Recently I’ve been able to have the awesome opportunity to work and learn about a lot of DJ equipment that we have available at Sonic Electronix. Throughout this time period I have definitely learned a thing or two about how certain levels of DJs should pick out the equipment they work with depending on the skill level they are currently at. When looking at mixers, you have to first consider what kind of DJ you would like to be, what kind of music you would like to play, and most importantly how far you see yourself going with it. There are tons of DJ mixers to choose from and at times it may be confusing to understand what exactly the right choice is for you.
As a DJ, you need to decide how many channels you want to mix. For most DJs starting out or even with a few years of experience, a two-channel mixer that has phono inputs, line inputs, and microphone inputs like the Numark M101 should be suffice. But once again, depending on the level you want to eventually become as a DJ should be highly considered when purchasing any mixer or equipment of the sort.
Things you also want to consider when look at mixers are for a high quality crossfader that can withstand lengthy usage. The crossfader is a sliding control on the mixing board that permits the DJ to transfer the audio output from one source to another, hence the term “mixing.” Ideal crossfaders should be able to operate for a long time without losing their sound clarity. You can tell when a crossfader starts to not work so well because it will begin break up the sound when mixing.
Another important factor to look at are for the mixers line switches and EQ controls. The line switch of each channel on the mixer should be reliable and replaceable. You will want the switches to be 8-way adjustable, meaning that you will be able to move the switch in a way that is easy for you to control at your preference. The EQ controls on a mixer provide the DJ filtering of differing frequencies. When picking an EQ control, you want to make sure the controls are comfortable and compatible with the style you intend to mix as a DJ. There are two options to choose from, either an EQ knob or an EQ slider.
Last but not least, you also want to take a look at cue control. Cue control basically allows a DJ to listen to something they intend to mix into their music through their headphones before they actually mix it in, while playing something else through the sound system. As a DJ, you definitely make sure that the controls allow you to listen to your new mix in your headphones before it is displayed to the master output. There are many factors for this, but mainly good cue controls will get rid of any type of sound delay that is initiated by the distance between the speakers and yourself.
To put it simply, unless you’re independently well off, you should probably aim for some of the lower priced DJ gear. Try to do a lot with a little, and see how far your motivation takes you. If you find that your motivation has taken you to the boundaries of your gears’ capabilities, then you know it’s time to upgrade. Frankly, I think that it tends to be overwhelming if you’re presented with too many features and options right off the bat, thus you’re liable to lose focus and/or interest. Of course, not everyone is like that, so you just need to make that decision for yourself. The rest of this article will be for people who, figuratively speaking, want to learn to crawl before they learn to run marathons.
Unless you’re planning on bringing your own PA system and lights to the places you play, you’ll be fine to start off with a DJ controller, some software and some headphones. First and foremost, when you do a net search for DJ controllers and you come up with a decent list, be sure to sort the list by price from lowest to highest so it’s easier to see what’s available in your price range (one of the greatest features of internet shopping, in my opinion). One of the cheapest yet reputable DJ controllers I know of is the Numark DJ 2 Go. Currently priced around $50-$70, the DJ 2 Go not only carries the well-known and respected Numark name, but also comes with Virtual DJ LE and is pre-mapped to work perfectly with the software. It features two platters, a crossfader, pitch and level controls and sync buttons among a number of other beneficial things.
Or, if you want something a little different, you could consider the ION Discover DJ which is currently priced around $60-$80. The Discover DJ controller has pitch and level controls like the DJ 2 Go, but also features bass and treble controls, platters that are double the size, and the Discover DJ offers you the ability to “scratch,” like you were using vinyl. It comes with MixVibes CROSS LE software which is also pre-mapped to the controller.
The software you should choose is really a matter of preference, but again, don’t aim too high when you first start out lest you get overwhelmed and lose interest. If learning all about your controller and software seems daunting, take it down a notch or two and work your way up.
The Pioneer HDJ-1000K is one of the most popular DJ headphones on the market
As far as headphones go, you really should get a pair that’s comfortable, closed-back, and that has a ¼” plug. Ideally, you’ll also want to go for good-looking headphones (as DJing does have an element of image to it), and you’ll want ones with swiveling ear cups so you can monitor both the mix that the audience is hearing, and the next track you’re cueing up. Beyond those essential components, the DJing world is vast and full of loads of different types of gear, all with their individual pros and cons. Do your research, read reviews, even try the gear out (if you’re fortunate enough to have the opportunity), and your DJing career will expand and evolve in lots of exciting ways.
The PM-21 comes with everything you need to get up and running, including a comprehensive, step-by-step guide that leads you all the way through to hosting your podcast on Podbean.com
This digital, social networking age in which we live has granted us the ability to communicate with each other through a broad variety of mediums. However, since nearly everyone has access to these mediums, now we’re faced with sifting through oceans of piffle to find worthwhile and/or intellectually stimulating content, especially on Twitter and Facebook. With Technical Pro’s PM-21, one faces the question “why not create your own?” Why not, indeed.
Now on sale at Sonic Electronix!
