We don’t know when or who got for the first time the idea that DJing implies some important and sophisticated technical skills, but the technology today helps any DJ to do better every time.
Some genres need specific outputs and you can’t argue the brightness of digital sound in some cases. On the other hand, vinyl acetates are the better choice for grime and dubstep, as wax and bass combine so neat together. This takes us straight to common problems nowadays: you can’t force a DJ to use certain tools, as different sounds need different tools.
Getting to DJing with Vinyl and laptop is great and so easier to do in some locations and people out there should be preoccupied more about the sound, and not the machine nor the skills of getting that sound. We’re just saying…
How to get there, anyway?
Stepping into the new era of DJing isn’t that difficult and could start with replacing your current mixer with a DJ controller that you may plug your kit back into. This is how you get a set-up that lets you DJ just like before.
You also need a digital vinyl system (DVS) or a CD equivalent that help you control your MP3s with special DJ systems. When you use both a “control vinyl” and a control box, you may switch easily to vinyl. This is quite a popular method and you get to use the existing equipment in a club, with no need for a control surface and a setting in a narrow DJ box.
You insert a control CD into each player (a modern HID CD player saves you from this effort also). The portability of the system is incredible and many of those who DJ at home, also do it in the clubs, giving you another reason for trying this type of DJing.
It’s also important to get an all-in-one DJ system that is very comfortable to work with. An all-in-one unit like this plays CDs, control DJ software (don’t forget about the laptop) and play tunes from your iPod thanks to a built-in slot. You may find a unit that has two switchable CD/phono inputs also.
Some may find this type of unit looking a lot like a traditional DJ kit, but when you want to get digital, you kind of need to get it. Especially if you have an impressive CD collection that you want to mix with CDs digital. You may still play the records if you don’t give up on the existing decks. Pay attention to the iPod deck, though.
When you want to go digital, it’s also essential to add a single-deck DJ software controller to your already existing set-up. The software may look as a DJ CD player, but it doesn’t come with a built-in CD player though. You get more control over your DJ software as if you’d have a third (or fourth) deck. As your laptop is running the DJ software and it’s plugged into it, you may actually plug your laptop’s sound output into a spare channel on your DJ mixer and go ahead with mixing there.
You can control both decks of your DJ software with the one unit in case you have a DJ sound card with two stereo outputs. Most of them out there have A/B switch and you may get a 2/4 deck control by adding two of them.
In some cases, you want to maintain the entire previous kit and get one freer channel on your mixer. You may easily add the functionality of DJ Software, getting the results you wanted.
You get amazing flexibility and an amazing control over your four decks, which is quite awesome!
We do know that there are various methods to add digital DJing to your setup, and you could, for instance, add an Ableton control surface to play over samples and trigger some loops.
One could also replace the mixer with a Midi mixer that comes with a soundcard and add only control decks.
You may also plug your laptop into spare channel/channels and use the keyboard for DJing.
If you don’t care much about the “deck” feel, don’t hesitate to try adding a knobs-and-buttons Midi controller.
The impressive power, the portability, the “cool” aspect, the ability to play anywhere with a PA system (as you took your very own gear with you) are the main advantages when DJing with a laptop. After all, DJing is the most important part for you.