DJ Equipment; A Buyer's Guide

DJ Equipment; A Buyer's Guide
by Tom Pretty

Buying the right DJ equipment can be a difficult and laborious process. There is a myriad of different options out there for budding young DJs who hope to achieve the heady heights of playing in front of thousands of people, all waiting for the next tune and the drop of a beat. The purchasing of DJ equipment revolves around three major elements, the turntables, the mixer and the headphones. Each of these elements are vitally important and essential if you want to mix tunes together seamlessly.

When choosing turntables there are two ways to create music mixes; typically DJs either choose to utilise traditional turntables that play vinyl and the more modern CD turntables that are gradually growing in popularity. Each of these options has various advantages and disadvantages that will be discussed below.

CD turntables have a number of advantages. They will not skip as records do, also the DJ can program a start point for the track in advance meaning that with the press of a button the track starts exactly when it is needed. Another benefit is that DJs can burn their own CDs meaning that the obtaining of tracks can be far cheaper than purchasing vinyl tracks one by one. CDs are also smaller and hence easier to transport. In terms of disadvantages, CD mixers are one of the more expensive forms of DJ equipment and most professionals feel that the sound and feel of vinyl is superior.

Vinyl on the other hand is regarded by most to be the true way to DJ, with a hands-on a approach that allows DJs to "feel" the music. Also, turntables are typically a cheaper option. However vinyl is quite large and can be difficult to transport around and needles must be purchased creating additional costs. Even with these downsides however, vinyl is still a more tactile medium that requires the DJ to have a light touch and more technical skill at mixing and matching beats.

Mixers are vitally important, providing the DJ with control over each turntable and how the music playing from each turntable is mixed. Mixers are a varied form of DJ equipment and range in price spectacularly. Typically the more expensive mixers have more features providing volume control, control over the tone and providing the DJ with a range of different sound effects. When buying your first pieces of DJ equipment it is usually worth purchasing a more basic model until your skill level demands a more feature packed option.

Headphones are selected along the lines of comfort more than anything else. Sound quality is of course vitally important but when purchasing your first set of headphones although it is advisable to find a pair that sit on your head comfortably during long sessions.

Hopefully this article has provided some important information to those buying DJ equipment. As with anything it is worth studying and researching the options before parting with your proverbial hard earned. With such an array of DJ equipment out there, lengthy research and a conscientious approach should result in finding the perfect set up.

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