Press Release: Essential DJ Equipment

Absolutely Essential DJ Equipment
So you’ve decided to explore the art of DJing. You’re probably already a music lover looking for a career change, a little extra money on the side, or a hobby that will entertain your friends. Whatever your motivation, as a DJ novice you’ll need some equipment to get started and learn the basics of mixing, cross fading, beatmatching, and scratching. Every DJ requires four essential pieces of equipment – becoming familiar with the functions and use of the equipment is your first step to discovering your inner DJ.

Amps and Speakers Without a good set of amps and speakers, a DJ might as well go home because no one will be able to hear the music. A traditional setup involves powerful amps connected to separate speakers. An easier but more expensive alternative is buying speakers with built in amps – this saves time and space since you won’t have to transport a lot of different pieces of equipment. If you’re just starting out and money is an issue, most stereos come with an auxiliary socket that can double as an amplifier and speakers, though it’s best to buy your own amps and speakers as soon as you can afford it.
Mixer A mixer is what makes a DJ a DJ. Mixers help DJs transition between songs without stopping the record (or CD or mp3 file or whatever) and interrupting the continuous stream of music. For beginners, a two- or four-channel mixer is all you need. Through a mixer, you can accomplish two different styles of blending songs together: scratch mixing and beat mixing. Learning at least one of these blending methods is crucial because there’s nothing worse for an audience – or a DJ – than a blank stretch of silence. Your mixer will come with a variety of stereo channels; each channel has a few components that you need to understand in order to effectively DJ: • A gain, which changes the pre-amplification of the signal before it is sent to the volume fader • An equalizer, which weakens or strengthens the signal in a certain frequency range • A volume slider, which changes the volume of your mix • A monitor, which sends the sound directly to your headphones • A balance, which controls whether you hear the left or right stereo channels – not usually necessary when mixing • A mute button, which mutes the sound In addition to these features on each channel, mixers also have cross faders to transition between songs, and volume monitors that change the volume of the speakers in the room, the volume of the speakers next to you, or the volume in your headphones.
Dual Audio Source The last piece of equipment essential for every DJ is a dual audio source which allows you to play two songs concurrently. At this juncture, you have to make a decision between traditional, variable-speed record decks, CD players, or mp3 players used with your laptop. Most die-hard DJs will say that records provide the best sound quality and that DJing with any other media just isn’t “cool.” Not so today – CDs and mp3s create the same quality of sound as a record, and mixing techniques are often similar. The only advantage to the traditional art of DJing using record players is showmanship – it’s much more interesting to see a DJ grooving to his headphones while changing records than it is to see someone tinkering on a laptop.
Extras Now that you have all of the basic DJ equipment, consider a few other key points before you start your DJing career. First, a DJ needs to be well versed in a variety of music — not just his own favorite genres. Remember that DJs play for crowds, and if the crowd isn’t happy, the DJ isn’t doing his job. Secondly, being familiar with a wide variety of music isn’t enough – DJs need to have their own music libraries, too. Though building your music library can be a significant added cost, a good DJ must have an extensive collection of “crowd-pleasing” music. Indexing your music by genre, type, and “sound” can take a lot of time on the front end, but having pre-selected transition songs ready and waiting will improve your live performances immensely. And, as with most things, always practice, practice, practice. Messing up your set in front of a group of people can really blow your confidence – DJs need to polish and refine their skills just like professional athletes or musicians. Turn your love of music into a valuable and entertaining skill – all you need is the right equipment and the right attitude.