How to choose a DJ mixer

I am going to discuss what makes certain mixers better than others so that the beginners can have a decent understanding of why to choose one mixer over another.

First of all, a good mixer usually has a pretty strong brand name to stand by it, so that you know you are getting a mixer of good quality that will last through years of abuse. The brands that are universally recognised as having high-quality mixers are the following: Rane, Vestax, Stanton, Urei, Allen & Heath, Pioneer, Mackie, Ecler, Audio Innovative

However, this is not always the case as some lesser-quality brands sometimes surprise us with a good product such as the American Audio QD5-MK2, Numark DXM-Pro Series Mixers, Gemini UMX Series Mixers, and other times great brands put out bad products… but overall the list is pretty accurate.

If you are looking to purchase a mixer, then the first thing you need to know is how many channels you want to mix simultaneously. Usually, a two-channel mixer will suit your needs with two Phono (vinyl) inputs and two line (CD) inputs.

Next, you want to look for a good, high-quality crossfader that will last through extensive use. A good crossfader is one that will work for a long time without losing its sound integrity. If a fader starts to show signs of over-use, it will bleed, pop and break up the sound pretty bad.

The most reliable and durable styles of crossfaders are Penny & Giles Faders, Pro-X-Faders, Magnetic Faders (used in Rane TTM-56 and Ecler Hak-380), Optical faders and VCA faders.

The Magnetic Faders and Optical Faders (e.g. focus fader) use no type of contacts and only light to transmit signals, so these faders may outlast the mixer itself!!! The P&G, Pro-X-Fader, and VCA (Vestax style) Faders use a rail system to fade from one channel to the other. These faders need to be cleaned every month or so and can start to bleed or crack after a few years which means you will have to replace it for about $100. Also, make sure the Line faders are also of good quality, just like the crossfader. Some mixers, such as the Stanton SA-5, come with three P&G faders (one for the crossfader and one for each line fader) which are fully interchangeable.

The next item to look at when purchasing a mixer is the Line Switches, EQ controls, and Cue (headphone) controls. The line phone switch at the top of each channel should be replaceable and durable. For the scratch junkies out there, you will also want those switches to be 8-way adjustable so that you can have the switch move in a way that is comfortable to you. Make sure the feel of the EQ control is just right for your style of spinning. Some people like EQ knobs and others like the sliders. Some mixers are accused of having small space between each EQ knob making it difficult to fine-tune the mix. Some mixers, such as the Urei series have also been accused of having an EQ delay, meaning that the sound doesn’t alter as soon as the knob is moved. To avoid issues like this, it is best to go and try out every mixer on your list of hopefuls at your local DJ store.

Last on the checklist are the Cue controls. Make sure you have an option to listen to your full mix in your headphones before it is displayed to the master output. Mostly all mixers can do this, but some have advanced controls that let you hear the Master output. This can help you when performing because it will eliminate any sound delay caused by the distance between you and your speakers. It is also nice to have so that you can practice scratching in the house without giving someone a headache!

Well, that’s all that I have for you on mixers… In conclusion, I think that you shouldn’t listen to what people say about which mixer is the best or isn’t the best. Everyone has their own unique style of play and you should make sure that your mixer maximises your potential as a DJ. With that said, go to a store or a DJ Expo and try out the gear that you think you may want before you actually make your purchase. You will definitely be happier with your purchase and you may just play better too!

What you need to know before buying a new DJ equipment

DJs, also known as disc jockeys, are music professionals who play songs at dance parties, discotheques, nightclubs and many other musical events. They mix and modify the songs by blending them creatively to create a new catchy piece of continuous music. To experiment with different songs and beats the DJs require a lot of equipment including sound mixers, CD player, headphones, speakers and much more. A good DJ simply cannot function without a reliable package of equipment.

For a professional DJ, the most important piece of gear is his decks. It is with the decks that the DJ controls what his audience hears and therefore it is crucial for his DJ setup. It is required that you be sure that the decks perform well for you. There is a range of decks that are available. DJs play in different styles and you will need to select the deck that is more suited to your style.

It is best to try out a deck before buying it. You can do that by examining the gear that your friends have. This is an ideal way to know if a particular model is suitable to your playing style. If you are not very sure you can seek expert help in knowing the basics and then you can learn on your own.

DJ decks are basically available in two types – direct drive and belt drive. Direct drive decks are usually far superior to the other one but they are also more expensive. Therefore if you have a tight budget and not very sure if you would be in the business for long, you can opt for belt drive DJ deck. A good belt drive is adequate if you are just lining up one song after the other and are not into any kind of complex beat matching. These do not allow for scratching and are not suitable if you are looking to do so.

