4 Ways to Connect New Gear to Your DJ Setup

Want to add something new to your DJ setup but need inspiration? Got you.
Author:
Publish date:

As audio gear became more affordable in the late 80s, many DJs experimented with equipment you wouldn’t normally see in the booth. Drum machines and samplers suddenly found a home next to turntables, and the roots of the hybrid DJ and producer were formed. Today there are tons of tools and new technologies available if you want to experiment past just using two decks when spinning.

Here are four ways to connect all your latest gear to your DJ setup...

1. MIDI Enabled Audio Hardware

The good old MIDI is 30-plus years old and going nowhere, and nowadays, controllers like the Roland DJ series, or the Traktor S4 MK2, have dedicated MIDI out ports. This allows you to send MIDI clock from your DJ setup to a hardware drum machine or synth. Even as you change tempo on your songs, the drum machine or synth will stay in sync, allowing you to remix on the fly without manually beatmatching your hardware.

2. Link Enabled Audio Apps and Hardware

Ableton Link is a technology that keeps devices synced in time over a wireless network. Think if it as MIDI without wires. The format first took off for iOS, but Traktor and Serato now both support Link, so you can easily connect your DJ software with dozens of mobile apps. You may not have a classic drum machine like Mills, but you probably have five bucks to spend on a drum app that can wirelessly sync up to your decks. 

Even hardware developers are catching on; the new Akai MPC line and Maschine both support Link.

Korg Electribe, Moog Model 15, Korg Gadget, and Novation Blocs Wave are just a few of the many apps the support Ableton Link. Click here for a full list.

Korg Electribe, Moog Model 15, Korg Gadget, and Novation Blocs Wave are just a few of the many apps the support Ableton Link. Click here for a full list.

3. Visual Effects Software + Hardware

Serato has built-in video options, but ideally, you want visuals sorted on another computer, often by another person. Through Link or MIDI, you can now send clock to third-party video programs like Resolume and VDMX, so that your visual show can sync to the beat of your set. 

Hardware video synths like the Critter & Guitari “ETC” can bring a new range of visuals to your performance without any additional computer at all. Just plug them into the midi out of your controller, or a spare audio output from your mixer.

4. Live instruments. Played by...wait for it...musicians!

There’s a reason why more and more rap shows are now featuring live musicians playing alongside DJs. Music is about fellowship, and something incredible happens when a DJ is joined by someone who can play along at that moment. 

Simply adding one instrumentalist on percussion can make a world of difference and doesn’t need any MIDI sync to fuss over. There’s even a new wave of DJs who are bringing their own instruments in the booth and playing on top of the records they spin. If you play an instrument, push yourself and see how it integrates into your set.

Final thoughts:

As a creative DJ, you should always seek inspiration and progression. Dipping your toes into unfamiliar territory by connecting something new might just spark the sound that makes you unique as a performer.

Related

tjams500.jpg

Pro DJ Setups: TJ Mizell

In today's day and age, buying DJ equipment online can be as trustworthy and reliable as that $1,000,000 you just won off a pop-up ad. It is for that reason that we here at DJBooth have a strong appreciation for our friends over at American Musical Supply and the quality service they provide to not only our readers, but our staff as well. Over the past few weeks, we have teamed up with them to talk with five of the hottest DJs in music today to see what kind of equipment they are rocking. Hit the jump to check out our second partnered DJ, TJ Mizell!

djglobalsurvey.jpg

Global DJ Survey: Speak Your Mind & Win

Calling all DJ's!!! We want your feedback! We need DJ's like you to answer a few short questions about the way you DJ, how you DJ, and what you DJ with on a regular basis in order to help companies better understand the direction of the industry. We will randomly select a survey participant for the excellent grand prize in the form of a Traktor Kontrol S4 DJ Controller, (2) Stanton ST-150 Super-OEM turntables, and a Traktor Scratch Package to bring it all together for some DVS timecode fun!

switchbox.jpg

Magma's new Switchbox V2 Allows for Two Setups at a Time

Magma DJ Solutions is bringing us the new Switchbox V2 that makes it a lot easier for DJ's to switch between two different Software/Computer-controlled setups while being able to use the same Mixer. This would make it so DJ's at clubs won't have to disconnect and reconnect cables to a Mixer when they want to switch their control interface or if there are multiple DJ's working the same gig (i.e. turntablist battles)..

blackfridaydeals.jpg

Black Friday-Cyber Monday DJ Gear Deals

For the DJ's in the US, Thanksgiving is a happy time to spend with friends and family and to reflect on everything you are thankful for. Immediately after eating all that good food comes the Holiday rush with Black-Friday cost-saving deals that last all the way through to Cyber-Monday. My inbox is lighting up with all kinds of deals and I've got two good DJ deals from Numark and Styleflip that is sure to save you lots of cash this Holiday Season. Check out the insane deals inside.

statikams500.jpg

Pro DJ Setups: Statik Selektah

In today's day and age, buying DJ equipment online can be as trustworthy and reliable as that $1,000,000 you just won off a pop-up ad. It is for that reason that we here at DJBooth have a strong appreciation for our friends over at American Musical Supply and the quality service they provide to not only our readers, but our staff as well. Over the past few weeks, we have teamed up with them to talk with five of the hottest DJs in music today to see what kind of equipment they are rocking. Hit the jump to check out our first partnered DJ, Statik Selektah!