Late nights combined with the occasional significant technical blunder can be exhausting, therefore you must have the correct mindset and physique for the work. We believe that the benefits outweigh the risks of being a wedding DJ. What's wonderful about becoming a wedding DJ is that there's always a need for them.
But before you can land your first wedding DJ work, you need to answer this crucial question: what kind of DJ setup do you prefer for weddings?
It's a lot to take in at first, so we'll provide you with a basic equipment list to help you get organised. Since you'll need a few small things, we've tried to keep it as easy as possible.
Table of Contents
Controller, Mixer, and Deck
To explain, what is a DJ deck? First, let's make sure we're on the same page. There are a few other names for these devices in the DJ community: decks, controllers, and mixers.
Usually, these words refer to the same component within the built-in media player. DJ equipment has advanced to the point where wedding DJs no longer need to haul around bulky flight bags with heavy mixer and a turntable. The groom and bride aren't going to be engaging in a competitive scratching match, so feel free to dress casually and comfortably. But if you're old school and still like to roll around on four solid wheels, we've got you covered there, too, with some handy equipment carts. There are several high-quality DJ controllers available for the rest of us. As a professional who is hired to deliver consistent results, you should invest in a premium controller made for gigs and not your bedroom stereo.
When it comes to DJ equipment, CDJs are another option. CDJs were originally designed to play CDs, serving as the digital equivalent of a turntable.
Most up-to-date CDJs now also support USB flash drive reading. This gives you the freedom to play around with your digital music in the exact way you would with different vinyl records on a turntable. These puppies feel - and sound! - like a dream, thanks to a premium sound card and a stunning touch screen for searching your greatest music on your collection.
The 2000NXS2 gives you a wide variety of options for improving your DJ performance. They support a wide variety of media, including CDs, flash drives, and SD cards, and can even be used as controls for DJ software.
With a staggering 96kHz sampling rate, your digital audio quality may reach new heights, putting the audience in the palm of your hand.
It's important to note that, at this moment, you don't need to purchase extra CDJ decks and mixers in order to perform as a wedding DJ. As a purist, this is the arrangement I like, but you may also consider investing in a DJ setup that has everything built in.
All-in-one DJ setups include a mixer, so no further gear is required to get the party started. Pioneer's Pro DJ XDJ-RX is among the most well-liked DJ equipment options available now. They're convenient for a wedding DJ because you won't need to lug along as much equipment, and you can just place them on a table without any extra cabling to get started.
Want to be a DJ? Check out our post on Is DJing hard to learn?
Cheap Dj Setup With Software and Controllers
It's crucial that your gear doesn't get destroyed in travel because most weddings take place in separate cities or outside areas like a beach or a farmhouse. Since DJ controllers are lightweight, DJs no longer have to lug around bulky equipment like a turntable or mixer. All you really need is a DJ controller and a laptop running DJ software.
Our advice is to hire experienced controllers, as the happy couple will be putting their faith in you. The Pioneer DDJSX3 and similar devices are examples of this. We also advise investing in a professional laptop, one that is functional with all DJ software, if you intend to DJ at weddings on a regular basis.
Laptops are becoming standard issue for many DJs, despite the complaints of "old school" DJs.
A software-running laptop is also more convenient to transport during a wedding than a large number of CDs or records. You'll need DJ-specific programs and a controller (an external device that connects to a computer and gives you more tactile control) in order to use a laptop for wedding gigs.
One advantage of software DJing is that you may perform the mixing process within the programme itself, eliminating the need for an external mixer.
There are now a variety of DJing programmes available for use on computers. While Traktor and Serato were among the first to market, a plethora of new applications have emerged in the years afterwards.
DJs' Vinyl Turntables at a Wedding
There has always been a DJ trying to play cheesy classics at every wedding. It's possible that not all of this music is digitally downloadable, and if you've been a DJ for a while, you probably have a tonne of records that you haven't yet digitised or converted to CD.
And who doesn't love it when the DJ at a wedding pulls out the old one and starts spinning some wax on a vintage turntable setup?
There is nothing better than the original Technics 1210s. These have been the norm for a long time now. If you get a pair of 1210s, you won't need to look at anything else until the next generation comes out.
They are a standard feature of any DJ setup, and the symbol of a wedding disc jockey.
Some new firms have come onto the scene recently offering more low-priced vinyl turntables, and they have some gorgeous designs and items to offer. Your level of commitment as a wedding DJ is proportional to the resources you are willing to invest.
A cool alternative, although one that will necessitate schlepping heavy crates of vinyl around, is a set of quality turntables.
