Upgrading your DJ rig is always a satisfying feeling. I mean what’s better than adding a new piece of gear that will make your music sound even more amazing than it already does? Well, how about getting that great new piece of gear without having to take out a second mortgage or sell your car? Even though DJ gear can get expensive, that doesn’t mean you can’t find good gear on a budget. In fact, with some creative thinking, there are plenty of ways to turn a few extra bucks into a really useful upgrade for your DJ rig. Here are four cheap DJ gear upgrades you can get for under $100.

Widen Your Effects Palette with Cheap Guitar Pedals

Using effects like compression, delay, reverb, and phasers is a great way to add creativity and imagination to your sets. Guitar pedals work great as effects because they integrate easily into your setup, and they give you tons of options for tweaking and modifying sounds on the fly. And the best part is, they’re also super cheap.

Boss makes some of the most popular guitar pedals on the market, and you can usually find tons of Boss pedals on sites like Craigslist for well under $100. Not only are Boss pedals super durable, they also have a unique latch-style on/off switch, which makes them easy on your hands when you’re using them as tabletop effects. Other good/cheap pedal brands to check out are Digitech, DOD, Mooer, and basically anything else you can find on a used forum or in your local music shop.

Apps: The Cheapest Software Upgrades Around

We’ve talked about apps on the blog before as a cheaper alternative to getting new software. Apps like Native Instruments Traktor DJ for iOS and Korg’s iKaossilator are great for giving you tons of new creative options for a tiny price. And with the way music technology is going these days, it seems like more and more software is moving over to the app format anyways, so you might as well start integrating apps into your setup now. If you haven’t already, check out our post on the 3 Best DJ Apps and think about what app might become your next cheap DJ gear upgrade.

Clarify Your Sound with Some New Cables

OK, so cables might not be the most exciting piece of cheap DJ gear, but upgrading your cables could make a huge difference in the way your music comes across. Maybe you bought the cheapest cables available when you were just starting out. Or maybe you invested in some decent cables awhile back, but all of the use over the years has started to take its toll. The point is, if your cables are worn out, replacing them will really improve your sound.

As a general rule with cables, it’s not necessary to get the most expensive kind out there; as long as you don’t buy the rock-bottom brand you should be good to go. The point, however, is to replace them before they get worn out so you don’t have to worry about them degrading your audio quality or breaking while you’re in the middle of a set.

Invest In Yourself with Some DJ School Lessons

If you really want to upgrade your DJ gear, the best piece of equipment you can invest in is yourself. No amount of cheap DJ gear can make up for a lack of skills. With Spin Academy, you get access to hundreds of video lessons from some of the world’s best DJs for less than 20 bucks a month – that’s a really cheap way to ensure your skills are always improving.

No matter where your education comes from, constant learning really is the most important factor when it comes to producing great music. Whether you’re learning online, taking an in-person course, or learning from a mentor, good education is the most important (and most cost-effective) key to becoming a great DJ.