CD decks are becoming increasingly popular. In fact more DJs probably use CD decks than turntables and the most popular brand of cd decks are the Pioneer CDJs and for good reason, they are awesome. Whilst each type of CD Deck is similar they will differ slightly. Most have a front loading slot for the CDs and many newer models, especially on the CDJ range allow USB sticks to be connected to play MP3s and other file formats. DJing on CDJs requires you to have two units and a mixer to well mix the sounds from each CDJ. Before you start using CDJS have a read of the manuals first so you know what all the pretty lights and buttons do.
Make sure your CDJs are connected to the mixer correctly and the mixer connected to your speakers and headphones. CDJs use RCA cables to connect to the mixer so make sure you have these handy. Turn on all of your equipment and load a CD into the CDJs. They can be the same CD although that will limit what you can mix.
Make sure your mixer volumes are all set up correctly and the cross fader is set for the right CDJ and hit play to start the very first track. Using the jog wheel or the track selection buttons to select different tracks.
Do the same on the other CDJ whilst the first places and check your channel fader position to queue the track in. Select the headphone queue button on the mixer so you can hear this track in your headphones before mixing it into the track that is already playing. You may need to pitch bend or skip through the track to do this well.
Use the cue button to set a place in your track. Hitting this will start the track from this point. Push the queue fader up slowly to match the level of the lead track and adjust the pitch and equalisers accordingly. The 2nd track will become the lead and you can fade out the 1st track so it can no longer be heard. Now you can pick your 3rd track ready for when you want to fade the 2nd track out.
Use the loop in/ loop out buttons to set loop points during tracks. This will allow you to loop sections of a song to fade to another track easier or extend the time a track lasts.
Use the loop in/loop out buttons to set loop points at any point during the tracks if your CDJs come with these features. Most models from the last five years have these features, giving users the ability to set the beginning and end loop points easily.
That’ll get you started, check out our other guides for tips and tricks on DJing on CD Decks.