Your mixer is one of the most important parts of your DJ setup— it’s the center of your rig, and the one you choose is going to shape you as a DJ for years to come. A control surface is a device that allows a DJ to control your software mixer with a knob or fader.
What Do Control Surfaces Do?
Some smaller control surfaces simply give the DJ control over the transport and one software mixer channel. Larger control surfaces with additional functions are MIDI controllers with keyboard controllers. Instead of controlling one channel, you can control up to eight or more. Some control surfaces are only for mix controllers. There are also control surface and audio interface combination units, for those interested in home production. Control surface and digital mixer combinations also exist. These are the largest, and they combine a fully functioning digital mixer with all control surface functions. With a control surface/digital mixer, you can mix in software, but also on the digital mixer simultaneously, but your track remain completely digital without being converted. While you can record and create tracks without a control surface, if you’re really serious bout your filters and resonance, as well as your sequencing, these are an important tool to have.