In this age of technology, when anybody can be a DJ, much of the difference between a professional and an amateur, is in the equipment used by them. Professional party DJs use turntables, advanced music players, mixers, headphones, and other such equipment to create an atmosphere that is just right for the occasion.
Below are pieces of equipment every DJ worth his gig must have:
Having headphones is a must for any DJ, and having a good pair can drastically improve your executions. They are primarily used for cueing, allowing you to listen to the audition tracks without having to play them through the main speakers for the crowd to hear.
Which type of headphones should you buy? Technically, any type of headphones will do the job, but it really depends on how much you are willing to spend. Some of the most popular brands out there include Sennheiser, Pionner and Sony. We won’t tell you which model to buy specifically, but there are certain features you will want to focus on.
Isolation – The main purpose of using headphones is to isolate the music from the main speakers. You will want headphones with a closed back to help with that as well as a loud, crisp sound. Read reviews and test out different headphones to see which one will work the best.
Comfort – Since the headphones will be either around your neck or on your head for a long period of time, you’ll want something comfortable. If it starts becoming bothersome, it can affect your mixing and overall performance.
Cable length – Make sure the headphone cable is long enough since you will be moving around when DJ-ing. At the same time, you don’t want it too long where it will get in your way or tangled on something.
Durable – Having a solid, well-built pair will benefit you in the long run. Headphones take quite a beating since they are constantly in your bag, on your head and around your neck. They tend to fall on the floor once in a while also, so it can be worth it to spend a little more money on good headphones.
What separates a good DJ from a mediocre one is his or her ability to mix songs appropriately. A DJ set should flow seamlessly from one song to the next, without the audience noticing any severe disruptions or silent pauses between songs. This is where the mixer enters the picture. If the DJs budget allows it, a mixer can come with an almost endless number of features.
The battle between the analogue and the digital player is forever but since there is no right or wrong in the world of DJing, everyone, from a professional DJs to amateurs can choose between the two. Most old-schoolers still prefer the vinyl players whereas the more modern DJs like to use digital equipment like MP3 file, laptops, and portable music players.
There are different types of DJing software out there, and it’s difficult to recommend one over the other. The two main players are Traktor and Virtual DJ. While they generally do the same thing, certain DJs have a preference towards one over the other. Our advice is to try out the free trial versions of both and then determine which one you like the best before purchasing it.
CASES AND GIG BAGS
DJing involves a lot of travelling from one venue to the next, and in order to keep one’s equipment and gear in working condition, it is important to have protective cases when on the road. The amateur DJ who only works occasionally and rarely travels far from home may get on just fine with a set of gig bags that protect the equipment from bumps and scratches. A DJ who travels a lot to venues scattered over a large geographical area, may find it worthwhile to get hard cases. Hard cases are designed specifically to protect musical gear from being damaged on tour, where the equipment is usually carried back and forth under hard time pressure, and in all kinds of weather. Cases and bags are available in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges.
Unlike gaming and video editing computers, DJing laptops are not nearly as demanding against today’s specs. The only thing the computer needs to do basically is be able to run the DJing software efficiently. It is safe to say that most of the new laptops out on the market will meet the needs of DJing, whether it’s a PC or a Mac. The minimum computer specs are 2GB of RAM, about 25GB of hard drive space, a processor with Core 2 duo or better, and a couple USB connections. With that said, there are some specs you will want to pay more attention to if you decide to purchase a new laptop. Otherwise, you can probably get away with using the one you currently have.