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Podcast Equipment For DJs

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People come up to me and ask about various setups…so I decided to share with all you Podcast enthusiasts out there.  Here is a versatile yet portable setup that I recommend, and yes… travel friendly.

For starters…not everyone is interested in shelling out $1000 for an Apollo audio interface, so here is a budget friendly solution.  You cannot go wrong with a Focusrite Scarlett 212 audio interface ($170 US) this 2-channel device enables an artist to connect microphones, musical instruments, DJ Lines, etc. into a computer via USB on either Mac or PC.  This travel friendly device has an air mode, which allows for brighter tones.  And when paired up with a Cloudlifter CL-1 ($150 US), Mic Activator, you open the possibility to increase +25dB of gain, as it eliminates the hiss and crackles when pushed.  This allows the mic preamp to work more efficiently.

I also recommend connecting a 5’ XLR cable between the CL-1 and 2i2, and another 15’ XLR from the scarlett to the microphone of your choice.  Choose an XLR cable with a lifetime warranty (Mogami Gold, Livewire Elite, Hosa Edge series, etc.), this way, you can get an immediate replacement from your music shop without any hesitation. As for mic of choice, I recommend the Shure sm7b mic ($399 US), cardioid dynamic style, which has been used in recordings such as Michael Jackson’s vocals, broadcasting and many popular Podcast shows.  The sm7b promotes smooth warm vocals, which creates a more engaged listening experience.  Oftentimes, I connect the mic using a Rode PSA1 desk mount, and for other projects, I may connect using an Ultimate PRO-R-T-T telescoping boom stand ($80 US); The Hercules MS401B Transformer tilt ($80 US), is a nice option as well.  Yet either mic stand is fully collapsible, which serves its purpose as part of a travel friendly podcast kit.

Trust Your Gut

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“You have to trust your gut.” – Unknown.

 

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your business and, more importantly, your peace of mind is to pass on an opportunity.

I was looking back on my earlier years in this fun and exciting DJ life. There was a common trend: I took any gig I could get. I was still building our reputation and was learning the ins and outs. Okay, great, Mike, but where on earth is this going? Glad you asked.

Another common trend was events that I took that I just didn’t have a great feeling about had a few things in common:

  1. Underpaid Too time-consuming (very needy clients)
  2. Client nickel and dime me on every little thing (discount or wanting a price reduction because now they didn’t need X they asked for)
  3. The client did not respect my time or what I had to offer.
  4. They kept expecting more, “well you have it so just bring it”

Listen to your gut; if something doesn’t feel right, then don’t take the gig.

Recently I had a potential client who I passed on entirely.

Some important details about this client:

  1. Venue/lodging with food and beverage provided by the establishment is around 38-40K
  2. They would email at 11 pm at night, and by 5:30 am, less than 24 hrs, they would want to know why I haven’t gotten back to them yet. Maybe they worked 3rd shift (who knows, never got that far)
  3. The client wanted to video conference at strange times, and never with their full attention. “I hope it’s okay that we will be exercising on our new stationary bikes during this meeting.” “We will be planting our garden during this meeting. Hopefully that won’t be too distracting for you.”

First and foremost, if they can’t respect YOU with their full attention: WHAT YOU DO IS NOT THAT IMPORTANT TO THEM. Or YOU SPECIFICALLY, the potential client does not RESPECT.

Think about this. Their exercise routine was more important to them than YOU, the DJ is to their event. Or your value was equal to some fresh tomatoes that may or may not come to fruition.

My gut told me to pass. I can’t tell you how many times deep down inside my gut has told me to pass on an event it was correct.

Just a few things that I have seen from other Djs on events I have passed on include:

  1. The DJ received bad reviews
  2. DJ complaining how much of a PITA the client was
  3. The event ended up being a complete train wreck
  4. The DJ was threatened to be sued
  5. The client canceled late, and the DJ held a new open date they could no longer fill.

Some may say I am not flexible enough. The truth is I am ultra-flexible and attentive to my clients’ needs. However, one thing is very different. Those clients respect and value what I am providing for them.

Ultimately I can’t tell you what events are right for you, but if your gut tells you something is wrong or not right with the scenario. RUN!

I want to point out that sometimes your gut is wrong. It isn’t worth my sanity or reputation for the needle in the haystack that it turns out your gut feeling was wrong.

Dealing with Banquet Managers – Caterers

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Dealing with a Banquet Manager (BM) or Caterer can be one of the most important duties you face as a Disc Jockey. Since these people do numerous parties each weekend it is a great idea to MAKE them LOVE YOU! This can sometimes be a very difficult task because not every person you meet is NICE! But, having a BM on your side can increase your referrals as well as have an excellent reference for your future clients.  The following list will help keep you on the BM’s good side:

 

  • Be there 1 hour or more early – Being late, will show them that you are not a professional.
  • Meet with BM as soon as you arrive – items to go over:
  • Where do you load in from?
  • Where do you set up & where are your tables?
  • Where is the closest power outlet?
  • Is your attire appropriate for load in?

