You just spent 1K+ on that shiny new Pioneer DDJ-SX3 DJ controller, bought the perfect case to transport it in along with your DJ computer, bought all the cables, microphones, speakers, stands, LED display, lighting, and all the other gear you’ll need to DJ at any mobile event.
“I found a great great deal on a i3 machine with 4GB of RAM and entry level graphics card – only $300 on Amazon. Now, where’s my debit card…”
You’d be surprised how many customers we’ve chatted with over the years that have no problem spending their hard earned cash on various DJ gear and hardware, but skimp on the most important centerpiece in their rig – their DJ computer.
Whether you’re a MAC or a PC, it truly doesn’t matter (one could easily argue that you get more bang for your buck with PC, especially when you need to mix music videos with a discrete graphics card, but I digress), you shouldn’t consider performing with bargain basement machines designed for basic office type applications and surfing the net. The vast majority of the time they do not have the horsepower to handle multimedia mixing.
I can argue with confidence that the most important gear you have at your disposal as a DJ is your DJ machine. It provides storage and access to your music library, runs your DEX 3 DJ software (or other), provides video output when mixing video or hosting karaoke, and quite simply is the make, or break, component in your entire rig.
Prices on quality machines have come down dramatically over the last few years. Purchasing a new or refurbished machine with an i5 or i7 processor, at least 8GB of RAM, and a 1GB dedicated (discrete) graphics card or better won’t break a window. I’ve run across machines spec’d out beyond these ‘minimum’s’ for around $700 or less.
Yes, that’s no ‘blue light special’ price, but if you’re going to do this right and become a true professional, especially if you want to mix music videos with DEX 3, you need to fork over the duckets for a machine designed for multimedia and live performance in mind. If you mix HD quality videos, 720p or above, a dedicated graphics card, preferrably Nvidia with 1GB of RAM or more, you need a gaming style machine.
Brands don’t matter too much, but stay away from entry level machines with questionable build quality such as Acer. HP, Asus, Lenovo, Alienware and yes, Apple, have been trusted brands over the last few years for many DJs — and there’s a reason for that.
Yes, I realize not every beginner DJ can run out and spend $700+ on a new machine. Audio-only bedroom DJing with a “just-fell-off-a-truck” machine is likely suitable — but once you are paid to perform for a client or venue you need to ante up and do as the pro’s do. Get that shiny new DJ machine to pair with your shiny new DDJ-SX3.
What do you think you should spend on your DJ computer? Do you think $700+ is too much? We’d love to hear your comments in the comments section below!