Whether you’re playing Cliff Richards’ back catalogue for a 60th birthday party, or showcasing your original material to hordes of EDM-fanatics in Ibiza, there are a few things that you should never be without as a DJ. To make sure that you’re always prepared for your set, we’ve compiled a list of things you’ll need to stay in control behind the decks.
For Local Gigs
1. A Spare Laptop Charger
One day you’ll turn up at a venue and realise that you’ve forgotten your laptop charger and your remaining 5% charge won’t see you through your opening number. Keep a spare one in your bag – it’s not worth the risk.
2. Spare Headphone Adaptor
Their size makes them easily forgettable, but keeping a spare 1/8” headphone adaptor in your gig bag is a must for disaster aversion.
3. Spare USB Cable
I know it sounds obvious, but it’s the sort of thing that you can easily forget unless someone tells you. Keeping one in your bag alongside your laptop charger and headphone adaptor will save you from extra stress.
In the internet age as an artist it’s harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. Everyone has to be their own PR agency. One way to show off your gigs to promoters and fans is to make sure that you take great photos and videos of your sets. Why not rent one from us at Fat Lama?
5. Mix CDs/Vinyl
In order to grow your following, you’re going to have to be proactive. After a gig, get talking to your audience and give a CD or vinyl to whoever’s interested. Doing this and directing them to your mailing list or social media channels will engage people far better and will turn they into loyal fans. You never know where that mixtape might end up!
6. Business Cards
Instead of scribbling your contact info on the back of a napkin, give promoters a printed business card with your contact info on it. This professional approach is far more likely to result in getting booked again.
7. Reserve CD
For emergency use only: if something happens to your laptop or another piece of gear, you need to be able to buy time to sort it out. Keep a long mix on a CD ready for emergencies then you’ll be covered if the worst happens.
8. Ear Plugs
As discussed here, ear plugs are essential for any touring DJ – not just for arena gigs. Wear them before and after your set to keep tinnitus at bay.
9. Freestanding Light
Since you don’t know what the lighting conditions will be like ahead of time, keep a small powered light in your bag, so that no matter what happens you can still see exactly what you’re doing.
For Touring DJs
For the touring DJ, late nights and lots of travelling will soon catch up with you. Water is a surefire way to balance body and mind and keep you on top of your game. Stay hydrated, folks.
If you’ve worked your way onto the international scene, congratulations. Now’s the time to get smart about having the correct visas. In the excitement of securing an overseas booking, one can easily forget. However, whilst you might be a big deal with your online fan base, don’t bank on immigration officers giving you the same preferential treatment.
12. Hard Drive Backup
Travel increases the risk that something may happen to your laptop. To make sure that you’re still able to do your set, pack a spare hard drive with all your music on. Prepare for the worst.
13. In Ear Monitors
Custom in ear monitors are the most efficient form of live foldback possible. They allow you to be in control of your onstage mix and drastically reduce your chances of hearing damage. Well worth the price tag.
If you’ve spilt a drink on your decks the day before a gig, what do you do? The answer – hire DJ equipment. All you need to do it visit Fat Lama, check out our users’ cheap DJ equipment, and you’re off. You’ll never need to panic on the day before a gig again!
Or perhaps you’re looking to fund your push to DJ stardom. In that case, DJ equipment rental is for you. There are loads of budding DJs looking for DJ equipment hire so they can try before they buy or even just dabble on weekends. You may just be surprised how much money you could make from your equipment when you’re not using it.