The DJ controller is what brought traditional, record-playing DJs into the digital age. It allows the DJ to step beyond the limits of his or her record collection and interact with music to a degree that wasn’t imaginable twenty years ago.
In the last post, I went over the basic setup for our Kids Church DJ Booth. In this post, I’m going to go over the setup that we upgraded to.
The following diagram is for our upgraded DJ booth:
4 Other input (mics, etc.)
5 DJ Controller
This setup introduces an element that gives our DJs some real street cred: the DJ controller.
The DJ controller is a multipurpose input device that gives its user the ability to manipulate audio files (music, samples and sound effects) using a) platters that simulate vinyl records on a record player, b) an array of buttons that can do everything from starting and stopping songs to cueing specific points of a song or sound effect to toggling various audio effects, and c) knobs and faders that control volume, sound mix and other features.
Note: For those that are interested, I will go over the pros and cons of different DJ controllers (and other fun gadgets and accessories you can add to your setup) at a later date.
When we first started this Kids Church DJ experiment, I used a Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX DJ controller. I can’t give it my full recommendation since we’ve experienced some issues with it that I later discovered had to do with some of its internal design flaws. However, it got us where we needed to go.
Digital DJ controllers require some specific software to operate. There are several options on the market but the only one that I’ve ever used is Serato DJ. It’s an industry-standard option and I’ve never had any reason to try anything else. Plus, it has a free Lite version that we used for the first six months or so.
The DJ controller requires some basic DJ skills like cueing and mixing (which I’ll also go over in detail later) but it’s nowhere near as difficult as it might look at first sight.
Once we got this setup together a whole new world of possibilities opened up for us. And even after a year, we are still scratching the surface of what we can do!
In the next article, I’ll go over our current setup and then we’ll start getting into the nitty gritty of how to recruit, train and support your own Kids Church DJ!
This article is part of the Kids Church DJ series. Check out the other articles below:
Part 5: Kids Church DJ Controllers
Part 6: How to Find a Kids Church DJ
Part 7: Kids Church DJ Basic Skills
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