Starting DJ - where to begin
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  1. #1
    Tech Student
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    Default Starting DJ - where to begin

    Hi all - newbie here - just starting out and doing my research - have been a long time trance, house, progressive, EDM listener - favs at moment include Ruben de Ronde, Armin, Sasha, Lupe Fuentes, Roger Sanchez, Aly & Fila, Kyau & Albert, and many more - am now interested in starting to mix at home - have a PC (no Macs yet) - home Sonos system thru house with Sonos Controller + Sonos 5 speakers along with a few Sonos 1's - anyway, want to get a "starter kit" and then start to collect and mix a lot of what i am downloading from Soundcloud - am downloading sets from above artists and figured to start there with mixing - then as I get more comfortable with identifying the various tracks and cataloguing those, can begin to move to mixing my own sets...

    Anyway, things I'd love advice on

    1) What is best starter kit for newbie DJ at home for moment - perfer <$1K
    2) What is best practice for organizing and cataloging music - I know what I like as per beats and style but not too good with organizing individual tracks in a library to mix...that seems daunting
    3) Would like to connect to home network, PC + Sonos System to start - thoughts?

    Looking forward to this thread's replies and HI to everyone!!!

    TrickyD

  2. #2
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    Default Ddj rb

    I highly recommend the DDJ RB from Pioneer as it comes with a full rekordbox licence, and is in my opinion the best starter package for a beginner DJ.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    You don't need to spend a penny.

    Everything you want to be able to do can be done with the keyboard and mouse. THIS, is the BEST way to learn.

    Does Sonos have a line in???

    Re: organizing & cataloguing - this is a RABBIT HOLE. My no. 1 tip though, is only keep tracks that you DEFINITELY want to play. Don't rush to build a multi '000's of tracks library. 10 GREAT tracks that represent your style is infinitely better than 1,000 tracks that you "might" play, or "like a little", or "might sound good when played at X". Start with the basics - make sure your tags are populated - Artist, Track Title, Genre, Tempo as an absolute MINIMUM. Again - this is a rabbit hole, and you need to identify HOW organised you want to be. Too much organisation can be crippling, and will distract you from mixing. Other tags you might like to use are MOOD (use free text, in the comments section), Energy (can be done with free text (Hi/Mid/Lo, etc, or using stars *, **, ***, etc...). I could go on for days. But, really, I should do some mixing...
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
    Production: Ableton Live 8 and a mouse, Sennheiser HD400, Sony VAIO

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  4. #4
    Tech Mentor Stazbumpa's Avatar
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    Patch is right, however I think you might get bored quickly without a unit to prod and push buttons on. We humans require a tactile interface with whatever we're doing, so to that end I would suggest a Pioneer RB/SB2/SB3, they're cheap and come with software and have enough on them to keep you busy. Don't worry about which software you go for, they all do the same thing and none are particularly better than the others.
    What Patch has definitely got spot on is your music collection organisation, listen to his advice 100%.
    Denon x1700, 2 x Denon sc3900, 2 x Technics SL1200, Traktor 2.6.something, Dell Latitude laptop and a lot of vinyl.

  5. #5
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    You don't really need a DJ controller to learn how to DJ. But I still recommend it if you're even slightly serious about it.

    I would recommend something from Pioneer. Their cheaper consoles are pretty easy on the pocket. If I recall, the DDJ-SB2 is under $300. There are other alternatives in this range such as Numark MixTrack, but I recommend Pioneer because that's what you'll use when you graduate to the big boys like the DDJ-RZX. You'll also get a hang of RekordBox which is what you'll use later when you become more serious.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru robdquick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    Does Sonos have a line in???
    Only a few Sonos products have a line in, and I'm willing to bet they would have a delay like most bluetooth speakers with line ins do. I have no idea how you could stream it wireless to the Sonos either, but that's guaranteed to have a delay as well anyway.
    Mobile DJ. 2 x Denon SC2900, Denon MC-6000 MK2, Wharfedale Titan 15a Powered Speakers, Titan A15 Subs, HP laptop. Shed load of lights!! Maschine Mikro MK2, Xone:K2.

