Review & Video: Behringer CMD Micro DJ Controller

Review Summary:

Well built and good value for money, with the novelty of real (if tiny) dual-function jogwheels, the Behringer CMD Micro nonetheless misses a couple of notable features out. These include EQ controls and a built-in audio interface. Plus, it's not as easy to use with iOS as some. However, should you be after something like this to practise on or play inconsequential parties with, it's the best in its price bracket.

CMD Micro DJ Controller
  • CMD Micro DJ Controller
  • Rating: 3
  • Manufacturer: Behringer
  • Price: $69
  • Reviewed by:
  • On July 10, 2013
  • Last modified:August 19, 2014
Behringer-CMD-Micro

Nice and deep, with decent button backlighting and surprisingly good mini jogwheels, the CMD Micro is more fun to use than you might think.

Review: Behringer CMD Micro DJ Controller

Behringer CMD Micro DJ Midi Controller Full Review: Having been out of the DJ controller game for many years, Behringer has certainly decided to barge its way back in with a controller to cover every base. From the full-sized CMD Studio 4A to five modular controller (yes, five - we've got reviews of 'em all scheduled), there's something for everyone - including the micro DJ controller enthusiasts, which is whom the Behringer CMD Micro Midi Controller, reviewed here today, is aimed at.

First impressions

The box contains (in addition to the unit itself) a USB cable, some instruction / quickstart / warranty leaflets, and a slip of paper with details of how to get your free Deckadance LE software.

The CMD Micro is a pro-feeling unit: Quite deep, and definitely heavy for its size. Think the "control" half of those dual-box CD players from a few years back. The bottom has six rubber feet, the casing is plastic, and the top plate is thick brushed metal. It's the same design school as the Behringer CMD Studio 4A - but whereas that controller is let down by cheap-feeling jogs, this one is as pro-feeling as any.

The left-hand end of the unit has a USB socket (and an LED to tell you if the batteries are in use - there is room for two AA batteries for using it with tablet devices)… and that's it for inputs and outputs. Yup, it's strictly a Midi controller - no audio interface here.

Each deck has a small dual-use jogwheel (edge to nudge, top to scratch/scrub), pitch fader, two cue buttons, (rather unnecessary) pitch bend controls, plus play/pause and cue buttons - and the obligatory "sync". All buttons are backlit. Meanwhile, the mixer section is simply two line faders, a nice (but cramped) crossfader, and levels for cue and main. The controls are completed with a nice stepped infinity knob for track selection, and left/right load buttons.

Behringer CMD Micro

Well built, heavy and with decent controls, this is a pro-feeling controller, but it does lack what many would feel were some absolute basics.

In use

With PC/Mac
The Deckadance LE software has a rather laborious registration/download process which is described in detail in our CMD Studio 4A review. Suffice to say it's very "last decade". Once you're up and running though, it's an OK piece of DJ software to get acquainted with the art on. The controller is of course mappable to other devices, and indeed there's a Traktor mapping on Behringer's website.

To set Deckadance up so it works with this unit involves setting up the hardware itself in the Deckadance preferences, then setting the audio so you can actually hear something. If you want to use this "properly" (ie with headphones cueing as well as master out), you'll need either a DJ/mono splitter cable or a separate DJ audio interface. For PC, you'll also need an Asio driver. This is pretty standard stuff.

My expectations from such a small unit were modest, and it actually exceeded them. The dual-use jogs are a novelty at this size/price point, and work well enough. Don't get delusions of scratching grandeur though - they ain't up to that. Obviously EQs are a huge thing to forfeit, and for me, the pitch bend controls are utterly unnecessary. It's not hard to image a redesign with the decks moved a bit futher left/right and room for missing EQs on the mixer, even if only two-band per channel.

With tablets
The unit is "class compliant", which basically means you don't need drivers for the thing I'm about to talk about: using it with "tablets". (This means iOS, of course. Good luck if you want to use it with Android.)

