What is the digital DJ equipment?
To be a digital DJ, you can use a very smart piece of gear generally called the DJ controller or console that plugs into your laptop.
It combines 2 decks and a mixer all in one and allows you to play digital (MP3, wave, wma, flac) directly from your Mac or PC.
It works with an advanced software which analyses your tracks, helps you cue them up and allows you to simulate real vinyl and CD decks.
Many of them have a built in range of sound effects and advanced tools making it easier for you not only to mix, but to easily find, loop and even remix on the fly to some extent.
For more info on how this digital DJ equipment works and a demo, see here.
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So why not be a PC DJ and just use a laptop on its own?
Some of the new digital DJ equipment breed just use a laptop to mix.
Typically, this could be a guy on a low budget, who’s never DJed before, blagging his way to gigs with a cracked version of a mixing software on a PC.
Did I mention, he’s got a ton of MP3s copied from other DJs playlists and downloaded from “somewhere” on the Internet?
These guys generally can get a few gigs thanks to their smart promotion tricks and sit smugly behind their PCs, mixing with a mouse.
The image isn’t a great one. What people see is a chancer who’s trying to be cool and who’s DJing to try to get money and girls by preening around and using his mouse to mix. Now I know not everyone who uses a laptop on his or her own is like this, but I do think it’s much better to use a controller.
With one, you’ll be what I refer to as a mouse DJ. My advice?
Don’t become one of these guys. They tend not to last too long.
If you want real gigs, a name for yourself and above all some respect then invest some of your cash and get a decent controller at least.
Mastering the gear and learning the basics of mixing, even if it is assisted by BPM counters and wave forms will get you some credit.
Some vinyl DJs may still look down their noses at you but more about that later.
Seeing a cheapskate in the booth on a PC and cracked software with little else sends out a message that this guy is a fake imposter.
That’s why you should get yourself some real gear.
Being ready to doll out a few hundred on a controller sets you apart from the mouse DJs.
See why MP3 can be both good and bad for DJs
What DJ controllers are recommended?
I’d like to recommend you 3 different models of USB controller.
This should correspond to your budget. I can’t control what budget you have, but I can suggest that you always invest more in your gear.
Why? Because I know that if you buy a cheap controller, you’ll end up buying a better one later on down the road. The total cost is of course, higher than if you’d invested more at the start.
In addition to this, no one wants to be seen with a plastic toy in a club. If you’re passionate about becoming a digital DJ, then you should splash out some more.
Recommendations for digital DJ equipment
Low budget or entry level
I’ve found 3 controllers for you if you don’t have much cash to spare.
To see more about them, go here.
Mid range level
If cash is loose and flowing freely around you, and you can splash plenty then this is the place to be.
Using CDs or vinyl with MP3s. Is this still digital?
It’s still possible to mix using digital music and keep on using vinyls or CDS.
This means that you (according to some people) still look cooler.
Whether you do or not is a matter of opinion.
If you like using CDs or vinyls to mix but you want to make the most of the convenience MP3 or digital DJing offers then you still can.
By using timecoded vinyl or CD to mix.
So what are the advantages of digital DJing?
Deciding how to approach DJing is important. Is mixing with MP3s looked down on with disdain in the dubstep and d’n’b world?
Let’s say you fit in better with vinyls.
But mixing with MP3s is more acceptable in other environments.
It’s an important decision to make for you. So I wrote another article to help you decide if having digital DJ equipment is really for you.