How to Create a Simple At-Home DJ Set Up

It takes skill to mix and manipulate music, and that skill needs to be nurtured and developed.

DJ YO! MAFIA explains you can’t ‘expect to be Spinderella right out of the gate. I took a good five years of solid practice before I even thought about seeking a club gig.’ Whether DJing is something you want to start dabbling in or take more seriously, an at-home setup can make all the difference. It will give you the space to build your skills, try different things, and figure out what type of DJ you want to be.

Stepping into the world of DJ equipment can feel intimidating, and there’s a lot of gear out there. The goal is to make it easier and to walk you through the four main things you’ll need to create a simple at-home setup.

Laptop with DJ Software

A computer is the most basic thing you’ll need to get started. As for the age-old debate of Mac vs Windows? Choose whatever you feel most comfortable using, just make sure your computer has at least 8GBs of RAM and an i5 or i7 processor for mixing your music.

As for the software, this is the piece that integrates with your hardware to allow you to play your mixes. The hardware you purchase may come with basic software to start, but experts recommend making an upgrade to get access to all the features you’ll eventually need. A few notable programs to explore include Traktor Pro, Serato DJ, Virtual DJ, and Rekordbox DJ.

Standalone Controller

These are recommendations for a simpler setup, so we’re going to discuss a standalone DJ controller. Once you progress your skills or realize you want to expand and add additional hardware, you can look into different types of deck setups.

The standalone controller is great for beginners because it allows you to work with your laptop and digital music library. The controller is smaller than other options and more affordable. Plus, setup is easy with a USB connection to your laptop. These options usually feature two decks and a mixer, so you can get started learning the basics in no time.

High-Quality Headphones

A pair of high-quality headphones is key. Headphones enable you to hear the tracks you’re playing and make sure the beats in your mixes are perfect. When choosing headphones, sound quality should be your main priority. You’re also going to be wearing these headphones for long periods of time, so comfort and durability also need to play a role in your decision. Experts recommend looking for a noise-cancelling closed-back pair of headphones so you can easily isolate and hear your music no matter how busy your environment is.

Monitor Speakers

Once you find the right pair of headphones, you’ll need to add speakers next. They’ll give you a more accurate sense of what your mixes sound like because they don’t enhance the sound as some speakers do. The two most important things to consider for a beginner setup are size and budget. Look for speakers that will integrate well in the room and are at a price point you’re comfortable with. Don’t forget that one of the best ways to determine if a speaker is right for you is to listen before you buy.

As a DJ, you’re an entertainer. Taking the time to hone your skills with an at-home setup will only make you stand out more when you take on your first gig. After all, practice makes perfect.

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