Review & Video: Denon MC2000 Serato DJ Intro Controller

Review Summary:

This is a joy to DJ on, with solid, dependable controls and intuitive, streamlined and performance-focused software. It lets you get down to the nitty gritty of DJing fast, and frankly it offers all many DJs might ever need. It's really simple to set up, and utterly reliable once you're up and running. Should you want to experiment with mappings, different software, adding extra hardware and so on, it could happily remain at the centre of your DJing set-up because you can use it with other software. It's better mapped to Serato DJ Intro than the Mixtrack Pro is, and it's also far better built, but of course you do pay extra for that. Both are great controllers - but if I had the extra money, I'd definitely go for the Denon.

MC2000 Serato DJ Intro Controller
Is the Denon MC2000 the perfect Intro controller? We find out...

Is the Denon MC2000 the perfect Intro controller? We find out...

Review: Denon MC2000 Serato DJ Intro Controller

For a long time now, we've recommended the Numark Mixtrack Pro as the best DJ controller for beginners, as it's cheap and it does the basics well. But the Denon DJ MC2000, which launched on Monday and which we've had the chance to have a thorough test of in the Digital DJ Tips workshop, looks like giving the Mixtrack Pro a real run for its money.

Supplied with Serato DJ Intro (one of the easiest pieces of DJ software to get going quickly with, and for which there is now a Serato DJ upgrade available), beautifully built in metal, and coming in at a competitive if not rock-bottom price, the Denon DJ MC2000 has, on paper, got a lot going for it. But with competition fierce at the lucrative entry-level end of the DJ controller market, does it stand out enough to be a success? Let's unbox it and find out...

First impressions

Right from grabbing hold of the box, two things stand out about the MC2000. Firstly, it is pleasingly heavy, suggesting the usual Denon quality of build. To be fair, I've never seen a poorly or cheaply built piece of Denon gear, DJ or otherwise. Secondly, while the box makes clear that (as with practically all Midi DJ controllers) the unit can be used with any DJ software (Denon says mappings will be available imminently for Traktor and Virtual DJ), this unit is being pushed hard as the perfect controller for DJ Intro, the entry-level DJ program from Serato.

This fact is emblazoned all over the box, and the "plug and play with Serato DJ Intro" benefit is the first listed feature. The integration goes more than skin deep: The controls on the unit's surface are laid out to mirror the software as well. Inside the box are a CD of the software (although you can download it for free from the Serato website anyway, at any time), a PC driver (no driver necessary for Mac), the unit itself, and a USB cable to connect it to the computer.

The unit is compact, being no deeper than a 13" MacBook, and only a few inches wider. It is soberly and smartly presented, with a black metal chassis that slops inward as it reaches the bottom, a black metal faceplate, and Denon's usual style of knobs, buttons, faders and jogwheels, none of which feel any lower in quality that those on the company's far more expensive gear.

The only plastic at all in evidence on its build is the thin silver trim that runs around the outside of the unit. Overall, it feels and looks fantastic.

Denon MC2000 DJ Intro

The faders are good quality, and the crossfader is nice and loose, although pro scratch DJs may find it wanting.

This is a two-channel DJ controller, so down the middle we have a two-channel mixer. Each of the channels has gain hi, mid and low EQs, a line fader, and a cue button for headphones selection. The crossfader for switching between the two channels is reasonably loose and it would be possible to use the DN2000 for scratching, although it's not a pro scratch fader by any means.

Between the two sets of EQs are the library browse controls, which let you look through your music - with the help of a stepped selector - and navigate files and folders, and well as load your chosen tune onto your chosen channel deck.

The left and right bottom halves of the unit are where you'll find the decks, which contain identical controls. Each has a 60mm pitch fader with central indent; a rather small but smooth and assured jogwheel; cue and play/pause buttons; the ubiquitous "sync" button; a vinyl mode button for switching jogwheel scratch behaviour on and off; manual pitch bend buttons (a la CDJs); and a key lock button that also doubles up as a pitch range cycle button when used in conjunction with "shift".

MC2000 faceplate

The faceplate of the MC2000, showing its traditional layout that also closely follows the layout of the DJ Intro software.

The top area, above each deck, again is duplicated left and right, and contains the cue, effects, sample and loop controls.

There are four hot cue buttons which double up as sample trigger buttons when used with "shift"; a five-button loop control section; and a three button/three knob effects control section, which also has an infinity controller to halve/multiple the beats cycle for the effects, and also to control sample volume when used with "shift".

Round the back are the USB socket for connecting to your computer, stereo RCA master outputs, a single Aux In with its own level control knob and monitor level knob, and an 1/8" TRS mic in, again with a level knob. The front has a solitary 1/4" headphones socket, whose volume and cue/mix characteristics are controlled by two knobs on the far left of the top panel. The master level is far right on the top panel.

Setting up and in use

Setting up is child's play on a Mac, nearly as easy on a PC. PC? Install drivers. Install software. Mac? Install software. Plug in. Plug some active speakers and a pair of headphones in.

Setting up the MC2000

Especially on a Mac, it is child's play to get the controller up and running.

Now, navigate to where you've got some music on your PC (or just play from iTunes like most DJs do with this kind of gear, iTunes being build right there into the software complete with playlists). Load a track, and hit play. You're off and running.

No audio output configuration. No set-up wizard. No mappings to load. This is the closest you're going to get to plug and play with any DJ controller on a PC, and it genuinely is plug and play on a Mac. It's how it should be.

The software
With Serato, you get two screens: one view when you launch the software, and another for when the unit is plugged in. The "offline" screen lets you set cue points and analyse your collection so the software gets a chance to guess the BPM ahead of time, and then when you plug your controller in, you're ready to go.

So - on plugging the controller in, the screen remains predominantly filled by your library, but the list of tunes is now joined by two small decks and two full-width waveform windows. (By the way, if you're looking to play from your iTunes, you need to go into the set-up menu and click the tick box to show iTunes in the file tree. I think this should be enabled by default.) On selecting a tune and loading it using the Sel. knob and Load button for the chosen deck, the waveform populates its window. Serato's waveforms are clear and colour-coded by frequency, and they're the best in the business in my opinion.

