Auswahl des richtigen DJ Controllers

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31 Okt 2022
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I am currently looking for a proper DJ controller to engage in DJing again!

Like about 6 years ago I had to sell my DJ equipment because I didn’t have time space and money during my studies to keep investing time in this hobby!

I used to have two Turntables with a little battlemixer (Vestax) with a huge collection of Vinyls. Meanwhile I still own most of the Vinyls and the Vestax mixer and this is the type of DJing I would like to do on the long term again! I would consider myself as a beginner to intermediate skilled person in this field and prefer to make music for my own or when friends swing around, maybe some times for a few hours on private parties!
Mainly I listen to hip hop, rap and pop music but also want to learn and try to do some electro and house mixing, main part will be Hip hop etc though.
On the long term I would like to go ahead and invest in Turntables again, but for now I am looking for a not too pricy DJ Controller in the range to maximum 300-400Euros, also anything cheaper would be great! But I am having a hard time to make my decision! Since I haven’t messed around with it for long time it doesn’t matter to me whether it is based on Traktor or Serato, guess I will find my way with either both of it but of course I would like to stick to the software once I have made a decision.

I am struggling between these three Controllers:
Hercules Inpulse 500
Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX
Pioneer DDJ - Rev1

I hope I gave you enough information to maybe help me out with some advices and experiences you guys have! I am also open for any other suggestion of controllers if you have any other ideas! If there is a „must have“ controller for a slightly higher price which will be a good solution on the long term ass well, I might be able to invest a bit more! Additionally I would like to mention, I would like to keep the controller as a backup or to travel whenever I switch to the Turntables again.

Would be great to get some of your ideas and advices! 🙂
Cheers and many thanks in advance
Since you aready plan to have TTs again, I would look for a 4CH Controller with 2 Phono-Ins.
This should enable you to do Laptop-Djing and connect one or more platters to play real vinyl discs and even timecode ones.
If you do not feel the need to have all the latest updates with every new quirk the developers come up with I think you can't go wrong with either Software.
Up to now I still do not own a controller myself, but my first choice would be a Native S4 MKIII with "Haptic Drive".
This lets you "feel" your Cuepoint when spining the jog over it. I was able to test this once and for a scratch DJ it might come in handy.
For Serato I might go for a Rane One oder 1-2 Rane Twelves.
All of this is not in your current price range.
I am writing this for you to consider and keep in mind for your decision now.
If you plan on getting one of these things later perhaps you want to take the next steps already into acount.

If you are still content with your Vestax you could think about getting a soundcard to connect your existing mixer.
But these sound "interfaces" are on their way to extinction, despite there are a lot of usecases left where you might need them.
The decks could be controlled in this case via separate MIDI-Device (X1 for Traktor e. g.) and later also via timecode vinyl.

When thinking about new used TTs also have a look at some Vestax PDX 2000 !MKIIs!. Their straight arm is good for Hip Hop / Scratch DJing.
Also their torque ist more than thrice the Technics (1,5 to 5).
The only downside would be that you need pickering systems for the straight arm, since the overhang does not fit the Concorde "bananas" 52mils.
Again the MKIIs, not the PDX 2000. The metal platter is the main difference.

Out of your selection I would go for none of these since no one has balanced outputs. Those would be needed to properly connect to a PA-System.
I also would want a booth out for monitoring purposes, if you do not wish to mix in your headphones all the time when DJing at Parties.
And I always look for crossfader deactivation, because in electro you do not need one all the time.
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You have several options.

1. The cheapest way is buying an outdated soundcard like the Rane SL-2 and stick with Serato Scratch Live 2.5 oder Scratch Pro until version 2.x (the last version supporting it). Therefore you need an old laptop with an old legacy OS supporting this software. However, once you are unable to run the old OS you can't use the SL-2 any more...

You can play with only one TT using the amputated mode or deck copy. Of course you can upgrade this setup with some kind of MIDI-device like Dicers or the NI X1 for selecting CUEs oder Loops.

2. You buy a mixer with integrated soundcard. Some models like the Mixars Quattro/Duo feature additional buttons for Loops/CUEs. The Mixars is currently on sale because end of life.

3. You get a controller but not the Hercules - it's factory new garbage!

4. You buy a better Controller with included soundcard like the Pioneer DDJ-1000 and connect your TT(s) to it. This is certainly the most expensive solution.

5. You combine 1) or 2) and 3. So you can play with both (not at the same time of course) and it's still cheaper than 4).

Overall I would not recommend starting with Traktor these days because of it's uncertain future. The NI hardware is quite old and I wouldn't count on new models or (long) support for the legacy stuff...