What DJ Equipment to buy for a Beginner DJ
What DJ Equipment to buy for a Beginner DJ
One of the first questions a beginner DJ asks is what equipment should I buy? There are many options out there and the choice can be bewildering. To help you make the right decision here is our latest advise!
Don't forget, we also sell DJ equipment to our students with a special student discount, cheaper than all the shops! If you'd like to ask for our price list just click here to contact us and for more information about our Beginner DJ Course click here.
Please remember all this information was accurate at the time of writing. For updated advice please feel free to contact us by email!
Do I need to have my own DJ equipment to be a DJ?
No! It's not always important to have your down DJ equipment to learn how to DJ and become a DJ playing clubs and bars. If you learn at DJ school like us, or our partner London Sound Academy you will have on-going access to a huge range of DJ equipment, negating the need to own any yourself. You can save lots of money this way! Don't forget if you have DJ equipment at home you will need to think about noise issues and also insurance.
Practice does make perfect, so if you do have the cash available DJ equipment is a good investment if you can't practice anywhere else.
However, if you want to become a mobile DJ and play at gigs that require you to take your own equipment you will need to invest. Click here to find out more about the requirements for Mobile DJs starting out.
The Best DJ Equipment for Beginner DJs, Kids and Bedroom DJs
Pioneer DDJ-400 - £249
This is the most basic DJ controller we recommend to those looking to get going with DJ’ing. Other controllers in the same price range just don’t match up! For the same price Pioneer also offer the DDJ-SB3 which isn’t quite as good as it doesn’t have the familiar layout that the majority of the Pioneer equipment follows. Where the DDJ-400 is designed to work in Rekordbox (the most popular DJ software) it will save you a lot of time when getting ready to go play a set on CDJs in a real club.
The major drawback for DJ controllers on the lower-end of the price scale however is that many students taking our DJ courses will quickly out-grow the functionality and crave more. You can of course upgrade later-on but it might be worth stretching to something a bit better from the get-go.
Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3 - £259
Native Instruments have been making DJ controllers for years now and have fine tuned the art. They are nicely laid out and well built! However, if you intend on using CDJs in a club or play on the industry-standard DJ equipment I suggest using a controller that works with Rekordbox to keep all your content in one place. If you don't intend to launch a DJ career however and want to resign yourself to the bedroom this controller boasts many features for the price level and an intuitive software program to control it all.
DJ Controllers for Beginners with More Features
A step up from the DDJ-400 the DDJ-800 offers a much higher quality build, high end audio outputs and more features at your fingertips. These are a favourite for DJ’s looking to have a portable set up for events, you regularly see them being used at functions as well as DJs bringing them in to smaller clubs and bars.
Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 - £679
Giving you full control over 4 decks instead of 2 and opening up more of the features inside Traktor by giving you control over the loop recorder, giving you a loop length display and more importantly a dedicated filter knob. The new Mk3 includes Native Instruments innovate haptic drive jog wheel design meaning not only are they motorised to move like turntable platters, they are also capable of providing active force feedback and adjustable tension.
Pioneer DDJ-1000 - £1059 - Contact us for discounted price
The most recent controller from Pioneer, this one closely replicates the feel and lay out of the CDJ/DJM combination giving you the same jog wheels and access to features and effects as the pro equipment. This isn’t a stand alone piece of kit and requires being connected to a laptop using the Rekordbox performance software to operate.
The Best DJ Equipment For DJs Wanting to Play in Clubs
If you want to one day step out of the bedroom and DJ in real clubs, bars and at festivals you will need to practice on DJ equipment that is similar to the industry-standard Pioneer DJ set-up found in clubs across the world. These selections have a layout and method of using that is very close to the feel of playing in a club.
Pioneer XDJ-RX2 - £1529 - Most Popular with our Students) Contact us for discounted price
These all in one stand alone units have been very popular with our students over the past couple of years since the introduction of the XDJ-RX. The Mk2 gives you further access to features seen on the new industry-standard DJ equipment and the much loved ‘Dub Echo’ effect on the Color FX rack.
Pioneer XDJ-XZ - £1899 - Contact us for discounted price
Cutting edge stand alone unit from Pioneer extremely closely replicates their flagship NXS2 with full sized adjustable jog wheels, full effects units and 4 channel mixer with the ability to connect extra decks and turntables. This is the closest you can get to having the full club standard set up at home without the price tag.
Pioneer XDJ-700 - Contact LSA for our discounted price
Stand alone units that take just USB’s, very similar to CDJs but most of the features are accessed via the touch screen. The feel is a little different given the smaller jog wheels and size of the unit but are good if you’re looking for additional decks to accompany other kit or for a cheap modular set up.
Pioneer XDJ 1000 Mk2 - £1105
The XDJ-1000’s have full sized jog wheels and the majority of the features you find in the CDJ2000NXS2 but condensed into the touch screen instead of having the buttons on the surface. They are a great option if you want to save some money and still have a separate-piece system.
