How to Choose the Right DJ Cables
Whether you are a professional DJ or intend to start as one, chances are you already know how important it is to invest in the right equipment. With tons of DJ equipment available in the market, DJ cables are the most essential and delicate part of a set-up, no questions asked. No matter how much money you splurge on your set-up, without the right cable, all your efforts can go in vain. However, with multiple kinds of DJ cables available in the market, choosing the right one can be a bit tricky. Even the most experienced DJ’s tend to make the wrong choice when it comes to choosing the right cable. And, that’s why we have come up with a complete guideline to help you make the right choice!
You can also read about: Essential DJ Equipment | What Equipment do DJs Use?
What is a DJ Cable?
Before jumping into the details, let’s delve a bit deeper into the kinds of DJ cables available in the market. All the cables used on DJ setup fall into two categories. One is analog and the other one is digital cables. Analog cables transmit electrical audio signals whereas the digital cable transmits data in binary code. Analog cables can also be divided into two categories, balanced and unbalanced cables.
Balanced analog cables are the best ones to go for if you want to reduce noise and interference in your music. It also comes in handy for places with a large audience. But if you are only starting as a DJ and tend to use your smartphone to make music, you should go for the unbalanced ones. Not only does it come with an affordable price tag, but it also works great on personal devices as the distance from one end to another is not that far.
Before investing in DJ cables, there are some things that you should consider. Along with the budget, it’s really important to get to know all the cables out there that DJ’s tend to use daily. Below is a list of DJ cables that are widely used in DJ set up all around the world.
RCA is a type of cable often used in HiFi and home audio equipment. These are the most common kind of unbalanced cables that DJ’s use as inputs on DJ mixers. It connects the sound from the mixer to the DJ booth to help provide crisp and clear music. These mono cables generally come attached in pairs. Before picking the right RCA cable, you have to know the levels of your DJ hardware as RCA connections function at two different levels- phono and line. The plugs of the cables are usually red for the right channel and white for the left one.
If you intend to work in a club and play for a relatively bigger crowd, XLR is the way to go. This balanced cable is mostly used with large DJ controllers. A good XLR cable is compatible with monitor speakers, audio interfaces, microphones, PA applications, you name it. Professional DJ’s tend to go for XLR cables as they are secure and prevent accidental removal with their locking connectors. It also has three internal pins that carry the hot, flipped phase, and ground signal.
This has to be the most confusing kind of cables available in the market. It’s the size of these cables that makes it so puzzling to use. The most common size of this cable is its 1/4″ version and the 1/8″ version, commonly known as the 3.5 mm headphone jack. It comes in a compact shape and features three connections -the tips, the ring, and the sleeve. These are direct alternatives for XLR cables as they also provide balanced audio output from mixers and audio interfaces. If you plan on working in a high spec club, TRS will provide you with the stereo and balanced signal that you will need.
Midi cables are now trending like never before. Unlike regular cables, midi cables can transmit. It helps musical details to connect with the computer for a better outcome and is mostly used by DJ’s who run the music between keyboard/controller to MiDi interface.
These help to convert the electrical current from high voltage to low. If you don’t want to electrify gear to a large degree, you can use a power brick cable to easily power up your DJ controller or small mixer.
Signal Adaptor Cables
To connect the cables on the right end, the adaptor is a must-have in a DJ setup. However, adopters are bulky in size and tricky to use. And, the wrong adaptor can also mess with the sound and signal. Not to mention, it slowly but surely damages the plugs as it consumes so much voltage. To help you with that, signal adaptor cables to the rescue. These are much easier to use and provide crystal clear sound without consuming much power.
Things to Consider before Choosing a DJ Cable!
It’s not every day that you splurge on a DJ cable. So, before getting one, make sure to check if the cable is durable enough to use in the long run. DZ cables tend to get tangled up while using, so it’s best to choose one that won’t take up much of your place and will allow you to have freedom of movement. And most important of all, make sure to go for the cable that goes the best with your music and your setup. Educate yourself on audio and power to find out which cable will get the most out of your performance.
To sum it all up, a cable can affect your music in more ways than you can imagine. Now that you are done with this article, we wish you luck choosing the right cable for you that will complement your music in the best possible way!
You may want to learn more about: Factors to be Considered When Choosing a DJ Turntable!