make edits to your tracks by removing inappropriate lyrics, deleting unnecessary intros or looping sections.
  • Video. Add text effects or lyrics or add new video tracks to audio-only tracks.
  • Sample. Adjust how you use audio, video or image samples including tweaking transparency on videos or cropping audio clips.
  • Point of Interest. Manage your cues, including beat grid anchors, saved loops and auto mix points.
  • Broadcast. Share your mixes to popular social platforms and add a cool graphic with video skins. You can also engage with your viewers with screen-grab and visualization. 
Pros
  • Clean and easy to use
  • You can change the skins to your likings
  • You can get add-ons
  • Tons of wonderful and helpful features
Cons
  • You have to hunt for the auto DJ option
  • Free version can’t broadcast
  • It’s hard to learn all the knobs and controls

#4 Traktor Pro 2

Click Here To Download Free Traktor Pro Demo!

Traktor Pro 2 is a professional 4-deck DJ software. It contains a wealth of software features designed for ultimate flexibility and intuitive pro performance. It has an advanced library management to automatic track analysis to take care of the essentials.

Traktor offers video tutorials to help you learn the basics. It includes step-by-step videos co-produced with top industry partners that cover everything from set up to manage your music files. It contains tips on how to refine your mixes and more, too!

?️ FEATURES

  • Track Preparation. Browse and find your favorite tracks in seconds. This also comes with full iTunes integration that is quickly accessible directly from Traktor.
  • Sync. Track BPM, beat grids and key are automatically detected on import used by the powerful Sync engine for perfectly beat matched mixes – every time.
  • Software Mixer. The built-in software mixer that provides a wealth of customizable professional DJ mixer features. Choose from different EQs and filter types modeled after industry favorites.
  • Looping and cueing. Record audio from a live source, master out or individual channels for creative, multi-layered overdubs. Then transfer sounds into Remix Decks slots instantly.
  • Remix Decks. Slice, edit and deconstruct tracks on the fly using Traktor’s Remix Decks. You can spontaneously capture loops and load sounds in up to 64 slots during your set to add a personal touch to your tracks.
  • Stems. A Stem file is an open, multi-channel audio file that contains a track split into four musical elements – bass, drums, vocals, and melody. You can load the file into Traktor Pro’s Stem Decks and create spontaneous edits, acappellas, instrumentals and more with each track element available independently. Each stem is visible as its own waveform thanks to the Stem View.
Pros
  • New sample deck and loop recorder
  • Varied sync options
  • Colored waveforms
  • Easy to adjust the interface to suit individual requirements
  • Easy to use, great for beginners and experienced DJs
  • Tried, tested and proven DJ software
  • Great for DJs and turntablist
  • Compatible with lots of hardware
  • Include special controllers and hardware to help you get creative
  • Allows you to mix internally without hardware
  • Support team available
Cons
  • Not capable of reading timecode vinyl or CDs

#5 Ultramixer

Click Here To Download Ultramixer DJ for Free!

UltraMixer provides a lot of new entertainment possibilities to play music videos and karaoke songs just as easily as normal audio songs. It has crystal clear sound, real database, 70 native supported MIDI controllers for music, karaoke or video mixing. This is the perfect DJ software for any mobile DJ.

UltraMixer combines many apps in one software. When you buy this, you will have the following tools too.

  • Video
  • Karaoke player
  • Video sampler
  • Live visualization

?️ FEATURES

  • 4-Deck Mode. Allows you to mix or prepare up to 4 tracks.
  • Integrated auto-sync. Allows you to mix tracks mit in one simple click.
  • Supports MIDI controllers. UltraMixer can be controlled by mouse and keyboard or all common MIDI-DJ controllers. It has over 80 DJ controller mappings that are directly included in UltraMixer – plug in and play. New MIDI controller is constantly added and provided via free software updates. The integrated MIDI mapper makes it possible to create your own MIDI mappings and change predefined mappings.
  • Supports common brands including Pioneer, Denon, Reloop, Numark, American DJ, Hercules, Behringer, M-Audio or Vestax.
  • Stable audio engine with auto-sync functionality. This software offers you crystal clear and precise sound and professional mixing with a single click. The stability is guaranteed even if the system is under high load.
  • Auto-DJ. Automatic transitions with equalized volume and automatic music for hours. It allows you to enjoy hours of music with perfect transitions. This is perfect for the time right before the manual mixing, automated background music in restaurants or a replacement for a real DJ at parties.
  • Create your own blends. There are different blending curves to choose from and you can create your own blends for a perfect mix. UltraMixer also supports your mix with its built-in loudness normalization for equalized volume.
  • Modern and powerful interface. It has a clean and modern interface that is adjustable by widgets. You can even adjust the font size, font family via mouse click. It has different skins and color schemes too for variety and individuality.
  • Database-backed music archive. It is equipped with a true database for professional music management that allows you to integrate and do a quick search for suitable music in just a matter of seconds.
  • Create virtual groups, playlists, and wishlists. You can mark them by assigning colors and sort them to fit your preference.
  • Import iTunes or BPM-studio archives into UltraMixer with a single mouse click.

