Mobile DJ’ing has a pretty poor reputation in many respects. Say “Mobile DJ” to someone in the street and the chances are they’ll picture some dodgy character with a back-perm and Elvis shades standing behind a 1970’s rope light and playing the Greece Megamix
While I’m sure this type of DJ may still exist, the majority of modern mobile DJ’s are a world apart from this ill-conceived stereotype. Being a GOOD mobile DJ requires a lot of skill, personality and intuition (being a BAD mobile DJ requires none of the above).
While many mobile DJs do choose to beat-mix their music (and it’s certainly a worthwhile skill to have), making it as a mobile is more about interacting with the crowd, track selection and, above all, professionalism. Pick the right track at the right time, put on a good show and interact with your crowd (but not too much) and you’re on the road to mobile DJ stardom.
Of all the types of DJ’ing, mobiling has the highest setup cost but, with modern technology and great DJ deals always available at getinthemix.com it needn’t cost the earth. The great thing about becoming a mobile is, once you’re setup, your DJ career is in your hands (it isn’t a case of knowing the right people or trying to blag your way into a bar for £40-a-night!).
So…what do you need? Well, quite a lot to be honest be I’ll try and break it down below:
Firstly, and fairly obviously, you need something to play music from (i.e something to ‘DJ’ on). You have a number of options here (that number being 3). The first option is Vinyl, a lot of people get very nostalgic about vinyl and there is arguably the most skill involved in mixing vinyl BUT this doesn’t make it a good media for mobile DJs. Above anything else, vinyl records are very bulky, turntables don’t like a packed, bouncing dancefloor and a turntable rig can weigh a ton (in my opinion, it’s best avoided). CD’s are still very popular with mobile DJs, with rackmount CD decks being a popular choice for many with some choosing the (slightly less portable) tabletop CDJ arrangement which, arguably, gives more a ‘club’ feel to your rig. Finally, as discussed in part 2, come DJ controllers. DJ controllers allow you to play your entire music collection from your laptop while retaining the feel of a conventional setup making the whole thing nice and portable. So I don’t go over old ground, check out my rundown of DJ controllers in Part 2 of this series by clicking HERE.
Right…we’ve got our tunes but, as it stands, nobody can hear them so we need something in the way of sound. Only 2 main choices here and that is weather you go for passive speakers (where you will need a separate amplifier or active speakers (more expensive but have their own amps built in). Again, I have already covered this previously in our series of articles on PA. Check out “Active Vs Passive” and “What’s a Watt and how many do I need?”. While it’s best not to go for the cheapest speakers you can buy, there are brands out there such as QTX,Evolution and LIME Audio that make high quality PA speakers without spending the earth (or you could go ‘all out’ and invest in a full Cerwin Vega rig for maximum punch!)
We COULD stop there, you can play your tunes and people can hear them….lovely but we are missing a bit of an atmosphere (and we all love a party with a happy atmosphere, if you got that reference then, congratulations, you’re as old as me!). So, to liven the whole thing up a bit we have a look at lighting. DJ lighting has come on a long way in the last few years with the advent of LED lighting. Lasers have also become incredibly affordable in the last few years and, depending on the type of laser, can add an added dimension to your show. You may also want to add atmospherics to your show, atmospherics and lighting effects go hand-in-hand to create a complete show.
Phew…nearly there. Now we just need to put the whole thing together so that involves, stands and leads. Stands are very important when it comes to making your rig look professional. Using a table from the social club is fine but it doesn’t have the “Wow” factor that gets you repeat bookings. Why not use a complete disco stand to hold all your sound gear and your lighting, they’re great value and make you look like a professional outfit. Speaker stands are a must, not just to look good to make sure you get the best sound distribution from your speakers. Leads make stuff work and, if you need any advice on them, your best bet it to check out our guide to “Leads, cables and connectors”
Finally, there’s a few other small (but essential) items you will want to consider. Headphones don’t just make you look like a DJ they also allow you to check the next track IS what you expect it to be and also cue up your mixes. A decent microphone is one of the most powerful tools in a mobile DJ’s arsenal, it bridges the gap between you and your crowd and lets you interact with your audience. Finally you have cases to keep everything safe and sound.
So there we have it…everything you need for your mobile disco. Naturally, if you want any more advice then please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01206 855010 and we will be delighted to help.
Coming up : So...You Wanna Be a HOBBY DJ