The greatest DJ equipment and gear available will, of course, depend on who you are as a disc jockey, but as technology advances, so will our options for not just beginning started on our DJ adventures, but also updating our present setups to boost our work flow and ability to spin and mix.
It was all so simple back then. There were two turntables and a mixer, It was all about beat-matching, mixing and blending. Today, with all of the alternatives available on the market, DJs can do a lot more in terms of creativities and routines. Let's get a sense of what's out there by going over the four basic ways today's DJs spin their music.
A DJ controller is an all-in-one gadget that combines the functions of conventional decks and a mixer into a single piece of equipment. They frequently, but not always, operate in unison with a laptop to provide the DJ with all of the capabilities and controls they are accustomed to. Many of them may be used with USB flash drives without the need for software or a computer.
Controllers range in price from less than 150€ to more than 2000€, and there are versions to suit DJs of all skill levels. As long as you already have a laptop, they provide the most cost-effective and proficient means of "getting into" DJing - and when it comes to DJ gear, the controller market has by far the greatest variety.
Separated Pro Deks & Mixer
CDJs came first after the Vinyl Turntables, they immediately became popular because they included cue points and looping for the first time, as well as the ability to create your own CDs to use while performing. CDs are, of course, mostly obsolete - new machines don't even have CD slots, yet the players remain as popular as ever.
CDJs contain most of the functionality and features associated with laptop DJing, including the "sync" button, which some vinyl DJs despise. The the dominating brand is the Pioneer DJ's CDJ-3000, although Denon DJ has mounted a strong challenge with its SC6000 Prime and SC6000M Prime media players.
While these players may all be used independently, they can also be plugged as "controller decks" capable of controlling DJ software. As a result, you can connect in your laptop and play from your favourite software, giving you more options.
Turntable & Mixer
This is what we call nowadays, "old school djing". Vinyl, fortunately for djs did not linger in the tech graveyard for long. Vinyl records made a reappearance thanks to a worldwide sales event staged by independent music retailers in the United States and the United Kingdom.
In terms of sales, vinyl now beats CDs and digital, reviving the vinyl/digital argument.
It can be tough to concentrate on the music while using digital DJ equipment since there are hundreds of brilliantly lighted panels and waveforms competing for your attention. In contrast, with vinyl DJing, the onus is totally on you, which might help you focus and pull off a stronger and flawless performance.
Vinyl is richer, rounder, and has a deeper bass. An MP3 does not provide warmth. The least bit of clipping caused by the DJ will result in loud distortion coming from a digital media; vinyl is far more forgiving.
In meanwhile, you can use a Digital Vinyl Systems (DVS). This may be viewed of as a method of converting an outdated turntable setup into a system that can operate DJ software and so play digital music. In this regard, a DVS may be viewed as a "half-way home," bridging the gap between the old analog world and the new digital world.
Check out the 6 best Turntables for djs.
You may absolutely DJ using only your laptop, but there are a few things to bear in mind when doing so. Furthermore, as compared to mixing with even a basic entry level DJ controller, DJing just using your laptop has significant downsides.
If you follow the "laptop alone" approach, you'll still need some type of audio interface to provide two audio outputs (one for your headphones and one for your speakers) - but this is still about as simple as digital DJing gets.
What DJ software can I use with just a laptop?
The following softwares have a free version available:
Rekordbox – with the free version of Rekordbox you can access essential performance mode features with your keyboard and the software allows key remapping (but sadly not for all functions).
Virtual DJ – in our opinion the best choice for no-controller approach – amazing keyboard mapping capabilities and loads of keybind customization possible! You can map any function or combination of functions to any button on your keyboard in either toggle or hold mode. The free version of Virtual DJ is a great choice for every beginner. Learn more about Virtual DJ here.
Mixxx – it’s a completely free and open source cross-platform DJ software with many interesting features, full documentation and great key mapping system. Although it has more than enough functions built-in, in comparison with Virtual DJ it has more limitations. You can legally use it for commercial purposes for free though!
Serato DJ – you can use either very limited in terms of features “Serato Practice Mode” for free (not really recommended) or pay for an expansion pack “Serato Play” (about $40) to use the full functionality of the software with just your keyboard.
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DJs use more than one of these methods, for example, using software with a controller at home and pro club gear during paid gigs, or maintaining their turntables for nostalgic sake while mixing on dj software. Nobody is binding us to any specific style of DJing as amateurs; in fact, We recommend that you try the finest option within your budget and bear in mind that you may always upgrade in the future if your skills improve.