As well as the main waveforms, and just like Serato ITCH, you get two "helper" waveforms, much smaller and in the centre of the screen; one which shows you the peaks of both tracks running mirrored alongside each other, and the other that shows you similar peaks but stationary. The former is good for quick BPM sense checking in a mix, the latter as a guide to getting the initial BPM there or thereabouts when manually beatmatching. Both are useful, and both are unique to Serato.

Decks and cues
The jogwheels are superb. While they may prove small for some fingers, they were fine for me, and they perform excellently with the software. They have dual scratch/nudge functionality, switchable to just nudge by turning off Vinyl Mode, but they still have the vinyl behaviour when cueing in either mode, which is sensible. They are tight, tight, tight; if you're coming to controllers for the first time from vinyl, I promise you they'll amaze you in performance, and you'll feel at home in seconds. Top marks. Likewise, the pitch faders, despite being quite short, are highly accurate; it's easy to alter the tunes by 1/100 of a BPM, which is enough for any DJ.

Denon MC2000 cue & play buttons

The Denon MC2000 cue and play buttons are quite small but are firm and sure in use.

The cue and play/pause buttons, backlit red and green respectively, are quite small too, but are big enough and are hard with a definite "click"; this means it's easy to hit them with accuracy. Likewise the hot cue buttons, which have plenty of space around them. Cue juggling is going to be relatively easy on this, should you feel the need to try a bit of button bashing at any point.

There's sometimes an issue with the power supply on USB-only DJ controller; both output volume/headphone volume and LED brightness can suffer as units struggle to get enough current from your computer. There's no option to add an external power supply.

In this instance, though on our MacBook Air, the buttons are bright enough except in broad sunshine, and the volume in the V-Moda Crossfade headphones that I tested the unit with was plenty loud enough. Likewise, I found the output level from the RCAs to be equivalent to comparable controller. No issues here, and I'd imagine this has been throughly tested by Denon as there's no option to add an external power supply.

The EQs and gain controls kill to nothing, which is great as too many DJ software/hardware combinations don't offer this option. Here is our first shortcoming, though: there are no VU meters, either on the unit or in the software. That means the DJ's basic workflow of loading and playing a new track in headphones, and immediately tweaking the gain so it's just touching the red in order to be sure the track is going to be roughly the same volume as the currently playing track when mixed in, is not possible.

Now, Serato has auto gain (switchable in the control panel) which ought to negate the need for gain at all, and there's also a limiter warning in the software (a small red light at the top of the screen) which is your signal to ramp the gains off a little. So while this isn't a terminal omission, and on a beginner controller you can understand meters being left out for cost reasons, I'd nonetheless really like to have seen them. It's one bit of cost-cutting too much for me.

Loops and effects
There are both manual and auto looping functions, and they're intuitive and simple to use. The manual loop in/out points can, like in Serato's pro controller software ITCH, be adjusted by holding the respective button and turning the jogwheel, and the waveform display freezes to help you with this. Meanwhile, the "auto" button starts an instant loop at the currently set number of beats, which can be halves or doubled using the "-" and "+" buttons.

A limitation of Serato DJ Intro is that the minimum loop length is one beat (so no beat-fraction trance DJ effects with looping are available to you), and the maximum is eight beats, or two bars (so you can't hit "loop" on an eight-bar phrase of a tune then get creative over the top of it). This deliberate and somewhat petty restriction means auto-looping is of limited use in Serato DJ Intro.

The effect section mimics the software, in that there are a knob and on/off button per effect, plus a "beats" knob. There are three effects per deck, which can run concurrently if you wish. Each effect can be chosen using the mouse pointer via a drop down; there's no hardware way of doing this which is a shame, especially as there isn't a shift function assigned to the on/of effect buttons, which therefore could have been used for this.

Obviously with only one knob to control it, each effect is somewhat limited, but you get a good basic choice (hi-pass filter, lo-pass filter, flanger, phaser, echo, reverb), and the beats multiplier is a good addition: Basically, it modulates the chosen effect to the chosen fraction or multiple of the current beat, taken from the BPM. For someone coming to DJing anew, or an old school DJ coming to controller DJing from a basic DJ set-up with no effects, there's plenty here to keep you amused - and frankly, there's more effects here that I've ever used regularly anyway.

Sample player
The sample player is simple, but again what there is, is well executed. You get four slots per side, and they start by default from the beginning of the file. However, if you load a file you've added cue points to, you get the chance to choose which cue point to start from. They use the hot cue buttons as triggers, but in this instance you press "shift" too. Holding shift and turning the "beats" knob for a channel alters the sample volume for all slots at once.

There's no looping, momentary/play-to-end, individual volumes, EQ or effect options or anything like that here - they are just four simple sample slots per side. They'd work well for jingles, idents/drops, or alternatively ever whole musical sections lined up for sections of your performance. Usefully, samples remain in the slots just how you left them when you restart the software, so you could have pre-chosen samples ready to go at all times.

With both samples and effects, there is no button on the hardware to show/hide them on the screen. Again, there are several redundant shift buttons that could have been used to cycle view in this way, which in a controller that sells itself as tightly mapping to DJ Intro, is an opportunity missed. I suspect it's a DJ Intro limitation not a Denon one, though.

External inputs

Denon DJ MC2000 rear

The external inputs offer basic but useful features as well as a considerable amount of flexibility for the future.

The external inputs for adding a microphone and extra source work like this: The mic and extra input never come near to the main mixer, because they have their own volume controls and - in the case of the Aux In - its own monitor level control too (for previewing it in headphones - a really nice touch). You basically set the volume to where you want it, and anything you feed through there is mixed in by the unit to the master output too. It'd be useful for an emergency backup (should carry on working OK even if your computer crashes, as long as it remains plugged in to the mains - but don't quote me on that!).

The Aux In would be useful for plugging in another DJ's gear if you're both playing somewhere without a house mixer, or for plugging in any source that you're going to use occasionally. For a third deck, though, it's not practical as there's no mixer access (by the way, it's line only - so you couldn't plug a record deck in this way).

It's always good to have a Mic In on a DJ controller as you never know when you're going to need to say something (Tip: plug your headphones in to the Mic In in an emergency, they'll double up as a reasonable mic at a push), but again, as this input doesn't head through the mixer for EQing, effects etc, you're really looking at using it occasionally, not - for instance - for a creative MC, singer or for mic-ing up your local bongo player to add a bit of exoticism to your sets.


