How To Set Up Two Turntables With A Mixer

Okay, you have got your DJ equipment and are wondering how to set up two turntables with a mixer. This guide you get you up and running in a jiffy, and keep you from looking like a clown in front of your fellow jocks and your audience.

  1. Vertical or horizontal. There are two ways to position your turntables, the traditional way with the tone arm to the right (horizontal method), or the vertical method with the record player turned so the tone arm is on top instead of to the right. The latter is used for DJs that want to focus on scratching and beat juggling, as it allows for easier access to both right and left sides of the vinyl for advanced tricks. For beat mixers and club jocks, the traditional, horizontal method is advised. But if you really want to show off, the vertical method shows you mean friggin’ business, son.
  2. Match the pretty colors. Connecting your turntables to your mixer is pretty idiot-proof. Put the mixer in between the two turntables. Then simply connect the audio cables on turntable one (red and white ends) into the corresponding Channel 1 Phono (phonograph) inputs on the mixer, which should also be color coded. Red goes with red, white goes with white. Duh. Repeat for turntable two. Each turntable should have a ground wire; connect those to the ground connector on the mixer. If you want to be extra fancy and use three or four turntables, simply hook them up like you did the other two, using channels three and four. But if you do so you are pretty much being a ridiculous novelty act; most real jocks stick with two.
  3. Connect your microphone. Most DJs need a mic to make announcements or pump up the crowd. So plug in your mic to your mixer unless you are a club jock, who hardly ever need to address the crowd with anything but amazing mixes!
  4. Turn on the amp and test. Remember that only pure amateurs will connect components such as turntables while the amp is on. Doing this will blow out your speakers and your eardrums. Make all your connections and turn everything on besides your amp, which should be the last thing you turn on and first thing you turn off when you are done for the night. Check the levels and EQ before the crowd shows up, and then lower the master volume on your mixer until it is time to play.

Make sure you connect your turntables to the “Phono” inputs. If you mistakenly connect them to your “Line” inputs, you will experience horribly distorted sound. Also, if you hear a buzzing noise, check to make sure you connected the ground wires properly.

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