Gone were the days when the only way you could produce that scratchy sound was via the use of the turntable. Nowadays, you can use a DJ controller that comes with a jog wheel. Jog wheels, of course, vary in feel and functionalities. The majority of jog wheels feature static plastic pieces. Some, however, are kinetic jog wheels that rotate like the platter of a real turntable.
The jog wheel or platter is a ready platform for creating scratchy sounds. The two most common types of platters are the motorized platters and the stationary platters. The motorized platters feature a built-in motor. This built-in motor enables the platter to move. It does render the same feel and looks like that of the classic vinyl turntable. This type is perfect for those who are recently transitioning to DJ controllers from vinyl.
Scratching is an art. The way you feel your gear is crucial to how you can create great scratchy sounds. Some DJ controllers come with spinning motorized platters. So, if you are a DJ who is used to turntables, you may find it challenging to transition to the use of a DJ controller. On the other hand, if you are just learning the rudiments of scratching, you should consider the stationary platter. In doing so, you won’t be making much adjustment compared to those already used to working with turntable: So, if you are looking for a DJ controller with motorized platters, check out these four most recommended. DJ controllers:
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 DJ Controller
The Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 DJ Controller comes with new motorized jog wheels. This jog wheel comes with haptic feedback that features three modes. The best part is that its motorized jog wheels are very responsive to scratching, nudging, backspinning, and pitch-fading. These jog wheels transmit loop markers and cue points. They give you a more direct feel for your fingertips. It provides everything you need.
The Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 DJ Controller provides intuitive visual feedback with its RGB LED rings along with its high-resolution color displays. Moreover, it comes with an integrated audio interface that is pro-grade. This audio interface features external inputs on each of its channels. It also comes with headphone outs, DVS support as well as mic inputs.
Its haptic drive provides haptic force-feedback. Its Deck FX allows you to create dramatic build-ups as well as inventive blends using its famous tempo-synced FX. It also features 16 RGB pads. Its audio interface is an onboard 24-bit/96-kHz. Moreover, its carbon protect-fader provides greater resistance to dust and longer durability.
Its main upside is its silent motorized jog wheels, decent crossfader, and adjustable torque. It is also lightweight despite its kinetic jogs. Its downside, however, is its stock crossfader, which is not specifically scratch-worthy.
RANE DJ Digital DJ Turntable
The RANE DJ Digital DJ Turntable may look like a turntable, but it is a DJ controller, for it doesn’t have tonearm or needle. It features a 12-inch motorized platter that mimics the torque and feel of a turntable. It allows you a great digital DJ scratching experience. It also lets you perfectly control the playback.
Its design, of course, is like the traditional and familiar turntable. Thus, you don’t need to make so much adjustment when transitioning to its use. Its control consists of four decks. DJ can use any of these decks or simultaneously used two or more of these decks. It also has Strip Search Feature with 8 hot-cue trigger access.
RANE DJ features a 5.0KFCM high-torque motor along with a high or low torque adjust if you want traditional setups. It offers extreme precision and seamless performance with its 3,600 tickets (platter resolution). Furthermore, it comes with an 8/16/50 pitch along with a dual-resolution slider that precisely works. If you are a turntable enthusiast, you will appreciate this DJ controller.
Numark NS7III | 4-Channel Motorized DJ Controller & Mixer
The Numark NS7III is a premier 4-deck controller that comes with 3 high-resolution color screens. It also comes with a stackable waveform display along with an interactive control surface. The NS7III comes with capacitive and touch-sensitive knobs. You simply need to touch them to turn on the effects, perform multiple tasks, and kill EQ frequencies. Some of its features include the Touch Mode, Touch Lock Mode, Roll Mode, and FX Mode.
The Numark NS7III also comes with Pad Modes that feature different functions on every deck. These pads are velocity-sensitive. They are also durable and easy to play with. It has almost everything that you need and many other features.
If you can shell out extra money for this controller, you should go for it. It comes with a motorized jog wheel that comes with slipmats and a nice vinyl on its top to give you a feel of a real turntable.
You can readily alter the platter torque to match your preferred speed. You can also turn the motors of the platter off.
The Numark NS may be looking like a standalone, but you need to connect it to your laptop if you don’t want to do spinning with it. It also comes with onboard displays that only exhibit horizontal waveforms. If you’re going to work on vertical waveforms, you may get frustrated because you can’t toggle with the vertical waveforms here. The downside of buying the Numark NS7III is its heavier weight, which is around 14kg.
Denon DJ SC5000M
This is a more advanced DJ controllers that comes with the motorized platter. The Denon DJ SC5000M is a professional DJ media player that comes with a 7″ motorized platter. It delivers a nice and authentic mechanical spin right under your fingertips. Its vinyl tension is adjustable for different scratch or slips control. It offers two variable torque settings, namely: high and low. It also comes with a 7″ HD display that allows for multi-touch gestures.
The Denon DJ SC5000M is capable of 24-bit/96kHz digital audio outputs. Furthermore, it also features a dual-layer playback that you can use with the individual audio outputs. It plays audio formats (uncompressed) like those of FLAC, ALAC, and WAV.
It also features 8 multifunction trigger pads for loops, cues, rolls, and slices. It also features 3 USB and 1 SD inputs for play-backing music. It also has a LAN output for linking to a maximum of four players. Lastly, it comes with the Engine Prime Music Management Software.
The vinyl plat comes with a similar 45-adapter-style locking mechanism for attaching the vinyl to that of the spindle. Moreover, it comes with metal pegs for lining up with the platter and for locking the spindle rig in. This spindle rig rotates side by side with the record. The record, however, is connected to the spindle via an Allen key that comes with it.
It is a fact that you don’t really need a turntable to engage in scratching, given the availability of a DJ controller with a jog wheel. Yet, not all DJ controllers with jog wheels are the same. So, you need to figure out the one that feels well with your style.
Scratching, of course, is a form of art. Hence, how your gear feels on your finger is critical to your effectiveness and creativity as a DJ. Some DJs need to adjust to the use of stationary platter, having been used to the actual vinyl. Yet, as mentioned above, if you are a tyro in the field of scratching, you can settle for the stationary platter for a start.