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DJ Equipment

The variety of DJ equipment available can suit the needs of just about anyone. You can customize your DJ gear to fit your style.

What do you need to get started as a DJ?

There are two basic parts to DJ gear: The first part controls the music, and the second part amplifies the music. With vinyl, a turntable/mixer combination controls the music. In a digital system, that work is done by DJ software and made easier by a DJ controller. The second part includes the speakers and amplifier or PA system. You'll also need a microphone to interact with the crowd and headphones for cueing up tracks. Basic components include:

  • Software
  • Controller
  • Microphone
  • Headphones
  • Sound system
What does DJ software do?

DJ software controls the digital music files, allowing you to organize and cue songs as you DJ. Most programs emulate the turntable-and-mixer setup of a vinyl DJ system. Software can also allow you to customize songs by setting the intro and fadeout and adjusting the speed or beats per minute. Depending on the complexity of the software, you may also be able to create custom lists and loops. There are many brands of software to choose from, including:

  • PCDJ
  • Serato DJ
  • Traktor
  • PCDJ
  • Mixxx
What is a DJ controller?

A DJ controller is DJ gear that provides a physical interface with DJ software. It connects to a computer, and it allows you to control digital files in an intuitive manner with controls that emulate a turntable. It functions much like turntables and a mixer, but it uses digital files instead of vinyl. Most controllers include connections for microphones and headphones and can eliminate the need for some other DJ gear, like mixers. DJ controller brands include

  • Numark
  • Pioneer
  • Serato
  • Roland
  • Denon
Do software and controllers have to be the same brand?

Most DJ programs will support a variety of controllers from many DJ-gear manufacturers. Classic equipment brands like Numark and Stanton make DJ controllers that work with a variety of other brands. Numark was the mixer brand to have in the days of vinyl. Pioneer makes DJ controllers specifically designed for certain programs, like Serato DJ. You can choose the style and size of the controller that fits in best with your DJ gear and have multiple controllers for different types of events.

Is a DJ mixer required gear?

Most software and DJ controllers include basic DJ-mixer functionality to control the digital files on a computer as well as to control headphones and microphones. If your DJ gear includes multiple mics and external inputs, you may want to make a DJ mixer a part of your gear.

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