The Best Mobile DJ Setup
The Best Mobile DJ Setup
Now you've learnt how to DJ, hopefully at LSA and you’ve played your fair share of gigs, whether they have been at bars or clubs or parties, and they’ve kicked off. You’re finding that people are really receptive to your DJ sets and you’re feeling confident. Perhaps you’ve invested in some professional gear and are looking to make your DJing more than just a hobby. Ever thought about hitting the road as a mobile DJ? The chances are, if you’re a good DJ in your town or city, you’ll be just as good a DJ elsewhere. Many DJs offer their services as a mobile DJ, and this often becomes a significant USP for them.
The next question then is 'what is the best DJ setup for a mobile DJ?'
The answer is to have all your gear in one place ready to be set up anywhere is a really big advantage for a DJ, especially if they are skilled at setting up and packing down their equipment quickly. This unlocks a whole other realm of opportunities to play across the country. If this sounds like a bit of you, here are some of the must-have bits of equipment that you’d need to start being a mobile DJ.
An easy to transport PA system
For a travelling DJ, it’s important that you get high-quality speakers that are a) durable so they can withstand a lot of moving about b) easy and quick to set up and pack down and c) loud and versatile enough so that they can perform well in a plethora of different environments. When you’re a mobile DJ it is hard to predict the type of room that you’ll be required to set up in, so your speakers have to provide a well-balanced sound to ensure that the people that hire you are consistently satisfied with how they sound. If you're just starting out as a mobile DJ and you have a tight budget, these Alto TX210 PA speakers (£140 each) would be perfect for you. Weighing in at 7.6kg, they’re light enough to carry around by one person, and they pack enough of a punch to power a small pub. So if you’re a mobile DJ who’s just started playing smaller gigs, these are ideal. They don’t come with an onboard mixer though so you’d have to adjust the sound settings via an external PA mixer or on your DJ controller.
A PA system (public announcement system) is basically just the sound system a mobile DJ would use
If you’re looking for a bit more diversity in your PA speakers, the Samson Expedition XP1000 PA System is perfect for you. They’re a bit less generously priced at 580 each, but they’re well worth it considering their specs. If you’re a mobile DJ whose services include live instruments as well as DJ decks, the XP1000s are perfect as they allow for a variety of inputs. The speakers also come with a 10-channel mixer for great sound regulation and even allow for Bluetooth connectivity! This is a great feature for when your clients just want to let their Spotify playlists take the wheel for a short while, or if they want a few rounds of karaoke!
Travel cases for your equipment
To make your life as a Mobile DJ easier, or more importantly to save your back, it’s essential that you get the right travel case for your equipment. These cases tend to range a lot in price, with some being very expensive, but you should never skimp out on protecting your equipment. Having a good quality case can mean the difference between a smooth and easy set-up, and the set-up from hell. Remember to get the right size case for your mixers or speakers, because you don’t want them to rattle about needlessly. PA system cases such as the flight case from Gator are highly recommended because of their durability and manoeuvrability, but they do tend to be in the higher price ranges and also quite heavy!
If you’re travelling with your CDJ’s and DJM Mixer, you might benefit from an all-in-one flight case, keeping everything compact and safe. This flight case from Gorilla offers a safe and secure way to take your CDJs and Mixers on the go with you.
Its foam padding ensures that there is no rattling while the case is closed so you won’t damage your equipment accidentally while you’re carrying it. It’s also stackable so it’s suitable to pack into a van along with other equipment that lays on top of it. On top of being really secure, it also looks great so you can travel to your DJ gigs in style!
If you’re more mobile than most DJs, you may prefer your equipment to be situated in a soft bag for ease of transport. Soft bags tend to be easier to carry and are more versatile in terms of what you can put in, compared to a flight case that usually has a foam mould specifically for a certain mixer or CDJ. This soft bag from Temple is a prime example of a good soft bag, suitable for carrying mixers and other sound equipment such as synths depending on their size. This soft bag also has outer pockets that are great for carrying small additional bits like microphones, cables or small sound cards or guitar pedals depending on what your mobile DJ setup contains. This soft bag also features a shoulder strap for secure transportation.
