How to Build a Beginner DJ Setup

How to Build a Beginner DJ Setup

First things first, things have changed pretty drastically since the days of the stereotypical “DJ” who pitches up at a gig with a box full of vinyls ready to “Flip ‘em”. So much so in fact that the very thought of building your first DJ setup can be a little intimidating, to say the least… This is especially true if you are new to the game entirely.

To get you well on your way, we have devised a little cheat sheet, call it the “beginners guide” so you don’t fall into the trap of “I need this gear to sound great” even though you are not really sure what you need in the first place. There are many important components to consider depending largely on the kind of DJ you are looking to become. So, with that in mind, let's break it down together so that you know what’s what before committing to gear purchases you may not actually need, depending on your application as a DJ.

With so many options out there and new developments happening almost daily in this electronic era, from DJ equipment to the software platforms available, making an informed decision regarding what equipment you will need to realize your personal vision as a DJ is key to building your first DJ setup to match both your skill level as well as your budget.

While the choice of equipment configurations differs from DJ to DJ, the basic ingredients that make up the essentials for a decent DJ setup usually include the following:

One setup may not fit a certain style, so it is important to mix and match gear to find what works best for your intended tracks as well as DJing style.

 

The amount of DJ gear options out there today can be more than a little overwhelming especially for a beginner since the gear you choose is crucial to creating quality sounds. That said, there are a number of “essentials” all DJs need to make epic tracks for everybody to bounce to, whether it be at little Johnnies bar mitzvah or a massive crowd at Ibiza this is what you will need to rock your crowd.

1.      Input devices

Mixing tracks requires at least two input devices, which can either be turntables or CD decks. There is a wide range of input devices available these days that will allow you to let your creative juices flow. Mixing up earworms and creating mashup tracks without a single break in your flow.

Numark Turntable With USB Audio Interface

The Numark TTUSB turntable with USB Audio Interface is a unique, plug and play, USB compatible turntable that makes digitizing your vinyl record collection to your PC or Mac a snap. As an added benefit, the TTUSB also includes a 1/8–inch stereo mini jack input connector to facilitate the transfer of cassette tapes (or similar line level sources) to computer files. So if you are going to be flipping vinyl then you will definitely need one of these.

Other options include:

   2. Mixer

 

This is essentially the heart of any professional DJ setup. It’s the proverbial drawing board where you can not only dream up but realize all kinds of different effects, tricks and eventually, Tracks. This is the core console that will allow you to make smooth transitions between different recordings while you are playing a gig. It can also be used to play record players.

The Pioneer DJM-2000NXS2 is a 4-channel Professional Digital DJ Mixer with Beat Slice, Sync Master, Built-in Effects, and Multi-touch Screen

 

The mixer has four channels located on the sides of the center LCD which you can use to connect your turntables to other analog players. Each channel features a fader that allows you to adjust the channel volume, a trim control to adjust input level, and a CUE button dedicated to the pre-listen function in your headphones. The unit also features Delay, Multi-Tap Delay, Roll, Reverse Roll, and Filter and Phaser effects.

Other options include:

   3. Headphones

High-quality headphones are literally the lifeblood of a good DJ, they allow you to listen, cue, and mix tunes with precision. It is one of the most important tools for determining the right timing to play songs rhythmically. The equipment you use is based on your preference, but it is important to consider comfort as one of the main factors in choosing your headphones. You’re going to be wearing headphones for hours on end, so you want to use a pair that not only reproduces sound accurately but also doesn’t leave you feeling like you have been wearing a foil hat with rusty knives dangling over your ears all night, comfort is king.

Sennheiser HD 25 PLUS Headphones

Sennheiser’s HD 25 Plus Closed-Back Monitor Headphones is a lightweight headphone that provides high-quality audio. Its closed back design provides effective noise cancellation, making it ideal for use in loud environments, which as a DJ you WILL be surrounded by. It also features a rotatable ear cup for single-ear listening. 

 

Other options include:

   4. Monitors

Using studio monitorss is a great way for beginner DJs to hear their mixes with clarity. While Hi-Fi speakers produce high-quality sounds compared with inexpensive audio equipment, they also amplify certain frequencies that can make it difficult for beginner DJs to hear what the mix actually sounds like.

 

That said, this is an optional element of the ideal basic DJ setup. When you start playing gigs, you’ll find that most venues will have their own sound system that you can use. However, if you’re still learning and you want a good sound system for your home DJ setup, go ahead and invest in your own.

Pioneer DM-40BT 4" Monitor Speakers With Built-In Bluetooth

Use the Pioneer DM-40BT’s to Create a versatile home set-up that can deliver a rich, balanced sound for producing and DJing. These compact desktop monitors have been designed using professional speaker technology and effortlessly connect to all your Bluetooth wireless devices.

 

The DM-40BT comes in black or white and retains its Groove Technology from the highly-reputed DM-40 active monitor speakers. Boasts a smooth bass response, a wide sweet spot enabled by DECO technology, crystal clear audio quality and rich bass sound all at the same time. This is perfect for the DJ refining their art form in the studio before you go out to rock the crowd. 

Other options include:

   5. Controller

Most modern DJs opt for a simpler (and easier) digital setup made up of a controller and a laptop. If you don’t intend on lugging vinyl or even CDs around with you, then buying a controller is really the only thing you need to build your perfect DJ setup.

 

With a controller, you can essentially mimic the function of turntables and mixers. They allow for easier manipulation with a little help from additional DJ software. It allows you to mix music through the software with the use of knobs, encoders, jog wheels, faders, assignable backlit buttons, touch strips, and other control components. Sounds like fun right?

Denon MC7000 DJ Controller

The Denon MC7000 DJ Controller is a portable, all-in-one option for digital DJs who want high functionality and usability along with ease of use. It is a 4-channel Digital DJ Controller and Audio Interface with Comprehensive Controls Including Flip, Pitch 'n Time, and Video Expansions, plus It Includes Serato DJ. What more do you need as a modern day Digital DJ?

Other options include:

Where do you start?

As with most things in life, not too many things are “exactly the same” and this is true when it comes to DJ Setups as well. Setups vary widely from DJ to DJ and it really comes down to what you are looking to create. So, if all of this has left you with more questions than answers, below is an example of a typical “classic turntable setup” to get you going:

  • ·         Two turntables (with built-in slipmats)
  • ·         DJ mixer
  • ·         Headphones
  • ·         USB/audio interface (optional)
  • ·         Monitor speakers (optional)

Follow these steps and you will get where you are going in no time… a little gear and a whole lot of imagination and you will have your beats dropping on bigger and bigger crowds in no time. If this all seems a little much for you to start with, feel free to contact a MiTech Direct support specialist to chat about your goals as a DJ or just add this great starter option to your cart.  

Numark Entry DJ Set

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