Reliable DJ Controller for Complete Newbie
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  1. #1
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    Default Reliable DJ Controller for Complete Newbie

    Hey guys,

    I am a complete newbie with regards to anything concerning DJing but, I am interested in getting into it strictly as a hobby.

    Anyways, I live in the Caribbean, but one of the problems I have had when it comes to buying electronics is the warranty situation, where shipping back an item to be repaired can turn into a very expensive proposition (sometimes more than the device itself!), so, my question is, which controller would you guys recommend in terms of reliability, functionality and ease of use for a newbie?

    I intend to use Traktor, so something that works well with Traktor would be nice. I was thinking of the Traktor S4/S2, but I've seen some complaints about faders and jog wheels and I'm not sure if this is something isolated. The Novation Twitch also looked appealing, but I also didn't get the impression that it would be super reliable. The Denon MC6000 had some good first impression reviews, but I did see a few complaints on Amazon and elsewhere about DOA units. I haven't seen much complaints about the Pioneer DDJ-T1, but I may not be looking in the right places.

    Also, it really helps if the vendor has good support, i.e. if you email them, they actually respond and try to help you sort out the issue. I've seen many complaints about that very issue across multiple vendors.

    I don't mind spending up to $1000.00 USD to get a controller that can last under normal usage conditions, however, the cheaper the better

    N.B. I do intend to start learning using just my keyboard and mouse, but I do want to get a hardware controller in a few months if phase one goes according to plan.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru lethal_pizzle's Avatar
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    Spend the few months researching the controllers and buy the one you decide is best to for you.

    Your thread is the generic "my first controller" question that gets asked here on a daily basis, so I'll give it my generic "my first controller" answer: buy something with jog wheels and pitch faders so you can learn beatmatching.
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  3. #3

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    I would almost disagree with the above. I would reccomend not buying something with jog wheels or pitch faders, as they are slowing becoming obsolete. I'm not trying to say beat matching is only for vinyl, bu the beauty on controller djing is that we can work on complex mixing because beat matching is practically automated.

    With that said, I think you should buy a budget controller for $200 and learn some things and decide, but you also emphasized that build quality and reliability is the key for you. I'd say the legendary vci-100 (or one of its spinoffs) is what you should get. They are tanks that have become the standard for controllers.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru lethal_pizzle's Avatar
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    I've not seen any evidence to confirm jog wheels or pitch faders are becoming obsolete.

    Beatmatching can be useful in many scenarios:
    - the OP is learning to DJ. He might decide he wants to mix in this way
    - your controller may break and you may have to burn off CDs to use with the house CDJs
    - at times you have to beatmatch to transfer over from another DJ
    - you may be hired by people who want to see you beatmatching with TTs & CDJs
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru lethal_pizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sobryanbutwhy View Post
    I think you should buy a budget controller for $200 and learn some things and decide
    This is why I recommended jog wheels and pitch faders. And you're right; he should buy a budget controller and upgrade when he knows what kind of DJ he wants to be, if he wants to be one at all.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the tips guys, but even if I do buy a budget controller, which I am certainly not against, my key question is which one is most reliable and well supported. sobryanbutwhy mentioned the Vestax VCI-100, and that looks really good, but does Vestax support their customers properly should something go wrong (I give off EMPs or something, as things break around me)? Warranty and support are very important to me.

    Just to give you some context - I have to pay 20% tax on the controller and shipping charges, after which I have to pay a further 15% on that total, so ... A controller that costs 200.00 + 100.00 to ship to me here, will come up to ((200+100)*1.2)*1.15) = 414.00 USD total. Granted, I will pay more money for an expensive controller, but it costs abt 200USD to ship an item to and from the states to get repaired (not to mention if I have to pay for the actual repair service, and just the sheer hassle of it all), so cheaper is good, but something that works is better

    Maybe I should have asked my question in a different way:

    Which vendor(s) has the most reliable controllers and customer support?

  7. #7
    Tech Guru zestoi's Avatar
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    sounds like you want to buy new which would rule out the vci100mk1 anyway which is the one people tend to rave about. tho the new vci400 is looking very interesting...

    and ignore the comment about "no jogs or pitchfaders". a pitchfader is pretty much just a fader so u could map to any function u like and jogs are still a very natural way to work. whether you use them for the more traditional cue'ing, sync, jog or for manipulating effects ala mr golden.

    the twitch is a very interesting controller tho - that has touch strips instead of jogs.

    i can't comment about customer support from various vendors.
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  8. #8
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    There are a lot of reviews out there, but no one seems to take customer service and support into consideration, which I find odd as so many people make their living off this equipment, you would think that would be a very important thing to mention.

    I've seen forum posts, particularly over at Serato, where customers complain bitterly about having absolutely no software/hardware support, with emails going months without being answered, to me, that is something I really just avoid.

  9. #9

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    I would reccomend not buying something with jog wheels or pitch faders


  10. #10
    Tech Guru zestoi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edrodDepueha View Post
    I would reccomend not buying something with jog wheels or pitch faders

    interesting approach for a spambot, just taking one sentence (spelling mistakes and all) from a previous post and reposting. same for it's other 3 posts too.
    11mba / 13mbp / tsp2 / live9 / audio10 / 2x reloop rp7000gold / 2x xdj1000 / 2x d2
    maschine mk2 / x1 mk2 / z1 / f1 / midifighter / lpd8 / 2x launchpad / launchkontrol xl
    Quote Originally Posted by derschaich
    "wohoo, i'm touched, turn on the FX"

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