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DJ turntables in focus – the analog world of DJing explained simply

Summary

At a glance – everything you need to know about DJ turntables

Turntables should be connected to the line input

The audio signal from a record player must be amplified by a phono amplifier. Therefore, use the phono input on the DJ mixer.

Learning to hang up without display, sync and other aids

DJing with turntables is more difficult than with digital players such as CDJs. Concentrate on your hearing and learn to hang up without visual aids.

The tracks can be adjusted using the pitch fader

Adjust the speed of your tracks and synchronize the BPM of your tracks manually using the pitch fader. Practice makes perfect

For many DJs, the turntable symbolizes the essence of DJing. In this guide, you’ll learn how a DJ turntable works, how to connect it to a DJ mixer and we’ll explore the fascinating world of vinyl DJing.

The DJ turntable: function and connection

A DJ turntable is designed to play vinyl records. Unlike hi-fi turntables for home use, DJ turntables are robustly built and offer features specifically designed for mixing and scratching.

Connection to a DJ mixer:

  1. Ensure power supply: Check that both the turntable and the mixer are connected to the power supply.
  2. Make the audio connection: Connect the phono outputs of the turntable to the phono inputs of your mixer using an RCA cable.
  3. Grounding: Connect the grounding cable of the turntable to the mixer to avoid electrical hum.

Best-known brand: Technics and the legendary 1210 MK2

Technics, a brand of the Japanese company Panasonic, is probably the best-known brand for DJ turntables. Their model, the Technics 1210 MK2, became an icon in the DJ world.

History of the Technics 1210 MK2:

  • Introduction: Originally introduced in 1972 as the Technics 1200, the 1210 MK2 was released in 1979.
  • Design and features: With a direct-drive motor, a robust housing and a precise pitch fader, the 1210 MK2 set new standards.
  • Cult status: Thanks to its reliability and outstanding performance, the 1210 MK2 has become the preferred tool of many professional DJs worldwide.

Operating a record player

Operating a record player requires practice, but the basics are quickly learned:

  1. Start/Stop button: This button sets the plate in motion or stops it.
  2. Pitch fader: This is used to adjust the speed of the record.
  3. Jogging: You can adjust the beat by moving the plate manually.
  4. Tone arm and needle: The tone arm is carefully placed on the record, the needle reads the music information.

Advantages of turntables over CDJs

Turntables offer unique advantages over CDJs:

  1. Analog sound: Many DJs appreciate the warm, analog sound of vinyl.
  2. Haptics: The haptic experience and the physical interaction with the music are incomparable.
  3. Artistic expression: Vinyl DJing is considered a craft that requires a high degree of skill and practice.
  4. Nostalgia and tradition: turntables have a rich history and are deeply rooted in DJ culture.

Well-known DJs who use turntables

Some of the world’s most famous DJs known for their work with turntables:

  • Jeff Mills: A techno pioneer, known for his fast and precise cuts.
  • Richie Hawtin: Known for his minimalist techno sets.
  • Carl Cox: A legend in techno and house, known for his dynamic performances.
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff: A master of hip-hop DJing and scratching.

Summary

DJing with turntables is an art form that requires both skill and passion. While digital technologies like CDJs offer their own advantages, vinyl DJing remains a deep and culturally rich practice. It not only provides a link to the history of DJ culture, but also enables a unique way of musical expression. If you decide to follow this path, you’ll be following in the footsteps of some of the biggest names in DJ history. Good luck on your journey into the world of vinyl DJing!

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