When it comes to Djing or mixing of beats, Pioneer DJ Mixers are the go-to music tools for beginners. Having been developing, building, and selling DJ equipment since 1994, it is safe to say that the manufacturer, AlphaTheta, releases industry-grade DJ mixers that cater not only for professional users but also for those who are just starting to use them.
People believed that quality would equate to the price range. The more expensive the equipment is, the more likely it is made of high-quality materials. In most cases, this is true, but there are exceptions to the rule. Exploring different options would lead to exciting discoveries that would give you the most suitable Pioneer DJ mixer for your needs without the costly price tag.
It is also important to remember that audio mixers are different from DJ mixers. While both of these music tools can mix music, there are certain functions designed explicitly for DJ mixers that simple audio mixers would not be able to handle.
Buyer's Guide: Factors To Consider When Choosing DJ Mixers for Beginners
Before giving you those tools that made our shortlist, here are some of the parameters that should be considered in choosing the right DJ mixer for beginners. Whether it is for the purpose of doing it professionally later on or just for mixing or spinning music for your friends during parties, it is always best to learn about the product before making any purchases. Imagine scratching on a DJ mixer that is not built for it would be costly but incredibly difficult.
Inspect Your Other DJ Gear
A DJ Mixer is just one of the tools to complete your DJ set up. Before looking for a mixer, make a list of what you have, such as turntables, headphones, USB cable, connectors, jacks, and monitor speakers (optional). These are the basic equipment for beginners.
DJ Musical Style
Think ahead and decide what kind of DJ you would want to be and what type of music you will mostly be playing in your gigs. There are certain mixers that work best with EDM/House music but not really that good with Pop or Hip Hop. Some mixers have built-in beat counters where one can monitor if it matches up with the tempo whenever one needs smooth transitions in syncing the music. Knowing your style would make your beatmatching easier and the flow of your creativity smoother.
Beginners should have at least the following to work on: scratch plates, efficient knobs/faders/ sliders, performance pads, at least two channels, controllers, and enough inputs. It might be smart not to put limitations on what you can do, so try to add a little bit more than the basic so that it would not end up being thrown away to make way for an upgrade. However, for some people, having a simple DJ mixer with only the essentials to start with is enough.
Portability and Budget
Perhaps these two factors are the most important things to consider. Not having enough budget for a brand new DJ mixer would push beginners to rent the gear; it is totally an option, but having the equipment with you all the time would help enhance your DJing skills. Price tags can be a downside, but in the end, it is a worthwhile investment if you want to make it as your professional career. The lighter the gear is, the better for mobility purposes. Not all mixers are made the same; they do vary in size and not just the specs.
Top 5 Pioneer DJ Mixers for Beginners
Let us look at the top 5 Pioneer’s DJ Mixers for beginners.
Pioneer DJ DJM-S3 2 Channel Mixer for Serato DJ
Highlight Features: a Magvel crossfader, a built-in sound card, Sound Color X dual filters, high-quality sound, two headphone outputs, 2 channels, inputs, outputs, USB ports, Serato DJ software-ready.
Scratching with the Pioneer DJ DJM-S3 2 Channel Mixer for Serato DJ would be a delightful task. It has a Magvel Pro crossfader that can easily adjust to its sharp cuts or smooth glides. If you gets over the top with the fader, there is no need to worry about recoil as it offers shock-absorbing functionality to lessen any extreme impact. This is a straightforward DJ mixer in which you do not need to spend too much time learning about its functions. The filter and parameter knobs offer unique textures and tones while easily manipulating the intensity of the sounds. It has a built-in sound card that is compatible to use with Serato DJ, but the software is not included with the gear. However, a free version called Serato DJ lite is available for download online. You can play as hard as you want with this one as it is built for powerful performances.
Pioneer DJ DJM-450
Highlight Features: A professional layout design, Magvel Faders, Beat FX collection, Inputs/Outputs, USB ports, Headphone Jacks, Bundled with rekordbox dvs.
