In the competitive music industry, especially in the pop, electro, and other contemporary genres, a big part of the creative process is having the right equipment. Having the right equipment means not only producing great sound output but also saving so much time and effort in editing.
A DJ’s table may seem like a mess of unrecognizable music gear, but there stands one familiar piece: the turntable. A turntable is a central part of a DJ’s setup. In fact, scratching grooves on raw vinyl is a high-stake skill in itself.
The importance of having the right equipment is even more critical if you’re a DJ. Traditional DJ gear include vinyl records and two tables. But just like everything else, DJing tools and gear have gone through their own advancements and evolution in the past few years.
But as choices diversify, it gets harder for beginner DJs to identify the best route to take when it comes to choosing their initial gear. Wherever you may stand in this proverbial debate, the business of whether to go analog or digital is personal and depends on more than a few factors. Here are what you need to consider.
First off, it’s important to clarify the distinction between turntables and controllers. Turntables traditionally refer to that equipment that DJs use to mix and scratch vinyl records.
On the other hand, DJ controllers do away with traditional vinyl manipulation by letting the user directly mix music with the software, using hardware that provides ease of control, compared to using a laptop’s touchpad or a computer keyboard.
Today’s innovative additions to the conventional turntable mostly include software to mix vinyl with a computer. If you’re already using that, then there’s not much difference from handling a controller.
A lot of beginners who are still experimenting with their music can do so much with just one turntable. Once you refine your skill and maybe start getting small gigs, it will do you well to invest in another. This way, you can mix and match tracks simultaneously.
The most important thing to consider when buying additional turntables is to consider your long-term goals. If you think you are very much likely to get another set in the future, then see to it that your current setup allows for possible additions.
One of the most persistent points when discussing introductory DJ equipment is whether to go old-school with analog turntables or modern with digital turntables or MIDI controllers.
Many would say that, if you want to learn “true Djing”, you should start off using analog turntables. But if you want to save on cost, a controller is often the easier choice. Traditional turntables are excellent for experimenting music, especially when you’re very particular with the quality of sound.
When you’re just starting out, it’s not necessary to immediately stock up on gear. Initially, the most you’ll need will include your turntables or controller, headphones, cables, and other assisting software and plugins.
You will have to be familiar with your equipment first. Eventually, you’ll find out which of the available gear in the market you’ll need to improve your hobby or career. If you’re playing for gigs, of course, you’ll need peripheral equipment like a sturdy and reliable DJ stand as well as other accessories like mixers and cases to make sure they’re safe when you’re on the road.
There are a variety of factors that go into your decision to purchase a turntable: budget, sound quality, whether you’re a newbie or not, etc. At the end of the day, it becomes a personal matter.
Don’t feel bad if you had to opt for digital. Nor should you ignore the flexibility of digital controllers. Each has its own pros. The most important thing, after all, is to start making music and get groovin’.