We’ve all been there… You’ve spent weeks preparing the perfect set list. All your gear is unpacked and you’re ready to hit PLAY. But no matter how prepared you are, there’s always the unpredictable: the things you forgot, the problems that could have been avoided, or the things that could have made your gig easier. It’s impossible to know it all. Anyone who claims they do, is just plain wrong.
I asked the team what their one piece of wisdom they’d impart on the gigging DJ, like a fortune cookie wearing headphones. After rattling off a huge list of suggestions between them, I finally got Mark, Ray, And Jared down to one each. Here’s what they said…
Label up your power supplies when you get them.
Make Friends With The Fucking Sound Engineer.
Know how to set your shit up in the dark.
And my one bit of wisdom, that’s stuck with me for a long time?
Years ago, I was hiring a PA system from a local sound&light shop, with one of the staff helping to pack up all the speakers, amplifiers and cables. This guy was a grizzled DJ veteran. He’d been both a club and mobile DJ at times, and had been there, done that. I was stuffing one of the XLR cables into the boot of my car when he grabbed it, and started carefully coiling it up. He said:
“Look. The cables have a natural coil to them, and if you follow that while they aren’t in use, they’ll stay like that much easier, and last longer. Look after your cables, and they’ll look after you.”
That was over 10 years ago, and the advice has stuck with me. I might not always take the ultimate best care of my cables 24/7, but I’ve lived through five years with the same MacBook Pro MagSafe charger, numerous USB and MIDI cables, and countless kettle leads. Now, USB memory sticks on the other hand…
What would be your one essential piece of advice for other DJs? It can be a cool little hack, or an important bit of kit you always keep with you, or even just something you do to mentally prepare for every gig.