Does the amount of gear used make a difference?

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Kacimlangford

Bose L1 Double B1 DJ
Posting on the starting a dj business thread got me thinking.

I talk to, and have seen other djs that think the more lights, and speakers you have, the better it is.

When I first started out, I had 2 speakers I bought from the DJ I worked for. Thanks John. I still use them today. About 2 years in I purchased 2 Mackie 1500 powered subs to use at the first High School dance (Homecoming) I booked. I used them at almost every show after that. Those things are heavy. This year I started leaving them in the trailer at some events based on each room and setup areas. I have never had anyone complain about the sound. Now I think I am getting lazy cause I rarely use them at all.

Same with the lights. I spent around $500 to get my lights when I first started. I got a tree, 4 floods, small Radioshack mirror ball and strobe light, 2 sparklers and a vertigo. I added a bigger strobe and mirror ball a couple years ago. I had to but a new spot for the mirror ball but that is it. No one has ever said I don't have enought lights.

Now, I don't know if I want to get rid of the subs, I paid $2000 for them 3 years ago so I have no idea what I could get for them. I would like to upgrade to either Mackie 450's or the Bose PAS. $1500 vs. $4000. But would either of those systems work with out the subs if i needed the thump like for a school dance?

I guess I went into 2 different subject here but what do you think about the amount of gear someone uses vs. doing a great job with less?

Just wondering why some DJs bring in 2 or 3 times the amount of gear that I do but I have yet to have someone tell me I need more or get a bad review from my customers?

And also any suggestions on what to do with the subs would be appreciated.

Thanks

Karl
 

Brandon Fisher

Active Member
One reason I continue to use the sound system I do is for headroom and ultimately sound quality. Let's face it a system using subs sounds fuller then one that doesn't. I am down to 8 lights from 13 with a better effect. But again I have never had someone say they were disappointed with what I provide eitehr. I think its really a matter of perspective.
 

slikster

New Member
My sound system is above what I need at most venues but like Brandon said it is nice to have the headroom. 2 JBL 118 subs and 2 115 cabs. My light package now consists of 4 chauvet omega 1 lights ,in sound active mode, on two T stands. I do connect them together with a mic cable on each stand to make them work in unison. No more 10 foot truss to haul around.
 

DJRedfox

ProDJ.com Charter Member
Karl -

I use two single 15" Yamaha speakers on stands with four par 36 cans that go to the beat of the music for 95% of all my events. Occasionally, I will add a single sub.

No one has ever commented on my system and I am still booking more shows than ever at even a higher rate. In fact, I get major compliments from the venues on how they have never seen a DJ load out in 15 minutes. They love it because they get to go home earlier.



It's the simple things that count!


Aaron
 

polarsounds

In Self-Imposed Exile
So much of it depends on the event you are doing. This is why more DJs are going to the modular approach, where you can mix and match gear to best fit the specific event.

Since buying my EAW subs a couple of years ago, I have found that I can fill most rooms for most audiences without them, using my standard 4-speaker "full-range" setup. When I am playing for a crowd that requires BOOM, I have BOOM available. (Note - my 4-speaker setup is a bit more... hefty... than most. Your mileage may vary.)

For most used gear, you can expect to get $0.50 to the $1.00. This being the case, I would advise against selling the Mackie subs. But I would suggest maybe bringing one sub to your smaller events to see if you like the sound, then two when you really need the bass.
 
M

Mark Beecher

Guest
I do think the addition of my subwoofer and intell lights contributes to some of my events which generally run 6 or more hours. I wear the venues staff out. But the people at the venues who actually do the referrals are long gone by the end. This is what keeps me from offering an unlimited rate. For me, it would be kind of foolish when I'm cleaning up with overtime. If I offered an unlimited rate would I bring in all the equipment?
hmmm......
 

Chris Wagner

School Dance Moderator
Inadequate sound & lighting would make a difference, but most customers aren't audiofiles anyway.

Most of my shows, schools included, are just a two speaker sound system (with the exception of jobs over $1200).

There's no argument here that subs sound better when used with most systems. But even a solid pair of 12s sound better than a boombox...

Point is, most customers aren't audiofiles. There's no point in bringing in all the stuff most DJs do. DJs are mostly just big "toy" geeks rather than business people. Sorry... but just look at the showroom floor at most conventions... all the googly-eyed DJs who can't wait to buy a new light... then look at how many DJs purchase software and programs designed to make them better business people. Which side has more people?
 

