Get Going in the World of DJing
If you have ever been to a nightclub, or an electronic music concert, odds are you have seen a DJ in action and it may have sparked a bit of curiosity in you. You may ask yourself questions such as, “What are they doing with those knobs and buttons?” Or “How can start doing that?” If these questions have led you to this blog, then you are in the right place. My aim is to provide comprehensive information on how you can get started in the world of DJing by selecting the best equipment for you to get started with this musical art form.
Let’s start by going over the equipment options you have to choose from when selecting a turntable medium. Typically, a DJ’s setup includes three units: two media player units (shown below on the left and right sides) and one sound mixer (in the middle).
There are three main types of media player units that one can choose from. The first and typically the most commonly associated with DJing is the vinyl turntable. This is the oldest medium for DJing and typically the hardest to learn. For this medium, a DJ uses strictly vinyl records and blends one record into the other by either speeding up or slowing down the record to the speed of the other one by moving the pitch control slider either up or down. This is what is called “beat matching”. This is the most difficult because it is done completely because there is no visual to show you the beats per minute (BPM) of the songs playing because you are strictly using records. The industry standard for vinyl turntable for DJing is Technic turntables. They have been around since the 70's and are still widely used today. This is a great medium to learn on if you really want to get a good feel for the technical aspects of DJing, however, this method will require the most patience when learning it because it is the most difficult form to master.
The second medium that a DJ can choose from when starting to DJ is the CDJ. The CDJ is the industry standard today in clubs and music venues. The CDJ follows the same principle for mixing as the Vinyl turntable, except they are able to use music from CDs and in some newer models music saved on flash drives to mix with. Most CDJs also display a beats per minute number on the screen which makes learning to beat match an easier process because if the BPM number on each CDJ is the same, you know that you are playing the song at the same speed as the other one. They offer a lot of features on them but are very costly (sometimes up to $5000 for a full set up) and may not be the best for beginners.
The third medium of DJing, which is typically the easiest to learn, is a controller. A controller is a standalone unit that has both media player units and the mixer all built into one, which also makes this the cheapest option for DJs who are just getting started out. The controller functions by connecting to a laptop via a USB cable and plays songs saved on the computer through a DJ controller software which visually shows the waveforms of each track as well as a lot of other analytical data. Controllers eliminate the need to beat match all together by syncing the speed of one track to another with a single button. This is the most common option for beginners and a basic setup can be purchased as low as $150 with higher end models going all the way up to $2000. The most widely used brands for controllers are Numark and Pioneer.
So now that you have a basic understanding of your options when it comes to DJing, you should have a good jumping off point for making your purchase decision, however you are still likely to have some questions before you make your final decision. There are many resources out there to find answers to your questions, but I have provided a few links you can follow to find out more information for yourself.
This is a great site that provides articles, FAQs and other links and resources for seasoned DJs and complete beginners. They also have a great forum community where you can ask any questions you may have about DJing.
This site provides DJ product reviews about a wide range of turntables and mixers as well as news articles to keep you informed on product updates and happening in the world of DJing.
If you have heard anything about reddit, you know that it is a great site to go to to find likeminded individuals who share common interests with you where you can ask questions and share knowledge about a particular niche. The subreddit for DJs is no different. It is a great resource for any questions you may have about DJing and about making your first product purchase.
Another good resource to go to to find out what people are saying about DJing is Addictomatic.com. After doing a search for DJ Equipment, you can find all the latest headlines about new products coming out and various other purchasing guides to reference when making your purchase decision.
After you have reviewed these resources and are ready to make your purchase then a great place to go is http://pssl.com. This site offers a wide range of audio/visual equipment and other various electronics. It has every possible piece of DJ equipment you could ever want as well. The site is easy to navigate and offers reviews and customer ratings for all of their products. They also allow you to filter your results by price so you can find the best equipment for your budget. They sell new and used products and also have many instructional videos on their site as well to help you learn more about their products before you make a purchase.
I hope this blog provided you with some useful information about how you can integrate yourself into the widely expanding industry of DJing. Whether it is something you do as a hobby, or something you strive to do as a career, DJing can be a very fulfilling and creative outlet for anyone.