Mobile DJ in the 21st Century
A Mobile DJ is an entertainer that travels to locations to provide entertainment for a specific event. Where will you see a Mobile DJ? You’ll see a Mobile DJ providing entertainment for Birthday Parties, Sweet 16’s, Bar-Bat Mitzvahs, Weddings, Class Reunions, Graduation Parties, Corporate Parties, etc.
Mobile DJ’s (somewhat of an oxymoron before the turn of the 21st century) weren’t so mobile. You would see 2 large turntables, a big mixer, big amplifier, big speakers, huge heavy crates full of 78’s, lots of wires, and just too much stuff and not easily mobile. Although Big Club DJ’s and some “old school” DJ’s still love spinning on turntables, it’s just not efficient for a typical Event DJ. As technology gets smaller and more efficient, DJ’ing equipment is becoming much easier to transport, set-up, and operate.
The DJ’s that use the larger turntable systems look and sound amazing while beat mixing but you won’t see many of them DJ’ing smaller events that may just require some background music. A kid with an iPod, with a good playlist, and speakers can probably provide decent songs while a big turntable mixing system is just overkill. A good mobile DJ with the right equipment can be very profitable and successful at these events and can even begin building a reputable DJ business. As the business builds, and gigs begin to accumulate, it’s important to have DJ equipment that is reliable, easy to set-up, and effective.
When looking for reliable equipment as a Mobile DJ, it’s important to look for “name” brands. Even with name brands, a DJ has a choice between lower quality-lower prices, higher-quality, higher-prices. For MP3 and CD Players, names like Gemini and American Audio are cheaper “name” brands but they are lower in quality than Denon or Pioneer. Numark, previously a mid-level quality company has been reaching new technology (check out Newmarks, NS7FX) that is beginning to compete with the big boys.
Here are some of the most popular Dual CD/MP3 Players with example-averaged prices being used by DJ’s: Gemini CDMP-6000 ($ 399.95), Gemini CDX-2400 Rackmount ($ 170.00), American Audio CK 1000 Table Top Dual ($ 399.00), American Audio Velocity Professional Dual ($ 599.00), Numark CD Mix-1 Dual (199.00), Numark CDN22 Rack Mount Dual CD Player (149.00), Denon DN-D6000 Dual CD MP3 Player ($ 850.00), Pioneer CMX-3000 Dual Rackmount CD Player ($ 1,000).
You can obviously see a price difference but you will experience a noticeable difference in quality between a cd controller selling for $ 200 as opposed to the Pioneer CMX for a grand.
Some Mobile DJ’s have even decided to make their set-up even more mobile by doing away with CD’s and purchasing MP3 Players that have external hard drive or iPod connections. I run all my parties with MP3’s no CD’s. Although I have a Denon 4500 CD player in my system, it is only used if someone has cd they want me to play.
Here are some of the most popular MP3 players with example averaged prices. Numark’s IDJ Mixing Console for iPod ($ 160.00), Numark’s IDJ2 DJ Console for the IPod and External Hard Drive connections ($ 399.00), Numark’s D2 Director Mass Storage Player and Manager, Denon DN-HD2500 Hard Disk Media ($ 599.00), Pioneer MEP-7000 Professional Media Player with CD Decks ($ 1400)
Some of these units can be used as controllers for popular Laptop Mixing Software like Traktor, Virtual DJ, PCDC, and Serato Scratch. There are popular controllers like the Vestax VCI-100MV Mixvibes Edition DJ Controller that is specifically designed to control laptop software. Numark’s NS7 DJ ($ 1300.00) is getting some big attention from Serato users.
If DJ’ing on a laptop, consider using that laptop solely for DJ’ing. Other programs or files on the laptop can slow the necessary processing speed.
Once a Mobile DJ has a player, now a good mixer has to be considered. Again, there are good name brands with lower quality-lower prices and good name brands with higher quality-higher prices. Behringer is a dependable brand on the lower end. Consider the Behringer DX626 Pro Mixer ($ 100.00), Vestax PMC-280 4 Channel DJ Mixer With Digital Effects ($ 499.00), Denon DN-X1100 4 Channel DJ Mixer ($ 700.00), or the Pioneer DJM-800 Professional Mixer ($ 1,700.00). A Mobile DJ can’t go wrong with any of these selections but the pricier mixers do offer more features like effects, more mic inputs, talk over, etc.
Once a Player is selected, and a Mixer is selected, all that’s left are some good powerful speakers. The best type of speakers a mobile DJ can use is Active/Powered Speakers. Passive speakers would require an amplifier or a powered mixer with more weight added to the rig. A DJ can run an XLR cable out of the mixers, plug directly into the powered speakers, plug the speakers in, and voile, sound! ‘
There are a few decent companies that I could suggest. Here are a few products: Behringer Eurolive B208D Active PA ($ 180.00), American Audio XSP-10A Powered Speaker ($ 200.00). Here are the companies that I highly recommend: Mackie, JBL, and RCF. Mackie SRM450 v2 Active PA ($ 500.00), Mackie SRM350 v2 Active, JBL EON515 450 Watt 15″ Powered ($ 800.00), JBL PRX535 3 Way 15″ ($ 1000.00), RCF ART312A or RCFART315A Powered Speakers 15″ ($ 1100.00).
A Mobile DJ should have a pretty simple Set-up. At this point we have discussed a Media Player (CD/MP3 or only MP3), Mixer, and Powered Speakers. This is all the equipment that is necessary for Mobile DJ.
A good case with a sturdy rack should be considered as well ($ 200-$ 400). The Player and Mixer will be screwed down on the top, and in the front of the rack you’ll have the dual cd decks (if a cd player is purchased) and a power strip to plug everything in. Now the rig is; 2 speakers, the case with all the components all safe and secured, a bag with wires (xlr cables, rca cables, etc.), and speaker poles.
Now all you’ll need is music and set lists. Besides learning how the equipment works, this is the hardest part of DJ’ing. Good set lists and great music is what separates good DJs from bad DJs no matter how expensive or elaborate their equipment is. Djs who have been entertaining for a long time have learned from experience what songs work for specific sets.
Where do new DJs or Intermediate DJs go to learn set-mixes that work? A website has been developed for Event/Mobile DJs to give DJs immediate access to Set lists for all types of parties; Weddings, Birthdays, Kids, Sweet 16’s, Graduations, and great mixes for popular dance music, updated monthly. It can also be a resource site for DJ’s to go and get all types of helpful tips, how-to’s, and information, song programming techniques, and event forms.
Being a mobile DJ is fun, exciting, and very profitable! As technology gets smaller and easier to use,more and more people will be trying to master DJ’ing. Technology is only half of the skill. The other half of being a great Mobile DJ is knowing your music and being confident in your set lists. Having Good Equipment and Great Mixes is all a DJ needs to be great in the 21st century.
Learn How to DJ the professional way at http://www.howtodjpro.com and get your FREE Newsletter INCLUDING Party Set-Lists, dance mixes, top songs info, links to equipment prices and reviews, and so much more to ensure maximum success and quality for DJ’s at all levels. Don’t be left behind your competition! My name is John peterson (DJ Masterminds) and my focus is your dj’ing success!