Hercules DJ Controller Compact Review
Are you still searching for an entry-level DJ controller? Maybe you have tried playing DJ before and want a simple, easy to understand controller to start off with. There are many entry-level DJ controllers out there, but one that’s generating quite the buzz is the Hercules DJ Controller Compact. So, is it as good as advertised?
Hercules DJ Controller Compact Features
- The controller comes with several features that make mixing easy. Loops, sample launching and other effects are built in
- At just 1.2 lbs., the controller is light and small enough to put in a laptop or carry bag
- The Compact’s 2-deck design includes a couple of jog wheels and also multiple modes per deck
- The controller comes with potentiometers, pads, a crossfader, a shift command and other control buttons
- The jog wheels give you full control over the pitch and track navigation
- A 3’ detachable cable is included
- The DJUCED software is included, allowing you to mix two tracks and make quick saves
- The controller is compatible with the most popular DJ software including Virtual DJ, Tractor and other MIDI compatible programs
- Portable design makes it easy to carry
- Jog wheels are good quality
- Has a very handy shift button
- Very low latency
- Designed for beginners
- Only has USB, no jacks
Performance and usage
The Compact DJ controller is simple enough for a beginner to understand. With the USB cable, you can quickly set the controller and the software up, and the ergonomics enhances its flexibility.
The layout and controls are properly configured; the deck controls are on the left and right, and the mixer controls are in the middle. By adjusting these controls, the controller and software interact to give you the desired results.
There are four modes: cue, sample, loop and FX, and you use them the same way as other DJ controllers. You can further refine your mixes via the potentiometers and pads on each deck.
Like other Hercules DJ controllers, the Compact has control buttons and a crossfader so you can customize performance. If you want the pad controls doubled, just use the shift command. We also want to mention the jog wheels are responsive, with scratching very much like on a vinyl.
The Compact comes with several features and effects, and adding loops, samples and elements is pretty much straightforward. A lot of the ease of use is due to the pads, and he software is still pretty good. If you have used DJUCED before you’ll know how it operates; if not, it’s easy to learn and provides a good amount of functionality.
Bottom line: With the modes, pads, equalizer potentiometer and volume potentiometer, there are more than enough features here to get you stated. Now, it’s true it is not as powerful as others, but for a novice it has just the right amount of controls and features so as not to confuse the user.
Should you buy it?
If you’re a new to DJ’ing and have never tried a controller before, the Compact is one that you’ll want to try. We have already gone over many of its features, and as we explained in the performance section, it is more than enough for any aspiring DJ.
The Compact is also portable, and it is fully designed for full compatibility with your Windows or Mac laptop. The controller layout makes it easy to figure out the controls, and the software is easy to use as well.
While the program and controller don’t have the same advanced features as other models do, they’re sufficient for a beginner. If you’re a new DJ and like to take your controller with you, the compact will appeal to you. A quick look at the unit shows that it is narrow and light so you can pack it along and it won’t tire you out.
Basically, what it comes down to is this: The Hercules Compact provides the features you would need from a starter controller. If you’re new to DJ’ing, you won’t need advanced features anyway. And even for long-time users, the Compact could still serve as a good backup.
Even the best DJ controllers could break down, and it is a good idea if you have a backup just in case. For the enthusiast and those who are new to this, the Compact is small enough to take with you for regular practice.
The mere mention of entry-level DJ controllers brings up images of poorly made hardware and software. Fortunately, the Hercules Compact controller does not fall into this category. It is aimed at the new DJ yes, and it is not without faults. But, when everything is taken into consideration, the Hercules DJ Control Compact is ideal as an introduction to DJ’ing.