Digital DJ Tips reader Royal Tee writes: “We all know to take the obvious to gigs with us (controller, headphones, leads, laptop etc), but I was wondering what else is it advisable for a digital DJ to have with them? I mean, should we have extra audio leads, or adaptors? Should we take our own stands to club booths or is this type of stuff provided nowadays? I don’t want to turn up at my first big show and not have something you’re expected to have.”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Great question. It’s a tale I tell a lot, but I turned up at my first gig with no headphones because I thought they were supplied! That’s how little I knew about how things work! OK, so as a digital DJ, you need to have everything with you to set up your gear how you want it, and only expect the club to provide you with a power socket and a spare channel on their club mixer to plug into.
That means you’ll be taking – as well as the obvious items you mentioned – a laptop stand, the correct leads to plug from your controller to RCA ins on the club mixer, power cables for your laptop and controller, and crucially, some kind of fallback music if your laptop should crash (a few CDs or even a mix on your iPhone or iPod, plus the lead to patch it into your controller or the club’s mixing desk).
Other items I always have include a torch (for getting behind mixers to plug stuff in and out), a small pad and pen, business cards, a camera with a decent flash, and something to eat: Being able to stave off hunger and irritability half-way through a long set is a smart move. I always have spare leads and a spare headphones adaptor, too. Some DJs even carry a “redundant” laptop, ready to take over should their main laptop fail, but that’s a step too far for me. You’ll have to work out how high the stakes at your gig are before deciding if it’s worth doing this; most DJs don’t.
I want to throw this one over to our readers. What do you take with you to gigs apart from the obvious stuff? Anything that’s got you out of jail that you were grateful to have with you? Or have you forgotten something essential that ruined your gig? Please share you thoughts and experiences in the comments.