in the long text you will find some reminders of my "DJ-Tech" class at EBI. Enjoy and feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conclusion of the Discussion: What is the job of a DJ?
- selecting songs that fit the flow and mood of the party (reading the crowd)
- know your songs - be prepeared
- have fun (because you do your job better when you have fun)
- listen to the event organizers because they are the people who hired you
- take care that the best possible sound comes from the speakers <-- that what this class was all about
About cables and cords:
When you hear a hum or other noises from the speakers most of the time the source is a bad cable. To connect you sounddevice to the mixer use only high quality cable. If the cable costs less than 15 €/$ it is certainly not high quality. In general for cable size does matter i.e. the diameter.
Same applys for the jacks and plugs.
If possible (depends on your sound device and the mixer at the venue) use XLR-Cables. They have way better shielding und XLR plugs to not shortcut when drawn.
About your sound device:
The soundcards build into notebooks are made for use with headphones or with a home sound system. They are not made to be used for a public adress system (PA-System = big sound systems used in larger venues). Another problem is the drivers and the latency. Most end user soundcards have slow sound processors and bad drivers.
You should get a dj soundcard that has ASIO-Drivers (or CORE-Support for Mac) and at least 4 channels - 2 channels (left and right) for main output and 2 channels for prelisten. Examples for good DJ Soundcards are: Reloop Play DJ, MixVibes U-MIX 44, ESI UDJ6 or ESI Gigaport HD+.
About file formats:
Bad MP3 Files produce bad sound. When you rip CDs yourself use the lossless .wav or .flac fileformats. When you rip to MP3-Format use always the highest quality. Check your existing files for the used bitrates. You should use files that have at least 224 kbits/sec preferable 320 kbits/sec. Lower bitrates are more likely to produce bad sound and clipping when you raise the volume.
About the mixer:
Get comfortable and practice using the EQ knobs of the mixer. They are your main weapon to adjust the sound quality that comes out of the speakers.
About what software to use: