How To Use Your New DJ Equipment – 5 Tips

Practice now...avoid disaster later!


You have finally made the decision to upgrade your DJ equipment. After spending hours looking online and reading tons of equipment reviews you decided on a brand and forked over your hard earned cash. Now what?

You open up the box and install the software, assuming this equipment is pretty much the same as your old DJ hardware. But once all the bells, whistles and lights come on…you realize you have no idea where to begin. This happens to the best of us. We have spent years with a beloved DJ controller or particular brand of software and are reluctant to learn something new. But brands go out of business or start to produce less than stellar equipment and…we must.

So today we’re going to talk about some surefire ways to help you get used to your new DJ equipment.

Read The Instructions

I know you’re thinking to yourself no duh, but you’d be surprised how many DJs simply remove their new hardware from the box, plug it in and expect them to be “pretty much the same”. But DJ hardware isn’t created equally. It isn’t like a VCR (remember those?!?!); where the buttons may be in different locations but for the most part…are the same.

DJ equipment manufacturers are feeling more pressure than ever to make their gear stand out among the rest. So they make certain buttons bigger while others take a background role for the sake of aesthetics. Before you even hook up your DJ gear, read through all of in the instructions one time. This won’t be your last time but it’s a comprehension trick so that you won’t have to keep referring to those instructions six months from now.

Familiarize The Layout

The next step in learning how to use your new DJ equipment is familiarizing yourself with the hardware layout. This is an incredibly important step because in the dark of a DJ booth or party you won’t be able to get up close and personal to look at each button, knob and jogwheel. Your hands will have to act as your eyes, which means you need to be able to intuitively know which button does what.

Look at every single item on your DJ equipment. Don’t simply go for the bright and shiny LED-lit buttons. Don’t only look for the features you use most frequently. Instead take your time and get to know where every button and knob is located and what each one does. This might be a good time to take a look at the instructions again. They will tell you what those unfamiliar keys do so you can test them out and acquaint yourself with the machine.

Now let the fun begin!

Play Around

The time has come for you to have some fun with your new DJ equipment. It has been connected and it’s lighting up enough to tempt you to do your worst, so go ahead and do it.

Start on the set list for your last gig and see how well you do. You’ve tested out the layout and you feel (mostly) confident that you know what you’re doing. But I just want to say that no matter how comfortable you feel with the machine, give yourself a few good hours of practice. Trust me when I tell you that even if the first run through goes smooth, it may not on the second or third time around.

Practice doing everything on your new DJ equipment that you did on your old machine. If you don’t do it at the beginning you will waste time you don’t have later, to make up for it.


Gig A Low-key Party

You don’t want to DJ new hardware at a big, important gig. You want to be sure you know what you’re doing when there is a big paying audience on the dance floor and behind the bar. So my advice is to do your first live test some place where there isn’t a ton of pressure on you, but there is an audience that will be vocal about their pleasure or displeasure.

Take up your friend’s offer to DJ a housewarming party or accept that low-paying gig at the local watering hole. You’re already getting regular gigs so the point here isn’t about the money or the prestige; it is about making sure you know everything there is to know about your new DJ equipment.

If it craps out during your set, will you know how to fix it on the fly? Do you know how to adjust controls without the bright lights of your home office? If you’re sure now, take that low-key gig just to make sure.

Re-read Instructions

After you have (hopefully) aced that low-key gig I want you to do another read through of the instructions. Pick up any last minute troubleshooting tips to help you in case disaster strikes on your next gig.

This will likely be your DJ equipment for the next few years so make sure you not only know the equipment but that you feel comfortable using it and fixing it when glitches occur.

I hope I helped you learn how to use your DJ equipment. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!

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