Beginner here. where should i start
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor
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    Default Beginner here. where should i start

    I am new to DJ and I am very interested in EDM. The only thing I have now is a software (Serato and Virtual DJ), and it surely doesn't help.

    I plan to buy a DJ hardware. Such as mixers, turntable, etc. But I am just not sure about all the things I need.

    I've also seen that the Pioneer has a DJ system, does that include everything that has to be bought separately? Or should I buy each of the hardware? I just don't know where to start, what should I get to fulfil my needs?

    Here's the link to DJ system I mentioned above:

    http://pioneerdj.com/english/products/djsystem/

    I really appreciate any help and beginner tutorial

  2. #2
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Well....I'm not sure how you're trying to use Serato, since it requires hardware to work. I don't know anything about those Pioneer DJ System things except to say that no one even half serious about what they're doing uses them. That might be habit, or it might be because they're junk.

    As far as I'm aware, DJTT is a bit lacking on absolute beginner information. Fortunately, there are other forums and sources that cover this.

    One source is "How to DJ right", which you can look up on Amazon or wherever, though it's information about equipment is probably dated.

    Here are some links:
    http://www.djforums.com/forums/showt...-DJing-(guides!)
    http://www.djforums.com/forums/showt...to-DJing-right
    http://www.djforums.com/forums/showt...rs-MEGA-Thread!

    I'd read those and come back with questions, but here's a quick rundown of just the gear, or at least a few options.

    Turntables and a mixer:


    This is a normal hip-hop setup. A pair of SL-1200s costs $500-800 used depending on condition, revision, and when they were made....and they're not being built new anymore. Modern top-end turntables cost twice that, and a lot of people say they're not as good (I agree with them). The mixer can cost anywhere from a couple hundred to a several thousand and come from a good number of companies/people with a lot of differences. You can add a laptop and a "Digital Vinyl System" including an external USB sound card and records with an audio time code on them to play digital files off the computer as though they were on records. This setup (with a mixer like the one pictured) is the standard for Hip Hop, though some guys add other gear.

    CDJs and a mixer:

    This is basically the modern club standard for everything but hip hop. Exactly as pictured, this setup is about 6 grand. Mixers are the same story as above, and the CD decks can be anywhere from a few hundred for basic models to $2000 for top of the line. You mentioned EDM, and if you mean the modern festival guys...this is what the vast majority of them play on. The term CDJ or "CD decks" is a bit misleading, since they can play files directly off USB flash storage, SSDs, or Hard Drives or directly from a computer....probably also phones or tablets, but I'm not aware of anyone actually doing that. Some guys add another CDJ or 2.

    Modular Controllers:

    This is an example of modular controllers. There is a CDJ and some other stuff in the picture, but he doesn't use them. All of the music comes off the computer(s), and they're controlled with the devices sitting on the sides of the mixer. There's a lot of power held in these diminuative systems. For example, Richie Hawtin (in that pic) has control over 4 decks and a complete live production environment. The controllers tend to cost anywhere from about a hundred bucks to several hundred...up to thousands if you have something custom made, plus the mixer (a hundred to several thousand), the laptop (several hundred to a couple grand), and an audio interface (fancy sound card; $100 to several thousand).

    All-in-one Controllers:





    All-in-one controllers contain everything you "need"....except headphones, a laptop, and speakers...so, decks and a mixer. They also tend to have control over effects and "do more" than just turntables and a mixer. You can find them from around a hundred bucks to a couple thousand. They tend to come with software (but not always). They're not a bad way to go as a beginner because they simplify everything, BUT the cheaper ones definitely feel cheap and are more limited. The 3 above (top to bottom) cost a couple grand, close to a grand, and a couple hundred respectively. The top one can also control 4 decks (the deck sections each have 2 layers) while the others can only control 2. And the top one functions as a standalone mixer if you wanted to add CDJs or Turntables, and it supports DVS time code if you wanted to add vinyl turntables and use them to control 2 of the decks (or play records).

    So....the takeaway is that there are a lot of different way to DJ that cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars (plus the computer you probably already have) to well over ten grand (for 3 top end Pioneer CDJs and a top end mixer). They all have different capabilities and feel different. And they all largely do the same thing.

    This is mine:

    I'm using a Pioneer all-in-one unit just as a mixer and modular controllers. I'm doing it this way mostly because I'm between setups and still deciding on all of the pieces and when to buy them.

    This is one of my favorites that I've ever seen:

    Ryan Ruel won a DJTT competition in 2012 basically for most-awesome setup. If you click the picture, he talks about the stup. What I like about it is that it has a lot of straightforward options on how to play, and the rotary mixer seems to fit my style. The setup I'm moving to will end up looking a lot like it, except without the CDJs...the next step is just to replace the all-in-one with a rotary mixer.

