If you are interested in getting into DJing, you will not only need to learn some skills, you will need to make sure that you have all of the DJ equipment that you need. For the purposes of this article we are assuming that you are interested in DJing for party environments, not corporate events and weddings, which requires an entirely different type of equipment setup. What follows is a general guide for what to think about when you are building your DJ equipment setup.
Turntables are the first thing that comes to mind when the subject of DJ equipment comes to mind, but not all turntables are created equal. The type of turntable that you should be looking for is referred to as a direct-drive turntable. These allow you to scratch and mix music in a way that traditional turntables do not. Traditional turntables contain belts which can become stretched or even snap if you stress them by scratching your vinyl records. In addition to this, you will need to have two turntables of the same make and model in order to transition from one song to the next, blending them together without pausing in between.
In addition to the lack of a belt, direct drive turntables should use needles that are designed specifically for scratching. Unlike traditional needles, these will not damage your vinyl records. Nevertheless, these needles can and will break after extended use, so it is a good idea to buy spare needles and keep them with your DJ equipment at all times.
A mixer is a piece of DJ equipment that that you use to connect your turntables and your CD or MP3 player to the amplifier. You can use a mixer to control the volume of each turntable separately. The mixer allows a DJ to blend the end of one song into the beginning of a new song by turning down the volume on one turntable while turning up the volume on another. A professionally designed mixer will come equipped with hook ups for two turn tables, a CD player or other music source, and a fourth audio input for anything else a DJ might think of. A high quality mixer will not only allow you to control the volume of each individual audio source, but to adjust the overall volume output as well.
A mixer will not be suitable for use as a piece of DJ equipment if it does not come equipped with a crossfader. This is a volume control that allows you to turn one audio source down and another one up at the same time. A DJ can use this feature to seamlessly transition from one song to the next. To be effective, there should be crossfader controls that allow you to blend between any two of the audio sources.
Equalizers allow the DJ to further tweak the sound of the music by adjusting the bass, treble, and other features. The equalizers that come standard with most mixers are not typically high enough in quality for professional use. Most people will buy a separate equalizer as it’s own piece of DJ equipment in order to exercise the most control over their output as possible.
Speakers and Amplifiers:
When you buy an amplifier, make sure that it is large enough to handle any venues you are considering DJing in. An amplifier is a vital piece of DJ equipment, because it is the final source of the music. If it is low in quality or not powerful enough, the music will sound distorted or quiet. Make sure that any speakers you buy to go with it are of the correct impedance. If they are not, you may not be able to get the most power out of your system as possible. In some cases you could even end up damaging your system. Don’t waste money by buying the wrong equipment to start with.
If you are new to DJing, you might wonder why you would need headphones if you are playing music that everybody in the room should be able to hear. It is a common misconception that DJs wear headphones strictly for stylistic purposes. You will need headphones in order to hear all of the subtle quirks that most people will not be able to hear. You must be able to hear your music better than anybody else in the club in order to provide them with the best experience. Insulated headphones are the only variety that are suitable as a piece of DJ equipment. These types of headphones are required in order to hear what you are doing without distractions from the party.
In order to have the edge over other people in the scene, you will need keep yourself informed about what is available. Be sure to stay up to date on all of your DJ Equipment.