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azdeejay

Hi everyone

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Hello Jonathan

Welcome along. Tell us what you do and for how long. Club? Mobile? Specialist? Rig pics? etc...Can we help? Can you help us?!

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Thank you for the welcome guys, sorry its taken me a bit to reply back., little bit about myself, going on 35 this , I come from a line of DJ's, my dad and brother both worked in radio, so its in the blood if you will.   I first got my hand in it back in 1999 , made friends with the DJ that did the bowling allyes Cosmic bowling , and he left me give it ago and work with him.

 

I do mobile and started with it in 2010 doing a bar gig on Friday nights.

 

Right now, I am starting over if you will,  rebuildng the business ,  my last paid gig was in 2013 , it was a wedding, after that, I lost my confidence in myself as a DJ, so I stopped trying to get more gigs and to grow the business.  Part of the reason was didnt have the money to invest, and I needed better equpiment, it was all bottom of the barel crap. 

 

I realized I had a lot learn still, and that is what I have been doing ,  right now, my projected goal is to get started back up 2016,  I slowly working on it,  hopefully going to be purchasing and replace 95% of the crap I have now,  the only thing that I wont be replacing are my mics(buying new mics though) and my DN MC6000 , and my speaker stands.

 

For the last couple of years, I have been doing PA services for my local model club, and our annual model car contest, this I did the announments and raffle price give away thoughout the day,  and did the awards presention (I did not MC it, just set up the equp), its free gig, which I offer to do.

 

IMG_6770_zpsgpl7cr0d.jpg

 

 

I think that about covers it so far

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hey Jonathan - you'll get plenty of help and free advice (and sarcasm lol) here.

 

Doing raffles and awards is a great way to build confidence on the mic and with your presentation. if you can, get a friend to video you doing it so you can play it back later and critique yourself. There are lots of little tips and tricks to learn and little traps and pitfalls to avoid. When I started DJing I had such self confidence issues (after a near breakdown) that I used to pretend the mic wasnt working to avoid announcements - I didnt even have it plugged in! Nowadays I work exclusively as a Wedding DJ and Master of Ceremonies so I had a very sharp learning curve in terms of presentation and voice training. And I'm still learning!

 

Dont get too hung up on equipment. Its great to have fantastic gear but it is better to be out earning money and building your confidence and skills. Build up some savings and look around for some great local used bargains - it can often be better to buy good used equipment than cheap new stuff. then get it working for you and bringing you in some money to reinvest getting where you want to go.

 

Have a look around the forum at the different sections and start threads in the relevant places. Although MDJF is massively quieter than it used to be we have a great core of knowledgeable, helpful and experienced DJs with a wide range of experiences, tastes and interests who will always try to help out

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Thank you Colion,  doing the contest this year, really helpped me,  after a few minutes(and a hour getting the techinal isssues fixed) I was prefectly relaxed on mic, and was actually having a good time, so I think I am going to be ok there.

 

I do agree with you about the equipment,  so far, my expense is going to be in the speakers and getting some lighting,  I dont want to cut corners on speakers this time, its about the most important piece in the chain.    I am going to save money where I can, but going to spend it where it counts, mostly, the speakers and lighting.

 

I will say this a lot more of a freindly forum then some of the other ones

 

Cheers

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Ah you're welcome, Jonathan. Yep we are a friendly bunch here, though we have our cat claw moments too - but usually in a friendly banter way.

 

Spending good money on your audio is a great idea. I bought my RCF system used but in mint condition - bought the bass bin first then the 310 tops then another 705 bin (which I bought new). I used them for over 7 years without any problems at all and only sold them after buying a new FBT system once I moved exclusively into the wedding market. So you can save money and buy good stuff too. In fact my Denon mixer and controller were both secondhand too and I didnt have any problems. I also bought a pair of MC6000s new, one of them was faulty immediately lol!

 

Lighting I would say think very carefully about and buy clever. I know many american DJs can get away with no lighting at all, something which is quite strange for us brits to even consider. It's worth putting quality over quantity and building from there. Always think about your target market when buying your gear. I only work in the wedding market so compact and discreet is what my clients want. No tripods, truss or overheads. Some of the guys here like the big show look with plenty of lights etc - so whatever you go for there is plenty of help.

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I would love to spend RCF type money on the speakers, but thats not gonna happen right now ,  I do however think I have the speakers/sub picked out,  still doing my research though on the speakers in the price range that I want to spend.   As for lighting , I agree, we love our lights here,  but it seems to so they can charge the clients more for serives, and putting on a show, but what I really gather, its all about them , and less about what the clients may really need or want,  of course, thats just my opinion I am gathering from being on the forums for us on this side of the pond. 

 

I am trying to not spend a lot on lighting , but with the package I have built, its sitting at $1000US , I am trying to build flexabiltty into , where i can use it all, or just part of it , whatever the needs may be, I think right now, I have a total of 9 fixtures, and a two tripod truss system . Depending on what my final choice of speakers/sub is, I might add four more Par 4's to it.  Its just seems that if you dont have lights here, you wont make as much money.

