What Unique Gear Do Touring DJs/Producers Use?

By and large, the DJ gear that someone has doesn’t effect how “good” or “real” of a DJ they are but for DJs that play hundreds of shows in a year, gear can have a big impact on their ability to performan reliably and sometimes creatively.  If someone is willing to bank their living on a set of kit, then there is a good chance it might be good enough for you – so we’ve put together a collection of the gear used by some of the world’s favorite DJs and live producers.

Finding Out What Gear They Use

It takes a little bit of digging to find out what a DJ really uses in their live setup – and we’ve done our best to make sure that this article is as accurate as possible. Combing YouTube, interviews, and gig photos to cross reference various sources, we’ve managed to get a pretty confident idea of what most folks are using on stage.

Note that many artists are constantly trying new things (or in some cases, being sponsored to rock a new piece of gear) so the gear listed in this article shouldn’t be treated as permanent fact.

“Top 100 Most Popular” DJs: The CDJ Mafia

Hardwell heading up 4 CDJs (Photo Credit: Rukes)

When we first tackled this project, the team found that most of the DJs who flood lists like the DJ Mag Top 100 are using identical sets of gear, which the only significant variation being headphones.

Here’s the “standard” set of gear used by venue-packing professional’s Hardwell, Avicii, Tiësto, David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Nicky Romero, Skrillex, Afrojack, Dash Berlin, Alesso, Calvin Harris, Nervo, Above & Beyond, Sebastian Ingrosso, Eats Everything, Claude Vonstroke, and many others:

Nearly 70% of the “Top 100 DJs” use that exact set of gear without alteration. The reason why is clear,  this standardization makes it easy to get the gear they’re used to at festivals, and turns almost any dj booth into a “walk up and play” scenario. In general, this vastly simplifies the changeover logistics in DJ booths.

The interesting story with superstar DJs is in the headphone world – where individual preferences, interests, and perhaps artist relations efforts all start to show up. Here’s a basic breakdown of the the top 20 DJs from both the DJ Mag and Resident Advisor’s lists in terms of headphones preference:

  • Sennheiser HD 25-1 IIs (Aly & Fila, Calvin Harris, Afrojack, Hardwell, Above & Beyond, Ben Klock, Seth Troxler, Maceo Plex, Ricardo Villalobos, Loco Dice, Ben UFO, Eats Everything)
  • V-Moda Crossfade M-100s (Avicii, Dash Berlin, W&W)
  • Urbanears Zinken (Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, Alesso)
  • Phillips A5-Pro (Armin Van Buuren)
  • AKG 267s (Tiësto)
  • Beats By Dre Mixr including custom colors (David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Nicky Romero, Skrillex)
  • Sol Republic Tracks HD (Steve Aoki)
  • Pioneer HDJ-2000 (Nervo)


So besides the CDJ Mafia, who among the most popular and influential DJs in the world are using unique gear setups that aren’t carbon copies of eachother? Here’s a selection of 13 of the most interesting ones:

Zedd Representing All-In-One Controllers

Zedd rocking the Kontrol S4 with two very CDJ-oriented friends, Afrojack and Aoki. (Photo credit: World Redeye)

Zedd is one of a select group of touring DJs who use an all-in-one DJ controller as their performance rig. He’s moved to the MK2 model this year – maybe we’ll see him switch to a Kontrol S8?

  • Headphones: Beats By Dre Mixr
  • Mixer: N/A – running into house mixer
  • Controllers/Decks: Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2
  • Other: We’ll be interested to see if Zedd’s recently reported case of sudden hearing loss in one ear changes his choice of headphones – perhaps in-ear monitors might be the way to go?

Armin Van Buuren’s Augmented CDJ Setup

Armin has been DJing for decades – and while it’s no surprise that he’s rocking a set of CDJs, he has a fascinating trick for visuals that allows him to mix live and still have the intense timed visuals that so many festival-goers fawn over. He explains it well in the video above.

  • Headphones: Phillips A5-Pro
  • Mixer: Pioneer DJM-900
  • Controllers/Decks: 4 Pioneer CDJ-2000 Nexus’ with USB key
  • Other: 2 of Armin’s CDJ’s actually send SMPTE signal that triggers video in the VJ software at the front of house. He also uses a chat program on his laptop onstage to chat with his VJ and tell them what track he’s about to play. More details in the video above.

