July 8, 2013

Behringer CMD Studio 4A DJ Controller

A two channel MIDI controller with jogwheels is about as simple as it gets these days.  You can pick one of these bad boys up for close to a thousand dollars, or if you prefer, closer to a few hundred dollars.  Looking at the front of the decks you will notice many things in common.  Each device has some sort of pitch control, they each have wheels that spin, they each have faders and rotaries, and they each have a slew of buttons for song programming or cueing.  Since they share all the same operations, what could be so different from product to product?  The answer is simple, the quality of each part.

Not every jogwheel is the same.  Some of them, like those found on the Vestax VCI series; tend to spin freely without much force applied to them.  Others are more connected to the controller and give a bit more resistance.  Some rely on touch sensitivity rather than actual movement on a dial.  So you see right there, the costs in parts can go up or down quickly.  Buttons are another area where they can fail or flourish.  Great pads can take abuse while remaining sensitive to touch; others are not so friendly.