Im new to DJing. What do I need to know?
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru dripstep's Avatar
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    Default Im new to DJing. What do I need to know?

    Yes, this is going to be a long-winded thread, but if you are new, or just starting out, READ ALL OF IT. Reading this will not only help you start on your journey, but will also help avoid any flaming coming your way.

    “Im just starting out and want to be a DJ. Where do I begin?”

    First and foremost: Read as much as possible on this forum and others as well.

    Things you must first understand before spending your hard earned money on gear.

    - Djing is not the cheapest hobby.
    - Understand the difference between Djing, controllerism and turntablism.
    - Understand the difference between Djing and producing. If you want to make tracks, you want to be a producer. If you want to play other people tracks, you want to be a DJ.
    Know why you are wanting to be a DJ. Is it to impress your friends or a guy/girl, to be able to mix and remix the tracks that you already enjoy, become a club DJ performing for a large group, become a house party DJ perfoming for a small group or to be a hobby DJ mixing in your bedroom?
    - Understand that this is a competitive business filled with wannabe, established and professional Djs all competing for the same jobs.
    - Understand that fame is not going to come easily or quickly unless you put in countless hours honing your skills. It will not happen overnight, or in the next 2 months. All of the “famous” Djs you see and hear have put in more time practicing than you sleep every week, and have worked hard to get where they are.
    - Understand that just because the DJ at your local club may not be the best, the club owner/promoter has a vested interest in the DJ, and you will not be able to take his spot with a mixtape alone. Clubs are in the business of making money, and filling their establishment. If you cannot bring in a crowd, the chances of you being considered are very low.
    - Understand the age requirements to perform out. If you are 15 years old, you have the next 3-6 years to learn to DJ before you will be allowed into a club environment (in most countries). Check with your local clubs if you want to play there, but be honest about your age. There is nothing worse than getting booked to perform and then get carded before entering and turned away. This will most certainly ruin your reputation, as the club owner/promoter is now left without a DJ.

    Know how to ask for information on the forum to avoid being flamed, given un-needed information or having your thread shut down. Some tips on asking valuable questions:
    - What kind of music are you looking to play? A controller/CD player/tuntable may not be suited to your type of music. Hip hop lends itself well to vinyl turntables, while deep groovy house may be more suited to a controller. (more to come on this)
    - What features are you looking for in gear? Do you want to play using Cds, Thumb drives, vinyl or MP3s from your computer?
    - What is your budget? If you have done your research, you will know that a $500 budget will not get you top-of-the line equipment, but can get you gear that will get you started.
    - Are you looking to stay as a bedroom DJ, or eventually play out in a club environment?

    Ok, so you have read some threads, and have somewhat of an understanding of the huge industry you are about to dive into. What next? If you are planning on using your computer/laptop to DJ with, you are going to need to decide what software is best suited to your goals.

    EVERY piece of software has a demo version that you can try for free, while some software IS free. Resist the urge at all costs to illegally download pirated versions of the software, as they are riddled with bugs and errors, on top of being morally wrong. What software is out there? Here are some of the more common programs you can DJ with:

    Traktor (DEMO)
    http://www.native-instruments.com/en.../demo-version/
    Serato (DEMO)
    http://serato.com/downloads
    Deckadance (DEMO)
    http://www.image-line.com/documents/deckadance.html
    Mixxx (FULL VERSION)
    http://www.mixxx.org/download/
    VirtualDJ (DEMO)
    http://www.virtualdj.com/download/free.html

    Now that you have looked into the software side of things, its time for the fun part: HARDWARE. There are a LOT of controllers, mixers and all-in-one units out there. Some have built in soundcards that will allow you to preview/cue tracks, or to allow you to plug in CD players or turntables to play off of digital vinyl or Cds. We will get more into Vinyl and Cds later.

    SOUNDCARDS
    If you are looking to use your laptop only, you WILL need a soundcard to be able to play audio out of your speakers, AND preview/cue tracks you are planning on mixing. There are lots of soundcards out there, and some are more involved than others. If you are just using your laptop, look into one of any of these:

    Native Instuments Audio 2
    http://www.native-instruments.com/en...aktor-audio-2/

    Numark Djio
    http://www.numark.com/product/djio

    Behringer UCA222
    http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UCA222.aspx

    Reloop Play
    http://www.reloop.com/reloop-play

    If you are looking to use a controller that DOES NOT have a built in soundcard, ie. Numark Mixtrack, then you will need a soundcard like those mentioned above. Do your research before you buy, so you dont end up with a controller that you cannot cue with.

