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Submitted by on Mar 15, 2020

A DJ mixer is a type of audio mixing console that is used by disc jockeys (DJs) to control and manage multiple audio signals. Some DJs use a mixer to seamlessly transition from one song to another when they play recordings in a dance club. Hip-hop DJs and turntablists use a DJ mixer to play players like a musical instrument and create new sounds. DJs in disco, house music, electronic dance music, and other dance-oriented genres use the mixer to transition between different sound recordings during the game seamlessly.

Sources are usually recordable turntables, CDs, CDJs, or DJ software on a laptop. DJ mixers allow the DJ to use headphones to preview the next song before playing it to the audience. Most low- and mid-range DJ mixers can only accommodate two CD turntables or players, but some mixers (such as those used in large night clubs) can accommodate up to four CD players or players. Hip-hop and nu-metal DJs and musicians use DJ mixers to create beats, loops, and scratch sound effects.

DJ mixers are usually much smaller than other mixing consoles used in sound reinforcement and sound recording systems. While a regular nightclub mixer will have 24 inputs, and a huge professional studio recording mixer can have 48, 72, or even 96 inputs, a regular DJ mixer can have only two to four inputs. A key feature that distinguishes a DJ mixer from other larger audio mixers is the ability to redirect (cue) the sounds of a non-playing source to the headphones so that the DJ can find the desired part of the song or track and the presence of the crossfader, which provides an easier transition between the two sources (or, for hip-hop music turntablists, allows them to create scratching effects).

The crossfader has the same engineering as the fader, in the sense that it is a sliding control, but unlike the faders, which are usually vertical, the crossfaders are usually horizontal. To understand the function of the crossfader, you can imagine the crossfader in three key positions. For a DJ mixer to which two sound sources are connected, for example, two turntables, when the crossfader is in the extreme left position, the mixer will output only the music of player A. When the crossfader is in the extreme right position, the mixer will output only the music of turntable B. When the crossfader located at the midpoint (which is always marked with a horizontal line), the mixer will output a blend of music from player A and player B. Other points on the crossfader path give different mixes of A and B.

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