Something else we always try to impress on beginner DJs is that you can learn on practically anything - it's the music, the programming and the crowd interaction that you have to "learn" in DJing, not how to use tons of esoteric controls. That stuff can be great, sure but it comes later, much later, if at all.

Denon DJ MC2000

The bottom line with a beginner controller is: How well does it do the basics? And how long till you'll want to replace it? In the case the answers are: Very well, and probably quite a while.

So when we're rating beginner DJ controllers, we look for the basics, done well. We look for speed and ease of use out of the box, we look at whether the gear is going to be reliable for you, and we look at how well the software and hardware work together to stop you having to worry about either as you nail the basics of DJing. Against these criteria, then, how does the MC2000 shape up?

Well, it does the basics extremely well. It is a joy to DJ on, with solid, dependable controls and intuitive, streamlined and performance-focused software. It lets you get down to the nitty gritty of DJing fast, and frankly it offers all many DJs might ever need.

It is really simple to set up, and utterly reliable once you're up and running. There are no pages and pages of options to wade through, no mapping files to worry about, no audio configurations to concern yourself with - it just works.

Of course, this also means you are stuck with what you're given, but then again, with two Technics turntables and a two-channel mixer you're stuck with what you're given. It's about the music, not the gear. And this set-up lets you get straight to the music, fast.

And actually, should you want to experiment with mappings, different software, adding extra hardware and so on, it could happily remain at the centre of your DJing set-up, because you can use it with other software, and because it's pro quality. (Update: As it's now also possible to buy a Serato DJ Intro upgrade, you can do this while sticking with Serato).

Thus you need never feel the gear is letting you down as far as feeling a bit "consumery" goes, or being tied to a beginner software package (albeit a very good one) - it's better built than some controllers costing twice or three times the price, and I am sure over time interesting mappings will emerge for it with other software, just as the have for other controllers.

The lack of VU meters is a shame (that's the biggest hardware constraint), and the software does have a couple of silly limitations (you can't record, the looping doesn't go short or long enough in automode). But overall, this controller comes close to perfect for what it sets out to do. Nonetheless, an upgrade to Serato's better software, ITCH, would be a nice option, and VU meters in the software would fix the monitoring issue. How about these things, Serato?

So does it replace the Mixtrack Pro as our top recommendation for beginners? It's better mapped to Serato DJ Intro than the Mixtrack Pro is, and it's also far better built, but you do pay extra for that. Both are great controllers - but if I had the extra money, I'd definitely go for the Denon.

Product Summary

Review Summary:

This is a joy to DJ on, with solid, dependable controls and intuitive, streamlined and performance-focused software. It lets you get down to the nitty gritty of DJing fast, and frankly it offers all many DJs might ever need. It's really simple to set up, and utterly reliable once you're up and running. Should you want to experiment with mappings, different software, adding extra hardware and so on, it could happily remain at the centre of your DJing set-up because you can use it with other software. It's better mapped to Serato DJ Intro than the Mixtrack Pro is, and it's also far better built, but of course you do pay extra for that. Both are great controllers - but if I had the extra money, I'd definitely go for the Denon.

MC2000 Serato DJ Intro Controller

Video Review

Is there room in the market for a pro-built but basic controller like this? Is it a smart move to have easy-to-use Serato DJ Intro in the box, or would you rather have seen something else? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. $299? For $20 bucks, I'd get the better featured Twitch and pass on this one. Unless you like to do some scratching

    • Thing is, the Twitch is not an ideal controller for beginners. While they're a similar price, I think they'll appeal to different people.

      • DJ Forced Hand says:

        I don't know about that Phil, when people first learn things they learn everything new. If someone learns to use a touch strip (instead of a jog wheel), they simply learn that the touch strip is a physical representation of the whole song/sample/selected area. In this way, I think beginners have an advantage over experienced DJs, they have no pre-conceived expectations of how things are "supposed to work."

      • HI PHIL,
        I would just want to enquire, what would you suggest me in the $300 price range and comparing the sound output nd overall performance of the "Denon mc2000 vs Hercules mx4 vs Numark mixtrack/pro." ??..
        i am pretty perticular about the audio output because i love playing with the "line-array" speakers and heavy subwoofers plugged in!.. The problem is i am just a beginner and play more of progressive trance!I dont want to spend much.
        Thank you

      • I dont think i'll be able to audition them back here in India. Its pretty much going to be a one tym purchase fr me. I am pretty much in the favour of the DENON MC2000, but just wanted to take an expert opinion on which one sounded better:)!?. plus DENON will always have a brand value over the other two! HERCULES is more of an underdog nd denon gives you that rich DJ feeling with the knobs too:)
        What do you think?..ur final pick for me,Phil!?..

  2. DJ Forced Hand says:

    Kinda' losing interest in Serato products because the Bridge isn't enabled for Itch. I'm sure DJ Intro is a great program for free (with the controller), but Native Instruments is starting to do the integration Serato started over 3 years ago. While it would be nice to see more functionality, the basic functions seem simply confusing and somewhat backward. I think it's in Serato's best interest to do what Native Instruments did and only sell one brand of DJ software, make it work with the Bridge and really start enabling features like the the Remix Deck option for Traktor. The VSTs are a solid selling feature and so it the ability to non-destructively edit recordings, but if Serato doesn't release something new soon, Native Instruments is going to walk away victorious.

    Denon has always produced at least good quality gear... for this price, we're going to see some very happy people. While similar in build to the Kontrol S2 however, people may just choose the Kontrol S2 or the Novation Twitch (a freakin' steal for its price) and be happier with Traktor. Does this controller come with a Traktor overlay?

    • Interesting points, but worth adding that many DJs never want more than what's on offer here. Just to clarify, the build of this is predominantly metal with a metal chassis, so it's sturdier (and heavier) than the S2 or the Twitch. Agree, the Twitch is a real steal - I think it's still my personal favourite controller of the past few years.

      • DJ Forced Hand says:

        My thinking was more or less like this. Controllers today are pretty durable and they can do quite a bit, but they are a hefty investment for sure. Ideally, you want to buy one and really get used to it and grow into your skills with it while not requiring you to outgrow a controller when you're ready to do more. I know Traktor has changed the game for a lot of DJs with the Sample Decks and that alone is requiring anyone who wants to use Traktor to its fullest to buy a sidecar or outrigger controller as well. Still, there's nothing wrong with controller that plays two decks and that's it, but if you but a controller with no ability to grow with you, it might present the owner with a conundrum: buy more stuff or stay at the maximum ability of what this controller can do.

