Best DJ Setup- Get yourself the No.1 DJ Setup
The role of a DJ is to play music gauging the mood of the party or event. A DJ does not create music but plays pre-recorded music composed by other musicians.
DJs develop unique mixes of songs and create seamless transitions between songs with the help of several DJing equipment.
A DJ needs to get the audience moving at an event and as such, it is essential for a DJ to get the best DJ setup for his gig, and for this careful selection of equipment is necessary.
A DJ, whether he is a professional or a beginner has to choose from countless equipment combinations and one always wants to choose the best DJ setup.
Each DJ has his own style of setup and it may vary and the equipment required by a DJ depends on his musical style and personal preference.
These equipment are usually a DJ controller, vinyl turntable, mixer, digital vinyl system, Laptop or Computer, and DJ Software or vinyl records, good quality headphones, monitor speakers, and mic.
A DJ will have to mix and match his gear to know which is best suited for his playlist and DJing style and give his entertainment to his audience.
For a beginner, the best DJ setup would be a basic setup that will be monitor speakers, two turntables with slipmats, a DJ mixer, a USB/Audio Interface, and headphones.
For beginners, the USB/Audio interface and monitor speakers can be optional.
Here we will discuss the different essential DJ equipment to give you an overview of how an ideal and best DJ setup should look like.
DJ controllers are slowly evolving as powerful media players and mixers, which include touch-sensitive performance pads, LCD Screens, and also effects.
Most of the modern DJ Controllers also include motorized platter, fader tempo control, and drum pads.
The All-In-One DJ Controllers have the ability to work with waveforms and samples, apply effects, and many other capabilities which makes it one of the most important DJ equipment.
DJs who want to preview music on headphones before playing the music through the main output use DJ controllers which have built-in sound cards with 4 output channels (2 stereo pairs).
Some of the DJ Controllers use the standard HID or MIDI protocols to communicate with the Laptop/Computer via USB.
DJ controllers are popular as they allow the DJs to store multiple cue points with music files due to the flexibility of the computer software.
They are also much cheaper than buying two turntables and DJ Mixer as modern DJ controllers can match CDJ/Turntables and DJ mixer.
The DJ should check for some of the basic requirements in a DJ Controller for the best DJ setup like a decent Jog Wheel for scratching.
These jog wheels are absolutely indispensable as they have many basic techniques, a well-equipped mixer with two or more channels with EQ, crossfader, channel fader, and cue functions which are the main controls for mixing.
A DJ Controller should have the necessary knobs, touch strips, encoders, faders, backlit buttons, jog wheels, sliders, etc., for tactile hands-on control over the modern DJ software and settings, having extensive built-in performance features.
The multicolored lights and displays transmit the audio levels, system status, and many other parameters.
Adding a MIDI keyboard to the DJ controller will be a huge benefit for the best DJ setup stage. DJ controllers which can be used with timecode vinyl can also be utilized as standalone devices or MIDI devices.
Last but not the least, Software that is compatible with the DJ Controller helps to perform the critical task of manipulating the music files.
Some old school DJs still prefer turntables to control DJ software via DVS (Digital Vinyl) or to play records. A DJ should opt for a direct drive, not a belt-drive turntable as belt drive turntable are hard to cue and scratch on and they have a spongy feeling when compared with direct drive.
Beginners can opt for belt drive to educate themselves as they will find it a lot easier when they upgrade to direct drive.
However, it is suggested to avoid belt drive turntables at all costs and opt only for direct drive.
The motor of a turntable with higher torque will give more resistance when you try to slow down the turntable by hand and also higher torque will lead to quicker startup.
The Turntable which you want to purchase should have a minimum torque of 1.5kg/cm. If a DJ purchases a heavier turntable, the Turntable will give lesser vibrations.
A lightweight turntable will vibrate creating various problems like horrible back feedback from the speakers.
The vibrations in a lightweight turntable will also cause the stylus to vibrate resulting in skipping of tracks and also distorting the quality of sound.
A well-built sturdy turntable is required to avoid the problems created by vibrations.
