What Do You Need to DJ with Turntables?
Are you ready to venture into the world of conventional turntable DJing? Understanding the essential tools you need is the first step, whether you're a vinyl aficionado or an aspiring DJ eager to grasp the tactile and ageless art of spinning records.
Any vinyl DJ setup is built around the turntables themselves. A pair of excellent direct-drive or belt-drive turntables is required. The Technics SL-1200 series, Pioneer PLX series, and Audio-Technica AT-LP series are a few well-liked alternatives. Choose turntables that suit your budget and skill level, as well as those with features like adjustable pitch control for beat matching.
A DJ mixer is essential for blending and transitioning between tracks seamlessly. Look for a DJ mixer with multiple channels, crossfader, EQ controls, and preamps. Mixers designed for scratching and turntablism often have robust crossfaders for precision cutting.
3. Slipmats and Needles
Slipmats provide a smooth surface for your vinyl records to rotate on. They reduce friction and allow for easier manipulation of the vinyl. Additionally, you'll need a set of quality needles (also known as cartridges and stylus) that are compatible with your turntables. Popular needle brands include Ortofon and Stanton.
4. Vinyl Records
Your collection of vinyl records is the heart and soul of your DJing. Curate a selection of tracks across various genres that you can mix and scratch. Always keep your records in good condition by cleaning and storing them properly to maintain their sound quality.
A good pair of DJ headphones is essential for cueing and beat matching. Look for closed-back headphones that provide sound isolation, so you can focus on your mix even in noisy environments. Comfort and durability are also important factors to consider.
6. Slip Sheets
Slip sheets, sometimes called Butter Rugs, go between the slipmat and the vinyl record. They further reduce friction and allow for smoother manipulation when cueing and scratching. Many DJs swear by these for their superior slip.
7. DJ Accessories
Consider investing in additional accessories such as record bags or flight cases to protect your vinyl collection and equipment during transport. Additionally, a dust cover for your turntables can help keep them clean and functioning properly.
8. Amplification and Speakers
To ensure your audience hears your mixes clearly, you'll need amplification and speakers. This can range from a simple home stereo system to a professional PA setup, depending on your DJing aspirations.
9. DVS (Digital Vinyl System)
If you want to incorporate digital tracks into your vinyl DJ sets, consider using a Digital Vinyl System (DVS) like Serato DJ or Traktor Scratch. DVS allows you to control digital music with your turntables, opening up a world of creative possibilities.
10. Practice and Patience
Last but not least, what you truly need to DJ with turntables is practice and patience. Becoming proficient at mixing, scratching, and beat matching, takes time and dedication. So, don't forget to hone your skills and develop your unique DJ style.