        I have a Twitch and love it, but I have a Remote SL Mk2 as well and I'm really considering getting a Maschine Mk2 if it plays well with Traktor Pro (read as: instead of the Kontrol F1 for the Remix Decks while also being able to drop beats on the fly).

    • Jam-Master Jake says:

      I've been thinking the exact same thing myself: Serato should dump Itch/DJ Intro and just focus on making Scratch work with EVERYTHING: "Serato" (Itch) DJ Controllers and Rane Hardware. One program, one product line to focus on, tons of opportunity. Apparently they make too much money licensing out Itch/Intro to hardware companies to do that. As such, they're falling way behind!

  3. im a total newbie so if i can pick up a mixtrack pro on ebay for around £100 is it worth the extra money to get this?

    • Depends if you want something that is likely to still be useful to you in a few years. The Mixtrack is built to a lower budget, but it's very cheap and you may find you're either not DJing in 5 years' time or you've outgrown your controller. But if you know what you want and the MC2000 provides it, I'd say it'll give you many years of service.

      • what are the key differences between the 2 controllers though? as if its mostly build quality i would much rather look after a mixtrack pro then spend another £160. maybe it would be a good idea and i would be eternally grateful if you were to do a short article comparing the 2 controllers as im sure there are alot of beginners like me considering the mixtrack pro or denon.

  4. Traktor S2 or MC2000?

  5. This is very reasonably priced. I agree, lack of the VU meters is not a plus. Overall, thx for the review: it was excellent. I just purchased the Vestax 380 which should be arriving in a day or so. If this unit came out a week ago, I would have definitely gave it a chance. The advantages like good quality build, excellent cost, plug and play are good points.

    • Having said that the 380 is a lovely controller, I don't think you'll regret it.

    • DJ Forced Hand says:

      I don't think you'll be lacking for much of anything with the VCI-380. I love that it's the first 3 color, velocity (and aftertouch) sensitive rig in a controller with jogs. It's like the big brother to the Twitch and as such costs more as well. I'm sure you'll be very happy with it as I know I would be.

  6. Finlay Stewart says:

    Looking forward to the MC-2000 Vs DDJ-WeGO fight

  7. I'm looking for my first controller and i think this is perfect for me. I've been cosidering Mixtrack Pro but there are things that i don't like - only 3 cue buttons, no sampler buttons, only one effect per deck - which made me consider the ERGO, just the right amount of buttons that i need (4 sampler 4 hot cue 3 effects each side) but too much for my budget. Denon MC2000 is the ERGO in its rightful price range.

    • DJ Forced Hand says:

      The ERGO is around $500 retail, the Mixtrack Pro is only $200. The Kontrol S2 is competitive with the ERGO, I'd really suggest taking a look as well. I cannot stress enough how incredibly functional the Twitch is as well. At $400 you get a very capable system with way more control than you bargain for. As with everything else, consider all of your needs before buying.

  8. Was thinking the same thing Finlay!

  9. Was thinking the same thing Finlay!P

  10. Joe doerlinger says:

    Hi! If I am interested in this controller, how much would I Need to spent on a SW that would enable me to record the music I am mixing? (that would be 325€ for the controller
    Plus x € for the SW) I am an beginner. So simple SW would be ok. Thanks a lot.

  11. Finlay Stewart says:

    There's a gig bag for the MC-2000 too, that will set you back about £50

  12. Denon have definatley built a quality unit,i think thats what stands denon apart from the other controller manufacturers,make a controller that can do everything all the others can but adding pro build quality and not overpricing them(pioneer)

    ive owned the mc3000 just over a month now after coming from cdj's for 6 years!
    and dont regret it at all,i feel the mc3000 will last years and can probably take a few knocks and bangs.

  13. Reloop Beatmix, Reloop Mixage or MC2000...which one is best overall value and features?

  14. Phil just a suggestion when you do a video please could you plug the thing in and give us a demo with talk through,it would be more informative to see it in action,thanks

  15. Speaking as a beginner, I don't think Serato DJ Intro lives up to what this controller brings to the table. The Denon is perfectly mapped for the software, but the software is lacking. I purchased a Mixtrack Pro with Serato two weeks ago. I had no idea the mapping was poor, or that I didn't have the ability to custom map. Kinda makes me wish I had waited 2 weeks.

  16. "Nonetheless, an upgrade to Serato’s better software, ITCH, would be a nice option, and VU meters in the software would fix the monitoring issue"

    Will MC2000 be ITCH Compatible Hardware???


  17. Serato intro has to be the worst software i have used so far! I reacently bought a terminal mix 2 and was so dissapointed that they had stopped supplying it with vdj. All i got was serato intro and at the time no mappings for anything else apart from a traktor mapping that was shockingly poor. So i gave serato a try and was so shocked that such a great controller with so much going for it came with this garbage. After two weeks of nagging reloop with no response for a copy of the vdj le, i had a word with the retailer i got the controller from and they were more than happy to change it for me. I reluctently sent an excellent controller back and replaced it for a stanton djc4 of which im am very happy with. Stanton also helped me map it perfecly with traktor. I just hope that denon have not made the same mistake as reloop and have released mappings for all the other programs as to keep everyone happy!!!
    I understand that serato intro is aimed at beginners but im a beginner when it comes to digital and still found serato lacking!

    • You haven't explained why you found it lacking.

      • Sorry!
        One main reason was no volume meters. i like to gain my tracks manually as i have forever on a standard mixer. and with serato there is none on the software. Another was the limited looping options. I wanted to be able to get that roll effect like you can on the pioneers but with this you can't. I also was not keen on the whole visual experience. I have herd people say "But it has colourfull waveforms" Who cares? It doesn't change the way the music sounds!!! And another issue was that i found the program very processor hungry. I dont have the best laptop(probably like most beginners) and found loading slow. And if i tried some scracthing the loading bar maxed out and the program froze completly forcing me to close through task manager. Change ur laptop I hear you say! I could but I'm not a rich person and dont really need to when vdj and traktor run perfectly on my comp.

  18. I really think reloop,denon,pioneer, etc should give people more options when it comes to the software. ie, different bundles with different price tags so the individual can customise the controller they buy to suit what they want. Surely they can strike a deal with the software manufacturers to offer the pro software slightly cheeper. Im sure this would be an excellent selling advantage to whoever offers this first.

