What DJ Controller Does Skrillex Use?

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What DJ controller does electronic music megastar Skrillex take on the road with him to headline festivals?

Skrillex trusts the versatile, road-ready Pioneer DDJ-SX2 to control his elaborate live show setup running Serato DJ software and allow him to improvise custom versions of songs using samples, loops, and effects.

Let’s explore Skrillex’s complete performance configuration and why the industry-standard DDJ-SX2 is built for the touring lifestyle of busy, world-class DJs.

Skrillex Uses The Pioneer DDJ-SX2

Skrillex electrifies the stage with a high-energy performance, manipulating beats and creating sonic landscapes with his Pioneer DDJ-SX2 DJ controller. The crowd is immersed in the pulsating rhythm as Skrillex seamlessly integrates the flagship controller with Serato software, showcasing the perfect synergy between technology and musical artistry.

Skrillex uses the Pioneer DDJ-SX2 as his main DJ controller. It integrates tightly with the Serato software he uses for shows and allows extensive customization to match his personal needs and style behind the decks. We’ll explore more details below about his full configuration and why the flagship DDJ-SX2 is built to handle a rockstar DJ’s busy touring schedule.

Skrillex’s Setup

Grammy-winning EDM artist, commands the stage with his cutting-edge DJ setup. The Pioneer DDJ-SX2, his go-to controller, is illuminated by vibrant, multi-color performance pads as he effortlessly navigates the mixer and controls for looping, sampling, and applying DJ effects. The image captures the essence of Skrillex's dynamic performances, blending technology and artistry in a visually stunning spectacle.

Sonny John Moore, known professionally as Skrillex, is an American EDM artist and DJ who has won multiple Grammy awards for his dubstep music productions. As a touring performer playing major festivals and venues around the world, Skrillex utilizes an extensive DJ setup that allows him to mix and manipulate his tracks to create high-energy live shows. His main piece of DJ gear is the Pioneer DDJ-SX2 controller.

The Pioneer DDJ-SX2 is a versatile, full-featured DJ controller designed for use with computers and DJ software. It has large, multi-color rubber performance pads, an integrated mixer, and controls for looping, sampling, and applying various DJ effects. The DDJ-SX2 was made to work seamlessly with Pioneer’s rekordbox and Serato DJ software, the latter being Skrillex’s DJ platform of choice during his shows.

Components Of Skrillex’s DJ Setup

 snapshot of Skrillex's intricate DJ setup, featuring the Pioneer DDJ-SX2 as the central controller. The image highlights the seamless integration of high-end Pioneer CDJs, a DJM-900NXS2 mixer, and an array of interconnected components including media players, audio interfaces, laptops, and professional headphones. Cables weave through the setup, emphasizing the meticulous craftsmanship required to produce Skrillex's thunderous sound and dynamic live performances.

The DDJ-SX2 unit is just one component of the elaborate configuration Skrillex uses when doing shows. In addition to this main controller interface, his touring rig also incorporates other gear like media players, external mixers, audio interfaces, headphones, laptops, and more.

As is common in club and festival DJ booths, CDJs are utilized as well. CDJs are specialized media players that allow DJs to control the playback of digital music files without being reliant solely on a computer. High-end Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2s are likely part of Skrillex’s setup both for spinning tracks directly off USB drives as well as controlling music files playing in Serato hosted on his computer. The controller, CDJs, and any other sound sources like samplers or synthesizers plug into a DJM-900NXS2 mixer which handles blending audio signals together as well as EQ, filters and effects processing. Output from the mixer connects to the venue or event sound system.

Skrillex wears a high-quality professional monitor headphone set in order to cue tracks up and preview them before playing out over the main speakers. All of the audio routing from the various components has to be managed by an audio interface like the Pioneer DDJ-XP1. An interface handles inputs and outputs between hardware pieces using cables, converters and preamps so Skrillex can craft a polished sound. Laptops installed with the Serato software and containing Skrillex’s library of tracks, edits, remixes, samples and more are an irreplaceable item for live performances. The whole collection of gear has tobreak down and pack up totransport show to show around the world on tour. When properly interconnected, this robust system allows Skrillex the flexibility to improvise his sets while maintaining crisp, thunderous sound.

