The spiritual successor to vinyl, it's hard to believe that CD’s are now 30 year old technology.
In comparison to its bigger brother, the CD has had a much shorter lifespan as a Dj tool, but it's not done with yet, as it still provides an easy and cheap medium for the recording, playing, and sharing of music.
CD units for Dj usage generally fall into two types, which is either the traditional style of 19” rack sized, split unit, or the newer desktop deck style.
The rack units have been the longest running of all the Dj based CD players, with offerings from every manufacturer cementing it's place in the market. Simple layout, basic but functional controls, and a dual player format has made these the go to units for so many people over the years. The split design allows the controller to be mounted at an angle, or into a desktop or enclosure, whilst the mechanical players connect via a cable and can be placed under a desk, or in a rack with the amplifier and other equipment, meaning the minimum of tabletop space is required.
Modern variations of these units feature the now obligatory mp3/USB playback facilities, and the newer all-in-one units see the controller and player sections being integrated together with their own mixer, into a singular sloping console for the simplest of setups and only one piece of equipment taking the place of three.
The desktop deck style players are slightly different in design, as these aim to emulate the feel and control of a vinyl turntable. Cue and drag functions are performed using a large jog wheel or platter, which vary in technical ability depending on the units cost and spec. Some are touch sensitive, and some are actually motorised for a true turntable experience. Pitch controls are the familiar slider, with track and time information appearing on a visual display.
Again these units have embraced the digital world, with most incorporating mp3 playback both from the CD section and direct from USB input, which allows individual track naming and information to be included.
These units tend to be the favourite for clubs and performance Dj’s, as they offer the feel and hands on approach that's desired, and also have more features than their rack style alternatives, with MIDI functionality to control modern library software, effects sections, and ‘trick play’ features like reverse play and emulated motor slowdown ( to simulate the famous Technics turntable power shut off) they have been refined over many years of development to give you the very best user experience possible.
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