A DJ mixer is an essential piece of equipment for any good DJ setup. Your mixer takes sounds from multiple sources and blends them together into one audio output. The mixer gives you the ability to adjust the volume of various frequencies, cue up tracks, or interact with your audience. Mixers have sliders, knobs, and buttons, depending on what features you need and want.
When you’re first starting out on your DJ journey, it might be overwhelming to find the right mixer at an affordable price. Some work with laptops. Others require additional equipment, such as your turntables or music players.
To help you figure out what mixer is best for you as you are just starting out, we’ve put together a list of the best beginner DJ mixers. We’ll talk about the criteria we used to choose these mixers and let you know which one we think works the best.
This is a very portable, professional wireless three-channel DJ mixer. You can easily mix MP3 and Bluetooth-connected devices. Each channel has independent volume controls as well as a crossfader. This mixer also includes phono inputs on channel two, which can be used for turntables.
One of the great features of this mixer is that you can mix everything from your digital library to your vinyl collection all in one tiny mixer package. You can mix from streaming services or your own files. It is up to you. With independent microphone volume control, you can clearly talk over your mixes to interact with your audience.
The Gemini Sound MM1 is a tiny mixer with a tiny price tag. This is a great beginner’s mixer because it has such a small cost to get you started. The controls are simple but effective, so you won’t get bogged down trying to learn too many features at once.
It includes two RCA line inputs and one master RCA output with a rotary headphone adjustment so you can cue your tracks, too.
If you’re just starting out, the Pioneer will help you get well on your way to your DJ career with
warm, high-quality audio from both digital and analog sources. It has a simple, easy-to-use layout, so you won’t struggle to figure out what to do. The built-in sound card enables you to use either your Mac or PC to play tunes. In addition, there are channel faders and three-band isolators so you can make your mixes precise. This is intended to be used with Rekordbox software.
The Numark M2 -2 channel scratch DJ mixer is a well-rounded piece of equipment at a great price. This mixer has a durable steel body with an elegant and professional appearance. You’ll find there are plenty of connections both in and out, including a microphone line with its own gain control. In addition, it’s designed to be highly portable, so you can easily take it to your next gig or studio session.
If it’s features you are after, you’ll want to look at the Behringer Pro Mixer. While not the cheapest mixer on the list, it is definitely a great value for the price. The Behringer Pro includes seven channels, dual BPM counters, USB connectivity, and a built-in crossfader. All seven channels have 3-channel EQ and gain controls, and of course, you’ll find two mic channels, subwoofer output, and USB in and out.
If you like to plug and play, then Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol might be the right mixer for you. It’s ready to go right out of the box. You get a great tactile feel with chunky buttons and controllers that are easy to grip. You’ll be able to prelisten to your mixes with the separate headphone jack, too.
This mixer has a built-in 24-soundcard, making it a great mixer for digital sources. It also has a three-band EQ and prelisten function for both channels. In addition, this slim design is highly portable and integrates smoothly with Traktor 3 software.
When you’re just beginning your DJ career or learning how to mix, you need to come up with equipment, of course. But the choices can be overwhelming and the cost of equipment even more so.
But you don’t need to go crazy when you’re just starting. It’s better, to begin with, a basic mixer and add on as you grow in your skills. If you start out with something too complex, you’ll spend all your time trying to figure out your equipment and miss out on the fun and satisfaction of spinning tunes.
Before you purchase a mixer, you need to think about the features you need the most. So let’s take a look at some of the essential features and criteria that you might choose from when selecting your first mixer.
The number of channels on your mixer is simply the number of sources you can mix from at the same time. Most of these mixers are two-channel mixers, with as many as seven channels. Entry-level mixers tend to have fewer channels. The more channels there are, the more expensive the mixer.
But if you’re just starting with a laptop and a mixer, you’ll be fine with just two channels.
It’s possible for your mixer to have more inputs than it has channels. You may have extra inputs, and then you can use a switch to change which input you are using. For example, if your two-channel mixer has four inputs, you could have a CD player, and a turntable plugged into the inputs on the same channel. So you could mix from one or the other but not both of them simultaneously. If you do need to mix from more than two sources at a time, you’ll need to pick a mixer with more channels.
What kinds of inputs do you need on your mixer? For example, you may need a dedicated microphone input so you can engage with your audience. On the other hand, if you want to connect a tablet or mp3 player, you may need some kind of Bluetooth or USB connectivity. This is especially important if you are using your laptop with DJ software. Extra inputs give you more flexibility as you grow in your skills.
On the other hand, you’ll also need outputs on your mixer. The outputs are what take your music from the mixer to the PA system. (Check out this article to see what other equipment you’ll need in addition to a mixer). You’ll also want some kind of a headphone output so you can listen to your mixes before they go to the PA system. And you may want a booth or record output so that you can record your mixes, as well.
Of course, there are always extra features you may want to incorporate into your mixer to make your job easier and your mixes more exciting. However, keep in mind that if your mixer doesn’t have these, your DJ software probably will. It is just easier to manipulate the mix with tangible controls on a mixer or a DJ controller rather than virtual ones.
Beats Per Minute Counters help you beat match songs for a better mix.
These are the overall sound level from a channel. It is better to have a separate gain for each channel on your mixer.
EQ is how you adjust the frequency levels in your mix. Again, it is better to have a separate EQ for each channel, when possible.
Consider a mixer with built-in effects to have even more control over what your tunes sound like.
Will you be mostly using digital, analog, or a combination of the two? If you use a digital mixer, it will require a software system and sound card to operate. On the other hand, analog mixers don’t need a laptop. Some people prefer the warm, rich sound of analog mixing.
Analog-only mixers are less expensive than digital mixers.
You need a durable mixer that will hold up to being lugged around to gigs. You’ll want a solid, sturdy body that isn’t heavy or too bulky. It needs to be durable enough to last but not so heavy that you can hardly carry it. Consider a mixer with larger knobs and faders because they’ll be a little bit sturdier and easier to manipulate.
The more channels a mixer has, the more expensive it will be. High-end mixers have lots of features, of course, but they can be extremely expensive, not to mention complicated to learn. But when you’re just starting out, high-end mixers can be inaccessible due to the learning curve and the price.
Beginner mixers are much simpler and cost-effective. You can still create a great mix on a lesser expensive mixer, so don’t be afraid to keep your costs low. You may have to purchase additional equipment, so keep that in mind when planning out your equipment budget.
The mixers on this list are fairly small and portable, and they’re designed to be taken to gigs. No matter what mixer you choose, if you’re packing it for gigs, you’ll want one that is as small and streamlined as it possibly can be while still offering all of the features you need.
To be frank, you can create a great mix on any beginner mixer if you know how to use it to its potential. But when you’re first starting out, you need to start with the most essential functions at an affordable price. Then, over time, you can trade up to more expensive equipment with enhanced features.
Our sincere pick for the best Beginner DJ mixer is the Gemini Sound MM1. There are plenty of reasons we love this mixer! First of all, the price is impossible to beat. It has such a small price tag that it will fit well into just about any budget. It has two channels and a very compact design. It’ll probably even fit in your pocket, so you don’t have to worry about having to carry it to your gigs! And it won’t clutter up too much space on your desk either, so that you can practice with it at home.
It also features individual gain controls to finetune each channel and a smooth crossfader for clean transitions. It has two RCA line inputs and an RCA line output. It also has a ¼ mic line in with independent gain control so that you can interact with your audience over top of your music.
To put it simply, this is a simple mixer at a great price. You’ll get great quality sound without being weighed down by too many features. It’s the perfect way to get started.
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