If you are a DJ looking to add more polish to your performances, you may be wondering how to connect my delay effects to a DJ mixer. Delays make an audio signal echo, which sound really cool, and can also be used to add depth. Fortunately, adding a delay unit to your DJ audio signal is not complicated as long as you have the right gear.
To connect your delay effects to a DJ mixer, you will need:
- DJ Mixer with effects send and return
- 2 instrument cables, ¼”
- Ensure you have the right mixer. To really get the best results, you need a mixer with an effects send and return plus an effects switch on each channel. This will allow you to send the signal from an individual channel to the delay unit, and then that signal gets returned to a special input on the mixer. Having it set up this way will allow you to play one channel of music normally, while you scratch or drop in a sample with the delay effect on another. Otherwise, sending the entire audio signal means the whole mix will have the delayed effect, which is not very useful. Most major DJ mixer manufacturers have upper-end models with effects sends and returns.
- Make connections. Using a ¼” instrument cable, connect the mixer’s “effect send” output to the delay’s input jack. Now, using another ¼” cable, connect the delay unit’s output to the mixer’s “effects return” jack. The names of these inputs and outputs vary by manufacturer; sometimes they are marked “Effects In” and “Effects Out,” or similar.
- Test. Play a song and raise the volume on its channel. Now switch on the delay for that channel, which is usually accomplished by turning a rotary dial marked “Effect” on the channel or by pressing a button. You should hear the delay effect on the channel and should be able to control its magnitude by adjusting the rotary dial.
Connecting your delay effects to a DJ mixer adds a lot of professionalism to your mixes. Advances in technology mean that many DJ mixers have built in delays that compete with stand alone delay units. For mobile DJs where portability and ease of set up is a concern, this is probably the recommended option, leaving the separate delay units and its extra wiring for club installations.