On the other hand, if you are eager to be a DJ for the rest of your life and want nothing but the very best in equipment you must go for direct drive decks. These have higher torque ratings, provide better tempo control and are required if you want to do some scratching. These decks allow you to unleash your creativity as you experiment with different kinds of beats. The kind of deck that you want is entirely dependent on the kind of music you want to play and how long you want to be in the field.

If you are thinking of becoming a professional DJ the most important thing that you need to deal with is buying your DJ equipment. It is difficult as the package does not come cheap. You cannot afford to make any mistake while purchasing the equipment. It is required that you make an informed choice while making the purchases so that your equipment stands you in good stead for a long time to come. It is best to do some research before you invest any money in buying the equipment.…

Turntablism

Turntablism

Turntablism is the art of manipulating sounds and creating music using phonograph turntables and an audio mixer. The term was created in 1994 by DJ Supreme to describe the difference between a DJ who just plays records and one who actually performs, by touching and moving the records to manipulate sound. The word was never meant to be the actual title of the art form. It was regularly stated as an example while explaining the need for a new word to describe a newly emerging and totally unique instrumental art form. The intention was for the original creators of the art form to confer and decide on a title. While the idea of the need for a new word spread, some DJs just began to use the example word “turntablist” before the originators had a chance to proclaim an actual title.

DJ Babu has defined a turntablist as “One who has the ability to improvise on a phonograph turntable. One who uses the turntable in the spirit of a musical instrument;” while the Battlesounds documentary film suggests a definition of:”A musician, a hip-hop disc jockey who in a live/spontaneous situation can manipulate or restructure an existing phonograph recording (in combination with an audio mixer) to produce or express a new composition that is unrecognisable from its original ingredients.”

Hip-hop Turntablist DJs use turntable techniques like beat mixing/matching, scratching, and beat juggling. Turntablism is generally focused more on turntable technique and less on mixing. Some turntablists seek to have themselves recognised as legitimate musicians capable of interacting and improvising with other performers.

In the 1990s, turntablism achieved new levels of attention. Dedicated DJs had gradually refined the practice, and it expanded on its own, apart from the MCs who had largely neglected DJing as rap developed.

New DJs, turntablists and crews owe a distinct debt to old-school DJs like Kool DJ Herc, Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Afrika Bambaataa and other DJs of the golden age of hip-hop, who originally developed many of the concepts and techniques that evolved into modern turntablism.

Within the realm of hip hop, notable modern turntablists are the cinematic DJ Shadow, who influenced Diplo and RJD2, among others, and the experimental DJ Spooky, whose Optometry albums showed that the turntablist can perfectly fit within a jazz setting. Mix Master Mike was a founding member of the influential turntablist group Invisibl Skratch Piklz and currently DJs for the Beastie Boys. Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark are also known as virtuosi of the turntables.

How To Get Started With DJ Mixing Software

Between software and controllers, the latest DJ tools present a world of possibilities.

Mixing software like Virtual DJ is widely considered the most economic choice amongst DJs seeking a basic mix building experience. It can be operated on either a Mac- or Windows-based controller, but doesn’t require DJ controllers to operate to the fullest extent. Two tracks may be played and beat-matched at once, and tracks may be imported from any folder or media player library.

Torq DJ is a slightly more complex program. It conforms to the common DJ software layout format, and features the possibility for mixing four decks at once. Torq also features all the basic functions: beat-matching, internal mixer, soundcard capabilities, and a waveform display. The layout may be crowded, but can be adjusted for comfort. Torq is largely accepted as being the beginning of professional DJ mixing software. DJ software like Virtual DJ is mostly used for use at home or private parties, whereas Torq is often used at clubs and stage performances. Many local and online audio retailers sell a complete version of Torq off the shelf, but it may also be downloaded online.

Traktor presents an extremely diverse mixing software experience, perhaps the most vibrant of the four top softwares. It can be purchased as Duo 2, Scratch Duo 2 , Pro 2, or Scratch Pro 2. Duo 2 and Pro 2 are only mixing software; the Duo boasts two-track mixing, and Pro boasts four-track mixing. Native Instruments also produces the Audio 2, 6, and 10 DJ audio interfaces, all of which can be applied to any Traktor and other audio software. They’re highly reputed in the DJ community, alongside Traktor software. Traktor is also compatible with different digital DJ mixers, which includes some of the finest mixers in the world. It’s also famous for its excellent timecoded vinyl experience, which has been demonstrated around the world by the renowned DJ Grandmaster Flash. Richie Hawtin, Carl Craig, Carl Cox, and Ean Golden are some of the most renowned users of this software. Traktor is available around the world at local and online audio retailers, but can also be downloaded.

