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Professional DJ Equipment


In the 50's or 60's, the worth of a Disc Jockey was usually measured by the number records he had at his disposal. To be competitive in their industry today, DJ's are expected to utilize professional DJ equipment such as: Turntables, Slipmats, a Mixer, headphones and amplifiers and high quality speakers.

The Mixer is the backbone of the professional sound system. Sound impulses pass through the mixer and are amplified and directed outward through the speakers. The signal coming through the mixer is actually rather weak; therefore, a good amplifier is essential to ensure high quality sound.

The rage of the day in the world of professional DJ's is, "mixing." This term is rather self explanatory; it refers to the practice of replaying and combining various segments of pre-recorded music to form new sound compositions. Count Matchukie, King Stitts and a few other notable DJ's started this practice in Jamaica in the 1960's. They referred to the process as "turntablism."

"Slipmats" reduce friction between the record and the turntable allowing the DJ to hold the record still while the turntable is still moving. Mixing would be impossible without the use of a slipmat. This device allows the DJ to stop the record, back it up, move it forward or play various segments of the record as desired. Mixing actually allows the DJ to create new music.

When formulating a list of essential professional DJ equipment, no DJ worth his or her salt will forget to include a good set of DJ headphones. Headphones drown out background noise and allow the DJ to monitor the mix and the sounds being created. Most people prefer lightweight sets that can be worn comfortably for several hours.

DJ's have come a long way since the days of Alan Freed, Casey Kasem and Wolfman Jack. The Berklee College of Music in Boston and the European Graduate School, among others, now offer formal courses for DJ's. Bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, school dances and private parties still command a lion's share of the DJ service market and probably always will. But in contrast to the DJ who used to show up with cartons of records and cumbersome equipment, our modern DJ's will bring hundreds of digital recordings on a USB hard disk.

Anyone aspiring to become a DJ can now purchase a complete professional DJ equipment starter kit from RadioShack.


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