Dj playing music

What’s the best DJ set for beginners?

DJ equipment can mean anything from professional-grade gear to more cheap equipment aimed squarely at novice DJs who are just getting their feet wet in this exciting and creative community.

There's no need to wonder how or why DJing has exploded in popularity; the moment to jump in is now.

First, the top 40 music you listen to becomes even more intolerable than it was before. This happens gradually enough. You attempt to satiate your craving by going to music festivals, surrounding yourself with it, and immersing yourself in it, but alas! Even that is not sufficient on its own. Listening to electronic music on its own will not satisfy your appetite for the genre.

So, you've got the best DJ gear for beginners and you're ready to begin your adventures in spinning and scratching? Have you only recently begun studying how to become a DJ? Welcome, and we hope you enjoy your stay with us.

While working on these articles, we often go back to when we first began our DJ careers and what it was like to be complete novices when it came to the world of DJ equipment.

We'll be honest, we thought it would be easier than it was, but we started out with just one turntable, a mixer, and some records our parents got us at a rummage sale. We were sceptical at first, but after that we were captivated.

Based on this knowledge, we set out to compile a comprehensive reference to all the DJ equipment you'll need to get started, complete with recommendations for the best-reviewed models currently on the market. While this was covered in our best DJ equipment guide, we've subsequently received requests for a primer, so here it is!

We have compiled a list of Melbourne Wedding DJs to help you celebrate your special night.

Table of Contents

How to Set Up DJ Equipment

Before we get into our recommendations for the finest DJ equipment for beginners, we'd like to emphasise a few things we want you to keep in mind while putting up a DJ setup. In a moment, we'll go through exactly what we mean by "kind of equipment," but for now, it's important that you decide what sort of DJ rig you'd like to construct.

When it comes to DJ equipment, we now have a few choices. In the first place, we'd want to know if you're interested in a "classic" analogue setup, which consists of two turntables, a mixer, and other other components, as your primary work station.

Old-school DJs used to scratch using two records and a mixer in between to fade in and out of their mashups and scribbling. A DJ would be brave to go in this direction very rarely..

However, with the development of technology and computers, we now have what are known as "digital DJ settings." We advise that even a sizable percentage of your DJ setup be digital if you are just starting out.

DJ controllers, as we shall see below, have paved the path for us to control everything via computer in every conceivable way. Replace the turntables and mixer that were once necessary for this task with just one device, some software, and a computer and you've got yourself a DJ set up.

While it may not be our personal favourite, we feel confident recommending this path as the best option for a beginning DJ at the moment. Still, it's time to face facts, and if you're going to put in the time and effort to master this fantastic activity this decade, you want to do what the crowd is doing .

True, 'hybrid' configurations with a record player, mixer, and DJ controls will likely prove to be your best option in the long run. It'll cost more and require more hardware at your station, but it'll give you the advantages of both analogue and digital in terms of "feel" and skills, so you can focus on the big picture while still getting the job done.

The path you take and the equipment you acquire are completely up to you. It's possible to start out with digital tools like a a laptop for DJs, DJ controller, and DJ software, and then transition to analogue equipment if desired.

Variety of DJ Gear

Turntables

There have been record players for millennia. Almost everyone has a mental picture of a turntable in their head when you say the word. A disc jockey (DJ) is not a DJ without turntables. It used to be extremely rare for someone to call themselves a "DJ" if they didn't possess records and a turntable in their gear.

Certainly not in the modern day, with the proliferation and development of the DJ scene. In any case, turntables allow us to skip tracks and albums, alter the pitch, slow down the tempo, scratch, and much more.

DJs can get by with just a laptop or a digital setup, but a turntable remains an essential part of any serious DJ rig. The idea of a "DJ" who solely uses a laptop to play playlists seems illogical.

Mixers

A DJ mixer is the hub of any analogue DJ rig. They can be utilised for a wide variety of alterations to your sounds and files, including serving as transitions between songs in a mix or mashup. The "slider" can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including but not limited to adjusting the volume, panning, effects, and tone of your music.

You can also use these to listen to a sneak peek of what's next on your DJ set before you actually play it. The'sound card' or 'interface' is the final piece of the puzzle, allowing your audience to hear the music you're trying to express.

Many high-end mixers have higher-quality sound cards and sample rates built in, but these components can add up in price. Due to the compatibility between mixers and computers, hybrid setups involving a mixer are always an option..

Controllers 

DJ controllers are a novel idea in the world of starter DJ equipment. What if you already know how to use turntables and a mixer, but you also have the option of utilising a computer and software to adjust the various parameters of the device?

DJ controllers serve this purpose. DJ controllers, which are really just MIDI controllers for DJs, are fantastic, all-in-one pieces of DJ equipment that have ushered in the digital world we live in now.