In this blogger’s opinion, one of the most thoroughly exciting things about being human, nay about being alive, is our boundless capacity to create. Unfortunately, it seems that many of us forget that due to a wide variety of reasons, but with this all-inclusive podcast mixer kit, you can rediscover your creative voice with greater ease than ever before. As stated in the picture caption above, Technical Pro’s PM-21 comes with a comprehensive, step-by-step guide that leads you from the installation of the software, to the connection and proper setup of all components, to the actual audio recording process and finally through to setting up a free podcast hosting account on Podbean.com
You'll find you won't need to compromise very much desk space at all with the PM-21's delightfully compact mixer.
If you’ll permit me to get a little “Technical,” I should mention here that this mixer has two gold-plated 1/4″ microphone inputs and two 1/8″ headphone outputs, making it an ideal solution for any talkshow podcast, or any podcast that might feature guests from time to time. The kit also includes a male-to-male 1/8″ cable and the mixer has a standard 1/8″ input, making it fantastically simple to connect in your iPod, iPad, iPhone or any other personal media device and add music to your podcast. You can even fine tune the bass and treble of each input to make your podcast as crisp and professional as possible.
Now, certainly there are countless ways to get yourself properly set up for podcasting. However, I dare say it would be quite difficult to find a collection of quality components like these at the price we’re offering right now. This kit spectacularly defies that negative old adage, “you get what you pay for,” also. If you have something important to say, the Technical Pro PM-21 Podcast Mixer Kit will help you say it well and will help you be heard by audiences all over the world. Inspiring all-in-one packages like these don’t come around very often, so be sure to pick yours up soon before they’re gone!
To celebrate Audio-Technica’s 50th Anniversary, A-T has introduced a special limited edition ATH-M50s/LE Anniversary Headphone in a silver-colored metallic finish.
Showcased at the Winter 2012 NAMM show, the ATH-M50s/LE headphones clearly show that Audio-Technica has outdone themselves. This limited edition offering from Audio-Technica’s impressive line of 50th anniversary products boasts a remarkably broad and transparent frequency response range and luxurious ear cushioning that ensure a comfortable fit, especially over long mixing/recording sessions.
It’s apparent that Audio-Technica designed these beauties for professional mixing and monitoring due to the closed-back cushioned earcup design, which creates a superb seal and a true sense of immersion. These special headphones are also conveniently collapsible for portability and can be stored in the included protective pouch. For the DJs reading this out there, you’ll be happy to know that the circumaural ear pieces easily swivel 180° for efficient single-ear monitoring and offer a firm seal for the necessary amount of environmental isolation. The ATH-M50s/LE also utilize a straight cable that connects to the left earpiece that terminates with a gold-plated mini-plug (or with the included screw-on ¼” adapter plug).
The ATH-M50s/LE headphones come with Audio-Technica’s sophisticated and proprietary 45mm large-aperture driver technology and stellar-quality components that deliver exceptional power handling and high SPL capabilities while maintaining sound clarity that puts crystals to shame throughout the audible frequency spectrum. With punchy bass that would knock out Mike Tyson and high-end sure to make you quiver, these headphones feature neodymium magnet systems in their drivers for super-efficient signal transfer. Finally, these headphones are available in black color with coiled cable (ATH-M50), white color with coiled cable (ATH-M50WH), and black color with straight cable (ATH-M50s).
Sonic Electronix was at the NAMM show, and here’s just a bit of what we saw:
Special 50th anniversary edition with stunning traditional urushi lacquer finish, hand-painted Japanese maple leaves, etched-on serial number, and carefully crafted wooden carrying case
Did you hear that guy say that those microphones were hand-painted with a mouse hair brush? How awesome is that?! Anyway, even beyond its aesthetic appeal, it’s quite an impressive microphone. It’s got a dual-diaphragm capsule, three switchable polar patterns and transformerless circuitry that almost completely eliminates low-frequency distortion.
Special 50th anniversary edition in silver-colored metallic finish
This pair of headphones, while not hand-painted with a mouse hair brush, is another pretty sweet offering from Audio-Technica for their 50th anniversary. They’re collapsible and include a carrying pouch for easy transportation, they boast a frequency response of 15 – 28,000 Hz (8,000 Hz above the range of human hearing – perfect if Fido wants to listen to his favorite doggie tunes on his next walk) and proprietary 45 mm large-aperture drivers with neodymium magnets. Worth every penny, if you ask me.
Keep an eye out for more Audio-Technica gear coming soon to your favorite audio gear e-tailer, Sonic Electronix!
This next video is of the amazing Reactable – an electronic instrument that uses numerous sound generation and manipulation modules to create music in a way that, as far as I know, is completely unique:
As stated in the video description, for those of us who don’t have the luxury to decide between buying a brand new car or buying an awesome new instrument such as The Reactable, there’s a delightful alternative: a Reactable app that’s available on both the Apple App Store and the Android Market. Check out http://www.reactable.com for more information.
Also, be sure to check out SonicTV on YouTube for more informative and fascinating videos of products to come!