As a DJ, you may have heard something like this
leveled at you and your ilk at least once: “All you’re doing is pressing
As enlightened sympathizers, we know like you do that
playing piano or drums really just boils down to pressing buttons, as
So for better or for worse, and whether you’re an experienced
DJ or not, with a good “all-in-one” DJ controller, you can pull off
professional DJ sets by doing nothing more
than—you guessed it—pressing buttons!
Of course, there’s much more than just that to great DJing. More
elaborate equipment can certainly help, but even a basic controller
can get you started mastering the fundamentals, which is still your
most direct avenue toward successful DJing.
When we talk about an all-in-one DJ controller, we’re referring
to a USB MIDI controller for DJ use that includes an audio interface
and has enough controls to suffice as the only controller you’d need
to perform; in most cases, that entails a controller that condenses
the layout of two turntables and a DJ mixer into one box, and
modern units generally include extras for effects, looping, sample
and/or cue point triggering, transport, browsing and loading tracks,
Of course, depending on your ambition, you could always
add supplemental controllers to the setup.
Of concern when choosing a controller are, of course, price and
then built-in software, and whether the unit has two or four mixer
Most DJ software these days supports 4-deck mixing,
meaning you could have four tracks playing and being mixed
The prices vary according to your needs as a DJ. There are three prices ranges for DJ Controllers: less than $500, $500-$999, and
$1,000 and up. Some of them come
with some form of software—either a limited
version or the full professional program.
Remember, the best way to get DJ gigs is to produce
your own music—something you already
do! And a great way to get your music some
exposure is to play it out; successful DJing
and music production naturally feed off
of each other.
My favorite all-in-one DJ Controller is the Pioneer DDJ T1.