The market is flooded with DJ controllers for beginners, each with its own unique feel, size, personality, form, function, and more. Some are fantastic for adjusting the volume, pan, and other track-specific parameters. However, we have included some of our personal favourites.

In the past, DJs would often use two turntables loaded with several vinyl records and a central mixer to play their tunes. DJ controllers of today combine all of this separate hardware onto a single board that can communicate with DJ software.

Some are PIONEER DDJ-200, SERATO DDJ-SB3 / REKORDBOX DDJ-400 and XDJ-RX2

Check out our ultimate list of Melbourne Wedding DJs.

DJ Software

A digital and hybrid system relies on this as its foundation. You can edit, mashup, cut, mix, add FX, copy, organise files, alter the pace and playlists, scratch using MP3s, and assign sounds to your controller if it has MIDI functionality once you connect it to your computer.

You won't be able to fully utilise all of your equipment as a DJ and will have a harder time getting into a groove if you don't have reliable DJ software. While there is a plethora of options when it comes to regular music software, there are just a few of DJ software options worth considering, and we've given our favourite here.

Since newcomers will need to learn a new program from beginning, our recommendation is that they continue with our pick. Though it's becoming more common, some DJs are switching to utilising only smartphones and DJ apps to control their whole setups.

Speakers

Only those planning to play live and bring their DJ equipment to various gigs (weddings, bars, clubs, house parties, and more) or set up at a friend's or bandmate's house to practise or jam need to worry about this.

When shopping for DJ speakers, make sure they have enough volume for the type of venue you plan on playing at. You can probably get away with using speakers you already have or purchasing a pair of studio monitors if you're setting up a DJ corner at home, in a studio, or in a generally smaller setting.

However, the PA system we recommend below strikes a balance between the two extremes, functioning admirably in smaller but still portable settings and providing sufficient power for larger venues.

DJ Headphones

DJ headphones are a need, but speakers can be left at home if you're just practising at home or can be left at a club in Las Vegas if you're a professional. Headphones are not only necessary for us to be able to hear what we're doing, but they also allow us to preview our work before we show it to your audience.

Have you ever seen a DJ with one earbud held to their shoulder and the other dangling from their neck? There's more to it than just looking like a "professional DJ" and being hip, though. Most mixers have a slider that lets you adjust the output to your liking.

Putting it to one side as the audience listens to the track allows you to hear both the next track in your set and the tune that is now playing, allowing you to create a seamless transition between the two. The DJ headphones listed below are a wonderful choice for beginners.

Leave the Bose, Beats, and Skullcandy headphones in the drawer; a DJ without headphones is a DJ without ears. Those who take their music seriously should invest in analytical and precise headphones.

Some are AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-M50X and V-MODA CROSSFADE M100.

DJ playing music

Cases and Mounts

DJ equipment is expensive, therefore we need a "table" or stand to hold it all in one area, and we also need cases to protect it. This is especially important if you plan on taking your gear with you on the road, whether to a concert venue or someone else's house.

This is where things become tough for novice DJs, as the case you wind up getting will depend on not just how much gear you have, but also how big each individual piece of that gear is. We'll give you a couple of suggestions down below, but remember that you should get all of your equipment before picking up any cases or mounts.

Studio Monitors

Mastering mixing techniques in the music industry is impossible without adequate monitoring. Studio monitors are the best choice for any DJ who takes their craft seriously. The music played over studio monitors is uncoloured in comparison to what you'd hear from computer speakers or bookshelf monitors.

Best two are JBL 305P MKII and KRK RP5 ROKIT G4.

Check out our post on What to expect from my wedding DJ?

Music

It may seem apparent, but music is crucial for any DJ just starting out. If the above-mentioned equipment isn't in place, the audience won't be pumped. While developing a library of music is the first and foremost task for every new DJ, downloading everything you see on iTunes can cause your programme to crash.

Apple Music may be the most popular music streaming service, but all of their songs are DRM-protected AAC files, meaning you can't just download your favourites and play them in DJ software like Serato or rekordbox.

Keep in mind that an Apple Music membership is not required to use iTunes or iTunes Match to acquire DRM-free files; they should be considered separately.

Recording onto vinyl is a bit less complicated. Do some record store scrounging and start spinning! Keeping yourself from buying everything you see will be the real challenge.

The mixer and two-deck configuration is, for many, the only way to mix, however it will cost more if you want to go deeper and go for a more classic setup rather than a controller.

Conclusion

DJ gear can range from expensive, professional-grade gear to more affordable, beginner-friendly gear. To help you get started as a DJ, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to all the tools you'll need, including reviews and recommendations for the top-rated products on the market.

