Without the right music and talented DJ, a party is just a boring gathering that lacks the life to get a crowd moving. So, in order to get the party going the right (and only) way, a DJ needs the right equipment. Knowing where to get started can be super overwhelming, to say the least, especially with all the DJ technology and equipment available on the market today, from in stores to endless online music vendors. Thankfully, there are a few key components you can focus on as a beginner DJ to get you heading in the right direction and booking fun and diverse gigs in no time.
What You Need, Short List
Here are just some pieces of DJ equipment you will need get your business started on the right foot. Following this list, is a few specific suggestions for some of the larger items to give you an idea what you need to buy to get started:
- Two DJ Turntables
- Two DJ Cartridges (needles)
- A DJ Mixer
- Slipmats, these are mats, usually made of felt, that go between the turntable and record platter
- DJ Headphones
- Vinyl Records
- RCA Cable this connects the audio output and the mixer.
- Must Have Components to Get You Started in the DJ Business
For the old school, artistic DJ, everything starts and ends with the turntable, because without this ultra-important component, no music magic can take place. The following are a two of the best for beginners to try:
This turntable successfully lets you straddle the fence between cutting edge digital technology and old school coolness factor, which you know, can be just as important in the DJ business. It is considered one of the best turntables in the industry due to its ability to bridge this gap. The Gemini features an aluminum platter and a belt-drive, fully manual DJ turntable, all in an aesthetically pleasing club appearance. It also features anti-skating controls and adjustable counterweight, which gives it a stable stereo balance. Here are some other notable features of the Gemini:
- Off/on button for the motor, which allows you to brake smoother using vinyl.
- It can handle 35/45/75 RPM and allows for solid reverse playback. This is important if scratching is part of your DJ game.
- It can connect via a USB port to a Mac or PC. This means you can transform your vinyl collections into a digital format.
- Has a kHZ sampling rate and a 16-bit depth.
Suffice it to say, if you are looking for something that successfully blends the old school methods of scratching and playing vinyl with the new digital technology, the Gemini has it all.
This is another turntable option, perfect for beginners. It also has plug and play capabilities similar to the Gemini mentioned above and operates in conjunction with both a PC and Mac. The following are some additional notable features of this turntable:
- Has anti-skating, adjustable control for great stereo balance, even when spinning.
- Supports playback speeds of 33.33 and 45 RPM.
- Has a +/-10% adjustable pitch control.
- 1/8” stereo mini-jack input connector. This allows you to transfer cassette tapes to computer files.
- Allows you to export your music in analog version, converting it to WAV or MP3 formats.
Both of the recommended turntables successfully blend old school with modern digital technology, making them ideal for today’s beginning DJ.
The next component you will need to get create an ideal DJ set up is a mixer. The following are a few suggestions:
This is a fairly basic DJ mixer, which means it’s easy to learn on, making it ideal for any beginner. It is a 3-channel DJ MP3 mixer and even has built-in Bluetooth wireless, which means you can stream music from basically any device. The following are additional notable features:
- Has two AUX inputs. You can combine this with the Bluetooth capability. It also gives you the ability to plug in any audio source, such as an MP3 player, phone, mic, etc.)
- The AUX inputs allow you to switch from phono input to line level.
- Built in USB flash reader. This means you can load any song you have.
This mixer is more analog and therefore, more traditional in style. It is a 2-channel mixer that features a clear layout and straightforward controls. The following are more notable features:
- Three-band isolators. This makes scratching and mixing easier.
- Magvel fader, gives you smooth control.
- Sound Color FX Filter on each channel, producing more resonance and texture within the music.
- Built-in sound card, which means you can connect to your PC or Mac and create an ideal hybrid setup.
- It also features Rekordbox software.
This easy to use controller is best suited for DJs just getting started. It is a 2-deck system with pressure-detecting jog turntables situated at each side. It also has mixer controls in the center along with deck controls on the right and left. The following are more notable features:
- Pressure-detecting jog wheels mean you can slight scratch by pushing the jog wheels.
- Built-in audio outputs including a headphone jack output (1/8”) to use with powered speakers, and a headphone jack output (1/8”) for listening to preview tracks on headphones.
- Comes with DJUICED 18 DJ Software: This gives you the ability to match you pitches, breakdowns and BPMs.
We’ll wrap up this list brought to you by Musicians Institute , looking at the all important headphones.
These HD 8s are closed DJ headphones that provide high-end sound and have an abundance of amazing features. They are crafted with durable metal parts, making them a lasting, long-term investment. They also have a circumaural elliptical design, which means they will successfully reduce background noise (super important when mixing in noisy environments), while being comfortable. The following are additional notable features:
- Noise isolation component which means you don’t have to jack up the volume for crisp listening.
- Swiveling ear cups. Perhaps, the most important of all features when it comes to DJ headphones, these headphones allow you to easily pivot for one-ear monitoring of the deck.
- Fold for easy storage and transport.
The above are a few of the most important components you will need to invest in when starting your DJ career.