The turntable should have good quality slipmat which sits between the record and the metal of the platter. The slipmat helps the record or vinyl from getting damaged with scratches from the metal of the platter.
Slipmats also help the DJs to control the record/vinyl with their fingers, which does not stop the platter from spinning below the slipmat.
The target light on the turntable beams across the top of the record and enables the DJ to see where the noisy and quieter part of the sound on a record is and if more than one track is playing side by side.
Target light also enables the DJ to view the gap between the tracks.
One of the most important pieces of equipment for a DJ is the DJ mixer. The DJ mixer is a small audio mixer with EQ, crossfader, channel fader, and cue functions which are the main controls for mixing.
The function of the crossfader is to transit or blend from one song to another.
The DJ before playing music uses the headphone to listen to the source of recorded music with the help of cue knobs.
A DJ has to keep the songs tracks ready for playing and have to cue the tracks to the starting location.
Where auto-sync technology is not being used, DJs also have to align the two tracks to ensure that the selected song blends well with the currently playing music.
These DJ mixers are easy to set up and can be also connected to speakers. A well-equipped DJ mixer should have two or more channels.
Digital Vinyl System( DVS)
Digital Vinyl System enables a DJ to manually control the digital audio files playback on a laptop or computer utilizing the conventional turntable or DJ CD player as an interface.
This manual control of the digital audio files by DJ retains the feel of DJing with hands-on control over vinyl. This system allows the DJs to carry out scratching and beat-matching.
The digital vinyl system operates with timecodes which are vinyl records or CDJs.
A DVS enabled DJ controller, a DVS enabled mixer or a DVS enabled soundcard box will be the interface into which the output from the CDJ player or the turntable is usually routed.
The software mainly needed to run DVS are Serato and Traktor.
Laptops for DJing is preferred by DJs because of their easy portability being a single compact unit.
The gradual advances in digital technology in the entertainment industry changed the face of popular music which has resulted in an explosion of remixes, mashups, mixtapes, and entirely new musical styles like a glitch, grime, and dubstep.
DJing has now evolved from two turntables and a mixer to the use of laptops.
DJs can now work and travel with their entire mix/production studio in just a laptop, which is revolutionary, instead of hauling crate full of vinyl records and vinyl record player.
Moreover, the art of DJing has been standardized by programs/software like Serato Scratch Live, Native Instrument Traktor, Ableton Live, Pioneer record box, which can be downloaded and installed on a Laptop to make the most of use of these programs/software.
The world of DJing has been revolutionized by DJ software. You should check the software which will be compatible with the DJ Controller for the best DJ setup stage.
With a DJ controller, you can control your app or software with more fluidity. A DJ can manipulate his music files with the help of software.
The software provides the virtual deck for mixing music as well as virtual transport control for playback. It also enables us to load the music library into the Laptop/Computer’s memory.
The software also helps to keep tracks of the DJs mixing moves, apply the effects and filters which have been selected, actuate samples, modify music waveforms and control innumerable moves that would have required tons of outboard equipment or would have been impossible previously.
While choosing the software you should always check for the latest version of the software.
There may also be two versions available, one is the manufacturers full-blown version and the other is a scaled-down version. You should opt for the version which is best suited for the DJ Controller.
Opting for a full-blown version will be better. As scaled-down versions are often limited versions.
There are three leading software platforms that are used by DJs. These are Serato DJ, Native Instrument Traktor, and Ableton Live.
These are high-quality digital media players used by the DJs.
These CDJs are popular with DJs because apart from playing music through the compact disc, these CDJs can also play digital music files stored on SD Cards and USB Flash drives.
A very good quality vinyl records are essential for a DJ to make the best DJ setup using turntables while performing at the gig or event.
Vinyl records, previously known as phonograph records and popularly known as a record, are flat discs which were earlier available in 78 RPM but are now available in 33RPM.
These are Long Playing (LP) records which can contain more than two tracks.
