When I decided to write an article about how to connect DJ controller to speakers, I was slightly concerned that many would find an article like this redundant. After all, it’s just speakers.
How hard could it be? But after talking with a few other DJ buddies of mine, I realized that for many newer DJs connecting speakers to your setup is actually more in-depth. I suppose I was just used to it!
So in this article, I’ll cover the easy basis on how to connect your DJ controller to your speakers, as well as providing some more useful information on setup in general!
Before Beginning: What Speakers Do You Have?
So you’ve got your DJ controller and now are now ready to hook up your speakers. Simple, right? Just plug them in and it’ll be right as rain! Well, turns out that it’s not that simple.
See, something I learned years ago before the internet is that there are two types of speakers. Passive speakers, and passive speakers.
A passive speaker uses an external amplifier, using speaker wires for the connection. A passive speaker set tends to be the cheaper option but requires longer set-up times and more fiddling.
Still, not a bad option if you have the luxury of setting up your system before a gig.
Powered speakers, sometimes called “active speakers” use a built-in amplifier. This makes powered speakers easier to set up, but with a higher price tag attached. Not a bad investment if you want more control over the amp.
So now that I’ve covered the bare basics of speakers, which one is “better”? Well, it’s generally up to you and your price-point. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but I usually recommend powered speakers so you don’t have to worry about your music not being as loud or as strong as you want.
So, you’ve picked your speaker system and are eager to test it out. Time to plug it in, right? Wrong! Let’s go over the cords you might find first.
One of the more common jacks you’ll find. The 1/4″ jack has a long history and is a mainstay for most audio equipment. Your controller, amp, laptop and speakers should all be able to connect to this.
A beefed-up microphone cable. You’ll recognize them due to the three-prongs on the inside and the barrel-shape. These are a bit more harder to come by, and while common for audio equipment depending on the model of speaker and amp, an adapter may be required.
You’ll know these if you’ve ever had to attach anything to your TV. RCA cables send audio and video signals, using an input and output. For audio equipment, you’ll find only the red and white jack are being used; not the yellow jack. Like the XLR Cable, and adapter may be needed.
Plugging In Your Speaker
Now that you know your cords, you can start, right? Well, no! There is a difference between powered and passive, along with one thing you should never do with a powered speaker, so without further ado let’s see what you have to do.
Connecting Your Passive Speakers
Connecting Your Powered Speakers
That’s all there is to connecting your speakers to your controller. Simple enough, right? Well, you’d be surprised to know many novice DJs have lost gigs because they didn’t set up their sound system right. I was just as surprised as you were. Not to mention, the powered speakers can be easily damaged with just the wrong connection.
This is why I stressed the importance of reading the instructions before attempting to connect anything to your controller. Your equipment, as you’re well aware, isn’t cheap so the last thing you’d want to happen is to accidentally damage it. More than that, imagine how embarrassing it’ll be for your speakers to die on you in the middle of a gig?
Speaking of equipment, I just wrote a comparison between two insane and very affordable headphones, the V-Moda M-100 and the LP2.
So, knowing how to properly connect your speakers is just as important as connecting your laptop to your controller, or even getting the controller to function properly. So that’s why I wrote this article. It might be redundant, and might even be common knowledge these days, but just because something is easy doesn’t make it any less important either.
I hoped you enjoyed this fascinating, and OK pretty boring, explanation on how to hook your speakers up to your controller!