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What DJ Equipment is needed in a typical mobile entertainment setup?

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Question by rlc_60504: What DJ Equipment is needed in a typical mobile entertainment setup?
What is the basic DJ equipment need in a typical mobile entertainment setup…like for weddings and dances? What should I plan on putting down cost wise to purchase it?

Best answer:

Answer by schtupa
A basic set will include:

1 amplifier, stereo or mono. 100 Watt minimum output.
A mixer, at least 2 channel with crossfade, and minimum 1 microphone input. (More inputs equals more flexibility in program. More than 1 mike input means you can provide wireless mike for toasts, etc., from wedding party and guests.
1 Microphone for DJ to make announcements, etc. (See note about wireless mike above for client’s convenience.)
1 Pair speakers rated for amplifier output, or better.
1 pair speaker stands. (Speaker on a stick setup.)
2 CD players.
2 tables, folding, banquet style, min. 6′ long.
1 for equipment, 1 table for holding music library.
1 Cloth to put over table to hide cords, other equipment, etc..
Patch cords (RCA) to connect CD players to Mixer.
Patch cords (RCA) to connect mixer to amp.
Cords to connect amp output to speakers.

Cost for above will vary greatly depending upon quality of speakers and sound system equipment. All prices/costs are in US dollars.
Minimum of $ 1,000 for above, and that is with Radio Shack quality gear. Max of about $ 4000 for above if top of the line pro-gear. Most likely cost for start-up will be about $ 2500 for sound system.
Consider adding equalizer, second pair of speakers, etc. to improve quality of sound.

Even if you are going to play music from hard drives of puter, you better have the CD’s somewhere to show that the music was purchased, otherwise you will encounter some serious legal problems with ASCAP, record companies, etc.

Music library, bare absolute minimum of 500 CD’s if they are Greatest Hits, compilations, and the like. Include most of the “Now That’s What I Call….” variety, as you can get more hits per CD.

Adding light show and effects will cost a lot.
2 bars of 4 lights each, with controller panel will be an easy $ 800. Additional effects will be minimum of $ 250 per.

Tuxedo. Cost $ 200 – $ 500 used, but good quality. (Cut offs and Megadeath tour T-shirts are not gonna cut it at a wedding. Well, not most of them. Parents who will be footing this expense expect professional appearance. (Good news: Haircuts, dental work, music, tuxedo and/or other outfits you wear to gigs……all tax deductible. You are a performer. Your personal appearance is crucial to commercial success.)

Accounting software, and tax software will be crucial. Cost unknown. Depends on what you can use, and what programs will work for you. Some people use fairly cheap programs like Quick Books Pro, cost is $ 200-$ 250?
Using an accountant on retainer – cost from $ 200 per year and up assuming that they do the taxes for you.

Business cards, flyers to post at grocery stores, bars, etc., and other promotions/marketing…about $ 150 will get you a good supply to start.

Advertising is absolutely necessary, and expensive. Depending upon size of market you may need to purchase yellow page ads costing $ 500 – $ 1000 a year.

Online advertising, and website…..cost too variable to estimate. It depends on what you want to do, and what you can do for yourself.
Web page development – $ 0 – $ 1000
with “shopping cart” and credit card checkout $ 250 a year minimum, (plus on average 3% of each sale.)
website hosting – do it yourself for cost of DSL and server with firewall and hacker-proof software to run site, up to pretty reasonable for someone else to host – maybe $ 10-$ 20 per month. (Assuming that they are reliable and online almost all of the time.)

Cost for 2 years of operation, advertising, etc., is going to run you about $ 4000-$ 5000. IF YOU ALREADY HAVE THE MUSIC. (Cost of music computes @ minimum $ 10 per CD of new music.)

Now, realistically how many gigs can you land in a year?
How much revenue will each gig provide?
How many gigs do you need just to break even each year?

Equipment costs, music costs if building library from scratch, operating costs such as business phone (cell,) advertising, etc. will be about $ 10,000. (This is assuming that you have reliable transportation to get to the gigs.)

Good luck.

It was fun and profitable for me for about 20 years. Then I became too old, and not cutting edge enough, to compete with the new kids.

(Rap sucks because people don’t dance to it. If they ain’t dancing, you ain’t gonna get paid or you will get complaints from the check signer, and you will not get word of mouth advertising and repeat business. Gangsta Rap with copkilla and sexually explicit lyrics suck even more because not only will they not dance to it, but the parents are going to be offended. Who pays the bills? Really signs the check to hire your butt? Rarely the kids getting married. Normally the parents. So guess who ya gotta make happy? Count with me now, the lady in white cuz she’s the boss, and whoever popped the bucks for the dance.)

Add your own answer in the comments!

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Posted November 9th, 2012 in 1000 Watt For Sale Online. Tagged: , , , , , .

One comment:

  1. jdrichards1:

    We started up our own little DJ company. We had JBL speakers with Peavey Subwoofers. I would suggest getting two amps to run both (if you get both). We had a conditioner and a mixer, but that’s more for band stuff. We also had a light board so we can easily run our lights from the console. We had a mini-gressor, fogger, strobe, moonflower, laser, rotating beacon and disco ball. All work really well. Songs are very important. A typical DJ has around 10,000 songs at their disposal, and new songs are coming out all the time (and don’t last long either.) It takes quite a bit of money to start off. Our set-up was right around $ 10,000 to start up (with songs and everything).


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