Schools Training

DJ Vocabulary For Music & Audio Students

5 JUL 2013
Career Path : Audio Engineering


Once you’ve been accepted into DJ school and you’re scheduled to take your first audio courses, you’ll learn new terminology that describes the practices and equipment. The words you learn will help you in your future classes, since your instructors will use these words. Plus, you’ll need to have an understanding of DJ-specific language once you enter into a DJing career. Here are just some of the terms you’ll learn throughout the course of your education:

A belt drive is a type of turntable, which you probably recognize as being the part of a record player tht makes the platter spin. It uses a belt that has a platter that rotates via a pulley system. A counterbalance, also known as a counterweight, is a weight connected at the back end of the tonearm of a turntable. A tonearm is located on the turntable on the pivoting arm. DJs manipulate two or more rotating records to produce many of the audio effects found in modern music, and that’s what the D and J stands for, a “Disc Jockey”.

Anti-skating is used to keep a stylus for your turntables centered. It’s a control that keeps the stylus in the grooves of the record. Another term related to controls is a balance control. If you want to adjust the left/right balance of your music, you use the balance control. The term crossfader is considered to be a transitional slide control that’s located on the mixer. It’s purpose is to fade two channels at once. It fades one channel in. And it faded the other channel out at the same time. You also have EQ controls. EQ controls filter dissimilar frequencies. The EQ controls are located on your DJ mixer. The process of using the EQ controls is known as EQing. You also have a fader on your DJ mixer. Your fader is a sliding control that allows you to control the volume of your music. The DJ mixer has a hamster switch as well. The hamster switch, which has nothing to do with a rodent running around in a wheel, is merely the reverse of a crossfader.

Music Terms
In DJ school, you won’t just learn about sounds; you’ll learn terminology related to the actual music as well. For instance, the word bass refers to the low frequency sounds like the bass and the kick drum. In modern music, the bass is usually done through a synthesizer. Another word you’ll use a lot is tempo. The tempo is the speed of the music, and it’s measured in the number of beats per minute.

While you’re in school, you be learning to mix up the hottest tracks for music fans. Your audio courses will teach you more than just the lingo. You’ll learn how to mix tracks, use the turntables and so much more!

Visit Trebas for more information on other career paths, such as advice on film schools in Canada.