Home DJ Vinyl Mixing for beginners - a basic guide to equipment and setup.
Buying DJ equipment for home "bedroom DJ's" can be expensive, I will try and outline the basic setup you need and can expand on if you like.
Homemix make beginners sets that are are quite good - pro's might poo poo them but I have found their equipment very respectable for the price afterall a beginner doesnt really want to fork out £600 per turntable and then discover they arent really into it. Start off basic and work your way up if you enjoy it - the setup is modular so you can change one piece at a time and slowly build up your equipment to the level you want.
The basic setup:
- 2 DJ Turntables (not regular turntables as I will explain below)
- Mixer Deck
- Amplifier & Speakers
- Microphone (optional)
If you are buying a pack the Homemix pack would be like this:
Setting UpAssuming you have the basic setup like above the set up is quite straight forward - dont be afraid of all the connections on the back of the mixer! Basically your mixer has 2 channels - 1 will be record deck one and the other record deck 2. So you will have a connecting lead from the first deck to input 1 and the second deck to input 2. Dont forget to attach your earth leads which will stop the static hissing you can get from records. The connecting leads will look like this:
You will now need to connect your mixer to your amplifier - this will be with a similar lead to the record decks but without the earth lead as it is not required when connecting to an amplifier. The lead will have the same plugs (called phono or rca plugs) as below:
You dont have to have a professional or expensive amplifier - if you look on the back of your home stereo you might have an "AUX IN" which will let you connect your mixer to it and use your home stereo as the amplifier. This is a good option if you are starting out as you can always buy a dedicated amplifier and speakers later on as you get into it. A normal separetes amplifier like the one shown below is ideal as you can choose the power and model you want. You can then buy the size and power speakers to suit.
Testing your set upMake sure everything is plugged in and turned on. You will need to turn on each deck, mixer and your amplifier. Put a record on each deck and start it playing (both at once).
If you have set it up correctly you should hear one of the songs - if you can hear both mashed up together slide the mix control to the left so you just hear one.
If you cant hear anything check:
- Mixer source selected is phono (as some are selectable)
- Your volume is up enough
- Your amplifier is on the right source eg AUX in
- Check the leads
- Check the power
Fine tuning the turntables setupNow you have set-up correctly you need to adjust your turntables so they play properly. You will notice the extra controls on the DJ turntables over regular turntables - you should have:
- Pitch control (speed control)
- Arm Weight
- Start / Stop
- Speed selection (33.3 & 45rpm)
- On / Off control
Experiment and enjoy!!