Your Questions: Will My Entry-level Kit Sound Rubbish in a Large Venue?

While getting on a bit now, the budget Behringer BCD-2000 is fine for DJing in public on.

While getting on a bit now, the budget Behringer BCD-2000 is fine for DJing in public on.

Reader Grafton K Palmer writes: "I'm a beginner DJ and I'm using a Behringer BCD2000. This hardware has been used in a bar once or twice and has sounded quite poor although I wasn't manning the controls (someone else was using it), but at the same time the bar PA was pretty rubbish. This device is fine for recording straight to wav, but the quality of the sound that comes out of it while live is not perfect from what I've witnessed."

"I'm not a professional DJ and know little about sound systems and much of what I've read [in the comments of the Digital DJ Tips post DJing in Nightclubs with Controllers and Laptops] has put me right off doing my first gig with it. It's only entry-level equipment and I'm now worried that it'll sound rubbish in a large venue. Wish I hadn't read the above, but it's still good to know!"

Digital DJ Tips says:

Grafton, first things first - don't be put off. You can DJ perfectly well with your kit in any venue. Digital DJing means nobody has to be a professional any more- you just have to have the feel for playing great records to a crowd. That's one of the things that's so good about it!

So, the things to remember are:

1 Use good quality music files that you've listened to critically. Don't rip from You Tube or other sub-optimal sources and expect them to sound good. WAVs are nice, but MP3s are fine. 256kbps or 320kbps is optimal - I am personally happy playing 192kbps MP3s that I am sure sound good, but try not to go lower than that. And listen to them first - a high kbps is no guarantee it will sound any good. However, once you have listened, trust your ears and stop worrying.

2. Read 7 Easy Ways To Sound Better Than Other DJs. Read the comments at the end from readers, too - there's some great advice there.

3. Try and have a soundcheck in the venue before anyone's there - maybe even a week or two before. Then you'll have time to address any concerns. That also means you'll have time to come back here and ask us to help if need be. :)

Finally, nobody plays a perfect gig, ever. That's fine. DJing is not life-critical stuff - it's just playing records to a load of people who are drinking, partying, trying to cop off, having a laugh with their mates... and maybe even paying attention to the tunes every now and then if you're lucky.

The harsh truth is that even dancers don't know or really care what they're dancing to half the time. So don't get so hung up about your part in what I'm sure will be a great evening that you don't enjoy it. Have fun and your crowd will have fun with you!

Have you DJed using a Behringer BCD-2000 in public? Have you got any words of encouragement for Grafton? Let us know in the comments.

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Comments

  1. BCD2000 is fine, and yeah you just need to know that the Mp3 you'll use are quality ones. I used BCD once or twice in a gig, my advice is make sure that your laptop is optimised, meaning USB settings have the Allow the computer to turn off this device to
    save power are unchecked in the settings, and have a AVR or any device that will regulate the power for your BCD 2000, so no power surges will crash it. Trust me I experienced this, VDJ just stops when the BCD's power fluctuated...

  2. If you're really worried you can always go and buy a Audio 2 DJ by NI. At 99$ it doesn't break the bank and you get the same audio quality as with the Audio 8 DJ.

  3. Played a hard electro session at the end of a friend's wedding on my Mixtrack + NI A2DJ combo and I was more worried about the hall's PA blowing up than my hardware fucking up.

    Don't worry bout the gear. Save the grief for your playlist. :)

  4. BCD2000 Is quite good, it was my first midi controller. And as Khaled said, you must optimize your laptop, disable the wireless card so you don't hear any clicks. If you can, install a fresh S.O. just for mixing and producing etc, Keep it clean and running smoothly.

    The thing i didn't like about the BCD2000 was that i would crash sometimes and to use it properly with traktor (back then) i had to run some scripts and other softwares. I loved this controller i could say i had my best gig (so far) with it.

    Heres a very usefull webpage to optimize your XP computer for audio. And remember, to avoid clicks disable your wireless card.

    Cheers and have fun with it!

