DJ controllers are hand-held electronic devices used to assist DJs in mixing music with DJ equipment with encoders, knobs, joggers, faders, touch screens, and many other elements. The basic function of a DJ controller is to control the mixer, speakers, and a mixer. The more advanced controllers allow the user to input sounds, video, event info, and a host of other parameters through a USB port. Some DJs have even created software that allows them to plug their DJ gear into their computer and run live shows from their laptops. Today's DJ controllers can be downloaded online for less than $50. A good controller will allow you to expand your musical experience and expand the range and depth of your music selections.
Some DJs prefer to work with an LCD screen as opposed to a knob or stick. A DJ controller can also come with additional features such as auto mix, skip back, reverse, scratching, feedback, and pitch shifting. A mixer is the heart and soul of a DJ because it enables the DJ to combine multiple sets of audio into one complete track. Mixing a song may require that the DJ loop through several songs (or loops) in order to create a medley or "set list". A DJ controller connects to a computer via a USB port and enables the DJ to lay down music that he has recorded on memory devices or a computer hard drive and manipulate the tracks using knobs, sticks, touch screens, and filters.
A DJ controller is designed to provide the ultimate in portability. Most models easily fit in the size and handiness of a laptop bag. Most mixers also come with a carry case. They are equipped with speakers that are set at a comfortable level for listening to music and are not overly hot to the ears. All major electronic musical instruments come with headphones so that the performer can effectively listen to the music without having to get up and move around during a performance.
A mixer and a set of headphones are the essential components of a DJ controller. Mixers are commonly used for home parties and clubs and come in two forms, those that have mikes attached to them and those that do not. The mikes attached to the mixer to allow the DJ to communicate with other DJs while they are working at the same time. Most mikes are also called PA cables.
When using a DJ controller, a laptop is typically connected to the decks via an audio interface called an interface. These interfaces generally plug into a headphone jack, which is connected to the mixing console. There are several types of interfaces available including USB, FireWire, and more. Most mixers that are compatible with the popular DJ equipment brands come with several interfaces. One popular style is the wireless interface. It connects the mixer to the laptops over the Internet, usually with a subscription.
Another common accessory that a DJ controller comes with is the all-in-one unit, or A.I.U. This equipment usually includes a pair of turntables, a sound card for the computer-based software, CD players, CD changers, speakers, and a USB drive. Some A.I.U. units can also include a computer that has a operating system.
In some countries, a DJ controller is sometimes included as part of a DJ kit. These come in two different styles, the semi-automated or the semi-stepped. In a semi-automated setup, the mixer controls the decks and sounds through a program. This is a very popular setup because it is easy to learn. The semi-stepped system works more like a traditional setup. However, because it requires manual controls, it is often used in place of a semi-automated system.
Some people think that buying a good quality dj controller is expensive. However, this is not true. In fact, most turntables and mixers in the market today are extremely affordable. It is important to know what kind of equipment you need before buying a turntable or mixer to make sure that you are getting the best value for your money.