The Complete Mixer Buying Guide for DJs

Like if this guide is helpful
The Complete Mixer Buying Guide for DJs

DJs play an important role as entertainers, whether they are radio DJs, club DJs, or event DJs. A skilled DJ can make a party or any event lively, fun, and exciting. However, no matter how skilled a DJ is, one still needs good equipment to play the right music and delight the audience with quality sound. One crucial piece of equipment in a DJ’s arsenal is the mixer. This device, which comes in various sizes and models, is among the devices at the heart of any DJ performance. Therefore, it is extremely important for anyone planning to become a DJ to decide wisely when buying a mixer. Anyone who wants to buy a DJ mixer should know the functions of a DJ mixer, its components, and how to buy a good quality mixer, including from eBay, which has a large selection of DJ mixers as well as other DJ equipment.

Functions of a DJ Mixer

A DJ mixer is an audio mixing console which functions to mix or blend two sources of music together at the same time. Mixers can range from simple ones with only two channels to more complicated ones suited for professional DJ performances. A basic mixer usually has two channels, an equaliser (EQ) with level controls, and also the ability to send a signal to the headphone output, which is useful for cueing. Cueing enables a DJ to redirect and listen to a piece of music on the headphones before playing it for the audience.

A modern mixer normally has two to six stereo channels to connect to different audio sources, and the channels usually have inputs which can connect to both a turntable and a CD player. Some channels on a mixer allow the DJ to connect many music sources, thus enabling the integration of vinyl decks (turntables) and CD players in one single mixer setup. Other components of a mixer are the gain control, the equaliser control, and the crossfaders. These controls function to adjust the volume and also add some sound effects to a performance.

Mixers can also have microphone inputs which can be used when emceeing at a party or club. These inputs can be configured differently, either as additions to the main channels or as special microphone channels which have fewer controls than regular microphones. Mixers are widely used for almost any event, from wedding receptions to school functions. When playing songs for an audience, a DJ mixer is able to play a song immediately after the previous song ends, causing them to overlap and preventing any break in the performance.

Types of DJ Mixers

There are many different kinds of DJ mixers that one can choose from, and they have various features and prices. The three main types of mixers are the scratch mixer, club mixer, and general mixer. Scratch mixers, also known as battle mixers, are often used by hip-hop DJs as the mixers have a turntable to scratch vinyl records. By scratching the vinyl records, a DJ can produce unique sounds and add more excitement to a performance. Scratching, however, causes a lot of wear and tear on the mixer’s crossfaders; therefore, a DJ mixer often comes with replaceable crossfaders.

A club mixer is different than a scratch mixer as it is not used for scratching. It is mainly used to play music for an audience and is able to play and combine various songs depending on the DJ’s skill and creativity. A general DJ mixer is a combination of both the scratch and club mixer. It is more popular with professional DJs who not only play and combine different music sources, but also do some scratching to add more excitement to the performance. The table below lists some information about each type of mixer.

Mixer Type

Alternative Names

Description

Scratch Mixer

Battle mixer

Scratchboard

Uses vinyl records

Used by hip-hop DJs

Often comes with replaceable crossfaders

Club Mixer

Bedroom mixer

Dance mixer

Cannot be used for scratching

Can play, combine, and overlap songs

Has more inputs than a scratch mixer

General Mixer

House mixer

Complete mixer

Combines scratch and club mixers

Popular with professional DJs

Often has multiple channels

Has numerous special audio effects

Each type of mixer has its advantages and disadvantages. For a DJ who does not use vinyl records, buying a club mixer should suffice. However, more experienced DJs who like to combine various techniques and sounds into their performances, may want to choose a general mixer.

How to Choose a Mixer for DJs

Choosing the right mixer is important for any DJ as this equipment is the key to any performance, and can make or break one’s career or reputation as a DJ. The mixer is a crucial device to have as it connects to all other gears and is the main control board for any audio that is played. The main things to look at when choosing among different types of mixers are its channels, inputs and outputs, and faders or crossfaders.

