Seeking first equipment
July 6, 2017 at 11:13 am #2584011
HI all, new to the forums but just wanted to seek some advice on equipment!
I’ve been DJing on friends’ decks for the past few years and have finally decided that I want to get some of my own. I’d ideally be looking for a controller as I’d be looking for something in the £200-£300 price range. I’m a bit above entry level as I’ve done a few gigs and used CDJs – I’m probably at the stage now where mixing is fine, but I need to start mastering trying to mix by ear!
Anything anyone could recommend? Have used serato and traktor before so not fussed on what software the controller would use!
CheersJuly 6, 2017 at 2:36 pm #2584211
Marvin The MartianParticipant
I cannot suggest the wide range of controllers, but I can share my experience of using few of them. but I think the main task is to choose a software (there is Recordbox DJ, by the way):
-My first was Traktor Z1 – works great with Traktor Pro 2 and Traktor DJ on iOS. On that time, fully satisfied my need – i used to travel a lot and a compact setup was needed. But the sound quality is mediocre and Z1 works perfectly only with NI software.
-Next one was Pioneer WEGO3 – I would suggest WEGO4 as a entry level contoller, but only for a complete beginners. Sound quality was good, a full support of djay 2 iOS app also a benefit, but, since I was using Traktor Pro 2 at that time, it was not perfect combination for me.
-After there was a combination of Z1 and X1, using Z1 as an audio interface. I think, its a really nice combination to play electronic music – Z1+X1+Traktor Pro 2 were totally fine for me, except the sound quality of Z1 and the fact that there was 2 USB ports taken on my laptop. After some time I’ve started to play at weddings and I understand that NI devices without jog wheels not really suitable for me playing that kind of events.
-Now I have Numark NVII. It works with Serato DJ, changing software for me was not easy and I found Traktor interface better than Serato.
Advantages of NVII:
1) It has screens – you don’t have to staring at your laptop
2) 4 decks
3) touch controls
4) XLR outputs
5) Price is ok for a 4 deck controller with full Serato DJ.
1) Works only with Serato DJ – for me its ok, but for someone might be a disadvantage.
2) Library navigation using screens and controller not perfect for me
3) There is 4 decks, but i don’t feel comfortable to use all of them on that controller
4) Don’t like how the fader works…July 7, 2017 at 8:38 am #2584601
I would recommend checking out our article on the subject at the main site and getting our free controller guide.
However our recommendations for first controller are:
– Numark Mixtrack Pro Series
– Pioneer SB2
– Denon MC Series
– reloop Beatpads
These are the entry controllers that we think work best.July 7, 2017 at 11:36 am #2584811
Thanks very much for the replies.
The Numark NVII looks like a beautiful piece of kit, but is unfortunately a bit out of my price range.
Interesting to note that the Pioneer SB2 has also been recommended. I had someone who DJs professionally also recommend that to me the other day so it’s a very likely contender. I also have tended to like the feel of Pioneer equipment when I’ve used it previously.
I’ll make sure to read the guide on the main site – apologies for not going there first. Thanks for all your help though guys!July 11, 2017 at 9:33 pm #2587451
Well Pioneer makes gear in quite a broad price range … so the feel of CDJ-2000NXS2 will be different from playing on a DDJ-SB2. Same is true for some other brands.July 12, 2017 at 10:53 am #2587681
Valid point. I’m not sure what CDJs i’ve used before, but the Pioneer tech i’ve worked with before have been the DDJ-T1 and DDJ-SX2. Thanks for the advice 🙂July 12, 2017 at 10:59 am #2587721
Also, this may be a stupid question, but I’ll ask it nonetheless. Let’s say i go for http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/pioneer-ddj-sb2-2-channel-serato-dj-controller-black-a79ua?cmpid=ppc:dj,_studio__audio:non_brand:google&gclid=Cj0KEQjwkZfLBRCzg-69tJy84N8BEiQAffAwqkNYxlXzjfsKkBBbYQiJJikodLzrwLJWepAo8yBo4SgaAnDw8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds
Now I can’t see anywhere on there about any output cables for speakers e.g. RCAs and XLRs. Will I have to purchase those separately? If so, what sort of cables would you recommend and what should i budget for them?
TIAJuly 13, 2017 at 9:46 am #2588461
Well, like many entry-level controllers, the SB2 has only RCA master outputs. Fine for close-by monitor speakers less than a few feet away. You’d need an RCA-RCA cable, preferably one you can split down the middle so you end up with two singles to run to left and right monitor.
Hooking it up to a (club) mixer is easy, shortish RCA-RCA cable and done.
Going to balanced (powered) speakers out on the floor will require something in between the RCA output and the XLR input. Either a small PA mixer (like the Yamaha MG and AG range) or a specific unbalanced RCA to balanced XLR box will do the trick. The small mixer will be more versatile, for example give you better support for a mic than the SB2. Or let’s you hook up an iPhone or something as backup device. And they are not much more expensive than the converters.
As for budget: don’t go wild with “Monster” cables, gold-plated stuff and such. Also don’t use the RCA cables like the ones that come with a home stereo. Look at online DJ shops for some sturdy cables. They should be affordable and give you long life.
Hope that helps some.
July 13, 2017 at 12:57 pm #2588711
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Chuck Van Eekelen.
Cheers that helps a lot!July 13, 2017 at 3:36 pm #2588911
Have you looked on eBay for second hand pioneer gear? Can get a cdj1000 mk3 for around 200July 13, 2017 at 8:22 pm #2589121
2x 200 + mixer 200+ = 600+ and WAY less functionality/creativity options than with a 300 bucks controller.
I would not advise owning “club gear” to most DJs. That is just my opinion, humble as it is 😀July 14, 2017 at 12:07 pm #2589341
I know you can get some decent secondhand gear, but I don’t particularly want that kind of equipment just yet. Maybe in a few years time when I’m more of a djing purist 😉July 16, 2017 at 11:39 am #2589921
If you’re into Serato DJ and you’re a beginner I would recommend using a Vestax controller, they’re pretty cheap but they are very good and durable. I also loved the soundcard on my VCI-380. Some Reloop controllers are also great.July 16, 2017 at 5:47 pm #2590021
MINUS 1 on the Vestax!
The company is gone. What support is out there (either help or drivers/software/mappings) is done by the odd ex-distributor and user groups. With each new OS and/or DJ software upgrade, the chances of it continuing to function properly (provided you get it working correctly in the first place) will diminish rapidly.
They were a very interesting brand when alive, but since they have moved to the relic corner, imho.
Buying a used Vestax today is totally at your own risk.
You can scout the forums here, there is plenty written on the process of going for an entry-level controller. This is more than just picking hardware by the way.
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