Do I really need all that gear?
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Do I really need all that gear?

    After browsing through the "show your set-up" thread, I gotta say I was thoroughly impressed. Some of those set-ups are insane! I cannot even comprehend how much time, effort, and money went into them.

    Anyway, recently I had made my first small investment in some DJ gear after messing around with virtual DJ for a while. I bought an Akai LPD8 (which some of you might have read about in my previous threads), Audio 2 DJ, an upgrade to Traktor Pro, and finally some Sen hd-25s which I actually haven't received yet due to a local store not having them in stock. I've had this stuff for...I don't know roughly a week and a half or so? Maybe 2 weeks? And now finally I can say that I understand how everything works and am starting to learn to DJ as opposed to just learning buttons and knobs etc.. I gotta say though...after messing around with this stuff for a while...I was surprised to how much I was able to do. As of now, my main interest is to make smooth and nicely sounding transitions, maybe with ONE small effect here and there but just very straight-forward DJing. As of now... I can't see where I am limited at the moment JUST with this one midi-controller. So my question I really need a big set-up to DJ properly? Or even DJ a small gig? Let me explain.

    I came into this DJing world with the impression that I NEEDED two technics 1200s and a rane mixer, with all the equipment and massive set up and all that. Then I discovered CDJs and thought "oh that's a much smaller nicer alternative". Of course though the price still gave me a bit of a shock but whatever, I can't really expect DJing equipment to be cheap. Then I discovered digital DJing which I think is amazing, not only because it is a cheap alternative but you can do pretty well the same job (if not better) with midi-controller than cdjs or vinyls, from what I see. So why all the fancy gear?

    Anyway, to wrap this up, I am just wondering why is all this fancy gear necessary? I mean I'm sure fancy effects and things like that probably are much easier to do with a huge set-up...but I don't hear TOO many DJ sets where people are going ABSOLUTELY mad with the gear. Usually the best sets I find are the simple song, nice transition, next song.

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    New Zealand


    No mate. As long as you have access to a proper mixer for gigs it doesn't matter what you play out with.
    Start with a simple set up and add bits and pieces as/if you need them
    Acer E5 i7 2TB 16GB ~ 512GB SSD ~ WIN 10 ~ TSP 2.11 ~ AUDIO 6 ~ X1 ~ DN-X1600 ~ X1 ~ SPECTRA ~ TWISTER ~ ATH-PRO500 MK2 ~ AT2020 MIC

    "This aggression will not stand, man."

  3. #3
    Tech Guru MaxOne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    London, UK


    Yup, you're absolutely right!

    You don't need TTs or CDJs at all anymore. You used to and a lot of people got that equipment, and then "went digital" by keeping the interface the were used to and using TTs or CDJs essentially as a large controller.

    There are some benefits to having decks and cdjs (scratching, etc) but if you are up for doing simple crisp 2 deck mixing then your set up will last you a long time.

    The VCI-100 for me is just the right balance. Set up so that it mimics an interface I understand (two turntables and a mixer) and has just enough buttons and knobs to do the fx i want.

    Nothing to crazy but just crazy enough :-)
    Club of Jacks are a London based House & Garage production / DJ duo with releases on a number of underground labels including Plastik People Recordings, Blockhead Recordings, Hi Energy!, Pocket Jacks Trax, Soul Revolution Records and their own Club of Jacks imprint.

  4. #4
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Perth, Australia


    You can DJ with just a keyboard if you want - probably better than some people with huge amounts of equipment if your dedicated enough too. so no its not all necessary at all.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru Fyoog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    London, England


    Having Dj'ed on both sides of the coin it is totally down to preference and experience.
    On the one hand having a small set up like yourself (and myself) on the digital side is A) a great way to learn B)consolidates alot of gear that otherwise would take up space in hardware and....C) does cost the earth so if you are not that happy with it in however long then at least you haven't got yourself loads of gear you don't want.
    The one thing lots of hardware does get you is a different feel to the digital side and there's always the mixing internal/ external argument but as mentioned above it is personal preference/ experience.
    Also, as you mentioned, using some of the banks of hardware people have when you are starting would be difficult, kind of like spinning plates, you wouldn't start trying to spin 50 plates ast once, in the same way you wouldn't want to have 2 CDJ's, traktor scratch set up with four decks, external 4 channel mixer, FX unit and Akai for cue points etc. Maybe when you get a bit further down the line?
    MBP, 15.4", Ableton Live 8 Suite, Novation Remote SL, Pioneer XDJ-RX, Traktor, VCI 100SE!

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