A Change of Career: 5 Essential Pieces of Equipment Every DJ Needs

Becoming a DJ is easier than it ever was in the past. The most important reason for this is that high-quality DJ equipment is more accessible and affordable than ever.

A single visit to a website like hollywooddj.com is all that it takes today to become ready for a new career as a DJ. Obtain the five following pieces of equipment and learn how to use them, and you will be well on your way to livening up parties as a professional DJ.

  1. DJ-Specific Turntables

Plenty of audiophiles claim that there is no substitute for the approachable warmth of vinyl records. Sales of turntables have surged in recent years because of a renewed popular appreciation for this format.

Professional DJs have a more pragmatic view of records and the songs they contain. No other form of recorded music affords a DJ as much control over how the included sounds get played, mixed, and sampled.

Some DJs get started with turntables that are designed for general-purpose use. Most end up graduating quite quickly to units that include DJ-specific features like scratch-enhancing slide switches. Buy two high-quality DJ turntables right away and you will have plenty of room for growth.

  1. A Controller

While no DJ’s setup is complete without at least one turntable, most pros today spend the bulk of their time working digital controllers. Modern controllers include almost everything needed to queue up music, manipulate it, and set levels appropriately.

Simple controllers have become impressively affordable, and higher-end units often include dozens of powerful features. Some controllers even accept software upgrades that make them more capable in an instant.

  1. A Mixer

Just about every working DJ will have at least a couple of sources whose levels need to be balanced. Learning how to operate a mixer properly is the key to producing sound that suits any room, crowd, and occasion.

Once set up appropriately, a mixer will often be left alone for hours at a time. A DJ’s mixer performs such an important function, though, that care should always be taken to choose a high-quality unit.

  1. Powered Speakers

Experienced DJs sometimes buy amplifiers and hook them up to the output sections of standalone mixers. A simpler, more convenient option for most is to buy speakers that have amplifiers built in. This is often an effective way of saving money, and it can also make things easier.

One potential drawback of powered speakers is that they can be heavier and bulkier than units that connect to dedicated amps. DJs who expect to be setting up alone and carrying their gear long distances sometimes opt for passive speakers for this reason. Buying speakers and a separate amp can also make upgrading in the future a bit more straightforward.

  1. Headphones

There is no more iconic or personal piece of DJ equipment than a set of closed-back headphones. Headphones that seal out environmental sounds allow DJs to cue up music and samples without distraction.

A single headphone cup pressed to one ear can also allow a DJ to quickly preview a mix while still paying attention to the surroundings. DJ headphones need to be comfortable to wear, while also being easy to put on and take off. They should also produce high-quality sound and be rugged enough to withstand the rigors of live performance.

These five pieces of equipment can be found in the setups of almost all working DJs. Buy these five types of gear and learn how to use them, and you will be well on your way to becoming a professional DJ yourself.

By Sam

Sam Lowy is a writer, actor, comedian, musician, and everything in between. A true jack of all trades, Sam is constantly striving to learn and grow. Whether it's for a festival or just a once-in-a-lifetime club show, Sam loves to travel across the country to catch the best artists around. When he's at home in Tempe, AZ, Sam enjoys reading, playing guitar, and watching Frasier, Seinfeld, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.