Beginner Info

    Practice DJ-ing Without Equipment - A Quick Start Guide

     Practice DJ-ing Without Equipment - A Quick Start Guide

    You've only recently developed an interest in DJing and are considering taking it up as a pastime.

    You don't know if you'll stick with it or like it, and buying DJ gear would be a waste of money.

    Don't worry; this article has you covered.

    Working within such constraints can teach a DJ a lot about mixing. Additionally, the techniques you create can be put into your DJ "toolbox" going forward.

    Without Equipment, How to DJ?

    DJing without equipment can be challenging, but it will help you learn the key components and what each DJ software "button/knob" means.

    To hone your DJ skills without equipment:

    • begin composing music
    • Employ DJ software (and map the keys)
    • Utilize a web mixer
    • Create mixes with a DAW.

    The fact that you can only click on one object at a time makes this tricky (basically equivalent of mixing with one hand, only slower due to no hardware).

    By simultaneously changing both tunes, it is possible to achieve many crucial transitions and mixing fluency. This enables effective blending in between two songs.

    You can use both hands with a controller, and all of the "knobs" and "buttons" are easily usable as opposed to some being hidden (like effects) under dropdowns that take a lot longer to navigate with a mouse.

    Begin Composing Music

    Prepare your music if you have it. Create crates, analyze tracks, and add some crucial cue moments.

    Ensure the quality of your beat grids. Tag items. More tags for them

    begin your research. Read and listen to the history of the genre you're focusing in to understand where it originated from. Read the histories of those genres.

    Learn about the history, technical details, and musical elements of dance clubs, electronic music, and DJing.

    Are you considering a career in broadcasting? Also, learn everything you can about that.

    If you're not a musician, familiarize yourself with the circle of fifths at the very least. learn what a key is and what happens to people's minds when a key is changed.

    Take notes as you watch or listen to as many sets that appeal to you. Take more notes and return after a month. Make a note of anything cool you discover, then try to replicate it later.

    Employ DJ software (And Map the Keys)

    Today's DJ software works surprisingly well on its own without the need for specialized hardware (like a controller).

    There are many free basic DJ software packages available. Therefore, with a little creative thinking, you may easily have basic DJ functionality if you already own a laptop.

    Yes, there are restrictions. Things like gradually removing the bass of track A while turning up the channel loudness of track B are difficult to accomplish.

    Your laptop keyboard has many buttons, but there are no knobs to spin to easily reduce the bass.

    The Top 5 DJ Programs You Can Use Without a Controller


    One of the top DJ programs available, utilized by both professionals and beginners.

    As using Rekordbox, you should begin by mixing one track, then when that track is about to end, drop the next track and quickly lower the level on the first track to get you started.

    Many advise against using grids/sync. You may still improve your mixing skills by employing effects and EQ/key changes to make the mix sound smooth, even if you only use them to better understand the principles involved.

    There is a difference between utilizing beat and sync grids and depending on them. You can combine without it if you familiarize yourself with how they operate.

    On Rekordbox, I used to be able to host complete home parties using only a mouse and keyboard.

    Only after purchasing Pioneer DDJ-400 controller did I discover how simple it is to change numerous parameters at once, without having to take the time to double-check that you're pressing this button rather than that.

    The Rekordbox DJ software is available for free download. Use the regular aux/Bluetooth options on your speakers to play audio.


    Get Traktor's software version. It's known as Traktor Pro 3. Install this program, add music to it, and start using it.

    Beginners make extensive use of this program since it enables you to create a beat grid and teaches you how to count bars and BPM visually.

    Believe Me, as a guy who is somewhat knowledgeable in this field, you can accomplish practically everything with only this application. It falls on you.

    Traktor DJ is a great tool for novices, especially if you have an iPad. On an iPhone, the interface is a little clunky, but on iPad mini and later models, it works flawlessly.

    DJ virtual

    The program I first used, Virtual DJ, is the one I'd suggest for recording practice mixes. It may be used to put together a respectable blend and is mouse-click friendly.

    Use Spotify, which is quite good (test out stuff, then buy it for proper mixing). You can use cues and moderately successfully alter the EQ. It's ideal for basic mixing and testing out stuff at home.

    It's an excellent approach to learn the fundamentals and freely experiment with techniques and styles when combined with a few lesson videos.

    Cueing, beatmatching, looping, EQing, filtering, effects, and tempo control were all skills I picked up from Virtual DJ.

