Reader Alessertini writes: “Hi there! About month ago I started working as a rookie DJ in small part of a bigger venue. In my section I’m working with digital but just with two WinAmp players! Some experienced DJs work here too in the much bigger parts of the venue and they’re teaching me some of the basics, but I’ve realised I badly need to buy a DJ controller. I have about €250 to spend on a controller and practice speakers, and I want to buy a Numark Mixtrack Pro or Numark Mixtrack and external sound card. Which one is a better idea? I thought that external USB sound card and Numark Mixtrack could be great combination, but then I realised that there are some sound cards that cost more than €100.”
“What’s the difference between internal and external sound cards? Why are some sound cards so expensive? And if I buy Numark Mixtrack and a separate USB sound card, will the sound be good, or is it the better solution to buy Numark Mixtrack Pro? Please help me to escape playing on WinAmp!”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Stop worrying, Alessertini, we can help! First thing, the sound card in the Numark Mixtrack Pro sounds great. If you can get the Mixtrack Pro and a pair of speakers within your budget, go for it. If you can get an external sound card and the Mixtrack for cheaper and the saving is important to you, that’s fine too, and some would say it’s a better idea because of flexibility down the line.
If you go this way, just make sure it’s a reputable card (see our sound cards under US$130 article for some ideas) and make sure the one you buy is “2 stereo out” or “4-out” and has a headphones socket – they’re the crucial things for DJing. If you’re currently DJing from a PC’s internal audio interface with WinAmp, any of the above solutions will probably sound better anyway.
Your speakers will have to be cheap and at that level, I’d recommend computer speakers with a separate subwoofer – at least you’ll get a “thump” when you’re practising. Listen to them all in the shop – there are some surprisingly good sets at under US$50, although none will come close to decent monitor speakers in quality.
Have you ever DJed with just a laptop and WinAmp or similar? Anything you’d like to add for Alessertini? Please feel free to join in below.