Sound Equipment 101

You’ve chosen the event space, hired a DJ (or a band) and then you find out you’ll also have to rent sound equipment.

“Is that like, umm, speakers and stuff?”

Unless you were a DJ or a sound techie in a past lifetime, chances are audio-visual lingo is as foreign to you as Aramaic.

Don’t panic.

Learn the basics of sound equipment and you’ll soon be on your way to a great party.

There are four main components of a basic sound system: audio mixer, amplifier, speaker, and microphone (more info below). In addition, you might need other equipment including turntables, an iPod console and more depending on the event.

Audio Mixers (Sound Boards)

Audio mixers – a “mixer” – is an electronic device that allows multiple audio equipment to be connected to the sound system. This is a necessary item comprised of multiple inputs each with a volume control used to control audio levels.

The number of input required on your mixer will depend on the number of items (microphones, turntables, an iPod, etc.) that will be connected to the sound system.

Mixers geared toward DJ’s include additional features include a cross fader used for transitions between connected audio equipment.

Mixers are highly recommended when using a microphone in order to have better control of the volume, feedbacks and quality of the sound.


An amplifier – “amps” – is a device that increases the amplitude of a signal (the voltage or current) sent to the speakers. In laymen’s terms, amplifiers are absolutely necessary to produce sound.

Amplifiers can be separate or built in to a speaker. See below for the pros and cons of “Powered (Active) versus Unpowered (Passive)” speakers.


There are two types of speakers generally used at most events: unpowered (Passive) and powered (Active) speakers.

Powered speakers (active speakers) have a built in amplifier.


– Can be connected directly to a mixer. – Avoids the necessity of speaker to amplifier matching

Disadvantages – Electrical source required for each speaker – Increased number of cables required for connection to each speaker – Often less powerful and less durable then unpowered speakers.

Unpowered speakers (passive speakers) requires a separate amplifier.

Advantages – Reduced number of cables required for connection to each speaker – Often more powerful and more durable then powered speakers

Disadvantages – A separate amplifier is required for use with speaker

For a more robust sound (found commonly in nightclubs and dance parties), Sub-bass speakers should also be considered. This is a speaker dedicated to low-frequency sounds and adds a distinct presents of low end sounds.


There are three basic kinds of microphones: traditional, wireless and lavaliers.

Traditional microphones have a wire that can vary in length that connect to your mixer.


– You don’t have to worry about losing connectivity during a speech/presentation. Disadvantages:

– The wires and limited mobility.

Wireless Microphones are similar to a traditional microphone but with a cord. Microphone but it has a chord.nal microphones have a wire that can vary in length that connect to your mixer Advantages: – Increased mobility Disadvantages – Risk of poor reception or unexpected interference – Batteries required

A lavalier microphone is a small piece that clips on to your clothing

Advantages: – Increased mobility – Hands Free operation

Disadvantages – High risk of feedback – Lower level of sound

Other Equipment: – CD Player – Turntables – iPod Console – Equalizer – Compressor – Limiter – Gate – Crossover – Processor

How Should You Buy Your DJ Equipment Turntables – New Or Used?

Are you looking to become a DJ and your needing turntables? Are you looking at the cost ratio, what should you buy, used turntables or brand new turntables? I will give you a little insight on the different factors of buying DJ equipment turntables.

Turntables can be pretty expensive, especially when you have to have two turntables to do any mixing. If you’re just starting out money may be a concern. But you also have to keep in mind what you’re getting when you purchase used DJ equipment turntables.

Yes they are a bargain compared to buying new ones. But ask yourself this question, why are they selling their turntables? Is there something wrong with them that they won’t tell you? Are they looking for quick cash? Is it stolen property? All these factors would have to be looked at when buying used turntables.

Everything may look good on the surface but when you get ready to start mixing that’s when the problems start. The reason I say this is because I ran into the same problem. I bought some used turn tables for a friend so that he could start his DJ career and when he went to hook the turntables up, he ran into all sorts of problems, and they guy I bought them from, had a pre paid phone which was no longer in service, yeah I was a little angry at the time, but you live and you learn.

Cost may be an issue when buying new DJ equipment turntables but to be the best you have to have the best. There is nothing like the smell of new turntables coming out of a box, it just smells like greatness, and how much money I will make with those turntables, all man. Trust me it’s all worth it.

With brand new turntables I feel safer because I know if something is wrong with the turntables I have a warranty of some sort. This is what I did to get those brand new DJ equipment turntables, instead of going with used ones again; because if you want to do something you have to do it right.

I had the will and dedication to getting this DJ empire off the ground, so I decided to invest my money in new equipment; because I knew with the fire in my teams heart we can make the money we spent back in ten fold.

So if you have the determination to be the best then do what I did and go get the best DJ equipment turntables, and trust me whatever you spend will return plus plenty more as long as you’re doing your part.