Reader Chris Thiele writes: “I bought the Mixtrack Pro about nine months ago, along with the Traktor X1, and Midi mapped the Mixtrack Pro to Traktor. I bought it to learn how to DJ on, and it’s been great for that. But I’m now quite close to securing a regular gig at my student union in Glasgow. I’m a little apprehensive as to whether the Mixtrack Pro is reliable / robust enough for a club.”
“I’ve noticed sometimes the crossfader goes a little crazy on Traktor when it’s stationary on the Mixtrack… not really what I want! Do you think I could get away with using it, or should I upgrade? And if so, to a better Midi controller or Traktor Scratch and my Traktor X1?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
It’s a common issue. Many “consumer” controllers will perform fine in a club environment, but it’s not a long-term solution. The environment in a club is more extreme, the stakes are higher, and other considerations come into play too, such as the amount of space you have. Let’s not discount the impression you make, too – despite what thicker skinned people may say, it is important to make the right impression, and your gear is part of that.
One of the main considerations in a club is space. While in some places there’s room to set up a controller, in others there isn’t. Combining this with the fact that as your DJing improves on controllers you tend to develop a style, you’re now in a position to make a judgement call on what you really need out of a controller.
The big question is: Do I really need jogwheels? If you decide you don’t, it’s perfectly possible to DJ with an X1 and an Audio 2 or similar sound card, plugging into two channels of the club’s own mixer. Small, neat, professional. If you want to add DVS that’s fine, but you don’t need to. These kind of minimal set-ups are becoming more and more popular with experienced digital DJs.
If you do need jogs, then as I say, DVS is one solution, or a controller that’s better made may be another – a Kontrol S2 is compact and will do you well, or a Reloop Jockey 3, a Vestax VCI-100 Mk II… just bear in mind that in the long term, “pro” gear does make a difference.
Do you DJ in a “pro” environment with a “consumer” DJ controller? What advice would you offer to Chris? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.