Adventures In Audio
Why you need a pair of decks in your studio

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

Wednesday March 19, 2003

Record players, or 'decks’ as they are known in the business, have become an important musical instrument in their own right. There is quite a mythology that has built up around decks and DJs, and it is often thought by the public that DJs create music on their twin decks.

What some DJs can achieve with a pair of decks and a special DJ mixer that incorporates a sideways-operating crossfader to switch between the two, is nothing short of amazing, but they are heavily reliant on their source material - the white label records that are made in the studio and pressed in small quantities, and acetates or dub plates, copies of which are individually cut.

In the studio, the source sounds from which the music is built are often taken from vinyl, therefore you need at least one deck in your studio. Since the vinyl will often come from a DJ’s record collection then why not go the whole way and have the proper twin decks and mixer ready. Don’t forget that you need copyright clearance for samples before release.

There is one model of deck that surpasses all other in the regard in which it is held in DJ circles and the competition wonders how it can ever catch up. But there are alternatives, such as one model that is a re-badged version of the grandmaster - and costs less!.

A DJ turntable needs to be direct drive, which means that there is no belt or idler wheel between the motor and the turntable - the turntable is effectively part of the motor. It also needs to be tough enough to take a few knocks - hi-fi turntables need not apply.

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