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DJ Essentials

Professional DJs and Beginner DJ Essentials

Professional DJs have all cultivated their expertise over time, which means many of them started where you’re starting- with the beginner DJ essentials. Over time, their equipment has been upgraded and has grown with their knowledge and experience. However, the core essentials are still with them. Let’s take a look at the DJ essentials every DJ needs to build a solid foundation for their future.

Getting Started

At the very core of essential DJ equipment is a computer that can support the software you will need to begin mixing and fine-tuning your sounds. There are a variety of laptops that can get you started that will be able to support your software, but the clear choice for beginner and professional DJs alike are Macbooks due to their compact size, durability, and superior audio processing.

Specs

What you want is a laptop with a long battery life and a CPU that can operate your software efficiently. Apple M1 would be a good launching point. You’ll also want to consider having at least 8GB of RAM, but 16GB would be even better. Finally, you’ll want good storage capacity — anything over 256GB would be the perfect start to your DJ essentials, but if you can get bigger, that’s even better.

Connectivity

There is another detail you will want to consider as you begin building your beginner DJ essentials. The types and number of connectivity ports that come with your laptop are going to be important as you begin to build out your essential DJ equipment.

It’s true that you can add all types of adaptors to your MacBook to help increase device connectivity, but this will add to the overall cost. So no matter which laptop you pick up, be sure to pay attention to processor speed, storage, and ability to accessorize and you’ll be creating tracks in no time.

Software

Once you have the laptop that’s right for you, you’re going to need software to begin creating and organizing your music. Since you’re just getting started with your DJ essentials, you may be interested in using free software, like the free package from Serato. Plus, having free options for your DJ software may give you the opportunity to spend a little more on your laptop.

There are a variety of software options available for aspiring DJs from other well-known names like Traktor and rekordbox DJ. Since DJ software is part of your essential DJ equipment, it may be a good idea to practice on the free versions and learn what it is you like and don’t like, as well as what you need. Depending on which software you choose, you can either purchase it or subscribe to it on a month-to-month basis.

Controller

Controller part of DJ essentials

Professional DJs likely have a mixer among their DJ essentials, but when you’re getting started, a controller would be a good fit for your beginner DJ essentials. True, your DJ software has controllers built in, but an external controller puts the control you want and need at your fingertips. When you’re in the zone, you want to work quickly to capture the nuances of the sound you want to create.

There are ample brands that create quality controllers, but as a beginner, you probably don’t want to spend thousands of dollars gearing up. That’s OK, big brands like Pioneer and Hercules have controllers for all budgets and skill levels. Traktor, from our list of DJ software brands, also makes an external controller that is budget friendly.

Sound

It should come as no surprise that headphones are essential DJ equipment. Chances are, if you’re interested in becoming a DJ, you likely already have a set of headphones that block out the noise and produce the sound that you want to refine.

The key to headphones for DJs is that they are noise canceling, but you may also want to look for them to have swiveling ear covers and detachable cords. All-in-all, your headphones will be part of your overall DJ equipment and budget, but you should be able to get a great pair for under $200.

Speakers

While you’re thinking about the sound of your mix, you’ll want to start thinking about another DJ essential, speakers. Aspiring and professional DJs learn to flow between their headphones and their speakers, but you can easily get started with just headphones and move into speakers as you hone your talent. Even though speakers aren’t a necessary part of your beginner DJ essentials, you may want to start exploring and learning more about them as you begin building out your studio.

Bringing It All Together

When you’re inspired by music you create a vibration that invisibly takes you and your audience to places beyond everyday reality. People will be forever changed for having experienced your unique sound creations which means having the right essential DJ equipment when you begin. Learning how to use your equipment properly is also essential to your success as a DJ, whether it’s just a hobby or you have professional aspirations.

Get Educated

Person learning DJ essentials

Once you have your DJ essentials you may begin to realize that it’s time for you to begin taking your career in music more seriously, which is precisely why you should reach out to 1500 Sound Academy. We are music industry professionals with Grammy Awards to vouch for our expertise. We can help take you all the way from music industry beginner to career, depending on your DJ goals. Learn more about our application process, and our on-campus courses. We’re always happy to answer questions, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.