There are few better feelings in life than being up in front of a crowd playing music and whether you are a singer or an electric guitarist, that thrill makes all the hours of practice worth it. Many people think that DJs just stand up in their booth and press a few buttons but they are just as skilled as any other kind of musician. As well as practicing all the time, to become a great DJ, you need to invest in the right equipment. Getting started can be difficult because there is so much to buy and learn that the whole thing can be overwhelming.
To help out everyone who is looking to spin some tunes on the decks for the first time, here are some practical gear tips that every aspiring disk jockey should know by heart.
1. Find the Best Turntables
If you plan to use CDs or vinyl during your set, you will need to find the best set of turntables. Your turntables will enable you to play tracks, scratch, and cue up the next track or album. If you want to mix between two CDs or vinyl then you will need a pair of turntable decks but if you are just going to play subsequent tracks then one turntable may be enough.
2. Choose a Mixer which You are Comfortable With
The mixer is one of the most important pieces of equipment for any DJ, particularly if you are playing vinyl or CDs on your turntables. Your mixer enables you to transition between songs and also has so many other features. You can also use your mixer to control the levels and use the mixer’s slider for scratching. You will need the mixer if you want to plug in your headphones or speakers or if you want to connect your laptop for recording or mixing music.
3. Simplify Your Setup with a DJ Controller
A DJ controller is a great option if you are playing CDs or you have a 100% digital setup. DJ controllers combine mixers and turntables into one super-convenient, easy-to-use piece of equipment. A DJ controller will enable you to connect your computer so that you can use mixing and producing software and also have MIDI controls, drum pads, trigger pads, and many other features. A brief look at this DDJ sb3 vs DDJ 400 review about the two options is evidence that there are different DJ controllers to choose from. Look out for a DJ controller with built-in jog wheels so that you can use it like a normal turntable.
4. Try Out Different DJ Software
Whether your setup is totally digital or you use a mixture of MP3s, CDs, and vinyl, you will need some quality software to make the most of your tunes. Great DJ software will enable you to use your controller properly, add special effects, mash tracks together, set up your trigger pads with different sounds, organize your playlists, and many other useful things. DJ controllers often come with basic software and you can then purchase additional upgrade paths to get access to more features.
5. Buy Top Quality Headphones
All the world’s top DJs understand the importance of quality headphones and without them, it is impossible to do the job properly. Headphones enable you to listen to what is playing on both of your turntables without the audience being able to hear. This means that you can perfectly mix and transition the tracks so that they line up flawlessly. You will need to use the slider on your mixer to choose which turntable you want to hear. A great pair of headphones also means that you can practice any time of the day without annoying your neighbors or keeping other people in your house awake.
6. Invest in PA Speakers for Gigs
If you want to make money from your DJing by playing parties or events then you will need to invest in some decent PA speakers for venues that don’t have their own. The size of the PA speakers you will need will depend on the size of the events you are planning to play. If you are just going to spin at a house party then some small speakers will suffice but for bigger events, you will need a more serious setup.
When starting out on your DJ journey, you don’t need to go and blow all your cash on the absolute best gear straight away. It will take time to develop your skills and also to find out which equipment works best for you. Speak to other DJs you know and check out online reviews to find out which gear best balances price and performance. As long as you put in the practice hours, you will be able to make any equipment sound great!