Want to DJ? Here’s the equipment you will need
If you want to try out DJing, there are some basics that you’re going to need. The first thing to make clear that DJing is not as easy as the best DJs make it look. You need to learn the ropes and familiarise yourself with the equipment before you throw yourself into a live setting. You don’t want your lack of knowledge to be shown up in a real-world setting, that would just be very embarrassing for you.
You can start out with some real basics if your only aim is to play some tunes at a party or small gathering. But if you want to go a step further than that, you’re going to need much more. A simple digital music player is not going to cut it. So, if you’re looking to take that step forward and become a proper DJ, here is the equipment that’s essential.
First of all, you’ll need a suitable audio interface. This is the most basic piece of DJ equipment that you’ll need. Of course, there are many different types of audio interface to meet your needs. You might want something that just has a couple of basic inputs and outputs. These let you hook up the rest of your equipment to the sound system in the venue. You can then get to work pumping out the music. You might, however, need something more than this if you want to produce more professional results. But if you’re just starting out, a basic option should meet your needs. For most DJs who are not interested in recordings, a couple of inputs and outputs should be fine.
The best DJs use vinyl records to play some, if not all, of their music. So, you’re definitely going to need turntables. It’s always best to have two turntables. This allows you to keep the flow going, and the music will never have to stop. You will also be able to mix tracks and get creative with the music that you choose to play. If you want to have some fun and become a proper DJ, you can’t be without two turntables. They play music in a more tactile and immediate kind of way. That kind of thing simply can’t be replicated by digital technologies. You can pick up some old records pretty cheaply too, so give this a try.
Next, you will definitely need a mixer. This is what gives you control over the music that you play. You will be able to control the sound levels, the balances and the volume. You can mix together different tracks, fade out tunes and bring new ones higher in the mix. Of course, doing all of this takes time. You won’t get the hang of it all straight away because it can be pretty tricky. However, you can only become stronger at mixing tracks if you practice. And even if you don’t want to do anything complicated, you will still have to do the basic things that a good mixer allows you to do.
Whenever you see a DJ at work, they will be wearing headphones. They don’t do this because they want to look cool; they do it because they have to be able to hear exactly what they’re playing clearly. You will find it very difficult to cue up mixes and transition between tracks if you are not wearing good headphones. There are plenty of headphones out there that are made specifically for DJs, so these are the kind of headphones that you should be looking for. They are available at a variety of price ranges, so be sure to find a pair that is most affordable for you. You will need a closed ear design that isolates the sound coming through.
Digital CD player
It’s not all about vinyl records and digital files, though. Most top DJs like to make sure that all of their bases are covered. They can do this by adding a basic digital CD player to their setup. These can be found relatively cheaply, and it simply offers another thing to add to your overall wall of sound. You can combine music from different sources. So, there’s nothing stopping you from playing a CD and a vinyl record at the same time when you’re DJing. You’ll be even freer to experiment and try new things with the sound you create, so don’t forget about this component.
Stands and tables
Stands and tables are very important indeed. You’re going to need something to put all of the equipment mentioned above on. The stands and tables you choose will need to be strong and sturdy. And if you want to become a professional DJ, you will need your own because not all venues provide them for DJs. You don’t want to be left with a lot of equipment and nowhere to put it. That really would be a disaster. Always check the strength of the tables and stands you choose, and how much weight they’re able to carry. Overloading them will ultimately cause damage to your equipment.
Bags and cases
Finally, you will need to get some bags and cases. A large part of a DJ’s job is transporting their stuff from one venue to the next. This is not quite as glamorous as the other aspects of DJing, but it’s certainly no less important. There are plenty of audio retailers out there who will be more than happy to sell you the bag and cases that you need. They should be designed to carry the specific items that you use all the time. That way, you can be sure that the bags and cases you use are 100% up to the task at hand.
Now that you know what you need, you can start to look for all of these items. You can find cheap options if you scour the internet. Or you could spend a bit more if you want a brand new, professional-quality setup. That’s something for you to decide.
Photograph by Belinda