How to Become A DJ Using a Laptop

The good news, now you can become a DJ using your laptop without any assistance! Earlier, becoming a DJ demanded a proper and expensive PA system, desk, and CD records to play. However, now things have changed drastically.

If you love tunes and music, you might have thought about how to become a DJ using a laptop. The good news is it’s not that hard. If you own a compatible laptop that can run the DJ software or related applications swiftly, you certainly can show your creative side and become a DJ on your own. So let’s find out what those steps help you do so. 

Find a compatible laptop

Certainly, if you wish to become a DJ using a laptop, you must have a high-performing laptop that shows seamless performance.  When I say a good DJ laptop, its RAM, processor, and compatibility with certain applications matter the most. For starting, at least 8 GB of RAM is a must that can initiate and load programs swiftly. However, you need to upgrade it to 16 GB if you want to run Traktor or Serato. 

The processor is the second most important thing for a laptop that you want to use for DJ. So a processor of at least i7 is recommended. Additionally, the laptop must be of reliable quality, perform well in terms of battery, and speed, and should be responsive for taking up most of the DJ tasks. Not to mention speaker quality and sound performance. For instance, you can opt for Apple MacBook Air, Dell Nvidia GeForce GTX, etc.

Download the DJ software

Once you are sure about the laptop’s quality and performance, the next obvious step is to download the DJ software. There are so many options that you can try on for DJ, however, only a few names are popular that most of the users are relying on. For instance, you can opt for:

·         Virtual DJ (best for wedding/party DJing, it’s simplified and feature-rich)

·         Serato Scratch Live (can be used as a turntable DJ as well as a club DJ)

·         Native Instruments Traktor Pro 3 (easy-to-use and produces controllers and mixers)

Now, this is the step you must be waiting for. Linking the mixer with your laptop is what turns it into a small DJ. So as a rule of thumb, there are two mixers: analog mixers and DJ controller mixers. Let’s have a look at both, one by one.

Analog Mixers

An analog DJ mixer looks more like the old-fashioned DJ setup. Unlike old mixers, now analog mixers work the best way as a standalone regardless of whether your laptop crashes or not (if the music is backed up). 

Although analog DJ mixers are not designed to connect with laptops due to the old style, yet if you use time codes or sound cards you can opt for some software applications.                               

DJ Controllers

DJ controllers are more popular due to their smart and advanced-level performance. If you’re going to get one of these, you might as well invest a bit and get a solid one. The cheap DJ gear options are cheap for a reason, and they’ll wear out pretty fast. You want something that can last a few years, at least. 

As a rule of thumb, a DJ controller comes with an all-in setup in a single unit and some also offer a 4-channel mixer, 2 decks, and multiple software compatibility, followed by essential sound effects and features that you may need.

USB Audio Adapters 

No matter if you have purchased the best laptop with the audio quality it will not be smooth to handle diverse audio ports, simultaneously. So a USB audio adapter or a sound card is what you will need for more than one audio output.

Just plug in the audio adapter and use the DJ software to set it up. You can listen to the music using headphones from the laptop’s speakers and the adapter to let out the audio via a mixer. Note that if you have the DJ controller featuring audio outputs/interfaces there should not be any need for audio adapters, otherwise you would.

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Hi, yasir here. I have always been interested in Technology and loved to take them apart and put them back together. I studied computer hardware engineering at MIT and now work as a computer engineer. I am the chief editor at Coded Couture. My goal is to help people make informed decisions about the products they buy.

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