It cannot be obvious to buy DJ equipment. In addition to being compatible, equipment specifications vary based on the size and location of the audience you intend to perform for. Does a mixer need an amplifier? The process can be overwhelming, so starting with clear definitions is essential.
Powered mixers or speakers may have built-in amplifiers, but even a powered mixer is not an amplifier. Two pieces of equipment are housed in one unit. A closer look at DJ mixers and amplifiers will help clarify their differences.
Does a mixer need an amplifier?
Mixers act as sound junction boxes. Various audio sources, such as turntables, CDs, or your laptop, are connected to the inputs. These sounds are sent to the speakers by the mixer, which controls their quality and levels. Does a mixer need an amplifier?
Does a Mixer Improve Sound Quality? DJ mixers usually have only two input channels (some models have four). You can blend inputs with a crossfade slider and mix the tracks before playing them with a separate mix for headphones.
DJ mixers can accept audio from various sources, but these sources all use different connectors and send signals differently. Consequently, the mixer has inputs for turntables, CD players, computers, etc. For each channel, there is one input of each type. Does a mixer need an amplifier?
Each input accepts a different type of signal. A vinyl turntable, for example, has a relatively weak output, so a phono is designed for it. Digital inputs like laptops use line-in inputs. This is why you should connect your audio source via the appropriate input.
Each channel can accept audio signals from numerous inputs, so the input switch selects which input to use.
Gain (or Trim)
Gain controls how much audio is allowed into a channel. For example, some records play quietly, so the gain needs to be increased to hear them better. However, other sources may come in more powerfully, so the gain needs to be decreased. When switching between audio sources, there shouldn’t be a significant difference in sound intensity between the incoming sources. Does a mixer need an amplifier?
Most mixers have 3 EQ knobs, which control treble (hi), midrange (mid), and bass (low). Some mixers have two or four EQ knobs. These knobs adjust the levels of these frequency ranges. For smoother mixing, these can be adjusted. Does a mixer need an amplifier?
Channel Level Meter
A channel level meter displays the signal’s volume after gain and EQ adjustments have been made. As a result, the next track will match the current track’s level. Since headphones have a separate volume knob, you can’t tell how loud the new track will be, but you can visually match the levels.
Booth Out Output
You may need your speakers if you are performing for a large crowd. Due to the loudspeakers being pointed away from you, towards the crowd, the sound you hear would be distorted. Booth (or monitor) speakers are smaller speakers aimed at you, allowing you to hear the mix being played over the loudspeakers.
Booth (or Monitor) Knob
A separate volume control controls the booth speakers since they do not need to be as loud as those playing for the crowd.
Master Out Output
The master outputs the signal to the loudspeakers for the crowd to dance to. Mixing the various audio inputs with the gain and EQ knobs and the crossfader determines how much of each signal is played. Below, we will discuss how the master output sends the audio signal to the amplifier.
With the master knob, you can control the signal sent to the speakers from the master output.
Master Volume Meter
Does a mixer need an amplifier? A master volume meter displays the signal transmitted to the speakers visually. A couple of green lights, a couple of yellow lights, and then a couple of red lights are displayed on the meter. The red light indicates that the signal is so high that the track will clip, which means that the audio will be distorted. The meter should show as much green as possible without too much yellow or orange.
What is an Amplifier?
Does a mixer need an amplifier? The DJ mixer’s master output gives a relatively weak audio signal, typically about one-tenth of a watt. This would be very quiet if it were sent directly to the speakers. An amplifier receives the signal instead. An amplifier’s sole purpose is to amplify this signal from one-tenth of a watt to whatever power is required by the different speakers you need – usually between 500 and several thousand watts.