There are many people who look at DJs and wrongly believe that they are just pressing start on a pre-recorded setlist. In fact, being a professional DJ takes just as much hard work and dedication as being a pianist or a professional singer. As well as hundreds of practice hours, professional DJs also need to have all the right equipment so that they can produce their unique sound. There is so much equipment available to DJs these days, that knowing what to buy if you are new to the game can be very difficult. It is tempting to just shell out on the most expensive gear, but there is no guarantee that it will be right for you.
To help you choose the best equipment to take your disk spinning skills to another level, here is what you need to invest in if you want to become a pro disc jockey.
1. A Pair of Turntables
Whether you want to play vinyl or CDs, quality turntables are vital if you want to be a pro DJ. Your turntables are what you will use to play songs, do disk scratching, and get the next song ready. One turntable is enough if you just want to play a single album at an event, but top DJs use a pair of turntables so that they can mix different albums and tracks and have the next song lined up.
2. A High-Tech Mixer
Alongside your turntables, you will also need a high-tech mixer, especially if you are a CD or vinyl DJ. The mixer is used to switch between your two turntables, transition one song into another, and also has many other functions like loops and recording channels. DJs plug their headphones into the mixer so that they can switch between songs and line up the next song without the audience being able to hear. It is great mixing skills that really make the difference between an amateur DJ and a pro.
3. A Top DJ Controller
All great DJs have top-of-the-line controllers which are very important for playing CDs or MP3s. Using a DJ controller will enable you to sync up your turntables and mixer into one easy device. It allows you to connect your computer to your other equipment so that you can mix and produce music directly on your computer using the relevant software. This will have tools such as a drum and trigger pad, MIDI controls, sound layering, and various other tools. The best controllers have integrated job wheels so you can operate them in the same way as a regular turntable.
4. DJ Software
Quality software is crucial for all top DJs because it enables you to create a unique sound using your regular tracks. DJ controllers usually come with their own simple software and then pro DJs upgrade with extra programs which give them more control and sound options. The best DJ software can be used to add different effects, combine two songs together, create a range of different triggers and drum pads, line up your playlists, and many other things.
5. DJ Headphones
Every great DJ knows the importance of having great DJ headphones as you cannot mix properly without them. You have probably seen DJs holding their headphones up to their ear and this is because they are listening to the next track in the playlist so they can match the beat and mix flawlessly without the audience hearing. DJ headphones are also very important for practice because you will be able to hone your skills anywhere at any time without bothering anyone else.
6. PA System
When you first start out DJing professionally, you will most likely be playing smaller gigs like weddings, house parties, and small club nights. These venues may not have their own PA and speaker system so you will need to bring your own. The bigger the venue, the bigger the system you will need. Top DJs invest a lot of money in their PA systems but this is easily repaid as you start to get more and more bookings because your sound is so good.
From choosing the quality turntables to finding headphones and a PA system that allows you to hear every beat, investing in the right gear is essential. Remember that just because a piece of equipment is more expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be better or that it will suit your DJing style. Try borrowing friends’ equipment and reading online reviews to find the gear which is most highly rated and which will help you to produce your best sound.