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So, you’ve decided you want to become a DJ.
You say you’ve played a few gigs, too. People are getting to know you. That’s great!
But, if you want to be a really successful DJ and have people dancing to your tunes, then you must invest in a good set of DJ equipment. This may seem a bit unnerving initially because there is a lot of DJ equipment out there and finding a good set that is easy on your budget means doing a lot of research. That’s where we can help.
Some DJ equipment is absolutely necessary and some may be optional. It is up to you whether you want just the necessary gear or want to add on some of the optional ones for extra leverage.
Read on and we will help you select the DJ equipment you need.
The Must Buy DJ Equipment for Beginners
The following are the most essential components required by a beginner DJ.
The single most important piece of DJing gear is the turntable. It is best to buy two direct drive turntables because they can play a song while you match the beats of the next one, scratch and crossfade at the same time making your Djing more fun and creative.
If you don’t have these turntables, it will be difficult for you to do everything simultaneously.
A recommended beginner brand is the Audio Technica AT-LP1240-USB which includes multiple USB inputs for digital-analog interface.
With a dedicated DJ audio mixer, you can transmit music from a laptop or non-playing gear to your headphones.
With the crossfader (sliding switch) on your DJ mixer, you can shift from one source of music to the next with ease, allowing the first song to fade out while the next one starts to pick up beat.
You can also spin records and flip-switch when you scratch.
A DJ controller plugs into your computer/laptop and simulates what mixing does on turntables, but doesn’t really play music, and comes complete with software (Serato, Virtual DJ or Traktor).
The difference between ordinary headphones and DJ headphones are that the DJ ones have a range of frequency that is wider with gain levels that are higher.
It is recommended that you opt for DJ headphones because otherwise when you’re playing a gig and the sound levels are high you may not be able to monitor the beats of your tracks or ensure you start the next song at the correct beat.
Some recommended headphone brands for beginner DJs include Audio-Technica ATH-M50.
You must have a microphone as you’ll need it when you talk with the audience. You can choose between wired ones and wireless ones depending on what you prefer.
If you plan to mingle with the crowds, you would need a wireless microphone, a wired one if you want to stay with your DJing gear or a headset-type one so you can keep your hands free while you mix and spin the music.
If you play at halls or nightclubs, they may have speakers you can plug your Djing gear into, but if you plan to play at private events, you will need to invest in good DJ speakers and speaker stands (optional).
Subwoofers and bass sound are also great add ons and can kick your gig up a higher notch.
It’s a good idea to get self-powered speakers because they are optimized and tuned in with your amplifiers (built in).
If you don’t have active speakers with inbuilt amplifiers, you will need to buy an amplifier that boosts the signal to such a level that it reaches the speakers.
With an amplifier, you can have active or passive speakers, but if you don’t use an amplifier then you have to use active speakers. Active speakers are quite costly, so most beginner DJs choose passive speakers with an amplifier.
If you want, you can try DJ software which will let you do things that a vinyl DJ can do on his mixer or a turntable on your laptop/computer.
Some recommended brands include Traktor Scratch and Serato Scratch.
DJ Starter Package
Since you are just starting out as a DJ, you may not want to invest in individual DJ components; you could get the DJ starter pack which includes a mixer, turntables and other essentials at a lower price.
A recommended brand is Adkins Pro Audio DJ Starter Package.
Tips for Beginner DJs
Tips for Beginner DJ
- Before you actually use the equipment, read the manual so you know how exactly to operate it for optimal use.
- Make sure you buy direct drive turntables that have pitch control and a stop/start button.
- It is best to select CD players that have a cue function and pitch control.
- The amplifiers you buy should have the capacity to create 1.5 times more than the suggested RMS wattage for the speaker.
- See if you can find a retailer that permits you to check the gear you buy, so that if you are not satisfied or feel it isn’t the right gear for you, you can return it. There will not be a lot of retailers who allow this, but if you search carefully, you are bound to find a few.
- Ask a successful DJ if he/she could guide you and recommend which DJ components are better to use. Maybe he/she can even help you by showing you some of the techniques they use to work the gear.
- If you don’t have proper DJ speakers, you could connect your boom box or home stereo to the mixer.
- Make sure you have all the popular music that your audience would want to hear.
- It may be economical to use a laptop for digital DJing because you can download the songs of your choice at a lower price ensuring you have just the kind of music you want. If your laptop has a big memory, that’s even better or you could buy an external HDD with a big memory.
Once you have bought these essentials, you are good to go, and you probably won’t need to invest in more equipment for a while. Once you feel you have truly established yourself as a DJ, you can upgrade your equipment or add extra components to it depending on what you need and want.