How to Pick DJ Equipment Like a Pro
The path to going pro as a DJ is fraught with all manner of major decisions.
14:55 09 January 2020
One of which being the DJ equipment you plan on using to get you where you want to be.
DJ mixers, DJ controllers, DJ decks and so on - there’s no shortage of gear to check out. Likewise, there’s also the option of DJ finance to spread the costs, which could mean shopping around to get a good deal.
On the plus side, there are a few tips and tricks that can simplify the process of setting yourself up with the right gear. If you want to pick DJ equipment like a pro, it makes sense to heed the advice of the pros.
Here’s how those in the know choose the right gear to get the job done:
Rule 1: Choose Your Medium
Roughly translated, you’ll need to decide ahead of time whether you intend to be a digital DJ - primarily or exclusively. There are pros and cons to traditional and digital DJing alike, but the latter can be exponentially more convenient and cost effective. That said, you’ll still need to set your sights on suitably premium digital DJ hardware, if you expect to be taken seriously.
Rule 2: Invest in Quality Software
If you intend to go digital, the software you choose is every bit as important as the hardware you work with. There’s a reason why some premium DJ software packages attach equally premium price tags. Just as there’s a good reason why some are practically given away for free. Irrespective of whether you have major life performances or studio recordings in mind, software can and will make a big difference.
Rule 3: Buy High-End Headphones
The two things that matter most when buying headphones are sound quality and comfort. They need to be easy to adjust, comfortable to wear for long periods of time and of sufficient quality to be heard above the noise of a busy club or venue. Try not to make the mistake of choosing headphones based on aesthetics alone - quality, comfort and performance are far more important. Luckily, an outstanding pair of headphones from a major DJ brand can be picked up these days for a little over £100.
Rule 4: Buy Your Own FX Gear
When starting out, it’s fine to rely on the basic lighting and effects gear of the venues you play. If you intend to go pro, you need to start thinking about lights, lasers and effects that are yours and your alone. Customising visual FX to accent and enhance your music can bring an entirely new dynamic to your live performances. They’re also surprisingly easy to use and nowhere near as expensive as you might think.
Rule 5: Consider Buying a PA
Last but not least, wedding DJs, house party DJs and mobile DJs in general often sell themselves short by failing to buy their own PA. This is because each time you plug into someone else’s PA, you put yourself at the mercy of its quality and performance. If you’re not performing at major clubs and venues with cutting-edge house PA systems, consider investing in your own PA to ensure total consistency when performing live.