Don't Miss

    7 Essential Equipment Items Every DJ Needs

    By on Last modified: October 15, 2021

    The term DJ (disk jockey) was first-time used in 1935, to describe a radio announcer that played recorded music on a popular American radio station. At this time, DJs didn’t have any particular equipment, but they only played music on-air as a way to break up the talking. However, as more and more people started to turn on their radios only to listen to music, it was more than clear that DJs needed some type of equipment to make transitioning from different musical elements smoother. This led to developing an entire “science” and inventing DJ equipment to achieve different musical effects.

    Thanks to the huge technology and software development, the DJ equipment nowadays is nothing like it used to be through history. In fact, all the pro audio gear stores offer advanced and professional audio gear for DJing that won’t be that harsh for your wallet. And if you’re a beginner on the DJ scene and you were about to hit one of these stores, we made a list of the 7 most essential items you’ll need for your upcoming gigs.

    DJ Gig Bag 

    Not a DJ can be imagined without a proper DJ gig bag to carry all the essentials they need for their performance. Not only will a proper bag keep all the equipment and tiny stuff secure, but it’ll also help you organize everything you need neatly.

    However, many DJs tend to carry their equipment in ordinary luggage bags, which is very wrong. These bags will only make your equipment get damaged easier as the items inside will interfere with each other. On the other hand, specialized DJ gig bags are designed with a great number of sections and pockets to separate the equipment. The best models also feature convenient padding as well as internal safety straps to prevent the stuff from tossing inside the bag while transporting.

    dj gig bag

    DJ Controller

    Once you decide to hit the market to get pro audio gear for DJs, a high-quality DJ controller is the first thing you should search for. Controllers are the ultimate hardware you’ll need for mixing songs, and therefore makes for number one essential for every DJ. When we’re talking about DJ controllers, you’ll come across two different types- separate controllers and the all-in-one systems that include DJ mixers too. At this point, keep in mind that these combined systems aren’t recommended at all, due to them being inferior to separate controllers as well as very bulky and heavy to transport. However, getting an all-in-one system is cheaper than getting a separate controller and a mixer. Hence, they can be a good choice for beginner DJs and for those who are on a budget.

    DJ Mixer

    If you decided to go for a separate controller, know that a DJ mixer is also among the professional audio equipment that a DJ can’t do without. In fact, a DJ needs a controller to transition different songs, use loops and other effects and a mixer to make adjustments between the two different channels, frequencies and volume between the tracks. DJ mixers are a must-have, especially if you’re about to use turntables or a laptop instead of a controller. But have in mind that without a controller, you’re going to need a separate sound card so you can pre-listen to the tracks. 

    High-End Headphones

    Headphones are also among the must-have DJ equipment items since they serve multiple purposes. First of all, headphones are required for pre-listening to tracks so you can match the BPMs of the songs that are playing at the moment. A pair of pro audio headphones are also required to isolate your ears from the loud surrounding sounds and help you sync your music better.

    However, when searching for high-end headphones, make sure that they’re perfectly balanced and feature convenient padding so you can stay comfy for hours without overwhelming your ears and your neck. And even though some DJs use earbuds for this purpose, know that they aren’t recommended since they’ll affect the performance.

    Also, we recommend getting headphones that feature active noise cancellation, so you can be completely isolated from the surroundings and focus on transitioning and syncing smoothly. However, know that active noise cancellation headphones tend to be very expensive, and passive-noise cancelling ones are a good alternative for those who can’t afford them.

    dj headphones

    Cables and Power Adapters

    If there’s anything worse than forgetting a piece of your equipment at home, it’s arriving at the venue where you’re about to play and realizing that their audio cables aren’t compatible with your equipment. This is the exact reason why every DJ should always have a spare set of audio cables and power adapters so you can adapt your equipment to the setup of the space.

    Except for this, cables and adapters can also come in handy for situations when your laptop runs out of battery. This is why you shouldn’t forget to get at least one of each – Ethernet, USB, XLR, RCA, hardware, controller and mixer cables. 

    Additional USB Drive

    Many DJs tend to do the mistake of going on gigs with a single USB drive, not being aware that some situations may impose having at least two of them. For instance, using a laptop with your controller may lead to technical issues where the only solution is to restart your laptop, and making your audience wait for music while the problem is getting resolved can be a real bummer. This is where a second USB drive comes in. You simply need to connect it to the controller and keep the party flowing without anybody noticing something. This also means that except for getting a high-quality USB drive you can find in every professional audio gear store, you should also test it before you leave for a gig.

    dj usb drive
    source: dj-usb-drives

    Extension Sockets

    While extension sockets are not the most essential piece of equipment for your gigs, they can come in handy in a couple of situations. For instance, some clubs may not feature enough power supply sockets for your equipment, and carrying one from home can absolutely save the party. At the end of the day, extension sockets won’t take much of your valuable bag space as you can easily fit them in the smallest compartment.

    When buying an emergency extension socket, make sure you don’t compromise on its quality. Poor-quality sockets can cause short circuits and damage your entire DJ equipment. Except for this, extension sockets are very cheap, even when it comes to the highest-quality models.