DJs: Do you really need all that gear? Or got a bad case of GAS?

I’m in the midst of a spring clean. It happens every couple of years so that I can run a tight and tidy ship, and put the spoils of DJWORX war on eBay. And in doing so this year, I’ve finally reunited my personal favourite setup after a couple of years apart. My 15 year old Numark TTX1s (still my favourite turntable) are snuggling up to my Rodec Scratchbox all over again in the home Worxlab, and I couldn’t be happier.

Upon reuniting this gear, I posted a picture on social media, which annoyingly garnered a stronger response than pretty much anything we would normally put out. But it also sparked a short thread on Facebook which went thus:

DJs: Do you really need all that gear? Or got a bad case of GAS?

As far as two channel setups go, this is pretty hardcore. The TTX1s have a feature set that is unmatched even today, and the Scratchbox is a built-like-a-tank-brick-shit-house of a mixer. Granted it might lack the frippery of DVS and effects, but for me this the absolute don of two channel mixers. For my needs, this is more or less perfect, and if I need anything else, I can easily add it externally. Obviously I could have the most ridiculously overspecced setup, but I prefer a leaner and more optimised experience. I always do better with less.

Then my mind turned to our community’s buying habits. Cast your minds back to the four channel revolution, where an unending slew of similar units hit the shelves, and gear acquisition syndrome became an industry induced epidemic. Were you caught up in it? Did you feel compelled to have a sprawling lump of hardware? Were you one of those people who subsequently begged Serato to make a two deck view for your new four deck controller? Yeah, though so.

Have you subsequently added all manner of additional shiny boxes? Had to build a new workstation to house your gear buying illness? I feel it’s time to take a step back, shake off the GAS and ask yourself…

DJs: Do you really need all that gear? Or got a bad case of GAS?
Ray aka Arkaei’s setup at IDA 2016. And this isn’t even its final form. Pic courtesy of


It all comes down to this — is every part of your setup used to the fullest? Or is your DJ life overflowing with GAS-fuelled bloat? Equally have you been sucked in by glossy PR about next level features that in reality you’ll never use?

It’s all too easy to disappear down the rabbit hole of new gear. And that’s fine if you actually use it all. Let’s take our own Ray aka Arkaei as an example. He came over to the UK to visit the old Worxlab, and seemingly brought an entire DJ and production warehouse on the plane with him — two laptops plus all manner of button-filled boxes all linked together, and each box playing a coherent part in his performance. Yet somehow, he still managed to squeeze in an Akai Pro AFX that I’d just got delivered, and importantly integrated it to play a role.

In Ray’s case, his needs are fulfilled by pushing himself and his gear to the absolute max and beyond. That’s how he rolls and constantly challenges himself and available technology to look into the possibilities of what could be done.

But not everyone is Ray. In fact it’s my suspicion that a good number of you buy way more gear than you actually need, and never really challenge it at all. All those “game-changing” new features sounded  so awesome at the time, but have you even scraped the surface of what can be done?

I asked myself the question a long time ago, and despite being able to have it all, I only need the basics. The good basics mind you, but still just enough for me to be fully satisfied with my lot. I’d rather have just enough and test my limits than be faced with way too much and it be wasted or more likely be daunted by the plethora of choices.


Or could you in reality get away with a lot less? Do you need the big buffer zone of more features than you can possibly imagine, or do you thrive in the adrenaline fuelled environment of pushing your stuff too hard?