Are you considering becoming a DJ but unsure if you need to invest in a high-end turntable? Or maybe you’re a seasoned DJ wondering if any turntable will do the job.
The truth is, while any turntable can technically be used for DJing, not all turntables are created equal. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between turntables and why professional DJs tend to use high-end models with direct drive motors and quality components.
We’ll also discuss the benefits of learning how to DJ on a traditional turntable, even in today’s digital age. So, whether you’re a beginner or a pro, read on to learn more about the world of DJing and turntables.
Can You Use Any Turntable For Djing
As mentioned earlier, any turntable can technically be used for DJing. However, professional DJs tend to use high-end turntables with direct drive motors and quality components. This is because a direct-drive motor is considered an essential feature for DJs.
Scratching, beat matching, and mixing requires a consistent speed, which you may not get from a belt-drive turntable. With a belt-drive turntable, the platter is connected to the motor with a rubber belt, which results in less torque and speed fluctuations. A direct-drive turntable has a motor attached directly to the platter, resulting in less vibration, higher torque, and greater consistency.
While it’s possible to use a cheaper turntable for DJing, it may not have the durability or features necessary for professional use. Cheaper turntables are usually not suitable to handle the demands of professional DJ use. The intended use or application of a turntable should be a deciding factor when choosing which model to buy, for example, bedroom DJing, live tour performances, or for turntablism and DJ battles.
The Basics Of Turntables For DJing
When it comes to DJing with turntables, there are a few basic features that are essential for a good performance. First and foremost, a direct-drive motor is highly recommended. This is because scratching, beat matching, and mixing requires a consistent speed, which may not be achievable with a belt-drive turntable. A direct-drive turntable has a motor attached directly to the platter, resulting in less vibration, higher torque, and greater consistency.
In addition to the motor, a good DJ turntable should also have pitch (tempo) control so that you can match the bpms of the records you’re playing. This is important for beat matching and creating smooth transitions between tracks. A stylus that is designed for back cueing is also necessary for vinyl DJing. Back cueing is when you manually move the record backwards to cue up a specific point in the track.
While it’s possible to find cheaper turntables that have some of these features, it’s important to note that they may not have the durability or build quality necessary for professional use. High-end turntables are usually priced in the upper tiers of the market and are designed specifically for professional use. Cheaper turntables may be suitable for bedroom DJing or casual use, but they may not be able to handle the demands of live tour performances or DJ battles.
It’s also important to note that turntables are not the only option for DJs. Many DJs today use digital DJ controllers or software to play and mix music. These tools offer many of the same features as turntables, including pitch control and syncing tools, and may be more affordable and portable than traditional turntables.
The Differences Between Turntables
When it comes to choosing a turntable for DJing, there are two main types to consider: belt-drive and direct-drive. Belt-drive turntables have a platter that is connected to the motor with a rubber belt, which can result in less torque and speed fluctuations. On the other hand, direct-drive turntables have a motor attached directly to the platter, resulting in less vibration, higher torque, and greater consistency.
Professional DJs tend to prefer direct-drive turntables because they provide a more reliable and consistent performance. This is especially important when it comes to scratching, beat matching, and mixing records. Belt-drive turntables may not be suitable for these techniques due to their potential for speed fluctuations.
Another difference between turntables is their intended use. While any turntable can technically be used for DJing, some models are designed specifically for this purpose. Professional-grade DJ turntables often have additional features such as pitch control and anti-skate adjustment, which can be important for achieving precise mixes and scratches.
Why Professional DJs Use High-End Turntables
Professional DJs use high-end turntables for a number of reasons. Firstly, high-end turntables are built with quality components that are designed to withstand the demands of professional DJing. They are built to last and can handle the wear and tear that comes with regular use.
Secondly, high-end turntables have direct-drive motors, which provide greater consistency in speed and torque. This is important for scratching, beat matching, and mixing, as it allows DJs to make precise adjustments to the music they are playing.
Thirdly, high-end turntables have better sound quality than cheaper models. They are built with higher quality components that provide a richer, more detailed sound. This is important for DJs who want to provide the best possible listening experience for their audience.
Finally, high-end turntables are often more customizable than cheaper models. They allow DJs to make adjustments to the tonearm, cartridge, and other components, which can help them achieve the specific sound they are looking for.
The Benefits Of Learning On A Traditional Turntable
Learning on a traditional turntable has several benefits for aspiring DJs. Firstly, it provides a tactile and hands-on experience, which is essential for developing the necessary skills to become a proficient DJ. Using a laptop and mixer setup may be easier, but it lacks the physicality and engagement of using a turntable.
Secondly, learning on a traditional turntable can help to develop a deeper understanding of music and its structure. By manually beatmatching and mixing tracks, DJs can gain a better appreciation of how music works, and how different genres and styles can be blended together to create unique sounds.
Thirdly, using a traditional turntable allows for greater creativity and improvisation. DJs can experiment with scratching, beat juggling, and other turntablism techniques to create their own unique style and sound. This level of creativity is not as easily achievable with digital DJ controllers or software.
Finally, learning on a traditional turntable can be seen as a rite of passage for many DJs. It requires dedication, practice, and patience to master the skills necessary to become proficient on a turntable. By doing so, DJs can earn the respect of their peers and gain recognition as skilled and talented artists in their own right.
Conclusion: Making The Right Choice For Your DJing Needs
When it comes to choosing the right turntable for your DJing needs, there are a few factors to consider. Firstly, it’s important to determine what type of DJing you will be doing and how serious you are about pursuing it. If you are just starting out and practicing at home, a more affordable turntable may suffice. However, if you plan on performing live or entering DJ battles, investing in a high-end turntable with direct drive is recommended.
Additionally, it’s important to consider the durability and features of the turntable. Cheaper turntables may not have the necessary components to handle the demands of professional use and may not offer features like adjustable pitch, anti-skate control, and durable tonearms.
Ultimately, the decision on which turntable to choose will depend on your personal preferences and budget. It’s important to do your research and read reviews before making a purchase to ensure that you are getting a turntable that meets your needs and expectations. With the right turntable and plenty of practice, you can become a skilled DJ and impress audiences with your mixing and scratching techniques.