A disc jockey, more commonly abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays recorded music for an audience. Types of DJs include radio DJs (who host programs on music radio stations), club DJs (who work at a nightclub or music festival), mobile DJs (who are hired to work at public and private events such as weddings, parties, or festivals), and turntablists (who use record players, usually turntables, to manipulate sounds on phonograph records). Originally, the "disc" in "disc jockey" referred to shellac and later vinyl records, but nowadays DJ is used as an all-encompassing term to also describe persons who mix music from other recording media such as cassettes, CDs or digital audio files on a CDJ, controller, or even a laptop. DJs may adopt the title "DJ" in front of their real names, adopted pseudonyms, or stage names.
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DJs commonly use audio equipment that can play at least two sources of recorded music simultaneously. This enables them to blend tracks together to create transitions between recordings and develop unique mixes of songs. This can involve aligning the beats of the music sources so their rhythms and tempos do not clash when played together and enable a smooth transition from one song to another. DJs often use specialized DJ mixers, small audio mixers with crossfader and cue functions to blend or transition from one song to another. Mixers are also used to pre-listen to sources of recorded music in headphones and adjust upcoming tracks to mix with currently playing music. DJ software can be used with a DJ controller device to mix audio files on a computer instead of a console mixer. DJs may also use a microphone to speak to the audience; effects units such as reverb to create sound effects and electronic musical instruments such as drum machines and synthesizers.