First gig - potential gotchas and question about volume & EQ and PA
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert ivanzl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    London, United Kingdom

    Default First gig - potential gotchas and question about volume & EQ and PA


    So I have my first gig on Monday (very exciting stuff ) at a small party in a small venue some to play psychedelic trance (wooosh ). I will be the first and only DJ to play and before me there will be a live band. There will be no mixer or CDJs at the venue - I will be bringing my Kontrol S4 + Traktor laptop. It is very likely that I won't be able to do a sound check before the event.

    Here are my questions:

    1) Volume levels - I will have to adjust the volume level. What is the best way to do this? I was thinking of fading in a slower/low energy tune or a bass dominated loop and walk around to hear if it's loud enough or too loud? (planning on progressively increasing the Main volume on the Kontrol S4). For clipping issues on my end I am already using -12db or so headroom in Traktor, autolimiter and Main is at -10dB

    2) EQ on large PA - When I got into mixing I started off by mixing/practising entirely in headphones for a long time before getting "monitors"/speakers (JBL Control 1). I mix psychedelic trance, so I heavily utilize the EQ to blend tracks for a mix with few long breakdowns. Getting the speakers was an interesting experience, because it seemed like the headphones were more permissive on lows and less so on mids and highs where speakers make lows and mids clashes more obvious. Is there a general rule of thumb what to watch out for when EQing on a large PA? I was thinking maybe during the initial volume level adjustment play the same loop/tune and just quickly try out the EQ to blend the same track between the two decks for a couple of seconds to get a feel of the PA?

    3) Kit question. I have prepared the following - am I missing something out? (there will be no mixer or CDJs at the venue)

    In terms of kit I have prepared:

    * Kontrol S4 + Laptop
    * 1x RCA --> RCA cable (5 meters)
    * 2x TSR --> TSR cable (balanced) (2 meters)
    * 2x TSR --> XLR female (to connect to a male XLR) (2 meters)
    * pocket flashlight, which I can hold with my mouth, so I can use two hands for cabling
    * pre-recorded mix on CD or mp3

    Before I ask my question I need to give a bit of background info.

    Anyway my worry is how will everything sound on

    P.S: Sorry for the long post

  2. #2
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    New Zealand


    Welcome to the forums mate.

    1. Your main and headroom is set way low. I go with -6 headroom and -1 or 0 main at most with no limiter. If you don't get a chance to do a levels check then start off quiet and increase the volume till it hits the sweet spot.

    2. Don't worry about the PA. Mix away as normal, as long as it sounds good at your end is the main thing. 99% of punters are not audiophiles and could give a shit how it sounds after a few drinks

    3. Looks good, i would suggest picking up a pair of ground loop isolators in case of any feedback issues (i have had to use them even at some pubs) and load up a mix on an ipod and get a jack>2 rca cable.

    4. Don't stress, and have fun!
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    York, UK


    Quote Originally Posted by ivanzl View Post
    * 2x TSR --> XLR female (to connect to a male XLR) (2 meters)
    You need to use TRS to Male XLR to connect the S4 to a PA. With XLR cables, the pins point in the direction of signal travel.
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