Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Lost Art of Setting Up Your Own Equipment

I know a lot of DJ's, mix artists, or whoever else who performs recorded music over a dancefloor, hates setting up equipment before a night. I know most would just love to have the turntables or CDJ's ready to go and just plug their laptop in and play when it's time. I guess I'm an odd ball because this is honestly my favorite part of my night. Don't get me wrong, I hate carrying the heavy stuff in, but once it's there, I'm in my zone.

This is the part where my friends hate how early I will show up to the club when we are out of town because I need that extra time to put all the toys together. I can be quite irritable when people tell me to hurry up because this is the most intimate part of my night. My setup is always changing gig to gig with variations between CDJ's, turntables, MIDI controllers, and HID setups. Not to mention getting the recorders ready for both crowd ambiance and direct audio. Then plugging in my Beta 58 cordless microphone and minimizing feedback around the monitors.  Also, there is an added variable of catering to the opening DJ's needs as well; some use controllers while others use alternatives to the CDJ.

The truth is, getting past the obstacles, and improvising around some challenges, and getting everything to work at it's possible best is the reward. I love doing sound check, when the club is still empty and you can get a taste of the sound system in the empty club and know its strengths and weaknesses. So after spider webbing wires, and improvising challenges, it just feels so much better to play on the instruments knowing the work you put behind setting it up.

It's like being able to race the car you built yourself onto the track. Every different time you go on the track, you tune something or have a new mod to make it drive faster or take that corner better. But in the simple sense of nothing more than two turntables and a Rane mixer, there's no risks or new ventures. Where's the fun in the same Serato screen with the same mixer on the same decks, over and over and over again?

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