Check out these instructions for putting together a DJ rig. There is no need to buy all analogue gear at once; digital tools like a laptop for DJs, DJ controller, and DJ software can serve as a stepping stone to more traditional options later on. Without turntables, a disc jockey (DJ) simply isn't a DJ.

A DJ's only real equipment needs to be a laptop or digital setup. Turntables enable a wide variety of musical manipulations, including skipping tracks and albums, changing the pitch, slowing the tempo, and scratching.

Modern DJ controllers integrate this once-separate hardware onto a single interface. One can modify the tempo and playlists, as well as edit, mashup, cut, mix, add FX, copy, organise files, and more. Some disc jockeys are abandoning turntables in favour of smartphones and DJ software.

Because DJ gear is so costly, we need a "table" or stand to keep it all together, as well as cases to keep it safe. The following set of DJ headphones is highly recommended for those just starting out.

V-MODA CROSSFADE M100 and the AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-M50X are two examples. Keep in mind that you should have everything you need before picking up any cases or mounts.

Content Summary

  • Based on this knowledge, we set out to compile a comprehensive reference to all the DJ equipment you'll need to get started, complete with recommendations for the best-reviewed models currently on the market.
  • Before we get into our recommendations for the finest DJ equipment for beginners, we'd like to emphasise a few things we want you to keep in mind while putting up a DJ setup.
  • In the first place, we'd want to know if you're interested in a "classic" analogue setup, which consists of two turntables, a mixer, and other other components, as your primary work station.
  • We advise that even a sizable percentage of your DJ setup be digital if you are just starting out.
  • Replace the turntables and mixer that were once necessary for this task with just one device, some software, and a computer and you've got yourself a DJ set up.
  • The path you take and the equipment you acquire are completely up to you.
  • It's possible to start out with digital tools like a a laptop for DJs, DJ controller, and DJ software, and then transition to analogue equipment if desired.
  • A disc jockey (DJ) is not a DJ without turntables.
  • DJs can get by with just a laptop or a digital setup, but a turntable remains an essential part of any serious DJ rig.
  • Due to the compatibility between mixers and computers, hybrid setups involving a mixer are always an option..Controllers DJ controllers are a novel idea in the world of starter DJ equipment.
  • DJ controllers of today combine all of this separate hardware onto a single board that can communicate with DJ software.
  • A digital and hybrid system relies on this as its foundation.
  • You won't be able to fully utilise all of your equipment as a DJ and will have a harder time getting into a groove if you don't have reliable DJ software.
  • While there is a plethora of options when it comes to regular music software, there are just a few of DJ software options worth considering, and we've given our favourite here.
  • When shopping for DJ speakers, make sure they have enough volume for the type of venue you plan on playing at.
  • DJ headphones are a need, but speakers can be left at home if you're just practising at home or can be left at a club in Las Vegas if you're a professional.
  • The DJ headphones listed below are a wonderful choice for beginners.
  • Those who take their music seriously should invest in analytical and precise headphones.
  • This is especially important if you plan on taking your gear with you on the road, whether to a concert venue or someone else's house.
  • We'll give you a couple of suggestions down below, but remember that you should get all of your equipment before picking up any cases or mounts.
  • Mastering mixing techniques in the music industry is impossible without adequate monitoring.
  • Studio monitors are the best choice for any DJ who takes their craft seriously.
  • The music played over studio monitors is uncoloured in comparison to what you'd hear from computer speakers or bookshelf monitors.
  • While developing a library of music is the first and foremost task for every new DJ, downloading everything you see on iTunes can cause your programme to crash.
  • The mixer and two-deck configuration is, for many, the only way to mix, however it will cost more if you want to go deeper and go for a more classic setup rather than a controller.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

DJs typically perform for a live audience in a nightclub or dance club or a TV, radio broadcast audience, or an online radio audience. DJs also create mixes, remixes and tracks that are recorded for later sale and distribution.
In 1935, American radio commentator Walter Winchell coined the term "disc jockey" (the combination of disc, referring to disc-shaped phonograph records, and jockey, which is an operator of a machine) to describe radio announcer Martin Block, the first radio announcer to gain widespread fame for playing popular recorded.
Some of the most popular and successful ways to make money as a DJ include: gigs, music production, monetized mix streams, social media promotion, event organization, and tutorials.
DJ Producers are technically artists because they play their own music that they created. They create music in a audio production setup by organically layering different sounds, including drums, piano, bass, percussion etc to compose a final musical sound track.
 
But the best DJs have always also been musicians, live remixers and live producers – skilfully layering and manipulating sounds and bringing different elements together in a new form of creative expression. They have to know about drum beats and basslines. About filters and effects.
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