It just is. I’ve put together some sweet kit and hope to have mixes up in the coming months. For the record, here’s a sweet setup that’ll get you rolling for just one grand:
2x Denon DN-S1200 Compact MP3/MIDI turntables ($369 each)
1x Denon DN-X120 Compact 2-channel mixer ($168)
1x Pair of Sennheiser HD280PRO closed headphones ($74)
2x Kingston 16GB USB flash drives ($30 each)
I’ve got to say that ever since playing with their 3500 series turntables I’ve been anticipating my first turntables. Here are some features of the DN-S1200 that make it great for a starting DJ:
- Price point – $370 is a very fair price for the features and for a product that came out late 2008.
- Accepts USB flash/external hard drives – One per deck, up to 50,000 MP3s (or WAVs) each. These files are indexed and searchable on-deck by way of ID3 tags (including BPM).
- MIDI Controller w/ built-in soundcard – With mappings for Traktor and other popular titles, you can plug it in to a laptop via USB and the laptop will play music out of the Main Out while allowing you to control the software with the scratch disc, etc. Amazing.
- Ultra portable – This thing is super compact and light while feeling pretty sturdy in construction. This’ll let you move it around and use it without any specific dedicated space. The DN-X120 mixer matches as well.
- Feature-loaded – I’m not going to cover them all, but you can plug in a keyboard to your turntables and search for music. You can connect your turntables to each other with a standard Ethernet crossover and share the keyboard between them. You can also upgrade the firmware just by slapping it on a flash drive and mashing a couple buttons.
- Plenty of DN-S1200-specific tutorials – Ellaskins on YouTube has got a series on the DN-S1200. Yay for howtos.
Anyway, there aren’t a ton of reasons to get the DN-X120 mixer, but it is very compact, has almost everything you’ll need until much more advanced stages, and there’s even a rebate that will get you a free case specially fitted to 2 DN-S1200s and the DN-X120. Being able to move your stuff around safely will let you DJ a lot more freely and you’ll be a happier DJ. Still, weigh your options. I almost got a 3-channel mixer, but I decided to put that off until later.
I should mention in case anyone has a similar problem and is looking for a kindred spirit that one of my tables was defective when I got it. The scratch disc central hub was stuck/jammed. I called Denon and they were very swift/professional about the whole thing. We’ll see what the repair’s like when I get it back.
Also, here’s the keyboard I got. Collapsible, illuminated, spill-proof. Some day I’ll have the turntables to match.
I was thinking I’d upload mixes in the future, with the possibility of requests. Let me know if you have any ideas.
Edit: Added prices and links.