How To Set Up A DJ Turntable

setting up a DJ turntable
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How To Set Up A DJ Turntable

If you are a fan of the EDM or Electronic Dance Music and love going to Rave parties with the wildest crowds causing wreckage on the dance floor then you are probably very familiar with DJ Turntables. If you aren’t though, then you probably don’t know why you are dancing wildly to those beats and bass drops, irregular but very funky transitions among other things. The thing is, with the rise of the EDM, Trap, Rave and other similar musical genres in this generation, there has been a massive outbreak of DJs trying to claim the worldwide top spot. And only a few have succeeded like Tiesto, Daft Punk, Skrillex and the most recent, The Chainsmokers. A big part of their success can be credited to their DJ Turntables.

Setting Up A DJ Turntable

Now, you should all know what a turntable looks like. It’s common that you will have seen and heard technics. They’re definitely the industry standard. When you purchase a set of turntables Technics come with three wires. A lot of turntables do not come with half of these wires, so you would have to purchase them separately. The ground wire is the RCA cord, and of course your power cord. Most Turntables also come with a rubber mat, which goes on first, a plastic slip mat, and then your regular slip mat. The plastic is here so that whenever you want to scratch, it’s a little bit more smooth.

Is Setting Up A Turntable Easy?

Powering up the turntable is simple, you just flip the switch off or on. In order to start your record, you just press start. If you’re in a club and you want some light because it gets too dark, there is a switch and mode for this too. The needle is placed within the pitch adjustment contraption in order to spin your record. If you slide the pitch down so that it’s negative, it will slow the record. If you increase it, it will speed the record. If you put it on zero, that’s the normal speed of your song, and this is basically what a turntable looks like for vinyl or records.

Almost every DJ or enthusiast knows that EDM features a wide array of electronic beats, sound effects, or a combination of both, but what really separates the top-tier from the regular ones are their ability to scratch those tracks using DJ turntables. By utilizing the sound effects from the scratching of the tracks, DJs are able to produce unique sounds that enchant the crowd. This uniqueness is carried over and is deeply etched in their minds making them instant fans, thus fueling their success.  

Equipment Needed To Set-up a Turntable

If you also want to experience creating those unique beats, then you can easily do so. In the past, vinyl records were used, although they are still being used today, a majority of DJs have turned to the digital turntables. Here is a quick guide on what you’ll need when setting up a DJ Turntable:

Digital DJ mixer – choose the basic two-deck DJ mixer. With two decks for scratching, you will definitely have a lot of fun playing with the beats and effects.

Speakers – you can use regular speakers if you are just practicing, however, if you plan on conquering gigs, then it would be good to practice on legit speakers.

Headset – for hearing clarity, once things get so loud you won’t be able to hear your music.

Extra CD mats – basically, there are 3 layers of cd mats in the cd decks of dj mixers, one rubber mat for initial protection, a plastic mat for smooth scratching, and a regular mat for the scratching. Be sure to have some extras on hand so you can always replace them once they wear out.

Mp3 player, Music Source, Laptops – your music software, your playlist. Fill them with different songs from different genres so you can practice with different rhythms, tempos and styles.

After getting all these things, it’s time for you to setup your DJ mixer;

Plug the switches, plug the cords – Connect the speakers to the mixers and be sure to plug the cables into the right holes. Take note of the size of the plugs or the number of pins, if they are not compatible then use an adapter.

Connect the Audio Source to the DJ mixer – if you have software on your laptop, then run it and start playing songs with each cd deck. Do a quick test and dry run to smoothen things up.

Add the mats to the cd decks – place and arrange the mats accordingly. DJ mixers are very sensitive equipment, so be sure to properly install them to avoid unwanted effects and sounds while mixing or scratching.

Turn ON the equipment and adjust volume and other levels – After checking the wiring, it’s time to get the party started. Adjust the channel volumes, add your effects, and get the crowd hyped!

How To Set-Up a DJ Turntable Cartridge and Correctly Balance The Tonearm

Okay, so to set up a cartridge and correctly balance the tone arm, first you put on the counter weight and then put on the cartridge and stylus. First thing you need to do is look in the specs for the cartridge to see how much downforce you need to apply. This is called downforce or tracking force, and it’s the downward force that presses the needle into the record groove.

Let’s imagine you need three grams of downforce. Next, what you need to do is unhook it from the arm and turn the counterweight back slowly until the arm floats under its own weight, so we have neither too much force at either end of the pivot.

When it’s floating, we now know that is zero. So we turn the front part of the counterweight to match up zero. We now know that there was zero grams of downforce. We turn the back of the counterweight, the whole way it spins until we hit number three, and that is now I’ve got three grams of downforce applied to this cartridge. 

Now you know the things you need when setting up a Turntable, we have other similar guides on How to set up a DJ mixer, How to set up DJ speakers and How to set up a DJ controller for you to enjoy. 

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