A lot of DJs, especially those who have been in the industry long enough, still don’t trust DJ controllers for scratching. Instead, they stick to their vinyl records and turntables, because it gives warm tones and artistic expressions.
For vinyl purists, there are actually a lot of DJ controllers that are also good for scratching.
In order to give justification to our claim, we looked for the best DJ controller for scratching this 2019. There are actually a lot of them, but, we picked the best based on their scratching capabilities and other features they offered.
This article gives you 10 products with a quick review, as well as pros and cons. Towards the end, we will share with you some tips on how to choose the best as well as our best bet at the very end of this review.
10 Best DJ Controller for Scratching 2023
- Numark Mixtrack 3
- Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
- Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2
- Gemini GV Series G4V Professional
- Denon DJ MC4000
- Hercules DJControl JogVision
- Pioneer DDJSR Pro DJ Controller
- Numark NVII | DJ Controller for Serato DJ
- ADJ Products VMS5 Standalone MIDI Controller
- Numark NS6II DJ Controller
The cheapest on the list, Numark Mixtrack 3 is still packed with great features that you’ll surely be proud of. Comes with a multi-function touch strip for FX control and strip search, high-resolution metal jog wheels, multiple FX manipulation, and 16 performance pads, among others.
You can also see the volume level display, dedicated track browsing controls, as well as dedicated filter knobs per channel.
Also includes long, 100mm pitch sliders to easily match the beat for perfect sync. It’s USB-powered which can be directly connected to your Mac or Windows PC.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a sound card onboard, so you need an external audio interface to cue songs to the output sound, speakers or even with headphones.
- Great controller for beginners
- Very easy to set up
- All controls are nicely spaced-out
- It doesn’t have a sound card
- So needs an additional audio interface
- Comes with only a trial version of LE
- Not compatible with audio streaming like Spotify or YouTube
Numark is one of the most popular brands in terms of DJ equipment, particularly DJ controllers. Like its premium controller, Numark also uses the same technology to the more affordable Numark Mixtrack Pro 3.
In fact, it has many pro features like the touch-sensitive jog wheels, 16 rubber trigger pads, multifunction touch strip, and volume level display.
Moreover, you can also enjoy the long, 100mm pitch sliders that are perfect for beat matching. Serato DJ Lite software can be downloaded for free after you purchase, so you can do mixing and scratching at your own convenience.
It’s USB-powered with the built-in sound card so you can connect it to your PC, at the same time interface it with PAs, headphones, mics, and speakers.
- With a reliable built-in sound card and mic output
- Comes with basic controls a starter DJ can learn right away
- Great pitch faders for beat matching
- Crossfaders won’t properly work at times
- Has RCA master output only
A more portable DJ controller that lets you maximize your DJing skills with one-hand mixing, Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 might be a good buy. It features eight rubber triggers with the top four for hot cue, manual loop, auto loop, and sample and the bottom four for play, cue, sync, and shift.
A configuration not present on other controllers at this price range, it has a Filter Fade that lets you add two high-pass filters to your crossfaders for you to achieve that one-hand mixing.
The trim knob and the level meters are very important to make volume adjustments for each channel. It comes with large, low-latency jog wheels perfect for scratching — very responsive and accurate. You can also explore doing creative loops, cue and samples making DJing more fantastic.
- Set up is quick and ready to use
- Great controller
- No doubt about it
- The right-hand side of the mixer may freeze randomly
- Jog wheels are not that reliable
- Doesn’t actually come with software
You are just okay spending a few hundred dollars for a DJ controller, you can really benefit from, right? We’re talking about the Gemini GV Series G4V Professional which is a two-deck, four-channel mixer with gain, EQ and filter control onboard.
Each channel comes with hotkeys dedicated for hot cues, auto loop, manual loop, and sampler.
Touch-sensitive jog wheels are great for scratching. Tap, twist and toggle your tracks to do great music production on the fly with the Virtual DJ bundled with this controller.
But, if you’re not a fan, it is still fully MIDI-mappable with high-resolution controls which you can easily integrate to the app of your choice. And with both XLR and RCA master outputs with audio interface onboard, you got an infinite capacity to integrate with other music gears.
