DJing is a lot of fun; there’s nothing like the feel of a great groove and the energy pumping through you while you feel the music come to life in front of your hands. But, let’s face it, not everyone has the luxury of owning DJ equipment, including a pair of turntables, a mixer, and other expensive components. Luckily, you can get as much practice and some much-needed know-how with DJ lessons from Pasadena Music Academy if you can afford them.
If not possible, all is not lost! Even without fancy equipment, you can still practice your mixes and hone your skills without spending anything at all. You don’t need to spend money on expensive DJing equipment when you can use your home computer.
Here are some tips on how to practice DJing without equipment:
- Explore Music
To practice DJing without using equipment, start by exploring music you already know. Find a song that has an instrumental version on Spotify or YouTube. Download the instrumental and study how the different parts fit together. Then, think about what you’d do if you were mixing it in a live set. You can also get a feel for beatmatching by playing along with songs from the same album.
- Prepare Your Music
You can’t start practicing without first preparing some music. This means that you need to find some songs that you can remix and mix together. One way to do this is by finding free online music sources and downloading them onto your computer so that you can remix them later.
- Check Your Equipment
Even if you have no equipment, it might be worth checking whether or not the keys on your computer keyboard correspond to the ones on a turntable or controller. In addition, some keyboards have a MIDI function, which allows for different instruments and tones, so it might be worth checking these out before buying a new controller.
- Practice Using DJ Software
Even without dedicated hardware, today’s DJ software works well by itself. A good example of this is a controller.
Many basic DJ software tools are available for free. So, if you own a laptop, you can easily become a DJ with a bit of creative thinking.
Yes, there are limitations. For example, some things are difficult to achieve, such as gradually filtering out the bass of one track while increasing the channel level of another track.
You don’t have any knobs to turn on your laptop keyboard to eliminate the bass smoothly, but you do have a lot of buttons. Consider using DJ software that doesn’t require a controller like Rekordbox, Traktor, Virtual DJ, Serato, and DJay, amongst others.
- Map the Keys
If your keyboard doesn’t have MIDI functions, you still have options like mapping the keys in software and using virtual controllers like Traktor. The only problem with this is that it takes time and effort, which is why it’s best to purchase a controller at first, if possible—practice in-depth mixing techniques in a DAW (digital audio workstation).
- Use Online Mixer
An online mixer (or software) is important when practicing DJing. There are many online mixers that allow you to mix songs with ease. They include different effects, filters, and even autocue if your timing is not perfect. Being able to use an online mixer means that you do not need equipment when practicing DJing.
When practicing DJing without equipment, you need to mix songs with similar beats per minute (BPM). This will make it easier when you start using turntables or CDJs to mix music. If you do not do this, your beats will not line up well, and it won’t be easy to perform.
Consider looking up remixes of songs that you like. Remixes have the same beat as the original song and make excellent practice material for mixing. In addition, they are often produced by the same person who produced the original song, which means that they are similar in sound and tempo.
- Mixing in a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
Another thing you need when practicing DJing without equipment is a DAW (digital audio workstation). There are many free DAWs available online such as Audacity, Mixcraft, and GarageBand. These will enable you to edit the song lengths so that you can match them up perfectly and make sure the beat is synced up correctly.
If you are using software to mix, be sure that you know how to use every function of the software and how to make effects, loops, and other things happen as if they were authentic world items. Practicing DJing without equipment can be difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to do it in front of an audience of thousands or millions.
Hopefully, this post has given you some ideas on how you can practice DJing without equipment. It can take you a while to figure out, but it’s pretty simple when you realize how! In the end, you’ll spend less money than if you had purchased all of the equipment separately and still managed to build up your skills to get out on the decks. So give it a try—you might be surprised at what you can accomplish without any essential gear!