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What is the best DJ gear for beginners?

Written by Jon Delerious

 

There's almost as much new Dj technology as there are new record labels each month, so knowing what's good, needed, not needed and most importantly not going to break the bank is vital when you're looking to buy your first DJ set up or maybe upgrade a piece or two. DJ, Producer and DJ Gear expert Jon Delerious gives us some of his insights on what you'll need starting out on your DJ journey.

 

What is the best DJ equipment for beginners?

I usually recommend a decent controller to get started. The technology we have today provides a beginner DJ the opportunity to learn the basics with a fairly inexpensive controller. I like the Pioneer DDJSB3 or the DDJ400 as a good staring point. They are very similar controllers but the DDJSB3 uses Serato software and the DDJ400 uses Recordbox. If you have the budget and/or really want to learn the traditional way to DJ then you will need to get 2 turntables and a Mixer. It's tough to beat the 'feel' of playing vinyl, although it is a lot more difficult! You will need to rely on your ears only to be able to beat match - if you use a computer you can visually see a grid which helps you 'line up' the two tracks.

 

What does a beginner DJ need?

A beginner DJ can get started with a computer, a good controller, headphones, some speakers and some patience!

 

Overview para on getting set up...

What is a good DJ mixer to start with? (difference between CDJ/Controller/Vinyl)

 

One of the biggest differences between the different platforms for DJ'ing comes down to the feel and warmth of real vinyl and turntables vs a CDJ or controller platform.

While I am a huge fan of real Vinyl (there certainly is a very real warmth to analog Vinyl) there are just too many positives with CDJ's for me not to use them. I have been DJ'ing for over 25 years and have a very large record collection - I love Vinyl! However whenever I perform now at Clubs or festivals I always use Pioneer CDJ2000NXS as a digital platform and I play off of USB from Recordbox digitally. Keeping that in mind I still usually recommend new DJ's try to learn or at least try some real turntables with real records. It will train you to learn how to handle the records properly as well as to really train your ears to learn to beat match properly. Once you get some of these basics down - it is quite easy to jump on some CDJ's. Beat matching gets a lot easier and now you can have some fun focusing on mixing and blending your tracks seamlessly together!

 

A quick mention -  if you want to learn how to scratch and or play Hip Hop you really should consider using some real turntables! There is no substitute for the way you can manipulate and scratch with turntables

 

What are the best CDJs for beginners?

Get the best if you can! Try to get a used set of Pioneer CDJ's prefferably the 2000's or 2000nxs. . the best!

 

What is the best software for beginners?

While Traktor and Serato are both fantastic, my recommendation is usually to go with Recordbox. One of the main reasons is that if you are going to continue and grow as a DJ you will most likely end up using CDJ's - Recordbox works seamlessly with CDJ's via controlling the computer directly or through organizing your music and putting it on USB.

 

What are the best turntables for beginners?

I like the Pioneer PLX500's as a beginner deck. You can now re live the glory days and buy Technics again! The SL1200 MK7's are available, but they're not cheap!

 

What are good DJ headphones to start with?

Try to get a nice set of headphones with these things:

 

1 - Good isolation, closed back headphones!

2 - Only 1 cable (2 cords off both cups is annoying!)

3 - Something with a swivel, you want the cups to be comfortable if you're using them for a long period of time.

 

Have fun!!

 

 

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image of a podcast sleeve on a smart phone screen

What is the best DJ gear for beginners?

Written by Jon Delerious

 

There's almost as much new Dj technology as there are new record labels each month, so knowing what's good, needed, not needed and most importantly not going to break the bank is vital when you're looking to buy your first DJ set up or maybe upgrade a piece or two. DJ, Producer and DJ Gear expert Jon Delerious gives us some of his insights on what you'll need starting out on your DJ journey.

 

What is the best DJ equipment for beginners?

I usually recommend a decent controller to get started. The technology we have today provides a beginner DJ the opportunity to learn the basics with a fairly inexpensive controller. I like the Pioneer DDJSB3 or the DDJ400 as a good staring point. They are very similar controllers but the DDJSB3 uses Serato software and the DDJ400 uses Recordbox. If you have the budget and/or really want to learn the traditional way to DJ then you will need to get 2 turntables and a Mixer. It's tough to beat the 'feel' of playing vinyl, although it is a lot more difficult! You will need to rely on your ears only to be able to beat match - if you use a computer you can visually see a grid which helps you 'line up' the two tracks.

 

What does a beginner DJ need?

A beginner DJ can get started with a computer, a good controller, headphones, some speakers and some patience!

 

Overview para on getting set up...

What is a good DJ mixer to start with? (difference between CDJ/Controller/Vinyl)

 

One of the biggest differences between the different platforms for DJ'ing comes down to the feel and warmth of real vinyl and turntables vs a CDJ or controller platform.

While I am a huge fan of real Vinyl (there certainly is a very real warmth to analog Vinyl) there are just too many positives with CDJ's for me not to use them. I have been DJ'ing for over 25 years and have a very large record collection - I love Vinyl! However whenever I perform now at Clubs or festivals I always use Pioneer CDJ2000NXS as a digital platform and I play off of USB from Recordbox digitally. Keeping that in mind I still usually recommend new DJ's try to learn or at least try some real turntables with real records. It will train you to learn how to handle the records properly as well as to really train your ears to learn to beat match properly. Once you get some of these basics down - it is quite easy to jump on some CDJ's. Beat matching gets a lot easier and now you can have some fun focusing on mixing and blending your tracks seamlessly together!

 

A quick mention -  if you want to learn how to scratch and or play Hip Hop you really should consider using some real turntables! There is no substitute for the way you can manipulate and scratch with turntables

 

What are the best CDJs for beginners?

Get the best if you can! Try to get a used set of Pioneer CDJ's prefferably the 2000's or 2000nxs. . the best!

 

What is the best software for beginners?

While Traktor and Serato are both fantastic, my recommendation is usually to go with Recordbox. One of the main reasons is that if you are going to continue and grow as a DJ you will most likely end up using CDJ's - Recordbox works seamlessly with CDJ's via controlling the computer directly or through organizing your music and putting it on USB.

 

What are the best turntables for beginners?

I like the Pioneer PLX500's as a beginner deck. You can now re live the glory days and buy Technics again! The SL1200 MK7's are available, but they're not cheap!

 

What are good DJ headphones to start with?

Try to get a nice set of headphones with these things:

 

1 - Good isolation, closed back headphones!

2 - Only 1 cable (2 cords off both cups is annoying!)

3 - Something with a swivel, you want the cups to be comfortable if you're using them for a long period of time.

 

Have fun!!

 

image of a podcast sleeve on a smart phone screen
image of a podcast sleeve on a smart phone screen