Stanton DJC.4 DJ Controller Review
Overview: The new Stanton DJC.4 is the newest and compact Digital DJ controller that comes bundled with a four-deck version of Virtual DJ LE and boasts a solid build quality which comes in at a great price-point in today’s DJ market. Check out my full HD-Video and written review to see how the DJC.4 stacks up to the rest.
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Review Video & Demo
Setup & First Impressions
The new Stanton DJC.4 is the newest and compact Digital DJ controller that comes bundled with a four-deck version of Virtual DJ LE and boasts a solid build quality which comes in at a great price-point in today’s DJ market. I like the overall compact size of the DJC.4 which puts it right up there in the same size-class of a Traktor Kontrol S2 or a Vestax VCI-380 controller. The DJC.4 also is built pretty solid. It has a full metal chassis and all of the knobs are metal post meaning everything should last for a long time to come. Every single button on the Stanton DJC.4 illuminates very brightly to let the user know what is active at a glance.
The Stanton DJC.4 does have a power input around the back, but it doesn’t come bundled with a power supply. It doesn’t really look like it’s needed since everything plays at a good volume and the lighting of the meters and buttons look very bright. The DJC.4 is a fully MIDI-mappable controller that can work with almost any DJ software out on the market today. At the time of writing this review, The new Traktor 2 Pro TSI mapping file was just released on the Stanton DJ website, but we decided that this review will be based solely on the Virtual DJ LE software that comes bundled with the Stanton DJC.4. On top of this, the Stanton DJC.4 controller has some unique buttons and layouts that are only inherently found in Virtual DJ, making this controller an excellent companion for the software that is included.
The setup of the Controller is relatively simple with the user only having to use the supplied CD to install the Driver and Software for the controller while plugging in the USB connection to the computer. Plug in your speakers through the supplied RCA or ¼-inch Master Outputs and you’re ready to play your digital audio files through the DJC.4.
There is no Booth output or knob on this controller, so some DJ’s who play out at gigs with this device may be disappointed that the option is not there for monitoring needs. Also around the back there are (2) RCA inputs that can be selected as either LINE level or PHONO level with an included Ground Post for vinyl decks. Even though there are two inputs on the rear of this unit, the Stanton DJC.4 cannot act as a standalone mixer. The Stanton DJC.4 must always be connected to a computer in order to work. In order to actually mix the two RCA Input sources on the rear of the unit, the DJ must upgrade the Virtual DJ LE package to the Virtual DJ Professional software which will cost the user an additional $250. Once this upgrade is completed, the user will never have to pay for another Virtual DJ Professional upgrade again, while also unlocking the internal DVS playback function so DJ’s can use timecode decks to control Virtual DJ LE directly through the DJC.4. While only using the unit with Virtual DJ LE that comes bundled with the software, the user still has the option to use the AUX (mini) Input on the rear of the unit as an Emergency Through Input just in case the laptop decides to clunk out on you in the middle of a set.
In use, the Stanton DJC.4 has a lot of cool features and functions that should satisfy most DJ’s needs. The EQ knobs are all big and have a push-button Kill-feature to them that is very fun to use. The MID and LOW EQ knobs also double as KEY and FILTER knobs respectively when the shift button is pressed. The crossfader is user replaceable in case it ever fails and it has a loose feel to it while the line faders have a bit more tension. The Crossfader also has a curve control knob in the front to change the cut of the fader. The faders aren’t necessarily great for scratching, but they will easily suffice for most mixing and minimal style scratching that DJ’s traditionally perform on DJ controllers. The VU Meters in the middle of the controller are nice and bright and they show either the deck volume or the master volume of choice. The Transport controls are all nicely laid out and work perfectly with Virtual DJ to navigate towards the playback files of choice. The Cue controls for headphone monitoring are found on the front of the DJC.4 and they include a plastic knob for the CUE/Mix fade and another knob for the Volume level. There is a choice of quarter-inch or a mini connection for the headphones.
The Jog wheels on the DJC.4 are pretty tight overall. The feel sturdy and they don’t shake or wobble. They are solid with a touch-sensitive shiny surface to the top with a harder plastic feel to the sides for nudging and slowing down the music for beatmatching. Each Jog wheel has its own touch-sensitivity knob on the front so that the user can customize it just right. The Jog wheel performance for scratching isn’t quite one-to-one in operation, meaning you will get some minor delays when performing rigorous back and forth style movements and scratching. The Jog wheels can be in either Vinyl Mode or Mixing mode depending on the style of play that is favored. The rubberized Play/Pause, Cue and Tap buttons are all standard style stuff here with a set of Pitch Bend buttons that also double as Pitch Range buttons to correspond with the tempo pitch slider above. The Tempo sliders themselves felt a bit on the small side for my taste and they didn’t feel like they had the same super-high resolution as some other controllers out there. The Pitch sliders did a decent job of riding the pitch as needed, but it would have been nice to have a bigger fader-area to work with.
