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  • Writer's pictureAndy Przybyla

About the DJ Rig - Why is it Important

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

To any mobile DJ the rig is important, it's the tool of our trade but why do some DJ's feel it important to have a smart, presentable setup and others not so much?

Rigs vary widely, presentation varies hugely, you can get them in black and white, and some are themed. DJs probably care about the look of the rig far more than the client. Some DJs want to give you more, some want to give you less. Let's take a look at what I feel is important and what influence my current rig.


Why do we call them a Rig?

A rig short for rigging is a term used for a set up of equipment which is typically makeshift or to be set up and taken down. In theatre you get the lighting rigs, concerts you get audio rigs, and it's just followed from the big stage that mobile DJs use the term to describe their setup.


Presentation

Sorry but not sorry, I am not putting something that looks horrid in someone's wedding. It really irks me when I see some DJs efforts because it's not hard to be tidy and presentable. I've went for a very balanced and even look that naturally makes it easy to conceal the cabling. I've gone for the same colour throughout using black - after all DJs are the men (and women) in black. You could pay extra for a white rig, but once the lights go off, guess what, it doesn't matter anymore its dark.


Sound

I wanted a system with subs because I love bass. A second reason is that I hate hate hate tripods. Even with scrims I just can't get away with how they look and even when I don't use subs I use weighted speaker stands. This is just something personal but with my DB system I get great sound and great looks.


Lights

Over the years I have tried all sorts for lighting. I'm probably not 100% satisfied with what I have now but it works and looks good. Lighting is on two levels and split between wash lighting for colour and rhythm, and moving heads for great dynamic gobos and movement. I've tried over head bars, podiums, and several other systems but they tend to either look messy or don't have the stability I demand.


Protection

The whole reason behind a DJ booth is to protect your equipment from the dangers of the dance floor. Don't laugh, there are hundred of claims each year for liquid damage, flailing arms smashing laptop screens, podiums getting knocked over and heaven forbid those DJs who put lights on the floor to get kicked. I don't like the fact there is a barrier between me and the party but with over two grands worth of equipment used to play out it needs to be kept safe.


Other Stuff

What you can't see is also of great importance to a successful rig. There are hundreds of pounds of audio cables. I use a brand with a lifetime guarantee and while not cheap, they never break and keep the sound faultless. I have custom made power cables, many rubberised as they are less affected by cold storage and transport. These flow to surge protected extensions to protect everything electrically. A quality radio mic system and dmx controller are situated on the booth. Not forgetting the laptop and DJ controller of course.


Development and Imitation

My rig has certainly developed over the years, and recently has had many DJs copy or take ideas for their own setups. I have to keep evolving and developing to stay ahead of the game. I do pride myself on having one of the best looking setups about and I get loads of comments from other DJs on how nice and presentable it looks.


What don't I like?

Personal preference of course. First I have already said, I hate scrims and covers. Next is uneven rigs - I've seem some use one speaker or have one light stand off to the side, guess I'm a sucker for balance. I hate rigs with too many lights or that have no control and just blind the crowd. I dislike people who spend no time to tidy cables especially when elastic ties cost nothing and are so easy and fast to use. Finally tacky add ons like TV screens or flame effects. I don't mind a nice neon or a themed booth such as rustic if the venue suits.


But going back to the start, for most clients it doesn't matter, they just want high quality entertainment. DJs get obsessed on something that most customers hardly notice, but never forget that for some there has been a huge amount of effort and development put into the rig.



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