The Wedding DJ Setup Through My Eyes
This kind of blog post and video I started some years back, with the last one being filmed in 2019. There has been a lot of changes, and some things that have stayed the same. This is how Paris Creative comes into events in 2022.
There are a lot of things to consider when building out your Mobile DJ rig. I know personally since I have tried out a whole lot of options from controllers to coffins to big rolling cases. My brain is constantly working overtime to find better ways to store, transport, and setup for weddings. Through all the concepts, all the purchases, through all the doubting and reassurances; I have been most satisfied with keeping things modular, pre-wired, and ready to setup and strike as quickly as possible.
This blog post is a summarization of all the equipment for the video above. Some items are no longer available from what I use so I’ve updated to a modern equivalent in the video (noted in each item). I’m putting this all in the order that you see in the video (or should see if I accidentally skipped over something).
The advantage to having this particular setup is I can record in 4K so I can crop to my heart’s content, I have an unlimited recording time, it’s very lightweight, and it has great low-light performance. And after trying a number of cameras in 2019, while I could get even better performance out of something like the ZV-10 or the a6600. it just adds bulk and complexity to the setup. Keeping it simple is the way to go.
I used to do GigLogs but the time to edit was very burdensome. I do still use this to cut up Instagram, TikTok, and other videos. It’s very versatile.
- Camera: Sony ZV-1: $748
- SD Card: SanDisk Ultra 256GB: $30
- Cage: SmallRig ZV-1: $40
- Camera Plate: Desmond DP-25: $9
- Quick Release: Neewer Mini Fishbone: $17
- Battery: 32,000 mAh Power Pack (updated from video): $38
- Dummy Battery: DK-X1 Coupler: $18
- Tripod: STX Pro 72″: $140
- Tripod Head: Neewer Ball Head (updated from video): $35
I have gone back and forth on debating on a trailer, but now after a few trips I am very very happy with the choice. I may not be happy with the current pricing of things in 2022 but it is what it is. I selected a 5×8′ trailer one because of the maximum width I could accommodate in my driveway but also a 5×10′ would have taken months to come in. You can see my video on the breakdown of this.
- Trailer: 2023 Pace Outback 5×8 DLX V-Nose: $5900 + tax + title
- Additions: Carpeting, Anti-Skid Flooring, and Wood Trim: $700 all together
- E-Track: 2′, 3′, and 4′ sizes: $225 all together
- Battery Wall: LiFePo4 Battery, Charger, Kill Switch, and Fused Distro: $235 all together
- Shoreline: Port Plug and Power Strip: $59 all together
- LED Strip: Bathebright 32′: $20
- AA Charging Pods: Tenergy 8-bay (x2): $64
And while I am certainly not happy with 2022 prices in the car market, the whole reason for the trailer was that I couldn’t find a suitable replacement for my 2011 Town & Country minivan that was just getting past it’s life. So I sucked it up and leased a 2022 Honda Passport. I am actually very happy with the car, just not the price. It also took over 2 months to get the proper towing parts for it.
- Vehicle: 2022 Honda Passport Elite + Tow Package: $55,000 MSRP
A quick note on security. Security is always a deterrent and never some guarantee. So just remember that you are trying to combat theft at different levels. If a thief really wanted to steal stuff from the trailer there are ways to avoid locks and all. But that being said it’s ideal to deter people from stealing as much as possible.
I decided on Proven Industries puck locks. They are difficult to pick, the are durable but light, and overall seem to be the best of the best right now.
The “Digital Box” + Accessories
For many years now I have ran a combination of a digital mixer, Mics, and IEM and this year is no different. I have made a change up in cases, now opting for a 10U Gator rolling case for my ceremony and reception boxes so it allows me for better cable management and an overall cleaner look. Is it perfect? No. Every solution has a tradeoff. But I am pretty happy with the overall outcomes. All my wireless kit accessories are stored in a T-Stak toolbox system.