What isn't mentioned anywhere in the instructions is that it isn't "Apple compliant": That means you need to use the Camera Connection Kit "hack" to get it connected, and it won't charge the iDevice once it is. Then you need to find software for it to work with; again, no mention anywhere in the box how you're meant to go about that. A quick email to iMect, makers of DJ Player (the most "universal" iOS DJ App I know of) confirms that it "should" work fine with that company's app, but you'll probably be mapping it yourself.

We certainly didn't have the time it would take to DIY this for use with a tablet, and if you want a DJ controller to work with a tablet (let's face it, with iOS), there are better choices out there. Nevertheless, this is what the batteries are for (to stop it drawing power from such units); weirdly, the LED indicated the batteries were powering it even when I had it connected by USB to my MacBook Air.

Conclusion

The Behringer CMD Micro. It's well built, it's cheap, and it'll fulfil a niche need. Who would want such a controller? Well, probably not iOS DJs, despite the marketing blurb on the box. Sure it's "class compliant" and has iOS-friendly battery power, but Behringer needs to offer some support if it wants people to take the unit seriously as an iOS controller. No, rather, it's going to appeal to PC/Mac DJs who want something small they can throw in a bag or squeeze into a squashed space, and who want it to be able to practise on or perform inconsequential gigs with.

I can see it living happily behind the bar in a small venue, the kind of venue that also has music and sometimes has a bit of late-night DJing; it's well enough made to stand semi-pro use such as that, and certain functions - build quality, backlighting of knobs, dual-action jogs, the pleasing library scroll control - are good fun to use.

If Behringer had squashed in an audio interface and/or EQs it would have been approaching what I consider the minimum standard for an all-purpose controller. As it is, these omissions (plus the hacking needed to use it with iOS) will limit its appeal. But for those for whom these things are not an issue or are surpassable, it is a well-made little device that should stand the test of time. For the price, it's certainly better than most comparable DJ controllers.

Product Summary

Review Summary:

Well built and good value for money, with the novelty of real (if tiny) dual-function jogwheels, the Behringer CMD Micro nonetheless misses a couple of notable features out. These include EQ controls and a built-in audio interface. Plus, it's not as easy to use with iOS as some. However, should you be after something like this to practise on or play inconsequential parties with, it's the best in its price bracket.

CMD Micro DJ Controller
  • CMD Micro DJ Controller
  • Rating: 3
  • Manufacturer: Behringer
  • Price: $69
  • Reviewed by:
  • On July 10, 2013
  • Last modified:August 19, 2014

Video review

• Want to know if you can scratch with this controller? Watch this exclusive video to find out.

Scratch settings demo video

• To get free scratch training - sign up here!

Comments

  1. Chuck "DJ Vintage" van Eekelen says:

    Indeed, the first thing I thought when I saw it was “did someone hot-wash an Numark double-decker?

    Clearly not a product I would use, but I would like to comment that in DJ Player the “mapping” process, especially for such a basic functionality unit as this, is rather simple. Select the function you want to map, press the button/move the fader you want to attach that function to and confirm, repeat for every button/fader and save your profile. Finished. Should be easy-peasy (which in real life it probably never is, but still ;-)). No need to become well-versed in midi or programming languages.

    Further more I agree that the omission of a sound card (another piece of hardware to lug around and hook up) and Apple compliance is gonna make this a hard sell. Perhaps it will do well as a x-mas gift at that price point?

    You called it a niche need, I am thinking it’s gonna be a REALLY small niche.

    Greetinx,
    C.

  2. If they removed the pitch bend buttons or at least made them smaller and moved the cues and transport controls down under the jogs,moved the up faders and headphone cue bit closer to the jogs and throw in EQ’s along with a filter and gain knob,there’s enough room on it and it would pretty much murder their competition.

  3. Dj Emazing says:

    Better than the Numark Dj2go

    • That’s 100% true, it’s in a completely higher league.

    • Can you expand on this? I have a dj2go and am curious about how this new controller would improve things.