    If you are NOT wanting to buy a soundcard on top of a controller, most new controllers (and many old) now come with, at the very least, a soundcard capable of audio out to your speakers as well as your headphones.

    If you are looking to Use digital vinyl or Timecode CDs(Traktor Scratch, Serato) you WILL need a controller with a dedicated soundcard that has at least 2 Audio inputs (one for each deck). The Traktor S4 is a good example of such a controller. You can also buy external soundcards if your controller does not have one built in:

    Traktor Audio 6
    http://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/traktor/dj-audio-interfaces/traktor-audio-6/

    Serato SL2
    http://serato.com/scratchlive/rane-sl2


    NOTE: If you want to use timecode digital vinyl, make sure that the soundcard you have will work with the software you have chosen. A Serato SL2 will NOT work with Traktor, and conversely, a NI Audio 6 soundcard will NOT work with Serato.

    This is not the end of the soundcard discussion, but it should help you sort out what you are looking for. By no means is this a definitive list, as there are many companies that make many different soundcards for various uses. Remember, whatever software you are planning on using, the soundcard must be able to communicate with it. Buying the wrong soundcard is going to be more of a hassle than doing your research, so take your time looking.

    Next up:
    Controllers, CD players and turntables.
    2 x gemini PT 1000 . Gemini PS-525 . X1
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  2. #2
    Tech Guru dripstep's Avatar
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    Default

    This post is left intentionally blank
    2 x gemini PT 1000 . Gemini PS-525 . X1
    NI Audio 6 . Traktor Scratch pro 2
    2007 Macbook Pro
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mighty FV View Post
    manners don't cost a thing dude - never forget that, it'll help you in all walks of life.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru dripstep's Avatar
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    Default

    This post is left intentionally blank..
    2 x gemini PT 1000 . Gemini PS-525 . X1
    NI Audio 6 . Traktor Scratch pro 2
    2007 Macbook Pro
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mighty FV View Post
    manners don't cost a thing dude - never forget that, it'll help you in all walks of life.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru dripstep's Avatar
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    This post is left intentionally blank...
    2 x gemini PT 1000 . Gemini PS-525 . X1
    NI Audio 6 . Traktor Scratch pro 2
    2007 Macbook Pro
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mighty FV View Post
    manners don't cost a thing dude - never forget that, it'll help you in all walks of life.

  5. #5
    Tech Wizard
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    DJing and Producing are clearly different.

    But is DJing really different to Controllerism?

    The aim of both is to play songs. It is just a different medium that they are played on.

    Edit:
    Just to add that it is a good post and I hope we get people using the Search function and reading this instead of creating yet another new thread to cover the same ground.
    Last edited by willisnz; 05-27-2013 at 06:44 PM. Reason: add an additional comment
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    Controllerism is a form of DJ'n. It was coined after the phrase turntablism already existed. When the phrase first kinda came out, a lot of people thought of it's meaning to be advanced juggling of cues, samples, and fx thru buttons........I think the definition has changed since then. I do believe that both turntablism and controllerism can exist within a DJ's set, and you're not limited to being just a controllerist or a turntablist only.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru dripstep's Avatar
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    Guys, let's not turn this into a debate please. Not the point of the thread.
    2 x gemini PT 1000 . Gemini PS-525 . X1
    NI Audio 6 . Traktor Scratch pro 2
    2007 Macbook Pro
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mighty FV View Post
    manners don't cost a thing dude - never forget that, it'll help you in all walks of life.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dripstep View Post
    Guys, let's not turn this into a debate please. Not the point of the thread.
    Great start to a much needed thread BTW. Sorry if I personally went a little OT by answering a previous posters open ended question, but theres no debate........carry on

  9. #9
    DJTT Mapping Ninja Moderator Stewe's Avatar
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    Good idea. When somebody new comes asking for this questions - here you go.

    Nice material

  10. #10
    Tech Guru dripstep's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, much appreciated. Feel free to PM me anything any of you would like to see here.
    2 x gemini PT 1000 . Gemini PS-525 . X1
    NI Audio 6 . Traktor Scratch pro 2
    2007 Macbook Pro
    Quote Originally Posted by The Mighty FV View Post
    manners don't cost a thing dude - never forget that, it'll help you in all walks of life.

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