- Cases: Gator 10U GRR-10L rolling racks: $429/each
- Mixer: SoundCraft Ui24R: $1279/each
- Microphones: Sennhesier G3s (I recommend Sennheiser EW-Ds): $650/each
- IEM: Sennhesier G3 (I recommend Sennheiser G4s): $1350/each base + 2 packs
- Over The Ear Mic: Countryman e6 Flex: $330
- Additional Lapel: Sennheiser MKE2 Gold: $380
- Antenna: RF Venue Diversity Fin: $600
- Antenna: Sennheiser A1031-U Omnidirectional: $150
- PDU: Tripp-Lite: $65
- Wireless Toolbox: T-Stak Deep Drawer, Double Drawer, and Flat Top. $100 together.
I am still rocking the Muver6/AMG 750 and still loving it. Zero turn radius, solid, just works well. While I don’t have to collapse it anymore inside of the trailer it’s still good to know it can be done if needed.
- Cart: Muver 6 / AMG 750: $400
My weapon of choice continues to be the EV Evolve 50 column arrays. These still work in almost every scenario I perform at. And when it’s needed I add a EKX15SP sub for a little additional umph.
- Primary Speakers: EV Evolve 50: $1800/ea
For my ceremony, cocktail, and dinner fills I have a trio of Maui 5 Gos that are perfect for my applications. Now take a note that the Maui 5 Gos now only come with a smaller battery option. Apparently LD Systems were getting hit hard with shipping costs with the total mAh of the original batteries. I now have the “100” version of this as my third speaker.
- Secondary Speakers: Maui 5 Go: $1000/ea
The Two Rigs
I spent many moons contemplating building my own rolling rig, and kept on stalling to make it. I was so worried about the precision needed to make sure everything fell into place properly. But lucky for me the Toadmatic Performancematic 43″ exists and it’s the perfect fit for my needs. It was small enough to even fit in my Town and Country, and of course has found a home in the new trailer.
- Rig: Toadmatic Performancematic 43″: $2750 + S&H
And let’s not forget that I also have the DIY booth at my disposal. Now I don’t use it nearly as much but it still is at the ready whenever I do need it, be it a difficult load in with something like stairs. Yes it would cost more to build now in 2022 than I did early on in 2021 when prices of lumber were just starting to rise. But it’s still a great investment and a unique asset in my arsenal.
- Rig: The DIY Booth: $500-750 (today’s prices)
Keeping the Vinyl Feel
I’ve been running 2018 Intel MBP for my gig laptop for some years now and it’s going strong. However I’d like to switch fully to the M1 MBP but inventory and supply chain issues are preventing me to do that. So for now that remains my primary gig where my daily laptop is reserved as my backup gig laptop.
- Primary Laptop: 16″ 2018 MBP / 256GB / 8GB: Discontinued
- Secondary Laptop: 14″ 2021 MBP M1 Pro / 1TB / 16GB: $2500
Some years back I was relying on internal storage and managing a lean library of music with that while also managing a much larger external drive of songs. I got a bit tired of the micromanagement and after 86ing a bunch of older inferior rips of music over the years, re-ripping my entire CD collection to lossless, and some more management, I keep everything now on these SSDs. I also used symlinks in MacOS (you can do this in Windows as well) to store all my VDJ and Serato files on the external drive. So everything is always in sync on the drives.
- Storage: 2TB SanDisk Extreme 1050/MBs Drives: $235/ea
There is always the need to store all the loose things. Laptops, headphones, business cards, and the like. And for the past few years I have been very satisfied with the JetPack Remix.
- Backpack: JetPack Remix: $170
I’ve simplified my lighting offerings to straight up uplighting options with my ApeLabs Maxis. I wanted something with the same feel and consistency of my offerings and the Maxis truly feel like a premium product.
- Lighting: ApeLabs Tour Kit 6pc: $3100/ea
So what does this do in the end? It allows me for super quick setup times and strikes. It helps to keep a uniform design so you always know what to expect. It allows me to swap out pieces as needed for repair. It allows me just a massive peace of mind and confidence in my services I offer.