Channels of a DJ Mixer

Channels on a DJ mixer can connect to a turntable, CD player, microphone, or other devices. Each channel has its own set of controls, so a mixer with multiple channels has many control knobs which can be confusing and disheartening for a beginner. DJs who are just starting out can get a basic mixer with two or three channels, which should be enough for a small party.

Inputs and Outputs of a DJ Mixer

Every mixer has numerous inputs and outputs. Turntables can be plugged in to RCA inputs, and CD or DVD players can be plugged into line inputs. Some mixers have extra inputs which enables one to add special sound effects to a performance. Common outputs in a DJ mixer are outputs which send sound to headphones, amplifiers, and more. When looking at connectors of a DJ mixer, it is important for one to choose the mixer which has connections that is most likely used. Therefore, DJs should always remember to check that a mixer has all the inputs and outputs that they need for their audio mixing.

Faders and Crossfaders of a DJ Mixer

These controls consist of sliding levers which allow a DJ to fade in and out the volume of any music. A fader can control the volume for one music source, whereas a crossfader makes it possible to fade in music from one channel while fading out the music from another channel. Crossfaders can wear out quickly with heavy use, especially on a scratch mixer. Therefore, when buying a mixer, whether it is a scratch or club mixer, it is a good idea to look for one that has a replaceable crossfader. DJs who do scratching mostly fade the volume of their music at a steep curve that transfers quickly between sources, and use a mixer which has a crossfader with a curve adjustment.

Types of DJ Mixer Controls

DJ mixers often have many controls for various functions. The gain control, which usually sits at the top of every channel section, adjusts the channel input level to balance the volume of different channels. The equaliser allows one to adjust the bass, treble, and midrange tones of a channel. Some mixers also have a kill switch, also known as an isolator, which is used to switch off any bass, treble, or mid frequency tones. A handy function on some mixers is the cue button. It allows one to send a signal from any channel to the DJ’s headphone so it is possible for the DJ to listen to the music before playing it for the audience.

How to Buy a Mixer for DJs on eBay

If you plan to purchase a mixer on eBay, you may find that there are numerous types of high quality mixers suitable for any DJ, whether you are a beginner or an experienced DJ. First, go to the eBay home page, and type the DJ mixer that you want into the search bar. For example, you can just search for ‘DJ mixer’ or use more specific terms such as ‘Pioneer DJ mixer’. Once you type in your keyword, eBay presents you with a list of all relevant items. Browse through the list carefully so you do not miss out a mixer that might be perfect for you. Once you find a mixer that you like, you can click on it to view more details.

On the mixer’s product page, you can look at some details such as the full item description, price, condition, return policy, and seller’s feedback score. All these details are important, so make sure you read all of them. If you have any question about the DJ mixer, you can ask the seller directly by clicking on their name. After making sure that you are satisfied with the product, you can then proceed to purchase it.

Conclusion

A DJ mixer is an important equipment for any DJ, beginner and professional alike. Therefore, a DJ or an aspiring DJ that is considering purchasing a mixer should consider all aspects carefully. A beginner DJ who wants to have good quality equipment to use at home parties can opt for a basic mixer with two or three channels, whereas an experienced DJ who performs for a larger audience and uses more music sources should go for a bigger mixer with more channels, cue buttons, and other extra components.

The first type of DJ mixer is the scratch mixer, which has a turntable and uses vinyl records. The second type is the club mixer, also known as a dance mixer. It does not have a turntable and functions mainly to combine different music sources to play for an audience. The general or complete mixer on the other hand combines the features of both scratch and club mixers, making it a popular choice among professional DJs. For anyone buying a DJ mixer, it is a good idea to look at many different mixers before deciding on one, and, as a good online retailer, eBay has numerous types of DJ mixers for sale.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides