I have been producing music at hobby level for some years and I’m interested in sound/acoustics, trying hard to find gear that translate well what the original track was supposed to sound like. And also I have had some bad experiences with listening to sub bass, sine wave, that is hard to hear well still damaging your hearing if turned up, without pain. Suddenly just some faint nausea. Now ears ringing all day, for life.
For me it’s stunning that there is a lack of EQ(phones) and limiters in DJ gear. I know that pro venues have installed PA limiters so the DJ don’t have to bother about blowing up the speakers. But the DJ can blow up his own hearing, over time. I visit Oratory’s Headphone page frequently and have not to this date found any headphones that is overall good out of the box and healthy for your ears; crazy translation, lack of bass, excessive bass, muddy mids, harsh mids, stupid treble peaks and so on, google “mount beyer” for instance. There may be some descent models that aren’t killing your ears, let me know if there’s a good trade off one for DJ:ing. And by the way I use mostly DT990 Pro 250 Ohm with quite heavy EQ when producing. But I won’t use them with DJ gear(or any gear) without EQ.
There should be some internal EQ for the phones output in DJ gear, better a simple 3 band EQ than nothing, and preferably a peak limiter. All mobile phones have EQ, I guess, and I believe there’s now regulation for consumer products and volume level, in EU. And DJ gear for practising at home with your expensive speakers should have at least a software master output limiter. Now as a welcome update in Denon Prime OS there’s adjustable EQ range for the FX, try set it to about 136Hz avoiding the stacking of the sub frequencies in the kick and bass when experimenting with different FX.
Lastly, a budget tip for practicing at home, I dusted off my old Boss LM-2 Limiter, and have set the master output to mono on the Prime GO using only one channel/cable, then into my outboard mixer, into the power amp. It can be hard to find the old Boss, but the Boss LMB3 should work too(these stompboxes are made for instrument level and I don’t know if LMB3 is compatible with line level from the DJ mixer). Finding a reasonable priced stereo limiter is difficult. The cheapest quality one I have in mind is the FMR RNC Really Nice Compressor, but don’t know if it works well as a limiter. Or do you good people mainly use active monitors with built in overload protection and hammer on until they shut down?
Save your hearing, your ears are your tool!
Been to the clubs a lot many years ago but I have never visited a DJ booth, I guess the volume is excessively loud there too which makes some of my arguments being hairsplitting in the context. Though for all you young people that will never be a pro DJ, or don’t want to, take care!
[Edit: added a link to the Oratory headphone page, scroll down to see the list.] [Edit: added ‘tinnitus’ to the topic]