Like we all know, gear addiction is a real problem, with no real cure. The companies just know how to get to us, with bells and whistles and flashing lights and buttons and pads and…I need to stop myself here because I can feel my debit card burning a hole in my pocket. Over the summer, I picked up two Behringer c0ntrollers, the CMD DV-1 and CMD DC -1, for a steal on eBay. Since I started producing, I figured the DV-1 would be nice to have as a first Ableton controller; the DC-1 looked like a perfect companion to my vinyl setup.
When they arrived, the units were much larger than I expected. The two of them together took up an entire laptop stand (roughly the same dimensions as a single CDJ), which could be valuable real estate in a crowded club booth. The controllers are USB-powered, thankfully; having to find outlets for additional power cables would just be salt-in-the-wound minutes before your set.
After playing with the controllers in the home studio for a few days, I found them to be…meh. Neither controller had mappings available for Ableton or Serato (Traktor DJ’s, you’re in luck though). Programming them took up an entire afternoon, and by then it didn’t even feel worth it to keep going. I set everything down and picked them back up after some time but my opinion hadn’t changed. Where I expected velocity pads, I got hard plastic buttons that made finger drumming feel weird and unnatural. The LEDs on the rotary knobs didn’t correspond with the knob positions. Overall, I felt like I was working less efficiently. My workspace felt crowded, and I just felt like I wasn’t moving as quickly as I had before I added the controllers, in Ableton and Serato.
Overall, I’d give the Behringer CMD controllers a 3/5. They didn’t break the bank, and maybe if I had given them more time, they would’ve proven their worth. For you producer folk who love bells, whistles, knobs, and buttons, maybe these would be for you.
Do you have the Behringer CMD controllers? Let me know what you think of them in the comments!