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All the DJ equipment you need for any gig, including mixers, DJ lighting, controllers and fog machines.

DJ gear for beginners vs. professionals

Whether you’re a beginner spinning the music for a house party or a professional headlining a club, you’ll need much more in the way of DJ equipment than a turntable or laptop and a set of speakers.

Probably the most important pieces of equipment are DJ controllers or mixers. These are the primary interface for the DJ, the central point of control for the music. A mixer is a powerful piece of equipment that accepts inputs from a variety of music sources and microphones (channels), allowing the DJ to blend the sound from the different sources, change variables like the tempo, add effects, fade volume, and output the audio to an amplifier and speakers. A controller does largely the same thing but usually on a more modest scale, and it has a music input source (like a turntable) built in, making it an all-in-one unit.

What makes the best DJ controller stand out from lesser models? It largely comes down to cost and quality. Cheap DJ gear simply doesn’t last as long and doesn’t offer nearly the same degree of flexibility and control. In general, professional DJs prefer to use mixers, allowing them to use high quality standalone sources for inputs, while beginners may find the all-in-one approach of DJ controllers is more convenient.

Classic setup vs. digital setup

Canada is increasingly seeing two approaches to DJ equipment: a classic setup and a digital setup. The classical approach requires a mixer or controller with inputs for analog sources. Many DJs are now taking an all digital approach using laptops, iPads and even smartphones. In this case, they are looking for DJ equipment for sale that’s designed for a digital approach, with USB input being a critical must-have.

How to choose the right DJ equipment

Choosing the right DJ equipment is an exercise of requirements, equipment you currently own, and budget.

Professional DJs are more likely to require a mixer than has multiple channels (24 is not unheard of) that lets them take full advantage of all their equipment including turntables, CD players, laptops and microphones. A beginner doesn’t need to buy the best DJ gear on the market to get started but they should decide if they are taking the digital or classic setup approach.

Don’t forget lighting and effects

The best DJs know that a successful event is more than the music. Another key to being able to pump up an audience is special effects like DJ lighting. LED lights that are programmed to pulse with the music add to the atmosphere, and specialized DJ lights are much more powerful than the smart lights sold to consumers. For the ultimate in atmospheric effects, a perfectly timed blast from a DJ fog machine has the dance floor swirling in tendrils of eerie mist that interacts with projected lighting for an epic night.