How Do DJ Turntables Work? The Definitive Guide (2023)

DJ Turntables are used to orchestrate pre-recorded music. It looks like a CD player with a slip pad disc on an analog turntable. 

Do you think DJing is easy? It requires you to learn about the setup and how to use the DJ Turntables.

DJ Turntables are used by DJs who hold and turn the slip pad and scratch sounds to produce audio tracks. These tracks are also stimulated to generate special effects. 

The main function of a DJ Turntable is to match the beat, where two or more tracks are taken, and their tempos are synchronized. This helps to play the tracks seamlessly together.

You can get the result by adjusting the pitch control on the DJ Turntable, matching the BMP (Beats per minute) for each of the tracks. There are lots of other functions that a DJ Turntable can be used for.

So, let’s find out the details.

What is a DJ Turntable?

A DJ Turntable is a device used by DJs to manipulate and mix pre-recorded music. This is a specialized device which looks like a CD player but is not a traditional record player. They have a slip pad disc that looks like a disc on the analog turntable, and these are used to create music.

There are two main types of DJ Turntables: Direct drive and Belt driven

Direct-drive Turntables have a motor that is placed on the platter. These are usually preferable by DJs as it offers consistent speed, and you can control it whenever you want by stopping, slowing down, or spinning back the device. Most importantly, your actions do not damage the electric motor.

Belt-driven Turntables have a motor connected to the platter through a belt. These Turntables are easily prone to damage because you cannot spin them in any direction you want.

What are the functions of DJ Turntables?

Other than creating special effects and synchronizing the tempo of the track, you can also use the DJ Turntable for mixing tracks and where you want to create a smooth transition by blending two or more tracks. You also get to create a new formation on the DJ mixer. You will find the crossfader, which is used to fade in and fade out for each of the tracks.

You also get to manipulate the slip pad on the Turntable by the process of scratching, and the end result is rhythmic patterns and unique sound effects.

The DJ Turntables are also used for other functions, such as flash memory storage for multiple soundtracks, automatic looping, cue point marking, and more. If you are a professional DJ, then you can also use the DJ Turntable to create complex mixes, manipulate the tracks in real time, and gain complete control over your performance.

How do DJ Turntables work?

DJ Turntables are put into action mainly in nightclubs or music venues or any kind of events where DJs are required to mix tracks. Using DJ Turntables, you get to learn beatmatching for creating special effects.

DJs usually use the direct-driven design or the standard turntable. It has been seen that DJs can even use multiple turntables in their setup so that they can queue up the next song when the current song is still being played.

It is very important to drop the needle at a very specific position on the record so that the result provides a smooth transition. However, syncing this up ahead of time becomes critical. So, usually, DJs use two Turntables to play the tracks at the same time. The Turntables are connected by using a mixer or fader, and this is also essential so that the DJ can play the songs from Vinyl Setup without any issue.

A fader has a nob that directs the Turntable and decides which Turntable is going to send out the signal to the rest of the sound system. This creates a fading effect, and due to this you can hear multiple songs.

DJs also have a controlled setup that includes EQ and speed controls; these help to sync a track from one record to the other. This is the main reason why direct drive turntables are quite ideal for the task.

A slip mat is also part of the DJ setup, which is a felt pad placed on the platter below the record. This helps the record slip, thus, improving the scratching effect.

It takes time to learn the art of DJing, and for a perfect setup, good instruments are equally required. With a basic setup, a DJ can upskill their qualities and make crowd-pleasing music.

What is a Vinyl DJ setup?

The most basic setup for DJing is the Vinyl DJ setup. This is a classic Vinyl setup that includes 2 turntables and a mixture. Here all the cables should be connected together so that it can function properly. Also, speakers or headphones are required to listen to the music.

Through this setup, you can use turntables and mixture to play, sync and adjust the track. Here, a DJ mixes the adjustments when playing the song so that the setup can flow easily without the transition being noticeable. 

In this Vinyl DJ setup, the DJ usually has headphones so that they can listen to the song that is being queued up on the turntable while the current song is still being played. If required, a DJ can add a third turntable for personal preference to create effects. 

Usually, beginners are advised to use a vinyl DJ setup so that they can learn how to scratch the records, and it is also budget-friendly. With time as they get their skills enhanced, a DJ can add additional equipment to amplify or modify the sounds and effects.

What is the cost of a DJ turntable?

A beginner version of a DJ turntable can cost around $100 dollars, and as you keep adding other instruments to the setup, the cost significantly increases. Also, it depends on the model of the Turntable and features that it offers, and the condition that decides the cost.

Are DJ Turntables still in use?

Yes, DJ Turntables are still in use, but many have switched to a modern setup that includes digital music and a laptop.

Why can’t you switch to a modern setup instead of using Turntables?

It is quite easy to switch to a modern setup that includes laptops and pre-recorded music, but finding the tracks that would please the audience is quite difficult. So, based on the audience, a DJ can create a playlist during the event itself. Also, some of the labels are hard to find and are released in Vinyl form only. So, DJ turntables help to create a unique set that is far apart from what any standard music service accounts, such as iTunes, Spotify, etc., can provide. The main focus in DJing is to create a track that has been least heard by the people. 

Parag Banerjee
Parag Banerjee

Parag Banerjee is an experienced Search Engine Optimizer. He has a wide knowledge of Google Updates, Analytics, and many others. He studied Computer Application from Techno India.

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