Flosstradamus’ DJ Setup (With Midi Fighter 3D!)

Flosstradamus’ “Tour Essentials” – photo credit John Ong at Hypetrak

The remix masters-turned-trap-gods Flosstradamus have an awesome live show that incorporates DJing in Ableton, and a ton of live triggering of samples, drums, and effects.

Deadmau5’s Live Producer Setup

Deadmau5 – not afraid of real live production. (Photo Credit: Jesse Brede)

Joel Zimmerman quite often argues that he’s nothing like the rest of the entrants in the top 100 in that his sets often diverge from traditional “DJing” entirely. We don’t disagree – his setup constantly seems under flux. The photo above shows the length to which he’s willing to take “live production” – with a full set of modular synthesizers, a mixing desk, a Virus TI synthesizer, and a Kontrol X1 (but this was all the way back in 2011). Recently we’ve seen him using something a bit more odd – a new Microsoft Perspective Pixel device. Watch a quick clip of it in action below, or read more here.

Richie Hawtin’s Traktor + Push DJ Setup

Richie has his setup very much dialed – with a Traktor Pro base setup that is linked into Ableton Live (synced MIDI clock) to allow him to do live looping, sequencing, and clip triggering all over top of the playing decks. If this sounds familiar, you might remember a very similar setup that Dubfire uses in his setup – watch our complete How I Play interview with him here.

  • Mixer: Allen & Heath Xone:92
  • Controllers: Kontrol X1 MK1 (2x), Ableton Push,
  • Soundcard: RME Fireface UFX soundcard
  • Headphones: Variable – he’s been spotted using AIAIAI TMA-1 Studios and Pioneer HDJ-2000s in the last year
  • Other: Grapes. Every DJ setup needs more fruit.

Maceo Plex’s External Effects Ensemble

Maceo’s Plex’s deep sounds are complimented by an interesting array of external effects units – to the point that the above Boiler Room set from mid-2013 only tells half of the picture. While it seems like he used to do more of a “live” show (Ableton, Akai MPK keyboard, Kontrol F1 and iPad), he’s since moved on to a more traditional CDJ-oriented setup – but with some fascinating effects units in tow:

  • Mixer: Allen & Heath Xone:92 or DJM-900 Nexus
  • Decks: CDJ-2000 Nexus
  • Effects Units:  Boss delay pedals (2x), RMX-1000 (2x sometimes – likely one for each deck to avoid needing to send/return signal)
  • Headphones: HD 25-1 IIs

Tale Of Us’ Traktor Decks

This duo based out of Berlin have done very well for themselves, putting together fantastic dark techno landscapes in their DJ sets. They take a more hybrid approach to DJing, incorporating Traktor Control Vinyl into their booth rig.

  • Mixer: Allen & Heath Xone:92
  • Decks: Traktor Control Vinyl (or occasionally, as pictured) CDJ-2000 Nexus
  • Controllers: Kontrol X1 MK1s (2x)
  • Headphones: HD 25-1 IIs
  • Other: These guys seem to have copped their own set of DJTT Chroma Cables – note the bright blue cable running the the X1 in the bottom left of the picture.

Andy C: Reliability Is Key

What’s that under his decks?

Andy C is one of the biggest pioneering DJs in the drum and bass scene – not because of his embrace of any new fancy technology, but rather for his copious excellent mixes that he’s put out over the years. As it turns out, his rider reflects his commitment to quality (thanks to DJTT reader Sam Chop on Facebook for the tipoff)

  • Mixer: Allen & Heath Xone:92
  • Decks: 3 “immaculately maintained” Technics 1200s/1210s
  • Headphones: HD 25-1 IIs
  • Other: Concrete slabs under all of the decks and mixer to maintain isolation and stability on the turntables – this is especially key when playing at festivals with booths that aren’t designed to absorb all of the bass frequencies of the house system.

Flying Lotus’ Simple Ableton Rig

The mastermind behind the Brainfeeder label has kept his live rig super-simple, instead preferring to work with visual artists to make a powerful live show (dubbed Layer 3 – watch below for more details).