      • Dj Emazzing says:

        I also have dj2go and as Phil Morse shows in his video and blog the Behringer CMD Micro:

        -works with PC, MAC, some Tablets(provide that you
        have the adapter for it) can be used with iOS(provided you have the right software)
        -Can be mapped with trackor
        -has a metal faceplate
        -You can apply batteries in it
        -Jog wheels are Jeweled function(You can nudge or scratch)
        -has Volume faders and cross fader rather than Knobs

      • I’ll say this, I’m a DJ and I maintain a client of mine’s system as well. He has the DJ2GO because that is really all he needs. It’s a toy in comparison to the CMD Micro. Both in looks, build quality and functions. The CMD Micro has a dual function Touch Sensitive job wheel that is larger and feels like a pro dual deck unit. That upgrade alone is worth it. Better layout of the browser knobs and buttons. All buttons are larger and back lit. They have a good feel to them and are more responsive. 45mm Faders for volume vs knobs cut down on guess work The faders in generally are solid and don’t feel like a toy. I can easily remap the cross fader in VDJ for video transitions. 2 hot cues per deck. 4 if you remap the pitch – &+. Only cons I can find is if it had a 3 band EQ for each I would have been trilled. Add a small 4 channel sound card and I’d really appreciate it.

  4. Paco Loco says:

    On the subject of a sound card, I can see why they left one out, as many iOS users (which this is clearly aimed at) will be happy using a split headphone output rather than a USB soundcard.
    So it keeps the price down whilst giving users the option to use an external soundcard or not.

    Also I don’t see the iOS software thing as too much of an issue, since this is clearly best used with DJ Player which is really easy to map, and there will be mappings online within days no doubt.

    I agree about the omission of EQs though, for me that’s the biggest negative about it. Personally I would like to have seen the jogs left off in favour of these, as I’m not really sure what purpose the jogs serve. However I realise that the majority of the target market probably would not agree with me on this.

    Anyway, overall I am looking forward to getting one of these and trying it out.

  5. I still think Apple needs to break down and put a USB on the iPads.

    Seems like too much hacking, special connectors, and other insanity to make iOS devices be more “laptop” the way many users seemingly want.

    Controller looks good though. Would be perfect with EQs.

    • Chuck "DJ Vintage" van Eekelen says:

      Guess what? Not gonna happen. Just like we will never have Flash Player on an iDevice :-).

      Greetinx,
      C.

    • Paco Loco says:

      I wouldnt really describe it as a hack.
      The “camera connection kit” is just a usb to 30-pin adapter at the end of the day.

    • I think this is by design. I know the MacBook Air is a light device that walks circles around the iPad for power and connectability, it just doesn’t have a touch interface.

      • Yeah…I’m honestly hoping they come up with a hybrid Macbook tablet that’s really the Air with a touch screen. Maybe make it fold over like the Lenovo Yoga.

        Forget even DJing for a moment. I see so many coworkers walking around the building holding Macbooks and PC laptops. So many times I could tell they needed a touch screen to just pull up something quickly…like in a hall or elevator.

        REGARDLESS…imagine the touch capabilities of Traktor for iOS, but on a more robust system like a touchscreen Mac.

      • Chuck "DJ Vintage" van Eekelen says:

        Friend of mine just bought a 12″ (I think) Asus ultrabook WITH touchscreen. Pretty fancy AND with USB ports (and Flash :-p).

        Greetinx,
        C.

  6. Put it in front(or on top) of a big boy mixer with a solid 4 stereo out sound card, pack it all in a sturdy case and you get a nice and(rather) small controls over everything. The mixer does the mixing(lines, EQ, headphone cue, etc..) the controller gives you good 2 deck control, and with Virtual DJ you can get 4 deck control with a push of a button. Nice and tight.

    • Chuck "DJ Vintage" van Eekelen says:

      The kind of mixer you are talking about would set you back several hundreds of dollars (and I mean more than 500).
      And then you would top it of with a 69 USD controller like this?

      The whole thing revolves about it being compact, adding a serious, fullsize, 4-channel mixer to it seems to kill the compact notion.

