It’s surprisingly inexpensive to start DJing in 2021. As a beginner, grabbing yourself one of these entry-level DJ controllers is definitely the way to go.
In 2021, it’s surprisingly easy to get started as a beginner DJ, with most entry-level controllers on the market being priced around $/£100-500. The learning curve for new DJs has also decreased significantly since the old days, with easy-to-use features like auto-syncing and beat-matching.
While it’s certainly possible to learn the basics of mixing with just a laptop, if you really want to get your toes wet as a DJ then grabbing yourself one of these entry-level DJ controllers and some software is definitely the way to go.
The Top 3 Entry-Level DJ Controllers Available
Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX – Serato DJ Lite Controller
Numark’s entry level DJ controller is a top pick for beginner DJs. The controller ships with a Serato Lite Software license but can be used with Serato Pro if you own it.
This controller features nice and big high-resolution pitch faders and wonderful jog wheels with a built in LED display. The displays give you a BPM readout and time of the track, which helps enormously for new and experienced DJ’s, removing the need to look at your software every time you load a track.
For FX, you have two FX paddles, a touch strip to modulate FX, and 6 FX buttons – Echo, Reverb, Flanger, Phaser, High-Pass Filter, and Low-Pass Filter.
The pro features of this mixer are all you need for a seriously good starting point in mixing.
Pioneer DDJ-400 – Rekordbox DJ Controller
This controller is an excellent all-rounder for new DJs and is up to par with Pioneer’s professional, industry leading equipment. This controller comes with a full Rekordbox DJ license, as well as a built-in tutorial which is a great introduction to get you going.
The design levels up in complexity from other controllers, with an effects section built into the mixer and looping functions that mimic CDJs. So, when you eventually make it to the club stage and get to play on the big boys, it’ll feel far more familiar to you after using the DDJ 400.
The pitch fader is much longer than the DDJ-RB, making beat-matching by ear a LOT easier. With 8 performance pads, you have easy access to a lot of Rekordbox features, such as samples, auto effects, beat looping and beat jumping. The performance pads also allow you to set and call up cue points with ease. The built-in soundcard lets you plug-n-play on any sound system and are as easy to use as when you register right here.
Traktor Kontrol S2
Native Instrument’s stylishly designed lightweight controller feels decidedly more “pro” than its price-tag suggests. This controller ships with Traktor Pro 3, making it super cost effective, but also supports Traktor DJ 2 for an Apple iPad.
The best feature of this controller is the efficient looping functions under the jog wheels, which makes looping and lining up tracks an absolute breeze. There are four performance pads for one shot sampling and cueing, and the medium-sized pitch sliders are smooth and easy to work with. The jog pads are of the highest quality, and each deck has its own track selector in the top right corner.
One important thing to note here is that there are no deck level effects, as the only effects available are activated through four buttons integrated into the mixer section.