Even though the Stanton DJC.4 only looks like a small, two-deck controller, there are layering buttons so that the left deck can control Deck A or Deck C, while the right deck can control either Deck B or Deck D. Each deck also has four Sample banks, four hot cues, and a nice full-function loop-section. There is also an FX1 Control and FX2 Control sections in the upper right and left of the DJC.4 controller with buttons and knobs to manipulate and alter the effects in the software. There are also a few additional buttons for Video DJ capabilities (which are very limited in VDJ LE), X-Fader Link, Smart Fade, and SMART scratch which will only allow the DJ to hear the forward movements of a scratch on the jog wheels while fading out the reverse movements of the scratch.
Conclusion / Recommended For
In Conclusion, The Stanton DJC.4 Digital DJ controller is a well-built and compact Virtual DJ Controller with lots of options and features all at an affordable price point. The Stanton DJC.4 has an excellent build quality, nice oversized EQ knobs with push-button kill, Filter and Key options, an Emergency Throughput, and lots of Virtual DJ LE functions that DJ’s need. On the downside, the Virtual DJ LE software that comes bundled with the DJC.4 does not give the user the option to mix the external decks that are plugged into the rear inputs of the DJC4. Another issue with the DJC.4 is that it does not work as a standalone mixer because a computer must always be connected in order for it to work. My other minor gripes with the DJC.4 is the lack of a Booth Output for monitoring situations and the rather small pitch sliders could have been a bit longer for more range.
At the end of the day, I still highly recommend the Stanton DJC.4 to any DJ who runs Virtual DJ as their Premier DJ software choice. The layout of the DJC.4 matches up with Virtual DJ better than almost any other controller out there on the market today. I’m also going to recommend the DJC.4 as a great backup DJ solution for users who just want a solidly built controller to go on the road with them. The Stanton DJC.4 is a great Digital DJ controller for beginners because of its relatively low price and it comes bundled with everything necessary to start DJ-ing out of the box. Beginners will also have a lot of room for growth when it’s time to upgrade the DJ software or add external decks to the mix.
Pros & Cons
- Very Nice Compact and Heavy-Duty Build Quality (Metal Chassis)
- Nice Over-sized EQ knobs With Full Kill, Filter, and Key Options
- Comes bundled w/Virtual DJ LE (4-deck) & Is Fully MIDI-Mappable
- Emergency Through Input
- All the Hot Cue, Sample, Loops, Effects Controls a DJ could want
- Virtual DJ LE is not Full-Featured & Can’t Mix External Sources without Upgrade (Additional $250 Upgrade fee)
- Will not work as a Standalone Mixer (Must be connected to Computer)
- No Booth Output
- Small Pitch Tempo Faders
Features & Specs
4 channel (Dual-Stereo) 16bit/48kHz audio interface allowing comprehensive connection to your sound system
Included Virtual DJ LE software allows for 4-deck control, video mixing, effects, with plug and play functionality
2 or 4 channel control with deck shift functionality and browser loading, giving direct access to the controls you need fast
Long-life replaceable Cross fader with hardware fader curve knob allowing your custom cutting preference to be dialed in
Rugged metal chassis, designed to withstand years of use in the most rigorous environments
95 assignable MIDI controllers (63 buttons, 5 faders, 12 push encoders, 22 control dials, 2 touch-sensitive jog wheels) & shift function
DJC.4 Tech Specifications Mixer
Analog inputs for turntables or CD players, with direct pass-through to software for DVS control
Each channel can be assigned to either 2 MIDI decks (A/C, B/D) or an analog input via toggle switch
User replaceable 100K cycle 45mm cross fader with adjustable curve
3-band EQ control w/ complete KILL plus gain per channel
VU meter LED for level monitoring
1-Balanced (1/4" TRS) Microphone Input w/ volume & tone control
2 touch-sensitive platters with adjustable sensitivity
Two long, high-resolution pitch faders for precise matching
Two pitch bend buttons
Extensive loop & sample section includes 4 large CUE/LOOP trigger buttons on 2 banks
Full effect control with 4 encoders and buttons for instant control
Master Out: 1-pair TRS (1/4" Balanced), 1-pair RCA (unbalanced)
Headphone Out: 1-TRS (1/4" Stereo Balanced) 1-Mini Jack (1/8" Stereo Balanced)
Input 1: 1-pair RCA (unbalanced) - phono/line switchable
Input 2: 1-pair RCA (unbalanced) - phono/line switchable
Aux Input: 1- 1/8" Stereo Balanced
Mic: 1-TRS (1/4" Balanced)
USB: Type B
Power: 6V / 1.5A DC Input
Dimensions: 65 x 410 x 297 mm (H x W x D)
Weight: 2.92 kg
Includes Virtual DJ LE 4-Deck Edition CD with license, and discounted Virtual DJ Pro Upgrade
Custom Skin (GUI) that matches one to one with the controller
Purchase the Stanton DJC.4 DJ Controller
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