Finding the Best DJ Controller For Beginners
So you’re thinking to get into the world of DJing. Well before you become master of the dance floor with the best DJ speaker setup on the block; you’ll need to find the right introductory gear to get started and learn the ins and outs of the game.
If you’re looking for good monitor headphones to go with your first controller check out our run-down of the best headphones for DJing.
Whether your want to pump a crowd or create something personal; I’ve put together a list of great controllers for newbies – young and old. Nothing is more fun than playing and mixing beats for others to enjoy. Below you’ll be able to find the best DJ kits for beginners from our handpicked list of controllers that give you the best value for the cost.
This list of controllers is perfect for jumping into DJing.
Rundown of The Best Beginner Controllers
Numark Mixtrack 3
DJs need to give themselves freedom to explore their trade. This controller lets you experiment and manipulate music like a pro. The Numark Mixtrack 3 is an amazing DJ Controller. It has enough features for you to hone your trade.
For the price, the DJ controller is a great bargain. It’s biggest draw are the large faders on each deck. They allow for some real fine-tuning accuracy compared to most kits. This precision will go a long way in teaching you how to find the perfect balance. This controller shines best for creating, recording and perfecting mix tracks at home. It does require a bit of additional setup however. Headphones will need to be plugged into a computer, as it doesn’t have an external sound card.
DDJ-200 – Top Pick for Kids
This is the newest controller from Pioneer is the DDJ-200, it’s intended as an entry level controller. Utilizing free phone, tablet and laptop applications you can jump right in to mixing and learning the ropes. No laptop needed. It’s price point is low, and it’s feature set is smaller, but everything translates if you’re looking for more power down the road. The controller comes with compatibility for most free DJ applications.
The main strengths of the controller of its size and price point. For new DJs its an excellent starting point (In fact I’ve wished Pioneer would put something out at this level for a while now with Numark eating up all the market share). It’s size is really helpful in case you want to just play around or test new techniques. It’s much less focused on playing a show and excels in intimate settings. This is the perfect controller if there’s any uncertainty. Especially for people who just want to test the hobby out. However if you’re really thinking about putting a lot of effort into the skill, I would personally look at the DDJ-400 instead.
The controller works with tons of free applications, allowing for learning the many different softwares. WeDJ, Algoriddims DJay, Edjing Mix and Rekordbox DJ. This is a massive strength for beginners because you don’t need a laptop to run the applications iOS and Android devices are fine, saving money and jumping right into the mixes. The controller even comes with some tutorials with WeDJ.
Crossfader’s test of the DDJ 200:
Hercules DJControl Compact Controller
This is one of the most cost efficient controllers on the list. I would highly suggest this one for parents with children looking to try out DJing. It’s small, cost effective, and simplistic enough to use. This controller was created by Hercules with the intention to reach people who are on the fence and just want to dip their feet in the hobby before fully investing in equipment.
This portable controller has all the baseline features. These fundamentals are present in more expensive gear and covers all the basics of DJing. If you’re looking for similar cheap controllers with a more comprehensive feature set, check out this guide on the best compact DJ controllers.
Basically if you need to learn something, it will be on this controller. Plus at the cost, it’s very good for figuring out if DJing is for you in the first place. This will definitely take you to an intermediate user level and get you going. One major bonus is a full version of software comes with this so, there are no other additional fees if you want to dive into the hobby a bit more.
The Pioneer DDJ-SB3 is the Pioneer’s entry level pro DJ controller. Not only is it beginner friendly, but it’s also good to go for shows. As you get used to the device you’ll quickly find out that it’s fully loaded for it’s price.
This is the only controller on the list that will give you access to this advanced skill-sets. It has four decks for queuing tracks meaning there’s more to mix, and more to juggle. It has extremely good sound quality and a professional layout.
Beginners who learn to use to its limits will be able to use any controller on the market. It’s robust and definitely built to last. Comes with a sound card and features that blow everything else on this list out of the water. If you’re looking to actually break into doing live shows eventually, the DDJ-SB3 would be my main pick.
Numark Party Mix
All in all this is a very good entry into DJing for youngsters and hobbyists. The software is extremely easy to use. It has more settings and features to learn than the Hercules mentioned above and it’s perfect for mixing small parties and comes with a built in light show. It’s a little more durable than other controllers on this list.
The biggest feature is the soundcard, you can hook this up to an RCA speaker output without additional gear. Great for live mini shows at home.
These are my top picks for someone who would be interested in getting started with an entry level controller. I chose these more for people who are looking to dabble to see if the hobby is a fit for them. As such the price points are low because I consider most of these beginner dj controllers.
That said most of these controllers have more features than other similarly priced models and stand above in quality and reviews. If you’re willing to pay for the best and want to start with the top of the line, definitely check out this DDJ SR review.
Whether you start at the high or low end. You want to be able to explore and grow your skills and find something that works within your budget. With these controllers you won’t ever feel restrained and they’ll take you far.
Picking Up DJing? Making The Most Of Your New Hobby
DJing can be quite intimidating if you’re a complete newbie. Honestly it’s the same as it is with any other musical instrument. To make the most out of your new investment I have a course suggestion. You can be rocking a crowd within a week. It’s much more comprehensive and organized than most of the resources I’ve found online.
The course is very inexpensive and comprehensive course on the art of DJing. It focuses on everything from the controller to the crowd. Plus it’s cheaper than a movie night out. If you’re looking for a beginner DJing course to go with your new controller; this will help you start your journey right: