Beginner here, please help.....advice and guidance needed please!

Hi everyone,

Im a real beginner as far as DJay is concerned.

I am running version 3.1.4 of DJay on my MacBook Pro. I originally bought the DJay software so I can make mixes to train to and listen to at work, using iTunes.

I really need some basic guidance on equipment that I need to make basic mixes. I current use my headphones plugged into the headphone socket on my MacBook but I cant listen to the track that I want to cue in, as well as listen to the track that is allready playing.
What do I need to buy so I can do this? Do I need to purchase some speakers to do this properly or can I do it within my MacBook with the correct equipment?

Lastly, would it make any difference if I bought a cheap mixing deck plugged into my MacBook?

Much thanks in advance for any hep and advice.



Please also check the following articles:

Thanks for your comments.

I can completely control Djay with my MacBook ‘only’…what about all the controllers available? Vestax Spin, Pioneer DDJ WeGO to name but a few!
Like you, I now have the Djay keyboard cover but I believe you have far more control over the Djay software through a separate controller.

How do you find the splitter from Griffin? Can you recommend any external speakers to use? I was thinking of the ‘ADAM A5X’.

You can completely control Djay with your MacBook only. In the help section, there will be a huge list of keyboard shortcuts that basically take advantage of every feature in the software. I also bought the keyboard cover from KB-Covers which puts all the shortcuts in front of me. I see plenty of club DJ’s who use their Mac only. While I love DJay, it really isn’t a professional software, so the controllers made for them aren’t either. They really don’t add anything that you can’t already do with your Mac keyboard.

Controllers are expensive. Unless you are scratching, using tons of FX, or plan on producing music, I don’t see the point. I make great mixes on my laptop only. Like you, this is why I bought the software. I’ve gotten pretty good, and will likely plunge into one of the more pro software companies, but honestly, after trying them all (Serato, Traktor, VirtualDJ) DJay can pretty much do 90% of what they do.

However, I do use the split cable by Griffin listed on this website. It works great. I plug the other end using an aux cable into an amplified stereo I have.

Or you could by a USB sound card, which would allow you to pre-cue with headphones as well as likely plug into just about anything stereo with RCA cables, including a large club system.

If you really enjoy this hobby. You could buy a controller that has a built in sound card. Good luck, have fun.

Look closely at pictures of the the WeGo or Spin 2. or go to your nearest Guitar Center and look in person. All of the buttons are the same as what can be accomplished on your keyboard. Its pretty much even laid out the same. If you were a a DJ with a lot of experience on vinyl or CDJs, I can see wanting the tactile feedback of jogwheels and knobs, but again, show me significant things that the controllers made to interact with DJay can do that my keyboard can’t accomplish.

I want a controller too. But read carefully here before you buy. Will it be able to produce the sound quality you want on a large stereo system? Is it made to withstand travel, getting dropped, drunk friends hammering on it? Can I use other software with it if I want, either seperately or at the same time as DJay? I just don’t want to spend a few hundred dollars on something I wish I would have waited and spent a few hundred more, to get the right model that I will be able to use for a long time. The following is a great article and guide with every controller available and its capabilities:…

I’m sure those speakers would be great monitors. But if you’re gonna spend that much, I think you should skip the Griffin cable and get a proper soundcard.

Again, if you just wan to make some mixes to listen to on your computer, iPhone/iPod, or post on Sound Cloud, you really already have evrything you need but the splitter cable/soundcard, headphones, and some speakers. Just practice. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to learn how to do everyhing and make it sound proffesional. I have a friend who is the manager of a mega-club in Chicago and the #1 resident DJ at the same location who turned me on to two books. Read “How to DJ Right” and “Beyond Beatmatching”. The latter is free on the Mixed In Key website. This will tell you all you need to know to make your mixes sound great. I honestly think with a little more time and some better equipment, I could totally rock a damcefloor with a thousand people and they wouldn’t have a clue I was a noob. Its that easy. But as with anything in life, take the time to learn before investing $500 in monitors, $500-1000 on a controller, $200 on a souncard, $300 on headphones, an extra $2000 on a music only MacBook with an extra external solid state drive ($500) for all of the super high quality downloads of music (AIFF or WAV only as MP3 won’t sound right on a huge sound system)…$?

Good luck. Have fun. I’m 35, have a lucrative career, a family, and a new hobby that I love. Peace.