I think most people can agree that mixing music is a hard and complex job. And while experience plays an important role, the equipment is what makes or breaks a DJ’s performance. However, with so many different products on the market, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the best DJ mixing boards. And since we know how overwhelming it can seem, we want to offer a few tips regarding choosing the perfect DJ board. From features to price, we left no stone unturned when preparing the following guide.
First of all, it’s important to understand that there are two, albeit similar, types of DJ mixing boards. On the one hand, modular rigs are made out of multiple sound sources such as CD players, turntables, and an analog mixer. And while they are becoming less popular, modular DJ rigs are perfect for beginners that don’t have a lot of money to spare.
On the other hand, all-in-one DJ controllers combine turntables, a mixer, and DJing software into one system. They can also work without being connected to a computer, giving users the freedom to use them on the fly. Not only that, but all-in-one DJ controllers have tactile screens that you can use to control the interface, similar to a MIDI controller.
Inputs and Outputs
After you pick the type of DJ mixing board, you need to take a closer look at its inputs and outputs ports. Generally speaking, most mixing boards have a few RCA outputs for recorders and XLR outputs for sound systems. Additionally, professional DJ boards have a variety of USB ports, allowing you to connect your laptop or phone.
Our advice is to consider how many inputs and outputs you will need before making a purchase. Keep in mind that, while you might not need too many ports right now, you may want to upgrade your gear in the future. Therefore, it’s always better to think ahead and leave enough room for upgrades.
Although some boards are designed to work with specific software in mind, most are compatible with a variety of suites. As a result, you need to pick a mixing board that is compatible with the software you are familiar with. We recommend that you research different DJ software and their compatibility before choosing a mixing board.
If you decide to go for an all-in-one controller, it will most likely come with a lite or trial version of popular DJ software. However, you might want to upgrade to a full version to take advantage of all its features. But remember to look up the software each board is compatible with, as some can cost you more than the device itself.
Let’s be honest — price is important, especially when it comes to professional DJ mixing boards. Usually, a budget DJ board will cost anywhere between $200 and $600, depending on its features. It’s important to mention that all-in-one controllers are usually expensive, as they don’t have separate parts like a modular rig. Also, keep in mind that a high-quality DJ board will last for years to come. Therefore, you won’t have to replace it down the road, making it more cost-effective than other cheaper products.
All in all, finding the right DJ boards involves a lot of research and knowledge. From form factor to software support, there are a few things you need to consider when shopping for mixing boards. Additionally, you need to avoid low-quality devices that could lower the quality of your music performance. And while those things can seem overwhelming, with a bit of care and attention, you too can find the best DJ mixing board.