Hercules DJControlWave: iPad DJing [REVIEW]
The DJControlWave is the first completely wireless physical controller for iPad. Hercules is aiming this one at DJs who may not be ready to pull the trigger on one of their more fully-featured controllers, such as the DJControl Air series. The DJControlWave gets its name from the wave-shaped body that gives the controller a unique appearance, but what’s truly unique is the controller’s deep integration with Apple’s iPad.
UNBOXING / SETUP:
During unboxing, be careful of the plastic wrap applied during the manufacturing process before the installation of the faders. If you’re not careful when removing the plastic, you could pop a fader off. Like an iPad, the controller has rechargeable batteries, but you’ll need to charge it for several hours before first use. Any model iPad can be used with the DJControlWave and the iPad can be propped up for an alternate viewing angle using the integrated kickstand.
The DJControlWave is a 2-deck mixer that allows you to control a connected iPad up to ~33 feet away from the controller. This means both the controller and iPad can be moved independently, though the mixer will need to have a wired output to your speakers. The built-in rechargeable battery functions for 8 hours of continuous use on a full charge, and the controller itself has backlight functions for DJing in the dark. Dedicated functions include mixer controls for 2 separate decks, 20 control buttons including Play/Pause, Cue, Sync and more, 5 faders for volume, pitch and crossfading, 6 rotary potentiometers for EQ controls, 2 rotary encoders for simple control of loops: push to enable/disable a loop, and turn to adjust the loop’s size, 2 jog wheels with capacitive touch detection, 1 large knob for easy master volume control, and an included splitter cable that lets you preview upcoming tracks with your headphones.
As an alternative to using an iPad, the DJControlWave can also be connected to a Mac or PC and controlled using Hercules’ free DJUCED 40° mixing software.
Weighing in at 3.3 pounds, the majority of the controller is made of plastic, though the jog wheels are metal-plated. The top of the unit is a glossy black plastic, while the underside is white plastic, with rubberized white rubber feet. The footprint is quite small, with dimensions of 40 (W) x 29.11 (D) x 4.5 (H) cm.
You’ll be prompted to pair the controller and your iPad via Bluetooth once you turn on the two devices. Once you’ve done this, your iPad will prompt you to install the DJUCED DJW app (if you haven’t already). This is a fairly seamless process. A nice perk moving forward is that whenever you turn on the DJControlWave with your iPad also turned on, the controller will create a popup message on your iPad that allows you to directly open the app.
iTunes Match users beware! You must download any tracks locally to your iPad that you want to DJ with before using DJUCED, otherwise you might end up in a similar situation as myself: thinking the app was broken for a solid 15 minutes. Eventually, I realized the reason that very few songs in my library were loading into the decks was because they were the only tracks I had downloaded locally.
At the $199 price point, this controller will make for a fun option for an entry-level DJ who also owns an iPad. If you’re looking to DJ your house parties without a tether, this one is for you!