It's a well-known fact that DJs have always been among the biggest vinyl collectors, from the records arrival on the market and the opening of the first clubs, right up to today, with the format's resurgence in recent years. While everyone's objectives remain the same: to find the most cutting-edge tracks and get the crowds dancing, the way records are played often differs from one DJ to the next. Choosing the right mixer to suit your playing style, the records you've played and, of course, your budget, is essential - we'll tell you all about it!
Generally speaking, mixers follow a more or less common layout: frequency pots control the amount of treble, mids and bass in the mix; for each track, faders control the level of the track being played, and the cue button enables the track to be pre-listened to. Nevertheless, different models and brands present subtleties:
For the technique:
Scratch DJs will opt for a no-frills table, as compact as possible to make room for ample and precise movements. Faders need to be sturdy enough to withstand fast transitions between songs; often two tracks are enough, and ergonomics are designed to be as simple as possible:
e.g. Numark SCRATCH
For the versatility:
For DJs wanting to break away from a particular style, the choice will be towards a more complete mixer: generally 4 tracks, a palette of integrated effects, standard elements found on most club control units worldwide, and above all: easy handling. Pioneer's DJM range lends itself perfectly to a multitude of styles: house, EDM, electro, pop... It's one of the most popular references in DJ booths.
e.g. Pioneer DJM 900NXS
For the precision:
Some styles of music, such as techno, deep house or minimal, require long transitions between tracks and therefore very precise frequency control. In such cases, you'll want to opt for tables with 4 frequency pots, like Allen & Heath's Xone range, another classic among DJ booths.
e.g. Allen & Heath Xone 92
For big budgets:
Top-of-the-range models feature high-quality materials, advanced aesthetics and incomparable sound reproduction. They generally take a little longer to get used to than "standard" models, such as the RANE MP2015 with its rotary frequency pots.
e.g. Rane MP2015 from Rane
For small budgets:
Beginners will often want to go for entry-level models, which are often very practical to get to grips with quickly and versatile enough to gain skills no matter what style they prefer!
e.g. Numark M4, Behringer DX626
One thing's for sure: brands are constantly renewing themselves and offering innovative solutions for everyone, whether you're a bedroom DJ or a turntable aficionado, you're bound to find something to suit your taste!