Essential DJ equipment for beginners: A comprehensive guide

If your goal is to become a professional DJ, one of the first steps which you should take is to purchase the necessary equipment.

To discover a list of essential items, which you’ll need to purchase, before playing your first gig, simply continue reading.

1. A laptop

First things first, you’ll need a decent laptop, in order to store your digital tracks and to run your software.

2. Headphones

DJ specific headphones replicate the low end and treble frequencies that you’ll hear in a nightclub.

Whilst isolating the noise from your headphones, so that you won’t bother your neighbors.

Don’t be tempted to purchase a set of generic commercial headphones as you really need a pair of DJ specific headphones.

Examples of brands who offer DJ specific headphones include Pioneer and Senheisser.

3. A minimum of two turntables

In order to book gigs as a beginner DJ you’ll need a minimum of at least two high quality turntables.

Feel free to splurge on high quality turntables as your turntables will become your most prized possession as a working DJ.

4. A DJ controller

A DJ controller is one of the most important pieces of equipment that you’ll purchase, as it will allow you to mix tracks with knobs, encoders, faders and a jog wheel.

Even if you’re a beginner DJ, it’s well worth investing in the best DJ controller under 500 dollars as it is your DJ controller which will send signals to your laptop in order for your DJ software to efficiently mix your music.

You can find one here:

When it comes time to choose a DJ controller, just remember that some DJ controllers will only work with specific software.

So it pays to select a controller, which is compatible with your preferred software.

If you don’t have much experience using a DJ controller, you may want to book an introductory DJ workshop or to look for a mentor, who can show you the ropes. Before you book your very first solo gig.

5. A DJ software package

Examples of popular software packages, which appeal to beginners include Serato Scratch and Traktor.

Both of which can read any format of music.

Once you’ve established yourself as a working DJ you may want to consider upgrading to an expert software package such as Pioneer or Numark.

Most programs offer a wide variety of features, that you’ll want to become familiar with.

As an example, most software programs offer live looping and scratching and allow for real time control.

6. Portable loud speakers

Portable speakers are also a must have.

It’s crucial to select your loud speakers wisely as there’s no point performing the best set of your life, if you’re utilizing poor quality speakers.

If possible opt for active speakers.

Active speakers are powered and do not require an amplifier, whereas traditional passive style speakers, require the use of an amplifier.

The type of speakers which you opt for and their wattage, should also factor in the size of the venues, which you foresee yourself performing in.

If in doubt, you can’t go wrong visiting your local nightclubs and asking the managers, what type of speakers, they’d recommend you purchasing.

Even if the venues, you’re set to perform in, provide loud speakers, it’s still worth purchasing portable speakers, in case you book private functions.

As competition to book time in clubs can be fierce and it may be necessary to gain experience by playing private functions. In order to build a following.

7. A couple of USB sticks

Whilst your laptop may have enough storage space to download and store a few thousand digital tracks, it’s well worth purchasing a few USB sticks, in order to store hand selected playlists.

Storing music on a USB stick is also a great idea, in case you’re paid to perform at venues which provide equipment.

Before purchasing USB sticks, it’s worthwhile to investigate the best USB for DJs. Are you ready to start purchasing your DJ equipment?

If you’re overwhelmed with your shopping list of equipment, it’s worth culling down your list to focus on the items listed above.

As you can always purchase additional equipment such as a microphone, lighting and extra turntables, once you’ve performed your first few events.