Standard Equipment for a DJ Setup

Standard Equipment for a DJ Setup

There’s a whole lot of equipment you need to get started. Here’s your most common setup.

1. Mixer

Using your mixer, you can control how you blend together or switch between the tunes that you’re playing. It allows you to preview the next song you wish to play in your headphones before you play it out loud through the speakers. Your mixer is the piece of equipment that controls the volumes of the overall sound (although you can do this on your speakers as well) and of each individual channel (you can’t do this on your speakers). You can use your mixer to manipulate the music you play using EQs to increase or decrease certain sound frequencies, and by applying a number of effects, such as a reverb or flanger. Generally, all of your other pieces of equipment – speakers, CDJs/turntables, headphones and microphone – will connect via cables through to your mixer as the central controller.

What’s my recommendation?

Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 Professional Mixer

Pioneer mixers are your industry standard and will be found in most clubs, radio stations etc.

2. CDJs (or Turntables) – at least x 2… Maybe more

A CDJ plays digital music (such as MP3s on a USB thumb drive or CD) and a turntable plays vinyl records. You don’t need both, but you do need at least two of whatever you choose to play on. Each CDJ or turntable plugs into a different channel on your mixer. The CDJs, or turntables, are the pieces of equipment that you use to actually play the music – where you can scan through your music selection, choose the songs you want and play them.

What’s my recommendation?

For a CDJ: Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2 Professional Multi Player

For a Turntable: Technics SL-1210Mk5 TurnTable

3. Headphones

You need headphones to preview the next track you want to play. By doing this, you can get yourself set up to drop your next track without everyone else hearing what you’re doing. Your headphones plug into the mixer. Using the controls on your mixer you can choose to listen to either one channel or another, or multiple channels at once via your headphones.

What’s my recommendation?

Sennheiser HD 25 Professional DJ Headphone

4. Speakers

The speakers play the music; the music that everyone can hear (not just you, like through your headphones). The speaker plugs into the outputs on your mixer and plays the final product that you deliver to your audience.

5. Cables

You’ll need a range of cables to connect your various pieces of equipment to your mixer, plus power cables for each. Commonly used cables in a DJ setup are your XLR or 1/4 inch TS for connecting speakers to your mixer, 3.5mm TRS with a 1/4 inch TS adaptor for connecting headphones to your mixer, RCA for connecting CDJs/turntables to your mixer, and Ethernet for connecting CDJs to each other.

6. Music

Digital files, such as MP3s – or vinyl records, if you’re using turntables – of songs you love. You’re going to need a lot of it so keep it organised.

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2 thoughts on “Standard Equipment for a DJ Setup”

  • Thank you so much for the awesome instruction.
    But as am beginner I would like to have more information about if there is classes or some books to buy that guide me ..

    • Hi Robel, I’m not doing classes at the moment. The best way to learn is to throw yourself in the deep end and practice and experiment with the sounds. If you have any particular questions you’d like me to answer let me know and I’ll write a blog post on them for you. Good luck!

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