    As a programmer, I find that writing MIDI controller mappings as scripts makes much more sense than using Traktor's GUI-based mapping editor. Compared to Traktor, it can be customized significantly more and is lot simpler to program.

    In the more recent iterations of Virtual DJ, you can also develop to a very high level. It has advanced significantly, and I now value its high level of dependability.

    Home Edition performs 95% of what Pro Edition can achieve and is completely free.


    Some of my pals immediately purchased Serato DJ, the industry standard for DJ software, and diligently studied numerous YouTube videos.

    Serato, in my opinion, is an excellent tool for understanding concepts and deciding whether or not you want to mix (assuming no prior knowledge with turntables or other stand-alone hardware).

    I definitely recommend it since it's free if you're not yet an adult and have a limited amount of spending money, like I did in high school and a very large number of other people still do.

    To get a feel for the program, you can instantly download a free pro version from Serato's website.


    Get a DJ/mixer app if you have a tablet or iPad, in my opinion. I would advise choosing Algoriddim.

    Check out the DJay 2 or DJay Pro Apps; both are compatible with Spotify, and at least with the touch screen, you can get started and learn without spending extra money on a controller.

    In this manner, DJing will feel "touchable" without requiring the purchase of a real controller.

    It is available for download on the App Store.

    Diagram of the Keys

    It's far better than using a mouse all the time if you take the time to set up your shortcuts for cueing, keys, setting loops, adjusting the fader, etc.

    The timing is inaccurate due of the hand to mouse delay by the time you use the mouse or trackpad to start an activity (fumbling, not latency).

    Study the keyboard shortcut for a bass kill as well (which would simulate instantly turning the low EQ all the way down).

    Even without EQ knobs, the EQ can be controlled. A mouse could be used for cueing, looping, and triggering samples, but a keyboard is necessary to adjust EQs.

    Numerous keyboard buttons can be set to actions such as advancing the track, turning the mid eq down by 10%, and moving the channel fader up by 10%.

    Here is an illustration of how Virtual DJ's keyboard buttons are mapped.

    Utilize a Web Mixer is a fantastic online mixer that is both entertaining and simple to use.

    Be prepared to lose a lot of time if you are a complete novice at this.

    You can blend music and videos online, and that is also compelling.

    The DJ setup on consists of two turntables and a mixer.

    Your goal is to utilize the mixer to blend the two tracks that are being played simultaneously on each turntable.

    You can use the loops, fx pads, eq, sampler, hot cues, backspin, and scratch to liven up your performance.

    To make things simpler, the beats are automatically synced, and you may adjust the music's tempo simply clicking on the bpm value above the mixer.

    All of the music and videos are accessible from the bottom side. You may navigate and search the music library using the menu on the left.

    By pushing these buttons on the mixer, you may also play great videos in the background.

    Finally, by selecting the record button, you may record your mix and share it with your friends (above the mixer).

    You can download a version for mobile devices as well.

    Build Mixes in a Daw

    I'll likely hear that this isn't "legit." However, I would create mixes in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Ableton if a keyboard and mouse workflow for live DJing stopped being enjoyable.

    Although Ableton is a general-purpose DAW that can be used for just about anything, the built-in tools make it particularly suitable for loop-based music styles like house, techno, and trance.

    For electronic producers employing those instruments, its time-stretching and sampling capabilities set it apart from other DAWs, although the built-in instruments lack a distinct artistic focus.

    When I was younger, I basically taught myself several methods of drop mixing and beatmatching using a computer called Mixpad.

    Although it wasn't ideal, it was much simpler to start using when I got my controller because I was already somewhat familiar with managing the tracks; I only needed to figure out which buttons on the controller performed what.

    For that job, FL Studio is likewise more than capable, and the outcome will be on par with what any other program is capable of. To automate the volume on each song's channel, simply place the songs in the playlist where you want them to mix in and out. Scratching and chopping can be reduced by using plugins like Gross Best or automation.

    To Sum Up

    By using the DJ software way to learn to DJ instead of any other approach, you will learn all the fundamentals and be able to be lot more impromptu with your performances since you won't need to prepare every set for Ableton. Additionally, doing things this way is a ton of fun.

    Install Rekordbox, watch some tutorials on it, and become familiar with it. Look up some DJs on YouTube to gain ideas about how to mix using your controller. Though you'll likely begin with the free plan, reading up on their premium plans may help you better comprehend the program.

    Learn how to record your mixes as well. The finest growth is made when you listen to your own performances, be critical of them, and share them with individuals you want to hear their opinions.

    Be envious of yourself since you are about to set out on a wonderful journey.

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