Where to start?
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Thread: Where to start?

  1. #1
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    Default Where to start?

    Hey guys, first post on here and I am sure you guys get this a million times but I am just looking for some advice on my journey to becoming a DJ.

    I have had a passion for music, mainly hip hop, since I got my first tape at 12 years old and am just now finally looking into doing more with my passion. What I want to do is pick up a entry level setup and just see how it goes as I don't want to fork out thousands and then discover it just isn't for me. I want to learn how to mix music and play around with scratching etc but since I last checked DJing has come a loooong way in the sense it aint just 2 turntables, a mixer and a box of records. You guys now have cdj's, serato/traktor, midi controllers(think thats right) and a whole lot more which makes it quite intimidating and confusing...

    I am looking at getting into vinyl over cdj's because the general idea I am getting is most prefer vinyl for scratching/mixing hip hop. I am just looking to do it as a hobby so nothing serious but I am getting caught up in the sense of if I buy my 2 turntables and a mixer just to wet my feet, am I basically going to have to 'stock' up on a whole lot of records in order to have a wide range of music to play with. I have a ton(and I mean a ton) of music on my PC which seems like a waste if I go the vinyl route...Also, this serato/traktor business is basically using your digital music library, on vinyl turntables, correct??

    Can someone chime in and give me an idea of what I am getting into...? I am sorry if I sound like a fool but I have been non-stop researching this and there is just a ton of info on the web, my head is about to burst''

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    If you have music stored on your computer, and want to use vinyl, then you shoudl go the DVS route. It doesn't have to break the bank.

    Traktor, or Serato, or Virtual DJ are all good DVS systems.
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    I would recommend a nice controller to start you out. They come with software usually, and there are a lot of beginner controllers to choose from.

  4. #4
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    Welcome to the forum,

    Getting a cheap set of vinyl turntables can run you about $3-400 for anything that isn't total garbage. If you go with something higher end, maybe even more. A standard, no-nonsense battle mixer can run you another $2-300, although there are cheaper options made by Numark, which for your purpose I would recommend.

    Throw in a Traktor or Serato interface and things start getting expensive, used or otherwise. Idk if we have any VDJ heads in here, but I believe you can run VDJ with timecode from any other software competitors (I.E. you can use Traktor or Serato timecode vinyls with VDJ), and all you need is a 4-in/4-out sound card of some sort. This would likely allow you to build a DVS setup for the cheapest amount of money.

    You may want to look into a controller as Kwal said. It should be enough to get an idea of how to mix and blend music, and some of the basic techniques of scratching down. Most people on this forum are Traktor users, however a lot of hip-hop DJs favor Serato, at least in the US. Take a look at each, and go with what you think you would utilize the best. Almost all controllers ship with a copy of software nowadays, so this is likely the easiest and cheapest route to go.

    Good luck to you, and have fun!
    Traktor Kontrol Z2 | 2x Stanton ST-150 Turntables | Traktor Kontrol F1 | MacBook

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  5. #5
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    I think if you want to learn scratching, your best bet is to get a used set of 1200's and a good scratch mixer. They don't have to look pretty, they just have to work. A few battle records, and you are all set. If you don't like it, you can resell it and not lose any money. Your next option would be to pick up a used NS7 controller. Since the NS7II is right around the corner, the price of used NS7s is dropping fast, and the NS7 is about as close to the feel of turntable scratching as you will find on a controller. Plus you can use your music on your computer with it.

  6. #6

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    Ignore everything that's been said previously with regards to pricing. If you're planning on doing this as a hobby and have no idea if you're even going to enjoy it or not, then all you need is a set of $50 direct-drive turntables, a $30 2/4 channel mixer, and the cheapest 4-in-4-out audio interface (with phono-level input) you can find.

    A pair of Behringer UFO202s would do the job nicely; or you could forgo the external mixer and get a second hand Hercules RMX which will act as the audio interface AND the mixing control surface.

    But yeah, the point is, the entrypoint to DVS DJing isn't $600-1200 like people are recommending above; you can get a total setup for less than $200 if you're smart about it.
    For Sale: Handmade Custom DJ Cables - RCA / TRS / XLR!
    Gear: 2x Reloop Contour, Zomo MC-1000, Reloop RMX-40 :: Reloop Terminal Mix 4 :: Korg nanoKONTROL :: Traktor 2.6.1
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  7. #7
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    Personally, I'd go with one of the Behringer CMD controllers and learn to blend, beatmatch, phase etc before I started scratching. Save money for some 1200's and go from there. The 1200's are a good investment financially.

  8. #8
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    I'd get a used VCI-300. You can learn all the basics and the platter response in my opinion is the best of any controller aside from the NS7 (moving platters). You can pull of some decent scratches, and DJ the night away with that thing. I've some some used one going for 200-300 bucks.
    SSL - DJM 800 - Technic 1200's - X1 - ITCH - NS6 - VCI-300

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