What does a DJ controller do? Explained

If you’ve ever been to a music festival or any other event where a DJ is performing, you’ve probably noticed a machine with knobs that the DJ uses to control the tunes and produce various effects.

The controllers, which modified the music to add additional intensity and depth, were the beginning of the art of DJing. Typically, a controller is used to carry out these tasks.

A shot of the controller, the DJ manipulating knobs, and a revolving disc used to modify the song will appear in every DJ movie. It takes a certain amount of talent, as easy as it may appear.

You must comprehend what each knob performs and how it functions behind the scenes. It’s tough to fathom doing a live performance without such understanding.


Making a mistake on stage and freezing is one of the worst things that can happen to a DJ, which is why some DJs practice playing with their eyes closed during rehearsals. It’s a significant matter for them.

Music producers and DJs are diametrically opposed. They sing songs that have been recorded in a studio live on stage. The power to modify tunes is the one thing that they have in common.

A DJ controller is used to create all of the effects necessary for the DJ to control the music being played. It also makes it easier for the DJ to seamlessly segue between tracks. In the studios, DJ controllers are utilized to manipulate songs during live recordings.

DJing is an important aspect of the music business. It’s where the art made in the studios comes to life.

In this post, I’ll go over all of the components of a DJ console or controller and explain why they’re so important in the DJ world. Let’s get this party started, shall we?

What is the difference between a DJ controller and a controller for a DJ?

A DJ controller is a midi controller with revolving plates that represent the tracks playing on both discs in its most basic form. The tunes are controlled and moved around using these revolving plates.

Fast forward used to be a button on DJ controllers in the early days of DJing. They rotated this wheel forward and backwards.

A DJ controller, for example, includes two discs, as you may have observed. This allows you to simultaneously control two tracks. If a song is about to stop, the DJ will seamlessly transition to the next song, giving the impression that the first is still playing. This is a crucial ability for young DJs to acquire.

DJ controllers may also be used to manipulate the mixing inside the controller, allowing the DJ to produce incredible effects that are commonly employed in songs during recording sessions. Live performances make significant use of equalization and other methods such as adding reverb.

The DJ controller plays an important role in the show. To control and modify the songs in the set, it must work in tandem with the audio production software.

This is one of the reasons why midi controllers are rarely utilized in live shows. When compared to midi controllers, DJ decks perform far better.

DJ controllers are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles.

DJ controllers have undergone a number of advancements in recent years. All of them began with mixers, progressed to midi controllers, and then to DJ decks and pads.

The following are the two most common DJ controllers:

Controllers for the midi signal

Turntables for DJs


Controllers for the middle of the road

DJs execute songs on the stage using controllers, which are hybrid keyboards. Rather than becoming a DJ, it’s mainly for live performances as a keyboardist.

Midi controllers have come a long way and are now a necessary component of every music production studio.

Music producers utilize midi controllers in their live shows as well. If you’re just getting started as a DJ, grab a midi controller and learn everything there is to know about the trade before moving on to the DJ booth.


Decks for DJ

These are DJ-specific controllers. All of the features have been designed to make DJing more efficient and enjoyable. Getting a DJ Deck is the finest next step for your DJing career once you’ve grasped the basics of mixing and mastering.

Pioneer is the most well-known DJ brand, while Native Instruments has just entered the DJ controller market. Begin by investing a little amount of money and learning as much as you can before increasing your gear investment.

The Functions of DJ Controllers

DJs use DJ controllers to modify tracks using various approaches. Equalization is one of these techniques. More than 8 to 10 distinct types of filters can be utilized throughout the equalization process. DJs modify songs using these filters.


Low cut, high cut, and the bell curve are all examples of these filters. Aside from these filters, there are other components of mixing to consider, such as the effects panel, which includes compression and delay effects.

Compression is used to diminish the dynamics of the playing song, which is then modified using delay and reverb to produce sound effects. Knobs, encoders, jog wheels, faders, illuminated buttons, touch strips, and other elements are used to modify the music.

DJs utilize limiters, as well as other special effects like reverb and delay, to generate large, genuine sounding sounds. This vast range of natural sounds transports you to a stadium.

The encoders will assist you in controlling the equalization effects properly. In a DJ controller, the strips will assist you in adding and removing the effects.


What does it cost to buy a DJ controller?

A DJ controller may cost anything between $200 and $3,000. The cost of the controller varies greatly depending on the features it has. Rather of rushing right into an advanced DJ setup, you should start modest and work your way up to better understand the fundamentals.

More crucial than the controller itself is the controller’s ability to be used.


Can you tell me the difference between a DJ controller and a mixer?

A DJ controller is a midi controller that transmits signals to audio production software, whereas a mixer merely controls the output volume levels and certain other capabilities of individual parts.

Most mixing features are now included into DJ controllers.


Is it possible to DJ with just a laptop and a mixer?

Yes, a mixer and a laptop are sufficient for DJing. Performing a variety of complicated effects, such as blending two songs, would be extremely difficult. If your budget prevents you from purchasing a mixer, a midi controller might be an excellent substitute.


Can you tell me how much a good DJ setup costs?

It will cost you roughly $800 to have a nice DJ setup with software. It will cost you roughly $2000 to build a professional gear. The cost of the equipment is unimportant since any talented DJ can put on a terrific show with a substandard setup.

How much equipment does a new DJ require?

A starting DJ would require audio production software that is suited for live performances as well as a DJ controller to modify tracks on stage.

To be a better music producer, you must understand mixing and mastering manipulation as well as how music creation works.



Due to music events all around the world, DJing has become well-known in the previous ten years. The growth of more DJs in the last 6 years has also been aided by big-name celebrities playing with well-known DJs.

If you want to be a DJ, the greatest way to differentiate yourself is to improve your music producing, mixing, and mastering skills.

Steve Auki is one of the top music producers in the industry. In terms of how many concerts he’s done, he’s still unrivaled. Understanding your controller to the fullest is the second most critical component of DJing.

You’ll have trouble finding out how the knobs operate and even manipulating it if you don’t grasp how it works. After you’ve grasped the theory, you can focus on putting it into practice onstage.


What does a DJ controller do? Explained

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top