  19. Here's a feature that isn't obvious but I've just been informed of – set an auto loop at 1 beat, press the LOOP OUT button and use the jog wheel to manually shorten the loop to nothing. You can do the same for the IN point.

  20. Hi Phil, thank you for your work.

    I need some advice please:

    I had decided to get the Mixtrack Pro, but now I prefer this controller definitely. The thing is that I use Traktor and VDJ since years. I wouldn't mine to change to Serato Dj Intro, but I don't want to be stuck with stupid limitations... Do you think the MC2000 would be easy to map for Traktor or VDJ to be 100% functional?


  21. I've heard a few times now that the loops top out at 8 bars (which would frustrate me as I use 16 a lot in Scratch) but to quote the User Manual from Serato's website: "Auto-loops range from 1/32 to 32 bars"

    So is their manual completely wrong or have people been missing a trick in testing?

  22. I don't know why any controller would be labelled "beginner: or "pro" it is just a controller like this keyboard I type on. MIDI is MIDI. Mapping is mapping. Unless you are lugging analog gear (like a Rane mixer or 1200) I got news for you - It is not "Pro audio". Yes this includes Pioneer CDJs and S4.
    My point is I love the looks of this controller. To control, To control my pro-audio software :)
    Thanks for the article Phil!

    Simpler is better

  23. Hi phil, awesome job on the site it really helps
    For my question, and forgive me for being a noob on controller subjects..I have an sl2 with serato scratch live and wanted something easier than my normal setup so I was thinking of a controller, and I really like the denon range (using dns1200 cd players with dvs at moment) but not sure what would suit me best, I usually do birthdays, small pubs or weddings.
    I don't scratch, but like looping and effects, any help/advice would be appreciated!

  24. Ok great thanks, and one last thing, which controller (out of the denon 2000, 3000 and 6000) would you think is a better all around performer for the price?

  25. i'm a beginner in search for my very first controller. so far, i've narrowed it down to reloop mixage ie (thanks to all the reviews btw) & was almost about to order till i saw this. aside from the missing vu meter, how do u think this would fare off with mixage?

  26. PeteDaBeat says:

    Great Review! Cant be bothered with the Denon haters!! This thing will work, not break and be around £150 by consumermas on ebay!! Its the sort of thing I'd be happy to buy my lad to get into digi DJing. The market is flooded by cheap nasty controllers for beginners but so far the quality product has been thin on the ground (god I even envisaged craponeer when I typed quality there it must be middle age setting in) . One thing does amaze me though, how come DDJ tips gets this stuff out there before the Denon DJ Iphone app? This or the mysterious Behringer CMD thingy then!

  27. PeteDaBeat says:

    OOPS sorry, No Denon haters after all. Its not facebook is it. And I did not know the "weego" thing existed.... I'm a Traktor devotee myself but it looks too complicated to my lad when hes checked it out. I DL'd the Serato freebie just to have a look, and it is indeed a good learners interface. Be great to see this one-on-one with something of a similar pricepoint, mebbe the Wego or a CDM. Scratch that (lol) the Wego is in the £250 bracket. I'm not a rich man thanks to funny spines and wangy legs thus I have always bought budget, and the Denon budget is the best there is. I own 2 SC2000s 2 DNS1200s and for the past 4 years a Behringer DDM4000 which is why I intend to check out the CDM range. I'd love to get this for my son this silly season, sadly I think he'd rather I spent the moolah on a graphics card!!!

  28. PeteDaBeat says:

    Lastly @ DJ Ox and Phil the Denon DN-HC1000S Is a Dedicated Serato Scratch controller. Very cheap too. I've seen em at 99quid on Ebay. Also the DNS1200s had a firmware update to make them useable with Scratch! Er am I a Denon geek?

  29. Dustin Howe says:

    So which Serato software would you upgrade to for the mc2000 from the DJ Intro software?

  30. I have a system with VDJ and a system with SL2; I like the fact of having two software platforms one with a PC and one with a MAC. I have the MC 6000 and wanted a small portable unit as the MC 2000. This works for me. I can semi-retire my HC 4500 and mixer system running currently the SL 2 and have the 2000 would be a nice back-up to go with my MAC. Thank you Phil for the review.

  31. Hi,

    today my MC2000 finally arrived! I had the programs install on my computer and that's all done now. The problem is that I only get sound through my headphones and not through my speakers... Those speakers use one output for the computer and then the L/R red and white cables into the speakers. Do you maybe know why it doens't work for me? Do I need to connect speakers to the controller itself or is it enough to connect the controller and my speakers to the computer? And if the latter, how come it won't work? Please help :)

  32. hey phil , great review...jus want to know if this controller will work with vdj and will it map perfectly and work flawless with it ....

  33. Hi,

    I am looking at which controller to buy, Comparing the ergo and MC2000 as main choices due to budget. I like the jog wheels on the ergo + the space it has to slide your laptop underneath. Not having the level indicators on the MC2000 is not a good thing, do you know if you have these on the ergo? I contacted Serato who said that the upgrade to the full DJ software will be $199 dollars which I would also do. Can you use either of these controllers as a stand alone mixer? I am guessing not as they dont have own power supply? Which would you choose?


    • No, neither are standalone mixers. Serato DJ has got meters built in, so you don't need them on the MC2000 so much once you upgrade. I don't think the sliding the laptop bit is too important - you may find you want your keyboard anyway for searching etc. The ERGO is flashier, the MC2000 more "serious". If it were me (being a serious kinda guy) I'd go for the MC2000, but the ERGO has got lots of fans. Follow your instinct - it's you who0'll be using it, and they'll both do the job.

  34. Are Denon controller easily moddable i.e. can you open them without getting destroyed and can you desolder the switches?

  35. FullThrottle says:

    Your thoughts ... at about $500 you can get either the MC2000 with upgrade to Serato DJ when it comes out OR you can get the MC3000 with Traktor Pro upgrade. Roughly the same money so which has your vote?

    • Depends what software you prefer and whether you think you'll need any of the handful of extra features on the MC3000. But on paper, the MC3000 is the better value deal.