  • Mixer:  N/A, uses house mixer with an 1/8″ to RCA cable straight out of his laptop’s soundcard
  • Controllers: Akai MPD 32
  • Software: Ableton Live

Paul Van Dyk’s Production Palette

Similar to other live producer DJ shows, Paul brings out a massive amount of gear to make his setup perfect- watch his performance (video above) at Creamfields from earlier this year to get a few quick shots of his rig.

  • Mixer: Allen & Heath Xone:DX
  • Controllers: Akai APC 20, M-Audio AxiomPro 25 keyboard (2x), Vestax VCM-600,
  • Headphones: Sony MDR V6 / 7506
  • Other: PvD has two laptops on stage – likely one for performing live elements and the other for mixing audio and clips – they’re both running Ableton Live.

Pretty Lights’s DJ Rig

Behind the booth with Derek (Photo Credit: Krystle Blackburn)

Glitch-hop stylings from Colorado-based Pretty Lights have become a staple of any number of outdoor festivals around the world – and the gear that controls his live performances comes in the form of a mirrored setup with two laptops both running Ableton Live. His live band setup is even more extensive, incorporating a MPC, live synthesizers, and much more.

  • Mixer: Pioneer DJM-900 Nexus
  • Headphones: Unknown in-ear monitors
  • Controllers: Akai MPD 32 (2x), Maschine Mikro MK2 (2x)

Porter Robinson’s New Live Worlds Show

You might remember that Porter’s rise to fame was accompanied by learning to DJ shows with a Traktor Kontrol S4. In the last year, he’s moved to a much more exciting live show that moves away aggressive electrohouse and towards ethereal original tracks that he’s been performing live. Here’s what his live rig is made up of:

  • Controllers + Samplers: Livid Ohm (as four channel mixer), Roland SPD-SX (for drum samples and synth stabs), Akai sampler keybaord
  • Synth: Roland System 1

Bassnectar’s Custom MIDI Controllers

Note that in most of Bassnectar’s booth photos he Photoshops in alternate humorous screens – both laptops are actually running Ableton Live

Bassnectar has a mega-arcade button focused controllerism setup to control dual Ableton Live laptops – if you want to know the full story behind the 60 Works/Livid controllers, check out the complete explanation in this article on controllers that never quite made it to market.

  • Mixer: Pioneer DJM-900
  • Controllers: Custom 60 Works/Livid controllers (based on DJTT design), Midi Fighter Pro Cue Master

Help contribute to this article – list DJs in this format in the comments and include photo or video proof and we’ll add the most interesting and insightful comments to the article! 

We’ve got a bunch of great videos highlighting more original DJ rigs – watch any of the below for more inspiration: 

Dean Zulueta also contributed to this article with some excellent research. 

Ableton Pushakai mpd 32andy carmin van buurenbassnectarbeats by dre mixrcdj-2000 nexuscdjscrossfade m-100sdeadmau5dj boothdj mag top 100DJM-900 nexusflosstradamusflying lotusgearhardwellkontrol s4 mk2live productionlivid ohmmaceo plexmaschinemidi fighter 3dpaul van dykPorter RobinsonPretty LightsRichie Hawtinroland system 1sennheiser HD 25-1 iitale of ustop djswhat gear do djs usezedd
Comments (161)
Add Comment
  • Matt

    What doesnt ARMIN VAN BUUREN use Serato Video? He could still use the same DJ hardware but could run all the videos in sync. That would save a shed load of time and money

  • Claudio Blandizzi

    where is madeon!!?!?

  • What Dj Gear Does Skrillex Use | Computer DJ Equipment

    […] What Unique Gear Do Touring … – By and large, the DJ gear that someone has doesn’t effect how “good” or “real” of a DJ they are but for DJs that play hundreds of shows in a year … […]

  • Used Dj Gear Canada | Computer DJ Equipment

    […] What Unique Gear Do Touring … – By and large, the DJ gear that someone chooses doesn’t effect how "good" or "real" of a DJ they are. But for DJs that play hundreds of shows in a year, the … […]

  • Used Dj Gear Nyc | Computer DJ Software

    […] What Unique Gear Do Touring … – By and large, the DJ gear that someone chooses doesn’t effect how "good" or "real" of a DJ they are. But for DJs that play hundreds of shows in a year, the … […]

  • Used Dj Gear | Computer DJ Software

    […] What Unique Gear Do Touring … – By and large, the DJ gear that someone has doesn’t effect how “good” or “real” of a DJ they are but for DJs that play hundreds of shows in a year … […]