- Quality and reliable build
- Has high-resolution jog wheels and great controls
- Buttons and knobs are great to touch
- No LED feedback when triggering the pads
- No standalone mixer capability
- Pitch bend controls are not found in this controller
Wanting to get more accurate jog wheels for scratching, plus track cueing? Well, how about the Denon DJ MC4000? Its touch-sensitive and touch-activated jog wheels allow you to achieve more accurate scratching in addition to getting easy access to dedicated hot cue and sample trigger pads.
Scratching and DJing has never been this easy with the included Serato DJ Lite and compatibility to Traktor 2, Virtual DJ 8, Algoriddim djay Pro and all DJ applications with MIDI mapping.
With its rugged construction and features mentioned above, surely, you can get creative on the fly. With the long-throw 100mm pitch faders with the intuitive layout of all the controls onboard, DJs can do their thing flawlessly and naturally.
The most exciting feature of this controller is the Balanced Booth output, which is very important if you want to integrate this with other DJ equipment.
- Has full-sized pitch sliders
- Excellent build quality
- Excellent jog wheels
- Impressive connectivity
- Limited support for Serato DJ software
- VU meters are very basic and are a bit confusing
Hercules DJControl JogVision is one of a kind DJ controller that is best for mixing and scratching. Not only that it’s great with all the controls onboard, but it has LED display that lets you focus on your performance and maybe totally do away with computer screens — making scratching easier.
This is a two-deck controller that has 5.9-inch powerful jog wheels with in-jog LED display that shows you’re on track.
When a track is playing, there are two easy-to-read concentric rings display on each jog wheel. The larger ring on the outer edge of the screen rotates in varying speed according to the pitch adjustment, while the smaller ring at the center indicates the position of the track represented by segments (1=beginning and 16=end).
In addition, when you are scratching, the screen gives you the angular displacement display and indicates where your hand can return to.
Your performance primarily depends on your fingertips. With the ‘air’ control and the versatility of the jog wheels, this controller is the ultimate tool for parties and gigs.
- Solid build with reliable jog wheels
- Produce good quality sound
- Has separate Master and Booth RCA out
- Has odd design for effects and looping
- Pitch sliders could be longer
- No master volume knob
PIONEER DDJSR Pro DJ Controller is a four-channel gear that delivers superior performance. Two of these channels support USB power and has the large jog wheels — perfect for accurate scratching and mixing capabilities.
Comes with Slip Mode allows you to keep track playing while muted and comes back in the right place when the jog wheel is released.
It has 16 performance pads which allow you to trigger functions like hot cue, roll, sampler, and slicer. If you hit the Pad Plus button, you’ll get access to four more features including the hot cue/sampler roll, combo FX and Trans Pad.
You can take advantage of the plug-and-play control of the Serato DJ Pro with dedicated and advanced features like Beat Jump, the previously mentioned Slip Mode and Quantize.
- Ideal for scratching and mixing
- Set up is simple
- Easy to operate
- Lightweight and portable
- But with superb sound quality
- Headphone split cue is not a feature
- Better if the Tempo sliders could be longer
Want to focus more on the crowd and music without the need to monitor in your laptop? Numark NVII | DJ Controller for Serato DJ may just be the perfect one for you.
Instead of looking at your computer’s screen, it has an integrated display screen for easier monitoring during your performance. It comes with an upgraded layout with clear markings for you to accurately adjust the knobs, controls or buttons you want to tweak.
As the name suggests, it’s primarily designed for Serato DJ software and with the controls, you can easily make changes in the software through your controller.
With its four-deck control, including the 16 velocity-sensitive trigger pads and 10 pad modes, you can blend audio layers or remix on-the-go. With a low-profile design, you can bring it anytime and anywhere.
Note: Can only integrate with Intel processors for the Serato DJ software
- Impressive board which is fairly easy to use
- Yet packed with all the necessary features you need
- Great in playing music and mixing
- Controller will run slow while you search for music
- Important to follow the setup instructions to avoid malfunctioning
- Latency is among the main gripe of this controller
ADJ Products VMS5 Standalone MIDI Controller is an all-in-one MIDI controller, which can either be connected to your laptop or can be used as a standalone mixer.
