Take two controllers into the booth? I just want to DJ & go…

DJs have always brought extra equipment and accoutrements into the DJ booth to aid and abet them in their chosen role. In the vinyl days, a DJ might have contented themselves with having a cloth to clean their records, a torch for searching through their record boxes in the dark and a fan to counter all the analogue warmth that was around then.

But things for the modern selector have changed, and in the age of the USB stick, DJs no longer have to carry around heavy record boxes or Dad-style CD wallets. In fact, some young Grime DJs are now downloading their music directly into their WAN enabled hoodies.

This development was initially a problem for DJs, as it made them look much less important when they arrived at the club now that they didn’t need someone to help them carry their records. However, the DJ Tech industry isn’t the type of industry to leave DJs alone to get on with the job, not when there are new entirely un-necessary products and gadgets that they can convince DJs to buy. Noting that DJ bags were gathering dust at home and that there was clearly a gap in the market for things to go in them, the equipment companies kindly produced a proliferation of DJ friendly micro synths, boutique synths and personal glitter cannons.


Things you’ll definitely need when DJing include a pair of headphones, a torch, a tool kit, compass, pen, safety pin, and a sensible coat. In addition,  it’s also fine to bring a minimum of two controllers and a couple of boutique synths and drum boxes. A Mac or laptop is fine as well, but you can bring your desktop computer in from work if you want, or your Xbox. Obviously, you’ll need to install a Local Area Network port and wireless hub and connect to Bluetooth as well, so don’t forget your tool kit. Oh and some music, you’ll definitely need to bring some music along if you’re DJing.

So now, a DJ can happily arrive at their gig with their 27″ iMac, a couple of controllers and some effects, hire a contractor to knock through the dividing wall in order to fit it all in and no one bats an eyelid. Obviously, there is an etiquette issue involved here. Where there used to be an awkward but brief handover, with one DJ rushing from the high of their set handing over to another who was full of pre-match nerves, we now have to apply for planning permission for the works needed in order to install our DJing equipment. Which brings us to the question, how much gear should you bring? The answer very clearly is loads, as much as you can carry, then plumb it in, sync it all up and use it all to put a flanger on one track and a filter on the other during your 45-minute long set!