  • Used Dj Gear | Computer DJ Equipment

    […] What Unique Gear Do Touring … – By and large, the DJ gear that someone has doesn’t effect how “good” or “real” of a DJ they are but for DJs that play hundreds of shows in a year … […]

  • Used Dj Gear Montreal | Computer DJ Software

    […] What Unique Gear Do Touring … – By and large, the DJ gear that someone has doesn’t effect how “good” or “real” of a DJ they are but for DJs that play hundreds of shows in a year … […]

  • Gear For Djs | Computer DJ Software

    […] What Unique Gear Do Touring … – By and large, the DJ gear that someone has doesn’t effect how “good” or “real” of a DJ they are but for DJs that play hundreds of shows in a year … […]

  • Point Blank

    Why is Disclosure not on here!?

  • SnT Mc

    Check out Noize suppressor “sonar”
    Best I’ve seen by far

  • cake thrower

    Lol at Zedd rocking a s4 with beats head phones with his mates Aoki and Afrojack. What a maddive bell end.

    • cake thrower


  • Will

    An addition to Andy C’s setup;

    Beneath the concrete slabs are 4 rubber squash balls placed at each corner. The weight of the slab compresses the balls so they lie flat, leaving a space between the concrete slab and the DJ booth. The rubber squash balls are what absorbs any bass that might affect the turntables.

    Reference: I’ve seen his tech rider.

  • henry

    I don’t see how you could forget Mr Scruff’s legendary vinyl system, with a custom mixer and all. Then there’s Jamie xx and Floating Points using DJR 400’s, some of the few people using rotary mixers.

  • Tubab Lamin

    I’m surprised about no audio interface in Flylo setup. Doesn’t he cares ’bout D/A an buffer? I guess then syncing visuals via Ethernet but and interface with clock and handling the audio would be more suitable IMO

  • DJ Fonix

    Pioneer has always been a staple for pro gear till the recent sell and their controllers getting complaints from pro DJs in team. The Korg Khaos Mixer was my first favorite mixer late 90s. In my field the key is pro gear that is durable, reliable, adapts easy while still requiring skill such as beat matching (no fakes), and most importantly can be backed up on multiple devices! My performance board include DJM 900 mixer, CDJ 800s, HP laptop vs Mac book limitations of icrap, Serato scratch live Redbox special edition SL3, dicers, and custom fees line vocal effects tricked via DJM effects layered by line 6 custom vocal head selection for live sound effects from event, and oh by the way I have a complete back up equip set, double back up with 2 laptops and external drives, triple back up on Spotify and tap Dj or iPod cause it’s CYA and u might find a track not played in a while in your backups. Most importantly, talent!!!! If u rely on your equip to do everything vs learning the process, your doomed for epic fail. Behind the scene DJ Fonix out. Fonixentertainment.com.

  • Louvelle

    Stimmings live rig is definitely worth a mention here

  • 1

    Is bassnectar on google ? Lolol

  • DJ Mixing In Style

    You missed out on James zabiela which is known as the gadget man in the DJ World. He normally uses a DJM and CDJ’s with a oscillator and iPad a RMX 1000 and a few other gadgetry bits.

  • muhametali

    would be great if you could get dorian concept in this article, and people like merzbow, etc noise artists that are really performance-based

  • Miklos Biro


  • Miklos Biro

    rocking something different

  • Joshua Church

    I want Deadmau5’s giant touchscreen! I could do sooooo much with that and either Lemur or touch OSC!

  • Friday Roundup: Is It "Time Up" For Two Decks And A Mixer"?

    […] What Unique Gear Do Touring DJs/Producers Use? – …while DJ Tech Tools, despite all the weird and wonderful set-ups on show in this article, actually confirms that most big DJs are still very happy with the “old way” Read more […]

  • Jesper Savonheimo

    Axwell uses WESC Axwell Signature headphones, not Urbanears.

  • Karl wild

    The old setup used by the bloody beetroots when djing is quite interesting to see ! 😀 (kaoss pad 3, Kaossilator, Roland sampler)

  • Brunch Club Seattle

    Loco Dice

    • Wyan

      Loco Dice…

  • Brunch Club Seattle

    LOCO DICE dj set up

  • DJ Rapture

    The Glitch Mob has a really cool setup with Ableton Live, MIDI drums, and THREE Lemurs.

