Best dj controller for recording in 2023

Best DJ Controllers – You’re looking for a DJ controller suitable for beginners or one geared towards more experienced enthusiasts and professionals, I’ll have the product for you. If you want more information on the best and most up-to-date pricing on the products mentioned, be sure to check the links in the description below. 


Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3

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If you’re looking for a DJ controller that’s suitable for beginners, the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 is affordably priced around with out of the box functionality, a portable size, and sophisticated pad scratch feature that will teach you how to use various scratching sounds. It’s got a light and portable build measuring about nineteen by 10.7 by 2.3 inches and weighs 4.6 pounds and I like that it has easy grab handles making it easy to take with you. The sound card is a 24 bit, 44.1 kilohertz card with a frequency range of 20 to 20.000hz and a signal to noise ratio of 103 decibels. It’s great that the controller comes with Serato DJ Light and you can get started right away all you have to do is connect your PC or Mac via USB and use the software to set it up and I especially like that you don’t need an external sound card.

You can also upgrade to the pro version if you need more features than what the free version offers. You’ll get clear audio without distortion with the solid mic input circuit this controller has making sure everything you play sounds crystal clear even at high input levels. It also has an intuitive layout with all the features placed where you need them when you need them. You can add scratch effects to currently playing songs as well as songs you have queued without a turntable. Thanks to the pad scratch effect that has eight Different scratch recordings that can match the BPM of what you’re playing. You’ll also find that mixing is seamless with the five inch aluminum jog wheel that’s durable and low latency to give you great scratch response and accuracy. The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 is the best controller for beginners with a portable design, pre-recorded scratches to use and no need for an additional sound card. Everything a beginner needs to get started is here. Letting you spin tracks and build your skills in no time.

Reloop Mixon 4

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Next up, the Reloop Mixon 4 is a DJ controller that offers versatile connectivity for DJs that want the option of hooking up their Macs, PCs, and even their Android tabs or iPads. The Reloop Mixon 4 is a light, well-built controller with a stylish look with RGB on the pads and lots of connectivity options including for tablets and cost about 800 dollars. Measuring 25.9 by 14.8 by 1.8 inches and weighing only 11.7 pounds. This controller is light and easy to carry. It has four channels and four deck controls and is compatible with both Serato DJ Pro and algorithm DJ software but unfortunately, it does not come the software.

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The versatile connectivity options include mic input, USB, two master outputs, booth outputs, and two headphone ports. In addition to connecting to a Mac or PC, you’ll be able to connect it up to Android tablets and iPads. The mic volume control knob can be pressed in to hold flush to the front of the controller. Press it again and it pops out to use. This is a nice touch as it prevents the possibility of damaging the button as you move the controller. The aluminum jog wheels with LED illumination display useful information including playhead position and remaining track length. I also love the Spotify integration and the match feature that suggest songs that mix well with the song being played both in key and BPM.

So, mixing songs is easy while discovering new tracks. The pads can be used to trigger sounds and cues, play sample slices, and more. There are also macro FX features letting you create dramatic breaks and transitions. There’s a built-in audio interface for simple setup and high-quality performance audio that sounds great and the harmonic mixing mode allows you to synchronize the key of multiple songs instantly. Another cool feature is the real-time vocal and instrumental separation giving you powerful of your track mixes.

The Reloop Mixon 4is the best DJ controller for tablets with a simple audio interface, a portable design, and Spotify features so you can easily DJ with all the music you already have access to and more.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol

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If having an all-in-one system is high on your list, the Native Instruments Tractor Kontrol SA DJ Controller maybe a perfect option for you. If you’re looking for a top of the line professional level DJ controller for around 1,300 dollars, the Native Instruments Tractor Kontrol SA is a flagship, all-in-one DJ system that includes tractor scratch two software. It has amazing high quality performance, a sturdy build, and a unique design with two high resolution displays to offer an abundance of features.

This controller measures 24 by 25 by 5 inches and weighs eleven pounds with four channels and four deck controls. It has a twenty-four bit forty-eight kilohertz sound card and includes both stems compatibility and MIDI in and out connectivity to let you sync with synthesizers, drum computers, machine, or externally effects. I like all the connectivity options you get too including four analog inputs, both XLR and RCA master outputs and quarter inch booth outputs to connect to pretty much any sound system. The standout features the two touch strips that provide tactile control over track position, pitch bend, and more.

