Have you always wanted to start DJing but never had the time or the cash to commit to such an expensive hobby? The Hercules DJ Starter Kit might be the solution that you are looking for, and for roughly $199, you can get everything you need except the laptop to start down the path of learning to mix tunes. So if you are bored at home during this Coronavirus quarantine, head over to your favorite retailer and grab this - you'll be live streaming in no time.
What does the kit include:
- HDPDJM40.2 DJ headphones
- Includes Serato DJ Lite
- Starlight controller
- Monitor32 speakers
- The ability to download DJUCED 5.0 software for free with Beatport LINK integration - more on that below.
This kit gives you everything out of the box you need to get going and also includes a copy of Serato DJ Lite and the ability to get DJUCED 5.0, the proprietary DJ software from Hercules for free. We would recommend starting with DJUCED 5.0 due to its similarity to other pro-level software such as Traktor and Rekordbox.
DJUCED will give you all the powerful tools you should be learning like looping, effects, cue points, track analyzation, and more to bring you up to speed faster. These tools are essential to understand if you want to take the next step in your DJ career and graduate into more professional gear.
The other big plus of the new DJUCED 5.0 is that it allows you to integrate with Beatport LINK, which gives you access to 9 million streaming tracks to practice your mixing with, all for a low monthly fee. This is also another great way to start without investing in a ton of music, which can be very costly if you go down the rabbit hole.
The Gear - Build Quality
For what you are paying, this set up is a pretty great deal and will fit nicely into a dorm room or small bedroom desk. Everything is adequate for a beginner, and the software integration is fantastic and easy to use for even the uber beginner.
Don't expect Pioneer CDJs; the quality is like any beginner kit, it's meant to be used as a stepping stone.
Hercules DJControl Starlight controller - The first thing you will notice is that it's quite small and light. The unit will stow away easily in your backpack for quick mobility to the library, coffee shop, or your first house party gig. The control has all the features needed to mix with Serato DJ Lite and DJUCED 5.0, but we don't recommend trying to learn to scratch on this unit, as the touch-sensitive jog wheels are just too small.
A built-in audio interface allows you to cue up tracks and preview them in the headphones before you start the mix. The controller has all the essentials such as bass equalization/filter knobs that will help with mixing and transitions as you start, 4 touchpads per channel, pitch control sliders, hot cue, and loop control buttons. They have jammed a lot of functionality into a minimal surface, which is impressive.
You will NOT be an instant DJ with this unit; there is a learning curve, so be patient and take your time to learn how everything works before you pack off to perform at your buddy Steve's house party. Just because you can transition from one track to another doesn't mean you are a DJ, learning the art of mixing and selection is a must.
The headphones are just ok, and if you are serious about DJing might be one of the first things you can upgrade for roughly $100, you can get a great pair of professional-grade monitoring headphones like the Sennheiser HD 25 Light.
-Faster track preparation
-Visual download guide
-A new SLIP mode
-Beatport LINK integration (HUGE!)