Here are DJ equipment tips for beginners to build their own sets.
For the beginner it can be a bit much to take on the wild world of DJing when you don't have a clue and even if you do you may be skeptical of spending so much money for something you may only do as a hobby. I put together some tips to help ease your mind.
I can tell you from personal experience that you don't have anything to worry about. These tips will erase all second thoughts.
We will step aside from the "DJ in a box" stuff and get right into building a real set with personally selected equipment.
There first thing you need to ask your self is how or in what capacity will I be using my equipment? How much do I want to spend? Where will I buy all of this equipment, and most importantly what equipment do I need? I have tips to answer all of these questions and more.
Say you want to be an all-purpose DJ. Meaning you want to be able to be a club disc jockey and turntablist. You allowed your self a budget of $600. You found that Musician's Friend has the best selection and prices that meet your needs.
But let me make this perfectly clear. There is no substitute for high end high quality equipment. You'll only be kidding yourself if you think you can go pro on cheaper gear. If you want to pick it up as a hobby then this is a good place to start.
Now you want to select your gear but you want to make sure you get the right gear.
Tips for selecting your gear.
You need to make a list of the minimum gear you want to buy. Now keep in mind the budget. You are only going to buy equipment to fit your need so turntables like the Numark TTX1 turntable and the Technics SL1200 MK2 turntables are out of the picture. I'll save those for the experts.
Stanton T.60 Direct-Drive Turntable with Stanton 500B Cartridge.
Remember you need DIRECT-DRIVE turntables. They offer the best torque for cueing records. The Stanton T.60 Direct Drive Turntable has enough power to get you started.
SPECIAL NOTE: The Stanton T.80 Direct Drive Turntable costs $249 and offers much more features including digital technology.
So for this tutorial you can go with the T.80 Either way they will fit this budget.
***These turntables have straight tone arms that are made primarily for scratching. If you want to scratch and mix you need to upgrade to something like the Stanton ST-100 or Numark TT 500 which have S-shape tone arms.***
I'll stick with the T.60 for the sake of remaining budget conscious.
Your total cost thus far is $399.98 for the Stanton T.60 Direct Drive Turntable.
Two slip mats at $20 dollars each. Get the Stanton DSM-6 Yellow on Black Slipmats with Scratch Discs.
You can make your on slip mats out of felt for about $5. Go to your local fabric store and get about 2 yards of felt fabric.
Take a record, place of on the felt, out line it in fabric chalk or with a marker and cut along the line you just made. Presto! A perfectly usable custom made slip mat.
By the way, you know the plastic that your vinyl comes in? Cut a piece the same size as the slip mat. Place that on the turntable platter first then place your custom made slip mat on top of that. I found that reduces the friction even more.
In this case you don't need to buy and cartridges because they come already mounted on the head shell with the Stanton T.60 Direct Drive Turntable. So you probably saved another $160 on a pair of cartridges.
Follow the manufacturers guidelines to installing your cartridge. There are different tone arm settings for turntablist and club disc jockey's.
The Numark DM1002X MK2 Scratch Mixer.
This mixer costs $99.99.
Break in your mixer slowly. Learn all of its features to maximize you skills as you build them. Later on you should try experimenting cutting the music in and out with different mixer settings. Try to develop your own unique style.
So far the grand total for building your set is 539.97. If you make our own slip mats you save $40. So that brings your total thus far to $499.97.
One pair of headphones.
Since you have over $200 to spend lets look at one of better mid price range headphones.
The Technics RP-F550 Headphones are the low end Technics model but they are mid price range for many other manufacturers. They cost $49.99.
Your headphones should be light weight to reduce ear fatigue and closed ear design to avoid outside interference with your mix.
Assuming you have a way to amplify your set such as a stereo system that should be it.
You grand total for your beginner set is 549.96 without slip mats. With slip mats your total is $589.96. Did I mention free shipping? If you use your ASCAP membership card you can save an additional 5%. And if you buy from the b-stock you can save up to 57%.
This is right on target with your budget of $600. Not bad for building your first set with different gear.