Fancy a new hobby? Home DJing is all the rage – thanks in part to the lockdown. Beginners shouldn’t do without this equipment.
Most of them – thanks to the corona pandemic – have probably been a little longer since the last night of the disco. If you want to bring a nightclub or festival feeling into your own four walls or just want to try out a new hobby, home DJing could be something for you. The right equipment is important for this. From the DJ controller to the headphones to the cables: this hardware is part of the basic equipment of DJ newbies.
Find the right DJ controller
So-called DJ or MIDI controllers are control devices that DJs use to put together their personal mix from various music sources. Professional DJs often combine their mixing consoles from different modules according to their own taste. A pre-assembled DJ controller, such as the DDJ-200 from Pioneer DJ (159 euros), is worthwhile for beginners. In order to be able to control this 2-deck controller, a display device is necessary: Depending on your preference, laptop, tablet and smartphones are compatible. Own app tutorials facilitate the first steps in the DJ world.
Controllers with two decks allow the DJ to play two songs from different channels at the same time and to cross-fade them using the so-called ‘crossfader’. In addition to the crossfader, the DDJ-200 also offers the so-called ‘Phrase Sync’ function, which analyzes the composition of different tracks and makes the transition between two songs sound more ‘natural’. Which choice is the right one also depends on the genre a DJ plays: While the ‘crossfader’ is indispensable for hip-hop DJs, techno DJs keep their hands off it.
Headphones and speakers: DJ accessories for beginners
Headphones should definitely not be missing from the DJ booth. Which eavesdroppers are the right ones depends on personal taste, but what the headphones should definitely be able to do is isolate the sound environment well. A model with a very good reputation, especially among DJs, is the Sennheiser HD 25 (145 euros). Its advantages are obvious: In addition to the high maximum volume of 120 decibels, one of the two ear cups can be swiveled, and a 3.5 mm jack cable leads directly into the headphones. It makes sense, because the headphone cable is often the component that wears out the fastest. The TMA-2 from manufacturer AIAIAI (160 euros) delivers a similar price-performance ratio.
A good PA system is just as important: Here it is definitely worth digging a little deeper into your wallet, because the loudspeakers deliver the music and thus the atmosphere from the mixer to the crowd. Please note when choosing a system for beginners: The material should be as robust as possible. Where the device is to be used is also important: in manageable, smaller rooms, two 300-watt systems are sufficient; for larger rooms, halls or clubs, at least two 1000-watt systems are required.
Tangled cables with layout and digital vinyl
Cabling also plays an important role in sound quality. Regardless of whether a DJ is playing in the club or at home: Nothing is more annoying than having bought the equipment, only to end up with poor sound due to poor quality cables. There is also a high-end manufacturer for cabling in Germany: The Cordial company is based in Dachau near Munich and supplies DJs all over the world. The CEON series in particular is aimed at disc jockeys, not least thanks to the bright colors of the cables, which ensure that the musicians keep an overview even in the dim light of a club.
Anyone who owns a record collection is not dependent on a laptop, smartphone or tablet as a sound source. Instead, two turntables usually send their audio signal to the mixer, where the DJ gets to work. If you don’t own real vinyl records but still want to scratch, for example, you can consider purchasing a DVS (Digital Vinyl System). The time code records used here (25 euros) receive a digital signal, for example from a laptop or a USB stick, and convert it for the blank vinyl discs. In order for this to work, a ‘translator’ is required, such as the one offered by the manufacturer Native Instruments (250 euros).