The DJ mixing decks are devices that are used by DJs to control and manipulate different signals of the audio. Many DJs prefer using the mixing decks for other purposes, such as transitions that are more seamless than any other method.
A DJ mixer can also be used by DJs to play vinyl records in order to create new audios. DJ mixers that are slightly more affordable can only play two turntable or cd players.
However, there are more extravagant and pricier ones that can easily play four turntables or cd players.
The most crucial part of any DJ setup is the DJ mixing deck or simply the mixer. It is a type of device that allows the DJ to integrate different effects and tricks into audio.
All DJs use these mixing decks to perform smoother transitions between two tracks as they are spinning a set of tracks.
DJ mixers are quite versatile as they have an option to let the DJ play vinyl records on them too.
As compared to other equipment of the entire DJ setup, DJ mixing decks are smaller in size.
One of the most distinguishing features of a DJ mixer from regular yet larger mixers is the fact that a DJ mixer has the function to cue sounds of non-playing tracks to the DJs headphones.
Moreover, there are the crossfaders that enable the DJ to transition smoothly between two sources.
Working out a DJ blending deck for novices
All DJ decks are different in terms of many factors. The basic essence of a DJ is that there is one track playing, and there are the second tracks that need to be lined up.
A DJ does the cueing up by merely listening to the second track to make sure that the audience does not hear the raw audio.
When track two comes to a point when It is ready to be integrated into track one. The audience doesn’t hear how the second track is being prepared by the DJ on the DJ deck.
Simultaneously they cue the first track too, putting in simple terms the DJ goes back and forth on both the tracks with the help of the decks.
2) Cue Button
All instruments and controls on the right-hand side are for one track, and all of it on the left-hand side is for the other.
Play and the pause options are situated as an integration; above it is the cue button.
Now, this is an important control in case the DJ wants to eliminate the beginning of the tracks and, for instance, wants to use that part that is four bars after the jog wheel is rotated to the point where the DJ wants to start at.
As the track is in pause, upon clicking the new button, the system assigns a mark on that mark with the help of the computer software.
This becomes crucial because as the track is running and the DJ wants to get the beats sorted on one side of the deck.
Simply by pressing the cue button, the software will take the track to that point in the song. Clicking on the cue and play button simultaneously will take the track to the cue point easily.
Summing up the above-mentioned steps with a little more brevity, here are the actions you can employ to move forward or backward in a track:
- Placing your finger directly on the disk and moving it forward and then backward. For scratching, you can move back and front a couple of times quickly.
- Touching the side of the disc with your finger brings the track slowly forward or back. This is a useful trick for beatmatching.
- Toggling on the trackpad above the disk is the third way to manipulate the position of the track on the DJ deck. The computer software shows the position of your track.
3) Adjusting the BPM
In order to adjust the tempo or speed of the song, you can slow down or speed up the track using the temp toggle located on either side of the disk towards the center of the decks.
Note that this works well when both the tracks have a matching BPM.
There are toggle buttons to control the iPhone and the microphone on either side of the beat faders for the disks.
The beat faders are answerable for controlling the volume of each track. There are cues for controlling the bass, the midis, and the highs too. Another cue can be used to absolutely cut all the highs.
4) Blending Two Tracks
For blending two tracks together, take away the bass for track one [the drums] and start playing the second track for which you cut the highs and the Mids.
Then the DJ can play with the highs and the midis of each track to start blending in.
Another simple method of blending is to turn out the pass for both tracks and bring in the highs of both. The result is merged audio, which is then balanced out by playing with the fader or volume keys after.
On the very top of the DJ, deck panels are the cues for applying different effects to audio. The effects can simply be applied by playing the track and turning on the desired effect, such as the echo.
In order to listen to the other track while the first one is playing – you can do that by having one track playing at full volume and the volume all the way down on the other track.
Press play for the track with zero volume on the deck. Then press the cue button, after which you’ll be hearing the muted track while the audience can only hear the first track.
Output and input in a DJ mixer
For the RCA connections. Such as CDs, smartphones, and iPods.
Have preamp and phono stage connections. Preamps are for boosting the audio signal received from the turntable and for equalizing the signal at the same time.
Digital connections are used for harboring data. The mixer decodes the signal from the computer device and transforms it into an audio signal. This means the presence of a full stereo sound to be transmitted using a single wire.
