Being a professional DJ is a pretty cool profession. Whether you are taking to the stage on the summer festival scene or working your local area as a mobile DJ, there’s something seriously amazing about being the life and soul of the party.
Wherever you’d like to see yourself five years down the line, there are two things every DJ needs as the basis for a successful career:
- Talent and creativity
- A decent setup of equipment
As every aspiring DJ will probably know, hardware costs vary from the sublime to the absolutely ridiculous. You can spend as little or as much as you like on DJ equipment, but there are five essentials you will need to get your career up and running.
There’s room for manoeuvre
in terms of brands and specific models, but these are the five pieces of kit that will help take you from where you are now to where you really want to be:
This is essentially ‘mission control’ for your DJ rig, featuring all the jog wheels, mixers and faders needed to get the job done. The latest controllers on the market from the likes of Pioneer DJ and Numark make it easier than ever before to put out world-class music at an affordable price. DJ Controllers can be used as standalone units or connected to laptops and their music libraries, depending on the exact model you go for. As this is the heart and soul of your setup, quality needs to be your top priority.
A Set of Good Headphones
Unless you’re already performing on a high-profile professional level, you’ll easily get away with a good pair of headphones for less than £50. Then again, some of the best pro DJ headphones money can buy hover around a very reasonable £100 or so. When considering they’ll serve you proudly and support your trade for many years to come, that’s really not a bad price to pay.
A Solid Mixer
Chances are the control you buy will have a DJ mixer built into it as standard. If not, you’ll need to set yourself up with a standalone mixer to connect to your turntables and other gadgets. Reloop rules the roost when it comes to affordable mixers that perform just as well as their pro-grade counterparts. Whether you need a long list of in-built effects, special features and advanced functionalities is up to you to decide, but many DJs prefer fairly straightforward mixers that simply get things done.
A Set of Speakers
If planning on taking your show on the road, you’ll eventually need your own PA setup complete with speakers. Likewise, if your goal is to set up a recording studio at home, a pair of decent monitors is the minimum you will get away with. Thankfully, top-shelf DJ speakers are nowhere near as expensive as they once were. AVE and KRK have some extremely reasonable options available that are well worth checking out.
A Reliable Contingency of Cables
Last up, never underestimate the extent to which cables influence sound quality. Not to mention, how important it is to have plenty of spares available, if things go wrong. There’s a reason why some cables cost way more than others – bargain-basement hardware in all its forms really should be avoided where possible.