On my first gig the one issue I came up with is I couldn't decide what to play next once I had floor going real good. Somehow I think that part takes a series of gigs for practice.
1st gig advice
I own a pair of CDJ-2000’s and a DJM-700 and I’m preparing for my first gig via a private party later this year. As I’ve only had the set-up for about 6 months and it will be my first OBP (outta bedroom performance!) I am going to put a few things in place to reduce the risk of things going pear-shaped.
So in summary….
- I’ve used Rekordbox to analyze my music and set-up appropriate hot cues
- Even though I know I need to be flexible on the night I am preparing a pretty granular playlist, with scope for changes as the night goes on
- It’s fancy dress theme so the first hour or so will be 70’s disco type tunes via a CD of prepared tunes – not much intervention required from me
- The genre then will be radio dance tunes and then some funky/progressive house later – understanding the importance of playing the right choons for the audience
- For the more difficult tracks I am pre-mixing them together via MixMiester (which I’ve used for a few years) – this will make the experience less stressful, so for example I may have 3 tunes mixed back to back to form a single 10 minute tune
- In regards to the DJM-700 mixer I’ll be keeping it simple and not using many (if any) effects
- The venue is a hired function room at an RSL that holds approx 280 people, I’ve seen the set-up and it looks pretty good – 2 main large speakers near the dance floor (no smaller monitors so I’ll use my headphones)
- There is a projector screen so was thinking of connecting a laptop and using their wireless internet connection to play appropriate YouTube clips (via a prepared playlist) through the night (would obviously need to test the internet connection beforehand). I know the top of the line MixMiester version allows VJ mixing – obviously once again would be prepared prior but this could be overkill
So a few questions….
The DJ area is not too far from the dance floor however in a corner and not elevated to avoid drunken punters. I am going to use my own gear so would you recommend using their “standard height table with black tablecloth” or hiring an appropriate DJ table to sit the decks on? Then perhaps their table in front to keep people at a distance from the front of the decks…. I am conscience of drinks and spillage.
Also would you recommend keeping the decks/mixer in its flight case? I think this is the best option however I don’t practice with this set-up at home but don’t see this as a massive issue. It may just come down to personal preference not sure.
So looking forward to your feedback on above… and any other recommendations you may have.
I have another one coming up, and I am still going through horrible process of having to rename all my tracks and put them correctly set for the right key etc. I haven't set any cues on any of my tracks, perhaps I should and it might make mixing a bit easier though.
Personally I do not like that cloth sheet design that many DJ's use to put on speaker stands and what not. I'd much prefer simple nice looking DJ table, but all those sheets they have look horrid to me. That is just me though - I don' t know if the rest of the setup you have will be like that.
I don't have flight cases for my CDJ's/Xone 92. Kept meaning to buy them but haven't traveled with them much. If I do. I Have 3 Rubbermaid containers I can place them in that will work just find and they will keep them airtight.
What kind of speakers do they have? Just curious. Do you have your own PA to bring if desired?
I used MixMiester for ages because I was too tired to stand up and mix on my 1200 M3D's (before I sold them). Right now i use to to come up with transitions, (just the express version). I've never done video so I can't comment on that part of it. I'd say (from my own experience in learning gigs) watch the people as much as you can/interact - that will make the experience more fun for you.
Its good you have transitions pre-set because it will allow you to pay more attention to the dance floor then searching for tracks. I want to say - don't think so much about the technical aspect too much. I went on my first gig with no expectations. I wasn't being paid for it (but I wad given a nice amount of cash for some donations) form the venue owner (tips I guess).
Great many thanks. I'm not being paid and I'm organizing the night for fund raising. I'd better find out the speakers that exist at the venue. Thx
Throw a house party with a bunch of friends... set your rig up and play for them. Get yourself comfortable in front of a friendly crowd. You'll find that most of us started out that way.
@captjohnno > If you've the confidence to take on the gig I'm sure you'll do just great. Always have an ample music library and ALWAYS bring a back up. It also helps if you can meet the organiser and get a feel for what kind of crowd you will be playing to.
If you can get down to the venue a day or two beforehand and try out the speakers and setup there I definitely would.
I am the organiser so I will know what to expect with the crowd.
In regards to their sound system - this is what they have advised below. This doesn't mean a lot to me, anyone else comment on this set-up? So would my DJM-700 mixer go through theirs or not required and go straight to the speakers? Sorry unsure how that set-up works.
FCF speakers and a POREL 8 Channel mixing console
@captjohnno > Good luck. I'd probably take their mixer out of the loop, I'd imagine they use it for conferences rather than parties, go check out the actual sound of it all before the night. but remember the hall will sound different with people in it. I've used a mixing board in my set up before and TBH it's not needed. I used mine for a crazy multi zone set up I had which was so much hassle I stopped using it.
You'll need to check the power points to make sure there are enough free ones for you to use and that you know where the fuse box is
I mainly carry and use my set up sat safely in a coffin if the area allows it, that way I just unplug, locked down the lid and roll out. I did a gig at the weekend and from the door to switching on took me 10mins
Great advice I'll go test it out soon...... I assume those speakers will have enough kick.
OK I've organised to go to the venue in 2 weeks and connect my unit.
Question - as suggested above I'll take their mixer out of the equation and connect my DJM-700 to their FCF speakers.
At present at home I'm using RCA cables to connect to my home amp/stereo via MASTER 2 and the MASTER ATT. is set at -3db.
When I connect at the venue I assume I will be using their XLR speaker cables into my mixer MASTER. Should I adjust the MASTER ATT.? Not entirely sure why it's set at -3db as I don't recall moving this if the default is 0db.
If I do use monitors i'll connect these via the BOOTH RCA - although unsure if I'll do this, may rely on the venue speakers and my headphones as the venue is rather small holding around 300 people.
FInally any tips when connecting the speakers via the cable... always CDJ and Mixer power off and volume down, then turn on and test gradually?
I know of RCF speakers but never heard of FCF but if they're powered you right you'll just need to plug the XLR's in to the mixer. When I play a gig with my PA I like to get there early to allow the amps and coils time to warm up as the sound gets better. If you can use a monitor do so; I find it much better than just using headphones. I use the same DJM700 so have fun and rock da house.
@captjohno > No need to worry about the master attenuation. If you can get someone to go down there with you so they can test out the sound from the back of the room that would be beneficial too.
Ok so I sussed out the venue last night and connected my decks to the sound system. I took the advice above and avoided their mixer and connected the speakers straight into my DJM-700 via XLR. I know the sound level in the room will change with 280 people present, however even with my mixer set correctly in regards to not hitting the red, my master volume green lights were barely going past the very lowest level and it was still relatively loud - so plenty of room to increase the volume so I am thinking these speakers will be fine.
The speakers are http://www.rcf.it/products/pro-speaker-systems/art-series/art-322-a
Those are some great speakers. Sounds like you've everything in order and good to go - now enjoy it!
I have 2 RCF 312A's and a 4Pro 8003-AS just arrived. I will be using that with those tops
And i haven't tried them out yet with that sub.
Can't afford the updated 312-A's now but I think it should be a good contender with just this setup alone.