Mobile DJ Tips – It’s becoming more and more common for DJs to invest in getting a proper mobile DJ system to allow them to get out on the road, play at various attractions and events, or broaden their professional capabilities. Being a mobile DJ can be financially lucrative as well as stimulating.
In this handy article, we’ll walk you through the basic mobile DJ tips for setting yourself up with a mobile DJ system as well as some tips for getting started. Plus, we’ve included a handy breakdown of the best compact wireless mics on the market to help you as well.
Mobile DJ Tips
Do Your Research
Spending time conducting the research might not be at the top of your mind when getting set up as a mobile DJ. Nonetheless, it’s extraordinarily important to help you make the most of your time and energy, as well as help your investment into the right equipment stretch further. Knowing what sort of gear you need, what sort of events or venues you’ll be DJing in, and how you’re going to be structuring your mobile DJ career from the outset, will set you up for success.
Drill Down On your Niche
Part of the appeal of being a mobile DJ is the ‘world as your oyster’. In reality, you can’t be everywhere at once and knowing what sort of niche you’ll be playing for will certainly help you in your initial set-up. You might be DJing for weddings primarily or children’s parties, for example. Knowing this sort of information will help you orient your DJ career and help you understand where you need to focus on other important factors, such as marketing and self-promotion. Remember to play to your strengths and make your mobile set-up work for you and your niche, and not the other way round.
Spend Money Carefully
Your DJ set-up and equipment is a substantial investment you’ll need to make, and as a mobile DJ it’s even more important because there are various factors you need to consider that a club DJ might not. What range do your mics need to operate over? How easy is it for you to set up and pack up your turntable and speakers? It can be easy to simply go for the newest and shiniest (and most expensive) gear on the market but take the time to evaluate what sort of clients, audiences and events you’ll be playing for and invest accordingly.
Spend Time Learning
From YouTube tutorials to books, and successful DJs’ social media accounts to podcasts, there’s an almost overwhelming amount of information out there about how to become a better DJ. The easy place to start is by finding DJs whose styles inspire you and whose work you admire, and seeking out their music and tips.
Rent or Buy?
Over the long term, it’s almost always more bang for your buck to invest in your own equipment. But for many mobile DJs starting off who either don’t have the funds available just yet (the full set up of gear can get quite expensive) or aren’t yet sure exactly what equipment suits their venues, style and events best, renting is always an option.
When you rent, you can try different models to find the ones that suit you. You don’t have to worry about maintenance or outlay a huge amount of money.
However, buying your own equipment will be financially more efficient over the course of your career. Plus, there’s always the appeal and benefit of being able to customise your own decks, mixers and systems to suit your preferences and needs.
Mobile DJ Equipment Set Up
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all when it comes to mobile DJ setups. You need to take into account a variety of factors such as venue type, audience, vehicle size/transportation and, of course, your budget.
In general, here’s a basic list of the equipment you’ll need as part of your mobile DJ system.
- Turntable, DJ Controller, laptop or CD/Media player (or a combination of all these music devices)
- DJ Mixer
- Microphone (more on this later)
- Electrical components and audio cables
- DJ software
Some mobile DJs, especially those working at parties, bar/bat mitzvahs and weddings, will also bring extra equipment and gear to put on an especially good show. This can include:
All-in-one DJ Mobile Set Ups
There are plenty of all-in-one DJ systems and set ups like the XDJ-RX3 that make for easy portability and use. Sometimes these systems are referred to as standalone DJ controllers, for obvious reasons, and can be a great alternative to DJing with a laptop. One thing to note about mobile DJ systems is that the technology does tend to evolve fairly rapidly, so make sure to take this into account.
When you do start looking into and comparing different mobile DJ controllers, there are a couple of pointers to bear in mind.
- Are the controls optimised for easy performance?
- Does it offer flexible media support?
- What is the sound quality?
- Which creative features are included?
- What sort of screen display does it have?
- How user-friendly is it?
- How compact is it?
