Thinking of DJ Training? Check Out 3 Top DJ Controllers on the Market!

Posted on September 23rd, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

Maximize your mixing potential after DJ training by trying your hand at one (or more!) of these three industry-standard DJ controllers
Jog wheels, touch strips, faders, and more make up a modern DJ’s controller. Each piece has its own part to play in the live DJ sound-mixing process that turns songs we like into mixes we love.

If these terms sound like a foreign language, don’t worry—the right DJ training program will sharpen your skills and bring this expertise within reach. At a training institute like Trebas, you can get hands-on experience and an overview of the different equipment today’s DJs have at their disposal, including: mixers, controllers, vinyl and CD turntables, MP3s, encoded records, mixing software, and related components.

Put simply, a controller is used to send mixing signals to a computer or in-house sound system software, which then plays out the desired mix to the masses. Controllers are more spacious ways for DJs to modify music than laptop keyboards or iOS touchpads, involving the various elements mentioned above (from jog wheels to faders) along with output channels that allow DJs to preview their sounds as they mix them.

Interested in getting your hands on a controller of your own? Check out three controller options ideal for passionate, up-and-coming DJs like you.

1. Pioneer DDJ-SX2: Dream Mixing Machinery for Any DJ College Student

When it comes to DJ equipment brands, Pioneer is known for offering excellent control and functionality on the affordable side of premium offerings. It’s similar to the top-of-the-line, approximately $2,500 Pioneer DDJ-SZ, offering similarly high-quality results at a significant price cut (SX2 is about $1,400 in total).

The SX2 is the closest you’ll come to a stationary club setup, with top-notch Serato control and high quality pads for spinning. Serato is music-mixing software that many of today’s top controllers are built to use. Students with DJ training understand how to adjust machinery to suit their preferred mixing software (known in the industry as ‘MIDI application’).

“Most controllers are MIDI assignable, which means they can be manually set up to work with most DJ software,” explains David Michael from the Passionate DJ podcast. He recommends the SX2 for anyone wanting “fantastic in-the-box control” at what he considers to be a “reachable price.”

2. Gemini G2V: A Solid Standby for Grads of DJ Training

If that price is not reachable to you, the Gemini G2V is a good mid-level choice at just over $350, with lots of connectivity options and good build quality. While it’s on the clunky side, this solid and durable mixing machine will serve you well in DJ training and beyond.

It comes bundled with Virtual DJ Lite Edition software, limiting to you to the number of decks you can mix—so it’s possible that you’ll outgrow this software as your skills expand in DJ school. But if you’re willing to dish out a few extra dollars for software upgrades every so often, this is a system and mixer that can grow with you.

3. Numark MixTrack Pro III: Allowing the Best Beats for the Tightest Budget

For students at DJ school who don’t need a full-fledged machine but want versatility and quality without breaking the bank, the MixTrack Pro III is a great solution. Compared to mid-level options, the pads feel a little lackluster, but it also includes high-level features like touch strips, individual channel metering, and full-size jog wheels.

A DJ uses his controller’s touch pad at DJ School

A DJ uses his controller’s touch pad

Consider its spacious layout and approximate price tag of $299 and this might seem like the ideal starter controller for you. Like the Gemni G2V, the MixTrack Pro III comes with the ‘Lite’ version of its DJ software, only this time it’s Serato DJ Intro. For upgraded software you’ll have to open your wallet again, but the basic package is a great and completely practical choice for DJs at the start of their careers.

Want to get your hands on industry-standard equipment at Toronto’s best DJ college?

Visit Trebas to learn more or speak to an advisor about getting started.

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