To become a DJ you need the right equipment. Without it you are just a guy with a bunch of music and no way to play it. Combining the correct equipment and some natural talent will help turn you from someone who owns some CDs into a pretty good DJ hopefully.
Getting your first piece of DJ equipment can be hard and bewildering. Do you want to be a vinyl DJ or digital? Are you going to be mixing or scratching? Are you playing at weddings or in a club. There is so much out there but we’ll help you begin.
So what essential DJ equipment is required? The basic needs for any DJ are either a Turntable or CD Deck, mixer and some headphones. Microphones and speakers can be added but for your basic needs thats all you need. If you do decide to get a microphone, make sure it is a high quality one. As soon as you take it out of the box you’re almost ready to go.
There are various types of turntables and CD decks out there. Are you going to be an old skool vinyl DJ or a digital DJ? More and more DJs are going digital so unless you really enjoy vinyl you are better off getting a nice pair of CD decks and starting from there. We love vinyl but it’s expensive, heavy and fewer and fewer tunes are being released on it. There will always be a market for it but with the death of the Technics 1200’s it will always be getting smaller. Check out the awesome range of turntables that Stanton provide, we recommend the Str8-150 Turntable but if your budget can’t stretch that far check out the T-60 as a beginner turntable.
CD Decks, more and more equipment manufacturers are releasing these but time and time again we recommend Pioneer’s CDJs. Pick up a second hand CDJ 1000, or a CDJ 900 (don’t let the numbers confuse you, the 900 is newer than the 1000) and you won’t go wrong. With superb quality and every top DJ using them you won’t have any complaints.
Next you need a mixer. As much as we love Pioneer DJM mixer series it is probably best of starting with a cheap 2 channel mixer. You won’t get quality, especially at the prices they are offered at but it’ll give you experience and a chance to practise. Upgrade to a better mixer once you are comfortable beatmatching and mixing.
Finally, headphones. Without these your other equipment is useless. Pick up a good solid pair that can take a battering. Ignore the in ear variety as they won’t offer the sound quality or noise blocking capabilities of over the ear versions. We recommend you don’t buy the best ones you can find to start off with, just buy a cheaper pair of skull candies to get you started.
Finally speakers can be worth picking up too. Again like headphones don’t spend all your money on the best ones out there. Some KRKs will get you going with some wonderful sound quality and a small size.
In order to get the best bargains on the best equipment make sure you are familiar with some of the brand names out there. We’ve already mentioned a couple but heres who we recommend and for what.
Pioneer, their CD Decks and mixers are the best on the market but often come with a price tag to match. Lucky for us they offer cheaper models with a few less functions for the DJ who is just starting out.
Stanton, they offer a great range of Turntables and have been going big on the laptop side of DJing. Check them out for digital mixers and effects units, oh and their mixers are not to bad either.
KRK, their speakers are small, stylish and lovely. Check them out for your smaller speaker needs.
JBL, the big daddy in the speaker industry, You’ll see them in clubs and at gigs because they are that great. But they are often very big and very expensive.
American DJ offer tonnes of lights, so if you are a mobile DJ and want lasers, smoke machines or anything else be sure to check them out.
Serato offer all kinds of software and controllers for the laptop DJ. If you would rather mix and scratch on your laptop then check out their extensive range of equipment and software.