      • FullThrottle says:

        Thanks Phil. Got the MC3000, the 1/2 price Traktor and a pair of the M-Audio BX5 D2. With a little bit of shopping around and your help, it all came in under $600. I think I did all right. Just wanted to say thanks.

      • I've been a Traktor DJ using the S4, but the thing is hopelessly unreliable - it is no exaggeration to say I have spent much more time over the last 18 months fixing technical issues than playing tunes. After much frustration I finally gave up (after 18 months) and got the Denon MC3000. But Traktor scratching over raw MIDI sounds horrendous, much worse than the S4, presumably because they want people to buy their interfaces, (which use a custom signal format, not MIDI). Thanks to online videos I can tell the sound issue is a problem with Traktor, not MIDI or the Denon. Really the sound of Traktor scratching with the Denon is unbelievably bad - you can hear samples rasping across the 'needle', and yet large chunks of the clip are missed entirely. So for example if you're scratching a kick or a snare, you only hear the snare maybe one in every 5 or 10 movements past the sample you want, the rest of the time Traktor misses it and you get a sound something like a synth through a heavy bitcrusher filter. In all other respects the Denon has been an utter delight, I nervously plugged it in expecting the bluescreens I've come to expect before every performance, and everything worked perfectly first time.

      • I found my problem - the key lock filter. Turned that off and I could scratch kicks and snares again!

  36. Would you reccomend rather this controller or reloop terminal mix 2? I will be using it mainly in mobile djing and small clubs, durability, sound and build quality are the main thing, since i will be using it only for playing music, I need only basic mixing features. Unfortunately i have no option for testing them personally :(

  37. Does the unit have kill switches for hi/mid/low? I can see that there are no stand-alone buttons like on other consoles, but I am curious if you can press the knobs to kill.

    Thanks for the review btw. I was thinking about buying the Mixtrack Pro, but now I think I am going for the MC2000. :) Looks way more sturdy.

  38. i have had a u mix control pro for about a year, i was overall happy with it but i went through a lil hell while they were sorting out the mixvibes software, which is great , now that my stop button stopped working, lol, so anyway, im thinking about just "upgrading" to the control pro 2, or THIS, what do you recommend, ? thats where im stuck, also, i see serato mentioned as the official software for this, but can it also be used for vdj?

  39. oh yea, and somebody mentioned internal recording earlier, that function is not available in serato intro? or if you upgrade to serato dj or whatever, will it still work with controller? or have internal recording?

  40. never mind, i just bought this thing and i love it, i had too many problems with the u mix control pro getting setup all the time, so this is a great upgrade, who needs vu meters, let the dance floor be the vu meter, lol, as far as recording, ill upgrade if my tax refund goes through, lol, otherwise, a cheap additional mixer and a usb otg adapter, you can use android phone to record,

  41. Should i wait for the Mixtrack Pro 2 to be available or just get this now ??? Is it worth the extra money over the Mixtrack Pro 2 ???

  42. Which controller is better (in features and performance) Vestax 380 o Denon mc 2000 ??

    Thnks a lot!

  43. Raman Goel says:


    First of all Thank You for the wonderful reviews! I have been DJ'ing on the Behringer BCD3000 since 2008 and have decided to finally upgrade my DJ controller.

    Having read a lot of reviews, I have decided to not go for the Pioneer DDJ-ERGO - due to the plastic feel (same as Behringer BCD3000) and sound quality.

    Now, I have narrowed down on two DJ controllers -

    1. Denon DJ MC2000
    2. Denon DJ MC3000

    I request you to kindly clarify the following queries:

    (a) My biggest concern is Sound Quality while playing at gig. The Behringer BCD3000 had bad Sound Quality. Kindly tell me, if the Sound Quality of MC3000 is superior to that of MC2000, or is it the same. I just want good clear non-distorted Sound Quality when at a concert or a club!
    (b) From what I have read on the internet, I believe that MC3000 can be used with both Serato and Virtual DJ. However, please have posted that MC2000 can't be used with Virtual DJ. Is that true? I'm not a scratch DJ and play only Electronic Music. For me only the Basic controls and of course the Music are most important. I am a long time Virtual DJ user, however I can shift to Serato if the MC2000 does not work with it. Or does it in some way?

    Thank You for your time.

    Warm Regards,


    • The MC2000 will almost certainly be supported out-of-the-box by Virtual DJ soon, as they try and make their software work with most controllers. I ahven't done a side-by-sound sound quality test but the MC2000 sounds great.

  44. Prakhar Sharma says:

    denon mc2000 or hercules rmx2?

    im very confused... right now my budget allows rmx2 only.. i like mc2000 also but it doesnt have VU meters and balanced XLR output (like in rmx2)... so il need some real solid reasons to go for the mc2000...
    scratching is not my main concern... il be using the controller for mixing purposes mainly...

    so what do you think?? which one of them should i go for??

  45. Hi Phil,
    I'm going to buy either the Mix track pro or Den on mc2000, but I would like to try out scratching on them. Are the jog wheels on the Denton too small? Would you be able to give me the size of the wheels on both model's wheels? Thanks a lot.

    • The jogwheels on the Denon are fine for scratching on.

    • Hi Chris, No offence here but yes controllers are a practical tool when it comes to Djing and you can even run a whole set through the contents of your rucksack which is very convenient indeed but as far as scratching goes these machines only really serve as an entertainment they are generally not a specialists tool. For true scratching really does come only from vinyl and as you may discover it still remains that way today. I don't doubt that controllers can be made to perform in a very professional manner, but I seriously doubt that they will ever be a replacement for true vinyl though I am open to correction on this in the future. I use a controller and will Dj on it 100% and even scratch, but there are still some big differences between vinyl and digital controllers although Numark does have this area covered at present and that being motorised platters! Most controllers do not have them and having them plays an essential part in scratching although touch sensitive jogs do make up somewhat for a motored table I would say still, they are just now near the same but most certainly not quite! Controllers are good fun when used appropriately and by no means fail even as the center piece of a Dj set but scratching belongs to turntables as the silver lady belongs to Rolls Royce. It is a show in itself that has its own dimensions and movement, and no controller on the planet can match that, it is a law of physics. Jesus rules, peace.

