Hercules DJControl Instinct P8: Performance Pads On Budget DJ Gear

Putting performance pads on DJ controller is the common refrain of the market in the last few years, and Hercules’ just-announced DJControl Instinct P8 is no exception. This new controller is a remake of a previous budget Hercules’ with a few changes – keep reading to learn more.

Hercules DJControl Instinct P8

  • Gear: DJControl Instinct P8
  • Manufacturer: Hercules
  • Price: $129.99
  • Availability: September 2016

The original DJControl Instinct launched back in 2012 as a very basic entry-level DJ controller – and with this new version, is is still in that category. It’s a simple USB-powered MIDI controller, with RCA outs, a headphone jack, two jog wheels, a mixing section, and performance pads – and not much else. Here’s the official feature list:

  • Effects controls and adjustments; dedicated
  • Sync, Cue and Play/Pause buttons
  • separate modes on each deck
  • temporary Loop mode [read: Loop Roll] using the pads, or permanent Loop mode using the encoder
  • 3-band EQ
  • extended functions via the Shift button
  • built-in sound card with a dual stereo RCA output for mixing
  • a stereo 3.5 mm mini-jack output for previewing
The new P8 version, at left, and the older DJControl Instinct, at right.
The new P8 version, at left, and the older DJControl Instinct, at right.

On the new P8 model, the pads have been (smartly) moved to the bottom of the controller, less likely to accidentally hit the jogwheel when using them. Hercules has also removed the oddly tapered faders and EQ knobs on the controller, instead going with faders and knobs very similar to those on the jogwheel-free Hercules P32 – read our review here.

While overall the new designs that Hercules are coming up with are much cleaner and modern, we are a bit surprised at the on-jogwheel graphics. It’s feels bit overkill and gaudy – but might be appealing to younger kids and not seasoned industry veterans?

Hercules does include software with the DJControl Instinct P8 – a version of their own DJUCED 40º software – which is totally usable for DJs just starting out. But if a DJ is expecting to learn the most common software in the industry, they’ll have to buy it separately and find a MIDI mapping, if available.

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