Digital DJ Tips reader Nick writes: “I have been following all the Digital DJ Tips Tips videos on YouTube for so long and now I finally have had the courage to get my first small gig! It’s just a small house party at a friend’s place, but it’s a start!
“My plan is to just be a casual mobile DJ that does house parties (birthdays, celebrations, family events etc) however I don’t know how I should best work out gear for the events while I’m beginning. For this gig the host has speakers I can use and I don’t need any lights (I already have a controller and laptop), but for future parties is it best to just hire PA speakers and a small basic lighting rig, and if i establish myself more and more buy such gear later? I want to be a digital DJ as I love how fairly inexpensive the gear is in comparison to CDJs and how easy to transport around.”
Digital DJ Tips says:
When I started, I used to hire speakers and lights from a PA/disco hire place and factor it in to the cost of any bookings. Also, I understand your love of the ultra-portability of digital gear, as well as how cheap it is compared to buying a traditional set-up.
So I’d say definitely hire gear at first, but the good news is that lighting is nowadays cheaper, more powerful and more portable than ever before (look at American Audio or Chauvet’s LED ranges, for example, and if you’re going to buy light, start with one or two maximum and take it from there).
There are also some pretty decent PA systems for a steal nowadays too; we were particularly impressed with the LD Dave 12 G3 Compact PA System, which for the price is fantastic, and there are smaller versions available from the same company too; one of the benefits here is that you can use the same sound system as your home system if you like, meaning you don’t need a practice speaker set up as well. As long as you’re only playing small parties, this will suffice.
So, readers, can you advise Nick some more? When you were just starting to take bookings, what did you do for gear? Where should his priorities lie? Buy, or hire? Please share your thoughts in the comments.