Tag: Turntable

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.


Club DJ Set Ups Simplified

Classic Battle Set up

These set ups are what may come to the mind of most people when they think of a DJ.    As Beck said “I need two turntables and a microphone.”  Since the introduction of the crossfader DJ’s have been spinning vinyl records to compose dance mixes.   Traditionally found in the roots of early hip-hop performances DJ would play continues loops of dance breaks from popular music genres and blending them together to create totally new mixes. The turntables are often rotaded 90 degrees from the standard turntable in order to consaladate space and help with smoother transitions.

A traditional “battle” set up consists of two turntables usually techniques 1200 series and a 10 inch mixer equipped with a cross fader.    The mixer often incorporated a microphone preamp for an MC to rap over.      DJ turntables are classified by the configuration of their drive motor.   Direct drive turntables have a motor mounted directly under the platter and as a result generate more torque, this is a desired feature for DJs to ensure optimum performance.

The less expensive option for turntables is the belt driven variety where the motor is mounted off to the side and connects to the platter via a rubber belt and pulley system.   Belt driven turntables are considered an entry-level DJ setup and are great for practicing your skills until you invest into a more pro system.

The down side to traditionally spinning vinyl is the impracticality of lugging around crates full of LPs, although despite the inconvenience there is a sect of DJs that swear by the analog craft liken to a photographer who still shoots to film.

In recent years CD players such as the Pioneer CDJ2000 are being used in place of the turn tables but in very similar battle mixer setups but by incorperating the digital source units many more features can be explored.

Controller Based Set ups

Today  Club DJs are more often operating computer based set ups.    The main advantage to this set up is not lugging around your record collection to venues but instead using a Laptop with an external hard drive with virtually every song in audio history a mouse click away.     This gives todays DJ the power to set up an entire show using play lists and preprogrammed cues enabling the performer to seamlessly transition, beat match, and incorporate many other sources into the mix.

The minimum set up consist of a controller,  software, and a computer.    The mixer and turntable functionality are replaced with digital rotary and fader encoders that send MIDI Machine Control (MMC) signals to the software on a computer via USB.

For performance purposes the set up will require an audio interface.   On higher end controllers such as the Numark NS6  the sound card is built into unit itself can be used as a stand alone mixer.

Some of the more entry level controllers may require an external audio interface such as the DJio.    The interface will serve as the computers sound card and all AD and DA conversions of the digital audio will be handled by the interface.    Unfortunately this can lead to some advanced signal routing for the entry level DJ so there is a bit of a learning curve involved with working in the digital realm.


For the real OG DJs out there who still swear by their turn tables but require the easy set up and convenience of a digitally controlled system Serato is the perfect solution.   The system consists of a standard battle pack DJ set up with the addition of a proprietary computer interface as well as two very special vinyl records.

The included records are printed with a timecode very similar to SMPTE time code that has been used in audio production for film and TV for years.    The time coded disks are played like any standard record into the interface,  then the code is interpreted by the software and is used to control the playback of digital music.   All physical manipulation of the turntables and vinyl is synced and reproduced in real-time by the software with virtually zero latency making Serato systems the prefered choice for many of the world’s top DJs.


ION Profile LP Vinyl Turntable

ION PROFILE LP Conversion Turntable

Have a bunch of old vinyl records laying around that you just couldn’t seem to throw away? Well it’s a good thing you still have them, because now you can convert all of those old dusty vinyl records into MP3 form with the Ion Profile LP Turntable Conversion System.

The Ion Audio Profile LP USB Turntable is constructed with a familiar low profile look and with a sleek piano black paint finish. This turntable is designed to convert your old school vinyl records into an MP3, allowing your music to be conveniently transported from venue to venue or for listening at home. The great thing about this product is that when you’re not converting your vinyl records, you can use this turntable as a standard record player. There is also a protective hinged dust cover to keep all your valuable vinyl’s in good shape.

Ion’sProfile LP features a belt driven design with 33 1/3 and 45 RPM settings, just like the turntables all you old school or experienced DJs are used too. It also comes equipped with a high-quality tonearm and cartridge for continuous play with minimal skips, ensuring the high quality performance you’re used to from Ion products. The standard RCA output provide use with normal stereo setups and the integrated USB output provides connection to a computer, which you will need when using the included DJ software. The USB output enables you to capture music from records onto your computer, simply plug it in to your Mac or PC and the audio will be sent via the USB port.

This turntable system includes the very popular Audacity software, this will reduce pops, cracks, and hiss on worn records. EZ vinyl converter software for PC and EZ audio converter software for MAC is also included in this package. These software’s are the simplest way to record and convert vinyl directly to iTunes, a free download version of EZ Vinyl Converter with Gracenote MusicID is included for automatic track naming. These software’s will allow you to listen to songs on vinyl you haven’t heard in years in iTunes or on your iPod.

So break out those Vinyl Records and start converting, this package will provide you everything you need to do so.


Perfect Beginner DJ Turntables – ION Discover ICUE3

ION Discover DJ (ICUE3) Computer DJ System

By David D. – Product Specialist

If you’re just getting started in the DJ game, the turntable systems can sometimes look overwhelming. Don’t let that stand in your way of becoming a successful DJ though; I have the perfect solution for you. The ION Discover ICUE3 DJ Turntable system is perfect for entry level DJs and those just learning how to mix. This system is fully compatible with your PC or Mac and includes everything you need to start DJing right from your computer. All you need is Windows XP/Vista for PC or Mac OS X for MAC to turn your computer into a mixing station.

The built-in plug-n-play USB connection allows you to conveniently hook it up straight to your computer, which means no drivers or power adapters needed, while the included Mix Vibes DJ Software allows you to record and edit all of your mixes. Don’t worry about not having songs to mix, this system is fully compatible with your iTunes music library, allowing you to mix and edit all your favorite jams.

ION’s ICUE3 system has dual touch-sensitive 6” jog wheels that are very smooth running and provide you with a natural scratch feel. When the “scratch mode” feature is turned on, they operate just like a real turntable, if “scratch mode” is off, the jog wheel will pitch bend. The bass and treble controls let you easily tune your sound to perfection; the looping feature allows you to extend the mix by repeating your favorite parts. Enhance your mixes with the built-in crossfader, this lets you mix between sounds while the fully adjustable tempos allow you to match songs. The large front panel pitch, volume, treble, and bass controls are easy-to-read and operate while the sync, reverse, cue, and play/pause buttons light up when in use.
So bottom line, if you’re a beginner looking for an affordable turntable system, or just want to have a little fun mixing your favorite jams on your free time, I highly suggest this ION Discover DJ System.