Can You DJ Without Turntables? [Spoiler: Yes You Can]

DJ gear is no joke.

Some DJs spend thousands of dollars on gear, whether they are a professional DJ or just a hobby.

As a musician and DJ, I can relate to the feeling.

I love gear, and If I had the means, I would always be buying gear, whether its guitars or DJ equipment.

However, the question this article will be answering is;

Can You DJ Without Turntables?

Can You DJ Without Turntables - how to dj without turntables

If you think about it, turntables are what defines a DJ in most people’s eyes, especially casual listeners and club-goers.  

However, DJing is not just about using turntables to mix music in front of a crowd.

DJing is about mixing music, but it does not state which gear you should use.

With that being said, it turns out, you can DJ without turntables.

Without Turntables, What Can You Use to DJ?

Without Turntables, What gear can you use to dj

Let’s look at our options: 


A laptop is the number one solution to DJ if you don’t have or broke your DJ controller.

I know some people who DJ with a laptop.

Someone I know learned to DJ with a laptop unexpectedly because he didn’t notice his DJ controller was broken right before a show.

Since what a DJ controller does is control DJ software on a computer or laptop, you can figure out a way to do exactly what you do with your software manually, without the use of a DJ controller.

This method involves a lot of mouse clicks and learning keyboard shortcuts.

It is a good thing my friend was DJing for a long time already when this incident happened, and he already knows his way around the software.

Using the right DJ software is key if you want to DJ with just a laptop.

Some DJ software is made for DJing without controllers, so all you need to do is learn the basics of the software.

Mobile Phone

You can also DJ without a turntable if you have DJ apps on your phone, where you can cue music and make playlists.

For mobile phone DJing, my favorite apps are Algoriddim DJay, and EDJing These apps are equipped with powerful DJ functions that make DJing easier on a phone, but then again, there is nothing better than using real turntables.

An iPad

If you can use your phone, you can definitely use an iPad to DJ.

It has a larger touchscreen for easier navigation.

It has most apps as you have on the phone, and sometimes the iPad has much better apps.

DJing Software

how to dj without turntables using dj software apps

The best software made for digital Djing is Traktor or Serato.

They include functions that make DJing easier even without a DJ controller.

However, with enough practice, you can DJ with almost any software, since it only does the functions it already has, even without a DJ controller.

I recently discovered that Logic Pro X has a new update, and it has great features for DJ and live performances.

It now includes live loops.

It allows you to launch loops, and use effects to manipulate the sounds in full DJ-style.

With live loops, you can set up different samples or a collection of samples that can be triggered and looped with a click of a mouse.

For mobile phone apps, you can try EDJing or DJay.

Both are excellent DJ apps, and the difference from using these options is that you can use the touchscreen for hitting pads, triggering samples, using X/Y pad effects, and a lot more.


Yes, you can DJ without turntables, and it is fun and challenging at the same time.

I hope you learned what you need to from this article and keep coming back for more!

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