For the best DJ stage setup, DJs should check that there are no scratches or damages on the surface of the engraved, harmonized spiral groove of vinyl records as it might the stylus to skate, skid, or jump tracks during the gig.
For the best DJ setup, a DJ should use a high-quality Headphone output with volume and cue/master controller to isolate the sound of music from the outside environment and to listen to the music being played by him.
This type of headphone will enable the DJ to cue the next music track and split the sound from the incoming track from the master sound going to the speaker.
Good quality speakers should be opted for as it is the ultimate output device for the audience at an event.
A DJ should try to replicate the original sound to the audience through speakers and good quality monitor speakers are essential which will give a constant reliable sound.
A DJ should opt for heavy monitor speakers to prevent the speakers from vibrating for the best DJ setup.
DJing is all about playing seamless music to the audience.
For playing seamless music a DJ should have a very good collection of vinyl records and CDJs if the DJ uses turntables or a very huge collection of music library or playlist if the DJ is using a laptop for DJing.
Best DJ Setup for Beginners
Let’s have a look at the best equipment for beginners under some of the above-mentioned categories.
In this article, we have discussed each of the equipment in detail with their pros and cons making it much easier for any beginner to understand why these are the best among the lot.
Even if you are not a beginner in DJing and looking for the best DJ Setup, this article may help you find one.
In this section, we will have a detailed discussion on the best DJ Controller, DJ Turntable, DJ Mixer, Software, and a DJ Setup in general.
1.) DJ Controller
As you must have formed an idea by now that DJ Controller is one of the integral parts of any best DJ Setup. So you need to make sure that you have the best DJ Controller in your best DJ Setup.
Here we came up with one of the best DJ Controllers. Let’s have a look at the product and its features.
The Numark Party Mix is an ultra-portable DJ Controller having all the critical DJ Tools.
It comes with Serato DJ Lite Software which will let you browse, play and mix your favorite music tracks.
Just connect your Controller to your Mac or PC and you are good to go.
One of the most attractive things that set it apart from any other DJ Controller is its electrifying light show.
It has three room-filling LED lights at its back which are auto-synced to the music. These lights can illuminate the party venue with their bright colorful patterns and creates an amazing party atmosphere.
This DJ Controller comes with an onboard, pro-grade audio interface which makes it more handy and easy to use.
In addition, it also comes with a 1/8 inch headphone output and 1/8 inch main output which allows you to connect your controller to all speakers and audio recorders.
The Numark Party Mix DJ Controller has all the must-have features that a DJ could ask for.
This two-channel controller has access to essential tools for seamless blending of music and is also outfitted with a crossfader, jog wheels, and pitch faders, sync/cue/play buttons.
Its four responsive performance pads help in total control of cue-points, auto manual looping, and sample playback.
Moreover, this size of this controller is extremely convenient and user-oriented. In spite of being small in size, it has all the features in it just like any big typical DJ Controller.
This controller is the best when it comes to delivering power-packed performances and uplifting the mood of the crowd at any party.
Besides being ultra-portable, it is extremely robust and style-driven. The sleek low-profile design and radiant backlit controls enhance its look.
This controller is powered over USB and supports plug and play connectivity which makes it suitable for carrying it from one place to another and also allows easy setup.
The included Serato DJ Lite software very intuitive and reliable.
If you are a beginner in DJing, nothing can be better than this software which will help you learn mixing and playing music effectively. It also comes with a built-in soundcard.
Why we love it:
Numark Party Mix is one of the best DJ controllers for beginners. The LED lights present at the back produces vibrant colorful light effects and sets it apart from any typical DJ Controller.
Its overall features and looks make it one of the best and this DJ Controller is something that you wouldn’t want to miss upon if you are a beginner.
- Portable, small-size yet robust and has a sleek stylish look
- Has great control options with a good number of buttons
- Great for beginners who wants to start DJing
- Comes with limited Virtual DJ License
2.) DJ Turntable
There are several DJ Turntables available in the market.
We have picked the best one for you. Here is a detailed explanation of its specifications and why we picked it up as one of the best DJ Turntables.