    • Hi Chris, not wishing to step on Phils toes here..but you have probably made your decision on your unit and in addition to what I said below in respect of scratching jog wheels are ok but again they will not be as many like to edge towards the same as vinyl. But you most certainly can scratch on most of the models out fact apart from the strip scratching (Yuk!)I think people only ever really struggled with the ALLen & Heath DBX which is now discontinued. I would personally would have gone for the Denon MC2000 it will speak for itself in an material sense and those jogs are no prob for any gatherings ears, the professionals should be professional enough not to cut you down. The DVS system is a later choice maybe especially as Serato have now two of the worlds best mixers now enabled to use its growing software. Cheer, Steve.

  46. denon mc 2000 vs numark mixtrack pro?

  47. Strips over Jog way everyday! How suited is this to Serato DJ full version please Phil?

  48. Ok I don't mean to be funny dunny mate, but this little unit is a storm Bruce! I run Vestax 300mk2 and Itch/SDJ and found the SDJ to be a less than perfect marriage to the 300mk. Nice try Serato but lacking in areas like volume level-lower than Itch. 2. 1/6 beat completely missing 3. both LED lights used for one deck. So its ok for an emergency use but still leaving Itch for Itch...maybe that is there financial plan....who cares I am moving on. To be honest I am not sure I want my entire set to become an effects bank anyway! Also the beginner thing to me is a little shady for my liking especially when it comes to a controller of this nature. I agree with you Phil I think this would be fine for straight forward sets with a few bells and whistles and as you will know that is not always not always mean novice. It boils down to reason/purpose. Personally if you want to be a DJ athlete and Steve Cram as many effects into one track as possible and lose ten pounds in weight in the process then there are controllers that will provide the hardware to do that and in truth I do have the odd moment myself. But I am wary of the set being swallowed up by giving into the glut, again personal choice. I mean slip mode really sucks in SDJ and I will rarely touch it only to remember how bad that little gadget actually is and boy, it does suck. Even Serato carry a half hearted warning on that one with a big quote 'however' unquote and yat Pioneer boasted that in their marketing for the supposed Don of controllers, the SX. No, This one from Denon is on my shortlist for sure and I would not really call myself a novice. Cheers!

  49. PPS. Yes this Denon is excellent value for money and fair credit goes to those boys (and girls) and Denon for this because they really have in my view given the controller market the kick in the teeth it needs mainly through the price and the fact it can now FULLY control one of the best pieces software programs on the market, Serato you know I am actually considering dropping the 'Vestax 380 pad fancy' for this one and even the Reloop terminal two and forget Traktor unless you are an total over pleasured updated acid freak who needs to shift the dead air from between their ears and replace it with an over complicated rendition of the 70s band Hawkwind but this time round with digital flatulence, and be left in some synthetic trance that will take God himself to detach you from and help you understand. Again because of the sheer value for money you get with this product it makes supposedly street loving muso companies look pompous and that includes you Vestax! Also boys, by today's standards all you really need, if you position your own set correctly and I am talking independent mobile here and true block-hoppers (so back off fakers!)is RCA you poor suckers! 1/4 jack was an industry standard and has been for years in the recording studio but as far as the modern DJ controller goes you really just do not need them or XLRs unless your running your amp or Active speakers over 20 feet away also todays RCA are much better cables than ever as they are now screened which is a protective measure against humming, maybe XLRor 1/4 inch jack only for a Mic! I hate XLRs there big ugly space wasting oversized and fat they remind me of gross self indulgent overly wicked hellbound hippies! Bus powered units, you don't need extra power, simple, keeps the consumerism down, like it! At least Denon are not dragging us all into tech glut and confusion, and misery with this one or their pockets! Seriously this little Denon is enough for any DJ at what ever level unless he is spoilt and so unbelievably pissed out of his head at the Bell and whistle that he really is no good to any one! We like the honesty here Denon, nice one. Oh yeah, love or hate me, your choice!

  50. I have to say this, but this is now a cash culture! It might be OK for you rich boys running round chopping and changing your controllers at a drop of the hat, but you really should, all though you probably don't care, but remember this is street culture, this is ours, and some of us are not willing to let go of our souls regardless. This is a poor mans thing, a thing that came from the ghettos of cities across the world that everyone and his Mrs are cashing in on and making a bomb! Two decks and a mic were never a rich mans game but now companies are making most controllers that even the workers among are at a stretch to afford. Again even against the Vestax 100mk2/Spin, the Denon MC2000 is a winner on the price scales let alone. They also have better jogs, I mean they pulled these off the mc6000! So all pomp and circ aside thumbs are up on this one mate.

  51. PPs, Please don't misunderstand my comment on Traktor if you can help it. I look at like this; Music is a gift from God and that is final. He gave it to the devil as a gift in the first place the devil then got a little bigheaded over himself and was booted out of his estate. He took that gift with him but, that gift is still from Christ. Now while we are all here on earth we are given things to use, let me give you an example. Two men live in the same street and they both have the same car. It is 8.00am and they both leave the house and get into there identical cars. They both set off on their journey, one arrives at his 9 to 5 job the other arrives at the bank....pulls out his twelve bore shotgun and robs it! The vehicle was the same, but the use of it was not. We are not blaming the tools here we are simply saying what the tools are used for is what you will in turn be judged for as wether they were used honourably or dishonorably. I myself will enjoy using Traktor but the purpose and reason maybe completely different to that of another brother or sister. Peace in Jesus, Steve.

  52. Thanks for taking an interest in my views Philip even while they are grammatically unedited! I went back to Itch tonight after a session with Serato DJ and actually missed Itch! The effects are on the poor side in comparison to SDJ, but I don't have a big need for them in Itch. After a little more thought on the Bus powered unit ie the Denon MC2000 although an anti consumerism I did find a little concern for the average wage earner and that is the one port for two jobs! Could it be a strain in the long term like constantly bridging an amp? Will a bus port reduces the life of certain parts within the Laptop itself as the average laptop does not specify as far as my knowledge goes at the moment, that a port can power a machine and transmit programme info. I could run my VCI-3oomk2 bus port or external power and trying both I found more peace with the external power rather than the plug and play especially over long peroids of time. Is the trouble here that this system has not been out long enough for side affects to show up? I know I would not like to do 16 hours work in an 8 hour day and if I did I don't think I would last that long in all honesty. Blast! I wish I had not thought of this as I really liked this controller for everyday DJing. But the risk of burning out my laptop is now not a certainty but a possibility. I think I might wait a little longer. Cheers, Steve.

