Some of the good skills you need to be a successful DJ include a passion for entertaining others with diverse styles of music, the ability to network with local nightclubs and music retailers, and the ability to get the audience interested in the music you are playing. You don't always have to attend college to become a DJ, and you don't have to work at a radio station. You may want to start an independent business and perform at local events. Whether you're mixing up hip hop at the club, euro dance at the disco or and weddings, there are some basic mix techniques you'll need to master on your way to becoming the next DJ mix master. The concepts aren't difficult to grasp, but do require some practice to master. A good mix will keep people on the floor having a good time. The standard DJ setup consists of a DJ mixer, two play sources and a microphone. The output signal is routed to amplification and speakers and you'll need a set of headphones. The play sources can be variable speed turntables for spinning vinyl, MP3 players or even PC. For the purposes of this illustration we'll use two matched variable speed turntables. The concepts are transferable to variable speed CD players which can be purchased from a DJ supply house. MP3's are easier to work with in some regards, but beat matching becomes an issue though software exists to make it possible
The DJ mixers have three or four audio channels, one for the left source input (A), one for the right (B), one for a microphone and possibly an auxiliary input. There will also be a master volume and a headphone volume control, which is often a twisty knob. All of these are represented and controlled by a vertical slider. There is also a horizontal slider used to cross fade from A to B and it's usually located below channels A and B, and there is a headphone source switch. It has three positions: source A, to the left mix at the center and source B, to the right.