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  7. #7
    Tech Mentor Stephen Nawlins's Avatar
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    If you really want a starter Kit that works fine and doesn't costs you a fortune then I would recomment you this:

    - Numark Partymix (around 100 USD, I paid 79€ on Amazon)

    Then Download Virtual-Dj and buy the Partymix Controller License (this license that allows you to Play at home costs under 50 USD).

    For 150 USD you'll have a good Setup to start.
    The Numark Partymix even has a built in Soundcard with a Cinch Output.

    Some here will say that this is Bullshit Equipment and Virtual DJ a bad Software, but I had CDJs, Pioneer Controllers, Traktor Pro with a Native Controller and tested many other gears and Softwares and:

    1. Never had a Software Crash or any similar Problem with VDJ
    2. Can assure you that the Partymix provides enough to start with Mixing.

    Believe me it's not necessary to spent more to start. The Partymix provides more effects and possibilities than you will Need in the beginning.
    You still can upgrade to a bigger, better, nicer Setup once you get more comfy with Mixing.
    Then Comes the financial aspect. If you spend 150 USD in that Setup, you might wanna upgrade in let's say 1-2 years, You might find someone who will buy you that one for 50 USD so you only lost a 100 bucks.
    If you buy gear for 800 USD in 2 years it will definitively worth less than 600 USD so you lost over the double.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Archies'bald's Avatar
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    If you want to pay for kit, buy second hand. There are lots of deals out there. I recently got an immaculate S4 MK2 for just over 200.

    Utilise the free software available. I have used Mixxx recently and was surprised how good it is.

    Watch the tutorials online and try to (at first) copy what they're doing. Once you become happy that you're doing something right, then experiment.

    Work hard, but remember when you're drowning in a sea of techno-babble and opinion that this is meant to be fun as well.
    Last edited by Archies'bald; 04-27-2018 at 08:50 AM.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    1) I'm a fan of the Pioneer controllers for all-in-one beginner kit. Actually, I'm a fan of them for pretty much anything like traditional DJing unless you specifically want to spin vinyl or without a computer, unless you develop a preference for something else. A DDJ-SX2 or DDJ-RX would fit the bill nicely. As for choosing between them...the SX2 is more versatile (it works natively with Serato and Rekordbox, and there are Traktor mappings around) and the RX works a little better with rekordbox. As for the differences between software, just pick one and learn...the differences don't matter until you have enough experience to develop a preference.

    FWIW, I could do absolutely everything I want to do while DJing with a DDJ-RX. I don't use one because there's one specific feature of Traktor that I prefer (It's a small UI thing, nothing to do with capabilities) and I very much prefer using a rotary mixer (knobs instead of faders for levels). It's really those two little things that keep me using completely different gear.

    2) Digital DJ Tips has a series of articles on it. But...IMHO, the best way to do it is to generally not....use iTunes or something like it to keep track of your songs so you don't lose them and just create playlists of ideally 50-200 songs that are what you like to play, and then just keep that one playlist updated by removing songs you're sick of and adding songs you like as you find them.

    3) Wireless speakers generally suck for a bunch of specific reasons. The biggest one for your puproses is that they generally buffer the audio for a bit to avoid dropouts, which incurs latency...i.e., there's a delay between when you do things in software or on the controller and when that's heard...it makes manual beatmatching damn near impossible and is frustrating to all hell. A cheap pair of computer speakers will serve you well until you decide to spend the money on something better.
    Last edited by mostapha; 04-27-2018 at 06:40 AM.

  10. #10

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    i can almost guarantee there will be an unmanagable amount of delay on that sonos system. i used a stupid little samsung sound bar once and i had to fully mix in my headphone because there was almost a full second of delay

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