Treat their Hall with respect – When loading and unloading equipment :

  • Keep doors closed in summer and winter to save electricity.
  • Do not Scuff the floors or walls with your equipment or hand truck.
  • DO NOT ASK TO EAT! – Ask what kind of dinner is being served, sit down or Buffet, and is cake bagged or for dessert? (They might then offer you a meal)
  • Don’t blast music during your soundcheck – be as quick as you can.
  • When lining up bridal party invite BM with you and introduce them.
  • Always let Banquet Manager know your every move – intros, cake, garter, bouquet, Etc.
  • Ask if now is the right time to do it.
  • Always go along with their way of doing things.
  • If the Banquet manager is clueless or non existent then you should take control if no one else does or can.

At the end of the party remember to say goodbye: This is a good time to ask if they liked your performance, if they recommend DJ’s, if they have a house DJ, or do they want you to be their house DJ! In any case always be polite and make sure you exchange business cards. If they don’t have one you should always write down the BM’s name, name of the hall, and the address or city you are in. This information can help you get future referrals at this venue.

Pro Mobile DJ Acquired By It’s Editor, Chase Jewell!

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Hello Pro Mobile DJ Fans!!!

 

This is your Chairman Emeritus and Editor Chase!  I am pleased to announce that I have completed an agreement to purchase Pro Mobile DJ from the National Association of Mobile Entertainers.  We are happy to continue this amazing site that, from its inception, has been a pillar of education and knowledge for the Mobile DJ Community.  We are so thankful to Carol Keslar and the team at the National Association of Mobile Entertainers for their efforts to continue the site and giving me the opportunity to carry it on for years to come.

We are looking for both writers and advertisers!  If you are interested in writing for us please send a sample article to editor@promobiledj.com  that will help mobile DJs around the world.

I am so happy to be bringing this news to everyone!  This is an amazing step for the future of this publication!  I look forward to bringing great information to everyone who follows us!  We will continue our partnership with the National Association of Mobile Entertainers.  Their partnership will bring great things for Mobile DJs everywhere!

As the late, Great Stan Lee said, “And now, until we meet again, may the blessings of Asgard be showered upon you!”

Excelsior!!!

Peavey Dark Matter DM 112 Speakers

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Peavey Dark Matter DM 112 Speakers
 
I am a proud Peavey Electronics sponsored artist that has used Peavey gear for over 25 years now. Peavey Electronics is revolutionizing the speaker industry with their products. Here is just one of them. The DM 112
In 1975, Peavey revolutionized the working man’s loudspeaker with the SP®1. Now, Peavey does it again with the Dark Matter series of enclosures. Thanks to its new advanced DSP-equipped power section, the high-S.P.L. (Sound Pressure Level) Dark Matter series outperforms any existing enclosure in its category.
The Dark Matter LCD display and associated selector knob allow users to choose various parameters of operation for the DSP-based EQ. This includes bass and treble control access, as well as EQ presets for different applications or speaker positions/locations. These presets provide users with a highly flexible method of configuring the powered speaker system for a specific use with minimal time and effort.
Fan cooled for maximum reliability, the DM 112 features Peavey’s exclusive Quadratic Throat Waveguide™ technology that helps deliver pristine, precise sound.
The ultra-reliable Dark Matter series enclosures are built tough with steel grilles and rugged injection molded cabinets. Their convenient design allows for use as floor monitors or pole-mounted speakers. Perfect for band, DJ or other musical applications, the Dark Matter enclosures produce crystal clear professional audio.

The GigBar Move

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It is not often that a product comes along for the mobile DJ market that gets me excited and lives up to my expectations for what I want it to do. The Gig Bar Move did not disappoint.

I have thankfully been able to log enough events I feel comfortable giving this product a proper review.

The Gig Bar Move is a greatly improved Gig Bar 2.0 with moving heads.

The 800 MSRP is spot on for the value that you get with this fixture. It is worth every penny, at this price. There are some insane deals flying around on the internet right now in regards to The Gig Bar Move which makes it a must buy during this holiday season. I have seen new units on sale as low as 634.00 (as of 12/09/2020)

Is the Gig Bar Move something you are just dreaming to own, but is just out of grasp right now? Well here is your chance to win one! https://www.hollywooddj.com/gigbar-move-contest

Actual real world use:

All in all out of the box this thing is perfect for an ultra quick light show set up, this thing is amazing!

They really paired the moving heads with just the right amount of lumens for the rest of the fixture. The reason for this is not a single person has complained at a wedding that the moving head was blinding them or uncomfortable to them.