Cali

New Member
Kacimlangford said:
Posting on the starting a dj business thread got me thinking.

I talk to, and have seen other djs that think the more lights, and speakers you have, the better it is.

When I first started out, I had 2 speakers I bought from the DJ I worked for. Thanks John. I still use them today. About 2 years in I purchased 2 Mackie 1500 powered subs to use at the first High School dance (Homecoming) I booked. I used them at almost every show after that. Those things are heavy. This year I started leaving them in the trailer at some events based on each room and setup areas. I have never had anyone complain about the sound. Now I think I am getting lazy cause I rarely use them at all.

Same with the lights. I spent around $500 to get my lights when I first started. I got a tree, 4 floods, small Radioshack mirror ball and strobe light, 2 sparklers and a vertigo. I added a bigger strobe and mirror ball a couple years ago. I had to but a new spot for the mirror ball but that is it. No one has ever said I don't have enought lights.

Now, I don't know if I want to get rid of the subs, I paid $2000 for them 3 years ago so I have no idea what I could get for them. I would like to upgrade to either Mackie 450's or the Bose PAS. $1500 vs. $4000. But would either of those systems work with out the subs if i needed the thump like for a school dance?

I guess I went into 2 different subject here but what do you think about the amount of gear someone uses vs. doing a great job with less?

Just wondering why some DJs bring in 2 or 3 times the amount of gear that I do but I have yet to have someone tell me I need more or get a bad review from my customers?

And also any suggestions on what to do with the subs would be appreciated.

Thanks

Karl
Filling a room with sound is a bit different than filling a room with great sound. I think that's where the differences come in. In order to justify the effort of bringing in a sub(s), an extra amp, and crossover , the sound would have to be quite a bit better than using just the two speakers on stands. In my opinoin the Mackie subs just don't make it worthwhile. They'll get the job done for a high school dance where the order of the day is to go "boom". For a wedding or corportate event I'd want something from EAW, JBL SRX, or the like and I feel the effort is worth setting it up. It adds an element of energy without having that "in your face" sound to it. I think that's why those of us that use EAW or the like such as myself or Polar Sounds will say it's worth doing while others will say it's not all that big of a deal. Before I could afford high quality subs, I used four full range speakers. I would rather do that than use a sub that is in my opinon too boomy.

As far as the guests opionon, most will never know the difference because chances are they will not see a DJ using a top end rig and have nothing better to compare the two speakers on stands to. In the rare instance where a guest might know the difference, they aren't going to say "let's go home" because the DJ rig insn't EAW but instead is going to make the best of everything and just have fun. I've been to events where the DJ is using two powered speakers on sticks and while it's not my idea of great sound, I still had fun. Would I have enjoyed those parties more if EAW subs and tops were used? You Bet! Those of us using a top end rig do know it does create energy and can at times take what would have been a good party to being an even better party. Great sound with low distortion thump gets people excited on the dance floor. My post will be hard for most DJs to comment on as most have never used a top end rig but just the same I thought I'd offer an opinion.
 

Chris Wagner

School Dance Moderator
Cali said:
Would I have enjoyed those parties more if EAW subs and tops were used? You Bet!
Are you being serious? One of the best weddings I attended the DJ used a pair of sx300s for a crowd of 200 or so. I was a groomsman in the wedding and I never once thought to myself "gee, there should really be some subs in that DJ's setup."

Would subs provided a more complete sound. No doubt. But to say someone would have a better time because subs are being used (especially for a wedding) is plain silly.
 
M

Mark Beecher

Guest
The last 2 concerts I saw were Mark Knopfler and a Cole Porter Pops concert (symphony and choir). I marveled at the sound and lighting of both concerts though they were both VERY different. Sound and lighting were well thought out and quite elaborate. I did not think - why does this FANTASTIC talent and entertainment need to go to the trouble of designing a show with this much attention to the sound and lighting? I knew why they did.

I enjoy music more in my wifes car..she has a Bose sound system.
Damn it sounds good.
 

Johnny Dee

Website Design & Success Moderator
Staff member
We do parties with everything from 2 powered speakers on sticks for a small party to a full blown sound and Intell lighting set-up.

There are clients out there that want something special...be it a excellent sound system, Intells, Lasers, video screens etc.

