DJ Equipment

Being a DJ has evolved over the last 30 years and it continues to evolve. It is a recognised and respected profession with DJs headlining music festivals, being integral members of bands and taking greater leaps into the field of original music production. Now we are even seeing a lot of "traditional" musicians treading the path in the opposite direction and supplementing their careers by getting behind the decks when they aren't out touring with their band.

But even with the evolution, the basics still remain the same. It's the ability to mix between different musical tracks, to create a soundtrack or musical journey for entertainment. To do this in the more traditional manner you will need a couple of turntables, or CD players, and a mixer. The basic idea is that while playing a track on one turntable you cue up the next track on the other turntable. You can adjust the pitch and match the beat to the track you are playing and when you are ready you cross-fade over to the new track. When you have mastered the basics of mixing then your journey becomes reading your audience, track selection and more advanced mixing techniques. The better you can piece this all together, the better the musical journey for your audience.

With digital music files and MP3 becoming so prevalent there is a lot of new equipment available to DJs. But if you are serious about learning to be a DJ you will still have to cut your teeth on (and be able to use) the traditional instruments of the DJ. A lot of DJs like the traditional feel of the turntable and the analogue "warmth" that a record needle on vinyl gives the music. Others prefer to go down the path of the CD player as it is easier to transport more music and with the FX now available with some tabletop CD players it is possible to emulate the "scratching" of the needle on the record.

The future of DJ’ing will be the DJ with a laptop full of music working with music software and a digital controller and/or interface but they will still need to understand the traditional forms of DJ'ing first.

At this point we should also give a word of warning about digital music files and playing MP3 through a medium to large sized sound system. While the temptation will be to convert your music at lower bit rates so you can store more files on your CD, laptop or MP3 player, it will sound thin and noticeably compressed when playing it back through a professional sound system.

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