Digital DJ Tips reader Jack writes: “My main problem at the moment is that I have probably the most basic controller in the world (Numark DJ2GO) which I use with Virtual DJ Pro. Basically all I can do is mix songs together and adjust volume levels! I do have a small USB sound card so I can use the headphones monitoring functions as well, but that’s about it.
“The problem is that I feel I don’t have the ability to do much due to the limited options on my controller, and while I can think of nothing better than playing dance music and creating filter sweeps to mix between songs, I just don’t have the money to buy something that will give me that option. Can you advise anything?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Two things. First thing, what you have is plenty to make mixtapes, learn about programming, and play small parties. Truthfully, most of the skills of DJing aren’t about filter sweeps, FX etc, just simple mixing between great tunes, put in the right order. With the ability to headphones cue and manipulate your tunes with the basic controls you have, you’re half way there already.
The even better news is that you have a great DJ controller already: Your computer! As you’re using Virtual DJ Pro, you can remap the keyboard to control anything you want. Want EQ controls? Map three pairs of buttons to turn the bass, mid and treble up/down for each channel. Want kills? Map toggle buttons for kills. Same for filters etc. Google “VDJPedia” to learn about mapping Virtual DJ.
To let you into a secret, when I first started digital DJing, I used Virtual DJ plus a really good sound card (for headphones monitoring, just like you) – and nothing else. I couldn’t find a controller I liked back in 2005, so I just mapped my keyboard to do exactly what I wanted in order to mix successfully. And I held down a residency in a large club playing that way. It is possible – don’t let the hardware / software hold you back.
What gear did you start out on? How far have you managed to push your DJ career using really basic gear? Please share your experiences in the comments.