Your Questions: Are DJ Controllers Reliable?

| Read time: 2 mins
Backup solutions controllers dj controllers reliability
Last updated 3 August, 2017

8916

XDJ-RX
DJ controllers nowadays are a mature technology, and in fact your laptop is most likely to let you down, which is why controllers like the XDJ-RX that don’t need a laptop are becoming interesting to DJs.

Digital DJ Tips member Mat writes: “I am new to DJ controllers, but not new to DJing. In the past I have DJed several wedding and school dances, using just a laptop, plugged into a mixer, into speakers. My wife and I have been endlessly researching into controllers (mainly for Serato DJ), however according to reviews of several controllers, they sound a bit unreliable.

“Again, I’ve never owned a controller and only played with them on display in stores. Obviously when DJing (especially weddings) reliability is my main concern. It seems static electricity buildup is a common thing to cause controller problems while DJing live. So my question is: How reliable are DJ controllers? Who has a controller that has given them zero/minimal problems? Any advice is appreciated!”

Digital DJ Tips says:

Don’t worry. DJ controllers nowadays are a mature technology, and to answer your specific issue, are not particularly susceptible to static electricity as a source of problems (some early controllers were due to the jogwheel technology, but this doesn’t happen any more). I have never had the issue to be frank. I can see where you are coming from with reliability as a mobile DJ (being one myself), but having spare/backup options is way more important in my opinion – and that goes for any gear! I have seen $100k+ digital mixers go full reboot middle of show. So, no matter how much money you spend or what quality brand/product you buy, nothing will give you 100% reliability.

To be honest, it’s adding a computer into the fray that adds to the odds of something going wrong at some time, which is why controllers like Pioneer’s XDJ-RX are interesting, as they remove the need to carry a laptop. you may want to consider this route as it’s growing in popularity.

Whatever, a good idea is to carry an iPhone/iPad with some kind of playlist or premixed set ready to go and hooked up to the aux of the controller. Because such a set-up still leaves me with a single point of failure (the controller) I will most likely add a small mixer to this and run the controller through it. I will hook my iDevice up to the mixer too. Even if the controller conks out, I can still hit play on my iPhone and open the mixer fader and be playing music while I sort the rest out. Funny thing is, with all this spare and backup stuff I am still carrying way less than I was in vinyl and CD days!

• Are you a DJ wanting to convert to controller DJing? Our How To Digital DJ Fast course will get you up to speed in no time!

What’s your experience with controller reliability? got any scare stories, or has it all been plain sailing for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Click here for your free DJ Gear and software guide