When looking for starter equipment to begin DJing, it’s important to determine what you’re looking to use the equipment for. Are you looking to become involved in more casual DJing at house parties? If so, you can get away without an intensive arsenal of equipment and instead focus on putting your efforts into finding respectable computer and controller setups. Looking to pursue a DJ career where you’ll be performing at clubs and more high-profile venues? You’ll want to consider spending more money on equipment such as turntables and mixers to offer high-quality audio and gain practical and professional experience.
Below is a guide on what DJ equipment you’ll want to look into before getting started.
Computers and Interfaces
In terms of computers, you are free to use your own laptop if you already have one. With free software like Virtual DJ, you can use your computer to choose from libraries of digital music online. If you have a larger budget, you can look into software packages that come with DJ hardware or purchase professional DJ software separately.
Even if you’re using your own computer, you might want to consider investing in audio interfaces. Interfaces such as Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 are able to convert recordings into digital audio and also send digital audio to your venue’s sound system.
While it’s possible to perform crossfading and other matches on your laptop’s keyboard, if you want more tactile control with knobs and faders, consider looking into controllers. The Traktor Kontrol S2 is a portable controller that’s compatible with Mac and PC and includes DJ software.
Turntables and CDJs
Turntables offer tactile control over audio files with scratches and other effects. Tables like Numark TT250USBs offer professional options for direct-drive turntables and also offer the option for converting analog records to digital files via computer USB connections. While turntables are tactile, some prove impractical to tote around and limit music selection due to their use of vinyls.
An alternative to a turntable is a CDJ setup. CDJs are digital decks similar to vinyl, but use CDs or a USB stick to provide easy navigation in accessing digital files with the same tactile control as turntables. Setups like Gemini CDJ-700 offer tactile control for audio along with easy-to-navigate touch-screen displays and additional customizable functions.
Mixers provide control over audio sound and effects. The DJM-350 is an entry-level mixer that provides customizable controls and offers USB storage for optimal set organization and navigation.
DJ headphones are crucial as they isolate and replicate audio sounds like you would be hearing them in the club. Headphones like Pioneer HDJ-2000MK2 isolate sound and separate deep bass and crisp treble frequencies to appropriately monitor feedback in clubs.