      Especially since the same money will buy you a VERY decent all-in-one controller WITH soundcard, WITH EQ, WITH channel gain and WITH a boat load of other features. And a lot more flexibility.

      I am sticking with my initial thought, nice for under the christmas tree, but not too many people that will run to the store to get one (other than to play with) because it fills some long-felt desire or missing link.

      Greetinx,
      C.

    • soundrichstudios@gmail.com says:

      This is exactly what I do when I’m playing with my CMD Micro and Chuck is right. The mixing board is about $500. I have this mixing board because I’ve a sound tech for several years before deciding to get into DJing.

      It also should be noted that the mixer is several times larger than the controller so you’re defeating the compactness of the design. If that’s what you want it’s better to spend a little extra on the interface.

  7. I’m really much more interested in the CMD modular units than this one. I truly believe that if you’re going to DJ somewhere, you should bring the gear you’re comfortable with. The gear is becoming so inexpensive you can get everything for less than the price of ONE turntable.

  8. Stavros says:

    I think i can see Behringer’s point here. Is this meant to be paired with an analogue mixer, in bar/pub for example like Phil said? So you can do your EQing and prelistening through the mixer instead of the software? if it did have a soundcard and EQs id have one now tho. :-/

  9. Crem Brule says:

    It appears very similar to my ZOMO MC1000, I paired that up with a DJM850 and its a great combo.

    This Behringer is a little different in that it has jogs and pitch, line and cross faders but the concept definately seems the same ie pair it to a larger 4 channel mixer for transport control etc.

    I haven’t seen this in the flesh but it would have to be pretty good to be a better solution than the MC1000 as that is really well built and specced. Granted the Zomo costs more and has a built in soundcard to.

    • Having reviewed both units, the Zomo is in another class entirely. To start with it has an eight-out sound card built in, it’s metal, it’s and built to be used in clubs as an installation item. And as you identify, it has no jogs (intentionally).

  10. I’d actually consider this, as an add-on to my Novation Twitch, for the pitch faders (and possibly the jogs), and then remap most of the other stuff for effects.

  11. I’ve spent a lot of money and time on DJ and studio equipment in my life and have pretty much found that however rudimentary or amateur level something is – there’s always someone with a will that can make it really work. For me this is it. I’ve got an all singing all dancing mixer and technics turntables using a DVS system. Sometimes I just want to cue something for an easy life when doing my radio shows.

  12. Is there any mapper for Virtual DJ that i can download so this gear can directly work with VDJ so i dont need to manual map. Thanks

  13. Does this work with djay on an iPad?

  14. Hello!!!, I have a litle question, I understand that dj2go can not save the mixes. With this unit is posible to record the mixes? With DeackDance software? Or with Virtual Dj?

    Thanks a lot!!!

    Best Regards.

  15. Justin Blakeman says:

    Ok I have a Behringer NOX 404 mixer hooked up to my analog Technics 1200 turn tables. I alscurrently have the USB channel on the NOX 404 connected to my Mac book pro for digital music. What I want to know if I can use the USB interface on the NOX 404 with the CDM Micro and get the cue channel through the NOX 404? Or do I need to get a seperate sound card so I can listen to the cue channel for my digital music?

  16. Bit late commenting here so doubt anyone will read this, but worth a try – is there anything similar to this that will work with Traktor that has EQ controls? I love the look of this but don’t think I would invest in one considering that feature has been omitted

  17. I’m going to buy this.
    I’m going to remove the face plate, sand it, bondo the crossfader and channel volume fader slots, and repaint it.
    I’m going to un-solder and remove the crossfader and channel volume faders from the circuit board.
    I’m to delete the crossfader and channel volume faders from the Traktor mapping.
    I’m going to re-map the Pitchbend buttons as LOOP IN & OUT buttons.
    I will re-map the Left, Right, Cue A, Cue B buttons and Main and Cue Level knobs later.
    I will use this with existing 19″ rotary knob mixer for home use.

Leave a Comment