As DJs, we’re most likely all “gear heads” and tweaking our setups.
One thing that I struggled with for years was creating a mobile workspace that was an authentic reflection of me, my brand, and how I wanted my events to go.
When I first decided that I wanted a nice looking setup, I went for a facade. I received so many compliments on its appearance, but it was just that — a facade that masked the insane mess that was hiding behind it: a laptop, controller, all associated power supplies and signal connections for my subs, mains, wireless mics & transmitters, antennae, booth monitor, lighting, and oh…did I mention I play live music at my events? So yeah…
I was drowning in “spaghetti wires” and no matter how strict I was about my cable management, how early I arrived, and how diligent I was about my cable runs, I always found myself with a rat’s nest at the end of the night.
It had to stop.
I was spending hours at every event unpacking items from cases, plugging things in, routing and securing cables, and don’t even get me started on troubleshooting when I hadn’t plugged something in correctly.
It was bad.
I decided it was time to build something special. There were some really nice DJ booths on the market, but unfortunately, nothing that did what I really wanted it to.
So I went to the drawing board — literally, homework pencils and all.
What did I REALLY want?
- A classy look with straight lines for luxury weddings and events
- No visible computer or cables
- Space for decor such as florals, candles, or lighting
- Cable routing for:
- Computer & Controller
- Live Music
- Wireless Mics & Transmitters
- Power Conditioner
- Booth Monitor
- Connectivity for Additional Performers
- Additional Outputs for Wireless Speakers, Videographer, etc.
- Storage for microphones, antennae, other accessories
- Portable (on wheels)
Inspired by a wedding this past summer where the event designer used a bar facade as part of my booth, I found a local furniture maker who specializes in custom bars.
As for budget, I didn’t go into the project with a set budget, but what I’ve been telling anyone who asks, is “2 weddings” — I think it’s an appropriate way to look at it in our industry, much like an engagement ring should cost “2 months salary.”
We immediately hit it off and he was excited about building such a unique piece. He came up with multiple design concepts and we talked through each of them over the course of a few weeks, until finally agreeing to the design.
We met regularly throughout the 6-week building process, which I found was crucial to the success of the project. We found a few small details that we hadn’t considered along the way — our original design was missing a few holes for cable routing and accessibility. We also decided midway through to make the rack drawer pull out for both accessibility/service as well as creating additional workspace in case it was needed. Tim was able to quickly make the changes that I knew would result in an amazing piece of work.
I brought the booth out to my first event on February 13th. I imagine this will last me for years, and here’s why: Build Quality, and a Classic/Simple Look. The materials and construction of the booth are of outstanding quality. The look isn’t designed to be flashy and trendy, but rather smooth and simple, so that it can be accented by planners and designers and fit into any event design or color palette — whether classic or modern.
Feedback from clients and event industry peers has been incredibly positive. They’ve “never seen anything like it before,’ “It’s so classy,” and “Wow, that looks amazing” have really been the theme.
I shared the booth in the “Great DJ Setups” Facebook group a couple weeks ago when I took the photos, and had lots of similar responses, but of course some DJs were concerned about the mobility, the likelihood of guests placing drinks on it like a bar (there’s actually a new line in my contract about that), or of course snarky comments from the trolls, haha.
The owner of DQB Entertainment in Dallas, Dan Quinn once pranked the kids in his DJ School by informing them that Marshmello and Imagine Dragons had been removed from the library.
He last wrote for DJ Times about the DJ Collective.
To check out more business tips, click here.
DJ Times Magazine is copyright © 2020 by DJ Publishing, Inc. www.djtimes.com