Best DJ Mixers for Serious DJs
A mixer is the heart of every DJ act. It is where it all happens, the device that will enable you to make your ideas a reality. This is precisely why it is crucial to have a high quality mixer by your side. And the music technology industry is there to give you a variety of options. There is a vast number of mixers out there and choosing one that is right for you can be really tough. On the other hand, thanks to a lot of manufacturers, you can make your own combination of features and find one that fits your budget. Here are a few recommendations. Bear in mind, this is not the ultimate list. You will probably need to browse a bit before you find the perfect one that suits your needs.
Before we mention the low budget mixers for serious beginner DJs, we will start off with the expensive ones. So, if you are really serious in being a DJ and you have a great budget, check out one of these:
Pioneer is maybe the most (if not the most, then one of the most) reliable companies that make audio equipment. This is a very powerful, four channel model that combines quality, high performance and great design. It is made for professional DJs. It has the ProDJ Link LAN connection that will enable you a noiseless connection with up to four turntables/CDJ players and two laptops. It also has a Beat Slice that will allow you to slice and rearrange samples in real time, as well as a Live Sampler, Quantized Beat Effects and studio-quality Instant FX. And with these, you can let your imagination run wild. Combine that with a slip roll, added reverb, gate and a multi-tap delay and you get a little piece of heaven. It is great both for DJs that prefer CD and for those that work only with the analogue sound. And, it comes at a price that is around $2500/£2000
If you are a Scratch DJ, this might be the one for you. Rane and Serato have supported DJs for a decade and they know what they are doing. This is a plug-and-play package that supports two computers, two-deck digital vinyl simulation, SP-6 sample player, software and hardware effects and all the record and playback channels. You might say that it has it all. The design is fantastic and enables you to access the Library, Loops etc with ease. It comes with a fully integrated MIDI controller, advanced battle mixer, ASIO and Core Audio Drivers, External analog insert for analog effects processor and USB insert for software effects, Magnetic crossfader and channel faders with reverse and contour controls, and many, many more features. And all this comes at a price around $2200/£1700
Another little miracle from Pioneer, this is an updated version of the DJM800. It has four program channels, the FX processor and a crossfader, that are all bundled up in this digital mixer. With these features comes a set of four sound color FX that can be implemented on any of the four channels and a 13 beat syncable FX, “Beat Colour FX”. The good thing is, it comes with a four-channel soundcard that enables you to connect it to a Mac or PC with just one cable through the USB port. In case you are a user of any MIDI mappable DJ software, this mixer can also act as a MIDI controller. The great up-side to this mixer is the fact that it can be used by beginners as well. And its price is somewhere around $1500/£1300
If you have a really high budget, I believe that the Allen & Heath Xone: DB4 Digital DJ Mixer is something that you should definitely check out. It’s fantastic for professionals in night clubs, but also for any other kind of performance, recordings etc. It is a four channel mixer with the USB port capable of 24-Bit / 96kHz audio and any DAW software. It comes complete with the 5 BPM syncing effects on each channel, 2 phono/line switchable inputs, and 2 dedicated line inputs, as well as a Looper, Filters, Integral Soundcard, MIDI Control, a High Visibility Display and more. And it costs around $2700/£1700, if you are lucky.
When it comes to DJ mixers, one good thing is that you can find good, reliable equipment for a low price.
One good example would be the Allen & Heath Xone 22 DJ Mixer. This is a 2 channel analogue mixer that offers a perfect balance between the price and the quality – it is incorporated with the professional mixer features. This mixer will provide accurate metering, high quality faders and pro-standard audio headroom and a full cut isolator/EQ, as well as the VCF filter system. This is one of the few mixers in this price range that has all these professional features. It also has the accurate signal level monitoring, +25dBu maximum output level (balanced XLR), low audio distortion (typically 0.002% at +10dBu output) and a universal voltage power supply that will enable it to work anywhere in the world, on any electrical system. Its price is around $300/£200.
Denon X120 Mixer is another great piece of equipment that is supposedly the smallest mixer on the market at this time. It’s really simple and really easy to use. It has the dual switchable phono/lines, with 2 line input, advanced 45mm VCA faders, 3-band EQ and a microphone input. It’s flexible, thanks to the balanced and unbalanced outputs, with a 10 segments level meter. This one also has a number of professional DJ mixer features like a program channel reverse, gain control, cross fader, channel fader reverse, channel fader contour and a headphone split cue. It costs around $250/£180.
Finally, it’s important to mention Numark M6 USB DJ Mixer, a 4-channel mixer that works with all standard audio sources – turntables, CD players, etc – and has a USB computer connection. It has a wide range of professional features such as 3-band EQ and LED metering per channel. Another good thing is that it has a replaceable crossfader, and any channel can be assigned to it. And it has a microphone input. Thanks to the USM port, you can also record your mix to the computer. Its price is in the range of $200/£150.