Along with a mixer, Decks are the most important addition that you’ll make to your DJ setup. While there are many different manufacturers, at various price points, there is only one industry standard.
The decks you will find at all festivals and big clubs is usually the Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2 (push for price on Amazon). Packed full of features they also allow a DJ to set up their music libraries at home and then have then display exactly the same at the club.
Why I recommend Pioneer CDJs
As the Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2’s are found everywhere it makes sense to also have them at home. Not only can you set up your music libraries but also because you can master all the features to use during shows.
Being relaxed during gigs is absolutely key to enjoying them. This is helped immensely by being fully confident with the equipment you are using. By having the same decks as the club you will be able to easily pull off any tricks and techniques you have practiced at home.
- Industry-standard decks (these are the decks you will find when playing decent clubs)
- Do not require a laptop to use
- Large HD touch screen
- High-quality jog wheel with LED indicators and tension adjustments
- Link with up to 4 other CDJs (& share music between them)
- Up to 8 easily accessible, color-coded hot cues
- Smart playlists & filters allow for fast track searching
- Can be used as MIDI controllers
- ProDJ link enabled
- Not cheap
- Not HID compatible with Serato or Traktor (that said, you can still use Serato or Traktor by using control CDs)
Features to look for in Decks
The reason that CDJ2000nxs are so popular is that they accept both CDs and USB. Therefore what format a DJ turns up with they will be able to perform.
Accepting CDs also make the decks compatible with DJ software such as Serato. Even if you don’t intend to use DJ software immediately, having CD capable decks gives the option if you change your mind in the future.
- Sturdy build so they can withstand constant use
- Compatability with DJ software
- Compatible with USB sticks (at some point soon CDs will become a thing of the past)
Push to see the Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2’s price on Amazon.
For over 50 years the only equipment available to DJs was vinyl decks. The industry was flipped on its head by the introduction of CDJs in the early 2000s. Suddenly DJs were able to carry hundreds of tunes instead of just 30-50 vinyl. CDJs also allowed for unique new features like the ability to loop and set cue points.
With the introduction of DJ software, decks had to adapt once again. And this is why, even as CDs themselves di as a way to listening to music, that CD decks continue to be used. Unless decks have software compatibility built-in (which is increasingly common) then you still require ‘control’ CDs.
These are special CDs that allow the software can ‘listen’ to. By listening to a specific tone played by the CD the software is able to interpret any movement you make on the deck into instructions for the software.
Recommended Flight Cases
Check out these flight cases for your CDJ2000-NXS2 on Amazon (Australia link)