Input Devices – Turntables and CD Decks
As you probably know, mixing and mashing tunes together necessitates you have at least two different input devices. Some DJs prefer turntables and others favour decks. Both types of device have a wide range of makes and models available. As a mobile DJ, you need to give consideration to more than just audio quality or personal preference. You’re going to be setting up, packing away and transporting your input devices. So what are the pros and cons of each type of device?
Classic, high quality, and iconic, there’s a lot of appeal to a turntable. As a mobile DJ, it’s more than the added expense of vinyl though that you need to consider. Turntables and vinyls are bulkier, which makes transportation and set up a little more challenging.
CD decks are really practical for a mobile DJ, especially for those of you with plenty of CDs in your collection already. But you do lose the authentic scratch effect of a turntable and the other audio quality benefits. Although typically, you won’t find many DJs still using CDs which is why the latest flagship CDJ3000 from Pioneer DJ has removed the CD drive all together.
DJ Wireless Mic Set Ups
When it comes to mobile DJing, few things are quite as necessary as a wireless microphone. No more cords getting tangled up on stage and no more limited movement across dance floors, function halls, or outdoor events. Wireless mics offer the kind of freedom you need without any of the hassles of adaptors, power outlets and cord nuisance. Not to mention that wireless mics tend to be lighter and easier to handle ergonomically than traditional mics, without compromising on battery life or quality of sound.
What To Look For In Your Wireless Mics
You simply don’t want to have to worry about your wireless mic dropping out. Many modern microphones come with back-up circuits, also called a diverse circuitry system, complete with two separate radio receiver modules. These signals ensure the strongest connection via antenna and reduce the likelihood of your audio failing you. When it comes to a wireless mic, this system is often not possible so you need to ensure you purchase a high quality microphone that you can rely on.
When you’re a mobile DJ, you often don’t have control or even knowledge of what sort of signal interference you’re likely to encounter. Big events, in particular, might have other wireless systems running. A wireless microphone with multiple signal pathways and a barcode frequency range will help you mitigate the negative effects of frequency interference.
Most wireless systems come with solid LED or similar displays to give you feedback about your configuration, increase your level of control, and ensure you have a handle on all your gear and equipment. Your microphone should also have clear and easily readable displays so that you know what sort of signal strength you have, what channel you’re using, and how much battery you still have. The more information the better!
Top Wireless Microphones
To help you out, here are a pick of some of the best and most popular wireless mics for mobile DJs.
Top Overall Wireless Microphone
The Shure BLX288/PG58 Dual Channel Handheld Wireless System regularly tops online lists for best wireless microphone. It’s not hard to understand why. Highly reliable without a high price tag, this pro microphone is industry-standard in terms of quality and is based on the reputable SM58 dynamic microphone.
Top Mobile Microphone
Next comes the AKG WMS45 Perception Wireless Vocal Microphone System. This mobile DJ setup brings superb, powerful audio at a much more affordable price. Plus, with a large frequency range it’ll be excellent for use across big, busy events and venues. One thing to note about the AKG, is that it is slightly larger than other wireless mics, but with a system capable of handling up to 8 devices, can you blame it?
Top Budget Microphone
If you’re after something cheaper than both the AKG and the Shure, the Skytec STWM712 Wireless Microphone System is a great choice. The low price tag doesn’t mean it compromises elsewhere. The large frequency range and robust battery life make it really good for mobile DJ use. If you’re MCing for a small wedding or community event, the Skytec should be fine but it might not be up to the larger, louder events requiring something more professional.
Top Range Microphone
As we mentioned before, range is quite important for mobile DJs and the Sennheiser EW D1-835S Evolution Wireless System offers excellent frequency range, even compared to more pricey models. The audio quality is also excellent thanks to its drawing on the technology behind the well-known Evolution line of DJ mics.
Contact Us Today For More Mobile DJ Tips
Our experienced and passionate team loves helping out new and experienced DJs in any way we can! If you’d like to speak to the DJ City team for more handy mobile DJ tips and advice about sets, systems and equipment, feel free to contact us.