What should an aspiring DJ buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nashish, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. nashish macrumors newbie


    Jun 25, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Hello everyone,

    About a week ago, I saw a live DJ in a café here in my city. He had a MacBook hooked up to all sorts of devices: turntables, a mixer, and other contraptions. DJing is a hobby I've always dreamed of getting into, and seeing that guy with his MacBook made the dream seem more tangible. I thought maybe I could try my hand at it too. I think it'd be fun and maybe I could make a little money doing it too.

    Now for my question: what hardware and software would you all recommend an aspiring DJ get to go with his MacBook Pro?

    Thanks for your time and input!
  2. veeco3110 macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2007
    brick nj
    you can dj with any macbook. i have a macbook pro 13 inch hooked up to my dj equipment. my buddy dj cnc, ( www.myspace.com/djcnc ) sorry shameless plug, has a standard white macbook with a sleeve over it that covers the keyboard. the sleeve shows that buttons do what instead of memorizing that a is a fader, x is a cross fader... etc.
  3. Shawny D macrumors member

    Shawny D

    May 13, 2009
    I'm DJing with Serato Scratch Live on my 2.5-year old MacBook White 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo with 2 GB RAM and 320 GB Scorpio Black HDD. Besides the MacBook and SSL soundcard, I use 2 Pioneer CDJ-800's and a Pioneer DJM-707.

    It's all I need. :D
  4. young shiz macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2006
    yeah i have a buddy using Serato with a 12 inch powerbook. ANY macbook will do. Even $500 first gens if cash is tight.
  5. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    I occasionally use Serato on a Rev A Air, and it works just fine. It is not an overly demanding program.

    Some of the production software will be happier with a beefier system, but it will still run.
  6. ceezy3000 macrumors 6502


    Jan 10, 2009
    The Valley!!
  7. young shiz macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2006
    If your not gonna go the traditional setup route (turntables/cd players), i would HIGHLY recommend ableton live and a midi controller. I'm not a fan of virtual dj at all. Ableton is a much more versatile IMO.
  8. angemon89 macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    I have a cousin who used to use the old gma 950 macbook. He used scratch live on it for many years. Any new MacBook should be able to handle dj programs with no problem.
  9. nashish thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 25, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks for jumping in guys; allow me to clarify some more: I would like to use a traditional set up turntables etc. I want some recommendations for sound cards, mixers, software, etc. I already have a MacBook Pro. I want to know what DJ hardware / software you all recommend.
  10. nashish thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 25, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I've looked at some Vestax Midi Controllers. I don't know whether to go with traditional set-ups or just get one of those devices. I've read about people using a midi controller and a hardware mixer together. What are the pros and cons of both types?
  11. Acid303 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2009
    Technics mk5G's - sheer poetry in motion
    Xone 92 - analogue goodness with sick filters and sweet EQ
    Macbook Pro (or macbook) - doesn't matter too much for DJing but i'd get one with a fw port
    Traktor Scratch Pro - you get the audio 8 DJ soundcard that can be used for production ect

    This system is a dream to mix on :D guess what I use?
  12. jynetix macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2009
    I use:
    Serato Scratch Live running on 12" Powerbook 1.5 ghz with 1.25 gb of ram
    2 Technics 1200 mk5s - the mk5gs are nice but you don't need the extra pitch.
    Pioneer DJM-600 mixer - I'm upgrading to the DJM-909 and selling the DJM-600 (let me know if you're interested)
    2 Shure m-44g needles for mix/scratch practice
    2 Shure Whitelabels for performance

    Just upgraded to white macbook 2,1. 950 gma is fine, I'm no gamer.

    If you're going to DJ, use Serato for your software. Its industry standard and no one uses anything else anymore. If you're going to use software, use actual turntables. People will say you're "cheating" as it is, no need to give them any other reason to complain by using cd players. As for system requirements, anything faster than a 500 mhz ibook will run Serato just fine. I recommend at least 160GB hard drive and ALWAYS save your mp3's at 320 kbps! If you need electronic music, go to Beatport. Anything else use Amazon since Apple's music store is a total rip-off.
  13. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    have a look at a program called DJ-1800

    It emulates the Denon DN-1800F, which apparently is used by many DJs. I remember seeing the DJ at Yates' in Tenerife using it.

    You will need an external sound card with more than one output for what ever you use, as you will need a stereo monitor as well as stereo output for the audience to hear.
  14. aaronxsubaru macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2008
    EDIT: no matter what you do, check out this guy http://www.youtube.com/user/ellaskins
    and his site www.djtutor.com. he has alot of videos on everything from gear, to how to mix, to how to set up for a gig. I like his videos because he doesn't assume you know anything already they are usually explained for total beginners who have never DJed before

    I use virtual DJ, and for hardware i currently have:
    an echo audiofire2 soundcard ( i picked firewire to have more USB ports open if i needed them on my old powerbook)
    and a Numark DXM-06 mixer. it has some nice effect built in.

    If you don't already use vinyl or CDJs i would suggest just playing around with software until you get the basics, then getting a mixer, then getting turntables/ect. That way you can spend as you learn. midi contollers are nice and easy if you are going to be using a computer al the time. BUT buying CDJs or turntables has the benefit of being able to work without a computer. Computer crash? throw a record or cd on and keep mixing while you get your technical difficulties worked out.

    Antother money saving idea is that most software programs can be set to work off a single controller, so you get 1 CDJ and then switch with deck you control on the software. its not ideal but save some cash upfront. also you could find a used CDJ and a used TT and see which you like best, then sell the other (or keep as a backup) and buy another controller of your liking.

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