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Best DJ Controller For Beginners

Updated on May 3, 2013

Best Cheap DJ Controller For Beginners

Want to know how to DJ? Want to learn on a fully featured DJ controller? This lens covers the best cheap DJ controller for beginners around on the marketplace today.

The key for a good DJ controller for beginners is that is has all the standard features so you learn the fundamentals. It is also wise to go for cheaper DJ controllers to begin with as you may not like DJ'ing and it will become an expensive 'toy' that you do not use. In this newly updated lens I give to you the best DJ controller for beginners (for under $200) the Numark Mixtrack Pro.

UPDATE - I have also added 2 new cheaper controllers that are worthy to practice your DJ'ing on. One is the earlier version of the Mixtrack Pro - the Mixtrack. This may prove to be a better buy for some (reasons are explained).

And the newly released Hercules DJ Control Instinct. This is one I've been testing recently and is a very good cheaper alternative to the Mixtrack Pro. Although it is not IMO as good as the Mixtrack Pro it is quite a bit cheaper ($50 ) and is an excellent all in the box controller. So if you are on a stricter budget seriously consider this.

Numark Mixtrack Pro

Numark Mixtrack Pro DJ Controller with Integrated Audio Interface (OLD MODEL)
Numark Mixtrack Pro DJ Controller with Integrated Audio Interface (OLD MODEL)

With the recent craze of DJ controllers (or midi controllers), Numark spotted a gap in the market. There did not seem to be any quality DJ controllers that were affordable. Most of the cheaper controllers were limited by their function, the professional ones were too expensive for many.

So Numark brought out the Numark Mixtrack. It was a massive hit. The features and quality meant that it was a perfect set up for newcomers and hobbyists and all for around $150. Even mobile DJs loved this midi controller due to it's compact nature. However, it only came with a limited software and you needed an audio interface thus meaning more money spent.

(drum-roll) Luckily Numark listened and the Mixtrack Pro was born. Now coming with an audio interface it was a bargain at $200 but still came with LE software. BUT recently the Mixtrack Pro has come bundled with Serato DJ Intro software, which is a full unlimited software meaning that at $200 this really is a steal. UPDATE - IT is now EVEN cheaper!!!

 

Numark Mixtrack

Numark Mixtrack DJ Software Controller
Numark Mixtrack DJ Software Controller

This is the original Mixtrack released by Numark. This was and still is a huge hit. The main two differences between this and the Mixtrack Pro is the lack of a built in soundcard and a full software.

This problem can actually be an advantage as you can get a better soundcard than the one inbuilt into the Mixtrack Pro. The software issue is not really an issue either as you can upgrade the VDJ for $50 (which is highly recommended).

If you already own a DJ software and/or quality soundcard then I'd definitely recommend the Mixtrack over the Mixtrack Pro as you will be making a more significant saving.

 

Why The Numark Mixtrack Pro And Mixtrack Is Great For Beginners

MIXTRACK PRO

The Numark Mixtrack Pro is ideal for beginners because simply put it is a terrific overall package for the price. There are no limited features on the full software provided (Serato Itch). It integrates well with other software if you prefer that like Virtual DJ.

The Mixtrack Pro is also a lot of fun to use. You are free to experiment with sound levels, key, cue, loops, effects, samples etc. It is so easy to use it is almost a joke. My friends love playing with it too and so will yours.

It is compact so if you fancy doing gigs at house partys then you are ready to go!

MIXTRACK

Apart from the missing built in soundcard and DJ Serato Itch software, the Mixtack has exactly the same benefits as the Mixtrack Pro. In fact it is probably better for beginners to get themselves a full version of a DJ software anyway, especially if they are serious about DJ'ing.(Upgrade is $50)

It has all the features you need to be able to learn how to DJ. The controls are intuitive and precise. Plus it does integrate well with Virtual DJ so you will have a blast learning your trade. In fact you will use this Mixtrack for your first gig. I did and so can you!!!

Why Beginners Love The Numark Mixtrack Pro And The Mixtrack

These are the reasons why many of you will love the Mixtrack Pro/Mixtrack:

  • The Mixtrack Pro is very easy to set-up. Pretty much plug in , install and then DJ. Remember you will need to get a soundcard if you buy a Mixtrack.
  • The DJ controller has pretty much every essential feature a full deck would have, so great for learning your craft
  • Has Sync functions, so you don't have to worry about beat matching. You can focus your skills on effects/sound levels etc.
  • Many cheaper controllers are lacking in features, but the Mixtrack Pro allows you to be creative and innovative (there are plenty of fantastic Youtube videos out there) so there is real potential for developing your skills.
  • Build quality is very good and this controller has proven to be reliable.
  • Full version of Serato DJ Intro included in the Mixtrack Pro, which is a pretty good DJ Software and very easy to use.
  • Both come with a LE Version of Virtual DJ. This is perfectly usable but some features are locked until you upgrade
  • Sound output is excellent especially considering the price point
  • The jogwheels are terrific. There are touch sensitve and are almost like handling vinyl

Numark Mixtrack / Pro Accessories

So what do you get in your Mixtrack Pro box (apart from the DJ controller of course!)

