Hercules DJControl Instinct P8 Controller
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Entry level compact controller aimed at casual users, house parties etc. two mix-channel controller/soundcard with three band rotary EQs, two channel faders, cross-fader, a push-button browser dial and load buttons, sync, cue and play buttons. There’s also a four pad multi-coloured LED backlit Performance section for each channel, allowing control over FX, loop lengths, cue points and sample/loop triggering. The tiny jog wheels may put off more serious users. It can act as a MIDI controller for other software too. An inexpensive way to get started with digital DJ’ing, but very much an entry level product.
It’s got an 1/8” jack for headphones on the side of the unit, a pair of RCA jacks for the master output, and a mini-USB socket. No power brick here – all you need to do is plug it into your laptop and you’re good to go.
The jogwheels are small and mechanical instead of conductive, meaning you’ll have to press down on the jogs themselves to stop a track from playing, as opposed to just placing a finger on top of them. Rotating the jogwheel allows you to speed up or slow down a deck. To be able to scratch on these jogs, you’ll have to press the scratch button, otherwise the jogwheel serves as a “seek” control, letting you scrub through a track in larger chunks when the deck is stopped.
They’re not the best pair of small jogs on a controller, and they do feel kind of flimsy, but not in a “fall-off-during-a-gig” type of way. In short, they get the job done.
The jogwheels are mechanical – you have to press down hard on them to make a deck stop, as opposed to simply placing a finger on top of them, as is the case with conductive jogwheels found in more expensive controllers.
New to the DJControl Instinct P8 are the four pads per channel. They are on the soft / gummy side, and they’re OK, just don’t expect to do any complex cue point drumming routines with them. These pads change in functionality depending on what mode you’ve got selected for a deck. When you hold the Mode button, all four pads light up corresponding to the four pad modes: Loop, FX, Sample, and Cue.
Loop mode lets you do loop rolls and stutters, FX mode lets you use the pads to turn the effects in DJUCED on or off, Sample gives you control of the Sampler decks (ala Remix Decks in Traktor), and Cue turn the pads into four hot cue points. To avoid confusion, there’s a display above the pads that lights up depending on what mode you’ve currently got selected.
Mixer and browser
There are three EQ knobs per channel, a filter knob that also doubles as a loop control when the shift button is held, and headphone cue buttons with headphone volume buttons (a Hercules signature quirk in these small controllers). For library control, you’ve got a browse button in the middle, plus load buttons for both decks A and B.