Vinyl is experiencing a renaissance, and as a result, there is a growing desire for vinyl as a wedding music alternative. As opposed to its previous reputation as a relic of the past, vinyl is now considered as forward-thinking and hip.
However, you shouldn't assume that if you're asked to bring a vinyl record to your next wedding DJ gig, you can just grab grandma's old record player and chuck it in the back of the van.
These new record players may look sick, but that doesn't mean you're limited to listening to hip hop; they'll still spin any old jazz records you throw at them.
The wedding's obvious audiophiles will be impressed that you remembered that vinyl equals high-quality audio. In the end, everyone will benefit from the improved sound quality even if they don't know it.
DJ Software: Traktor
Traktor was created by a business based in Germany called Native Instruments. It's an industry standard, thus it works with a wide variety of DJ controllers.
Native Instruments has recently introduced STEMS, a new proprietary audio format that stores all of a song's instruments in a single file.
This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for DJing by allowing for instantaneous remixing. You might want to keep things basic when you get started with wedding gigs, but shows that Traktor is a fantastic programme that advances the field.
You may rest assured that you'll be using a professional-grade piece of software if you choose to begin using Traktor for your wedding gigs.
DJ Software: Serato
Serato is another time-tested DJ programme with deep ties to the hip-hop and scratch DJing traditions. It was the first to implement the digital vinyl technology, in which a record player could be used to play music from a computer.
As one of its selling advantages, Serato's reliability has won it legions of devoted users who insist that it runs flawlessly 24/7 without fail.
For this reason, we call it a "rearguard" initiative. Until the business is confident that adding new features won't affect stability, it typically waits to implement them.
DJ Controller: Korg Kaoss DJ
Korg's solutions are noted for their incredible effectiveness and low price tag. The Korg Kaoss DJ is a compact and reasonably priced DJ controller that is compatible with Traktor and Serato.
The kaoss pad, the standard Korg tactile interface for instantaneous effect addition during a DJ set, is included.
The Kaoss DJ is ideal for a lightweight and portable DJ rig due to its built-in audio system and hardware inputs use with a phone or other external audio source.
Using public address speakers will make your mix sound fantastic. It's important to hire loudspeakers because some weddings are hosted in gigantic cathedrals and receptions may be held in massive banquet rooms. You can turn up the volume without worrying about the sound quality suffering.
For a banquet hall of a moderate size, a pair or quartet of 15-inch speakers or subwoofers should do the trick. The best part is that if you have subwoofers, you won't have to lug along bulky amplifiers. The JBL PRX, QSC K-Series, and PioneerDJ are just a few examples of high-quality speaker and subwoofer brands.
The public address system is probably the most crucial part of your setup. You can't claim to be the best DJ in town if you're using speakers you picked up at a garage sale. It takes a lot of power to cover the space with high-quality sound, which is why many banquet halls and dance halls are so massive. Being able to turn up the volume without sacrificing sound quality is an important skill to have regardless of the venue size.
If you want to sound good, you need have at least two 15" powered speakers and a subwoofer in your public address system. There is no need to lug around bulky power amplifiers and other rack gear made for passive systems thanks to powered speakers. Subwoofers are crucial because they alleviate pressure on your primary speakers by channelling low frequencies (your bass) through a dedicated woofer. This will improve the overall sound quality of your system. The QSC K-Series, JBL PRX Series, and Electro-Voice EKX Series are three excellent examples of powered speaker families. Speaker stands and extended length cables should be included. Make sure everything you buy is compatible with your setup before you buy it.
Eventually, a full public address system may be what you require, but for the time being, high-quality speakers are essential.
Maybe if you're lucky they'll throw in a public address system, but you shouldn't count on it. It should go without saying that you and your company will be responsible for bringing ALL equipment.
So, consider the following. A high-quality public address system will have speakers and, in many cases, a mixer and a mic as well.
The complete PA setup is kind of important even if you aren't obliged to perform any MC'ing because at some point someone will need to use a microphone.
If you've already landed the gig and have a good sense of the people you'll be working with, it's probably a good idea to enquire as to whether or not there is any equipment you shouldn't bring. However, we recommend being prepared to bring whatever is required at short notice.
While a modest set of Hi-Fi speaker systems may do the trick for a house party, a more robust system may be necessary for birthday parties, weddings, and other large events. While there is a whole market for reproducing live music, you may get by with a public address (PA) system as simple as the Peavy audio performer pack or the Behringer Europort EPS500MP3 without spending a fortune.
The larger venues may already have their own sound systems, and you can always rent or upgrade if your current setup isn't cutting it. When it comes to essential pieces of equipment, speakers are near the top of the list.
