Who Else Wants To Know The Secret To Being A Pro DJ?
Do you know what all the top Dj's have in common? There is one secret that every professional DJ knows for sure.
If you have ever tried to mix on crappy DJ gear you know what I’m talking about. Ever tried to scratch on a belt driven turntable? or put a mix down with a broken cross fader?
The secret is, they know you need the right DJ Gear to get anywhere in this industry. If you want to mix in the clubs like a pro then you need to be practising on club rated equipment.
Modern DJ’s use MP3’s but back when vinyl was the only option the turntable was the only practical way people had of listening to music. It started with a gramophone and progressed right the way up to the technics 1210’s. There are others but the reliability and sound quality has meant that the technics turntable is still the standard now for anybody who wants to play vinyl in a club.
DJ turntables now include cd decks as well as traditional vinyl turntables but vinyl is far from dead.
A DJ used to just change records. But as times change, so did peoples wants. Crowds didn’t want a gap between tracks, they wanted the music to go non-stop, all night. And so the DJ mixer was born. A little piece of hardware that could switch the output between two audio inputs quickly. They also amplify the turntable signal, which is far too low for a standard amplifier AUX input.
Mixers come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and price ranges. You need to think carefully before you buy a DJ mixer. Not just about the price but also about what you want the mixer for and how you are going to use it.
Purest DJ’s might just need a good cross fader for example. If this is you then you don’t need to pay extra for samplers and effects and other stuff that may be included on the mixer that you might never use.
Mixers come with all sorts of inputs and outputs. You should make sure your chosen one has everything you need. The very minimum most people need is 2 turntable inputs and 2 AUX inputs. This will allow 2 turntables and 2 CD decks to be connected. As well as this though, some mixers have something called send and return, this allows you to connect external effects units to the DJ mixer.
DJ Controllers are a relative new comer. They act a lot like a mixer and turntable setup except they allow you to play digital audio from a computer. A DJ controller is rarely a stand alone unit, you need to connect a computer before it will do anything.
The controller is literally controlling audio files on a computer. The setup looks very much like a mixer and 2 CD Decks, except the platters are controlling an audio file on the computer rather than a CD. You can mix, cut and scratch just like you can on a standard deck and mixer setup except now you have your whole MP3 collection to mix with!
Again, controllers come in all shapes, sizes and prices but there are a couple of manufacturers who have quickly dominated the market.
DJ’s have always had headphones. It’s the only way you can cue up a record whilst the crowd listens to another one. You can pay a lot of money for good headphones but you should look for volume, comfort and plenty of bass. A good set of headphones will let you listen to the track you are cueing up over the house speakers. And you should be able to hear it clearly enough to pick out your break points and break downs.
Another thing that people sometimes overlook is the comfort. You are going to be wearing these for hours at a time, they need to be comfy on your head.