Our tips & tricks for DJs
November 26, 2019
How to improve the sound quality of a DJ set? Soundsystem.be founder Lieven to the rescue!
The starting point is simple: a sound system will sound at its best when all elements of the chain are performing well. We can provide a qualitative sound system including speakers, amplifiers and DJ gear, but in order to create stunning output sound for your audience, whether small or big, a few elements need to be taken into account.
1. The source
The start of the chain is your source material. Whatever the format of your source material is – digital, CD or vinyl records – we recommend uncompressed. MP3, the most commonly used file for digital music, unfortunately results in a lower output quality. Due to the compression used, an MP3 file is seven times smaller than its uncompressed source file. Compare it to a glass of good wine, mixed with 6 glasses of water, before being served.
On a smartphone, the speakers of a computer or a bluetooth speaker, most ears won’t hear the difference between an MP3 and an uncompressed file format such as WAV or AIFF. On any good sound system, such as Funktion-One, an uncompressed file will improve your sound, resulting in more dynamics, a greater punch and a natural impact on your dancers. Just like we prefer wine without water.
2. The tools
Your battle weapons define your DJ skills and each DJ has his own favorites. In order to achieve the highest possible level, taking care of the tools matters.
The DJ mixer is your primary tool, where you will handle the faders and the magic happens. Pioneer DJM is the industry standard and will always do a proper job. Allen&Heath Xone, Formula Sound, Model 1 by Playdifferently and the rotary mixers by Rane or E&S are our favorites to go one step further. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a word of advice, to select the mixer that suits you best.
For turntables we always prefer the industry standard Technics, upgraded with quality needles. To fight feedback and unstable tables, we prefer ISONOE turntable isolation feet. And vinyl weights – puck-like metal objects placed on a record during playback – help stabilize the records. Get in touch to find out more, we are happy to help.
In the case of a computer driven audio player, such as Serato or iTunes, we advice to use a suitable sound card. Just so you know: the standard headphone output of any MAC or Windows laptop isn’t up to par, a cable from your computer or smartphone to the DJ mixer implies a loss of quality. This can easily be solved by adding an external sound card in between your computer system and the DJ mixer.
If you wish to add live gear to your DJ set-up (a saxophone for example), make sure to obtain a balanced output towards the front system (where it will be mixed with your DJ signal) or – in the case of a small set-up without front system – the mixing table. Double check cables and connections to avoid issues during the performance.
3. The DJ
Last but not least, every DJ is responsible for the output volume of the DJ mixer towards the amplifiers and speakers. Red lights on your DJ mixer’s output are no good, resulting in distortion.
It’s recommended to communicate well with the owner of the party and the sound engineer about the level of the sound. If a decibel meter is installed, respect it, since in most cases the sound system is configured along this limitation.
Don’t forget that you’re in a DJ booth, with your own monitor speakers. It’s worth a walk in the room to experience what the audience is hearing. When everybody’s happy, you’ll be happy.
Looking forward to working with you! Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Founder of Soundystem.be