shopping for new controller


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Handinon

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 1, 2014
1,133
1,730
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#81
What some people don’t realize is the dj controller is the starting point of your music! I am an audiofile who happens to have a sound company! I am a different kind of dj in my area, and my price point is above most in town,because I bring a lot of equipment and lights, and my sound quality is unmatched by any in my area! I bring twice as many low end cabs as I need,and way more power than I should,,,,, also I run 2 sets of Qsc 12.2’s for my tops! I do this so that I can run all of my equipment nice and easy and CLEAN! I want a controller to have a great d/a section with a lot of voltage output, good separation,low THD, great signal to noise,,,,and so on. We all know about GIGO!
Well, this sheds more light on your expectations. If SQ is your number 1 concern, you might not want to do a Pioneer controller with Serato. There's actually a lot of complaints about this combination on the Serato Forums (vs. Pioneer or Rane mixers). Rather than repeat it, I'd suggest you check it yourself - Serato Forums | Serato.com - (https://serato.com/forum). There are even conspiracy theorists that think this is done deliberately by Pioneer to further support their own software, Rekordbox DJ (some of Pioneer's controllers are available in two versions of the same model - one for Serato, one for Rekordbox).

The other issue, which I suspect you already know, is the hardware (in Serato) unlocks the license - you have to use the sound card in the controller - not an option to use anything else (like a high end audiophile one).

Frankly, my controllers are junk* compared to an SX3 or a SZ2, yet I think Serato sounds just fine - but I have Serato's Auto Gain set to 89db (the lowest setting) and make up for lost gain by feeding everything (controller and mics) into an outboard mixer.

*Technical Term
 
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Likes: DJ Bobcat

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
6,529
9,771
115
Oklahoma City
#82
... Everyone uses a controller differently .. you need to identify the features you need and find one that "works" the way you do...
^^^^ Good advice if you’ve used a controller before, but it’s kinda hard to know what features you need and what works for you until you’ve used one. Since I learned to mix with a controller, I find it difficult to do any other way. Software makes a difference too. I’ve now used three different controllers with Traktor, and having the same software DOES make it a little easier to move from one controller to another. It makes my head hurt more when going from Traktor to DJay Pro (for instance) than going from my VMS 4.1 to the Denon MC6000MK2 (both running Traktor). After learning on Traktor, I had no problem running VDJ, but Serato... not so much.
 
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steve149

Urbane Legend
Sep 26, 2011
21,143
30,142
115
Prospect, CT
#83
^^^^ Good advice if you’ve used a controller before, but it’s kinda hard to know what features you need and what works for you until you’ve used one. Since I learned to mix with a controller, I find it difficult to do any other way. Software makes a difference too. I’ve now used three different controllers with Traktor, and having the same software DOES make it a little easier to move from one controller to another. It makes my head hurt more when going from Traktor to DJay Pro (for instance) than going from my VMS 4.1 to the Denon MC6000MK2 (both running Traktor). After learning on Traktor, I had no problem running VDJ, but Serato... not so much.
I guess that's where the DJ shows (and to some extent the Sam Ashs and GCs) come in. Software is the 1st step, as each tends to come at music from a different perspective. Once one decides that they like how Serato or VDJ or Traktor or whatever handles music or allows them to work with music in a fashion they like ... THEN you find a compatible controller.

Once you find a compatible controller, you then need to decide what else is in the audio chain (mics, CDs, etc.) so you can determine things like mixer channels, EQ needs, ...
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
6,529
9,771
115
Oklahoma City
#84
When I bought my first controller, I pretty much knew nothing. I didn’t know about DJ chat boards, didn’t know about brands, and I didn’t know too much about the software. I chose my American Audio VMS 4.1 based mostly on online reviews, and it came with Traktor. I tried it with some other software, but eventually settled on Traktor because it seemed more intuitive than the others. Then I spent hours and hours practicing. I’m actually not sure if I just lucked out with the controller/software combo I chose, or whether I would have just made whatever I chose work.
 
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