DJ Decks & Players

Beginning with the humble turntable, the DJ deck is the heart of any DJ set up. In recent years they have started using such media as CDs, iPods and memory sticks. Decks are usually used in pairs, one deck to play out a track and the other to cue up and mix into the next one.

Whilst the functions of vinyl turntables have stayed the same for decades, modern CD decks come equipped with a huge variety of features that can bewilder the novice. Since the basics of using vinyl turntables and CD decks are almost identical let's first consider a turntable.

The record sits on a rotating platter which is read by a stylus lying on top of the record. When mixing from one track to another the DJ needs to synchronise the beat of the record being cued to the one being played, so that the first beat of the bar on one record is happening at the same time as the first beat of the bar on the other, and the same for the second beat and so on. To start off with the first beat must be found, this is done by manually shuttling the record back and forth and letting go at the appropriate place. Then the BPM of the cued record must be sped up or slowed down to match the BPM of record currently being placed. This is done by using the pitch control which speeds up or slows down the rate at which the record is rotated, changing the BPM and pitch. Once this has been done the two tracks are beatmatched and the DJ can use the mixer to fade from one track to the other.

A CD deck works essentially the same way except the platter is not physically connected to the CD and is simply a way to control where the audio file on the CD is played from. A CD deck will have a cue button allowing the DJ to store the position they want to play the track from rather than having to manually shuttle back as described above. The pitch control will often have a pitch-lock button, allowing the tempo to be changed whilst not affecting the pitch.

In addition to these features CD decks are gaining new capabilities each year with no sign of the pace of change slowing down. Being able to set samples and loops, apply effects, beatmatch automatically and transfer music over USB stick and network connections are becoming common place, if not standard.

Pro Audio Centre has a variety of DJ decks & players on display and in our warehouse. Fast delivery and price matching is available on all items and we never charge more in store than we do online. To talk through your requirements call us on 0113 8800138, email us at sales@Pro Audio, or drop in to see us at the Leeds showroom.

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