This is something that someone would complain about at every single wedding when I had a Gig Bar 2 paired with a duo spot 155 under it.

It pairs beautifully with a Gigbar 2 when the Gigbar Move is set as master and the Gigbar 2 is set to slave. I did have the opportunity to pair The Gig Bar Move with the Gigbar 2 at a few events. The client wanted lots lighting, but the venue had an extremely short set up time so it is great to have compact fast solutions available.

They work wonderfully in concert together, and you can have multiple Gig Bar 2s set as slave if you need that extra lighting and are short on time to set up this makes a great out of the box light show.

After using the Gig Bar Move for a bunch of events and then using the Gig Bar 2 by itself at another event. I realized how spoiled I really was using the Gig Bar Move.

DMX

I did take a whole day to play with it in all the DMX channel modes. It has 35, 17, and 3 channel programming options available. I spent the most time playing with the 35 channel mode and I can say for sure that you can program each and every light fixture on this to your desire.

A common question I have gotten from other DJs is: Can you control the moving heads independently? The answer is YES, you will need to be in 35 channel mode to do so. For the technical snobs out there 12 channels have been dedicated to just the moving heads in 35 channel DMX mode.

 

What is included:

For those who are familiar with the gig bar family line of products you will find it still comes with some familiar features just like before a ir remote, and a wireless foot pedal, a carrying case, a tripod light stand, tripod stand carrying case, some stickers, an owners manual, and a power cord.

Though I should mention the power cord that came with mine was rather short, so you will need to pack an extension cord if you plan on using the power cable that comes with.

The foot pedal controls power source has been upgraded to a more commonly found battery 9v

The menu screen on the back of the unit is now a full color easy to navigate full color menu screen.

Which is good that they upgraded the menu screen because this unit really has a lot to offer both in stand alone mode and for the more experienced users who want to program their own dmx scenes. It is nice to see some high end features trickling down to the entry level market of lighting fixtures.

For stand alone users they have created what they call totem mode that really works well. Though perhaps they should take some ques in the future from speaker manufacture settings such as “stage, wall, pole, etc) realistically this mode is perfect for when you have this unit along the wall.

The automatic mode has many pre programmed scenes and sound mode will gladly cycle through them to the beat of the music. You can also tell the unit to turn off or not use certain fixtures as well through the menu with out the need for dmx programming.

This unit probably would have been all the talk of Mobile djs this year but 2020 happened. Some Djs have not seen a single gig since the actual release of this product. Others have been able to some events during these unusual times.

Notice:

If you purchased the gig bar move early on in the year or happened to receive one of the early batchs you may need a factory update to its firmware if you are running the unit in sound mode.

Not all units but some units running the firmware 1.0 may need upgraded to 1.0x Unfortunately that means shipping the unit back to Chauvet to have them update this.

So how do you know if you need this firmware update? If in sound mode, and you have version 1.0 installed on your unit and it is non responsive to sound.

The best way I can describe this flaw is as follows, if you have the sensitivity settings set low say 40 and when you introduce loud music the unit basically stops moving, but when there is silence the unit is going crazy. You need a firmware update.

You don’t need this update if you are planning on using this unit in dmx or automatic mode solely.

Keeping the box is advisable at least until you know for sure if it needs sent back for a reprogramming.

Room for future growth:

Don’t let this prevent you from buying a Gig Bar Move. I am buying a gig bar move for every member on my team.

I don’t foresee Chauvet releasing an updated model any time soon.

Since I don’t have a direct line to the research and development team over at Chauvet, these are my requests:

Some things that I would love to see in the future say on a Gig Bar Move 2.0 or Gig Bar Move Pro

Brighter Moving heads say 32w light engines like on the duo spot 155’s or brighter, brighter and more refined Hex lighting on the par or even a cob cannons in their place. The Derbies upgraded to all of the features and brightness found in the mini kintas (add the white led), I can’t tell you how much I wish they had white. each also with the built in laser. Ultimately change out the laser on the top of the unit with a different light fixture all together.

One upgrade to the menu if they went this route would be an intensity setting so you can dim all the light fixtures across the board.

There is one DMX feature I wish the Gig Bar Move had as well, a setting that would allow the whole unit to go to sound activation mode. I know this feature can be integrated as it has been integrated in other fixtures in the past.

A taller more robust lighting tripod.

I would pay significantly more than 800 for a Pro Model of the Gig Bar move, considering I paid more for the duo spot 155 then I did for the entire Gig Bar Move

Disclaimer:

I have no vested interest in Chauvet at the time of writing this 2020. I also have no vested interests in Hollywood DJ, I was not compensated for mentioning or providing a link to their contest. I was not provided a sample unit to keep, or a demo unit to test. I was not compensated in anyway for writing this. These are my opinions and experiences with the Gig Bar Move that I purchased.