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Author Topic: New to DJing, want to try it.  (Read 1881 times)

Chris Grimshaw

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New to DJing, want to try it.
« on: May 04, 2018, 09:30:32 am »

Hi all,

So I've been involved with live sound for years, have all the gear etc etc etc. I've also been told that I put together "really good" playlists.
I've worked with DJs before, and have a reasonable idea of what's going on when it comes to beat matching, transitions, etc.

I'd like to try my hand at DJing, starting out at home putting playlists together, practicing moving between songs smoothly and then maybe one day heading out and doing it for money. I already have the live sound stuff sorted, and the DJing would be an extra service I could offer.
We're looking at mostly pop/party music. I won't be composing anything so launchpads etc aren't something I'm after.

My question is this - what would be a good start-up USB controller?
There's loads out there, so I thought I'd ask. Looking for something cheap-ish, reasonably solid, and comes with software that'll let me do what I'm after. I'm running a reasonably powerful Windows 10 laptop with plenty of USB connectivity.
If I get good and start getting paid for it, I'll be stepping it up and buying a more expensive controller, but for now I'd like to keep it at the budget end of the market.

Help and guidance would be much appreciated.

Cheers,
Chris
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Uniz Kazz

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Re: New to DJing, want to try it.
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 10:30:35 am »

Hi Chris,

I reckon since you’re in the live sound world and have come across thousands of tech riders in your career, you’ll notice that the absolute majority of the time when asked for dj setup or playback system, they’ll usually spec Pioneer CDJs (2000/900). They are and have been the industry standard for over a decade now and nothing on the horizon would allude to that changing.
Since you’re starting out and might gradually move up to ‘pro gear’ (which you can add to your rental fleet if not already available), you’re best bet might be to go with Pioneer’s own Dj controllers. The layout, functionality, and experience on the controllers are very easily transferable over to the decks.
Also, their own software is no slouch whatsoever. Does all your categorising or your music and id3 tagging for you (bpm,key,etc). The whole ecosystem they’ve built is quite robust and user friendly.

Good luck


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Dennis Wiggins

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Re: New to DJing, want to try it.
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 01:00:08 pm »


...I'd like to try my hand at DJing, starting out at home putting playlists together, practicing moving between songs smoothly and then maybe one day heading out and doing it for money. I already have the live sound stuff sorted, and the DJing would be an extra service I could offer.
We're looking at mostly pop/party music...


Go to every Goodwill, St. Vincents and other resale shops/flea markets to buy CDs.  They are usually $1, but some are as high as $2(!).  I just picked up 6 Gaelic Storm CDs for $6. Rip everything you have to MP320k. A deep library will get you more gigs.

Just don't shop in the 25-125 mile radius NW of Chicago; that my territory! >:(

Unless you are wanting to beat mix (I haven't in 40 years) there is no need for a "controller" to just play/mix/blend tracks. 

I stopped using WMP, as anything MS O/S beyond XP (anything Winxx) ruined it.  AIMP is what I'm using on Win 10; it is free., and works great.

-Dennis
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 04:20:24 pm by Dennis Wiggins »
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Rob Spence

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Re: New to DJing, want to try it.
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2018, 02:00:43 pm »

Go to every Goodwill, St. Vincents and other resale shops/flea markets to buy CDs.  They are usually $1, but some are as high as $2(!).  I just picked up 6 Gaelic Storm CDs for $6. Rip everything you have a MP320k. A deep library will get you more gigs.

Just don't shop in the 25-125 mile radius NW of Chicago; that my territory! >:(

Unless you are wanting to beat mix (I haven't in 40 years) there is no need for a "controller" to just play/mix/blend tracks. 

I stopped using WMP, as anything MS O/S beyond XP (anything Winxx) ruined it.  AIMP is what I'm using on Win 10; it is free., and works great.

-Dennis

Don’t forget royalty licenses. If you play a real gig.


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Luke Geis

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Re: New to DJing, want to try it.
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2018, 02:35:14 pm »

Pioneer, Numark and Rane are pretty much the front runners in the DJ field. If you buy anything that is of median grade from either company, you will have what 90% of the dj's are using. If you want to go A rig status, then its Rane 62 or bigger for the mixer and Pioneer CDJ 2000's for your control and turntable scratching. Honestly the $1k all in one DJ consoles are making pretty much every wedding dj and private show punter happy.

I am not a DJ, but I if you pay me I will play one. I am predominately what I call a corporate dj. I only play music in which I specifically control it for my corporate clients. I actually get to be a dj tonight! Fun gig when everyone is happy. Stressful when the group has A.D.H.D.....
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Lance Hallmark

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Re: New to DJing, want to try it.
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2018, 02:37:28 pm »

I would recommend starting off with the Pioneer DDJ-SX or SX2. Reasonably compact, fairly full featured, this controller will take you from getting started to doing paid gigs. Used legacy models can be found for under $500, new SX2 can be had for about $1k. Make sure you check all the buttons and faders if buying used.
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Dennis Wiggins

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Re: New to DJing, want to try it.
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2018, 04:19:23 pm »

Don’t forget royalty licenses. If you play a real gig.

https://www.mobilebeat.com/prosanddjs/

If you want to specifically discuss licenses, please open up a new subject.

-Dennis

<edit> I didn't intend that to be snarky; just that DJs and licensing is a topic unto itself.

-D
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 04:39:21 pm by Dennis Wiggins »
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: New to DJing, want to try it.
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2018, 04:42:29 pm »

https://www.mobilebeat.com/prosanddjs/

If you want to specifically discuss licenses, please open up a new subject.

-Dennis

<I didn't intend that to be snarky; just that DJs and licensing is a topic unto itself.

-D

... Probably further complicated by the fact that I'm in the UK, and things may be a little different here.
I expect it'll take a lot of practice (years) before I get good enough to make any money from doing DJing, so I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Thanks, everyone, for your input so far. I'll start shopping around and see what I can find. I'll probably buy second-hand so I won't lose much if I decide I don't get on with it.

Chris
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James Hennessy

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Re: New to DJing, want to try it.
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2018, 05:19:40 pm »

I'll echo the recommendations for something from the Pioneer line.  Especially if you'd like to play out at clubs that probably have an in house set up of CDJ 2000 and DJM900 or DJM2000 mixers. 

If you want to use turntables and a mixer then Rane's Serato or the new Phase wireless system that's about to come out would be good to consider.   

If you haven't seen it yet check out this Phase demo : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yL46Uw8M6HA
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Lee Douglas

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Re: New to DJing, want to try it.
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2018, 06:14:54 pm »

Like you, I've been doing live sound for years.  About ten years ago I hit a bit of a dry spell for live sound gigs. I had the sound equipment and wanted it to be making money, so I started offering DJ services.  I picked up a used Hercules RMX in a case, for less than $100.  I thought it would be temporary and that I would be moving to something better inside of year, but it did and still does everything I need it to do.  It has a decent four channel sound card and controls what I need it to control in my software.  It feels substantial and has good weight to it, unlike some of cheap plastic consoles. The one thing I wish it had are XLR outputs, but since I'm usually very close to mixer I plug it into, it hasn't really been an issue.  If I were looking for something for rental stock, I would be looking into something much better and rider friendly.  But this is just for me to make my equipment a little more profitable.
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