If you have dreams of wearing specialty headphones and performing in front of a club full of people, then you’ve probably thought about what you need to get started as a DJ. But before you can even consider the song line up for your first gig you have to make sure you have a proper DJ set.
The most difficult part of finding the right DJ set for beginners is cost. DJ equipment can be expensive and even more so if you have no idea what equipment is essential for a beginner. As a DJ I can tell you: there are always pieces of hardware or software that you just have to have, but as a beginner it’s important you separate what you want from what you need.
Today, let’s talk about basic equipment for a beginner DJ set.
New vs. Used
If you’ve never done anything remotely close to DJing then you have a lot to learn. You may have to find live or online DJ classes in order to learn the basic skills of DJing. If that’s you then you can get away—for awhile—with learning on used equipment. As long as the equipment works properly you can learn everything you need to start DJing quickly.
Obviously new equipment is optimal because you will have a warranty for faulty equipment and the peace of mind that comes with knowing there are no hidden problems with your equipment.
But at the end of day it is important that you have the DJ equipment you need so a combination of new and used equipment might be the right choice for you.
Since it requires a lot less set up work you will probably want to enter the world as a digital DJ, which means your beginner set must include a laptop. Finding the best DJ laptop for you will mean looking at a variety of factors including: price, memory, multiple USB ports, stable power cord and multi-screen capability.
Mac laptops are more stable but they are also more expensive than PCs but that is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.
You’ll need a DJ laptop first so you know what type of software and hardware to accompany it. This is the first buy for your beginner DJ set.
You’ll need more than ear buds if you want to work as a DJ. DJ headphones aren’t just a way for you to hear the music; they are the way that you prep the next song and make sure everything is in working order before it gets to the crowd. If there are glitches with a track or transition, you want to know before the crowd does so you can correct it.
The headphones you choose should be comfortable because you’ll be wearing them for hours on end, but they must also provide a buffer from the noise of a club or reception hall. You want to hear clearly what is coming through the headphones because they will allow you to keep the party going without problems.
The beginner DJ set should also include some type of software to help you maximize your DJ performance. There are plenty of software platforms available ranging from free to several hundred dollars, so you should try a few different ones to see what works for you.
Make sure the software is compatible with your operating system and more importantly, make sure the software program can work on your computer without slowing it down.
Once you have your DJ laptop and headphones the other major piece of hardware you’ll need is a DJ controller. There are tons of different controllers on the market for beginners, recreational DJs and pros. They run the gamut from basic features to very intricate bells and whistles that allow precise control and can fully enhance any DJ performance.
Before you invest in a DJ controller you should take a few DJ classes so you have an idea of what features are essential in a controller. Going in blind can cost you more money than you have or need to spend.
Whether or not speakers are proper for a beginner DJ set is an issue of controversy between DJs. Some DJs will tell you that speakers are an unnecessary investment—but I guarantee that those DJs have regular gigs and probably studio access so they don’t need them.
If you want to hear what your mixes sound like before you ever get to a club, bar, reception hall or gym you’ll need speakers. Of course you can learn a lot with a good pair of headphones but nothing will help more than hearing a track for yourself—blaring through a nice set of speakers.
If you already have a solid set of speakers you may not need to invest right away, but as you get closer to your first gig—whatever it may be—you should learn as much as you can about what speakers are right for your current DJ set up.
These are the basic pieces of equipment you’ll need as you start DJing. As you grow as a skilled DJ you may need to upgrade or add more, but worry about that when the time comes.
I hope I helped you get the perfect beginner DJ set up. 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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