You’re set! You’ve got all the right DJ equipment, you’re motivated and inspired by your idols, and you are ready to set sail on your journey as a disk jockey. But wait, how do you use these turntables anyway? If this is where you are stuck at the moment, here is my attempt to help get you on the right track.
In general, there are two different types of turntables that DJs use. One set of turntables have a “belt drive.” Belt drive tables tend to be inexpensive and specifically for beginners, because there is only so much that you can due past the initial stages with a belt drive deck. The turntable plate on a belt drive component is connected to a motor with a flexible belt, so when you actually touch the record when mixing the belt slips and the platter stops. These types of turntables are reasonable for basic mixing, but are never going to be appropriate for scratching (where a DJ is handling the record constantly).
The second type of turntable has a direct drive deck that attaches the motor directly to the platter. This creates the drives strength, called torque, better. The quality of the turntable with a drive deck is going to be dependent to the price you pay for it. The price of the deck goes up as does the price of the motor and for that reason the torque gets higher. As a beginner you’ll most likely use a deck with a torque of about 1 kg/cm, a mid-range deck is between 1 and 2 kg/cm, and the top of the range model offer torque from 2 to 4.5 kg/cm.
Now if you are still looking to purchase some equipment and you are on a budget, you may want to keep in mind that it may be more effective if you place more of your budget towards a better deck and less on a mixer. It is very likely that as time goes by you will grow out of whatever mixer you first purchase and will soon upgrade to another. But, if you start out with a good set of turntables, you won’t have to worry much about any upgrades later on since they will most likely last for a good amount of time.