(1) - Pair of speakers linked to your MIDI controller through a RCA/XLR cable. (2) - iPad/Tablet/Laptop with software linked to your MIDI controller through a USB cable. (3). - A MIDI controller linked to your Tablet/Laptop (some of which can also be used as an analogue mixer). (4) - An additional MIDI effect/sampler unit to  alongside your MIDI controller connected to your Tablet/Laptop.


DJ MIDI Controllers
The analogue vs digital debate will rage on for years to come, but in terms of convenience and range of features MIDI controllers simply can't be beaten. With a lifetime's worth of music on your laptop's hard drive and a midi controller in your bag you can be certain that wherever there are speakers you can DJ at a moments notice.

Why Use MIDI Controllers?
MIDI controllers have become a piece of revolutionary technology in terms of the modern Digital DJ. Using a MIDI controller allows seamless control of many major DJ software such as Serato, Traktor or Virtual DJ giving you easy access to your digital music collection while keeping many 'classic' features from Turntables and CDJs. One of the best features about MIDI control is that it is extremely versatile, meaning that not only can you use it on your Laptop or Mac, but some controllers are even compatible on iPod, iPad and Windows tablets.

What do I need to use a MIDI controller?
The simple beauty of using a MIDI controller is that you only need a laptop or tablet and a USB cable to get started. In terms of your music collection, you have no need to worry as you just need the music on your device! (Yes, you heard right, no CDs!). You will however require some DJ software to use such as Serato DJ or Traktor, but make sure the controller you buy is compatible. You can see how to set up your device to both your MIDI controller and your speakers through the diagram above.

What can MIDI control offer to help improve my DJ setup?
MIDI has dramatically expanded over the past few years. Not only can you use MIDI for the main features of DJing, you can also use MIDI to make your DJ set unique by using MIDI for effects and much much more. You can use a range of different samples or effects to help enhance your set with MIDI controllers such as the Novation Launchpad and the Pioneer RMX1000. These controllers are extremely versatile and have a extremely large range of capabilities for your DJ setup. You can even map a MIDI controller to do anything you want on your computer. Literally, anything! They are also incredibly easy to set up (as shown in the diagram above) as most controllers are only USB powered and would run straight from your PC, Laptop or Tablet, so you can avoid searching for power supplies!

I'm looking into DJing. What MIDI controllers would you recommend as a beginner?
As a beginner, you may want to use a MIDI controller such as a Pioneer DDJ-SB or a Hercules DJ Control Instinct. These controllers offer little but impressive control for various software, and are easy to set up with USB plug and play capability. If using a PC isn't your preferred format for DJing, you may want to use iPad compatible controllers such as the Hercules DJ Control Instinct (for iPad), the Hercules DJ Control Air or a Pioneer DDJ-WeGO2. These controllers can be used with popular iOS DJ software such as Algoriddim's Djay 2 or Mixvibes' Cross DJ for iPad. They are also both extremely portable allowing you to literally take them and DJ anywhere.

If you're looking for something more advanced, you may want to have a look at controllers with dual capabilities that allow you to use them as both an analogue mixer and a MIDI controller. This means you can use external products such as turntables, CDJs or even your iPod into the built in mixer to use alongside your Laptop and MIDI controller. Here at Gear4DJs we would recommend controllers such as the American Audio VMS 4.1 or the Pioneer DDJ-SX for these sorts of specifications.


DJ Turntable Decks & Cartridges



(1) - Pair of speakers linked to a mixer via a XLR/RCA phono cable. (2) - Mixer linked to a pair of Vinyl turntables and speakers. (3) - Pair of Vinyl turntables linked to a mixer (or USB audio interface for MIDI control)

 
Although MIDI controllers may potentially be the future of DJing, Vinyl DJing just cannot be beaten. Classic Vinyl turntables are the centrepiece of the history of DJing and are world renowned for their success. World class DMC champions and major DJ artists are all known for their Vinyl skills which show the true technique and represent what a Disc Jockey is all about.

Cartridges are essential to use with any Vinyl turntable. DJ cartridges offer a high quality sound output along with the ability to provide extremely sensitive scratching to help enhance your set and show off your skills.

I want to buy a Vinyl turntable and some cartridges for my setup, what would you recommend?
Here at Gear4DJs we sell a range of turntables and cartridges from trusted DJ manufacturers Stanton. At a beginner stage, we would recommend a Stanton T.62. This extremely reliable turntable is easy to operate and offers a high torque motor with 2 playback speeds and a straight tone arm for improved tracking and scratching.

If you are looking for something more advanced, you may want to look at a Stanton ST.150. This excellent turntable is a similar match to Technics' world famous Sl-1210 turntable, offering professional features at an affordable price. It also features a digital output, which means you can hook it up to a digital sound card and use it on software such as Serato Scratch on your PC! Making it incredibly easy to use your Vinyl turntable as part of your setup as a Digital DJ.

In terms of cartridges, they are usually included with the turntable, however you may want a more advanced or better quality cartridge, such as the robust Ortofon Concorde Pro S Banana Cartridge that we sell which includes a spherical diamond design that offers a higher performance than other standard cartridges.


DJ Media Players & DJ CD Decks



(1) - Pair of speakers linked to a mixer via XLR/RCA phono cables. (2) - Pair of CD Decks/Media Players linked to a mixer (optional USB link to PC). (3) - Mixer linked to a pair of CD Decks/Media Players and speakers

DJ Media Players and DJ CD Decks work similar to Vinyl turntables, but with a digital twist. Unlike MIDI controllers,  Media Players and CD Decks both have the same hands on capabilities of Vinyl large 12" discs, but instead more portable CDs and USB flash drives.Infact most high end CD Decks and Media Players can easily be linked to major software such as Virtual DJ, Traktor or Serato with Timecoding CDs and an additional USB Audio Interface, so you can use them as controllers as well as CDJs!

What features do a Media Player or a CD Deck have?
CD Decks will (as in the name) only be compatible with CDs. Most offer additional features such as built in effects or looping controls. Some even have digital outputs that allow you to use them on major DJ software when linked to your PC (as mentioned above).

Media Players, on the other hand, are more versatile as they offer compatibility on various platforms. For example, the Pioneer CDJ2000-Nexus is compatible with CDs, USB flash drives and Computers aswell as iPods,. iPads, iPhones, Android Phones or Android Tablets through their additional Rekordbox software which is available as a free download on both Apple's App Store and Google Play. The Pioneer CDJ2000-Nexus is also quite hybrid, being able to play MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF and MPEG1 files, whereas CD decks usually just read MP3 files.

What CD Decks or Media Players would you recommend?
If you are just looking for some CD decks, we would recommend the Stanton C 502 or the American Audio UCD200. Both CD players are capable of reading MP3 CDs and feature essential controls such as a Jog Wheel, Pitch Controls and Looping controls as well as a LCD screen with ID3 tags to see what track you are about to play. Both of these CD players are also rack mountable, making them a perfect solution for any mobile DJ.

If you are looking for a Media Player, you may want to have a look at the American Audio Radius 3000 or the Pioneer CDJ2000-Nexus. These offer control over various music files on PCs, CDs, USB Flash Drives and SD cards, while the Pioneer CDJ2000-Nexus also offers support on iOS and Android devices through an external app. Both media players include advanced effects and controls such as filter, echo, flanger, advanced scratch controls and more.
 
Decided which is for you? Have a look at our product range to find out specific details for each product.