What Is A DJ Turntable And How Do They Work?

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A DJ turntable is the midpoint of a DJ’s art form. It can be labeled as a rebellious branch of sound engineering due to its carefree and wild nature. It is a digitized turntable that is used to orchestrate prerecorded music. The devices are CD players that have a slip pad disc like a platter on an analog turntable. A DJ will produce scratchy sounds and effects that are electronically simulated by holding and reversing the slip pads. Basically, they use it to mash up sounds to create new music for parties and events. Turntables originated in the hip-hop culture and they have become their main tool in creating soundtracks for new songs and party events. Since then, the turntable has evolved into many shapes, from the vinyl types to new digital CDJ decks.

Digital and analog turntables are still popular today

DJ’s today still use both analog and digital turntables to create there music and art, with more and more features and effects being added the digital turntable is becoming a real game changer in the Djing world. In today’s turntables, the DJs have a prerecorded track that they will mix with other pre-recorded tracks to mash-up and fuse them together in order to create a new sound. They change the tempo and the beat which is already installed in the digital turntables. All the DJs have to do is record the sound they want to mix and build it into something new.

How a turntable works

In order to understand fully how a turntable works, you have to understand its components first. The base is the foundation of a turntable. It is where the motor is located that makes the whole system run. Next is the platter. The platter is responsible for the consistency of the speed of the track playing. A heavy-platter is the key to a steady sound. For example, it is where the vinyl is installed and the DJs “scratch” when they attempt to show off their remix skills. Lastly is the arm. The arm is where the complicated technology is stored. It has its own spot at the base and has enough distance from the platter to reduce shakiness. At the tip of the arm is a cartridge. It is the one thing that touches the platter. It uses electromagnetic induction to transmit the grooves of the vinyl into sound waves. The cartridge can be either a magnet type or a moving coil. The movement of the turning platter with the vinyl on top and the cartridge gliding on top of the vinyl creates small fluctuations in a magnetic field that transmit onto the arm making it transform into sound waves that you dance to. That is how music is created thru the use of turntables.

The additional system allows the pre-recorded sounds to be played with a push of a button or a twist of a knob without disturbing the main track that is currently playing. This is when the DJs can show off their remix skills by mixing the tracks on the spot and creating different music from the two tracks. Turntables have come a long way from the old school vinyl types, where the DJs had to scratch and cut manually whereas nowadays the digital turntable can create unique sounds all in one place. It has become a silent breakthrough in science and sound engineering that many people do not acknowledge. Whether the feedback on turntables is positive or negative within our society, one thing is for certain; it will be around for a very long time.

We’ve written a number of DJ Turntable related reviews which you can review here.

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