  • robjac

    Lorin has been running Traktor DJ alongside his RIGHT Laptop in the past year. [bassnectar]

    • Carter

      I thought he was just using dual ableton? Is he using the same controller for traktor or did he also switch that. I’m pretty sure he was doing dual ableton at red rocks this year as well.

      • robjac

        Yes. He runs two laptops with ableton live. To serve as two decks.

        but he runs traktor DJ (as seen under his right laptop) into an extra audio channel at all of his shows this year. [ well probably a MAJORITY of the shows].

        traktor DJ probably serves to play songs that he has just recently downloaded or wants to remix on the fly. traktor DJ on the IPAD not Traktor Pro Mac OSX Software.

        Just take a look at all the family photos this year –> ipad is located (usually) under his right laptop stand.

        Hope this clears things up.

        • lol

          your logic….lmao… almost as funny as the name drop

        • loooolzzz

          the “family” photos always made me laugh. More like the douchebad family

  • CUSP

    Judging by the picture, Pretty Lights uses a Maschine Mk2, (not Mikro as listed).

  • Rob

    No mention of James Zabiela? He usually has CDJs + Mixer FX + iPad + KaossPad and other stuff on the go. “Decks with a ton of effects”

  • Josh

    Paris Hilton: iTunes 11, bejewelled beats by dre, standard AUX cord

    • Oli


  • Nolan Walker

    Doesn’t Andy C use some digital tools now as well? I know this video (http://youtu.be/hkdrpS3gwsA) focuses on his Alive festival setup, but I would imagine he has stuck with some of the additions in his standard sets.

  • xxonx

    Minilogue also has an awesome live setup! Even though this little documentation mostly shows their studio setup, they bring most of their stuff to live gigs:

  • John

    Nice edit of the Tale if Us copy after I noted correctly that Tale of Us are not Visionquest. Just acknowledge in future.

  • Jecba N Dyk

    Thank you so much for listening about PvD on this Article 😀
    That’s why I love that Much DJTT and buy oy at your store n____n

  • Garrett Cox

    pretty lights is using a standard Maschine Mk2

  • Adam Neat

    I was in the booth with PVD last weekend in Singapore and he also ran an APC40 mk2 … given its only a new unit, I imagine its a very recent addition to his setup (obviously).

  • Colin McNutt

    No love for Simian Mobile Disco?

  • Jonathan Amaral

    Pretty sure I saw hawtin back to using his CNTRL 92

  • killmedj

    Traktor + HID + DJM900NEXUS= =)

  • Mark Smith

    Mark Farina, Carl Cox, and Victor Calderone all also use Pioneer HDJ-2000’s. Carl Cox and Victor Calderone also like using Traktor Kontrol X1 Mk1’s.

  • calgarc

    xone 62 and an x1 for me

    • Dan White

      Absolutely. It was unlabeled on the site I found it on, but happy that you saw this and I can give you proper credit.

      • Jesse Brede

        Awesome. I’m actually taking the site down and moving it to http://bredemusic.com but thanks for the attribution.

        The story behind this photo is pretty nuts. This was his closing set at Lolla 2012, one of the first times for him to use the cube, I believe. Right when his set started, it started raining like crazy and I ended up going under the stage from the photo pit to save my $1800 lens from getting too wet. I ended up going behind the stage and then eventually on stage and then up in the canopy area. Rukes, his playboy GF at the time and some industry folks were all hanging out. I said hello, snapped a few pics and then left.

    • Armando

      Dope photo!

  • Charles Cushman

    Hawtin doesn’t midi sync his platforms anymore. He found it to be unstable and he likes his computers having a little drift. He feels like it gives his mixes more life.

    • CUSP

      Well, having used analogue synths in the 80s and 90s, drift is no fun. It’s not like drift gives him any street cred, or make his mixes any better. Perhaps he’s looking to be more appreciated because he has to wrangle something unnecessarily complex.

      • Charles Cushman

        The drift he is dealing with is miniscule. It’s just Ableton versus Traktor. For him to bring that back inline is easy.

