When starting out with your mobile disco there are a few things you need. Speakers….check, Lights….check, CD players and mixer…check. But imagine turning up to your first gig, what are you going to put everything on? A table? The floor? This is where stands come in and, in this handy guide, we look at the main types of stands you will come across and what you can use them for.
Firstly you will need put your decks on. It doesn’t matter whether you use CDs, vinyl or have a digital setup complete with laptop and controller, you will need to put them somewhere. In days-gone-by some DJs would use a table from the venue they were playing in but, let’s be honest, this looks awful and is unlikely to get many word-of-mouth bookings.
There are a couple of main options when choosing a deck stand, namely a simple stand that will support your decks, mixer and laptop or a complete ‘disco’ stand that typically features an integrated lighting bar. Complete disco stands are by far the most popular as they offer and ‘all-in-one’ solution for mobile DJs. Check out the best-selling Stan12 from Prolight for an example of this type of stand.
There is another type of deck stand and these are the ‘workstation’ style stands. These are generally much more elaborate wooden affairs with more storage solutions making them perfect for the home DJ lay down a mix. This type of stand often comes under the heading of “DJ furniture” as it is far more ornate and will look less out-of-place as part of a bedroom setup.
Ever been to a disco where the speakers have been sat on the floor…looks terrible doesn’t it? Mounting your speakers on the floor doesn’t just look rubbish however, it severely effects their performance. People (namely your crowd) soak up an awful lot of sound and if your speakers are on the floor the sound won’t get far before it is ‘absorbed’ by the first few party-goers it hits.
Speaker stands are the solution to this problem but also make your setup look a bit more professional (and we all know how important first impressions are). Most modern PA speakers have ‘top hats’ which are effectively recessed holes in the bottom of the cabinet so they can simply ‘sit’ on top of a speaker stand.
A pair of speaker stands can cost less than £40 so there really is no excuse not to invest. Setup is normally a case of spreading the legs, fiddling with a couple of nuts and they can be erected in seconds (ok, I threw the innuendo in there deliberately but you can imagine how dull it can be writing about speaker stands!).
If you are using a sound system that has bass bins as well as full-range (or ‘top’) speakers then you may not even need full-blown stands. Speaker poles fit between the top of your bass bin and the bottom of your ‘top’ speaker to create a neat setup as can be seen in the picture to the left.
Like speakers, many lighting effects will lose a lot of their impact if they are mounted on the floor. Some effects are perfectly at home on the floor (uplighters and moving heads spring to mind) but the majority will benefit from being elevated in some way. A laser, for example, can create some stunning aerial effects when used with a little bit of smoke or haze, but if that laser is mounted on the effect will be lost as soon as it hits the first person. The same applies for scanners, moonflowers and any other ‘mid-air’ effect or and effect that needs to be ‘projected’. Luckily putting your lights onto lighting stands needn’t be expensive.
T-Bar lighting stands are generally the cheapest way to get your lights off the floor, starting from less than £30. T-Bar stands comprise of a telescopic tripod stand and crossbar from which a number of lighting effects can be hung. Most T-bar stands are big enough to support 4 regular-sized lighting fixtures (i.e scanners, moonflowers, par cans, strobes etc. Not moving heads or centrepieces). A lot of T-Bar stands come with the crossbar pre-drilled to allow lighting effects to be bolted direct to the stand.
Mobile DJs with more lighting, bands and performers who perform on big stages may want a more substantial lighting stand, this is where the lighting bridge or ‘goalpost’ stand comes in. As the name suggests, these stands create a large crossbar with a supporting stand at either end. A large number of lighting effects can then be clamped or bolted to the cross section of the stand, which is usually placed behind the performer. The benefit of these stands is that give a much larger capacity than a basic T-Bar stand but still compact down for easy transportation.
For larger shows, installations and stage use, trussing is often used. Trussing is built in sections making it the most versatile of all lighting solutions. Where a large quantity of heavy, moving lights (such as moving heads) are used, trussing is often the first choice. However, due to it’s bulky nature and high cost, it is rarely used for mobile discos. There are some innovative trussing products out there that are suitable for more mobile applications. The DJ Archway from Global Truss is a genuine trussing system but features just a few simple sections that will fit together quickly and easily. Truss podiums are also an increasingly popular way for mobile entertainers to mount moving-head lights. You will also find some light bridges (see above) that adopt trussing for the cross-bar section of the stand to increase strength and load capacity.
Other Stands You Might Need
Although the stands above are ones you will almost definitely need to get started in the mobile disco game, there are a lot of other types of stand that you may choose to use from time to time.
Microphone stands ; Obviously you will need one of these if you are the lead singer in a band or a solo performer but sometimes a DJ may choose to use a microphone stand. You can check out our range HERE
Laptop Stand ; With an ever-increasing amount of DJs choosing to ‘go digital’ and use DJ software with a controller instead of the traditional ‘decks and a mixer’ setup,laptop stands have become an essential piece of kit in many DJ’s inventory. Laptop stands can be bought for less than £20 and will keep your laptop at the correct right for viewing and controlling your DJ software. You can check out our wide range of DJ laptop stands here.
TV stand ; If you are planning to do karaoke as part of your setup you will obviously need a screen to display the lyrics to the songs. Most TVs used these are the flat-screen type so a lot of DJs use an LCD trolley such as THIS ONE to support their screen
Instrument stands ; Although a DJ is unlikely to need a guitar stand, you may choose to use a MIDI keyboard or controller in your sets and this is when a keyboard stand may come in handy.
So, there we have it, a brief guide to the type of stands you may need for your DJ setup. Why not head over and check out the stands section on our website for the full range. Not sure what you need? Give our friendly, knowledgeable sales team a call on 01206 855010.
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