What Do DJ Controllers Do?

Throughout your DJ career, you need to get familiar with the different pieces of equipment, devices, and tools that you’ll be using. Each has a unique function that helps you have the best DJing performance.

Maybe you’re wondering, what do DJ controllers do? A DJ controller is one of the most essential equipment for a DJ. It is a device created to copy the features and functionalities of a classic turntable and mixer in one. DJ controllers are a digital gadget that looks like a combination of these two devices. It lets the DJ mix songs with DJ software and use faders, encoders, touch strips, jog wheels, buttons, knobs, and other functions. With DJ controllers, it gives users a quick connection from hardware device to software. Check the best DJ controllers right here on BestDJKit.com

However, there are a few things that you must know with regards to DJ controllers. In this DJ guide, we will help you learn the basics of what DJ controllers do as well as other things related to it.

What Do DJ Controllers Do?

DJ controllers are made to transport a microprocessor that controls a DJ software rather than using a laptop’s touchpad or a computer’s keyboard. But DJ controllers don’t have the power of mixing audio or sound signals.

What a DJ controller does is carry a command to the laptop or computer to let DJ software perform the mixing. This is done through the use of standard HID or MIDI procedures that transmit with your laptop or computer via USB.

A DJ controller should be linked first to your laptop or computer for you to begin the setup. Also, you need to design the faders, buttons, and knobs to the settings in the DJ software you’re using.

To guarantee that all sets work, try pressing a button on your DJ controller and observe if it’s synchronized with your DJ software. Once you have confirmed that all are working well, you can start DJ mixing and playing.

Features and Functionalities of a DJ Controller


This DJ controller feature acts as a faucet that allows the user to slowly add or decrease the sound signal levels by using slide knobs that are either horizontal or vertical. Also, crossfaders are the best technique used in moving one track to another.

Hence, the party people can hear an impeccable and in sync flow of the playlist. This should be combined with an elite level of DJ skills.

The Control Surface

Also called the mixer section, The Control Surface of a DJ controller lets a DJ manage the functions and features of the DJ software and settings. It comes with screens, ports, faders, buttons, knobs, jog wheels and pads.


DJ controller.consists different sets of knobs. The first is known as the “Trim or Gain.” it is used to arrange the sound volume of a sound channel by hand. The second set is employed mainly for equalization.

Lastly, other knobs come with a monitor knob that is used to set the sound volume of the mix. The master knob is for the setting of the sound volume for the final audio output and the cue knob which is used to arrange the volume for the DJ headphones.

Jog Wheel

This is also called the shuttle wheel, shuttle dial or jog dial and one of the best features of a DJ controller. Jog Wheel is used to manage the audio speed.


Often made from a rubber material and square-shaped. The functions of pads consist of beatmatching, looping, finger drumming, layering decks, chopping tracks, slicing vocals, and customizing the size of the slices.


These are also called cue mix selection buttons, DJ controller Buttons are used for choosing the right channel you want to listen to before the crowd hears it.


These DJ controller functions include the latest versions of the equipment. It shows or displays important features and sound volumes. This lets the user have the maximum attention on the DJ controller and the functions available instead of displaying indicators on the laptop or computer. 

Audio Interface

Besides the DJ controller’s control surface, it also consists of the audio interface. This helps in improving and augmenting the sound quality from the controller to the sound output. This could be done by making sure that the sound input is of superior quality while sampling from the source.

The audio interface may be incorporated into a DJ controller, or in some instances, can originate from external devices or equipment. Also, the audio interface can have an output for different headphones, sound processors, or laptop or your computer.


This DJ controller feature is usually for the USB and audio connection. Ports are also an important feature as it delivers a quick and direct link to your channels or sound files without utilizing an external player.