Three great all-in-one DJ Equipment solutions for the laptop DJ
The computer has been steadily infiltrating the world of DJ Equipment for some time now. It might be fair to say, however, that in the last few years, it has become ‘the norm’. As with many other areas of DJ Equipment, the laptop DJ has a bewildering number of equipment choices available. One of the most convenient options is an all-in-one unit (that is, a DJ controller with a built-in audio interface and, usually, a software package included). Just install the software, connect to your computer, and you’re ready to go…
Again, there are a huge number of these devices available with a huge range of prices. So, which one should you go for? Well, I can’t answer that for you, but I can show you three great options.
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2
Whilst Native Instruments were among the first companies to produce professional DJ software, the Berlin based developer is a relative newcomer to the world of DJ equipment. The Traktor Kontrol S2 is a mid-priced package in the range, but the amount of power it provides belies its price point. A twin deck design, the S2 is built for use specifically with Traktor software. A full current version of Traktor Pro is included in the package (at time of writing, version 2.5).
The controller features a two-channel mixer section, with three band EQ controls. Full effects controls are also equipped. The two jog wheels/ platters are pressure sensitive and send 3 times more control data than many controllers, resulting in tight control. The in-built audio interface has booth and main outputs, with a headphone output and mic input.
Native instruments designed the software and the hardware, so it stands to reason that the integration is tight. To get a full version of Traktor Pro with a controller of this quality, at this price, makes the S2 a bit of a bargain…
Another relative newcomer to the world of DJ Equipment, Novation has wasted no time. In a very short period, it has delivered two very innovative DJ products in the form of the Dicer, and the Twitch The Twitch, you may notice, has no jog wheels/ platters to cue tracks. Before you run off to write a letter of outrage to your MP, it replaces them with two neat touchstrip controllers.
This, combined with the Twitch’s 16-trigger pad makes this an ideal choice for the new breed of ‘controllerist’ DJ, who likes to chop, glitch and generally mash things up when performing.
The Twitch is supplied with a full version of Serato Itch, with which it integrates very tightly. If you do have a preference for Traktor Pro, however, it will happily run with a Traktor map, and comes complete with an overlay in the box.
The Pioneer DDJ Ergo V
Pioneer is a legendary brand in the world of DJ equipment. The DDJ Ergo is the entry level DJ controller in its range, but as you might expect, it is delivered with typical Pioneer flair. The controller features two touch sensitive jog wheels, and a two-channel mixer section, complete with 3-band EQ and full effects control.
The unit can also be employed to control 4-decks. The unit is incredibly well lit, making it easy to use in low light. The LEDs around the edges of the platters are used in for the Ergo’s ‘Pulse Control’ feature; the lights provide a visual indication of how accurate your beat matching is.
The ‘Ergo’ name refers to the intuitive design and layout of the unit. In terms of aesthetics, it’s clear that Pioneer has spent considerable time ensuring that the Ergo looks great, regardless of whether that is in the DJ Booth, or at home in a bedroom or living room. To complete the package, a copy of Virtual DJ limited edition is included, though the Ergo can be mapped to pretty much all of the major DJ packages, including Traktor Pro.
Each of these DJ Equipment packages offers plenty for DJs of all levels. The all-in-one nature of the packages makes them ideal for those just making the jump from turntables of CDs, to using a laptop.
Joe is a contributor for the Dawsons Music blog. Specialising in product reviews and crafting content to help and inspire musicians of all musical backgrounds.