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Monday 31st December 2012

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!)

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!) It’s New Year Eve which means, come midnight, you will probably be in a drunken-haze, hugging random strangers and wondering if it’s acceptable to make your excuses and go home to bed at 12:05. If you think New Years eve is an anti-climax, just wait for what comes next…

January 1st is officially the most depressing day of the year. Christmas is over but the decorations are still up, you’ve eaten too much, drunk too much and all the Gaviscon and Alka Seltzer in the world won’t cut it. Then comes the worst bit, you have to make a ‘New Years Resolution’ which typically means promising to give up something you enjoy in order to make this dull and miserable time of the year just that little bit worse.

Don’t panic though, if you’re a mobile DJ the team here at WhyBuyNew have compiled a list of 10 New Years Resolutions that you can keep and will help make your disco bigger and better in 2013. If you missed part 1 then you can check it out HERE, otherwise read on for 5 more essential DJ resolutions:

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!) 6. Don’t be uptight…Uplight. Regardless of the terrible title, the sentiment here is a good one. Uplighting has always been popular with the wedding crowd as it can help transform even the most dull and dingy of venues into something a bit more ‘special’. Normal walls can be washed with soft colours, curtains can be lit-up to create a romantic vision (ok, I’m getting carried away but, trust me, uplighting works). Even if uplighting isn’t requested, it’s a handy upsell and, with the right pitch, one that a potential client is unlikely to turn down (earning you a few more quid into the bargain).

Uplighting typically comes in 2 forms, par cans and LED strips (sometimes known as battens). People generally use LED fixtures for their uplighting these days for several reasons. LED fixtures draw very little current which means that a large number can be run from a single power outlet. They also generate a very small amount of heat which means they can be safely used, all-night with no duty cycle and no supervision. Finally LEDs have an exceptionally long lamp life of somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 hours meaning they will be good for many years of use without even needing a replacement lamp.

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!) Thanks to high-power effects such as the LEDJ-64 floor can being available for less than £80 and the compact Showtec Eco Par 56 at less than £30 high-quality uplighting is now available to the masses. Recently, American DJ have taken uplighting to the next level with the revolutionary, wireless GO series.

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!) American DJ’s GO series is a revolution in mobile LED lighting and a breath of fresh air for gigging DJ’s. Powered by an internal rechargeable lithium battery, each ‘Go’ fixture can be mounted or placed anywhere and run for upto 8 hours off a single charge. Imagine a parcan, wash or blacklight with no wiring that could just be switched on and left.

Go lighting fixtures are perfect for uplighting, backlighting and washing applications but can also be used as an effective lighting effect for mobile disco. One minute you can be providing subtle uplighting during the meal or the best mans’ speech then, with the flick of a switch, you can be rocking the room with a bright, dynamic and colourful lightshow.

7. Learn DMX.  Most lighting fixtures these days feature a host of impressive, in-built patterns and sequences which make light work (‘light work’…gettit?..sorry) of your lightshow. However, there are times when a ‘plug and play’ lightshow just won’t cut it.

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!) We’ve all been to a wedding where the first slow-dance has been accompanied by a host of lighting effects going crazy with beams everywhere, strobing and bright flashing colours which can totally ruin the atmosphere. One way to solve this problem is to invest in a dedicated controller which can slow down or blackout your lights when needed (the ACME CA-8 is suitable for most of their scanners and LED fixtures and the ADJ RC UC3 will control most modern American DJ fixtures).

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!) If you want to get the best from your lights (rather than just tame them) then the only way to go is to invest in a full DMX lighting controller. From basic models such as the JC-1 by transcension to the DC1224 lighting controller and even lighting software packages, you can quickly and easily put together professional lightshows that will add (rather than detract) to the atmosphere at your next event.

If you haven't done so already read the series of articles from our resident lighting expert:

20/12/2012 : Lighting control – It’s more interesting than you think (…honest)

21/12/2012 : Lighting Control Part 1 : Simple Controllers (The mobile DJ’s best friend?)

28/12/2012 : Lighting Control Part 2 – DMX512 Controllers

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!) 8. Upgrade to haze : There are certain lighting effects that look great with or without smoke (mirrorballs, moonflowers and par cans) but some really need a smoke machine to get the best from them (lasers, scanners, moving heads etc).

Unfortunately, a lot of venues now are a bit funny about the use of smoke machines. Contrary to public belief this is more due to problems with CCTV and health and safety rather than smoke alarms/detectors.

Haze machines may well be the solution to this, all too common, problem. Similar to a smoke machines, a hazer will bring out the beams of your lights and add that extra dimension to your show. Unlike smoke machines, however, a hazer will produce a fine mist (or ‘Haze’) which is barely visible to the naked eye rather than a cloud of white smoke.

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!) Haze machines used to be the reserve of theaters and large nightclubs due to their high-cost. These days with models such as the Fogtec SHZ80T, QTX FX900 and Atmotech Lunar, a high-quality haze effect can be had for less than £120!

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!)

9. Keep your music upto date (legally). More and more DJ’s these days are abandoning the traditional turntable/CD deck and mixer combo in favour of a DJ controller (such as the Numark Mixtrack Pro pictured). The benefits are clear, you can store all your music on your laptop and quickly select and play a track at the click of a button.

Many DJ’s making the transition will ‘rip’ their existing CD collection to their laptop (a time-consuming task). This is perfectly legal providing you keep the original CDs. When the time comes to update your music collection (which any decent mobile DJ will do on a weekly basis) you have a number of options.

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!) Some people may choose to buy the CDs and continue to rip them to MP3, the benefit of this is that you have the ‘hard’ copy as a backup in case you lose you files or your laptop gives up mid-set. Another option is to download your new music from the likes of iTunes, beatport or other site which often works out cheaper than buying the CDs. The third option is to download the music for free from a file sharing site. There are several reasons why this is a bad idea:

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!) Firstly, illegally downloaded files are often of a poor quality which may only become clear when you crank up the volume at your event. I’m sure we’ve all come across a track that has been recorded off the radio and, if you have ever accidently played one of these at a gig, this alone will be enough to make you ‘go legal’. Finally, there are the legal implications, if you are a professional entertainer it isn’t really acceptable to use ‘dodgy’ music and it CAN come back to bite you. Although rare you can be asked to show receipts for your downloads or prove that you own the original copies of the music and, if you can’t, you can land in hot water.

Part 2 - More New Years Resolutions (ones you can keep!) 10. Shop at WhyBuyNew. Well, this goes without saying! We all know money’s tight in January but jobs keep coming in and there is always something that needs replacing/upgrading. Make sure you’re getting the best deal by shopping at WhyBuyNew.co.uk. Whether you need new speakers, a replacement power amp, some new lights or even a replacement deck stand you know you’ll get the best price on New and B-Stock DJ equipment.

All that’s left is for me to say Happy New Year, thanks for all your custom in 2012 and here’s wishing you a healthy and prosperous 2013.