  • Angelo Medina

    Evenings, MPD32, APC40, external mixer and suddenly, a guitar

  • DJ Numinous

    Maceo Plex doesn’t use two delay pedals, he uses one which looks like the boss DD7 and the other one is the Boss RV5 which is a reverb pedal it’s the grey one.

  • Greg Lane

    Chris Liebing should most def be in this write up

  • John

    Tale of Us aren’t Visionquest. You know that yeah?

    • Dan White

      Hmm, their first release was on Visionquest – but it looks like they’ve done stuff with M-nus and Life and Death as well.

      • Duros

        Tale of Us are from DJ Tennis’ Life and Death.
        And they play back to back these days with 2 laptops.

  • an3

    B>O>R>I>N>G – arent there seriously no other dj’s / producers to pay attention too ? or just remove UNique out of the title

  • The Great DJ Swindle

    What they DON’T USE is all-in-one controllers, we are quite sure about that…

    • Tommy Boy

      They mentioned Zedd. And Im pretty sure Porter Robinson used an S4 before he went to perfoming Live.

    • Dan White

      There’s plenty of great DJs who use these controllers – they’re just not the festival-headlining type. To quote the first line of this article: ” the DJ gear that someone chooses doesn’t effect how “good” or “real” of a DJ they are. “

      • Tommy Boy

        The shift is steadily moving. Djs want to use controllers but the stigma of sync and the purist mindset “only the elite use CDJs or Vinyl” keeps controllers at home. I hate that controllers have huge buttons for Sync. Its like a broadcast. Nothing to hide but I think it will reduce the amount of hate towards all in one controllers.

      • The Great DJ Swindle

        We’re talking about the “pros” mentioned in this article and we don’t see any all in one, of course we’ve seen those sometimes at some local bars and yes, they were… great 🙂

    • Dean Zulueta

      A lot of great DJs use all in one controllers and it is important to note that and without knowing the big names personally were not sure if they would/would not use an all in one.

      The most likely reason that a lot of DJs stick to CDJs is because they are playing hundreds of shows a year and it is just easier to have your set in your pocket on a flash drive. No worrying about losing the controller on a flight, missing a USB cable, ect. I’m not saying that stuff is hard to keep track off but it is an extra thing to keep on your mind.

  • m8

    kink should be here !

    this isnt his full live setup though

    • Kyle Anaya

      Agreed, KiNK is rad.

  • SpencerMakesMusic

    Would love some insight on what Aphex Twin uses live, as well as the gear in Basement Jaxx’s live show

  • chris

    btw: the first battles of artists was in the first greeks democratic Agora-places, and where the musician Agon’s


    (this english article is a stub …

    • chris

      (lost the joke on this)
      äh, in greek republic, they had helmets, with big brooms on it

      (Eph 6/17)


      become the sky

  • Greg Miernicki

    Can anyone tell what Bass Nectar is Googling on his left laptop?

  • Rob Ticho,Club mU

    Really great article. I love to see the variety of set ups. The 4 cdj set up makes a ton of sense but it’s cool to see how others assembled a custom rig based on their needs.

    • Dan White

      yeah, there’s nothing “wrong” with a CDJ rig – it’s just not that interesting to talk about when they’re all the same.

      • Rob Ticho,Club mU

        I do find there is a divide between the cdj and controller crowd. I’m not referring to any stupid sync button arguments. Rather controllers are a lot more cost effective and portable than 4 cdjs and a mixer. A lot of djs don’t have the money for that set up. And if you are running your own shows, it sucks to haul 5 flight cases.

        On the other hand, if you are at the level where you can demand 4 cdjs in your rider, traveling with a USB drive is more portable than a controller. Not to mention that it won’t raise any questions if you are crossing borders to play with out a work visa.

  • David De Garie-Lamanque

    you guys forgot Mistabishi! sice having gone from drum & bass super stardom back into the underground, he rocks live sets with his Korg Electribe EMX-1.


  • stefanhapper

    Thank for the research. Great in-depth article.

    It seems the different steups can be grouped into these 4 groups:

    a) CDJ only
    b) Traktor only
    c) Traktor + Ableton
    d) Ableton only

    Question: is there no single popular international DJ using a Serato setup?

    • Ryan Shayper Salt

      Andy C – he uses Serato Scratch vinyl.

      • bishyb

        Andy C uses Traktor.