It is quite rare to find gear with features that would often be found in more expensive club standard mixers but with an affordable price tag such as the Pioneer DJ DJM-450. It is a 2-channel mixer with DVS control using Pioneer’s very own software, recordbox. The software license keys for both rekordbox DVS and rekordbox dj comes with the gear. The Magvel fader has never failed to deliver precise manipulating of tracks that lead to smooth transitions. Scratching repeatedly would not have an impact on its fader and can survive millions of cycles as promised by its manufacturer. A headphone adaptor is not needed as there are two jacks for both small or huge headphones. Modifying beats would be easy with the full-band EQ section with low, mid, high, and trim functions. This is also great for mobility since it has robust casing; no need to worry about bringing it wherever you go.
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2
Highlight Features: 2 Channels, Dedicated series of buttons and knobs for easy switching of functions, Colored Performance Pads, Plug and Play connectivity, Lightweight design, Enough Inputs and Outputs, Low-latency jog wheels for scratch playing, Dual Level Meter, Serato DJ DVS ready.
Any serious beginner would appreciate the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2, and professional DJs prefer to use it as back up mixer during gigs. Don’t get confused with the original one that was released back in 2013, as this is the upgraded version. It is a two-channel portable controller with multi-colored performance pads that you would appreciate in dim-lighted venues. Each channel has its individual 3-band EQs and dedicated trim knobs. With its needle search functionality, it is possible to jump to any part of the track with one easy touch. Smooth transition is easy with those dedicated knobs, and there is no need to worry about disrupting tempos whenever playing the tracks. The extra jacks for inputs and outputs along with USB ports offer an easy plug in and play functionality. It is DVS upgrade-ready and can be integrated with the Serato DJ software or Pitch ‘n Time DJ expansion pack. However, when you purchase the gear, the software is not included, but a Lite version is available for free download online.
Pioneer DJM-S9 DJ Mixer
Highlight Features: Performance Pads, MagVel Fader Pro, Customizable FX Buttons, Filter FX, Style Levers, 2 Built-in USB Soundcards
It is a 2-channel battle mixer and ready to use with Serato DJ software. Packed with features, Pioneer DJM-S9 DJ Mixer can be customized to suit your needs as it has multiple options to choose from to match your DJing style. The multi-colored tactile performance pads offer flexibility in tailoring its functions to the user’s preferences. It is the same thing with the six FX buttons placed on both sides of the mixer, with two at the center for easy control. Having two large style levers will give the user an option to turn the effects on and off without disrupting the flow of the beats. Arranging the tracks with all the triggering effects has never been this easy.
Another good thing about this mixer is that it carries the distinct quality of sound that Pioneer is known to have just like its predecessors. The two built-in sound cards gave Pioneer DJM-S9 DJ Mixer the edge over other mixers. Connecting it to the Serato DJ software can be done effortlessly through the plug and play function. It plays great with turntables and CDJs as well.
Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2
Highlight Features: Magvel Faders with clear layout design. 3-band isolators, Flagship Filter FX, Built-in USB Sound Card, and Bundled with DVS rekordbox DJ license key.
From all the Pioneer mixers, this Pioneer DJ’s DJM-250MK2 is one of the simplest yet powerful mixers. It is a 2-channel with straightforward traditional designs that most old school DJs love to play with. This somewhat of a hybrid of the traditional and the modern DJ mixer, where it has the Pioneer classic Isolator EQs and innovative Sound Color FX to create unique beats. Simply twist the knob to apply the needed filter for each channel and use the parameter knob to control the intensity and resonance. Do not be deceived by the traditional vibe of the layout design because it has a built-in sound card that can integrate the Pioneer’s own software rekordbox dj with the rekordbox DVS expansion.
Any of these Pioneer DJ Mixers is great for beginners, whether for club or battle use. Ultimately, when given a wide array of choices, it would go down to how much money you want to spend on it. It would be smart to choose something that you will be able to handle comfortably as you learn your way through the DJing process.