Digital DJ Tips reader Scott writes: “I am looking at purchasing my first controller and although I am familiar with Ableton I am new to DJing. I have friends who are turntablists but at heart I think I am a controllerist. I would like to get out there and DJ to a crowd ASAP – maybe even bars and weddings, as I love music although it would be useful to make some extra cash. Originally I had thought the Denon DJ MC2000, but decided the extra input backup and levels on the Denon DJ MC3000 would be a better choice. My dilemma is that I like the idea of the Novation Twitch and its features but I am concerned that this may not be as applicable to the type of crowds I hope to entertain.”
“Do you think the Twitch be fine for the scenarios above, or would you suggest I go for a more conventional controller such as the Denon? I also intend to do your four-week DJ course over Xmas :)”
Digital DJ Tips says:
For bars and weddings, it’s possible to use the Twitch as there’s not a massive leap between using a touchstrip to cue your tunes and using a jogwheel. As the course teaches , it’s completely possible to get gig-ready on just about any controller. The controller you use is actually pretty unimportant in the mix of skills you need to get gig-ready.
So to your choices. If you wanted to go with the Denon DJ MC2000 and upgrade to Serato DJ, you’d get VU meters on screen anyway, so the lack of VUs on the main unit isn’t so much of an issue. I actually really like the MC2000 – it’s a great little basic controller. But the Twitch might be better value for you, because when the new Serato DJ software becomes available for it early next year (currently it comes with Serato ITCH, which is fine, by the way) the upgrade will be free, unlike if you buy the MC2000 (which only comes with Serato DJ Intro software) which commands a fee for the upgrade. If you want to get heavily into “controllerism” – as in button-bashing rather than playing and mixing music – you might want to look at Traktor Pro 2 rather than a Serato controller, because its Kontrol F1 / Remix Decks paradigm is excellent for such things. Be aware though that it’s always going to be totally inappropriate for bar / wedding DJing!
If it were me? I’d probably go for the Denon MC3000 plus a copy of Traktor Pro 2 (it’s not expensive to buy the “Pro” Traktor software nowadays), which is an appropriate set-up for DJing weddings/bars, but means you can add a Kontrol F1 and experiment with the more controllerism aspects of DJing later should you wish. Or, buy the F1 at the same time, because you get a free copy of Traktor Pro with it so you can knock a chunk of cash off its purchase price.
So, do you think it’s OK to DJ in bars and at weddings etc using a Novation Twitch? Or should our reader go for a more “conventional” controller? What’s you experience? Please share your thoughts in the comments.