Controller Clinic #28: Do I Even Need A Controller For My First Set-Up?

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 9 November, 2017

Mixtrack Pro 2
The Mixtrack Pro 2 is cheap, has a built-in audio interface, and offers a level of control that means even DJs who don’t want to mix might just get the bug!

Digital DJ Tips reader Joe writes: “What I am struggling with right now is determining what equipment to buy. I plan to DJ at small venues (eg bars) and just play music or pre-mixed music from my collection on my iPod or computer. I don’t want to mix at this point but I may be interested in getting into in the future. What equipment do I need so that the music from my computer will sound good in the bar and possibly in the future at larger venues like weddings, etc? I am basically indecisive on whether I should get a controller with an audio output to go straight to my speakers, or whether I should just buy a DJ audio interface to go straight to my speakers (since I don’t plan on mixing anyway)?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

Very quickly, DJ audio interfaces are used by DJs to let them pre-cue the next tune in headphones. If you don’t want to do that, your computer’s audio output will probably sound OK as it is for now. But nonetheless, a basic DJ audio interface like the Traktor Audio 2 would sound great – and it would tick the pre-cueing box as well.

But even if you’re not mixing, for me a controller would be a far better route to go down as it makes tune navigation, preparation, cueing and audio adjustment much simpler – plus everything will be present and correct when you do want to start mixing. As you appear to be on a budget, a Mixtrack Pro or Mixtrack Pro 2 would be fine – and then the audio interface is no longer an issue, as both of these has an audio interface built in.

Have you done the same thing as Joe, and started off on minimal equipment? Let us know your advice in the comments below.

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