Most established DJs tend to use turntables or CD players to perform. However, the lightness and portability of a DJ controller can tempt even the most purist of DJs to use them, at the very least,  to practice on the road or in the air for their next performance.

All controllers are a direct extension of the majority of features you have in your DJ software and most MIDI devices usually have buttons, sliders and knobs to spare for mapping extra functions and parameters; either through javascript mapping or by using the Learn function.

Like Earth, controllers are balanced just right, not too big and sensitive like vinyls, nor too heavy like CDJs, while at the same time providing nearly all the commands at the DJ’s fingertips.

When it comes to practicing and mixing for parties and you don’t have a small team with you, especially if those parties require you to move from city to city, CD players and turntables can turn into a tedious affair, unlike their resistent and plasticky counterpart.

MIDI controllers come in all shapes, sizes and with a wide range of layouts and, more importantly, built-in audio interfaces.

With a sturdy integrated audio under the hood, controllers take the bulky mixer out of the picture and offer high quality sound, some of them equipped with ASIO (for Windows) for a very low latency sound. I said they can be great DJ instruments for practice, but rest assured that most small clubs use a MIDI controller’s soundcard as the main output device and it sounds decent enough to bring people back for another night.

DJ software natively supports most MIDI controllers. Future.dj pro has native scripts for a list of over 80 fully mapped controllers

So, the next time you’re practicing for your next gig in your friend’s car and are able to mix and monitor your mix without stumbling over the limitations of your laptop’s built-in output, remember what “amateur” device kept your “Cues triggering” crisp by the time the party started.