The goal of this instructable is to show you how to setup a fully functional DJ booth sans turntables instead of paying for a possibly unreliable DJ. You will most likely save some money and can score a new set of speakers. This instructable works well with weddings and I know this because it worked for me. So parts of this instructable are geared towards weddings but can work with parties also.
Anyone who has had to hire a DJ before knows that they can be very expensive. I was married about a year ago and I realized that the cost of a DJ for us was about the same price as buying and owning a really good near 5.1 set of new speakers(sub woofer included). I have heard too many horror stories about DJ's walking away from a wedding because they were annoyed, drunk, otherworldly inebriated by substance X, etc. I knew there was a better system and I wanted a sweet new set of speakers for my Playstation 3.
After annoying my then soon to be wife to the point of her near domestically abusing me, she decided to let me rig up the DJ booth myself instead of hiring someone. Conditions were provided that I would be gruesomely murdered if it failed.
Keep in mind that we already owned a basic computer, monitor and stereo receiver. Many people will already have these so they are not figured into the price.
Don't mention that the speakers are secretly for use with video games and keep a straight face.
Step 1: Determine what you need
Here is the list:
Subwoofer-Amazon had good deals on these. I went for the big guns with PolkPSW505. The elderly had to constantly adjust their hearing aids. You could probably get something less powerful. Amazon link. $100-250 dollars. You may also need a sub woofer cable.
Center Speaker- CS1 or CS2 model Amazon $80-150 dollars
Two Front speakers- Monitor 50 or R50-Amazon $100-140 dollars multiply by 2
Speaker wire- Acquire from hardware store and get heavy gauge. Around $20.
Surge protector- Possibly the most important purchase. $10.
Toslink Optical cables- If your computer and receiver supports this, they are really good to use. They look like this.
Microphone- You may want to ask to borrow a speaker and mic system from a church, old folks home, elks club, etc. It might be wise to keep this system separate from the sound system. The reason for this is if you hook a mic into the receiver it could require a channel/input to be changed and could cut out music but maybe not. A good karaoke machine may suffice also.
Things that most people will already own:
Computer with monitor, keyboard, mouse and cables or laptop. I would recommend having a backup laptop just in case if this is used for a wedding or important event.
Stereo receiver- This is the hub where music comes in from the computer and goes out to the speakers. If you don't have one shop around. They look like this. Good brands are Onyko, Sony, Harmon Kardon and many more. Also, make sure to get 5.1 or 7.1 so it has enough speaker out connections.
Good websites to find deals or equipment:
Craigslist if you can deal with used stuff
Newegg sometimes has free shipping
Tech Digger has random stuff but killer prices
Lifehacker and Gizmodo deals of the day has stuff you may need sometimes.
Order what you need and maybe play some Team Fortress 2 while you wait. You could also start getting music together and make play lists on your computer.
Check out Tunespro.com......Trust me on this one. Don't use itunes unless you're rich.