Can Someone Help Me With A Decision

Can I Finally Get An Honest Answer From Someone? I Have My TurnTables And love them. But I Also Want To Buy A Controller. Whats The best Controller I Can Buy. Plus Use It With My Turntables At The Same Time. I Like The Denon Dj MCx8000 But I Keep Seeing Good And Bad Reviews. Im Lost. Can Someone Help With Telling Me Whats The Best Controller?

Hardware wise it’s an excellent piece of equipment. I’ve got one and my colleague and roadie has one as well.

It’s got big advantages over the other controllers in this price and even higher costing ones, as it’s got 2 dedicated microphone channels, so a mic is always available. Other makers seem to share a microphone on a music slider which then gives you mic OR music on that slider but not both. Some DJs might never use a mic, but others will, and may find that a shared mic fader isn’t workable for them.

Music wise, the out put is clean, crisp and powerful. Probably the best sound out of any combined mixer/deck midi controller.

It’s designed to work with Serato DJ software and as standalone from usb thumb drives. Virtual DJ have got their program to work with MCX too.

The 8000 is built like a tank and it’s crazy robust – although having said that, it is a very very very very big lump to carry around. It also makes it a big target for things to land on it, as my roadie found out a few weeks back. If you’re taking this out to gigs, get a hard flightcase for it.

Yeah there are downsides. The older Engine software relies on some files which aren’t in new versions of Windows or OSX anymore, so that version (1.5) wont work well on modern laptops, although some people say it works in windows compatibility mode. Denon have said that a future version of the much newer, better program “Engine Prime” is being adjusted so that it will work with the MCX.

The other downside is that a few users have had some issues. Theres a modern culture of people thinking that firmware fixes everything. (“Oh, your car fell off an aeroplane? No worries, we’ll send you some firmware for that…”) So, thanks to a dozen or so mis-informed and mis-informing souls, my roadie decided to wait for new firmware to solve an occasional pausing/locking screen on his mcx.

He then dented the mcx when something fell on it, like I said, it’s a BIG target for things to land on and took it to a authorised repairer and they fixed the dent AND re-seated a display cable at the same time, and his mcx doesn’t freeze anymore. So, ignore the “firmware will fix everything” comments, and the “It will only work again when firmware comes out” comments as my roadie should have done ages ago. If you get a problem with it, get it to a repair place. It’s got a warranty of course.

Bottom line: A very well build, great sounding Serato controller and Standalone play

My thoughts on the MCX8000 here:

First a little tip, while making your song titles in your database with Every Single First Character In Caps seems defacto standard these days and works (I do it), it makes for very nasty reading of regular text, like your post.

On-Topic: Controller choice is highly personal. Over at Digital DJ Tips forums we had a step-program we advised. In short it boiled down to this:

  1. Determine your (desired) workflow. I.e. what do you want to do and how. This ties in with what kind of DJ you are/want to be (a mobile DJ will have a different workflow than a bedroom DJ, a hardcore DJ might have a different workflow than a scratch DJ, etx.).
  2. Determine what software you are going to use. Again, this follows from you workflow, genre(s) you play and other factors. Remember that switching controllers if you make the wrong pick or want to upgrade is a relatively easy process. Switching DJ software a lot less so (although more and more tools on the market to help you convert), your investment in learning to master the workings of the software will be gone and you will have to start that process over with a new software. Hence software pick comes second.
  3. Set a budget! This market is filled with too many goodies. Before going shopping determine the amount of money you want to spend. This will help avoid the shiny lights and blinking buttons effect (or the other way around - whatever lol). Take into account the other stuff you will need, like maybe a decksaver, flightcase or bag, cables, microphone, headphone, etx. That stuff adds up and can cut into the budget left for your controller.,
  4. There are some sites that have good guides on controllers (Digital DJ Tips which I mentions has a new one every year, as well as one for software by the way). Get one and start comparing. Find 2-3 controllers that a) fit your workflow, b) work with your preferred software and c) fit your budget!
  5. Find a place where you can try those 2 or 3 controllers on your shortlist in a hands-on setting, preferably with your own music/software. Take your time, don’t let sales guys brush you off in 5 minutes.
  6. Make your choice, buy the controller and accept that is what you now have to work with (stop looking at other things that might have been nicer, especially new gear). After all DJ-ing really isn’t about gear.

On-topic 2: Many controllers have an option to hook up turntables for regular vinyl use and for DVS. Clearly if you want to continue using those, then that is integral and important part of your workflow and should be part of your pick for software and thus hardware as sketched above.

Hope that helps a bit to answer your questions.

As always, just my two cents worth.