The Pioneer DDJ400 has an intuitive layout and all the features that a DJ can ask for in a good quality DJ controller cum turntable. It is one of the best DJ controllers/turntables for beginners.
This DDJ-400 2 channel DJ controller/turntable has features that will help any beginner to comfortably develop skills.
It comes with one of the best in-built software – rekordbox DJ which is not only user friendly but also helps to develop and sharpen the DJing skills of any beginner.
It contains a rekordbox DJ license key. You just need to activate the DJ license and start DJing.
With this Dj-400, you will also get access to rekordbox DJ’s Tutorial feature.
You can follow it while making and mixing music and master the DJ techniques and the art of DJing with its help within no time!
It has a club-style layout and its elements include dedicated cue buttons, Beat FX, CDJ-style looping controls, and much more.
This club-style layout helps to enhance your skills by using an interface similar to that of club-standard players. The Sound Color FX and Beat FX features helps to boost up the sound mixing standards.
The Beat FX adds a tinge of professional touch to your music.
The DDJ-400 gives you the flexibility to hear your mix both through your computer’s internal speakers or connected desktop speakers. You can use either depending on your need and the surrounding.
It also allows you to cue your headphones independently at the same time.
The mic input circuit of the DDJ-400 produces clear audio without any distortions thus ensuring that it produces crystal clear sound even at high input levels.
It contains a rekordbox DJ license key. You just need to activate the license key and start DJing.
This controller/turntable is easily portable due to its lightweight design and comes with easy grab handles.
It has a built-in sound card and the USB cable allows you to connect the turntable to your computer directly. Once the turntable is connected to the computer, you are good to start playing and mixing your music.
Software System Requirements:
For mac, it requires the updated version of macOS Mojave 10.14 or macOS High Sierra 10.1 or macOS Sierra 10.12 and also OS X 10.11. For Windows, it is compatible with 7,8.1 and 10 versions.
Why we love it:
The overall features and its great versatility makes it one of our favorites.
The free rekordbox DJ software and seamless music producing capabilities make it different from the rest.
If you are looking for a turntable for proper learning of DJ techniques and music mixing, then this definitely one of the topmost recommendations for you. You can also use it in clubs and small parties.
- Club-style design with great control options
- Comes with reckordbox DJ license key
- No master tempo button
3.) DJ Mixer
We have already explained the role of a DJ Mixer and how important it is to have a high-quality DJ Mixer in your DJ setup.
Here we have picked up one of the best DJ Mixers that you would love to use.
This versatile 4-channel DJ scratch mixer is one of the best DJ Mixers for beginners and also has huge applications in weddings and small club parties, mobile DJ systems, etc.
This easy-to-use mixer with its expanded functionalities is one of the best DJ mixers available in the market.
This mixer has a solid build quality which ensures rugged, reliable performance. Its steel chassis makes it robust and ultra-portable.
M6 USB Mixer is primed for any audio source including CD players and turntables.
It has a large number of inputs including multiple phono/line switchable RCA inputs and two mic inputs. The M6 USB Mixer also comes with a range of professional outputs.
It allows you to seamlessly connect to your PA system and record your performance with a dedicated master, booth, and Record RCA outputs.
With all these facilities available in one single device, the M6 USB Mixer is one of the best of the lot and fulfills all your setup demands and can be assimilated with ease.
The XLR input and a secondary 1/4-ich mic input along with dedicated EQ and gain controls make this mixer perfect for making announcements during events and for impromptu vocal performances.
Its core control includes three-band EQs on each channel with a replaceable crossfader and slope control. The high-end features of this mixer help create an amazing sound for the audience to enjoy.
This Mixer can be connected to a PC and MAC with a USB and you are good to start mixing your music ensuring easy setup. It gives you all the controls and tools required to drive the audience from behind the wheels.
What we love:
The M6 USB Mixer is extremely versatile and robust. What we love most about this mixer is its large number of inputs and output channels and also the good controls which it provides.
The overall features of this mixer are user-friendly and if you are a beginner eager to learn professional music mixing then this one is a top choice for you.
