DJ4-side-view-large

There’s no shortage of choice for DJs looking for an all-in-one controller for their favourite software these days, but whilst there are plenty of wishy washy MIDI surfaces from various manufacturers, the marketplace for DJ specific modular gear is still pretty small and awash with poor quality.

Faderfox, the German company that personifies ’boutique’ in the DJ tech industry, just last week announced what they’re calling “probably the smallest DJ controller on the market”. The company has a long history of ultra portable MICROMODUL controllers, with the DJ4 being the flagship of the fourth generation. They’ve also brought out much more eccentric and ambitious controllers that can certainly turn heads.

No press release landed with us, but I’ve lifted some choice phrases from the product page to check out.

The probably smallest DJ controller on the market

DJ4 as successor of the DJ3 is a controller for each DJ application with MIDI remote functionality.

The device is optimized for NI Traktor Pro and has 8 centered pots for EQ and filter, 3 faders, 4 push-encoders to control FX, deck, global functions and various colored buttons and LEDs. There are some improvements like MIDI ports, 4 additional buttons (filter + kill) and better encoder knobs.

New colored controls makes it easy to find the right button in dark club situations. Now the behaviour of the controls is programmable to adapt the device to other applications. Use the internal 4 setups to save your individual settings.

Three switchable midi routings makes the unit much more flexible for complex midi setups.

Simultaneous control of external gear and computer software is no problem for the DJ4 due to the available USB and MIDI ports. It’s also possible to extend your setup by other midi controllers thru the MIDI ports.

Features

  • Special controller for DJ software (optimised for Native Instruments Traktor Pro)
  • iPad compatible with camera connection kit
  • Setup files for Traktor Pro and Ableton Live are shipped with the controller
  • USB interface – class compliant / no driver necessary
  • MIDI in and out ports with routing and merge functionality
  • Controls up to four decks – easy switching between deck A-C and B-D on the fly
  • Four FX slots available
  • 4 multifunctional push encoders with detents switchable to 7 groups
  • 24 colored buttons
  • All controls with double function by holding down the shift button
  • 22 LEDs in different colors to display feedback informations
  • 4 internal setups with various programmable functions
  • USB bus powering – consumption less than 500mW / 100mA
  • Very compact design in a black, plastic casing (desktop format)
  • Size 180 x 105 x 70 mm, weight 350 g
  • Black aluminium front plate with laser inscriptions (abrasion resistant)
  • High-quality faders, pots and encoders from ALPS
  • New rubber knobs for best tactile feeling

Price

  • 229€ (inc. VAT)
  • £159.99 (inc. VAT)
  • $219

My take

I’ve owned Faderfox gear before, with a pair of MICROMODUL DX2s preceding my current twin X1 setup, and they were outstanding. They may have been battery powered and only sporting MIDI DIN connectors, but they were compact, sturdy, and the batteries lasted for months with regular use.

ye-olde-setuppe

One of my first digital setups. Yeah, that’s a KAM mixer… along with a pair of MICROMODUL DX2s.

The DJ4 is obviously not for everyone, but could easily be coupled with some of their other models or anything else. I’m not alone in appreciating Faderfox’s products either, with the likes of Carl Cox using them at various times over the years. The downside to the company is that some of their hardware has a pretty hefty price tag (particularly the more crazy gear), but at £160, this is a comfortable price for something that will apparently let you use Traktor single handedly. You’ll still need an audio interface, though.

Your take

Have you used Faderfox gear? What was your experience?

The Faderfox MICROMODUL DJ4 is available now, costing €229/£159/$219.