Wireless microphones should also be a standard part of your setup. A master of ceremonies (MC) is typically present at formal events like weddings and other celebrations to make announcements, give speeches, and keep the event running well. The last thing you need is for a guest to trip over a 30-foot mic line and damage some expensive equipment or worse, hurt themselves. Popular manufacturers of high-quality wireless microphone systems include Shure, Sennheiser, and AKG. Make sure you have the proper wires to transmit the signal from the receivers to the public address system. Always have an extra supply of batteries on hand in case yours dies.
There are usually some sort of speeches, toasts, or other announcements made at weddings. Wireless mics with a long range should be among your gear. That way, no one will trip over the cords while giving a presentation or a speech. Shure, AKG, and Sennheiser are three dependable manufacturers. As a precaution, please double-check that you have the necessary batteries and cables. Furthermore, before starting, make sure the microphone is turned on and functioning.
A decent DJ set for a wedding should feature a wide variety of songs from different genres and time periods. If a DJ really wants to keep the crowd dancing, they need to choose music that fits the mood.
Keep in mind that this isn't your chance to assert your superior taste at the gathering. You'll acquire more gigs if you put in the effort to learn their musical tastes.
Every wedding DJ faces the difficulty of satisfying guests with widely varying musical tastes. As you look for wedding DJ jobs, you can be sure that each client will have specific requests for the music at the reception.
Other folks will come along who have no idea what they want but assume you know all there is to learn regarding music. Prepare yourself.
When choosing the music's era, it's best to stick to tried-and-true options like the 90s and early 2000s, and top 40 songs, especially including some disco and well-known dance numbers for when the atmosphere gets louder.
DJ equipment wouldn't be complete without lighting, which is especially crucial for the after-party. With proper lighting, the stage can become the focal point of the event and add to the entire ambience.
Everyone will be grooving to your mixes on the dance floor at the reception. In order to maximise the impact of the music, synchronising it with strobe lights and laser shows is a must. Lighting that can be synced to the beat of the music is something we highly endorse. The effect will be amplified with this.
It's important to consider lighting and special effects if you want to get people really pumped up and ready to party.
Although each of these points is worthy of its own article, suffice to say that you will likely be expected to carry around at least one mirror ball in your truck. The tone of the music you play at a wedding depends on whether it's a formal affair or a more relaxed celebration.
Lighting is an often-overlooked but crucial piece of equipment for any DJ. The mood, ambience, and atmosphere of a venue all depend on its lighting. A large selection of lighting is a must for any rig. Effective lighting include washes, strobe lights, and lasers. The right lighting can greatly improve the quality of your services and perhaps enable you to charge more for them. Event DJs should invest some time into mastering lighting because it's an important talent.
The event wouldn't be complete without the light show. DMX control is used for remote operation of professional and even beginner lighting rigs. Even if you don't need or want remote control of your lights right now, it's important to think about DMX compatibility in case you decide to add that feature down the road. Using DMX, you may programme elaborate light sequences and synchronise all of your lights to change at the same time.
A Plan B
If your machinery breaks down, it may not be your fault. Regardless of the circumstances, you run the risk of ruining someone's big day. You wouldn't want to be the one person responsible for a wedding not going as planned, believe us. It is strongly suggested that you have spares of all of your machinery on hand. You may want to bring a spare laptop as well as cords, speakers, microphones, and so on. The brilliant plan is to always have an iPad on hand so that you can listen to music regardless of whether or not your other devices are functioning.
Providing musical entertainment at weddings may be a fun and rewarding pastime or career. You have the opportunity to have a significant impact on people's lives by giving them an evening they will never forget.
There are a lot of variables that will determine the kind of gear you utilise. Consider your finances, your long-term goals, and the frequency of your planned performances.
You do not want to screw up the DJing at a wedding because it's such a big deal. It's a chance to put yourself out there and meet interesting new people. Your equipment is the single most crucial factor in your success. The next performance will be a resounding success with the top-tier tools at your disposal.
Becoming a wedding DJ has more upsides than downsides. If you want to start out as a wedding DJ, you'll need to know what gear is required. Since the mixer is already part of an all-in-one DJ system, all you need is a pair of speakers and a deck to start the party. DJs no longer need to tote around heavy gear thanks to the portability of DJ controllers. A DJ controller and a laptop with DJ software are all that's required.
Due to the recent resurgence of the format, many engaged couples are looking to record albums instead of CDs or streaming services for their wedding reception music. In recent years, a slew of new companies have entered the market with attractively designed, inexpensive vinyl turntables. Whether you're using Traktor or Serato, the Korg Kaoss DJ controller is a great choice because it's both portable and affordable. Using PA speakers, your music will sound amazing. Brands like JBL PRX, QSC K-Series, and PioneerDJ produce excellent speakers and subwoofers.
