New reader AQ writes: “I’ve just gotten into DJing and I just bought the Hercules DJ Control MP3. I was looking at the Mixtrack Pro but I’m not sure if I would need both of them? Are they similar items? I have not really got a clue what each does. I have to get up on my YouTube videos, I know. But i was just wondering if this would be a smart buy for somebody like me?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
AQ it can be really confusing working out what is what and what you need to get going. But what you have bought is fine to learn how to do it on. However you need to know that DJ hardware (like the units you mention) comes in two types: with a built-in sound card (or “sound interface”) and without one. The Hercules you’ve bought comes without one, and the Mixtrack Pro comes with one.
So yes, you do need something else – a separate sound card. (Many professionals prefer to have a separate sound card anyway, by the way, so don’t think you’ll not need it in the future if you stick with DJing but choose to upgrade your Hercules – it’s a good investment.) The two we recommend are the Native Instruments Audio 2 (US$99/£76/€85) and the Numark DJ I/O (US$79/£78/€88). Add one of those to your Hercules and you have everything you need – well, nearly anyway.
Other bits and pieces to find
Now you’re going to need to assemble a pair of headphones (any will do for now) and some speakers (computer speakers or home cinema speakers or your hi-fi are all fine. We carried an article on different types of speakers for DJing yesterday).
You now have everything you need to learn to digital DJ on – apart from a computer, of course, but we’re assuming you already have one of those. You’ll find lots of help and advice on this blog and like you say, YouTube is a great place to pick up the basics. Good luck!