Cables for DJing

Cables for DJing

This post explains five cables you’re bound to need for your DJ set up: where they’ve come from and what they’re used for.

3.5mm TRS Cable

Where it gets its name from:

It’s 3.5mm in diameter and has a (T)Tip, (R)Ring, and a (S)Sleeve.

What it’s commonly used for:

The 3.5mm TRS Cable will slot into most phones and computers. You can connect your phone or computer to the input or output on your mixer via an RCA to 3.5mm TRS Cable. This will allow you to either play music from your phone/computer through a channel on your mixer or to record the output of a set that you play on your DJ set up through your computer.

Almost all headphones have a 3.5mm TRS cable but your mixer fits a 1/4″ TS. You can connect your 3.5mm headphone cable to your mixer with a 1/4″ TS Adaptor Jack. You can also get a cool adapter for your headphones that is an absolute godsend if you’re playing a back to back set with another person. This Dual Adapter allows you to plug two sets of headphones into the mixer at the same time. This way you can both listen to what’s going on through your headphones and you don’t have to fuss around with plugging in and out as you swap over during your set.

1/4″ TS Cable

Where it gets its name from:

It’s a 1/4 inch in diameter and has a (T)Tip and a (S)Sleeve.

What it’s commonly used for:

As mentioned above, the 1/4″ TS Cable will connect your mixer to your headphones, or you’ll need the relevant adapter if your headphones have a 3.5mm cable. Use a 1/4″ TS Cable to connect the outputs on your mixer to your speakers, or to an external soundcard. The TS Cable is unbalanced, which means it’s fine for short distances but they may pick up interference noise if you run them for long distances.

XLR Cable

Where it gets its name from:

Originally called “Cannon X”, they then added a locking mechanism & renamed it “Cannon XL”, and then later added rubber insulation and it ended up with the name XLR.

What it’s commonly used for:

The XLR Cable is perfect for connecting a microphone to your mixer. It’s also the better option for connecting speakers to your mixer, particularly if you are running your cables for longer distances, as the XLR Cable is balanced, which means there’s much less chance of it picking up any interference noise.

RCA Cable

Where it gets its name from:

This cable is simply named after the company that created it (Radio Corporation of America).

What it’s commonly used for:

You’ll need RCA Cables for connecting your CDJs or turntables to your mixer. They run from the outputs on your CDJ or turntable to the inputs on your mixer.

Ethernet Cable (or Link Cable)

Where it gets its name from:

The name “Ethernet” is inspired by the theory of “luminiferous ether” (a hypothetical substance for electromagnetic waves to travel through).

What it’s commonly used for:

On modern CDJs, you can connect multiple CDJs together so that you can access music files inserted into one CDJ across all of your CDJs. If you’re only using 2 CDJs then you can simply connect them together via a single Ethernet Cable. If you have more than 2 CDJs, you will need an Ethernet Cable per CDJ and a Switch to connect each of them together.


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