?️ Additional features:

  • 8 integrated real-time effects
  • Singular 31 band equalizer
  • 6 hot cue buttons
  • Smart synchronous looping
  • 16 channel sample players
Pros
  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Powerful mixing options
  • Promises ultra -stability
  • Great for mobile DJs
  • Support community available
  • Continuous updates available
Cons
  • A complicated and lengthy registration process
  • May take a while to work out

#6 Deckadance 2

Click Here To Download Free Deckadance Demo!

Deckadance is another software that allows you to mix like a pro. This mixing application tool is so powerful, you will surely love it even if you’re just learning how to DJ mix.

Deckadance 2 encourages you to unleash your freedom and creativity in creating music whether you’re a touring professional, remix/groove producer, turntablist, scratch DC, club DJ or mobile DJ. This DJ software allows for flexible configuration depending on your performance objectives.

With this, you can run VST compliant effects and softsynths for producing unique mind-blowing musical performances. It can also be controlled with MIDI controllers, timecoded vinyl and CD systems. This is equipped with all the necessary tools and features you need to do get the job done.

?️ FEATURES:

  • 2 or 4 Decks capable of loading MP3, FLAC, M4a (iTunes), WMA, WAV, AIFF, and OGG.
  • Automatic and manual beat detection and beat-gridding of tracks for sophisticated beat-matching.
  • Time stretching/compression – zPlaneElastique time-stretching/compression technology (key lock) for best master tempo quality.
  • Visual analysis display. Color waveform based on the spectral content
  • Snap feature makes any timed features snap to the detected beat
  • 8 Cue points
  • Loop and leap
  • Auto-synching function
  • Auto beat-sync playback
  • Precise pitch control and deck accurate pitch blend slow/fast control
  • Key detection algorithm
  • Key sync button to find a compatible key closest to the master deck key
  • Key text color
  • Key value import from song file meta tags
  • Grid and beat marks editor
  • Internal torque simulation with realistic mouse scratch/hold
  • Automatic Gain Control (AGC) for decks based on perceived loudness
  • On-the-fly audio disk recorder
  • Smart utility panels
  • Mixer
  • Effects
  • Browser or song management
  • Sampler/Grossbeats/Smartknobs
  • VST plugin and host
  • Digital vinyl (DVS)
  • MIDI Support
Pros
  • 2 or 4 Deck Mixing
  • Smart Knobs
  • Sampler
  • Nice GUI layout
  • Affordable price
  • Available forums for support
Cons
  • Requires more clicking around to access functions and parameters
  • Automatic beat grids don’t work perfectly

#7 Algoriddim DJay Pro

Click Here To Download Algoriddim DJay Trial!

AlgoriddimDJay Pro 2 reinvents the DJ software. It is the next generation of Algoriddim’s multiple award-winning DJ software. It has a unique, modern interface is built around a sophisticated integration with iTunes and Spotify, giving you instant access to millions of songs.

DJay Pro 2 reinvents the DJ software. It is the next generation foAlgoriddim’s multiple award-winning DJ software. It has a unique, modern interface is built around a sophisticated integration with iTunes and Spotify, giving you instant access to millions of songs.

It has pristine sound quality with the powerful set of features including high-definition waveforms, four decks, audio effects, video mixing and hardware integration for creative flexibility to take your sets to new heights.

