“Back in the day” when mobiles first converted from records to CDs, many of today’s veterans put together a core music library consisting of the ETV Network Platinum Series, the Mobile Beat 24-disc series and DJ Tools.
Since these are are no longer available (and apparently were never legal), how is a new mobile DJ to build a music library on a budget?
Music Library Essentials
A comprehensive collection contains cocktail, dinner and dancing music that spans the 1940’s to the present. It includes multiple music genres (e.g., Top 40, Country, Big Band, Hip-Hop, etc.) Your library also needs to incorporate novelty, holiday, religious and ethnic music as well as sound effects and DJ Drops. For some of these types of music, ProMobileDJ suggests you visit http://www.bmpcd.com/catalog.
Stretch Your Music Dollar
Whether you are starting a new collection or would like a more affordable way to purchase music, the key to stretching your music dollar is to only buy what you need for events. This will, of course, depend on the market(s) you serve. DJ Intelligence has a list of the Top 200 most requested songs, which can help you with what tunes you’ll need:
Now that you’ve got the lists, here are some helpful ways to catch up to the present with your music:
- Time-Life Music Series
- NOW! Series
- Ultimate Collection CDs
- Back catalogs from pro-DJ music and remix services
- Record store used CD sections
DJ Music Services
For a mobile to stay current, there are subscription services for professional DJs that offer CDs and MP3 downloads for virtually every type of event and audience. Personally, I subscribe to the Promo Only Mainstream Radio and Country Radio series. Here’s a look at the top contenders to take a look at:
For the remix loving DJ doing gigs for younger audiences who like a dance music style approach, check out these services:
Do It Legally
To lower their costs, some DJs think nothing of buying a single copy of a CD and duplicating it or downloading pirated music from the internet. Please don’t. It’s a shady business practice that reflects poorly on our industry. The best way to save money and maintain your professional integrity is by carefully selecting the music you buy and from whom you buy it.
In another post, I’ll talk about ways to organize and manage your playlist. In the meantime, if you have any other ideas for building a music library on a budget, please share them!