 

I envy you and how simple and easy your system sounds, and that is something I am trying to do as well, keeping down the setup/tear down times.

Edited by azdeejay

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Hi Jonathan, I think you are completely wrong about lighting to be honest. Looking at the very top US Wedding DJs they are very similar to here where lighting is usually kept to a minimum.

 

Value clients tend to want to see equipment for their money whereas premium clients want an expert person and a discreet setup. One is about selling 'discos' (equipment) and the other is about selling you as a dj (a service)

 

In fact many US DJs actually dont include lighting in their package and charge it as an extra!

 

Have a look on facebook for Jim Cerrone, Peter Merry, Mark Ferrell for the real top 'visionary' type US DJs and have a look for Brian S Redd for a more working type DJ. You might be very surprised to see what they say and do

 

9 fixtures is a lot of lights. Unless you choose carefully and learn how to control them expertly it is easy to head into a train wreck of lighting. Quality generally wins over quantity

 

Perhaps the exceptions would be if you do a lot of teen parties or 'rave' type parties where a lot of lights could be an advantage. However even then quality over quantity and the more lights you have, the harder you have to work at controlling them.

 

But get your sound right first - that has to be the number one priority. Bad sound can make for an uncomfortable gig. Also look at marketing towards the gigs that suit your skills and equipment then adjust your marketing as your skills increase and your equipment changes.

 

Thats only my opinion of course, others may thin dfferently

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Colin, I think I mispoke a little bit , I was basing my opinion off a limited number of moblile DJ's and what they do, so I was I am not surprised it came across like it did.  I do see a lot of mix,  some include a basic setup, some charge extra , and everything in between.

 

The idea I have in my head with lighting is I can do both a simple light set up, or if the client wants more of a club style feel, I can do that as well,   I would hate to limit myself if I dont need to ,but at the same, why spend more money and get in over my head is also a point.   You did bring up some points that I am pretty sure I did take into consideration.   I am sort of letting the excitment of buying new toys if you will kind of get in the way :D

 

And I agree 100%, the sound is the most important part, and that is what I trying to focus on more than the lighting.

Edited by azdeejay

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I think you hit the nail on the head then. DJs are often gearheads and the vast majority of the time we buy equipment because 'we want to' or because 'we fancy a change' rather than because 'we really need that in order to do our job'. Then we try to justify it.

 

Having spent thousands on gear over the years I never ever use, here is my current way of looking at gear purchases.

 

1 - do I need this to be able to continue what I'm doing (i.e has something broken an needs repairing.

 

2 - do I need this in order to offer something I am currently unable to offer (and if so, I do a business plan)

 

3 - Can I afford it or will I need to finance it and if so how?

 

4 - Is the purchase to upgrade what I do now e.g. better speakers

 

5 - Is the purchase to replace something which I have but no longer need/use

 

 

Those are the main purchasing criteria for me and each one then launches a process. So - for you I'd suggest:

 

1 - How many 'club style feel' gigs do you currently do, and are they well paid?

 

2 - How far ahead are these gigs booked usually?

 

3 - What percentage of these gigs make up your total income?

 

4 - Is this a market you actively wish to persue?

 

 

the thinking is - if you only do a couple of these gigs per year then it is crazy to spend good money on gear. Hire it or borrow it as you need it. If you do need to buy stuff but the gigs are booked 3-6 or more months in advance then dont buy till you need to. Get the bookings first, have some money available in your account and then buy.

 

If these gigs make up just a tiny percentage of your bookings and it is not a market you actively wish to pursue then simply turn them down. Learning which gigs to say no to is a really important part of being a professional DJ.

 

If these gigs make up a large part of your bookings or is a market you want to actively pursue then consider not only the lighting but that you might need tot otally rethink your audio. Personally I turn down gigs for 250+ guests unless the clients have the budget to cover hire costs. Generally though I dont do them these days. I also turn down all enquiries which arent for weddings/renewals/gay weddings etc. I dont do christenings, bar/batmitzvahs, birthday parties, karaoke, race nights, kids parties and so on.

 

I appreciate you cant always specialise straight away but it is worth setting limits and targets for the types and size of gigs you want. 'Club Feel' lighting is a very subjective thing and generally we cant screw lights to the ceilings all around the room so some creative thinking is called for. A simple set of moving heads and some LED washes with perhaps a strobe if that is your thing will cover it - but start getting some bookings under your belt first.

 

I have 4 discharge moving heads. The last time I used all 4 was about 5 years ago. I did use 2 of them about 18 months ago. The rest of the time they sit in their boxes waiting for their next electrical safety test. Then go back in until the next one lol! I have many legnths of truss, winchstands and all sorts of gear that I never, ever use!

 

Try to buy smart and just buy once. It can be really hard but you'll get lots of advice on here

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