Tag: Professional DJ

How to Choose DJ Equipment Based On Your Skill Level

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.

Numark DJ 2 GoUnless 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.
ION Discover-DJOr, 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.

Pioneer HDJ-1000K

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.

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The Pioneer CDJ2000 Vs. The Pioneer CDJ900


Visually these two units are virtually the same as they have the same footprint, transport controls, and layout of the features and buttons.  The first difference that you may notice in a side to side comparison is the beautiful organic LED illuminated screen of the CDJ2000 with adjustable brightness and animation  as well as the illuminated rings around the play pause buttons just the lights off of this media player is a show in itself.  The CDJ900 LCD screen is no slouch by any means as it displays more information that any previous CDJ model.

There is a slight difference in the illumination of the jog wheels.  The CDJ900’s Jog wheels have a really nice feel but the CDJ2000 has a tension adjustment for supper slick touch and feel or you can really put the brakes on for some precision scratching.

The CDJ2000 features a hot loops section where your selected loops can be stored and recalled at the push of a button. Loop and cue points can even be saved to an SD card.  This is opposed to the CDJ900’s auto beat loop section which will cue up any of 8 looping modes using the four auto loop keys in conjunction with shift key.

Something that the CDJ900 features that the CDJ2000 does not is the slip feature.   This powerful little button allows you to manipulate the jog wheel to cue and scratch but will return to the beat and song point as if you had not engaged the jog wheel instantly as you let go.  A particularly wonderful feature for DJs who play more mature themed songs at youth oriented functions such as school dances.

The CDJ2000 features and adjustable break speed as well as release speed so you can manipulate start and stop impulse times. The CDJ900 only has fixed corresponding vinyl speed adjustment, meaning that if you stop slow, you start slow and vice versa.

The features of the CDJ2000 may overshadow the lower priced CDJ900 although that’s not to say that the CDJ900 is not an incredible machine.  If the CDJ2000 is a fighter jet then the CDJ900 is the world’s greatest stunt plane.

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