What are your favorite DJs mixing on? DJ TechTools investigatesUltraDay2 2014 50

What are your favorite DJs mixing on? DJ TechTools investigates

Have you ever considered how weird it is that the majority of the audience at dance music shows has no idea what the DJ is doing on stage? Consider a rock show or a pop show — it’s quite clear what the artists are doing, whether it be playing an instrument or singing. When it comes to dance music, however, it gets a lot more ambiguous. Sure the audience knows that a DJ is mixing tracks together but beyond that, they’re largely lost to the mystery of MIDI controllers, CDJs, Ableton and the like.

Being the authoritative voice on DJ culture that they are, DJ TechTools has taken it upon themselves to investigate what the biggest touring DJs in the world are playing on.

Quite unsurprisingly, the large majority of EDM DJs — the Hardwells, Alessos, and Dash Berlins of the world — are performing on identical equipment: a Pioneer DJM-900 and a pair of CDJ-2000s (almost always the Nexus versions). Referring to the setup, DJ TechTools explained: “Nearly 70% of the ‘Top 100 DJs’ use that exact set of gear without alteration.” When you think about it, the phenomenon makes sense. Pioneer’s CDJs are notoriously reliable — not to mentioned pre-installed in nearly every major nightclub in the world.

What are your favorite DJs mixing on? DJ TechTools investigatesAwell Tomorrowland

Outside of the digital turntable world, software dominates the realm of touring DJs. Traktor has become the weapon of choice for countless artists from Carl Cox, to Zedd, to Seven Lions, to Richie Hawtin. Cox, for instance, uses the software alongside 4 CDJ-2000 Nexus machines, providing the kind of control needed for his rigorous multi-deck mixing. Zedd on the other hand fuels his live performance on the compact, all-in-one Kontrol S4. Finally, you have artists like Tale of Us incorporating Kontrol X1s with Traktor Contorl Vinyl.

What are your favorite DJs mixing on? DJ TechTools investigatesCARLCO ULTRA DAYONE

While Serato remains an attractive option to use with CDJs, Ableton Live has become widely popular in the performance world, bringing a host of unique live setups with it. The article in particular spotlights Flying Lotus, Paul van Dyk, Pretty Lights and Bassnectar for their innovative use of the DAW.

Then of course there’s and then acts like Porter Robinson and Disclosure who have really gone the extra mile to make their setup more organic and ‘live.’

What are your favorite DJs mixing on? DJ TechTools investigatesDisclosure


When all is said and done, the technology behind live performance setups continues to become more versatile and innovative. As an artist, you truly have the power to perform the way you want to these days. If you can imagine it, you can make it happen. Deadmau5’s custom, Microsoft-backed touchscreen software comes to mind…

Via: DJ TechTools

Which artist has your favorite live setup? Let us know.

While you’re at it, check out some more DJ technology pieces on Dancing Astronaut.