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FAQ and How To's
The basic equipment for becoming a vinyl DJ is:
Two Cartridges and Needles
One pair of Headphones
Am amplification system (This can be a stereo, an amplifier and
speaker system or powered speakers)
To become a cd DJ you will need the same basics
except for substituting cd players in for turntables. You also
will not need slipmats or cartridges and needles.
to look for when purchasing your equipment
good rule of thumb is to spend most of your money on your turntables or
cd players, then spend the rest on the rest of your gear. The best mixer
in the world will not compensate for a bad turntable or cd player.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Players -- If you want to scratch, then make sure your cd
player is scratch compatible. Just because a cd player has a jog wheel
on top does not make it scratch compatible. Check the descriptions
and know what you're buying. If you buy rack mountable cd players,
make sure you have a rack case to put them in.
- Turntables -- You
want pitch control on your turntable. No questions asked, if a turntable
does not have this, then you really won't want it. A good rule of thumb
is a pitch control of + or -8% at the very minimum. Of course, the higher
the pitch control, the better. The biggest thing to take into consideration
when buying turntables is whether to get belt driven or direct drive.
It is advisable to get direct drive. They have more torque and quicker
start and stop. Also, scratching on belt driven is not advisable because
the belts will wear down and can break. If you plan on mixing, belt driven
will be more acceptable, but direct drive is always recommended first.
-- When choosing a mixer, make sure you get one that has the number
of channels you desire. Since mixers are where you get the effects
for your mixing/scratching, it is crucial you pick one that has the
effects that you want.
- Headphones -- Many
people under estimate the importance of a good pair of headphones. When
there is a noisy crowd, your noise cancellation headphones will help
tons to get the beats down properly. Lightweight, noise cancelling headphones
are ideal. Also, check the frequency response -- the higher the better.
-- Choosing your amp depends on what kind of speakers you have.
You will want an amp that is strong enough to push the speakers, but
not too strong so as to not blow your speakers. For example: Your speakers
combined Wattage is 1200w. You will want an amp that is up to 1200w,
but not higher. You could get a 1000w amp, and while this will not
use your speakers maximum potential, you also don't run the risk of
Your turntable will have two Phone/RCA jacks and another thinner wire. The
RCA jacks will be of two different colors -- one red and one that
is usually either white or yellow or sometimes black. The red is
for your right input and the other is for the left. It is fairly
easy to remember as R = Red = Right.
On your mixer, you'll notice that in each channel there is an
input for "Phono" and
one for "Line". Turntables always go in "Phono" -- everything
else goes into "Line" The left turntable will connect into into
Channel 1 and the right into Channel 2. Match your colors up from the turntable
the mixer, making sure you have the correct side with the correct channel.
The third smaller wire coming out of your turntable is your ground wire. You
must hook this to your mixer by the Ground connector found on the back.
The final step is to make sure you have the voltage selector switched to the
proper voltage on your turntables. Not all turntables are dual voltage, but
if yours is, make sure you have the proper voltage selected. Check your manual
for more details.
Making sure your tonearm/cartridge is properly set up is of the
utmost importance for sound and performane. Some cartridges
are installed directly to your turntable's
headshell with mouting brackets and screws. Others come with their own
mounting system that bypasses the turntables headshell
and is wired internally.
1)After putting the cartridge into the headsheel, you must mount the
headshell into the tonearm. Hold the tonearm and insert the headshell
into the lock with.
Turn the lock ring clockwise (from the rear of the tonearm) untill it
is locked tightly in place. Make sure the needle is perpendicular to
the surface of the
record. If it is not, you can loosen the lock ring and adjust the headshell
untill it is where you need it, then retighten the lock ring.
2)Now you have to balance your tonearm. With a needle in the headshell,
and a record on the turntable, set the "Anti-skate dial" to
0. Keeping the tone arm free, rotate the rear section of the counterweight
tone arm is parallel to the record. Once the tone arm is balanced set
the stylus pressure indicator ring to 0. Do this by holding the rear
rubber grip in place and rotate the rear section of the counterweight
untill the stylus pressure reading is matched with the line on the
top of the tone arm.
is what keeps the needle centered in the groove of the record. If
you are using a straight-arm turntable or scratching, leave the anti-skate
at 0. Otherwise turn the anti-skate dial to the same setting as the
stylus pressure reading.
4)The last adjustment for turntables is the tonearm height. Usually you want
the tone-arm to be parallel with the record. However, if you need this changed,
rotate the height adjustment ring to the correct reading for your cartridge.
- CD -- Tape -- MD -- MP3
Hooking up other applications to your mixer is basically the same
as hooking up a turntable except that these go into the "Line" jack and not
the "Phono". Also, only turntables have a ground wire to worry
Make sure the "Phono/Line" switch on your mixer is switched to
the correct one for each channel. Make sure the gain conrol and the Maser
aren't at 0, then move the channel faders up, and the cross-faders from side
to side. Check the LED's to make sure they are lighting up to let you know
that you have a signal. If nothing is lighting up, then something is hooked
up wrong and double check your connections.
Most mixers have a "Master", "Rec" and "Booth" outputs.
The Master output goes to the amplifier, the Record goes to tape recorders,
MiniDiscs or CD burners and the Booth goes to seperate monitor speakers in
the DJ booth. The Booth can also go to recording devices, if needed.
Hooking your mixer up to your amp depends on what kind of amplication device
you are using. If you are using the amp/speaker set up, then you will want
to plug your mixer into the "Line" input on the amp. If you are using
a stereo system, then you will want to plug into the "AUX/TV" or "Line
In" on it. If your stereo has neither of these, then you will have to
use the "CD" jack. For powered speakers you just hook the speakers
straight into the Master output of the mixer. Many powered speakers have an
1/8 inch jack and you may need to get cables. Check your speakers for what
-- Everything is hooked up, but I still cannot hear out of the mixer
to the headphones
A -- Make sure the headphones are plugged in or turned up. Make
sure the monitor is switched to the proper channel. Make sure you
have "Line" or "Phono" set to your correct setting.
Double check that the mixer is on. Make sure all of your connection
are good, and that you have your input device (turntable/cd player..etc..)
plugged into the right input.
Everything is playing fine on the mixer, but I cannot hear through
Double check that the amp is on and the volume is up and the it is
switched to the correct mode. Check to see that the speakers are connected
to the amp, and that they are hooked into the proper mixer outputs.
Make sure the Master control on the mixer is up.
My sound is badly distorted on my cd player.
If your cd player is hooked into the "Phono" input instead
of the "Line" you will hear major distortion. Make sure you're
hooked into the proper input.
When I use my turntables, all the sound is very quiet, even when I
have everything turned all the way up.
Double check that you have your turntables hooked into the proper input.
If they are hooked into "Line" the sound will be really quiet.
The sound is great through the mixer, but is distorted going through
Try turning the input level on your amp down a bit and see if that
helps. Do the same for the mixer output. Make sure the amp is plugged
into "Line In" inputs, and not a different one
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