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Whether it’s setting up for a club gig or setting up your home DJ system, we’ve all had those moments when we’re about to lose it if we have to deal with another stupid audio cable. These days, with consumer audio moving towards cable-free systems (or at least the iPhone 7 trying to get us all there), it’s tempting for many DJs to consider transforming their own rig into a fully wireless DJ system. But just because Apple is going in one direction, does that mean we all have to follow them? Here are the main arguments for and against setting up a wireless DJ system.

The Arguments for Going Wireless
Arguments in favor of a wireless DJ system have a lot to do with simplicity and portability. Without cables, your setup time is quicker, and you can bring your DJ rig with you anywhere you go without worrying about having to plug everything in. You also don’t have to worry about dealing with all of the different types of cables and adaptors that can be a headache to manage. With the advances made in wireless audio technology lately, you can find everything from wireless DJ controllers to wireless speakers and headphones, which means you could go 100% wireless without too much trouble. This also presents the advantage of freeing you up from behind your decks so you can move around the stage or even venture out into the audience. It also means that there are no cables for people to trip on, unplug, or otherwise meddle with.
The other advantage of running a wireless DJ system is that there are fewer opportunities for sound degradation. With audio cables, every cable and connection point presents the possibility of a reduction in sound quality, but with a wireless DJ system, there’s no chance that your audio quality will suffer due to bad cables or poor connections.

The Arguments Against Going Wireless

Despite the significant advances in wireless audio technology in recent years, opponents of the wireless DJ setup argue that the technology that exists today simply isn’t good enough for DJs to rely on yet. While wireless audio equipment may be convenient for home listeners, DJs need the security that only comes from a wired system.
The biggest issue with the current wireless audio technology is latency. For the average consumer, latency on a set of wireless headphones, for example, isn’t a big issue. But when you depend on your headphones to be perfectly synced up with what’s coming out of the speakers so you can accurately mix tracks, latency can cause major problems in your performance.
The other major issue with wireless audio technology is signal interruption. Again, while this is a minor quirk that doesn’t have a major effect on the average listener, any signal interruption during a DJ set is simply unacceptable.
Finally, wireless technology is not always as easy to deal with as it should be. As long as everything is working smoothly, the wireless option seems perfectly straightforward, but when there’s a problem, there isn’t always an obvious solution. Compared to diagnosing wireless connectivity issues, swapping out an old cable for a new one seems much easier to manage.
So which option is best for you? That all depends on your style as a DJ and your relationship to technology. Are you willing to take risks so you can remain in the cutting edge of technological innovation? Then you’re the perfect candidate for a wireless DJ system. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to play it safe and wait until the technology is on par with your demands, then you’d be better off staying away from the wireless gear for now and focusing on buying high-quality cabling instead.
For more on DJ gear, check out our free beginner tutorial on Getting to Know Your Mixer and Turntables, or become a member of Spin Academy and get access to our extensive library of gear review videos for only $19.95/month.

To the untrained ear, techno might sound like the easiest type of music to make. And while techno does rely on simple structures, great techno music is anything but simplistic. Just listen to some of the early Detroit Techno tracks by people like Juan Atkins and you’ll learn to appreciate the subtle artistry and attention to detail that great techno artists rely upon when making their music. On the other hand, techno is one of the biggest genres in EDM today, and learning to separate the good tracks from the not-so-good can be a real challenge. So if you want to know how to DJ techno like a pro, you’ll first have to familiarize yourself with what great techno music sounds like.

Taste and Curation

Because most people can grasp the technical elements of how to DJ techno music fairly quickly, becoming a great techno DJ is as much about being a good curator as it is about understanding the technical aspects of the genre. Of course, everyone has their own definition of what good techno music sounds like, so no one will ever agree with your setlist 100% of the time, and that’s not a bad thing. Your job as a techno DJ isn’t to try to match everyone else’s tastes; it’s to develop your own taste to the point where you know more about the music than anyone else in the room. Your job shouldn’t be to play everyone’s favourite tracks all the time; it should be to surprise people with tracks they didn’t even know they wanted to hear.

Space and Texture

Techno music can be at times very sparse and at other times very dense. Part of understanding how to DJ techno is understanding how to balance these two extremes. Once again, this is where taste and curation come into play. Some DJs lean towards the denser, heavier material, while others prefer to remain in minimalist territory, and the rest will land somewhere in between. Where you land on the spectrum doesn’t affect your value as a DJ, but it is important to keep in mind that the mixing styles for different types of techno will vary. Sparser tracks are usually better suited to longer transitions, while denser tracks usually work better with quicker transitions. Of course, there are always exceptions, so use your ears and your judgement to figure out what type of transition works best for each track.

Effects as Instruments

Another element that sets great techno DJs apart from the mediocre ones is their ability to manipulate effects when needed, and their taste in how they employ these effects. In our final blog post in the How to DJ Techno series, we’ll get into some of the specifics of how to use effects when DJing techno music, but for now, check out a free preview of our effects video tutorial series. This 4-part video series by DJ Rafh will teach you how to get the most out of your effects on any DJ system. You’ll also find plenty more lessons like this on Spin-Academy.com, which you can join right now for only $19.95 per month.

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Spin Academy is an online DJ and music producing school. At Spin Academy our goal is to give you the necessary skills to unleash your true musical creativity, and carrier potential. We have a huge library of high quality up to date video tutorials featuring some of the most successful DJ’s and music producers in the world.

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