Buying equipment for college bar
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  1. #1

    Default Buying equipment for college bar

    So my college bar manager wants to buy some DJ equipment for the bar. It's just a little bar, they have some sound equipment (it's a bit shit but oh well) but basically he wants to get some equipment so they invite student DJs in every Friday night and play. He suggested a mixer, a 'dual cd player' and some lighting, and said he could get a laptop free from the IT department. Here's the problem though - his budget is 500.

    There are a few things to bear in mind though - the people who he'll be wanting to get in won't be mega professionals or anything like that, and he also wants to use it out of term time when the college accommodation gets booked up for summer schools and similar stuff.

    Basically, I think there's a couple of options - get a couple of cheap CD-decks and a mixer, which isn't really going to impress anyone, but looks better than the other option - use this laptop, get traktor on it and buy a MIDI controller. The problem with the cd-decks is that anyone who wants to use them will need to learn to use them, whereas pretty much anyone can get the basics of traktor and a MIDI controller. The problem with that, however, is that no semi-established (ie knows how to work either their own kit or a standard club setup) is going to want to come in and DJ on our shitty laptop.

    I could possibly persuade them to up the budget a bit, but it's going to be tricky. Just wondering if anyone had any suggestions or advice on what to say to him?

  2. #2
    DJTT Tankard fullenglishpint's Avatar
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    If you can up the budget to 750 then you could get an S4 and you'd be sorted, software included. That said, you'd have to chain it down since I can't imagine it lasting long in a college bar full of drunk students... It'd probably get held to ransom for RAG or something.
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  3. #3
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    Yeah up the budget explaining to him how much it's going to cost to get software and a sound card and how easy it will be to lock up the S4 compared to decks and a mixer.
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    Tech Guru space monkey's Avatar
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    Why can't the owner just let the DJs bring their own gear and call it a day?

  5. #5
    DJTT Tankard fullenglishpint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by space monkey View Post
    Why can't the owner just let the DJs bring their own gear and call it a day?
    I think the idea is to let people have a go, not just get full time DJs in. Correct me if I'm wrong!

    If people are going to bring their own gear, you'll need some kind of analogue mixer.
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  6. #6

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    I don't think security is really an issue - these events aren't exactly going to be huge, I'm pretty sure they're going to be a bit of a flop really.

    I think if he went down the MIDI controller route (S4 or otherwise) then anyone we get in to DJ will just want to bring their own gear (myself included) - whereas if you have CD decks and a mixer it's more of a 'standard' setup that a lot of DJs will be used to. I'm tempted to say to him that I think it'd be better to spend the whole 500 on lighting and get people to bring their own kit. Either that or up the budget massively and get some decent CD-decks. Otherwise it's just a bit pointless.

    edit: Yeah, and I guess there's also the issue of who's actually going to be doing it. I have a few friends who want to try their hand at DJing but don't really know much about it, but I don't really know what sort of standard they're looking for in the bar... tbh I doubt they really care that much.

  7. #7
    DJTT Tankard fullenglishpint's Avatar
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    CDJs are on the way out man. As I said if you are planning to get people to bring their own gear, get some sort of analogue mixer for them to plug into (behringer do them pretty cheap but i can't vouch for sound quality or reliability).

    The 'standard setup' that everyone's used to is a pair of CDJ1000s and a DJM800 or similar and that will set you back serious cash, but anyone can get the hang of the basics of Traktor or similar software.

    All that said, you are right that what people expect to find in a DJ booth is CDJs of some sort and a mixer, so really it's up to you!
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    Tech Guru Coldfuzion's Avatar
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    Personally the way I see it is that people who will want to DJ at the bar will at least know what they're doing a little bit (hopefully). I would figure anyone who is at least learning or has tried it a bit before will most likely have their own kit or at that point if you have a cheap MIDI controller they'll be able to use it with a little bit of ease. If you just let completely new people have a go at it, it will probably sound extremely shitty and drive away customers. I would not want to sit in a bar where people are messing around on DJ equipment and turning the music to shit.

  9. #9
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    i'd get a decent mixer and maybe cheap cd decks, that's assuming he invites Djs that actually know how to play a little and therefore have some sort of equipment. with a mixer you dont have to worry about outputs etc as they can simply plug their gear into one channel and never touch the mixer again

    you can always add some CDJs later on...

  10. #10
    Tech Mentor GrimFandango's Avatar
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    get like a used vestax mixer, fairly cheap-ish and hard as a rock.

    I find the whole "getting a laptop with traktor on it" business kind of odd personally.

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