How to Connect a Laptop to a DJ System

By Maxwell Payne

Some DJs use playlists on their laptops or use digital software to simulate record scratching.
i DJ at work image by Barlev from

DJs sometimes use laptops to create and play digital playlists. In addition, some DJs may utilize digital turntables that allow them to "scratch" music digitally without using vinyl records. The setup allows audio from the laptop to be directed through the turntable's sound card and manipulated before going out through the mixing board and speakers.

For direct audio out from laptop to speaker or mixing system

Connect one end of the 1/8 inch audio cable to your audio out jack (headphone jack) on your laptop.

Example of 1/8 inch audio cable (in background) and stereo audio cables (red and white).
i cable audio image by b0t from

Connect the other end to the audio in jack on your mixing board. If the mixing board has two audio in jacks per audio channel, connect a 1/8 inch (3.5mm) cable to the Y-splitter. Then connect the red and white ends of the Y-splitter each to an RCA audio cable.

Connect each of these cables to the audio in jacks on the mixing board.

Connecting laptop to a board and digital turntables

Connect the digital turntable USB connection to an available USB port on the laptop.

Connect the 1/8 inch audio cable to the headphone or line out jack on the laptop.

Connect the other end of the audio cable to the audio in jack on the turntables. Use the Y-splitter if the turntable has a two jack audio input. If the turntables lack audio in, this means the USB connection is the primary connection. In this case, connect the audio cables directly from the laptop audio out to the mixing board.

Connect the RCA audio cables to the Y-splitter and connect the other end of the audio cables to the audio input on one of the mixing board channels.