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These high resolution screens replace traditional jog wheels and do a really good job for basic nudge style beat matching. The absence of pitch faders may be deal breakers for some, but the touch strips give you a lot of versatility and features including a seek mode so you can jump to any part of the playing track and beat grid view to adjust grids on the fly when a track needs fine tuning. You can live capture and trigger your own samples and loops using sixteen color-coded performance pads and the backlit controls look great and are easy to navigate in any lighting environment. Mixing sounds is intuitive thanks to the remix deck controls.

So you’ll easily be able to create your own signature sound. The native instruments tractor control Seight DJ Controller’s the best high-end tractor DJ controller boasting innovative touch strips that let you display and control all the functions you need as you input commands. This is a great choice for DJs looking to break from traditional hardware and explore a path of their own. DJ controllers can get pretty expensive.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000

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So if you’re looking for one of the better options without capping over 1,200 dollars, the Pioneer DJ 1,000 is a pro level DJ controller that boast two full-size jog wheels with HD screens, a range of effects options, and a host of performance controls. Plus a license for pioneer record box. For 1,200 dollars. At 13.23 pounds, it measures 14.23 by 27.87 by 2.89 inches with 4 channels for deck controls and a 24 bit 44.1 kilohertz sound card. It has a frequency range of twenty to twenty thousand hertz and a signal to noise ratio of 112 decibels. The DDJ 1,000 uses record box DJ which has a related tracks feature that suggest tracks that are compatible with what you’re currently playing.

The full-size jog wheels are amazing as they’re optimized for a perfect scratch response and you can even use jog feeling adjust to set your preferred resistance. Each jog wheel features all-new HD LCD screens so you don’t have to move your eyes from the deck to see information like BPM, waveform, playback position, or hot queue, and loop points and you can choose which info you want to see. The 6 backlit rubber performance pads are also great letting you quickly trigger hot queues, pad effects, beat jump, sampler, keyboard mode, beat loop, and key shift at a touch.

The controller has four inputs providing you with the flexibility to connect to CDJs or analog turntables and use the DDJ 1,000 as a stand-alone mixer. You can also connect directly to professional PA equipment using the booth, two master, and two mic inputs. The highly durable mag valve fader makes performances go smoothly and is capable of lasting through more than 10 million movements.

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You’ll also like that the softer processing of the jog wheel and cross fader significantly reduces latency so scratching feels more intuitive. The Pioneer DJ DDJ 1,000 is the best overall DJ controller under $1,200 with incredible full-size jog wheels that each have an HD screen, loads of features, and the ability to suggest tracks. It’s a great compact controller to take to parties and events.

Pioneer DJ DJ System (XDJ-RX2)

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Last up, we’ve got the Pioneer DJ DJ System (XDJ-RX2) with a 7″ touch screen, solid build quality, and high usability for both beginners and professionals and it turned the title of the best stand-alone DJ controller. For around 1,700 dollars, the Pioneer DJ System is a two deck two channel system that measures 28.7 by 17.5 by 4.25 inches and weighs 24.9 pounds and has a frequency range of twenty to 20 thousand hertz and includes MIDI connectivity. It’s compatible with both Serato and record box software. You’ll like the seven inch touchscreen. It’s innovative and easy enough for beginners to use while also providing the features of a professional level controller.

You can search your music library easily with an on-screen keyboard plus other features include rotary selector, track filter, shortcuts, and more. It also comes equipped with sound color effects and beat effects to give you loads of creativity options when mixing tracks. What I like is that it allows you to connect your music with a USB drive instead of using a laptop but if you prefer using your laptop, you can connect it directly to the XDJ RX two and import your tracks to record box to play your prepared tracks. Another cool feature is using record box video to load videos and image files to the decks from a laptop or stream live footage from a USB camera.

Then add an text overlays and effects in real time. This controller has EQs and channel faders that are like those found on professional club mixers to make sure you achieve precise, smooth mixes with all your tracks. There’s sixteen large multi-colored tactile performance pads for instant access to professional performance features such as hot queues, beat loop, slip loop, and either a singular or continuous beat jump. The Pioneer DJ System XDJRX two is the best stand-alone DJ controller with an integrated screen making the features easy to use and record box functionality that lets you get the most out of your mixes. This is the best choice whether you’re a DJ just beginning your career or a seasoned professional. 

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