Beginner DJ - Equipment help?

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Beginner DJ - Equipment help?

Postby USANKTP » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:59 pm


I've searched about for a forum and this one seemed good. Im a beginner looking to buy a piece of kit, i've got my mind set on a controller, i've did a bit of research and it seems like the Numark MK2 controller seems the best option in regards to price and product. My dilema is that many people ive asked, particularly friends that are DJs have suggested i learn on CDJs instead and that supposedly using a controller will form bad habbits.

I play a ton of instruments so its not a matter of buying a controller and letting it gather dust after a few weeks, im pretty serious about learning. Obviously if i had the time and money, i'd learn on vinyl but sadly i don't. For right now, I simply just want to teach myself the basics, I usually have parties round mine so ithink it would be a nice asset lol. Plus seems like a handy piece of kit for uni.

What do you guys think? Also do you think there are better controllers out there i could go for?

Thanks in advance
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Re: Beginner DJ - Equipment help?

Postby pi r squared » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:33 pm

I'd be interested to hear your friends' arguments as to why a CDJ is in any way better than a MIDI controller and DJ software. I could understand why purists would suggest learning on vinyl, because you have a direct, physical, tangible control of the speed and direction of the music, but CDJ is essentially the same as a MIDI controller given that both take place 'digitally' and are a slightly more abstract skill (like using a mouse to control a cursor).

Like any profession or hobby, you could do a crappy job with the best equipment in the world, and you could do an outstanding job with the crappiest equipment in the world, but learning to DJ using a controller and Mixxx is a great, cheap way to learn and I would take much of the advice you've been given with a pinch of salt.
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Re: Beginner DJ - Equipment help?

Postby Michael Z Freeman » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:53 pm

You can get a professional DJ turntable for ~£230 which is of high enough quality to be usable ... anything below that price will just be a headache in my experience. DJ controllers below that price are likely better than decks below ~£230 in their quality/accuracy. I had a pair of cheapo decks a few years ago and they were worse than useless. Mixxx Vinyl control showed them to be producing a wildly fluctuating pitch stability. So I've now gone for an Audio Technica LP120 ... a product with very good reviews, but not as uber expensive as the real Super OEM (Hanpin) turntables. The motor of the LP120 is not quite as powerful as the Hanpin one but should be good enough for my purposes in the meantime (before Super OEM heaven arrives one day :mrgreen:). I went for vinyl time code control because I started on turntables. I'm also setting up my M-Audio Oxygen 49 Silver Keyboard/Controller that will likely become part of my setup as well.

I guess it comes down to a balance between price and quality. As I found out with my old cheapo vinyl decks, something that is low quality and just does not do the job is a big headache and will just put you off. Anything - decks or controller - that is accurate enough (esp. controller wheel resolution) will allow you to learn and will be fun without just getting in the way.

As to CDJ's. I guess they were the original digital controller if you think it about it ... jog wheel on top controlling the CD digital audio. A MIDI controller is essentially the same thing, just manipulating hard drive digital audio (PCM).

Here is the Mixxx wiki page about controllers -
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