I've been djing a long time, nearly 14 years. Started with 1200's, then CDJ's, I'll even use a controller from time to time. My software choice is Serato Scratch Live.
I've only recently in the past few years started doing club gigs and the transitions between DJ's and decks (either 2000's or 1200's) was always a fucking nightmare and inevitably always a problem.
Then there was also the problem of bad 1200's.. Tone arms, needles, records, etc. There was just so much that could go wrong and ALWAYS did.
At some point, I can't remember when exactly, I started practicing at home on internal mode. I would adjust my tempo on the keyboard and then adjust my pitch also using the keyboard.
I would use the "1" key and the "6" key to find my starting que's or my other que's if needed. I would loop in Scratch Live... And for the type of music I play, Electro and Progressive house.. I'm not scratching or doing any fancy shannigans. I straight up just play music.
Now, I never go into a gig and have any problems. I bring my own Serato box, with my own cables. The only thing I need is my laptop, headphones and my box. I ask for two channels on the mixer and I work entirely off my laptop. I also find that working pitch with the laptop keys vs. the wheel on a 1200 or 2000, I'm actually much more accurate and tight.
I don't want to go traktor just because I work off my laptop... I love Scratch Live and have been using it for years.
But lately I've had a few dj's open or close after me and when they have problems with there tech, I just remember to thank myself for not having these issues anymore.
I also don't worry about anyone bumping the CDJ's or turntables or some drink idiot pressing something etc. It takes almost 96% of the problems out of the equation. And I used to have a lot of problems!!!!
Just thought I'd share... And it's actually really fun working off the laptop!
Oh yeah, and I don't use a keyboard layout for Scratch Live... I know my keyboard functionality perfectly..