If you have just made the decision to take the path of DJing and seriously engage in building a successful career in this profession, then you should definitely have a question about purchasing the appropriate equipment. You can’t DJ without it, that’s the profession.
Decide on tasks. First, let’s understand the terms:
- All-in-one (all-in-one) is a controller that has a mixer section, sound card and decks on board. Often, a light version of the software is included, for example, Serato DJ Intro or Traktor LE. Note: the full version is usually purchased by the user himself (Serato DJ or Traktor Pro).
- Modular (modular) – a set of several controllers that form one working tool. In most cases, an analog mixer and a separate sound card are used.
First of all, you need to decide how much time you are willing to devote to DJing. This is an important point, since the equipment is worth buying based on the fact that the conditions for home DJing are very different from club ones.
If you are planning to DJ at home or at small private parties, then the all-in-one controller will be a great solution. They are fairly inexpensive, easy to install and manage, and do not take up much space. Want to connect a controller and start playing right away? Then these consoles will be the perfect solution. So, devices like Kontrol S4 MK2 and Pioneer DDJ-SX2 are equipped with a sound card and software.
If you plan to DJ in clubs, then things are a bit more complicated. The equipment needed for club performances is very different from the set at home. The home setup should contain all the units you will use in the club to maximize your skills and not make mistakes when performing in public.
Do you plan to work with virtual instruments or analog? This is the next question you must answer. Traktor Scratch, depending on your preferences, can work in both modes. DVS DJs using Serato Dj or Traktor Scratch Pro usually prefer to use an analog mixer.
If you want to use digital decks on an analog mixer, it is recommended that you use a separate multi-channel sound card. Each deck or channel goes to the discrete output of the sound card and is then mixed down to the analog mixer.
A rather difficult question is to buy a controller with a built-in sound card or to buy a card separately? Previously, the built-in cards were not of high quality, but now the situation is improving: Pioneer DDJ-SX2 and Traktor carry good cards with high-quality converters and outputs.
If the sound card is integrated, then you may encounter some problems. For example, if the controller fails, resetting it will turn off the sound card – not the best turn of events during a performance. With a separate sound card in such a case, you can simply turn off the controller.
Of course, there is no clear answer to the question about a specific model of a DJ controller, a lot depends on personal preferences and capabilities. It is only obvious that already at the stage of choosing equipment, the DJ determines his further sound and behavior at the performance.