Have you ever wanted to be a DJ? If so, then you’ve likely looked into some of the gear involved in going pro. You may have thought about using your computer as the centerpiece of your DJ setup. Nowadays, that can be a great idea since you can use a digital setup and keep it all connected via USB. There are lots of options available when it comes to getting started with computer-based DJing, but it’s important to make sure that you get the right equipment for your budget and needs. Here are some things you should consider when setting up your PC as a DJ:
Why Use Your PC as a DJ?
You can use your computer to DJ. It’s not as simple as plugging in a pair of headphones and pressing play, but it is a very viable option for many people who want to get into DJing. Your computer has all the hardware necessary to be a traditional DJ setup, but without the expense or hassle of buying expensive components. You can also use your computer to DJ with software, which makes things even easier and allows you full control over how you mix music together. Furthermore, there are plenty of free programs out there that allow you to do this at no cost!
Find the Right PC for You
To get started, you’ll want to make sure that your computer is up for the job. There are a few things to consider when deciding which PC will be best for DJing:
- How much money do I have? The more money you have to spend on a new computer, the better options are available. If you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend too much money on hardware, it might be best to stick with something more affordable like an older laptop or desktop computer. However, if there are any upgrades available at all (like RAM), then it could definitely make sense in some cases where cost may not be as big of an issue.
- What software do I need? This is pretty straightforward—you need software! It doesn’t matter whether or not this software is free or paid; what matters most here is what kind of experience it offers users so that they can make informed decisions about how much value they’re getting from each product before purchasing anything from their own personal collection of digital toolsets used while performing various tasks related specifically towards music production/mixing/mastering etcetera).
Get a USB Audio Interface
For starters, you will need to get a USB audio interface. This device is a small box that connects your computer to your turntables and CDJs. It allows you to send the audio output from your DJ software into the line inputs on your sound system, while also providing an input for any microphone or instrument you may want to use during your performance.
USB audio interfaces come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important that you pick one that suits your needs (and budget). They’re available for both Macs and PCs running Windows operating systems—so no matter what kind of computer you have at home, there should be something out there that works for you!
Get a USB-based DJ Controller
- Choose a USB-based DJ controller.
The first thing to do is go shopping for a USB-based DJ controller. You can find them at pretty much any music retailer, and they’re also available on Amazon, eBay and other online stores like that. When you’re buying your controller, here are some things to look out for:
- Make sure it has a built-in audio interface that can connect directly to your computer via USB cable (not just MIDI). This will allow you to monitor your sound through the computer’s own speakers or headphones instead of having to hook up a separate sound system in order for people around you hear what you’re playing back from the mixer itself – which is exactly what we want!
- Connect Your Controller To Your Computer
Once you’ve got yourself one of these babies home with all its cables connected properly (and maybe even set up), it’s time now take everything over right where we left off before heading off into such deep waters — namely by connecting this shiny new toy directly into our PC using one long cord which terminates at both ends with their respective connectors – one side being male while other being female – so there won’t be any confusion when attaching either end correctly done correctly without breaking anything along way; only then would we need worry about turning power switch on next corner wall socket nearby which powers up whole house electricity network: if power outage occurs during operation time period (especially during shows), then consider replacing fuse first before attempting repair work again later after service technician arrives next day–assuming he/she doesn’t charge extra fee since it happens regularly every week due too much stress caused by poor planning ahead).
Decide If You Need Vinyl or CDs
If you want to use vinyl to scratch and mix, then it’s all about vinyl. You can also just play music on your computer and use CDs if that’s what you prefer. Vinyl has been around for a long time, but recently there have been more DJs returning to vinyl as they realize that technology isn’t always the answer when it comes to DJing. It’s great if you want to listen to your music collection on a turntable with headphones instead of listening through speakers or headphones connected directly into your computer.
If you’re going with CDs then consider buying some new ones so that they will match the rest of your setup nicely!
Other Gear You Can Add to Your Setup
Once you’re comfortable with your setup, you might want to expand it. You can have a friend play the guitar or saxophone over tracks during a party and record their performance to add live music to your mix. You can also get other equipment like:
- A DJ mixer
- A DJ controller
- An additional turntable
If you want more control over the sound of your mixes, consider buying one of these devices so that they’re more hands-on when mixing and playing songs in real time.
What Computer Programs Do I Need?
There are a few different types of DJ software and music production software, but they all have one thing in common: they’re designed to help you create your own music.
Music Production Software (DAW). This is the type of software that allows you to create your own songs and recordings. A lot of people use this type of program to make their first record or album, and then go on to produce other artists’ hits.
DJ Software. This category includes programs such as Serato, Traktor Pro 2 and Virtual DJ Pro 7 that allow DJs to mix tracks together into a seamless set at parties or clubs.
What do these two things have in common? They both let you work with digital audio files (such as MP3s) by performing tasks like editing them, adding effects or recording new sounds using an external microphone plugged into your computer’s input jack (more about mics later).
How to Choose the Right Music Software
Choosing the right music software for your needs depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re just getting started, Ableton Live is a great choice because it’s simple to use and has a lot of resources to learn from online. Traktor Pro is another popular choice that many DJs love, but it takes some time to learn how to use effectively. Serato DJ provides an easy way to play with vinyl records, CDs and MP3s through turntables if that’s your thing—plus its free version comes with some pretty substantial features! Mixxx is also free and offers more advanced features than Audacity does (though Audacity is still awesome). Finally, Virtual DJ allows users who aren’t familiar with DJing yet start out by using buttons instead of having access directly into their computer files like most other programs do; this makes it easy for beginners but still has some great functionality once you get used to it!
How to Set Up Your Computer for DJing
Now that you have your controller, software, and soundcard, it’s time to get started.
- Start by downloading the software that you need. This will usually be a free download or trial version of some type of DJ program. If this is your first time using software as a DJ, I would recommend using Virtual DJ LE for beginners because it has all the basic features and is easy to learn on. It also comes with an 8 deck version of Serato Scratch Live which is great for practicing mixing techniques without spending any money.*
- Now connect your hardware (you should have done this earlier if you were using any cables). Plug in all of your equipment into their respective inputs on both the computer and sound card so that everything works properly when you start up.*Next step: setting up your computer settings! Make sure that everything from volume levels to screen resolution are set as they should be before moving onto anything else! You can do this quickly by clicking on Windows Key + Pause/Break button on most keyboards until it brings up properties menu where there should be options like “volume” & “brightness”.
More Questions About Using Your PC as a DJ? We’re Here to Help!
If you have any more questions about using your computer as a DJ, we’re here to help!
- Ask a question. We can usually tell you the answer (or at least point you in the right direction). Just contact us by email or phone, or open a support ticket.
- Get an answer. We do our best to respond within 24 hours (and typically much faster than that.)
- Get help from someone who knows what they’re talking about. Our tech support team is knowledgeable and friendly—we want to make sure your experience with [company name] goes well!
There are several options when it comes to creating your ideal setup. Talk to one of our audio experts today!
The great part about using your computer is that you can create a setup that works for you. The better your equipment, the more impressive your set will sound. We’ve talked about some of the basics and some of the ways to get started, but there are several options when it comes to creating your ideal setup. Talk to one of our audio experts today!
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Our team at Sweetwater is happy to help you find the perfect setup for your DJing needs. Whether you’re looking for a controller that works with Serato or Traktor, or an audio interface that will give you the best sound quality, we can meet your needs. Give us a call at 888-222-4700 or chat live with one of our knowledgeable Sales Engineers to get expert advice on everything from choosing a controller to setting up your system. We look forward to helping you!