The foundation of any good DJ setup begins with two audio decks and a mixer. Play one song, then fade it into another, and congratulations: you’re a DJ. As you're thinking up a cool DJ name (also an important step), there's no need to lug around heavy record turntables or CDJs. Modern DJ controllers
have replaced vinyl platters and CD trays with grippy, hands-on jog wheels. Your controller's mixer panel gives you control over classic DJ tools like EQs, filters, crossfades, and pitch faders. Interfacing with "virtual crate" software like Serato, rekordbox, Traktor Pro, or Virtual DJ, these controllers let you apply classic DJ techniques like scratching, cross-fading, pitch-shifting, and cueing as seamlessly as ever before.
The great thing about modern compact DJ controllers is that they allow you to do things that would have been a struggle in the old days -- or would have required tons of external gear. The ability to reliably prepare DJ sets ahead of time is an obvious win. Or how about saving tons of cue points in one song? That's a boon for all you mashup artists out there. How about applying all sorts of audio effects on the fly, without having to truck along separate devices? We’ve all heard the hits, but imagine them sonically twisted in ways no one has heard them before.
At the end of the day, every DJ knows that their bread and butter is how their beats get matched. With all of these DJ controllers, a simple press of a SYNC button, or a manual adjustment of the tempo knob, can allow you to seamlessly blend Grandma’s request for “a song we all can dance to” into whatever obscure, UK grime set you were banging away at.