Need Help Choosing First Controller
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  1. #1
    Tech Student
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    Default Need Help Choosing First Controller

    hey guys i could really use some pointers! im a big noob thinking about getting my first controller. im just trying to practice and dj parties and eventually clubs and raves or whatever. not trying to spend too much at first, but im still trying to get the best value controller that i can afford, preferably in the less than 500 price range.

    i think i have it narrowed down to two, the hercules 4mx and the traktor kontrol s2. the main difference being the 4mx has 4 deck capability, but i have also heard that its 4 deck capability is pretty useless because it does not have independent controls for all 4 decks, and you have to use shift keys which can cause weird sound problems.

    could anyone explain why this is such a problem, and whether or not it is something to be concerned with? i really don't want to get tricked into buying something that doesn't really work the way i would want it to.

    do you think it would be better just to get the s2, and eventually upgrade to a truly 4 deck controller? what do you guys think of either of these controllers? is there anything else that i should consider? i would really appreciate any suggestions at all. i have not used either of these controllers, so i would really appreciate any input! thanks for the help!!

  2. #2

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    I would personaly go for the s2: since its a great price, does the basics, and sturdy. This will allow you to probably do bars/house parties, for the mobile dj.
    i persoanly have the vms4 and only use 2 decks, since i don't do crazy mixes at times or when i'm djing at a bar/hookah lounge.

  3. #3
    Tech Wizard
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    traktor s2 all the way. if youre price range was lower, you could probably get hercules somthin-or-other.
    (man, i wish my price range was 500 bucks...)

  4. #4
    Tech Guru MyUsername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeddee View Post
    traktor s2 all the way. if youre price range was lower, you could probably get hercules somthin-or-other.
    (man, i wish my price range was 500 bucks...)
    Oh believe me once you got the basics down after the first months, you can justify spending a lot more money on DJing and you will

  5. #5
    Tech Guru dripstep's Avatar
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    S2 for the win! Solid construction, mappings galore, and LOTS of support here for it if something goes wrong or you have issues.

    Side note: THIS is how you ask what controller to buy.
    2 x gemini PT 1000 . Gemini PS-525 . X1
    NI Audio 6 . Traktor Scratch pro 2
    2007 Macbook Pro
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mighty FV View Post
    manners don't cost a thing dude - never forget that, it'll help you in all walks of life.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru keeb's Avatar
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    It's probably 4 deck like the VCI-100 is 4 deck. Two sets of channel controls and a button to switch layers to another 2 decks with the same controls. It's a problem because it makes it so the controls on the hardware in front of you don't match what the values are in the software. This creates a problem when you bring a fader up on deck 1 so the volume is full, then switch over to deck 2 and the fader in front of you is at full volume when deck 2 is actually at no volume at all. Then when you move the fader, the software value will jump from 0 to almost full as the software catches up with the hardware. You can address this by having the physical fader not do anything to the software until you move it to the same position as the virtual fader. This is called "soft takeover." The problem with it is that not only is it very non-intuitive to use the same set of controls for two decks, it also makes it harder to respond quickly and often leads to mistakes like accidentally stopping a track in the middle of playing (it happens, especially if you're DJing drunk in a dimly lit room). You really don't need four deck mixing until much later, and you can still use samples with the S2, you just need a different controller for volume control etc. Down the road when you're actually ready to use the sample decks, pick up an F1. It gives you something to look forward to.

    The S2 comes with Traktor, and at $400, it's easily the best controller in your price range. You'll have Traktor 2, a soundcard, and a controller all in a nice, small package. The jog wheels, knobs, and faders on it blow away its peers. It also keeps you focused on the fundamentals, which is exactly what you need when you start. I have a full-on DVS setup now, and even I have been thinking about grabbing an S2 to complement it to have a nice, small, high quality portable alternative.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeb View Post
    The S2 comes with Traktor, and at $400, it's easily the best controller in your price range. You'll have Traktor 2, a soundcard, and a controller all in a nice, small package. The jog wheels, knobs, and faders on it blow away its peers. It also keeps you focused on the fundamentals, which is exactly what you need when you start.
    This cannot be emphasized enough. +1

  8. #8
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    thanks so much guys! i had a feeling it was gonna be the s2, even though a little bit ago i really thought i was set on the 4mx. it makes sense that what i thought wasn't exactly true, hardware manufacturers can be tricky like that.

    keeb - im lookin at the f1, seems pretty cool but i do already have a similar midi controller, the korg microkontrol. it's a pretty sweet little thing, 16 pads, 8 knobs, 8 sliders, 37 mini keys. not sure if it would work the same way or with the right software though. thanks for the suggestions and explanations!

    thanks again everybody! very much appreciated!

  9. #9
    Tech Guru keeb's Avatar
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    I think the F1 has the potential to be unmatched for ease of use with sample decks. I'm still debating about a Xone K2 but I'd like to play around with both in a Guitar Center at some point first.

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