Forever Vinyl DJs

Covid-19 Corona Virus Update FVDJs is expanding on a Virtual DJ service to get your commitments done in style! See the details below and call us now! We are booking fast!

FVDJs Approved DJ Controllers

To start, realize your budget and get in without over-spending. A DJ controller only needs a 2 channel mixer; 4 channel DJ mixers are for advanced use or mobile DJ rigs. The important thing is a 1/4" TRS or microphone cable XLR output and a pitch adjust slider to change the pitch of the songs for beatmatching.

Please make a purchase from the list below. (Disclaimer: amazon associate linked, I get a couple bones if you purchase within 24hrs, so please return here if not ready to buy today...)

Pioneer DDJ-SR2 2-ch DJ Controller

My personal DJ rig for DJ lessons is the Pioneer DDJ-SR 1st gen 2-channel controller. The 8 trigger pads enable some amazing effects with one hand, making on-the-fly stutters once only possible with two copies of a record.

The DDJ-SR2 is my top-recommended DJ controller in 2020 for those who want to learn on real club-style proven tech. Get it installed and running, or use the first DJ lesson to help get it up and running.

Software for the DDJ-SR2 includes the full Pro version of Serato, a $100 value. There are 2x Phono inputs on the back, so adding the DVS package is just an upgrade away!

Pioneer DDJSB3 Controller

Watch the video of DJ Jazzy Jeff in the product pictures to get an idea of what this little controller can do. Serato lite comes with the controller for quick industry-standard plug-n-play; upgrading to Serato Pro is only $99. This is the most sold DJ controller on the market for a reason. Buy now and expand later.

Pioneer DDJ-400 Controller

Pioneer's Rekordbox software is what the DDJ-400 controller is built for. Rekordbox had some issues early on as it went from an organizational platform to a complete DJ platform. If your budget is $250, grab this intro dj controller and learn the basics on simple and streamlined hardware.

The tempo slider is shortened on this product, and some of the cheaper controllers have eliminated it alltogether as the sync function improved. When you need it, holding a manual beatmatch on a short pitch adjust is 2x as difficult for half the length. I prefer a pitch adjust at least as long as a Technics 1200.

Resale values are very strong with Pioneer DJ products, and selling it to a friend later will be a good investment in skills gained versus saving for a more expensive controller. Jump in!

Pioneer DDJ1000SRT DJ Controller

While the $1.3k price tag may seem high, recall that a DJM 900 NXS2 costs $2500 just for the mixer! The DDJ1000SRT has all the benefits of 4 channel faders for versatility in medium with top shelf jog wheels, knobs, faders and pads. If you can afford this hardware, get it without regret!

I've honestly been wanting to centerpiece the DDJ1000SRT with two Technics 1200s in a coffin just to see if it is reasonable. Those two phono inputs are getting pretty rare in the market, and having control of those channels separate from the two digital channels opens up a whole new world.

Pioneer XDJ-XZ DJ Controller

The XDJ-XZ (mouthful) controller is what I would use as the centeripece to my rig if I quit using Traktor. I'll be testing Rekordbox to see if it can handle a 60,000 track collection. No computer needed, just plug your USB sticks in to access the tracks, see the waveforms on the screen, and shred away.

CDJs can be hooked up for channels 1 & 4 with the cat-5 ethernet cable to sync them with the included decks, the only all-in-one able to do so. This top-shelf DJ controller also boasts Pioneer's top-of-the-line mixer components and sound.

Audio Terms and Definitions

Pitch Adjust
Tempo Fader
Speed Adjust
The sliding nubbin with the ruler detents printed next to it, which adjusts the speed of the track. Adjusting the speeds also changes the pitch. Changes in the tempo allow beat matching and mixing.

FVDJs Approved DJ Computers

Before looking at computers and becoming discouraged, realize that the computer you already have will work just fine if it is from the past decade. Buy the best DJ controller you can afford now, as that is what you will learn on. You are buying a software license as well, so use what you've got if it means getting a better Serato or Traktor controller and license.

The choice in computer platforms between Apple and Windows is simple: Buy a MacBook Pro. The computer is built for audio and video use. OSX makes app installs simple, and external devices rarely require a driver.

When a driver is required, the process is as easy as app installs and it doesn't go through a loading and needs to re-download drivers phase. Most audio items are simply plug-n-play.

I went through issue after issue with Windows, made the switch, and never looked back. Yes, the window close buttons are on the other side of the screen. Learn and improve, that is just the beginning.

Used MBPs are a viable solution as well, though when you are on a newer computer the load times and analysis are much faster. We can discuss which models and specs are necessary for your needs in the Patreon DJ Lessons.

RAM vs HD for DJs is a simple decision now - RAM (temporary memory) has to be maxxed out to be futureproof with MBPs as their RAM is soldered on to the motherboard. Almost all of the HDs (hard drives) are soldered on, but external drives and usb drives can assist ridiculously large musicl collections and mp3s are so small that you can hold almost all you can afford. Moving pictures to an external drive is an efficient way to manage HD space. Splurge for RAM now or pay Apple to unsolder and resolder the chips to upgrade later.

16" MBP MacBook Pro with Dedicated Graphics

MacBook Pro laptops are prolific like Pioneer DJ mixers for one reason: they just work better for professionals. The way OSX handles the file system and memory is simply different. Yes, it costs more than a PC usually, but a similar PC costs a lot more than what is in the ads.

A dedicated graphics chip takes the strain off the processor to allow full use for programs. Dedicated graphics chips use more energy if you are away from the power supply, but provide a much cooler experience with the retina display, both in temperature and graphics. While not necessary, I will never buy outside this class of MBP.

13" MBP MacBook Pro

This 13" MBP doesn't really save you much, maybe since there is a bigger discount on the 16". It fits in a smaller space, but will leave you desiring a larger screen once you try Traktor or Serato DJ on it.

Alienware M15

Alienware is the original gaming desktop and laptop maker. Insist on Windows PCs? Go big if you can. These investments in hardware pay off down the road, so eliminate your other expenses and get a rad machine.