These are like preamps as they too are used to boost a signal. They come with XLR or TRS connections.
A good quality DJ mixer will have socket combos integrated into them.
Can be used both as input or output. It allows the DJ to connect the DJ mixing deck with the computer device.
It can send the music to and from the mixer to the computer.
They are linked with the help of monogamy TRS and XLR connections. Through these, the DJ connects the speakers inside of the DJ booth. With the help of the booth volume, the DJ can lower or increase the volume for himself.
This output used from transmitting the final audio that has been mixed to the speakers. Professional DJs prefer to output the audio using the XLR connections.
This output fulfills the purpose of sending the clock data to the drums and related sets.
The send or the return – to send the or return the output audio to the effects panel of the deck, which then routes and masters it.
Difference between a DJ mixing deck and DJ controller
As opposed to common consensus, a DJ mixing deck and a DJ controller are two different equipment used for DJing purposes.
Most of the DJs own one or the other as both are complete devices in themselves.
The core of a DJ mixer is to control the frequencies of the music in terms of its volume.
A DJ mixing deck is well equipped to be connected to DJ controllers, turntables, vinyl records or CDs.
A DJ controller although cannot work without being connected to a computer device with a DJ software.
Almost all the DJ mixers except for the ones that are MIDI dependent don’t need a controller to function.
But there are DJs who use a more complex setup with both the equipment together.
DJ mixing decks are designed and manufactured quite differently than a DJ controller.
Advantages of a committed DJ mixer
Every PA speaker in the market needs a DJ mixing deck in order to be able to play a sound.
Here are a few reasons that make a DJ mixer worthy equipment to own:
- Do not require a computer connection.
- It can be plugged into devices like mp3x CD, turntables, etc.
- Best equipment for DJs that use the standalone setup for djing.
- They can work well together with DJ controllers as a hybrid setup
- Most versatile djing equipment as they fulfill several different purposes.
- Easier to upgrade different parts of the equipment.
Disadvantages of using a DJ mixer for djing
- Hard to connect with DJ software if the need arises.
- Many are not MIDI compatible.
- Quite heavier – less portable
- It can be replaced as a DJ software that can easily fulfill all the functions of a DJ mixing deck.
- In order to store music audio, it requires an external USB drive.
How to set up a DJ mixing deck for smoother djing
One of the basic things to do is to connect the speakers, decks and other necessary devices with the DJ mixing equipment.
If the DJ is using a CD player, then they would need to connect it for sending inputs. Setting up a DJ mixing deck in the right manner is essential for using it without any problems or delays.
Simplest tricks like connecting the white plug and the white connections or the red plug with red connections can play a large part during the actual djing time.
What are some of the most recommended DJ mixing decks in the market?
One of the most coveted beasts of a DJ mixer loved widely in the DJ industry is the pioneer electronics DJM-2000. It costs around two thousand five hundred dollars.
The DJ mixer is four-channel equipment that comes with built-in effects such as crush, HPF, HET, NOISE, ETC.
The deck comprises an approximately six-inch LCD touchscreen that allows the DJ to create new tracks with the help of the beat slice function present on the mixer.
The four channels on the mixer are situated on either side of the LCD. These can be used to connect the turntable to analogy players of your choice.
Each channel on the mixer has fader that can be used to manipulate a channel’s volume.
There is a trim control button to play with the input and a cue button that is meant for the DJ to pre-listen to a track without the audience being able to hear it.
Other features present on the pioneer DJ mixer are delay, multitap, rolls, filters, etc.
Before buying any DJ gear, it is important to learn as much as you can about each piece in the setup. With so much equipment and software in the market, it gets a bit tough to purchase the right product.
There are some features that make a DJ mixing deck even better. Such as extra filters that are easier to use. Kill switches were able to remove an entirety of a specific part from the final audio. But they are nowhere to be seen today on the DJ mixing decks.
They were very useful tools as they made switching and getting rid of errors so much easier. It is the mixing deck that adds all the unique effects to an audio track.
And the other critical trick for a DJ is beatmatching, which requires the ability to balance the tunes on each track.
As a rule, a top-notch deathmatch will always have the two tracks running perfectly in sync together. All these observations conclude that a DJ mixing equipment is a non-negotiable piece of a DJing setup.