Industry Standard DJ Players For Smaller Clubs & Bars
Pioneer CDJ 900 Nexus - £1239 - LSA Discount Price £1149
The CDJ900 Nexus is intended for venues with small budgets and often found in bars rather than clubs, whereas its bigger brother the CDJ 2000 Nexus MK2 (below) is the industry king. This deck however provides most of the same features at less expense.
Industry Standard DJ Player for Bigger Clubs, Bars & Festivals
Pioneer CDJ 2000NXS2 - £1929 - LSA Discount Price £1829
These are the most up to date and most powerful models Pioneer offer. I think it’s fair to say the industry standard for DJ equipment has been dominated by Pioneer now for a number of years for a number of very good reasons, but the biggest one being the success of the CDJ’s. Nobody else has achieved the same standard of quality or usability meaning you will find a pair of them in any established club around the globe. There is. anew version of this rumoured to come out in the next year so keep your eyes peeled!
TURNTABLES (Vinyl DJing with Records)
If you want to learn how to DJ the old-school way you may want to start on vinyl, but it's much harder! Don’t forget you’ll need a DJ mixer with phono inputs, cartridges, needles and slip mats too!
Technics 1200/1210’s - Averagely £800-£1200 a pair second hand these days but £799 per turntable for the latest model, the SL 1210 Mk7.
These turntables have been the industry standard for years and for a very good reason. Nobody else makes turntables quite as good as the technics 1200/1210 series. Introduced in the early 1970’s and still found in nearly every club over 45 years on! The new Technics 1210 Mk7 has a fresh looking all black sleek design, improved motor and pitch adjustment and changeable LED’s!
Pioneer PLX1000 - £599 (LSA Price: £559) per turntable.
These turntables are very recent if you were to compare them to technics! The build quality is great and the feel good to mix on.
In order to DJ with a CDJ player (or rather two because you need a pair) and/or turntables you will need to have a separate DJ mixer. The club-standard DJ mixer is the Pioneer DJM900NXS2 but there are a few other options out there.
Allen & Heath Xone 23C - £299
This 2 channel mixer from Allen & Heath is fantastic. Great sound, solid build quality and beautiful filters! It has a built in sound card you to enable digital DJ’ing, but no access to effects.
Pioneer DJM450 - £599 (LSA Price: £549)
Pioneer’s 2 channel mixer is brilliant! Feels as good as their industry standard models and has access to a selection of the effects found on them too. Just like the A&H 23C these have a built in sound card enabling you to link in to your laptop
Pioneer DJM750mk2 - £1069
These 4 channel mixers from Pioneer are a good option for somebody looking to get close to that industry standard level without spending the same kind of money. The 750Mk2 has an extremely similar lay out and access to features as the 900NXS2 including the parameter knob on the Sound Color FX, the EQ kills on the Beat FX and the new Helix effect!
INDUSTRY STANDARD DJ MIXERS
These are the DJ mixers you will see top DJs using in clubs worldwide. They are brilliant mixers, but come with big price tags!
Pioneer DJM 900NXS2
Pioneer DJ’s flagship 4 channel mixer is a staple feature inside nightclubs and venues internationally. The introduction of the Magvel fader pro into their recent models has really added to the feel! This is by far the most user friendly mixer, the clever layout makes it the least intimidating platform at the same time as being one of the most powerful. Two onboard effects units and the ability to add external effects units such as the RMX-1000 make it a really exciting mixer to perform on.
Pioneer DJM-V10 - £2700 (The latest and most advanced DJ mixer from Pioneer)
The first 6 channel mixer from Pioneer is an intricate new design boasting higher quality audio processing, 3 band isolator EQ on the master channel, updated and more in depth effects and a brand new innovative send/return system for connecting external equipment such as effects units, drum machines and synths to the mixer.
Allen & Heath Xone:92
This 4 channel mixer is alongside the DJM900nxs as the most popular club mixer. A favourite for Techno, Jungle, Reggae and just about any DJ playing vinyl records. The completely analogue signal path results in a punchy and warm sound staying true to the records. A 4 band equaliser and longer faders give you great control over the subtleties within your mix and enable you to create extremely smooth blends. The feature’s that excite me the most when I play on the Xone:92 are the Filters, any DJ will tell you how incredible they sound! Being able to adjust the resonance from mild to wild, switch between LPF/BPF/HPF and have the full range of the knob to sweep with means you have amazing control over what they are doing and how they will affect the audio.
You may not need any DJ equipment of your own if you can practice while on a DJ course with us. But, if you want to get really good and have the spare money we recommend buying something for home use, but only spend what you can afford. Save money by contacting us for our special student DJ equipment discounts! If you need more advice feel free to get in touch!