        • Ryan Shayper Salt

          Coulda sworn last time I saw him live he was running Serato on his laptop… nevermind then

        • sinesthetix

          His rider as of Aug last year also included an Allen & Heath Xone: DB4 as well as Ortofon S120 needles for 3 decks.

        • Robin Ian Mellis Dyos-Smith

          defo trackto as he is using an NI sound card…

    • Mojaxx

      A-Trak (who’s moved back to Serato recently), Jazzy Jeff, and, of course, Diplo.

      • Oddie O'Phyle

        Hey Chris, completely off topic… long story short. Over the years I’ve collected the gear that I’ve wanted and have turned my eyes to ergonomics and cases with ease of transport in mind. I have 2 quick questions for you, if you have the time to spare.

        1) I’ve been eyeing up the Crane Stand Elite and am pretty sure that you’ve seen it in person. I noticed that the upper and lower seem to riveted or machine screwed and am wondering if it looks and feels like it’ll take a bit of a beating?

        2) Have you had a chance to handle the UHS series hard/soft cases from Crane? Just wondering how they feel and if you think that they would be a solid investment as I hate the weight of flight cases and the fact that over time rivets seem to loosen.

        Thanks in advance for letting me pick your brain.

        • Mojaxx

          Hey Oddie,

          I am currently waiting for Garret at Crane to pull his finger out and send me both the Elite and the cases to test. 😉

          I’ll reserve judgement at this stage, as I have only seen a prototype of the Elite, and I’ve never seen the cases in the flesh at all.

          You’ll certainly see my thoughts on both products here on the site once I’ve spent some quality time with them!

          • Oddie O'Phyle

            Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I just may beat you to the Elite, my local gear shop is offering them for a sweet price of $160.00 cdn. I still have to price out the 3 tier large case, but it looks like it’ll hold my pair of 900’s (the product video only shows an SC2900 and a DNS5000, but cdj product dimensions are close).

            If you get a chance, Tannoy just release a new version of the Reveal series. The 4″ active model starts at roughly $300 cdn. Clean reference for a decent price, perfect for when you are on the run or working late.

          • Mojaxx

            Markkus over at DJTT in the States is more the ‘studio’ guy. I’ll only look at speakers if they’re really DJ focused, as I wouldn’t really be confident reviewing studio monitors. He’d do a much better job. I’ll mention those new Tannoys to him though.

            I’m just off to shout at Crane about the Elite not being here yet… 😉

          • Oddie O'Phyle

            As this thread is about preference of gear, I’ve always preferred a pair of 8″ studios in the booth. The home set-up is for production and a dj booth, as it stands is a pair of YSM-8’s with a YSS-10 for low end. The Tannoy’s are to “take the heat off” my studio when it gets late or to isolate when djing and for smaller gigs/local radio stations.

    • Dan White

      Steve Aoki uses Serato. I didn’t include him here because I didn’t want to have to think up more cake/rafting puns.

      • ~ G.RICH ~

        DJ Snake uses Serato with dvs always.

      • CUSP

        Yeah, this is kinda’ slippery… There are some really cool layouts used by professinals, but the “Famous” title means their gear won’t be listed. Not too long ago, the Bridge was a force to be removed with (by users of Serato Scratch Live and Ableton live), now, it’s all but understood that Traktor is how you interface with Ableton.

    • Hunter

      FIGURE uses Serato with 2 turntables.

    • KennethG

      serato isn’t as open as traktor so it have a hard time making it to this list but its amazing at what it does!

    • Lodoc

      Dave Clarke is using a serato setup

    • David Lane

      Kenny ‘dope’ Gonzalez uses serato with CDJs

    • Charles Cushman

      Fatboy Slim and Joachim Garraud both use Serato with the video module. This seems a lot more efficient than AVB’s system.

        • Omar

          Armin uses a DJM2000.

        • Robin Ian Mellis Dyos-Smith

          Still will not follow if you touch the platter after you start the track

    • Mark Smith

      You forgot CDJ + Traktor?

      • EkhoMusik

        Favorite set up! Laptop with Traktor and 3 USB cords into each CDJ. Once I did this for some reason the controller haters stopped talking shit.

        • Tubab Lamin

          Makes sense

      • shuji

        carl cox, josh wink are using.

