Few DJs have attained such a legendary status as DJ Jazzy Jeff. From his early days as Jazz in the French Prince of Bel-Air with Will Smith, and releasing hit after hit with the same Will Smith as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, to present day as a Serato Icon and all round legend.
Jazzy Jeff is a true innovator and a guy that goes with his time. While still essentially mixing with the same gear for over 40 (!) years, two turntables and a mixer, today he uses the very latest DJ technology to do his magic.
And really, it doesn’t matter if he uses DVS and his tracks come from a laptop and not straight from vinyl. 2016 tech allows him to do tricks that a traditional setup just would not have allowed, and we, the fans and public, can only win: we get to see one of the most talented DJs out there mix genres and decades effortlessly and with a warmth and charm that less experienced DJs just can’t produce. So on to the gear.
DJ Gear Setup
Jazzy Jeff uses what we could call a hybrid setup. Analogue mixers and turntables with tracks & samples coming from a laptop running Serato. The Gear he has been known to use, but not limited to:
Serato DJ (formerly Serato Scratch Live)
Software of choice for many scratch DJs, Serato Scratch Live has been replaced by Serato DJ and is known for very low latency, stability and support for popular battle mixers such as the Rane Sixty Two, Pioneer DJ DJM-S9…
The Novation Dicers are small USB powered controllers that allow DJs using a laptop, a turntable or media players to trigger cue points, loops samples & FX from a variety of DJ software. Since they are compact, they fit on the corners of gear, and compensate for the lack of software control on said gear. For example, you can place on the corner of a CDJ media player and control software features not controllable fro the CDJ itself.
The SP-1 is a compact controller for Serato DJ that offer access to much used Serato DJ features, and features two 8 pad grids to trigger Serato DJ samples, cues, loops, effects and more. Again, this gives Jeff advanced control of Serato DJ without sacrificing the two deck and a mixer setup.
Jazzy Jeff has clearly a preference for the classics. Solid, proven battle mixers from Rane and Pioneer is what you will see him using.
He has been known to use the legendary Rane Sixty Two and Pioneer DJ 909 battle mixers, but also the more recent Pioneer DJM S9 Serato DJ mixer.
These mixers are known for their perfect scratch layout and high-quality faders & crossfader, and for being certified with Serato (except for the DJM-909). This allows for manipulating many aspects of the software straight from the mixer.
Jazzy Jeff is apparently a fan of the Pioneer DJ PLX-1000 turntable as it pops up in his videos a lot, but Jeff also owns a pair of custom Technics SL-1200MK2 Turntables. As said, he uses the Serato DJ DVS with control vinyl to manipulate the tracks & samples on his laptop.
So there you go, hope you liked this quick breakdown of the gear used by DJ Jazzy Jeff. See you next week for the next entry in the series.
Before you go, check out the videos below. His London Boiler Room performance is amazing (minus the dull crowd) and the Peter Piper Routine he did for Serato is.. just watch for yourself!
What do you think of the gear DJ Jazzy Jeff uses? Comment below!