Are You Turning Your Gear On & Off In The Right Order?

Last updated 10 February, 2022


OK so here’s a question. Do you know the right order to turn your DJ gear on in? Sounds crazy, right? Surely it doesn’t matter? Well actually, it does – and while if you get it “wrong” at home, it may make no difference, if you do it wrong in a club, you will look hugely unprofessional.

Indeed, where there’s a big PA system, chances are that at the very least you’ll send almighty “pops” and “bangs” through the PA (incurring the wrath of the sound engineer or venue manager), and at the worst, you could blow a fuse or even a speaker.

So the best practice is simply to know the right way to do it, and get the “muscle memory” built into the way you work forever. So here is the key:

How to turn your gear on

  1. Plug in and turn on anything that plugs IN to your mixer or controller first – That means microphones, CDJs, decks, other controllers
  2. Turn on your mixer or controller – Make sure the master volume control is turned down
  3. Turn on the PA system or speakers – Again, the rule is to make sure the volume control is turned down, then turn the volume up only when all is powered up

By doing it this way, you avoid the chance of accidentally adding/switching on an audio source to a “live” system, which is what causes those loud pops, crackles, buzzes and potentially fuse or speaker-blowing badness.

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How to turn your gear off

  1. Turn down, then turn off, the PA – This cleanly removes all amplification from the system
  2. Turn off your controller or mixer – Doing this next means that nothing you do with the input sources can potentially harm your mixer or controller (very unlikely, but best to be safe)
  3. Turn off your input sources – That’s it!

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It’s simple, but it’s amazing how often you see this done badly – and if you’re honest, you’ve probably done it wrong in the past (I certainly have). But get it right now by thinking about it the next few times you do it, and soon enough you’ll find you’re never putting any more thought into it from now on, and always getting it right.

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