DJ 101
Comprehensive how-to kit provides the basics for aspiring DJs

So you want to be a superstar DJ, huh? You’ve already used the credit card your folks gave you to take to college (the one "for emergencies only") to finance a basic set-up: two turntables, a mixer, headphones, records, etc. Then there are the countless hours spent troubleshooting, trying to figure what plug goes where and how come no matter what, your mixes sound like two Amtrak trains in a head-on collision. At this rate, you won't be opening for Mixmaster Mike anytime soon.

Esteemed Boston Berklee College of Music and professor

Stephen Webber have come to your rescue, putting together a comprehensive Toolsfor DJs product line that takes you by the hand and gently makes sense of it all. Turntable Technique: TheArt of the DJ is a 125-page manual that covers everything from how to set up tone arms to various scratching styles to interviews with top turntablists like A-Trak, Q-Bert and DJ Swamp.  It also comes with a double-disc vinyl set loaded with DJ-friendly beats and cuts. They even attempt to teach music sight-reading.  Ambitious, but admirable. Turntable Basics is the quick 40-page handbook that boils it all down to a 10-

point checklist. For actual sound tools, there's a five-volume Vital Vinyl series of records, which run the gamut from Beat Bomb, which is thick with snappy hip-hop drum breaks, to Tech Tools, which focuses on loops tooled for techno, house and trance. For those about to spin, Tools for DJs salutes you. They won't be able to help explain your credit card bill to the parents, though. Timothy Brown