Serato is a based dominantly around the timecoded vinyl experience. It produces its own line of tomcod vinyl, works essentially in conjunction with Rane instruments, and boasts a clean, minimal on-screen layout that is highly preferred by many turntablist DJ’s. It can also be used as only DJ mixing software, and doesn’t require turntables to be used. DJ Atrak and DJ Jazzy Jeff, both legendary turntablists, use Serato exclusively. Serato Scratch Live comes equipped with the SL2 audio interface, whereas the SL3 pack comes equipped with an edition capable of controlling video as well as audio. SL4 allows up to four turntables to be used at once. Serato is the industry standard at odds with Traktor, and, although applicable to any kind of DJ, is mainly accessible by hip hop, rap, and turntablist DJ’s. Serato is available for free from their official website, whereas SL hardware is available at online and local retailers.…

Different Types Of DJ Equipment & Software

DJ MIDI, HID, and mixer controllers are very diverse in today’s market. Before purchasing, it’s important to compare DJ controllers so you know which one would be ideal for your style, are of the highest quality and best value for your budget.

Some of the most revered manufacturers are Akai, Novation, and Native Instruments. The Native Instruments Kontrol series has been on the rise in the last few years, and Serato Itch has accompanied different models of deck-based controllers produced by Numark, Vestax and Pioneer. Akai was once vastly reputed for their drum machines in the 90’s and 2000’s, and now boasts very high quality controllers, which can be used with almost any audio software.

Many controllers come bundled with LE programs: primarily Traktor LE and Virtual DJ LE. This is a modified and simplified version of the program designed to accommodate specially designed controllers.

One may notice that such controllers as those by Hercules, Reloop, and Vestax feature two JOG wheels, an integrated mixer, and an audio-thru panel on the back. These are usually the kinds of controllers that will come packaged with an LE program. The Native Instruments Kontrol S4 is perhaps the most successful in the last two years, which comes equipped with Traktor.

Otherwise, any kind of software will likely specify which devices are compatible with it. Multiple Rane mixers were designed to be used with Serato, and many more brands have produced mixers that function as digital controllers for Traktor (such as Ecler, Pioneer, and Allen & Heath).

Digital vinyl systems are also a popular option. Virtual DJ, Torq, Traktor and Serato all accommodate. Serato is widely considered the finest vinyl system, however, whereas Traktor is often denoted for its versatility. A test by DJ Qbert once confirmed that the mixing quality between Serato timecodes and Traktor timecodes is actually indecipherable. Any timecode vinyl can be used on any software, whereas audio interfaces are sometimes more specific. Native Instruments often designs for Traktor; the same for Serato. Timecode CDs may also be used in CD players, which would allow for more control overall.

However, timecode is designed specifically (but not exclusively) for turntablists overall. Serato and Traktor Scratch might appeal to hip hop, rap and dubstep DJs, whereas Traktor Duo or Pro might appeal to house or techno DJs.There are many brands, models, and names in the DJ market today. Diversity like this simply can’t be met with disappointment.…

DJ Equipment You’ll Need To Record Podcasts

If you are interested in making DJ podcasts, it is a good idea to fill yourself in with what’s required first. The DJ equipment required for podcasting is not very expensive to begin with. Very high skills are not required either for DJ podcasting.

For a beginner not many types of equipment are required. You can start with the computer which you most likely own already, recording equipment, recording software and a microphone are all the DJ equipment you require.

  • Computer. As a beginner it is enough to have your old computer. It must have a sound card. As the time passes and you acquire skills in podcasting you may shop for a better computer. The new one must have a RAM of 512 MB and must be able to run Microsoft Windows XP. The hard disc must have enough space to accommodate all your podcast downloads and all your podcast audio files. When you buy a new computer make sure that the sound card has line-in and line-out jacks. Jacks are also required for headphones and microphones. All these jacks are to be placed in the front for easy control. A high speed internet connection is also needed.
  • Recording software. Recording software is available on the internet to be downloaded free of cost.
  • Voice recorder. A voice recorder is an essential DJ equipment for podcasting. When you go for a new one, make sure that it has professional quality. A portable voice recorder is very useful.
  • Microphones. A good set of microphones are necessary. If you have a good quality portable voice recorder, you need not buy microphones separately. Microphones are built into the portable recorders.