?️ FEATURES

    • My Library. Has a rich and powerful library editing features for easier music management. You can create your own custom playlist using songs from iTunes, Spotify and the file system.
    • Split Mode. With this, you can view songs from iTunes, Spotify and Finder side by side. This makes managing songs from multiple sources more convenient and efficient.
    • Smart Filters and Playlists. Helps you organize your playlists quickly. It includes 12 different criteria, you can also create rules to display what you need, to create permanent playlists or to temporarily find a specific song.
    • Single Deck Mode. Gives you a large view that is ideal for preparing cue points, loops and beat grids.
    • djay + Spotify. This is the first DJ software that integrates Spotify and gives you access to millions of songs.
    • Automix AI. Automatic DJ mixes based on artificial intelligence. With this, you can lean back and automate your sets in advance with stunning transitions. It also uses machine learning and training sets from human DJs, Automix AI intelligently identifies rhythmic patterns and the best intro and outro sections of songs. This also calculates optimal fade durations and automatically applies parameter changes to EQs and filters for a seamless transition.
    • PhotoBeat. Mix photos in perfect sync with the music.
    • Saved loops and cue points. Allows you to save up to 8 loops and cue points.
    • Post-fader FX. The effects can now be assigned post fader so that closing a fader no longer means shutting off effect tails.
    • New Audio Engine. Offers ultra-low latency, better speed, high-resolution waveforms, and better effects, EQs, filters, and loops.
    • Keyboard shortcut editor. Includes a full keyboard editor that is very useful if you work with a laptop and want to add frequently used features to your setup via the keyboard.
    • Improved visual transitions. Mix vides with visual transitions including Blend, Luma, Cube, Swap, Grid, Mosaic and Push.
    • Title and image overlays. Allows you to overlay videos with text titles and images.
    • A/V recording. Aside from video mixing capabilities, this gives you the ability to record your sets including audio, video, overlays, and effects.
    • Visual FX. Includes a host of high-quality visual effects which can be chained to offer a large amount of audio and video creativity. The effects include Grid EQ, Kaleidoscope, Circle Splash, RGB Offset, Edges, Invert, Tiles, Splash, Ripples and Radial Blur.
    • Visualizers. You can apply stunning audio visualizers to your songs and synchronize it to the music based on tempo, beats or frequency.
    • External display. DJ pro has the ability to display output to monitors, TVs, and projects with the right connectors.
    • Pre-Cuing. Preview and prepare your next song through DJ headphones.
    • Multi-channel audio interfaces. Offers native support for USB audio interfaces.
  • MIDI Control. Supports over 50 MIDI controllers and includes an advanced MIDI Learn system.
  • Plug & Play Setup. Allows you to set up your preferred DJ system.
  • CDJ integration. You can link up to 4 CDJs. Allows you to easily integrate the DJ software with up to 4 CDJs.
Pros
  • Impressive sound quality
  • X-Y effects control
  • Compatible to most DJ controllers
  • Some useful features are programmed to work with MacBook Pro TouchBar
  • Images in video mode
  • Simple and beautiful interface
  • No controller needed
  • Automix AI
Cons
  • Different keyboard shortcuts than Serato
  • Additional cost for extra

#8 Ableton Live

Click Here To Download Ableton Live for Free!

Ableton Live 10 available in three editions – Intro, Standard, and Suite.  This DJ software allows you to create rich sound with a new synthesizer. You can add stomp box crunch and give it space and character. You can also shape the sound of your drums, and automate with precision and ease.

Live is smart, it will remember your ideas even if you didn’t press Record. You can also edit multiple MIDI clips at the same time and edit audio directly in the arrangement. That’s not all, you can expand your Djing experience with its built-in Max for the Live feature. However, this is only available for the Suite edition.

Here’s an overview of the three Live variations.

FeaturesIntroStandardSuite
Bundled Sounds5+ GB10+ GB70+ GB
Number of Devices--4769
Max for LiveNoNoYes
Instruments4515
Audio Effects213446
MIDI Effects8816
Price$99$449$749

?️ FEATURES

  • Unique Session View for quick, intuitive composition and flexible performance.
  • Nondestructive editing with unlimited undo
  • Multitrack recording up to 32-bit/192 kHz
  • Enjoy many more small improvements
  • Powerful MIDI sequencing of software and hardware instruments
  • Advanced warping and real-time time-stretching
  • Unlimited Instruments, Audio effects and MIDI effects per project
  • Group tracks. Use multiple levels of groups to mix with great flexibility and manage detailed arrangements more easily.
  • VST and Audio Unit support
  • Time signature changes
  • Multiple automation lanes
  • Track Freeze
  • Capture MIDI can turn what you played into MIDI clips without recording
  • Automatic plug-in delay compensation
  • MIDI remote control instant mapping
  • MIDI output to hardware synths
  • MIDI Clock/sync
  • Multicore/multiprocessor support
  • WAV/AIFF, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC file support
  • Ableton Link keeps instances of Live and a growing collection of iOS apps in time over a wireless network.
Pros
  • New devices are excellent
  • Max for Live now properly built-in
  • The suit is packed with great sound
  • Capture might change your life
  • Has three editions to choose from
Cons
  • Still no comping
  • Some features are long overdue
  • Suite edition is expensive

#9 Cross DJ Pro

Click Here To Download Cross DJ Pro Demo for Free!

Modern technology and streamlined applications have taken the disc jockey industry to the next level. With this DJ software app, you will get to enjoy a plethora of cool features when using Cross DJ Pro.

Cross DJ Pro is one of the most popular DJ applications available in the smartphone market. This could be due to the various editing options it offers. Here are some of the features that you will enjoy from this app.