A durable DJ stand
One of the fundamental pieces of equipment for mobile DJs aside from the DJ equipment itself is a good quality DJ stand to put it all on. A solid DJ stand is something worth investing in, as you can expect the crowd at whatever event you’re playing to be facing directly towards it. If the stand appears flimsy and cheap, or your equipment is wobbling all over the place, it doesn’t set a good precedent and the guests at your event might assume that you haven’t put any effort into your setup. This could reflect badly on their expectation of your DJ set itself. The ideal deck stand should be relatively lightweight, sturdy and of course, look good! As a mobile DJ, you want word of mouth to spread about you and the quality service you provide so the little details tend to be noticed and go a long way. This deck stand from equinox is a good example of an ideal deck stand for your setup. It’s easily foldable and packs into a carry bag, with a carpeted shelving unit to make sure your equipment stays in its desired place. The unit also comes with a plain, customisable board for your own designs. This means you have ample opportunity to put your personality into it too! Maybe you have a custom logo for your DJ alias or you’ve had some great artwork commissioned for the front board. Alternatively, the customer may want a personalised message on there too so to be able to accommodate that would go a long way.
A good lighting Rig
Of all the mobile DJ equipment you could have, a unique, good-quality lighting rig will be the thing that sets you apart from other mobile DJs. Good lighting can transform even the blandest of rooms into an exciting and eclectic experience for the customer. Many mobile DJs spend good money on lighting because they know it will be one of the requests that people look for when hiring a DJ. It’s also uncommon that your clients will have their own lighting setups, especially if it’s a home event, so it’s important that you have these in your arsenal. Lighting can also be tricky to get right when setting up yourself because you don’t want to blind or overwhelm your customer. It would be wise to communicate what style of lighting the customer would like before setting up. Some may want an understated rig, whilst others might want to go full-blown strobe rave so it’s important to pack for the occasion!
The two most highly recommended lighting brands for mobile DJ setups would be ADJ or Chauvet. Both brands have a plethora of different lighting rigs for but all of their products guarantee great build quality and subtle design. Though If you’re starting out and you find yourself on a tighter budget you may want to consider purchasing some lighting setups from LEDJ. The Astra 12 Quad par from LEDJ is a good entry point into the world of lighting for DJs. They are kitted out with customisable RGB settings which is perfect for setting different moods for different occasions. There are also variable strobe settings for clients who want to get a proper rave going. You can also pre-programme your lighting shows to offer clients a more bespoke feel to their party. If you’re going solo as a DJ and not bringing anyone with you to set up, you can also switch on the sound active mode, which responds to sound frequencies with matching lights, matching in perfect harmony with your DJ set.
All in one DJ Decks
Perhaps you own a set of CDJ’s and a mixer and you have a perfect place for them at your home or studio. It would be understandable not to want to move them around constantly if you’re a mobile DJ as you may risk them getting knocked about during transport, possibly breaking them. Given how expensive each piece of equipment is, that could prove really devastating for DJs whose livelihood relies on having working decks. Luckily, Pioneer solved this problem when they introduced their all-in-one DJ decks, known as the XDJ series. The XDJs are still fairly expensive, starting at around £1000 and ending at just over £2000, but they are still amazing value for money in terms of what you get. The all-in-one system features the classic CDJ style jog wheels, multi-function pads used for hot cueing and beat looping, a handy screen interface and all the FX you need to create a dynamic sound for a party or event. They also have good quality inputs and outputs in case you’re a mobile DJ who likes to incorporate other instruments to your set. The functions related to these key features do vary depending on what model you get, but all 3 models can be used as a more compact and convenient alternative to CDJs and mixers. The XDJ series all include microphone outputs which will come in handy when playing at parties - it may be someone’s birthday so make sure you’re ready to give some shout-outs! They also fit perfectly in a case and only weigh between 5kg-12kg depending on the model.
For many, to be able to perform as a mobile DJ is a dream come true. To be able to travel, network and be completely autonomous is a huge benefit in the music business. Mobile DJs often choose their own rates and can decide the value of their services for themselves. To get to this level though, mobile DJs often have to work extremely hard to put themselves out there, especially since they may not have any backing from a label or agency. It’s also important that mobile DJs get the right equipment that suits their setup. Our list is just a glimpse into the sort of equipment you can expect to need as a mobile DJ, but others may require more advanced equipment to suit their live sets. However, a good mobile DJ doesn’t limit themselves on what they can and can’t do; you’ll often find that these DJs are the most sonically diverse musicians because of the sheer amount of varied events they have to play. This can absolutely work in a DJs favour and can help them become the best that they can be! If you’re interested in hiring a mobile DJ for an event, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re interested to find out more about our DJs, check out this blog on DJs for hire.
If you want to learn how to DJ and learn how to become a mobile DJ and earn money DJing get in touch with us at London Sound Academy. Click here to find out more about LSA, our DJ courses and our DJ gigs.
You can also learn more about DJing with DJ Gym.