Included Accessories


  • Serato DJ Intro Software version 1.0 CD (ONLY WITH PRO)
  • Virtual DJ LE Software
  • USB Power Cable
  • Quickstart Guide
  • Safety and Warranty Info

You can use virtually any DJ software you would like with the Mixtrack/Pro. From personal experience it works well with Virtual DJ. European buyers will get Traktor LE instead of Virtual DJ which works very well.

Which one should I get Mixtrack or Mixtrack Pro?

Wanting a no fuss DJ controller with minimal set up time?? - Numark Mixtrack Pro

Have no experience with DJ'ing or no DJ software?? - Numark Mixtrack Pro

Present for a teenager who wants to learn how to DJ and confused with terminology?? - Numark Mixtrack Pro

On a much tighter budget (you can get $10 soundcards)?? - Numark Mixtrack

Willing to do some research and get a quality soundcard (some ideal soundcards are below!)?? - Numark Mixtrack

Got your own full version of DJ Software?? - Numark Mixtrack

External Soundcards

Remember you will only need this if you buy the Mixtrack.

Here I give you 4 external soundcards that are suitable...

Native Instruments Traktor Audio 2
Native Instruments Traktor Audio 2

Terrific professional sound quality. If you plan to mobile DJ or DJ in clubs at some stage I'd get this. It is pricey though.

 
Numark DJ I/O | Multi Channel USB 2.0 DJ Audio Interface [2007 Model]
Numark DJ I/O | Multi Channel USB 2.0 DJ Audio Interface [2007 Model]

Perfect external soundcard for the Mixtrack (built by same company) and gives a good clean sound. Cheaper than Audio 2 and definitely a serious alternative

 
BEHRINGER U-CONTROL UCA202
BEHRINGER U-CONTROL UCA202

The cheapest professional interface on the market today. Not as good as the ones above but will be perfectly fine the most. Get this if you are on a budget

 

Why The DJ Control Instinct is Great For Beginners.

The DJ Control Instinct is ideal for beginners because it offers ultimate value. It comes with a built in soundcard and a full DJ software called DJUCED. This software is good enough for a beginner learning his mixing skills. You want to use Virtual DJ? Not a problem!

The Instinct has everything a beginner needs to learn the fundamentals of DJ'ing and is very light and compact so can easily be used even in the smallest of bedrooms.

Why Beginners Love The DJ Control Instinct

These are the reasons why many of you will love the Hercules Instinct DJ Controller:

No fuss. All in the box DJ learning tool.

Easy to set up and use. USB powered, no need for external power supply.

Easy to beat match as has full auto synch. You can manually learn too with pitch sliders.

FULL DJ Software. Built in soundcard so no hidden costs

Compact and light. You can quite literally DJ satdown as it will fit on your lap!

Many controllers at this price are bascially a novelty toy. This is not has has professionalism about it.

Every function you need to learn how to DJ is there on the DJ controller. (apart from gain controls - you have to manually do that on the software

You will be able to use this for your first gigs.

It is FUN to use. I think it is a great present for teenagers! Your friends will want to use it and you can show off your skills

Hercules DJ Control Instinct Accessories

So what is in the box

Included Accessories


  • DJUCED Software
  • USB Power Cable
  • Quickstart Guide
  • Safety and Warranty Info

It is possible to use other software with the Instinct.

Videos Showcase

Videos on the Mixtrack Pro and the DJ Control Instinct

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Any questions? Thoughts?

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    • DJRebelstar1 profile image
      Author

      DJRebelstar1 4 years ago

      @BeatGirl: That is true, I still have mine as it's a good backup as well. my 10 year old cousin loves it as he finds it dead easy to use which is good. I think DJ controllers will be a cool must own gadget for a lot kids soon!

    • BeatGirl profile image

      BeatGirl 4 years ago

      Numark with Mixtrack Pro is pretty good if you're just starting out, but you outgrow it quickly

    • Cold0911 profile image

      Cold0911 4 years ago

      I Prefer the Traktor Kontrol S2 DJ Cotnroller

    • DJRebelstar1 profile image
      Author

      DJRebelstar1 4 years ago

      @Brandi Bush: Thank you for your comment! :)

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 4 years ago from Maryland

      Well, I have to say...I never knew so much about DJ Controllers! Great page! :)

    • DJRebelstar1 profile image
      Author

      DJRebelstar1 4 years ago

      @greatgifts4u: Yep they truly are. In fact I got my little cousin to play (he's only 10) with the DJ Control Instinct and he was loving it. DJ'ing is certainly more accessible than in the past and at a very good price! If you have teenagers who have an interest in electronic dance music they'd love something like this (I know I would have !!)

    • profile image

      greatgifts4u 4 years ago

      Great for the beginner!