When you start a DJ business, you need two things right from the start – skills and equipment. There are many great online resources to learn the skills necessary to become a DJ. However, when it comes to choosing DJ equipment, things can get more confusing. What gear should you buy first? What is most important to look for in DJ equipment? How much should you spend? Quality DJ equipment is essential for running a professional. successful company. In this article, we’re going to break down all of the important aspects of buying DJ equipment. We’ll discuss the most important gear to start out with, why each piece of equipment is important, and give some suggestions on quality gear that’s available from reputable companies.

DJ Controllers, Turntables, and Mixers

The single most important piece of equipment you can buy as a new DJ is a controller or mixer. The DJ mixer allows you to take control of your music and combine tracks, change the speed, crossfade, and add effects. DJ controllers connect to a computer via USB and offer physical control over MP3 files on your hard drive (and even some streaming services). DJ controllers come in all shapes and sizes, from small portable, and plastic to large, metal flagship models.

start a dj business controller

Denon DJ PRIME 4 Controller

When buying a DJ controller, there are a few important factors to consider. The build quality itself is important, especially if you’re taking it on the read. Plastic controllers are affordable and lightweight, but metal controllers like the Denon DJ Prime 4 can handle the abuse of the road and hundreds of events. The size and feel of the platters  (which allow tactile control of tracks and scratching) is also important to consider. Smaller platters work fine for seeking through your songs, but large weighted platters make learning to scratch much easier. “Buy once, cry once” is a good philosophy to live by when it comes to DJ gear. As you grow and start doing larger events, a bigger controller with professional features like XLR audio outputs and a high-quality soundcard will keep every door open for you.

It’s also worth mentioning that turntables, CD players, and “turntable emulators” like the Rane TWELVE are also great options. While the initial investment may be more expensive than a controller, the feel of actual turntables is unmatched. Using a pair of turntables will also require using an external mixer like a Rane SEVENTY TWO MKII. The external mixer combines the two incoming audio signals, applies effects, and allows for fading and scratching. If you don’t want to deal with actual needles and records, turntable emulators are motorized digital controllers that feel similar to a turntable. The Denon DJ SC6000M, for example, combines a great motorized platter with controller functionality.

A word on computers

A dependable laptop is also essential for DJing in today’s day and age. We won’t make recommendations for or against any certain brand or model. Many DJs have success with both PCs and Macs! What’s more important is making sure whatever you choose can run your DJ software. It should also have the processing power to manage your music library, run DMX software, and handle other business tasks.

Headphones

Along with a controller, you’re going to need a pair of headphones. These allow you to monitor, or “cue,” the next track without your audience hearing. This is essential for getting accurate mixes and on-point beat matching. Most any pair of headphones will do, but an over-ear pair work much better than an on-ear pair. Over-ear headphones will isolate the sound so that you can focus on what’s coming without it being drowned out by the sound system. Look for swiveling earcups so you can listen on a single side. High-quality cables that are replaceable are a plus! The Audio Technica ATH-M50x satisfies all these requirements and are easily some of the most popular headphones in the world.

Start a DJ Business – Speakers

start a dj business speaker

The RCF ART-912A

After you have a controller and a computer, you’re going to need a way to share your sound. For that, we recommend picking up a quality PA system. Home speakers and soundbars are not meant to handle large crowds of people! It’s important to have the power and size you need to deliver clean, punchy audio.

Sound systems come in all shapes and sizes. Traditional DJ speakers take the form of rectangular cabinets holding 2 or 3 drivers. The larger driver, or woofer, determines how low the speaker can go. Larger woofers, like the 15″ one found in the Mackie Thump 15a, dig deeper for hip-hop and EDM. 12″ woofers are the most common size and offer a good balance of bass extension and portability. When comparing speakers, forget about wattage (which companies love to brag about). Instead, focus on the “dB” or “SPL” level. This determines how loud a speaker can get – the more dB, the louder the speaker.

start a dj business column array

RCF EVOX J8 Column Array

Column array speakers are also an increasingly popular sound system option for DJs. Instead of the traditional square speaker box design, they utilize a lower subwoofer unit and a slim upper tweeter system. This has many benefits, including increased bass response and a wider spread of sound. More compact options like the Evolve 30M from Electro-Voice are extremely popular and durable. It even has a built-in mixer for doing live sound or wedding ceremonies! If you want to do larger crowds, say of 150-200 people, you can step up to the Evolve 50 or LD Systems Maui44 G2. Don’t skimp on quality speakers – they will go a long way as you start a DJ business.

Microphones

Whether you’re hyping a club crowd up or MCing a wedding, a reliable microphone is a necessary DJ tool. For DJs looking to get into the mobile market, a wireless microphone makes life a whole lot easier. You can move freely without worrying about wires getting tangled. Need to provide wedding ceremony audio or do toasts? A wireless mic has you covered. Or what about a speaker at a corporate event? A quality wireless microphone is a must here too.

start a dj business microphone

EV RE3 Wireless Microphone

If you shouldn’t skimp on speakers, you definitely shouldn’t skimp on a microphone. Nothing is worse than audio dropping out at the most inopportune time. Good microphones operate in the UHF frequency band, which is set apart for entertainment use. You can look up what frequencies are available to use in your country or area (or just buy from djeventgear.com, who can advise you on exactly what you need). A microphone with switchable frequencies means you’ll never be stuck without a usable, interference-free frequency band. The EV RE3 is a quality, dependable wireless mic setup we can’t recommend enough.

 

Start a DJ Business – Lighting

Play all the music you want, but most parties need a little bit of lighting to set the mood just right. DJ lighting encourages people to get on the dancefloor and lets you turn off harsh overhead lighting at your events. DJ lights come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few important pearls to remember.

dj lighting

Ape Labs Maxi Uplighting

First of all, we recommend all DJs start with some wash lighting or uplighting. This type of lighting colors your dancefloor and venue walls and provides maximum impact. The Ape Labs Maxi are battery-powered, rechargeable uplights that are super simple to operate. After you’ve got a good lighting base, you can add in whatever lighting effects catch your eye! Moving head lighting like the Attco Spot 200 or ADJ Focus Spot 4Z are professional and can give your audience the true “concert” experience. Alternatively, a set of Galaxy Tubes from Jmaz are unique, eye-catching lights that have both washing and effect lighting features!

Start a DJ Business – Odds and ends | Music

In this article, we’ve covered some of the most essential pieces of DJ equipment you need to start a DJ business. But there’s much more! A DJ booth or table keeps all of your gear together and gets it up to just the right level for performing. And of course, we could forget music!  After all, isn’t music the basis of everything we do as DJs? When it comes to music for DJs, we’re big fans of ZIPDJ Music Pool – it’s got all the music DJs need to keep their libraries fresh. We did a review of this great music pool, which you can check out here.

Being a DJ can take a lot of work and practice, but finding great DJ equipment doesn’t have to be confusing. By starting with the basics and adding to your arsenal as you grow, you’ll be ready to tackle any event that comes your way. As always, contact us here at The DJs Guru with any questions you have about DJing – we’re here to help!