    If I were starting today, I'd either buy a Pioneer DDJ-SR or a NI Konstrol S2, disable any kind of synchronization functions, and start learning. I'd also go ahead and buy good headphones ($100 for good ones, $200 for ones that will last over a decade if you take care of them) and a set of decent 2.1 computer speakers. This is, of course, assuming that I already owned a relatively recent laptop and wanted to use it. Also remember to budget for music, which tends to cost a $1.50 to $3 per song if you're playing digital files, or $12/single if you're playing vinyl. My trips to the online music stores tend to cost $80-150 each time I do it, which happens every couple weeks when I'm seriously into it.

    If you have to skimp on something because of budget, I'd skimp on the controller (going down to a reloop or numark unit) and headphones (down to about $60) first. The rationale is that they'll still let you learn and play, and you're probably going to end up selling your first controller after you learn more about how DJing works and start to figure out how you want to do things.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru dj gullum's Avatar
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    the XDJ Aero will work just fine and of all the pictures above only the Traktor S4 and Reloop come close to what you NEED to DJ, the other pictures are overkill.
    You need a controller + sound card (or a controller with built in sound card) that let you control 2 decks and has a mixer section. Headphones to listen to the song you want to mix into some speakers to hear the master output.
    DJ setup 1 - Pioneer XDJ-Aero, Pioneer DDJ-SP1, Mixvibes Cross, Macbook Air 13", Pioneer HDJ 2000. DJ setup 2 - NI Kontrol F1, Z1, X1mkII, Traktor Pro2, Macbook Air 13", Pioneer HDJ 2000 w. Production - iMac 21.5", Motu 828x, Icon Qcon Pro + EX, Nektar Panorama P4, Propellerhead Reason, Mashine Mikro(drum programer in Reason)

  4. #4

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    Welcome to DJTT heres my .02 cents on where to start at. The videos below show the the difference between a modular setup and an all in one setup. As you see I just got a Numark 4Trak DJ Controller which I think is pretty cool. I plan on keeping the modular setup because you really dont need platters to dj as evidenced by NI F1 and X1-MK2. I know you have Virtual DJ and Satato so you may want to look at a contrller that supports Sarato or Virtual DJ.




    Numark 4 Trak | VCI-400 | Fostex PM0.3 Bookshelf Monitors | The Triple Threat NI-F1, N1-X1-MK2, NI-Z1 | Serato DJ/Flip

  5. #5
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Some great posts here - but...

    You should start with software and a mouse.

    Once you know what you WANT to be able to do, THEN you can decide on what equipment to buy.
    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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  6. #6
    Tech Guru calgarc's Avatar
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    i personally started on vinyl, then moved to software. i would look at a cheap controller like the mixtrack pro from numark. it should be enough to wet your appetite, last thing you want to do is spend money on somethying you may not be interested in in 2 months

  7. #7
    Tech Guru ImNotDedYet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calgarc View Post
    i personally started on vinyl, then moved to software. i would look at a cheap controller like the mixtrack pro from numark. it should be enough to wet your appetite, last thing you want to do is spend money on somethying you may not be interested in in 2 months
    +1

    Canadians are wise!
    2 x Technics 1210 MKII, Pioneer-DJM 900 Nexus, Traktor Scratch Pro, NI F1,
    Ableton Live 9.6 Suite, Ableton Push, Studio One 3, Moog Sub37, Roland Alpha Juno 2, Korg MS-20 Mini, Yamaha TG-77, TR-8, Rhodes MKI Stage, Wurlitzer 200a, couple pedals, couple amps, lots of software and a freakin iPad

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    Some great posts here - but...

    You should start with software and a mouse.

    Once you know what you WANT to be able to do, THEN you can decide on what equipment to buy.
    That is right.
    13" Macbook Air i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD | Traktor 2.7.1 | Ableton Live 9 | DJM-900 Nexus | NI Audio 10 | A&H Xone:K2 | Oyaide USB & RCA | HDJ-2000 | Odyssey BRLDIGITAL Bag

  9. #9
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    Some great posts here - but...

    You should start with software and a mouse.

    Once you know what you WANT to be able to do, THEN you can decide on what equipment to buy.
    +1
    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."

  10. #10
    Tech Mentor blatterjr's Avatar
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    Unless you have money to burn and you just want to collect toys... those people exist. I know them.

    If not, start with demo software to try as mentioned above. Get a feel for the products.
    ---------------------------
    Greybeard Turntablist
    Z2 / 1200's / X1 MK2 / F1 / Maschine MK2

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