It has a lot of things to process when it comes to the inputs and outputs, with all the controls to adjust each of them. Comes with two phono and mic inputs and four line and USB inputs, as well.
The four analog selectable MIDILOG (MIDI and Analog) channels have Master and Balanced Booth outputs with on/off soft startup and turn off Gain/Treble/Mid/Bass EQ.
The two mic channels have illuminated switches, in addition to the EQ controls, plus on/off cueing, split cueing headphones with rotary mix control. All rubber knobs are illuminated for easier use in a dark environment.
- Awesome controller for its price
- Better looping
- Hot cues and sampler buttons
- Comes with full analog mixer operation if your laptop crashes
- Built with a generic crossfader
- The tons of controls in front could be confusing at first
Numark’s innovation and legacy are embraced in this 4-channel premium Numark NS6II DJ Controller. This controller allows you to connect to two laptops simultaneously with the Serato DJ software for seamless DJing.
It features 6-inch multifunction jog wheels with two-inch colored LCD display per jog wheels and touch-capacitive knobs.
The LCD display helps you monitor the BPM, platter position, pitch adjustment, remaining time and keylock. It has a dual USB port for handoff mixing, making it a standalone mixer that can be connected to turntables and other media devices.
With 16 velocity-sensitive rubber MPC performance pads, you can get access to hot cues, Auto/Roll, Loop Mode, sampler and slicer.
- Feels very solid
- But you can still feel the weight
- Jog wheels are larger
- Yet have some weighted feel
- Installation is smooth and without issues
- Only phono connection for the mic
- No echo
- Bass or doc
- Not working with the latest Mac OS X Mavericks and others
- Jog wheels have some delays
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST DJ CONTROLLER FOR SCRATCHING 2023
If you think you still need some time to decide about what DJ controller to choose. We’ve come up with a few tips that might help you clear your mind and help you decide better.
Not that these points work magic, but these guidelines work for us and hopefully work for you as well. Or if not, at least you get some idea, right?
Whether scratching is your thing or not, it’s still important to consider if your DJ controller got all the terminals/ports you need to integrate it to other music gear. In most cases, you have the USB-cable connection, but, it’s also important that it has an onboard sound card or audio interface.
In this demanding age of DJing and music mixing, being versatile is a quality you really need to have.
These are responsible for the nice cutting sound when you do scratching. In order to be able to maximize your DJ controller, learn how to make use of the crossfader, as well. Crossfader gives you an overview of how essential a crossfader is — a responsive one, of course.
Decent jog wheels
Regardless of the size of the jog wheels, if they are designed well, they are great for scratching and might be at par with the vinyl records and turntables.
So, it might be better if you really try it. After all, if you buy a DJ controller with smaller jog wheels and you have bigger hands, you won’t really feel comfortable about it, right?
If you have a preferred software, or if the DJ controller that you have in mind has software included, you have to check it first, says DJTECHZONE. Maybe check the trial version, do some testing and if you find it great — just perfect for your application — go for it.
If in doubt, look for others that support the software that you are greatly familiar with it. Or, for starters, try to look for controllers with simple, usable and up-to-date software.
These tips should be more than enough for you to weigh on your choices right now.
However, if you’re really serious about scratching after you buy the best DJ controller for scratching 2019, then you need to watch this YouTube video. It gives you a lot of tips on how to get started with scratching and the things you need to get started.
OUR CHOICE FOR THE BEST DJ CONTROLLER FOR SCRATCHING 2023
In all fairness, all of these DJ controllers are among the best in the market. They are designed for specific functions including looping, mixing, trimming and scratching.
While they are unique in the ways they are designed, there’s one DJ controller that outshines the rest when it comes to scratching That is Hercules DJControl JogVision.
This controller comes with a lot of functions including the LED display so you can monitor your track and some information to better your scratching.
Moreover, since you can focus on your music and not on the computer, you can be more creative. It’s more than perfect for DJs who really want to bring their scratching skills to perfection.