Our top picks for best DJ controller for scratching 2018

We have chosen are top dj controllers for sctaching. One for the high end market and one for those on a budget. Both offer a great set up for any aspiring DJ to hone their scracthing skills. But wait the offer a whole lot more besides.


Numark NVII

We are not going to lie this is an expensive but worth every cent. When buying a dj controller you want to make sure that everything else you want to do other than scratch is catered for. This is the complete package.

Working through sorato dj software, this has everything you need to master the art of scratching on a dj controller.
With the pro grade cross fader you can be assured of an ultra sensitive fader that will keep up with your every move as you learn to scratch.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 DJ Controller

Pioneer are a leading brand in dj controllers in this offering is a solid controller for those not wanting break the bank o by the Numark NVII.

Not only does if offer a great set up for conventional scratching you can also program the pads with scratch effects.


Why scratching is such a great skill to learn


Scratching is a great skill to learn for any aspiring dj. Not only can it add flair to a dj set but in genres such as hip hop it is an essentuel skill to master.
Scratching was first poineered using vinyl and yet today dj controllers provide you with a set up that is just as versitile as vinyl was back in the day if not more. With the ability to seemlessly slip between scratch samples, the only thing that will hold you back is your own imagination.

With the price of dj controllers coming down in recent years they have now become a viablre and affordable option for anyone looking to get into mixing and especially scratching.
Finding the best dj controller for scratching really depends on your own personal budget and what you are willing to spend.

Personally i would be inclined to invest in a good dj controller of mid range and above for the simple reason that, although a cheaper option my seem the quick way to get into scratching using a dj controller. In reality it may actually hinder your progress.

Speaking from the experience of learning to mix vinyl on cheap turntables and quickly finding out how frustrating it is when you can’t rely on your equipment even when you have the skill.
Its fair to say that when I stepped up to Technic 1210 mark II i knew that investing the right money helped me achieve the skill set I so wanted to aquire.

The same logic can be applied to dj controllers. Go in too cheap and you may end up with a controller with a curve setting on the cross fader which leaves a lot to be desired and prevents you from getting those crisp scratched that so inspire you to keep practising.

If you know you have the passion to stick with it, then invest in it and you will realize that saving up that extra bit of money to get a good model will have been worth it in the long run.


What to look for when choosing a DJ controller for scratching.


It is important to learn how you scratch on any dj controller as the premise is universally the same.
You are basically altering the curve on the cross fader on the central mixer panel.

On its normal setting the cross fader acts as a gradual shifter between one tune and the next, as you move the fader accross it fades one song out by decreasing the volume and as you move it accross to the other tune is increases the the volume of that side.


How to alter the fader so you can use it to scratch.


Most Dj controllers will have either have a phyical switch or a software setting depending on what model you buy. This setting can be used to change the curve and set up so when you move the cross fader even a fracion away from one side it will bring the other side in at full volume.

This makes it possible to dip in and and out of either side at a fraction of a move of the fader, thus making it possible to begin scratching.


Finding the best DJ controller for scratching is essential.

I have seen it on the old mixers used to scratch vinyl where a cross fader would eventually after a lot of use start leaking one tune into the other and not fully cutting off when it should.
This was either down to fatigue on a cheap fader, or just a cheap fader to begin with.

the same can be applied to dj controllers. The sturdier the set up the better it can handle the riggers and hard use it takes when used for scratching.


Vinyl vs dj controllers

Purests would argue that scratching is still best achieved on a dedicated scratch mixer with vinyl. That being said learning to scratch on a dj controller will be learnt in a different way.
Vinyl scracthing is done on mixng decks where you are dragging the vinyl back against the motion of the turntable.

You obviously don’t have this motion with a dj controller. So comparing the two is quite difficult as they both present a different approach even if the end results are preferably simular.
Its best to approach it as a chance to learn something new and with a new approach comes new inovation and a chance for fo you to be creative with it.

The importance of latency.

Latency is an issue that comes with digital sound. Where as with vinyl scratching latency does not exist as you the cross fader is not sendfing a digital signal that has to be interpretted by the software you are using. So choosing a dj controller which has low latency between the controller and comptuer is vital for scratching.



Picture acknowledgments:



By Ethan Hein from Brooklyn, United States [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


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