Let’s face it, not all of us can afford pricey upgrades every time we need new DJ equipment. If you don’t have a ton of DJ gigs lined up yet then the last thing you want to do is spend all of your money on equipment you don’t know how to use and can’t afford. The good news is that the Gemini Slate 2 is ultra affordable and looks to be a decent machine.
The bad news is that Gemini hasn’t had the greatest track record with digital DJ equipment. But things are looking up and if you find your need a DJ controller your bank account can’t afford, the Gemini Slate 2 might just be the machine for you.
How It Looks
The Gemini Slate 2 may not be pretty to look at but it is functional. It is a slender piece of machinery—about an inch thick—and overall pretty small. The Slate 2 is cased in hard plastic and quite sturdy so it will likely sustain the constant packing and unpacking common to traveling DJs.
The jogwheels are small but unless you have Sasquatch hands then your hands will be big enough to get the job done. The other buttons are a combination of rubber and plastic and they feel like they are on an inexpensive piece of DJ equipment, but they work.
You’ll find the inputs and outputs, strangely, on the left side but the good news is that you can do a feel test in the dark of the DJ booth. The setup is easy, just download and install and you’re good to go.
How It Works
If you’re familiar with pretty much any DJ controller then you will have no problems using this equipment. It is pretty basic, the Serato controller, and it does those things pretty well. Then there are a few additions that just might surprise you.
Digital DJs need solid jogwheels that will get the job done, and while the Gemini Slate 2 jogs aren’t the greatest they are responsive and they do get the job done. The hot loops and loop rolls and even the sampler work better than what we’ve come to expect from Gemini, which means they work pretty well. The pads are RGB lit, which not only looks cool in the dark but can also help you navigate the new machine in any gig space.
Using it is simple and you can even easily switch between pad modes using the dedicated button.
If you’re a digital DJ that relies on effects then you’ll be happy with the Gemini Slate 2 that allows you to switch effects from the unit, rather than your DJ software. This isn’t common for Serato controllers and it’s a great addition to this budget machine.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it though, there are some issues. The mixer has a good EQ and filter but the gain controls are seriously lacking as well as additional external outputs. These are things you’ll need as a working DJ but you’ll have to do without until you can afford better DJ equipment.
The other problems with the Slate 2 include the short throw pitch faders. They don’t have much wiggle room in terms of BPM and as a new DJ still learning the ropes you’ll need much tighter control. Again this is one of those times you’ll have to determine whether or not you need all the functions for a few dollars more.
Who Needs It
If you’re expecting the Gemini Slate 2 to have all the features and seamless movements as other, pricier DJ controllers you will be sadly disappointed. But if you’re realistic about what a budget controller will give you, this is a nice machine to get you started until you get more DJ gigs. This machine is perfect for mobile DJs not wanting to lug around big pieces of equipment from gig to gig or those looking for backup gigs. It’s lightweight and has enough of the basics that a good DJ can do a good job.
Plus…did I mention it’s cheap? At just $189 this is really a steal in terms of saving a few bucks. She might not be the prettiest girl at the dance, but the Slate 2 will keep the crowd on the dance floor until you tell them to go home.
When you have to balance between DJ equipment and your budget the choice is often difficult. DJing is your career so you want high quality equipment so you impress at every gig. But you need to remember that you also need gas money to get to your DJ gigs plus living expenses so sometimes it pays to save on cash and update bigger when the bigger paychecks start rolling in.
The Gemini Slate 2 is a controller that gets the job done and throws in a few extra features that make it more than worth the price tag.
I hope I helped you get your backup DJ controller. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!
Enter your email and click “get instant access” to get your FREE video DJ lessons showing you how to be a disk jockey!