?️ FEATURES

  • Realistic scratch sound
  • Low latency: music reacts instantly to your actions
  • Audio FX (Hi & Low-Pass, Echo, Delay, Flanger, Chopper, Roll, Phaser, Brake & more)
  • Loops (1y to 1/32), slip loops, 26 large hot-cues pad
  • Sampler: 72 samples, synced to the main player
  • Record & play your own samples
  • Record your mix & share it to SoundCloud, Mixcloud, Facebook & Twitter
  • Keylock mode. Change BPM without affecting the tone
  • Key detection. Detect the key of the songs and know which tracks sound good together
  • Automatically equalizes the levels of 2 tracks + Autosync
  • External mixer. Control EQs and crossfader with hardware mixers
  • Supported MIDI controllers
  • Multichannel audio on devices running Android Marshmallow
  • Industry standard DJ setup: 2 decks, crossfader, Cue/Play/Sync buttons
  • 3-band mixer with DJM EQ preset
  • Separate tabs. Swipe to display different panels on each side
  • Mix Sound Cloud. Explore, Play & Mix All Soundcloud
  • Big waveform view
  • Large pads & controls
  • Sort your music library by title, artist, album, BPM or length
  • Play MP3s, AAC, FLAC & more
  • Navigation by folder
  • Portrait mode: big single player
  • Change each deck’s color: blue, orange, red, yellow, green, purple and pink
  • Optimized for mobile, tablet and Intel processors
Pros
  • Professional virtual mixer
  • Low latency
  • Impressive library management
  • Packed with great features
Cons
  • Some hear high levels of static during playback
  • Smartphones screen sizes of under four inches are not supported

#10 Mixxx

Click Here To Download Mixxx DJ for Free

This is a free and open source DJ software for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Due to its nature, you can expect tons of contribution from the community that yields to a number of impressive features.

Mixxx is probably the best free DJ software you will ever find. It is rich with powerful features and most especially, a friendly community of DJs, programmers, and artists who are willing to contribute to making this software better.

?️ FEATURES

  • BPM, Key Detection and Sync. This helps you find the perfect next track from your library. You can use master sync to match the tempo and beats of four songs for seamless mixing.
  • Allows you to add a unique spin to tracks with sound effects. You can get as creative as you can by chaining multiple effects together and twisting all their knobs.
  • DJ Controller Support. Has built-in mappings for DJ controller hardware that gives you hands-on control of Mixxx’s features. You can use the programmable mapping system to customize workflow and add support for any MIDI or HID device.
  • Vinyl Record Control. You can use turntables with timecode vinyl records to control playback and scratch your digital music file.
  • Record and Broadcast. Mixxx is packed with a number of recording and broadcasting features to help you share your mixes and spread your name. Here are some of it.
    • Recording
    • ReplayGain Normalization
    • Live Broadcasting
    • Microphone and Auxiliary Inputs
  • Sophisticated music library. Mixxx’s music library is designed to help you organize your music well, so you can sort and search it conveniently and quickly. It is packed with a high-performance database for intuitive and fast searching.
    • Creates and Playlists
    • Search & Sort
    • iTunes and Traktor Library Integration
    • MusicBrainz Tag Lookup

Here are more features that Mixxx offers:

  • Pitch and Key Control
  • Beat Looping
  • Master Sync
  • Hotcues
  • Beat Rolls and Censor
  • Quantization
  • Broad Format Support
  • EQ and Crossfader Control
Pros
  • Free and open source
  • Sophisticated music library
  • Time stretching effects
  • Accurate BPM detection
  • Easy broadcasting
  • Has a friendly and supportive community
Cons
  • Limited pre-bundled effects
  • No mobile support

Conclusion

For those who love to mix music, have a dream of becoming a DJ or are already DJing, the list of DJ software above is for you. You can start your DJing career using these software applications or indulge in your passion for music no matter what your favorite genre is.

If you are looking for the best DJ software, try the brands mentioned above and you will surely love it. Some are free and others are affordable because we make sure that you will find one that fits your budget. So, try any of it today.

For more guides, information, and resources on DJing, check our homepage.

Related:

What is ClubDJ Pro, Club DJ Pro features

References

  • ableton.com/en/live/compare-editions/
  • musicradar.com/reviews/ableton-live-10
  • youtube.com/watch?v=Z9Ku5ptjzKw
  • cross-dj-pro.en.softonic.com/android
  • serato.com/dj/pro
  • serato.com/dj/lite
  • virtualdj.com/
  • native-instruments.com/en/products/traktor/dj-software/traktor-pro-2/software-features/
  • stantondj.com/deckadance-2.html
  • algoriddim.com/djay-pro-mac
  • ableton.com/en/live/compare-editions/
  • cross-dj-pro.en.softonic.com/android#app-softonic-review
  • mixxx.org/