  53. Dear Phil, Can you tell me in your own opinion how do you rate the soundcard in the MC2000? Would you use this model publically? The reason I ask is because I test ran one last Saturday but the store had only one laptop available and that was running with an AMD processor and yes....awful very, very awful! So to judge the quality was difficult to say the least. I like the model and the way it handles, nice jogs, smooth faders and pitch straightforward layout, good knobs and very portable. RCA only but with professional cable should not be a problem and booth output is not a biggy for my mobile ops as far as I can see at this point. I will leave my mate down one end of the hall and blast it and wait for his thumbs up....tried and tested method and alot more entertaining that Mr monitor! Anyway I had a look at the Reloop T2 but found the pitch sliders a little ruff in comparison to the Denon. So just wondered Phil what you thought of the Denons sound quality and wether use would use it publically, thanks, Steve.

  54. Hi Phil ! I was wonder which of the Behringer CMD Studio 4a, Denon MC2000, Mixtrack pro 2 and the Reloop Mixage is a good first controller for a Traktor user? I can't say if I like the Serato software because I can't try it (only the demo and you can't even mix 2 songs) but right now i like the Traktor software so what is the big pros and cons mainly between Denon and the Behring ? Grateful for answer ! and which one are able to get me playing on clubs/ which are good enough

  55. hey phil,

    i'm very interested in this controller, but am not sure about the mapping. on denon's website you can only download a mapping for traktor pro 2, but i'm still using traktor pro! do you think it could work? or is it very easy to do a mapping yourself with the mc2000?

    • Traktor mappings aren't easy to do! Why don't you just upgrade?

      • actually i didn't upgrade cause i haven't been mixing for a long time now. and i was a bit angry when i first upgraded to traktor pro, as ni took away some features i really liked, plus cue points and grids etc. were completely messed up and i had to start from scratch... so yes, i'm a bit afraid it would happen again :-(

  56. Hugo Segerström says:

    Hi Phil!
    Im a beginner and im thinking of buying my first controller. Im thinking one of Denon MC2000, reloops mixage or the Behringer CMD 4a. I have played some on traktor pro 2 and wants to play with traktor software so what of the 3 controllers do you think would be the best fit ?

    this is how I think :)
    The mixage have really nice jogs wheels and have nice things like led dimmer and jog sensitivity.
    it's also for have a simple look, big buttons and such.
    But I miss some functions like samples and are there only one effect ?
    The build quality seems plastic so the MC2000s build quality seems way better.

    CMD 4a lacks samples and the cues seems very small and the controller doesn't have the gain control.
    But the kill switches and the big jogs are very positive.
    the buttons seems very good except for the cues.
    the build quality seems OK and 3 years guaranty are great.
    do you know how the jogs functionality are with traktor ?

    the MC2000s smaller button are really small isn't it hard to press when playing ?ex(the pitch bend and loop buttons)
    Are the MC2000 harder to play on because of small buttons?
    The jogs wheels are small but i can't tell if them are too small.. but i guess the differences in button sizes between the controllers are very small if you are a beginner.

    but in total MC2000 seems to have a little of everything. at least all I can think a beginner may need, except the UV lights but with traktor pro 2 there are some in the hardware, overall i think the MC2000 are in the lead.
    My biggest question is how are the mapping to traktor ? (for all the controllers)

    Thanks for a great website and the best reviews !

  57. Chris Jones says:

    Hey Guys, i am completely new to the world of digital djing so please bare with me.

    I have been speaking to my local dj equipment shop and i have been advised to either get the denon MC2000 or a traktor z1 & x1 combo (Depending on whether i wanted jog wheels or not.) I am still trying to get my head round traktor - so would be happy to try serato, however, would the denon piece still work well enough with traktor should i choose that software?


    • If it were me I'd go for the Denon and use Serato, you might be able to get it to work with Traktor but I wouldn't advise trying.

      • hi phil
        i am new here.. i was reading the review between dennon 2000 and mixvibes pro 2.. can you help me which is the best to use as a beginner.. ?

        is any particular mixer that can search music on the net using any dj mixer? as i heard mixvibes umix control can be use on party cloud.
        i will aprreciate your advice.. thanks

  58. dear phil,

    finally i bought this controller and i like it very much!! the only two things bothering me: when using the latest version of serato intro there's a bug and tracks sometimes won't load... anyway, not THAT bad, it works with the older version and i'm going to switch to traktor 2 anyway.

    but my main problem: the eq and the line faders. quality-wise perfect. but their reaction is a bit slow isn't it? changing latency settings doesn't work.
    example: i wan't to turn the bass in from zero to mid, the kick still remains a bit filtered. same with the line fader, i turn it down rapidly, but the tune still can be heard for a millisecond or so. is that normal? never had this issues with my faderfox for example... :-(

    hope you can help!


  59. ok I bought a MC 2000 a few weeks ago, great wee controller, my only grumble is the bass
    . Its muddy to say the least. any tips or hints. Im using VDJ 8.

  60. Hi All, I know this is a kinda old controller but i think is still a powerful and very good choice for dj's with limited bank balance and limited space in the dj box or a bedroom dj. I had to buy a new controlled after my ddjwego play, cue buttons started to fail (i have to say they didnt last long) after a bit of researching I decided to go for the mc2000, its solid and has just the knobs and buttons i need the only problem I found was latency...the lowest i could get was 9.8 which was not good for me at all, it seemed like ages from the time i press the play and the time i could hear the sound, trying to play with cue points etc was just not working, after trying many things, installing, uninstalling, trying different pc's and djing software, Googling (I've spend about 5 hours) I thought as a last try to give ASIO4all a go and OH MY GOD it worked like a dream!!! I get now 3.6 latency which is fantastic so i thought to post my experience and maybe help others to get a good latency performance out of the MC2000. (i've been playing in traktor pro for about an hour and had no craches or any other problems).

  61. Devon Bewick says:

    Hi Phil. I'm new to djing and i've seen and watched a lot about the Denon MC2000. I should be getting it in the next week. I'm looking to mix psytrance, and i would just like to find out the following.. What speakers would you recommend for just mixing at home, cause i see you need an RCA connector. All i would like is speakers not too loud just for home mixing. With that i would also like to find out what beginner headphones you recommend as well?
    Thanks a lot :)

  62. Paula Quintana says:

    Is there a way to record DJ sessions using this controller with Serato Intro?

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