Last month I went over the most basic of basics, as I explained how to unbox and set up your very first controller. I hope you’ve been hard at work practicing your craft, but now it’s the day after and you’re ready to get out there and start being a DJ for real. As in, in front of other people.
Yes, I know I’m jumping ahead, and if you really are just starting out, it’s going to be a little while before you’re ready to play for a crowd, not to mention at least a little while before a crowd is ready to ask you to play for them. But let’s look ahead, shall we?
Today we’re going to start building a sort of to-do list for you. We’re going to start mapping out what you will eventually need once you start DJ’ing publicly.
I’m assuming you have a DJ controller, or turntables and a mixer, or whatever device(s) you will be using to mix music. The next step is to send that mix to something that will let your future audiences hear it. In other words, you need a sound system!
At the most basic level, you need nothing more than a speaker, but we’re going to think a bit beyond basic, and prepare you to play a house party, a small pub, or some other space along those lines. So you’re going to need… you guessed it… TWO speakers.
When choosing speakers, the first thing you have to decide is if you want a passive or active speaker. If that brings up memories of Latin lessons or grammar class, fear not. We’re not talking language here, we’re describing the two basic kinds of speakers.
An active speaker is the most popular kind used today. It has an amplifier built in, which means you can plug it into a wall socket, send it some music, and you’re good to go. A passive speaker is the more traditional kind, and it needs no electricity to run. It does, however, need an amplified signal, so you will need a separate amplifier. You’ll run from your controller into the amp, and from there into the speaker.
Both kinds have their own advantages, but as you’re just starting out, my advice is to go with two active speakers.
You’ll also need cables to connect your controller to those speakers. Most controllers have what’s known as an XLR out, and most speakers have an XLR in, so you obviously will need an XLR cable. You’ll actually need two, one per speaker, and you’ll want 50 foot cables.
Most beginner-level speakers will need to be placed onto a stand of some sort, to elevate them off the floor, and get the sound up to ear level for your listeners, so you’re going to need to speaker stands.
And the last thing you’ll need, at least for today’s beginner’s shopping list, are a power strip and some extension cables. One power strip, 2 25′ extension cables, and 1 50′ extension cable will suffice for now.
And there you have it, your very first shopping list! Don’t run out and buy any of this yet. Stick around, as in future posts we’re going to talk about which brands and models to choose, and how to go about assembling your audio arsenal. For now, start saving up your coppers, and maybe do some research on the side, and learn a little bit more about all this stuff.
Finally, here is the above info, in shopping list form:
2 active speakers
2 50′ XLR cables
2 speaker stands
2 25′ extension cables
1 50′ extension cable
1 power strip