You’re a digital DJ. You buy your own equipment, carry it to every gig you have and set it up in a DJ booth right next to the “already there” CDJs, mixer and other pieces.
Your laptop is the finest, controller the best and running the high-end software to mix your tunes and rock the floor.
Everything is fine up to this point. But…
Do you know what really saves a DJ’s night when things go wrong ?
Anything can happen. An unplugged cord, something dropped on the floor, an unusual request from a guest, you name it ..
Sometimes, great music and good equipment doesn’t bring you the best gig or peace of mind.
It’s those little gizmos and gadgets you keep near by that make you say ” Thank God I had it with me “.
Ok, I picked up 5 of them today and will share with you. This doesn’t mean there are not more. Today, we’ll talk about these 5 pieces.
Your Business Cards
This is no joke ! I can hear you saying ” I’m just a DJ, not a commercial entity “.
Well, let me tell you this: You never know who asks your contact information. He may be a club owner, a rich guy planning a pool party, etc.
10 years ago, when DJ’ing in a NYC club, a young guy asked my business card. One month later, he hired me for his 5th Avenue loft. Just saying..
Get nice business cards. Put them somewhere visible for anybody asking. Believe or not, that little card might be the gateway to your next gig.
I know a lot of wedding DJs putting their cards on every table so that people can contact them for their future events. A wedding brings another ten 🙂
You should be recording your live sets and special ones for promotion purposes. Most DJ software programs have this feature.
They can be uploaded to sharing services like Mixcloud or burned on blank CDs.
I advice you to have promo mix CDs in your bag at every gig you go for two reasons.
First, it’s a great backup source for your set-up. There are definitely CDJs in the booth. Stick it in one of them and press play if anything goes wrong with your digital equipment. This will give you enough time to reboot your system and music will not stop.
Second, it’s a great way to promote your music and DJ skills. There will be a lot of people enjoying your mixes and may ask for a sample. Hand one CD to whomever asks.
Don’t forget, you are the DJ ! They love listening to DJ compilations and show off their friends saying ” Look, the DJ gave me his mix CD “. Perfect advertisement for you !
Yeah, keep laughing 😉 What does a flash light have to do with DJ’ing ? A lot ! Let me explain.
Clubs are dark places, DJ booths are darker. A ton of cables under the table, bunch of stuff left in that tiny little space, etc.
You get there, ask them where you can set up, they show you the booth. After that, you’re on your own.
Power outlet is in dark, audio sockets as well. How will you be able to see what is where ? There comes the flash light my dear !
It’s your life saver. Standing in the booth for almost 6 hours, you definitely need it at some point.
Prefer a small one, not too big, so that you can bite it and hold in your mouth using your hands somewhere else.
I mentioned this before in a previous article about how to protect your equipment.
Lose cables are always risky in a DJ booth. You can trip and fall, taking everything down attached to it.
There may not always be a power outlet close. In that case, your cables lay all over the place.
You should secure loose wires and cables using duct tape because it sticks strong on any surface.
Do not regret not having a roll of it in your DJ bag. It’s cheap and saves you a lot of hassle and headache.
Extension Cord / RCA Audio Cable
I know, there are 2 pieces here. Both are needed, trust me.
Some DJ booths don’t have enough space near the installed equipment and you may be asked to set up far from it.
On the other hand, DJs are usually responsible for the connection of their own gear. It means that they would not always give you audio or power cables long enough.
Do you know where you connect your sound ? To an available channel on the main mixer they install in the DJ booth.
In order to do this, you get a nice long audio cable for yourself and use it. A wiring problem at the last-minute may really be hard to solve.
I personally use a long ( about 16 ft ) RCA monster cable and it works just fine anywhere I go.
Extension cord… Smart DJs always use a long enough extension cord with surge protection on it.
How many power outlets do you need for your digital set-up ? 3,4,5 ? What if there’s only one on the wall ?
Here we go.. This is the 5th element of our list today. Get a nice long enough extension cord and RCA audio cable.
What are your ” essentials ” in the bag ? Tell us by commenting below.
I always ensure I have a spare Mic in my gig bag and spare batteries. Never know when you will need it.
Good point, battery backup for your microphone is a must.