Two 15-inch powered speakers and a subwoofer are minimum requirements for decent sound quality. You can relieve some of the strain on your main speakers by using a subwoofer, which is designed specifically to handle low frequencies. Family units of powered speakers from QSC, JBL, and Electro-Voice are all top-notch. A good wedding DJ set will play songs from many different decades and musical styles. Shure, Sennheiser, and AKG are three well-known companies that produce high-quality wireless microphone systems.
Every DJ at a wedding has to deal with the challenge of playing music that everyone will enjoy. Lighting is an essential aspect of any DJ setup, but it's especially important for the after-party. The stage's lighting plays a significant role in setting the mood for any event. Investing in proper lighting will allow you to provide higher-quality services and increase your profits. It would be terrible to ruin someone's special day because your gear stopped working.
You should have backup parts for all of your machines ready to go. You might wish to bring an extra laptop, as well as cables, speakers, microphones, and the like.
FAQS ABOUT DJ EQUIPMENT
Turntables. Headphones. Vinyl records or a laptop computer. DJ software.
A DJ controller can theoretically be used without speakers connected to its RCA outputs. A DJ controller can only be used when connected to a computer using a USB cable. If the settings are correct, you can listen to music through your laptop's speakers.
The DJ Controller is a combination turntable and mixer that may be used in conjunction with DJ software to facilitate music mixing without the need for additional hardware. A DJ mixer is just that, a mixer, into which individual channels of music from turntables or CDJs can be plugged.
The vast majority of DJs today use paid and free online tools like DJ pools to acquire their music. They pay for music on a monthly basis by the song through a subscription service, or they legally download it for free. DJs who are also producers can employ both the music provided by record labels and their own creations.
Professional wedding DJs will use high-quality speakers to ensure that you and your guests hear clear, high-frequency audio. You and your guests can experience the deep bass tones of the DJ's music with the help of a subwoofer. These two essential components of a DJ setup provide a fantastic sound when used together.
- But before you can land your first wedding DJ work, you need to answer this crucial question: what kind of DJ setup do you prefer for weddings?
- It's a lot to take in at first, so we'll provide you with a basic equipment list to help you get organised.
- When it comes to DJ equipment, CDJs are another option.
- With a staggering 96kHz sampling rate, your digital audio quality may reach new heights, putting the audience in the palm of your hand.
- It's important to note that, at this moment, you don't need to purchase extra CDJ decks and mixers in order to perform as a wedding DJ.
- All you really need is a DJ controller and a laptop running DJ software.
- You'll need DJ-specific programs and a controller (an external device that connects to a computer and gives you more tactile control) in order to use a laptop for wedding gigs.
- A cool alternative, although one that will necessitate schlepping heavy crates of vinyl around, is a set of quality turntables.
- Vinyl is experiencing a renaissance, and as a result, there is a growing desire for vinyl as a wedding music alternative.
- The wedding's obvious audiophiles will be impressed that you remembered that vinyl equals high-quality audio.
- You may rest assured that you'll be using a professional-grade piece of software if you choose to begin using Traktor for your wedding gigs.
- The Korg Kaoss DJ is a compact and reasonably priced DJ controller that is compatible with Traktor and Serato.
- The Kaoss DJ is ideal for a lightweight and portable DJ rig due to its built-in audio system and hardware inputs use with a phone or other external audio source.
- The public address system is probably the most crucial part of your setup.
- If you want to sound good, you need have at least two 15" powered speakers and a subwoofer in your public address system.
- Make sure everything you buy is compatible with your setup before you buy it.
- Eventually, a full public address system may be what you require, but for the time being, high-quality speakers are essential.
- It should go without saying that you and your company will be responsible for bringing ALL equipment.
- A high-quality public address system will have speakers and, in many cases, a mixer and a mic as well.
- When it comes to essential pieces of equipment, speakers are near the top of the list.
- Wireless microphones should also be a standard part of your setup.
- Popular manufacturers of high-quality wireless microphone systems include Shure, Sennheiser, and AKG.
- Make sure you have the proper wires to transmit the signal from the receivers to the public address system.
- If your machinery breaks down, it may not be your fault.
- It is strongly suggested that you have spares of all of your machinery on hand.
- There are a lot of variables that will determine the kind of gear you utilise.
- Consider your finances, your long-term goals, and the frequency of your planned performances.
- Your equipment is the single most crucial factor in your success.