The key to what we go out with is how much we are invoicing the client. If they pay...we play. We are in this business to make money.
 

bill_smith

MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
Just wondering why some DJs bring in 2 or 3 times the amount of gear that I do but I have yet to have someone tell me I need more or get a bad review from my customers?
The amount of gear brought in and performance reviews are indeed mutually exclusive. One does not feed the other.

I suspect that your reviews are based on how you did vs what you brought in.
 

Mass Appeal Ent.

New Member
For years i went with two old peavey SP-2s sitting on the floor, no subs, no stands, nothing; and 1 or 2 dumb lights on top of the speakers. I guess it worked since im still around today.

I basically bring the same sound setup for most of my shows, unless theres not enough room or not enough people. My basic pricing package comes with 2 deluxe scan 250s on a T. My biggest lighting package consists of 16 deluxe scan 250s, 4 mega strobe 2s, 2 dj blades, 2 UV cannons, 4 250d color changers and a single magnum pro fog machine all hung on a 10' cube (borrowed from a buddy). That package takes me an assistant a couple hours to setup and hide all the wires. Best believe i charge top dollar for that package.

I think really the average party person is much more impressed by a great light show than great instrument clarity, to an extent. A subject that hasnt been brought up is listener fatigue. Too much sound gives people a headache and the "need" to leave the dancefloor. DJs can sound a whole lot more "expensive" just by using a simple compressor and sonic maximizer. Try BBEs Maxcom. Itll make your non-bose speakers satisfy the few people who actually care about the true tone of a clarinet. Bass Synthesizers work pretty good in lots of situations where a sub isnt around. Thats technologys way of cheating; making smaller speakers sound like bigger ones. Find ways to setup/breakdown smarter, not harder (or heavier in this case.) Saves our wallets, saves our backs. You can even charge more if you want to.

Again I say, if youre asking if someone should charge more for more stuff; yes. For me its lighting. May the Schwartz be with you.
 

polarsounds

In Self-Imposed Exile
Listener fatigue is more likely to be caused by a pair of underpowered bricks on sticks and a DJ pushing it to 11 than by 4 quality speakers, a pair of subs, and proper amplification filling a room within its normal operating parameters.

I used to have a sonic maximizer. Sold it. The only times I've overheated an amp was when using it, so I don't use it anymore.
 

Corey Rock

Nubsauce Dancer
I've always been a believer that the entertainer (DJ) makes the show and not the amount of equipment. By all means bring enough to fill the room and a light show to illuminate the dance floor. Great entertainers don't need a 5K to 10K sound system or intels for a wedding. A customer only cares about a few things, will he/she show up, will they play my requests, and will they entertain my family and friends.

Now providing sound and lighting for schools is a different animal all together.
 

Mass Appeal Ent.

New Member
I originally had that on my post, about the smaller speakers being cranked to distortion, but i deleted it just before i posted. Alot of the "DJs" ive seen around here have these humongous 6' monster swapmeet special speakers and swapmeet special amps cranked to 11. Theyre probaby loud enough as it is and the djs still want to break eardrums. Thats the listener fatigue im talking about. Smaller speakers seem to do the trick too, and very effectively.

I use 4 mackie SA-1530Z and as of yet no subs. I use them intelligently and together with a bbe maxcom, dbx 120-a bass synth and behringer FBQ1502 EQ, they rock. The mackies are very crisp and clear as they are potent, but for less than $500 in add-ons, these and any other speaker systems really can sound like a million bucks.
 

Mass Appeal Ent.

New Member
Note: By "here" I do not mean here on PRODJ, but rather in my particular area of Southern California. Kindly put your pitchforks down. Thanks hehe
 

BUCKEYES

New Member
I agree with those of you who said to take the right amount of equipment to do the job properly.

Bringing way too much stuff (sound or lights) to a perticular job often times is just an ego boost for the dj, it adds no real value to the event.

Why bring enough sound and lights for a 500 student school dance to a 150 person wedding reception ???

What's the point ???
Besides the older you get the more ways you look to maximize your equipment as so you don't have to bring a s*!t load of stuff to an event.

Of course if you choose to really set up a giant rig everytime, then that's totally up to you.
 

James Kane

New Member
I'm a firm believer that everything should be scaled to the occasion. 300 guests at a wedding? You can handle that with two speakers on sticks as long as the room isn't weird. 300 students at a high school dance? Might want some subwoofers and a nice light show.

Use common sense. You don't need a 10kw system for 150 guests, like a couple guys in my area seem to think they need. :roll: But then a 500 watt system might not be enough for 600 guests either.
 
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