If you’re a DJ, making sure your equipment is well protected is one of the most important factors you need to consider. Especially once you start moving up the ranks and upgrading to more advanced gear. Because the hard truth is that the very place you want to be taking your equipment, is the most dangerous environment you can be in. Not to mention all the time during travel and storage. You’ve invested your hard-earned money into expensive gear, so the last thing you want to do is leave it at risk of getting damaged or stolen.
So follow these 10 tips and there’s a good chance your gear will last longer, stay in better condition, and give you a better chance to resell it for more in the future.
- Carry Bags, Hardcases, Workstations & Vinyl Storage
- Protection from spillages!
- Lock up your equipment
- Backups & Cloud Storage
- Clean after each use
- Dust Covers
- Keep your space clear
- Keep a checklist
- Protect Your Ears
DJ Cases & Bags
The first and most essential method for keeping your DJ equipment protected is to make sure you have the right carry bags and/or hard shell cases! Not only will these cases do a great job protecting your DJ equipment from damage, but they also limit the amount of exposure to dust, especially during storage. DJ City have a massive range of DJ equipment cases from all the biggest brands. Including Magma, UDG, Pioneer DJ, and Litecase.
Road Cases & Hardshell cases
It’s no surprise that hardshell cases offer the most protection for your DJ equipment. Hence why these are the type of cases you’ll see being loaded onto trucks by roadies for bands and artists. They’re heavy-duty and often feature foam padding designed to perfectly suit your specific turntable, DJ controller, or mixer. What’s more, a lot of them even have “leave-in-case designs” as well as sliding laptop shelves and removable front panels for accessing your inputs and outputs. Allowing you to keep your equipment neatly and tightly protected in your case even while you’re performing.
If you’re a mobile or touring DJ, these cases will look professional, while ensuring maximum protection. However, they do have their downside, esepcially if you’re trying to set up in a confined DJ booth. Road cases are usually heavy and bulky, so it can be a pain and add some time to your set up and pack up times if you do need to take your gear out of the case.
In saying that, they’re always going to give you much more protection for your DJ equipment than the soft-case alternative.
SHOP: DJ Road Cases
Softcases / DJ Bags
For many performing musicians, a soft case DJ bag such as the Magma CTRL Case is all you’ll need. These cases are minimal in design and perfectly fit your controller. If you’re lucky, they might also fit the cables to go with it, but not much else. You can usually carry these cases by using either carry handles or shoulder straps. However, they offer a significantly lower level of protection than a hard case. So if you do happen to drop or bump your case, there’s every chance you’re going to do some damage to what’s inside.
You also can’t use these cases to DJ while your controller is still inside because you’re unable to access the front or rear panels to plug in your cables. So they’re really only suitable for transport and storage.
But at the end of the day, a case like this is always going to trump no case at all, and they do have their benefits. Like being able to whip your controller out of the case quickly and easily, as well as being much more affordable.
SHOP: DJ Bags
Another storage solution for protecting your DJ equipment (in this case your records) is vinyl storage! Especially important if you’re a traditional vinyl DJ, you need to make sure your precious records are kept safe both in transport and in storage.
Depending on the size of your record collection, there are a number of options you can choose from including hard cases, sling bags, and trolley cases. These also work great to protect your back, because no one wants to lug around massive amounts of vinyl. If you’re a vinyl DJ, you’d know it’s definitely not light work!
Protection From Spillages!
Whether you’re DJing at home, at a club, or at a party. There’s a good chance there’s going to be drinks scattered all around the place. So you’re going to want to make sure your stuff is elevated and out of the way, so there’s no chance of spillage!
If you have a suitable road case with a DJ in case design and laptop shelf, you might have everything you need to keep your gear safe. But if not, there are a number of actions you can take to further protecting your gear.
For one, laptop stands will not only help with ergonomics, but keep your laptop away from any liquids. Because if you’re using a DVS System or a controller that’s not standalone, you’re going to be in a whole heap of trouble if a drunk person knocks a drink over and renders your laptop unusable!
If you’re still spinning vinyl, you might even want to look into isolation pads for your turntables that will keep them raised while also minimizing vibrations and low-frequency feedback.
Lock Up Your Gear
To some its just common sense, but unfortunately, you can’t just leave your equipment laying around at a venue and expect things not to go missing! If possible, organize a space in advance where you can keep your equipment locked up and secure. This is just as important for insurance claims if something were to go wrong. Because many companies will leave you hanging if you carelessly left your gear lying around.
If there’s really nowhere to put your gear safely and securely, the best thing you can do is hold onto your stuff for the rest of the night. It might be heavy and a bit more of an effort, but you’d rather be slightly uncomfortable than lose all your expensive gear and hard drives with your entire music collection.
