Short but sweet, our reader Aslan writes: “Vibration kills it all. Any recommendations for isolation on turntables?” What he means is that lots of things – from people walking past to a bouncing dancefloor to bass “feedback” – can make turntables “rumble” and in the worst cases, make the needle jump out of the groove. So what’s the fix?
Digital DJ Tips says:
This is an age-old problem. From simply putting more weight onto the tonearms (coins stuck onto the cartridge shell, as a last resort), to putting cushioning under the decks (here’s a commercial example, but we’ve seen it done with everything from literally cushions to foam blocks), to just readjusting either the positioning of the bass speakers or the decks in relation to them/the dancefloor, there are myriad ways of achieving the hallowed “turntable isolation”.
The best way is to have the turntables on heavy concrete slabs, themselves on a completely solid, isolated structure (say, a brick-built DJ booth), itself attached with cement or something similarly rigid to a solid concrete floor… so no amount of people or bass can feed vibrations through to the tiny needle in the groove. Of course, this isn’t always possible, hence the issues and kludgy fixes above.
With digital DJing, of course, DVS users who are happy to use “relative” mode on their software needn’t worry: The sound quality will be pristine anyway (as there is no actual music on timecode vinyl, just control frequencies), and the software is programmed to ignore accidental jumps from the needle, so a jumping record won’t lead to jumping music…
Have you ever had to DJ on turntables in less than ideal circumstance? How did you get around the issue? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments…