Starting to DJ can be an expensive hobby. Especially if you want to progress and start working with industry standard kit. When you get there you will most likely be met with a Pioneer CDJ set up of some sort. However is Pioneer the best company to go with when you are just starting? There are plenty of other brands out there so should you invest in Pioneer right from the get go? This time we are going to look at what Numark
has to offer in the entry level controller range compared to Pioneer
£200 and under
So at the complete budget end Numark just about take the lead in this category. Numark have always been known for being priced much lower than Pioneer however they have also been considered to be of lesser quality because of this. At sub £150 though they are producing controllers that look as good as Pioneers but also work just as well. For under £200 Numark not only offer the Party Mix 2, but the DJ2GO2 and DJ2go2 Touch which are all actually below £100 and great beginner tools. They also offer the Mixtrack Pro 3 at just £189.00. This is a great 2 channel Serato controller. Pioneers answer to this is the DDJ-400 or DDJ-SB3 which are both priced much higher. The DJ2GO2 could also just aswell be used by Pro DJ's looking to just prepare sets on the go.
For under £200 the only option you have with Pioneer is the DDJ-200 which comes in just over the £100 mark however gives a traditional layout and works with Ipads and Iphones.
If you go with Numark you will also have to make the decision to work with Serato DJ as they don't do Rekordbox controllers. This is understandable as Rekordbox is Pioneers own proprietary DJ software. The benefit of the DDJ-200 is you can use this with a full, restriction free version of Rekordbox whereas the Numark controllers come with Serato DJ Lite.
£200 - £400
Pioneer have some brilliant beginner controllers in this price point. The DDJ-400 and its Serato equivalent, the DDJ-SB3 both come in at £249 and are designed to be development tools for DJ's to hone their craft. The layout is familiar to more advanced Pioneer controllers. It comes with all the Rekordbox compatibility as any other Pioneer controller, and Vice Versa with their Serato controllers. The intuitive mapping of the two controllers means you can plug in and get going.
Pioneer also have the WeGo4 controllers which are aimed at beginners looking to get started. The controller works not only with Rekordbox but also on the ipad using WeDJ app. As you get full versions of the software there is no extra spend after buying the controller.
If you are looking to spend less than £400 with Numark then unfortunately your only real option is the previously mentioned Mixtrack Pro 3 . At £189.00 it comes in cheaper. Its this or the Mixtrack 3 which is a little cheaper and is essentially the same unit but without the audio interface built in. They are great Serato Controllers but only come with intro versions of the software. Already you are looking to spend a little more when you look to move up to the Pro version.
With both brands, the next jump up is significant so at that point you will be investing in something over £600. The question is, have the above controllers prepared you for the big bad world or are you just as lost as when you began? The issue we have right now is that Pioneer have pretty much a monopoly on the club scene and so the industry standard tends to be a Pioneer set up. So its a matter of whether you are looking to be using Pioneer CDJ's in the long run. If so, then Pioneer is your best best to start with so you get a gradual progression as you improve. If you are sticking with Serato then you can always graduate to higher end Numark controllers as well as Denon, Rane, and even Pioneer but there will be a small re-learning curve every time you upgrade.
All of the beginner controllers are available to order
online today. Start your DJ journey now.