      • Tubab Lamin

        Goin in for this setup for the 1st time on Friday.

    • Niels

      I think the majority of UK DJ’s (Ben UFO, Pearson Sound, Pangaea, Midland, etc) all use serato and/or CDJ’s. I think because this particular scene comes from dubstep, which in turn was spawned by garage, so you can see how it’s always been quite a vinyl/turntables focused scene, where Scratch Live has always had it’s place. Ben UFO en Oneman have always been very vocal supporters of Serato for instance. I hesitate to generalise, but I think traktor is supported more by continenal European DJ’s whereas i find that UK based artists tend to have a Serato setup.

      • Andrew Maile

        there’s still room for vinyl:

        “Time Out New York: How do you play? Do you still bring vinyl out with you?
        Ben UFO: When I’m playing in the U.K. or Europe I use vinyl, with Serato alongside it. I play a considerable amount of unreleased stuff, which is quite important to me, and I use Serato for that. But when I play further afield, I just bring Serato with me and try to digitize as much of my record collection as possible ahead of time. I’ve heard so many horror stories about people losing their record bags on long haul flights, and I feel too attached to my records to risk anything happening to them.”

    • Code:E

      There are lots, You just need to look for them. Aoki use’s Serato. And requires an SL3 box.

    • John

      MIDI + Ableton, + Push/Launchpad/Maschine
      Good to go

  • QCube

    Im pretty sure Camo&Krooked could fit pretty good into this list as well as they always have a pretty nice way to mix Visuals and they even have big Pads on Stage to play The Drumms live, synthts and plenty of other cool stuff seen in this vid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdqcJmOVyn8&list=UU9UTBXS_XpBCUIcOG7fwM8A

    And I realy would like Chase and Status to get mentioned as they rather play like a Band then as DJs with live Drummers, live Guitarrists and even live Vocalists and an amazing Lightshow (sometimes). All i can remember having a pretty damn unique setup 😀

  • nem0nic

    For Armin, that’s “SMPTE”, not “SMTE”.

    • Dan White

      Thanks – fixed!

      • Tubab Lamin

        Didn’t know CDJs could send SMPTE. U guys know which models?

        • Robin Ian Mellis Dyos-Smith

          will be timecode on a CD

  • RDLG

    I didn’t know grapes and peaches were part of Richie Hawtin’s live setup, I love the creativity!

  • Guest


  • Rama Bosch


    • Djeki

      Chromeo uses an almost-identical setup on their new tour – synthesizing all of the sounds and drums live, not to mention vocoding and epic guitar solos

      • mikefunk

        Chromeo rocks!

  • Guest

    Guti – Disclosure – Myself! haha

    • D.N.A.

      Guti has such an evolving setup ALL THE TIME. Always a new synth or MIDI controller. Always a great show.

      • CUSP

        I think I see a Novation Remote 25SL Mk2 in there (lower left). Is that a Native Instruments Maschine Mikro Mk2 (white) above the mixer?

  • noxxi

    i’m sure everybody seen something they can relate to in this article.

    for me it was hawtins push + traktor setup, mines the same, now if only i can use ableton at the same time…

    • QCube

      If you have them both I could explain to you how to set up the preferences so you can sync the midi clock and play with both at the same time. I didnt played like that yet but I tryed it a couple of times with my Launchpad+TraktorS4 as I search ways to get involved into the music. im more of a producer than a DJ so thats pretty important to me and i luv articles like that :D. Just send me a PM on Soundcloud, you can find me under the name QCube and I’ll try to help setting it up.

      • noxxi

        hey dude, following you now! 🙂 i figured out how to do it via the user mode, and routing midi through ableton out into traktor, the problem for me is, im using a max patch to control the LCD (see my uploaded mappings) which effectively locks out ableton, i’m sure theres a workaround, but its going to take me a while to find it, im guessing maybe midiyoke.

  • wanya

    PvD has the sony mdr v6 or 7506 – it`s the same model – great headphones for studio work

    • Greg Lane

      7506 is only headphones i ever use for anything

    • Dan White

      Thanks – I’m just not that familiar with the Sony line, will add this!

      • Tubab Lamin

        Sony MDR-7506 are the historically standard for field recordings and in recording studios as closed headphones along the Beyerdynamics. Quality sound closed headphone in a budget. I use it for performing as for recording.