  5. For Sure! Using the BCDJ 3000 with Native instruments Audio DJ 2
    on club sound system. Plugged the DJ2 into the club mixer (unused CDJ channel) and rocked it all night. I dont think the BCDJ on its own would pack much of a punch tho. Overall really like my set up

  6. I've now been using my BCD3000 for over a year, and during that time have played a variety of gigs / parties / festivals at venues large and small, inside and out.I've used it mostly through other mixers, but also direct into a PA.
    It has never let me down, even during a 6 hour marathon in a very damp marquee.
    Sure, the sound quality probably isn't up to A&H or NI standards but I've never had any complaints. One tip (which I've also seen on this site), is to always tear yourself away from the booth and check out the sound for yourself - then you can relax on that front and concentrate on your set.
    I've often thought about upgarding (who wouldn't want the new Kontrol S4!) but to be honest my little rig does exactly what I want it to do (I've tweaked the mapping quite a bit) and you can't ask for more than that!!

  7. Phil Morse says:

    We love the music, not the kit at the end of the day. Get your music ready, stand in front of of a crowd, and play it to them. if you're good, they'll dance.

    SO it's good to hear that your Behringer does the job for you.

  8. Cheers folks. All of your comments have given me plenty to think about. I wasn't aware Phil had created this article about the issues I raised until just moments ago.

    I'm very surprised that you've all contributed and answered my queries and concerns to such a great depth. I half expected a one liner or no response at all over on the Tips Article.

    Everyone's comments are highly motivational and have brought some perspective on the matter. I think I am worrying about nothing. Every time I go out I just have a good time and the only time I'm bothered is when the sound system is that loud it feels like my ear drums are going to burst. I've never really paid any attention to fuzzy sounds after a few beers, shots and/or other intoxicants.

    I'm a linux user and my current Windows installation is only for Traktor, the Scripts, the BCD Drivers and a load of MP3s. I realised that there were far too many glitches having all the usual apps installed so I re-partitioned and dedicated Windows to Traktor and nothing else. This has helped a lot. I've also deleted most MP3s that are of a low bit rate or sound a little rough. Those steps helped a great deal. The DJ2 is probably the next idea I should take on board. The S4 looks great but I do not have that much disposable income at the moment.

    I'm yet to check out the posted links but I thought it was full time I made a comment.

    Big Thanks to all who have made a comment, it's good all good stuff :)

  9. LOL Im a linux user too

    I forgot the website for optimising your Xp here it is:

    http://www.audioforums.com/resources/windows-xp-optimization.html

    Did u tried disabling your wireless card? Not turning it off but rather:
    Start> Connections > Right click on wireless connection > Disable

    Its Good to hear it was usefull!!
    Cheers!

  10. What distro Viktor? Kubuntu on my laptop and Karmic Ubuntu on my dual boot netbook. Distros have come a long way since Red Hat 5 :)

    As for my XP install, I formatted and re-partitioned before installing only the essentials. Many of my peripheral devices such as cam, lan, wifi, are not installed. All the important updates like service pack 3 and some bits and bobs to make SoundForge work are the only things I installed alongside Traktor and the BCD. It runs very well, and much better than it did as a gerneral netbook with many apps and various drivers installed ..

    Cheers, I'll check out the link

  11. Just wanted to add an update to earlier comments - I played my biggest venue yet on Thursday, with the biggest PA, to probably my most discerning audience yet, and I have to say my little Behringer BCD3000 did me proud, sounding fantastic fed straight into the mixing desk. The gig was a great success, and several observers came along to comment on the quality of my kit and sound.
    So get yourself out there, no matter what you are using!!

  12. Phil Morse says:

    To Digitall DJ: great news, just proves you should get out there and do it. Success always trumps perfection, anyway.

  13. I recently remembered this article and figured I should report on what actually happened .. My crossfader was jammed with crud and failed on me that night. It was a disappointment having to throw in the towel early on in the night, but I've learned that maintenance is an essential part of minimising hardware failures. Luckily there were between 5 and 8 other DJs at the event and I was able to do an early change over.

    Left it a little late to comment on this :(

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