It’s a false economy to buy an expensive DJ controller, and head out to gigs without thinking about how you’re going to protect it. In this article and video, we’ll look at two very different solutions illustrating the two ends of the protection spectrum, namely the Magma CTRL case, and the Magma DJ Controller Hard Case.
The hard case solution
Let’s start with the kind of case you see being loaded onto trucks by roadies for bands, and that I’ve been using since I was a teenager for my DJ gear – namely, the boxy, wooden hard cases. With metal edging and reinforcements, big chunky clasps holding them tight, and heavy duty foam padding internally shaped to fit whatever device the case is sold for, they are the ultimate in DJ gear protection.
The example here is the Magma DJ Controller Hard Case for the Denon DJ MCX8000, and as you’ll spot in the video, they are designed so you can store all your cables and adaptors with the DJ controller in the same case. Also, thanks to the spacing around the unit and a removable front panel, you get easy access to all the inputs, outputs and other front / back controls, meaning it is not necessary to remove the controller from the case when DJing.
For mobile or touring DJs, or those who want to add an extra professional look to the way they present their DJ gear, this is all good – although if you are setting up in a tight DJ booth, the opposite might be true. Downsides? They’re heavy, bulky, relatively expensive and harder to store when you’re not using them. None of which can be levelled at the second type of case we looked at…
The soft case solution
For many DJs, this is all the case they’ll ever need. The one we’re looking at here is the Magma CTRL Case, a minimalist, tightly fitting semi-soft case with a zip around the whole edge of it, and with both hand carrying handles and a shoulder strap.
Clearly much less substantial than a hard case, they are also less protecting, because while they’re what I call “semi-hard”, something heavy dropped on this case is likely to cause damage to what’s inside. Unlike the hard case, they have no room for anything else (although backpack and trolley versions often do), and you can’t DJ with your controller still in it, because you can’t access the front and rear to plug stuff in, so they’re strictly a “transport” solution.
However, compared to no case at all, they are a no-brainer: for occasional use, or for gigs where you know that due to tight space in a DJ booth your controller is coming out of its case as soon as you arrive, having a case like this is so much better than nothing, and coupled with a far cheaper price than a “pro” style case, it’s easy to see why this option is so popular.
Having a decent case for your DJ controller ensures that you are protecting what can be quite a big investment. Not only do you not want to damage your controller if you can help it for financial reasons, but also you want to be sure that you can actually play your gigs when you turn up, so it’s doubly important your gear arrives in decent condition.
For both of those reasons, the choice shouldn’t be whether or not you get a case, just what type to get. Go for a decent brand, factor the cost when you’re choosing a DJ controller, and don’t delay in getting one – after all, the box your controller came in is only going to last for so long…
What type of case do you use for your DJ gear? Or are you more the slip-on cover / Decksaver type? Let us know your choices in the comments below…