Backups & Cloud Storage
Things go missing, especially when they come in the form of a tiny USB stick!
If you’re DJing at events and venues, then chances are you’re either playing music straight from your USB, portable hard drive, or the internal hard drive on your laptop. Whichever the case may be, you need to make sure your music is backed up!
USBs are a convenient way for easily taking your music to and from your set, but they’re constantly going missing. So you definitely don’t want the USB to be the only place your music exists. This is especially important if your USB has your original productions and or mashups that you’ve spent hours upon hours creating. Keeping your USB’s on a lanyard with your keys is also going to minimize the chance of you losing it!
You’ll either want to make sure your music is backed up onto another external hard drive, or better yet have it stored on the cloud. The benefits of cloud storage mean you can log in and access your tunes wherever you may be if something should happen to your original USB drive. What’s more, it’s becoming more and more affordable to get hold of a substantial amount of storage space. Whether you’re using Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox, you’ll be able to find a plan that suits you and offers enough storage to keep all your music backed up at once.
Clean Your Gear
Making sure your DJ equipment is regularly cleaned is going to go a long way in extending the lifespan of your gear. It’s something that’s neglected by so many, but it’s a simple process that requires a minimum amount of effort. Whether you’re playing at a club, festival, or party; these events are usually sweaty & humid places. So they’re practically breeding grounds for accumulating unwanted dirt and moisture in the crevices of your gear.
Note: It’s important to use a microfibre cloth so you don’t scratch the delicate areas of your equipment like your jog wheels and LCD screens.
Another tip that goes hand in hand with cleaning your gear is to pick up some protective covers for your controllers. These will go a long way in minimizing dust built up that can get into the tiny crevices of your equipment and make it even harder to clean.
This is especially important if you’ve got a home setup. Because I probably don’t need to tell you how much dust can accumulate after you neglect your equipment for a few days, let alone weeks & months.
On the other hand, if you’re playing at a wedding, party, or other events; dust covers help to protect your DJ equipment in the interim. It also adds another layer of protection against drunk people spilling their drinks on your equipment. A popular option is the Decksaver which offers specific options to suit most of the common DJ Controllers.
Keep your space clear
When you’re set up in the DJ booth, it’s a good idea to keep your distance and protect your space. When people are partying, they’re drinking and they’re having fun. They’re also the last people you want hanging around thousands of dollars worth of equipment because theirs a good chance they’ll either do something to put you off your set or worse. Spill a drink and ruin your equipment altogether.
So try and refrain from being the social butterfly and know your gear will be kept safe and out of harm’s way. This will also work to minimize the chances of any of your valuable equipment getting stolen during your performance.
Keep a checklist
Depending on the gig you’re playing, you’ll likely have a different set of equipment you’ll need to bring along. For instance, if you’re playing at a nightclub or festival, you might only need to bring your USBs with your music, and your DJ Headphones. However, for most mobile DJ gigs, you’ll need to bring your whole setup including your Controller, Headphones, Speakers, Laptop, Lighting, and the list goes on.
The best advice is to write a dedicated checklist of all your equipment for each event you play. There’s two benefits to doing this. Firstly, writing a list before you head to your gig means you’ll be less likely to forget an important piece of equipment. But it’s also just as beneficial for ensuring you never leave a venue without anything.
Make sure your equipment is covered by insurance! Following all these tips is going to go a long way in keeping your DJ equipment protected. However, keeping your gear insured is going to give you that little bit extra reassurance that you’re covered in all situations. But like any insurance, it’s important to go over the details of your cover closely so you’re aware of exactly what and what not you’re covered for.
Protect your ears!
We’ve spoken about ways for protecting the majority of your expensive DJ equipment, but what about the most invaluable asset of them all. Your ears!
As a DJ you have to be extremely careful to protect your ears at all costs. You rely on your hearing to do your job, so once you start doing damage to your ears, you’ll also be putting your income in jeopardy.
That’s why it’s important that you get yourself a set of musicians’ earplugs that you wear both when you’re performing on stage, as well as when you’re in the audience! Because most live concerts clock in at 100 decibels or so towards the back of the room where the sound desk is. And if you’re the DJ, it’s going to be even louder.
The question is though, which earplugs are going to protect your ears without ruining the vibe or making it difficult to hear what you’re cueing up?
Standard foam earplugs protect your hearing. But they can also degrade the quality of the music, and can kill the experience altogether. So make sure you pick up a set of high fidelity earplugs that will keep the precise tonal quality. While filtering out the damaging volume from hitting your delicate ears.
The Final Say
It goes without saying, buying expensive DJ Equipment can be quite a big investment. So not only do you want to protect your DJ equipment for financial reasons. But you also want to make sure everything is in working order when you rock up to your next gig! So doing things like buying a dedicated case for your equipment is something you shouldn’t hold off getting!