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Beginner's Gear Guides: DJ Gear

Ready to be a DJ? Find your right rig here.
DJ gear has come a long way since the days of early pioneers like Larry Levan and Grandmaster Flash. While some hang on to the old-school realness of two turntables, a mixer, and a microphone, nowadays DJs can play entire sets with nothing but a laptop and DJ controller (or even less!). Take a look at these sample setups and build the rig that's right for you. Whether you're touring the club scene or just workshopping mixes at home, we've got all the DJ gear to get you started.

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The Computer-Based DJ
With the latest computer-based DJ gear, all you need is a DJ controller and a laptop to spin your music collection. This model rig combines a versatile Pioneer DJ controller (with Pioneer DJ Rekordbox DJ software) and an Akai pad controller (with MPC software) to help you create original mixes and tracks. For home mixmasters, a solid pair of studio monitors from PreSonus are an essential addition to your setup.
The Mobile DJ
The party really starts when a mobile DJ shows up. This rig is built around a Mixstream Pro, a powerful all-in-one DJ controller that nixes the laptop for a built-in touchscreen interface and speakers. For this setup, you'll need a pair of XLR cables to connect the controller's audio outputs to the line inputs of a PA system (if you want more oomph).
The Vinyl Purist
Like hip-hop pioneers of the late '70s, the purist selector likes to keep things real and traditional. Got some records you've been waiting to spin out? All you need is two direct-drive turntables, a mixer, and a pair of RCA cables to connect them together. A pair of DJ headphones will help you cue and monitor.
The Hybrid Performer
Today's DJ mixers can combine audio from a vast array of sources. Connect a pair of turntables to a DVS system like a MWM Phase Essential Wireless DVS System , and scratch virtually any digital audio file. This sample setup is great for live mixing -- place two MWM remotes on your decks, plug the Phase receiver's outputs into the mixer, and then connect the mixer's USB output to a laptop running Serato DJ software. With this setup, you can still add CDJs to more channels of your mixer. Connect the whole thing to a pair of powered speakers to really rock the house.