So you want to Learn to DJ? Lear how to DJ like a Pro!

Posted By: Guest

DJing has become a musical art form in its own right. If you want to learn how to DJ professionally there is a lot to learn and you will want to refer to some of the resources mentioned later in this article. However if you just want to learn the basics of spinning and mixing your own tunes then this article will get you on your way to learn how to DJ mix like a Pro.

Lets begin with the definition of a DJ or “Disk Jockey”. The original meaning of DJ is someone who selects music and plays it for an audience. The DJ may perform on the radio, on TV, at a party, at a Rave, in a club or today even in a stadium setting with thousands of fans watching. Originally this was done with vinyl records on a turntable but today it is done with all sorts of media either alone or in various combinations including:

  • Vinyl Records on multiple turntables
  • CD players
  • MP3 players
  • iPod/iphone
  • Laptop computers controlling DJ mixing Software

How to DJ Mix:

A typical DJ setup today consists two sound sources such as two turntables and a mixer. The DJ can monitor one record on a headphone while the other record is playing so he/she can set it up to begin playing at a specific point when the other record stops.

The mixer has a fader switch that allows the DJ to smoothly transition between the two decks and to control the various sound elements such as volume, EQ, Bass,Treble etc. A basic system will just have a simple mixer and two “Platters” as the record turntables are known.

CD based systems will have a pair of CD Decks instead of turntables and a mixer. In addition these units typically have whats called a “Jog wheel” that emulates a vinyl record deck. This can be used to control the music and can be run forward and backward to get a “scratching” effect. With the advent of MP3 players and the iPod music player it is common to see these music sources included in the mixer units.

An ipod dock is becoming commonly available in many models of dj equipment. Typically there would be two decks a mixer and an iPod deck allowing the DJ to play tunes from the ipod & the decks or to record his performances to the ipod itself.

Learn How to DJ:

More sophisticated DJ units known as “software controllers” connect to a laptop computer via a fast USB MIDI interface that is running specialized DJ software. The music is stored on the laptop & the controls on the mixer/deck unit control the software & thus the music. These units typically have “platters” with actual vinyl records that give the DJ the tactile feel of a vinyl record with the advantages of digital control. There are many manufacturers of complete DJ Systems. One of my favorites is Numark. They provide a full range of different types of DJ equipment. Some of the common techniques & terminology used by the DJ include:

  • Scratching
  • Cueing
  • Looping
  • Virtual needle drops
  • BPM
  • Beat Matching

There are a number of DJ software packages available that can be used by a variety of different DJ systems. They include:

  • Serato Itch
  • Serato Scratch Live
  • Numark Cue
  • Virtual DJ
  • Traktor
  • Mix meister

I have provided a link below that will show you the different types of DJ equipment available. The cost of complete dj systems varies greatly depending on the type and quality you are after, it can range anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars. You can learn how to DJ mix like a pro.

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