Pop filter is an optional DJ equipment you can buy to increase the quality of your podcast. Some popping sounds are coming along with certain words. The pop filters cut out such sounds. Pop filters also suppress the hissing sound. These pop filters must be placed between the mouth and the microphone. A microphone stand also must be added to you DJ equipment to free your hands for better control. A good brand of mixer and a USB interface will add to the quality of your podcast considerably. While you go professional you may surely require an office and a recording studio. This will be especially convenient when you start recording and publishing podcasts regularly.

If you want to take up podcasting seriously, go all out for that. You will master it in a short while. Even if you buy some professional equipment, they are not very expensive. There are some really goods brands in the market to choose from. Because of completion and mass production the prices have come down drastically, of late. Podcast studio kits of many reputed manufacturers cost less than £100 per kit. A word of caution is that when you buy the equipment, insist upon some of the better known brands for their quality. While you gain experience you will be able to master the art. Before long you will be a star in podcasting.…

Getting The Best DJ Equipment For Music Events

Even as electronic music services, and cloud-based radio stations, begin to dominate how people listen to music and entertain themselves, nothing can replace the presence of a live DJ at events as diverse as weddings and nightclub celebrations. From psy trance music to electronica, music in events can only be as good as the quality of its sound system. Those DJs need a great deal of equipment in order to accomplish their goal of entertaining and impressing the masses, of course, and those novice DJs who are just getting started in the profession are probably a bit overwhelmed by all of the equipment that they think they’ll need. The list isn’t actually as long as many people think it is, however, with a few basic pieces serving to get the job done much better than an elaborate layout of amps, turntables, multiple laptops, and excessive light bars.

dj equipment

However once you do have the basic equipment, it’s time to master more complex gear to make your music sound great and even make it look visually inviting with laser lighting and effects. DJ Deals is the place in the UK to find the quality basic kit you need and every other essential DJ mixers, amps, controllers, gears, and decks you could imagine. So you could create an epic night, whether it’s in a bar, club or just practicing in your bedroom.

So, What Type of Equipment Does a DJ Need for a Music Event?

The equipment needed for a highly entertaining music event is actually quite basic, and most DJs will have an “oh yeah!” moment when they review the list. Generally speaking, the list of things required for most DJs can be broken down into tools that play music and tools that give that music a bit of life and personality throughout the night. Trusted manufacturers for headphones, microphones, and mixing consoles include Soundcraft, Sennheiser, Sony, and Alto. These high quality equipments are industry standard in the UK. Among those who use them are British voice over artists and producers in London.…

Adding Some Pizzazz: Focusing on the DJ Equipment Lighting

Finally, it’s important for DJs to pick up the right lighting equipment to give their event a bit of excitement while the music plays. While music is certainly the star of the show, the right lights can set the mood with each song, encouraging and elevating the good mood that will keep attendees enjoying the show throughout the night. Light bars, strobe lights, spotlights, and other products, are affordable and exciting ways to give every event just the push it needs to be both memorable and highly enjoyable.

After DJs have ensured that their tunes will be heard, they need to make sure that their night will be remembered. When great music is paired with a fantastic show of lights, there is no doubt that the event will stick in the minds of attendees for quite some time to come. Amplifiers are another crucial piece of the puzzle, ensuring that all of a DJ’s mixes will be properly broadcast to the audience dancing with and enjoying the music. Amps can be purchased in a number of standard wattages, and they’re generally able to be paired up, or daisy-chained, in order to amplify different spaces using different wattages. Beginners in the field should buy a number of amps with moderate power, and combine them when necessary.

Finally, it’s a good idea to ensure that the DJ can be heard as loudly and clearly as the music they’re playing. This is where a great microphone comes in quite handy. With the right microphone, DJs can reduce noise or interference while projecting their voice loudly enough to introduce tracks and encourage the participation of all those in attendance.…

Where Can you Buy DJs Equipment and More

Having a shopping list is only useful when DJs know exactly where to go to fulfil each of their needs. In a world that has shifted squarely to online commerce, rather than offline retailers, finding products online might be the best way to combine the right equipment with an excellent price. In fact, it’s generally easier to get more for the money when pursuing online retailers and wholesalers of DJ equipment, which might be of particular appeal to those who are new to the profession and need to buy a lot of different pieces up front.

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Shopping offline also has its advantages, however, the most notable of which is being able to see, handle, and test products before they’re actually selected. As far as DJing is concerned, this is actually a pretty big benefit. Remember that each speaker sounds a little different from the others, and each light bar or strobe light will project that light in a different way. Being able to see and test those products in advance will ensure greater satisfaction upon purchase.

In all, the best approach is probably to make a robust list of required items, and then set out to see them in person. Compare the best items, and their prices, with those available online. Select the retailer that offers the right product at the best price, and success in the world of life music and entertainment will be easily within reach.…