- Simple layout, easy to use
- Good features and great control
- Robust with the good build quality
- Crossfaders may leak music at times
Choosing the correct software for your DJ setup plays an important role. There are several DJ Software that is compatible with most of the DJ equipment but if you are a beginner in DJing, Serato DJ is the best.
Serato DJ Software:
Serato DJ software is the best DJ Software and the best choice for your best DJ setup if it is compatible with your DJ Controller, turntable, and laptop as this software is very user friendly.
Serato DJ is a professional DJ software and used for the digital mixing of music which includes digital vinyl record mixing for DVS records.
The DVS pack gives a real feeling of vinyl mixing and scratching.
The Serato DJ software is very visual and has an extremely streamlined workflow. The expansion pack of this software amplifies in building beats, actuating samples, and also applying effects.
This software’s Flip is a powerful beat editor and its MIDI mapping is also very straightforward.
It also allows manipulation and playback of digital audio files using turntables and CD players and is considered to be one of the best software for producing, mixing, and scratching purposes.
Serato DJ software aims to cover every detail of DJing. This software is built on multicolored waveform editing that displays an Equalizer setting and is a very visual way to string your gig in real-time.
If you are a beginner and want to learn music mixing and production, then this software is the best for you.
The only drawback of Serato DJ software is that it will not work with “stand-alone” DJ Controllers.
5.) Whole DJ Setup
Here’s a peek at one of the DJ Starter Kit. It is highly recommended for beginners. Let’s have a look at the product and its features and why it is one of the best among many starter kits available.
(Starlight USB DJ Controller with Serato DJ Lite software, 15-Watt monitor speakers, and sound-isolating headphones)
The Dj Controller included in this pack is compact and extremely handy. This small DJ controllers have all the important features similar to any normal DJ Controller.
Its small size makes it easier to carry around and you can set it up and work anywhere you like.
It includes all the features you need for mixing and scratching. The Bass EQ and Filter Frequency Control make it easier for a beginner to work on.
The Bass/Filter knob can be used for creating sound effects and transitions easily.
The DJ Controller comes with a pair of touch-sensitive jog wheels. With these jog wheels, you can easily control pausing, scratching, and playback of tracks.
The fun lighting in this DJ controller makes it easier to learn to mix.
These lights are used to give indications at the right time hence making it easier for the user to keep a track of the mixing.
These lightings can be controlled either using the controller itself or directly with the help of Serato DJ Lite.
These 15- Watt monitor speakers are designed with high-end features for great precision and audio rendering. It also holds exceptional listening quality.
These speakers come with 7.6cm woofers and the offset tweeter produces much clear sound and more spatially distinct stereo effects.
It has dual bass ports and its enclosure is crafted with 6mm thick MDF.
The headphones are large with comfortable ear pads that protect the ears from any unwanted noises. It can effectively cancel out all unwanted outside noise. The flexible earpieces ensure easy transportation.
This Starter DJ Kit includes a Serato DJ Lite DJ software that is compatible with both Mac or PC.
What we love:
This Hercules DJ Starter Kit has everything that a beginner needs to start learning the mixing and production of music.
The small, easily portable DJ Controller has all the features that are expected to be present in any normal DJ Controller.
The high-quality speaker and headphones in addition to the DJ Controller are of course a bonus. If you are a beginner looking for the best DJ setup starter kit, then this is something you wouldn’t want to miss.
- Easy to carry and install
- Designed in accordance with the needs of the beginners
- Speakers are of high quality and produce a loud sound
- User need to buy the tracks
DJing has is one of the coolest professions and in modern times, we get to see DJs in many events and club parties.
So if you are one of those beginners who wants to gain professional skills for performing in larger platforms, then this article might guide you to set up your DJing equipment.
The products mentioned here are highly recommended for DJs with entry-level mixing skills.
These will not only help you to learn or sharpen your skills but these set-ups are also appropriate for performing in small parties, bars, or clubs.
Hope you find this article helpful and get yourself the best DJ setup.