Saw this and thought this would make for a good sticky thread. DJ’ing! What is a DJ (disc jockey)? - A DJ is a person who selects and plays prerecorded music for an audience, either on radio, online content in the form of podcasts or web-based radio shows (see websites), or at a club. There are several types of DJs: radio DJs play music that is broadcast on AM, FM, shortwave or digital radio stations; club DJs select and play/mix music in a club, disco, a rave, or even a stadium; and mobile disc jockeys travel with mobile sound systems and play from an extensive collection of pre-recorded music. (Including but not limited to: weddings, private parties, etc) Equipment: TURNTABLES (decks, tt’s)- A turntable (known to many as a record player) has a constant speed. The motor or belt driven “platter” revolves part of the turntable on which the record rests while it is being played. The increasingly skillful use of turntables by DJs to mix and scratch records has given rise to the term turntablism. In all turntables a motor spins a metal disk at a constant speed. On top of the rotating disk (platter) is a mat and on top of the mat records are placed to be played. In the past rubber mats were used to hold the record in place so that it would not rotate independently of the platter. Nowadays slipmats are used to reduce the friction between the spinning platter and record, and is often made of a felt like material. This way a DJ can scratch the record while the platter continues to spin underneath. In direct drive turntables the slipmat also helps isolate the record from motor vibrations that would be picked up by the stylus. Many turntables also include a pitch control, which allows a DJ to mix using a technique known as beatmatching. From the late 1990s onwards manufacturers such as Vestax started to include other electronic controls such as reverse, and "nudge". DJs and Turntablists have learned to use all the above functions assist them in musical performances. Turntablism is the art of manipulating sounds and creating music using turntables and a DJ mixer. The term was created in 1994 by DJ Supreme to describe the difference between a DJ who just plays records, and one who actually performs, by touching and moving the records to manipulate sound. The word was never meant to be the actual title of the art form. It was regularly stated as an example, while explaining the need for a new word to describe a newly emerging and totally unique instrumental art form. The intention was for the original creators of the art form to brainstorm and decide on a title. While the idea of the need for a new word spread, some DJs just began to use the example word "turntablist" before the originators had a chance to proclaim an actual title. DJ Babu has defined a turntablist as "One who has the ability to improvise on a phonograph turntable. One who uses the turntable in the spirit of a musical instrument;" while the Battlesounds documentary film suggests a definition of:"A musician, a disc jockey who in a live/spontaneous situation can manipulate or restructure an existing phonograph recording (in combination with an audio mixer) to produce or express a new composition that is unrecognizable from its original ingredients." Turntablist DJs use turntable techniques like beat mixing/matching, scratching, and beat juggling. Turntablism is generally focused more on turntable technique and less on mixing. Some turntablists seek to have themselves recognized as legitimate musicians capable of interacting and improvising with other performers. All of which rose from the phonograph, or gramophone, which was the most common device for playing recorded sound from the 1870s through the 1980s. (Google it) Types of Turntables: - Belt Drive: In a belt drive turntable the motor is located under and to the side of the platter and is connected to the platter by an elastometric belt. The design of the belt drive turntable allows the use of a less expensive motor than the direct-drive turntable. Pros: The elastometric belt absorbs motor vibrations which would otherwise be picked up by the stylus. Problems with belt instability and deterioration in the past have largely been solved by use of modern elastic polymers. Cons: Over time the drive belt can wear or lose elasticity, and begin to slip, causing variations in the platter speed. In addition, belt drive turntables have much lower torque; the belt can also slip off the motor and/or platter spindle, and are thus not suitable for turntablism. DJs who scratch or mix generally prefer to use direct-drive turntable. - Direct Drive: In a direct drive turntable the motor is located directly under the center of the platter and is connected to the platter directly. The first commercially available direct-drive turntable, the model SP-10, was introduced by the Technics division of Matsushita in 1969. Cons: The sole disadvantage to direct drive turntables over belt-drive turntables is vibration from the motor. Pros: Shock-absorbing (less dense) material, placed between the motor and platter, has been used to cut back on vibrations. Since the motor is directly connected to the platter, the torque is usually much higher than in the belt drive models (stronger motor). Higher torque means the platter speed is less susceptible to outside forces (stylus, hand). Higher torque also means the platter will accelerate to its proper speed faster so less distortion is heard when the record begins to play. Each turntable brand has a different turntable model with different specifications. (Technics, Numark, Vestax, Gemini, etc.) Research before you buy and look at specifications of whatever TT you’re interested in. Technics have been around for a long time and are trusted by DJ’s across the world. Numark’s however picked up Tech’s patent and added on with their TTx1 model, however they haven’t been around as long therefore, haven’t “proven” themselves to some DJ’s. In the end, it’s up to what you’re comfortable with. Let nobody tell you otherwise. * Recommended: (direct drive) Technics, Numark, Vestax RECORDS (vinyl, wax) - Records are the analogue sound recording medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed modulated spiral groove starting near the periphery and ending near the center of the disc. Early disc records were made of various materials including hard rubber. From 1897 onwards, earlier materials were largely replaced by a rather brittle formula of 25% "shellac" (a material obtained from the excretion of a Southeast Asian beetle), a filler of a cotton compound similar to manila paper, powdered slate, and a small amount of a wax lubricant. The mass production of shellac records began in 1898 in Hanover, Germany. Shellac records were the most common until the 1950s. Unbreakable records, usually of celluloid (an early form of plastic) on a pasteboard base, were made from 1904 onwards, but they suffered from an exceptionally high level of surface noise The terms LP and EP are acronyms of Long Play and Extended Play respectively, these type designations refer to their rotational speeds in revolutions per minute (RPM). Records nowadays are usually made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and hence may be referred to as vinyl records or simply vinyl.