DJ Mixers: What Features are Worth the Extra Cost?

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DJ Mixers: What Features are Worth the Extra Cost?

A DJ is a performer who plays recorded music in front of a group of people in clubs, concerts, or other special events. Whether simply playing songs for the group or adding sound effects and mixes to the music, DJs require specialised equipment to provide the highest quality audio, and seamlessly make the transition from one track to the next. Among the equipment a DJ needs, the mixer is one of the most important. This piece of equipment connects to all other audio components and allows the DJ to blend sounds together, adjust volume levels, and balance treble, bass, and midrange. When shopping for a DJ mixer and deciding which features are worth the extra cost, it is important for shoppers to understand the basic purpose of the equipment, become familiar with the terminology associated with a mixer, and choose a mixer based on the DJ’s style and unique needs. Shoppers can find a wide selection of DJ mixers of all types on eBay.

Purpose of a DJ Mixer

The DJ mixer is the centre of a sound system. The mixer is used to control all other audio elements and blend sounds from two or more elements together simultaneously. Audio sources, such as laptops, turntables, microphones, CD players, and keyboards, are connected to the mixer, the sound levels are balanced, and then the signals are sent to the speakers. A DJ mixer is important for both performing and recording music. Without the mixer, it would be nearly impossible to balance the sound and control all audio devices simultaneously. Additionally, the mixer is used to create and incorporate different sound effects for a unique sound.

Glossary of DJ Mixer Features and Terms

Before heading out to the store to find a DJ mixer, it is important to understand all of the features and terms associated with the device. This makes it easier to pinpoint the important features. Those who are unfamiliar with some of the common terminology associated with mixers can view the table below for a list of definitions.

Term

Definition

Channel

Each external audio element (CD player, turntable, etc.) has its own channel; minimum of two or three is preferred

Input

Connection for external audio devices that bring sound in

Output

Connection for sound to leave the mixer and go to an amplifier, speaker, or other device

Equaliser (EQ)

Used to adjust and control the response of treble, bass, and midrange sounds

Master Level

Controls the overall volume

Channel Fader

Controls the volume level of a single channel

Crossfade

Allows the DJ to fade one track in and another track out simultaneously

Cue

Signifies the point in the song where the DJ starts, ends, or adds another element

Different DJ mixers have different controls and features. More advanced mixers may have more knobs, buttons, switches, and sliders, but the basic features still apply. Knowing what each of the features and controls does helps DJs determine which ones they need to focus on.

Choosing a Mixer to Meet the DJ’s Needs

DJ is a general term that is used to refer to all people who play recorded music for a group of people. Not all DJs are the same though. As the art of deejaying has evolved, several distinct styles have emerged. Each of these requires different DJ equipment to produce the characteristic sounds that go along with each unique style. When evaluating which features are worth the extra cost on a DJ mixer, the shopper must first identify which type of DJ the mixer is for. They can then determine which features are the most important to focus on. The most common types of DJs are scratch DJs, club DJs, laptop DJs, and mobile DJs.

Scratch DJ

Scratch DJs are also known as hip hop DJs. They are known for incorporating the scratching sound of a vinyl record on a turntable into their music. For a scratch DJ, the crossfader is one of the most important elements on the mixer. When shopping for a mixer, they should look for a one that offers a short and quick crossfade. The crossfade should be versatile as well and allow the DJ to reverse the position, if desired. The crossfade should also be easy to use since it needs to be manipulated at the same time that the record is being scratched on the turntable. This is true for the entire layout of the mixer. A shopper should see where the controls are and determine if they are easy to access or get in the way when scratching the turntable. When evaluating which features are worth the extra cost, scratch DJs should focus on the overall layout of the mixer as well as the crossfade.

Club DJ

Club DJs are best known for their performances at nightclubs, bars, concerts, and other events. They are responsible for playing the music that people dance to and creating the atmosphere. When looking for a mixer for a club DJ, shoppers should look for one that offers an elongated crossfade. This is the ideal for creating a smooth sound that is best suited for house music and techno mixes. Club DJs need a mixer that is conducive to the type of music they play in the background. When evaluating which features are worth the extra cost, club DJs should focus on mixers that offer an elongated crossfade.

Laptop DJ

A laptop DJ is a relatively new type of DJ. While the other types have been around for decades, laptop DJs have only become popular in the last decade as the technology has grown and allowed for this type of deejaying. Most of the work is done on the laptop, but a mixer is still required to create unique sounds and combine different audio elements. Ideally, these mixers should connect to the laptop via a USB connection. The DJ software on the computer should also be compatible with the type of mixer that is chosen. If the controls of the mixer can be integrated with the controls of the laptop software, then the DJ may even be able to control the mixer from the laptop. When evaluating which features are worth the extra cost, laptop DJs should focus on mixers that allow for software compatibility and offer USB connectivity.

Mobile DJ

A mobile DJ doesn’t have a unique style. Any of the above DJs could also be a mobile DJ. These types of DJs travel from location to location to perform. Their mixing needs are based on the type or style of music that they play. Mobile DJs need to take into consideration that they have to travel with all of their gear on a regular basis. For this reason, shoppers looking for mobile DJ mixers should look for one that is sturdy and rugged. These are designed to handle the wear and tear of the road. When evaluating which features are worth the extra cost, mobile DJs should focus on finding the right type of mixer for their style that is durable and more damage resistant.

How to Buy a DJ Mixer on eBay

On eBay, you have the ability to shop for DJ mixers offered by private sellers all over the country. Because you are working with private sellers, you’ll be able to shop for new and used equipment that is priced much lower than the retail value. Additionally, all of the equipment is delivered right to your door so you don’t have to worry about travelling all over town to locate the mixer that you need. Before you can buy a DJ mixer on eBay, you need to know how to search the site for the best deals and identify the mixers that offer the features that you want.

Finding Mixers With the Right Features

If you’ve already decided which type of mixer you need, then you can search for it directly using the basic search or Advanced Search features. For example, if you’re looking for a DJ mixer that has two channels, type ‘two channel mixer’ into the search bar to find all mixers that match this description. Sort the results by price, distance, or condition so that the results are displayed in a way that is easier to view. Additionally, specify a price range to limit the results to only those that fit within your budget.

Conclusion

Both new and experienced DJs alike need to have a high quality mixer in order to produce the right sound. With so many different DJ mixers available, it can be easy to choose the wrong one. Purchasing a mixer that doesn’t meet the DJ’s needs makes it incredibly difficult for him to do his job and produce the type of music that he specialises in. The mixer is the piece of equipment that connects all of the audio elements in the DJ’s setup together, and then blends the sounds coming from each component. Prices vary greatly for different DJ mixers, so when shopping for one, it is important that a shopper focuses on the features that best meet the DJ’s needs. Becoming familiar with the terms and features associated with mixers as well as being able to identify the different types of DJs make the shopping process easier and allow shoppers to determine which features are worth the extra cost. No matter which type of DJ mixer a shopper is looking for, a large selection of mixers of all types, layouts, and prices is available on eBay.

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