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How to DJ with a Laptop

Don't cart around CDs and vinyl to every party and event. Use your laptop to DJ and leave some space on your DJ stand for a beverage.


  • Step 1: Load software and drivers Load software and sound card drivers on to your laptop and read the user guides to become familiar with them.
  • Step 2: Rip audio CDs to laptop Rip any audio CDs to the laptop that you would like to use.
  • TIP: Bring a few backup CDs with you in case of software malfunction. You may quickly need to cue some music while you fix the problem.
  • Step 3: Set up a playlist Set up a playlist that can run for the duration of the event. You can always pause the soundtrack to queue up any requests.
  • Step 4: Test your playlist, cables, and mixing Test your playlist, cables, and mixing capabilities at least 24 hours before a scheduled event.
  • Step 5: Plug laptop into surge protector Plug the laptop in to a surge protector.
  • Step 6: Connect amp to the laptop Connect the amplifier to an audio output on your laptop with an RCA cable. Then plug the amplifier into the surge protector.
  • Step 7: Connect speakers to the amp Connect the speakers to the amplifier using an RCA cable and plug the amp into the surge protector.
  • TIP: Make sure that all volume knobs are at zero before playing any music. You may need a ground-lift adapter to remove any buzzing noises.
  • Step 8: Connect the microphone to the amp Connect the microphone to the amplifier. Keep the microphone away from the speakers to eliminate feedback.
  • Step 9: Tape down cords Use the gaffer tape to tape down any cords that could be a hazard. Now get ready to watch your guests get down!
  • FACT: Did you know? The first known recording of sound was made by a Parisian named Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville in 1860.

You Will Need

  • Laptop with 2 audio outputs and a large hard drive
  • DJ software with an internal mixer
  • USB external sound card
  • Audio CDs
  • Playlist
  • Surge protector
  • RCA cables
  • Amplifier
  • Speakers
  • Microphone
  • Gaffer tape
  • Ground-lift adapter (optional)

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