Before I begin, I would like to mention that you can start with any brand of equipment you like, want or can afford. I’m simply listing my personal top “must haves” if I was going to buy all my equipment from scratch! So here it is…turntables, mixers, needles, headphones and cables…
1) Turntables: Whether for mixing or skratching, or both, you’ll want to get a pair of Technics 1200 or Vestax PDX turntables. I chose these two brands for 2 reasons…you’ll usually find a pair of these at most clubs, radio stations, studios and whether you’re a beginner or expert, you’ll probably end up with pair of these turntables down the line anyway.
2) Mixer: You have hundreds of options when it comes to mixers. I look for sound quality, features, build quality, and toughness for those hardcore applications, like skratching! I have found the Rane TTM 56, Rane TTM 57 (great if you’re on Serato) and Vestax PCM-05 Pro III to be my top choices.
3) Needles/Stylus: Whether you’re thinking of using a laptop or analog records to skratch or mix…I find the Shure M44-7 and Ortofon needles to be best for sound quality, tracking and great for not destroying your records.
4) Headphones/Earbuds: You’ll want to be able to hear your music in a loud environment when you’re mixing or skratching…so I have found these to be very reliable over the years. Beyerdynamic DT 250 and Shure SE115 Sound-Isolating In-Ear Stereo Earphones. If you’re going to be recording a lot and want headphones with the BEST sound quality (I don’t mean loud with lots of bass, i mean headphones that will make you say, “I didn’t know that was in the song until I heard it with these headphones!”) I highly suggest the Grado Sr-60.
5) Cables: You’re gonna have to hook up your stuff, right? Let’s not compromise the sound quality with crappy cabling! I recommend Monster cables for that clean sound and lifetime warranty (yep, you can take these back to your audio retailer in 5 years and get a replacement for free).
Well, that’s just the pure basics on what you’ll need to get started DJing. As with anything, you can have good expensive equipment, but you’ll still need to practice to become good…so put in your time and in due time…YOU may be killin it in the club or arena!
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