In my last Hercules article I covered two entry level digital DJ Controllers, the DJ Control Compact and the DJ Control Instinct P8. These were both great ways to get started in the world of digital DJing. However, if you are looking to up your game, upgrade your current setup or venture into the world of DJing as a performance, you’ll definitely want to check out the Hercules DJ Control Jogvision and Hercules P32 DJ Controller. Both controllers offer a much more advanced experience and both have some great and unique features you’ll want to take advantage of.
In my previous article I talked about getting started with two beginner digital DJ controllers from Hercules, so you should have all the basics covered (if not check out that article here). That means you should know how to connect a DJ controller to your computer and to your sound system of choice. The controllers I will be talking about today are still viable to learn on, just expect a much larger investment in terms of software for the Jogvision, or much more practice when it comes to the P32. Both are great controllers and can certainly add to your arsenal as a digital DJ.
The Hercules Jogvision for Classic DJ Action
This Hercules DJ Control Jogvision is definitely for a more advanced digital DJ, but that still doesn’t mean an amateur or completely new DJ would not benefit from using it. Like most DJ controllers, the Jogvision has the basic controls where one would normally see them. The standard two deck layout with browser and EQ controls in the middle. Also, the Jogvision has the more common Hercules 4 button square pads to add more control over
cue points, samples and more. Unlike the previous controllers I have reviewed by Hercules, which are all designed to work with and include a specific version of the DJuced software, the Jogvision is designed to work with Serato (one of the main pro DJ softwares currently available). It is also worth mentioning that the Jogvision includes a version of Serato DJ Intro in the box so you can get started mixing almost right away.
Overall, this is a great controller, and at the higher price, it’s still great bang for your buck. Even with all the standard features I have come to expect from higher end controllers, the Jogvision had a few unique surprises and a few things I never knew I wanted. Mainly the awesome (and much larger than I am used to) browser knob, along with the much heavier, LED equipped jog wheels. First off, the jog wheels on this controller are amazing. They have metal platters, and on the inside of the platter, they have some LED lighting to let you know how much time you have left on the track being played in that deck, and if that deck is currently playing. It might not seem like much, but anything that helps you get more information quickly and easily on a controller, instead of looking at your computer screen, is a welcome addition in my books. The same can be said for the browser knob as it is quite big and has a great non slip rubber coating on it as well. The rest of the buttons and knobs all feel great, along with the overall construction of the controller.
A minor complaint I have is the use of shift buttons to access a few controls that are standard on most other controllers I have used. You mainly have to press and hold shift to use the browser knob as a gain knob, and this will affect either deck depending on what shift button you are holding, be it the deck A side (to change gain on deck A) or vice versa when holding the deck B shift button. It’s not that it is hard to use or out of reach, it’s just another feature that I had to consciously think of before making adjustments while DJing. Over time these kind of things will become afterthoughts, but when you are learning to use a new controller, it is definitely something to consider. This controller would still make a great addition to your gear if you are looking to take a step up from a previous controller. Also, due to the large and awesome jog wheels, the Hercules DJ Control Jogvision is a great choice for a CD DJ looking to make the jump to a full digital setup with a familiar feel.
The Hercules P32 for Performance DJs
There are all different sorts of DJs out there, and not every controller will appeal to all of them. Some DJs prefer portability over features, whereas some DJs will carry tons of gear just to have it on hand. Others will just bring their headphones and a USB stick with them to the gig and make do with whatever is at the venue when they show up. Regardless of your style or preference when it comes to your setup and preparation, the Hercules P32 DJ Controller definitely requires a little more prep time and may only appeal to much more digital heavy DJs and performers.
The Hercules P32 might not seem like a good choice for most DJs at first glance, but upon closer inspection you will find that the P32 has a lot to offer, especially if you want to turn your DJ sets into full blown controllerist performances. Since the main feature of this controller is having two sixteen button pad areas as opposed to jog wheels, the focus is on using more samples, loops and stems to make remixes and more on the fly. Also, with all of the expected features for a two deck controller, you can seamlessly incorporate all sorts controllerism aspects into your regular DJ sets. And the addition of several more push button style knobs makes controlling the filter and other FX that much easier.
This controller might not feel as well built as the Jogvision, but don’t let that fool you. All the buttons and pads have a great feel to them, the buttons have a good click when pushed, and the the 32 pads, while not velocity sensitive, still feel great and will definitely be able to take some punishment if you want to go wild with a new finger drumming routine. With its size you can easily fit this controller into your laptop bag for some on the go remixing and more. Just like many other Hercules DJ controllers the P32 comes with the DJuced 40 software, which also includes a few tracks, samples and loops to get you started with the controller.
Both the DJ Control Jogvision and P32 DJ controller by Hercules are great pieces of equipment. While I may not be the biggest fan of Serato, I know many DJs who are, and if you already use the Serato software, upgrading to the Jovision might be a great choice for you. Definitely the P32 was my preferred of the two controllers, but this might just be due to the fact that I like how unique it is and that it offers a lot of easy to use pads in such a small space. Either way, these are both great controllers from Hercules, and you can’t wrong with either of them as long as you take into account your personal style of DJing and what you want to do when performing in front of a packed dance floor.