The Ultimate DJ Setup Guide

By | May 24, 2016

Purchasing your first DJ setup can be a very difficult task. Here at Online DJ Guide we have our knowledge and experience, and we break it down as simply as possible. Keep in mind like all our guides, this is not the end all, be all guide. You will always be able to find exceptions and additions to this guide, but we focused on the most popular DJ setups.

Turntable DJ Setup

If you decide on DJing with records this is the type of setup you will need.

Here is what we will need:

  • DJ Turntables x 2
  • DJ Cartridges (needles) x 2
  • DJ Mixer
  • Slipmats (felt mats that go between record + turntable platter)
  • DJ Headphones
  • Vinyl Records
  • RCA Cable (to connect mixer to audio output)

Side Notes:

  • this is a very base DJ setup
  • good setup for learning how to DJ
  • most tactile form of DJing
  • can be double as a digital setup with the addition of Serato Scratch Live, Traktor Scratch, etc.
 Turntable DJ Setup

Record Player DJ Setup with DJ Software

Here is what we will need:

  • DJ Turntables x 2
  • DJ Cartridges (needles) x 2
  • DJ Mixer
  • Slipmats (felt mats that go between record + turntable platter)
  • DJ Headphones
  • Dj Studio Monitors
  • Computer
  • DJ Software Package such as Serato Scratch Live, Traktor Scratch, etc.

DJ Software Package usually includes

  • interface (connects your DJ setup to your computer)
  • DJ software
  • control vinyl (special records for use with DJ software)
  • all necessary cables (RCA cables, USB cable)
  • please note: some high-end DJ Mixers have the interfaces built-in such as Sixty Four and Traktor Z2/Rane Sixty-Two

SIDE NOTES

  • still allows for a tactile feel of your turntable setup
  • setup preferred by most professional DJs
  • allows you to play both vinyl records + digital files
  • DJ software gives you many additional features
Turntable setup w Software

CDJ DJ Setup

Here is what we will need:

Side notes

  • offers more control and features than a Turntable setup would
  • CD turntables with USB inputs can play digital files from flash drives, hard drives, etc.
  • create your own custom CDs
  • can be used with most DJ software including Serato Scratch Live, Traktor Scratch, etc.
 CDJ setup

CDJ DJ Setup using DJ Software

Here is what we will need:

  • CD DJ Turntables x 2
  • DJ Mixer
  • DJ Headphones
  • Computer
  • DJ Software Package such as Serato Scratch Live, Traktor Scratch, etc.

DJ Software Package usually includes

  • interface (connects your DJ setup to your computer)
  • DJ software
  • control CDs (special CDs for use with DJ software)
  • all necessary hardware (RCA cables, USB cable)
  • please note: some high-end DJ Mixers have interfaces built-in such as Rane Sixty-Two / Sixty Four and Traktor Z2.

Side notes:

  • setup preferred by many professional DJs
  • allows you to play both CDs + digital files
 CDJ Setup w Software

DJ Controller Setup

Here is what we will need:

  • DJ Controller
  • Computer
  • DJ Software

Side notes:

  • allows for tactile control of music
  • allows for the most control over DJ software / most manipulation of music
  • you can customize controller setup to your preference
  • very portable
 DJ controller Setup

All Computer DJ Setup

Here is what we will need:

  • Computer
  • DJ Software
  • Audio Interface (not necessary, but recommended)

Side notes:

  • if you have already have a computer, this is an inexpensive option
  • most compact setup
  • harder to be creative without controller
  • most portable
  • we recommend Native Instruments Traktor Audio 2 for this setup
  • read our audio interface guide
 

Computer Setup

Other Equipment

As mentioned there are other pieces of equipment you can get as well. Like a MIDI keyboard, which is becoming more and more popular and a MIDI drum machine.