Reasons The DDJ-SX2 Works Well For Skrillex

Skrillex masterfully commands the stage with the Pioneer DDJ-SX2, his controller of choice. The image highlights the hands-on control the DDJ-SX2 provides for Serato DJ Pro, with illuminated pads and controls corresponding to different functions on his computer screen. In the foreground, Skrillex manipulates custom samples, triggers distinctive drops, and adds his signature flair with specialized controls. The durable and portable construction of the DDJ-SX2 is evident, designed to withstand the rigors of a world tour. The image captures the essence of Skrillex's flexibility and creativity on stage, making the DDJ-SX2 an integral part of his global performances.

There are a number of reasons why the Pioneer DDJ-SX2 is Skrillex’s controller of choice for his live gigs. Most importantly, it was designed specifically for integration with Serato DJ Pro software which Skrillex utilizes as the foundation of his sets. The pads, knobs, sliders, buttons and navigation controls on the hardware all correspond to different functions within the Serato interface on his computer screen. From launching clips and working with waveforms when mixing to applying effects and manipulating samples on the fly, the DDJ-SX2 gives Skrillex hands-on control of Serato DJ to facilitate his performance.

In addition to mixing tracks together from his library, an essential component of Skrillex’s shows is launching different drums, basslines, synth parts and vocal components to create distinctive live edits of songs. The DDJ-SX2 has 64 chromatically-arranged rubber pads useful for triggering one-shot samples. Skrillex can assign custom sound bites or parts of his original productions in Serato to recreate recognizable “drops” as well as develop improvised remixes by drumming or sequencing disparate elements together in new ways. For manipulating these samples, specialized controls like the slip mode, rolls, slicer and pitch options allow Skrillex to add his signature flair. Another advantage of the controller is it caters directly to digital DJs with on-board buttons for various filters, echo, reverb, phaser and other common effects. Skrillex incorporates a large palette of these to make tracks distinctly his own.

In terms of construction and portability, the DDJ-SX2 is a rectangular unit weighing under 15 pounds made of high-grade plastic and metal materials to withstand the demanding environment of a world tour. The jog wheels have adjustable sensitivity suitable for scratch DJ techniques that Skrillex sometimes works into high-energy moments of his sets. With a form factor similar to the CDJs used in standard club setups, the DDJ-SX2 mixer section allows Skrillex to operate equipment in a familiar way that translates directly to show dates at any venue. Altogether, the Pioneer DDJ-SX2 is a flexible solution tailored for what Skrillex requires from a DJ controller when staging his live performances around the globe.

Customizations And Modifications

Skrillex's Pioneer DDJ-SX2 stands out with a personalized flair, featuring custom skins, stickers, and innovative modifications. The controller's pads and jog wheels are illuminated with a dynamic lighting scheme that pulses in harmony with the music. Skrillex, a trailblazer in customization, is seen in the image, showcasing not just his musical prowess but also the unique visual identity of his DJ setup. The personalized touches on the DDJ-SX2 reflect Skrillex's commitment to pushing the boundaries of creativity in both music and technology.

While the Pioneer DDJ-SX2 delivers on many fronts immediately out of the box, artists like Skrillex often have additional specialized needs that necessitate modifying their gear or tailoring their use of it. He may leverage custom skins that can be applied over the original casing of the controller for a more personalized look and feel on stage. Similarly, stickers, paint, graffiti and other flourishes could also help brand the system as uniquely his own rig recognizable to fans in the crowd or featured on tour photos and videos.

Hardware modifications that involve resoldering components or unlocking additional features beyond factory specifications may also come into play for someone as knowledgeable and experimental as Skrillex. There could be custom lighting schemes hooked into the pad LEDs or jog wheels using embedded microchips to flash along with his tracks. Buttons may get different colors caps or have labels swapped out to better suit his individual workflow in Serato. By hacking default configurations, it’s also possible to have certain sliders, knobs or other elements on the DDJ-SX2 map to controls within supporting music production software like Ableton. This provides additional live remixing potential by being able to quickly capture and manipulate sounds coming from Serato DJ for further sound design using synths, sequencers, etc.

On the software side, players at Skrillex’s level can push past inherent limitations in Serato and create personalized organization frameworks, palette layouts and interfaces that are specifically tailored for their creative process. This is analogous to video game players using mods and Rhombus to gain advantages most other users don’t have access to. Dedicated time custom tailoring the DDJ-SX2 setup to his on-stage needs and committing unique functions to memory through extensive practice gives Skrillex an edge when performing since he is intimately familiar with every control at his fingertips without hesitation. The customization possible with the DDJ-SX2 is an asset for a wizard like Skrillex.

