DJ Glossary

DJ Glossary

This DJ Glossary lists terms commonly used by a DJ for various parts of equipment, measurements, situations. etc. Its been compiled as a helpful guide, if there are terms that aren't on here that you think should be then please let me know and I'll add them, email [info at djtutorial com] Thanks!

  • Amp - Short for amplifier.
     
  • Acapella - A track containing only vocals - no background music.
     
  • Anti-skating - A control to keep a turntables stylus centred within a records groove.
     
  • Balance Control - A control that adjusts the left/right balance of your sound.
     
  • Auto Warp - An Ableton Live function that allows the program to calculate and time stretch music.
     
  • Bass - The low frequency normally associated with the kick drum and bass, this can be controlled with your mixers EQ controls.
     
  • Battle - An event where DJs battle against each other, battles are usually associated with hip hop culture.
     
  • Battle Record - A 12” vinyl filled with samples and loops usually used for scratching.
     
  • Beat Matching - A mixing technique used to establish a similar tempo with two or more tracks.
     
  • Beats Per Minute (BPM) - The number of beats per minute, a standard measure of tempo.
     
  • Belt Drive - A turntable driven by a belt using a pulley system to rotate its platter.
     
  • Booking agent - A person who deals with all the details of your DJ bookings and manages your DJ Diary.
     
  • Booth - The area where the DJ & their equipment are in an event or club.
     
  • BPM Counter – A device used to automatically calculate the BMP of a track.
     
  • Cartridge – The part that holds the stylus in place on your turntable.
     
  • Channel – Referring to the channel within which audio is to be played on your DJ mixer.
     
  • Counterbalance (counterweight) - The adjustable weight mounted at the rear end of the tonearm on a turntable.
     
  • Crossfader - A transitional slide control on a mixer for fading in one channel while simultaneously fading out another.
     
  • Crossfader Curve Control - A control that allows adjustment of the crossfaders fade curvature.
     
  • Cuing - A term referring to when a DJ listens to a track through headphones while playing another through the sound system.
     
  • Demo - The item you will be sending off after completing these DJ courses!! A promotional mix sent to potential bookings.
     
  • Direct Drive - A motor system used to rotate a turntables platter.
     
  • DJ - Errm... not sure you should be here if you have to read this!
     
  • Effects Unit – An external device added to your audio stream to add effects to your mixes.
     
  • EQ Controls - Controls that allow the filtering of differing frequencies on your DJ mixer.
     
  • EQing - Altering the colour of sound from EQ control manipulation.
     
  • Fade - A gradual increase or reduction in the level of the audio signal.
     
  • Fader – On a DJ mixer this refers to a sliding control used to adjust the volume of your tracks.
     
  • Flight case - A light weight, hard wearing carry case for a DJs equipment, vinyls and CDs.
     
  • Gain Control - A control which increases or reduces the output level of your tracks giving extra movement in volume.
     
  • Genre - A category of music e.g. Techno, House, Hip Hop, D&B, Trance, Hard House etc.
     
  • Hamster Switch - A reverse feature for a crossfader on DJ mixer. Scratching hamster style is to scratch with a reversed crossfader.
     
  • Headshell – The adaptor used to hold the cartridge in place on the tonearm of a turntable.
     
  • High Frequencies – The high frequencies of your track controlled by your EQ controls.
     
  • Indie Label - A non commercial record label separate from the big corporate companies.
     
  • Intelligent - A term used to describe detailed music that requires extra attention of the listener with complex and cleaver sounds.
     
  • Kill Switch - A switch or button to turn on and off output or individual frequency ranges within a channel, i.e. treble, mid and bass.
     
  • Line Input - An input used by an audio devise
     
  • Master – The master (main) volume control of your mixer.
     
  • MC - In DJ terms, referring to a person rapping.
     
  • Mid-Range Frequencies – Frequencies that fit between the bass and high frequencies. These are also controlled by your EQ controls.
     
  • MIDI - A communication signal used by electronic instruments to broadcast information to each other.
     
  • Monitor - A speaker in the DJ booth that allows the DJ to hear without the delays or echoes caused by space in a large room.
     
  • Needle - A term referring to a turntables stylus.
     
  • Phono Connection – A connection used by turntables.
     
  • Pitch control - The control on your DJ equipment used to alter the speed of your tracks.
     
  • Platter or Plate - The top section of a turntable driven by its motor or belt.
     
  • Promo - A pre-released version of a track.
     
  • Sampler - A device used to record samples of music.
     
  • Slipmat - A felt-type material used to reduce friction between the turntables plate and the vinyl.
     
  • Stylus - The part of a turntables arm that makes contact with the vinyl being played.
  • Tempo – The speed of your music
     
  • Time Code – The time structure within which music is created.
     
  • Time Coded Vinyl – Special 12” vinyl used with systems to allow a computer to play music file directly from your turntables movements.
     
  • Tone Arm - The pivoting arm on a turntable.
     
  • Tracking - The ability of a stylus to follow the grooves of a vinyl.
     
  • Turntable – HAHA just testing…