Why Many DJs Choose Pioneer DDJ Controllers

A captivating image featuring a lineup of Pioneer DDJ controllers, the preferred choice of professional DJs worldwide. The controllers, including the flagship SX2, SR, RX, SZ, and others, stand confidently against a backdrop that evokes the energy of music events. The iconic Pioneer logo takes center stage, symbolizing the brand's decades-long commitment to delivering reliable, stable, and seamlessly integrated DJ equipment trusted by DJs on the global stage.

Skrillex is far from the only well-known DJ to incorporate a Pioneer DDJ controller as the heart of their live performance setup. Models across the DDJ lineup including the flagship SX2 as well as the SR, RX, SZ, and various others are mainstays at major music events and festivals worldwide. There are a number of reasons these Pioneer controllers have become ubiquitous among professional DJs looking for reliable equipment to learn and master.

With deep roots stretching back decades manufacturing countless turntables, mixers, CDJs and other DJ products since the genesis of the profession, Pioneer holds strong brand recognition and trust within the music community. Their reputation delivering workhorse gear tuned for night after night of intense use engenders confidence in customers that Pioneer controllers can withstand the demanding life on the road of a busy DJ touring schedule. Many lower-budget controllers from competing brands often prove flimsy, develop issues quickly and lack customer support from the manufacturer. Pioneer’s premium line built from higher-end materials, tested to stringent quality assurance benchmarks and backed by strong product support makes their controllers a safe bet for DJs who rely on them to make a living.

Reliability goes hand in hand with stability and seamless integration for the necessary DJ software that serves as each controller’s companion. Pioneer worked directly with Serato and Rekordbox to develop proprietary sync technologies ensuring the tightest possible software integration without hiccups or conflicts common among controllers from other hardware producers. Drivers and firmware updates further enhanced connectivity and solved any bugs that arose. The peace of mind for DJs that everything will work exactly as expected when plugging in and setting up cannot be understated when faced with the pressures of lining up the next club residency or nailing an important promotional mix release. Too much can go wrong dealing with buggy products and crashes, making Pioneer’s stability essential.

For DJs playing on the club circuit, a ubiquitous advantage of Pioneer gear is immediate familiarity getting behind any standard CDJ/DJM configuration. While laptops and controllers offer portability outside venues, the vast majority of permanent installations at top night clubs, festivals and touring shows feature some combination of Pioneer players and mixers. Showing up for gigs and instantly recognizing the layout, feel, and functions by already using DDJ controllers like the SX2 in personal practice acquaints skills that directly translate to most live scenarios. Mixing on the DDJ-SX2 at home or studio makes playing on club setups far less intimidating.

When considering the full range of Pioneer controllers available, they intentionally retain a consistent and similar arrangement of transport controls, jog wheels, fader channels and other elements that constitutes a common “language” familiar to users of multiple DDJ models. Skills practicing and creative techniques honed on one unit like the DDJ-SX2 will still apply when needing to use another Pioneer controller. This flexible, interchangeable knowledge makes mastering their gear worthwhile. With so many key factors weighting positively towards reliability, stability and ubiquity, it becomes clearer why countless professional DJs place their trust in Pioneer DDJ controllers during performances around the globe every single night of the year supporting thriving music careers.


In conclusion, Skrillex relies on the Pioneer DDJ-SX2 as his primary DJ controller for its tight integration with Serato software, robust construction to withstand touring, familiar Pioneer club-style layout, and customizability to suit his personalized workflow. The DDJ-SX2 forms the centerpiece of an elaborate configuration of gear that allows Skrillex to improvise unique live edits of his productions to create high-energy shows. Pioneer’s reputation for reliable, road-ready equipment makes their DDJ controller lineup a popular choice among countless professionals. After reviewing his setup, it’s clear why Skrillex and many other touring DJs choose the Pioneer DDJ-SX2 for performing worldwide.


Dominic is the chief editor of the Burton Acoustix blog which writes about acoustics and soundproofing to help readers with their queries and questions they might have with regard to improving any sound or noise issues that they faced in their life.