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A sports photographer needs a different set of tools than someone who shoots elementary-school portraits, and similarly, a wedding DJ often relies on different equipment than other kinds of DJs. Because a wedding DJ will often provide a complete sound system, it benefits them to choose gear that can be transported easily and set up quickly, yet still be totally reliable and sound fantastic. A wedding DJ also benefits from having equipment that allows for flexibility in the size and scale of the sound system that’s required. The needs and expectations of the couple getting married may require a DJ system that’s bigger than life, or as minimal as possible.
The central nervous system of any DJ rig is the mixer, and in today’s world of digital media, DJs often use hybrid mixer/controller interfaces. DJ mixers come in many shapes and sizes to suit various kinds of DJing styles. A turntablist (a DJ who primarily scratches and cuts on vinyl records) will often prefer a different style of DJ mixer than someone who mixes House music on CDJs. A skilled wedding DJ can adapt to any kind of DJ mixer or controller, but they often prefer products that integrate seamlessly into their mobile systems. That’s why many wedding DJs prefer mixers and controllers that can mount into standard 19” racks, or have custom flight case options to integrate them seamlessly into a mobile rig.
Most DJ mixers feature inputs for vinyl turntables and CD players, but today many DJs are primarily playing digital music files with dedicated DJing software, and thus they require a mixer/controller interface that can offer the best of both worlds. For wedding DJs who are just getting started, investing in a complete sound system and DJ rig can really sting. Of all of the budget-friendly DJ mixer/controllers available, the Hercules RMX has become a favorite among wedding DJs both for its robust construction and thoughtful layout of controls. It is powered through the USB port of the connected computer, and features inputs for a microphone, turntables and CDJs. The RMX is ideal for mapping to your favorite DJ software, or for mixing with decks.
Having back-up equipment at the ready in the event of a malfunction is important in any kind of audio work, and wedding DJs are certainly no exception. One method that some wedding DJs employ is having a second, redundant mixer in their signal chain. Many mixer/controller/interfaces feature an auxiliary input for an iPod or another kind of media player to cover you in the event of a malfunction, but what if that piece of gear dies during the cutting of the cake? Should your computer or other main equipment suddenly fail, you could be in trouble. However, if all of your other gear is plugged into a bulletproof piece of equipment like the Rane MP 2S, you’ll be fine. You can have an iPod or any other back-up media player plugged into the second channel on the MP 2S, and in the event of a catastrophic meltdown, you can seamlessly segue into it with its crossfader. The MP 2S is compact and only occupies a single rack space, and it features a microphone input so you can still make all of the necessary announcements without missing a beat.
If you like the idea of a capable mixer/controller/interface but you demand a more full-featured unit, the Denon DN-MC6000 is worth a close look. It enables you to control up to four virtual decks on your DJ software of choice, and features two microphone inputs with echo effects and EQ, making it suitable for karaoke. It has dedicated “parameter” knobs which can easily be mapped to control effects in your software. An illuminated rotary is provided for navigating music libraries (forward and back buttons are provided as well). A rack-mounting kit is included, and there are several road cases made specifically for this model, as well as a polycarbonate face cover from Decksaver. If the DN-MC6000 is a little out of your price range, be sure to check out the DN-MC3000, which is also a hybrid controller/DJ mixer. It has the same high build quality, it can control four virtual decks simultaneously, and features dedicated effects controls and eight hot-cue buttons.
|Denon DN-MC6000||Denon DN-MC3000|
|Channels||Analog/Digital||Effects Knobs||Rack Mount||Resolution||Power||Weight|
|Hercules RMX||2||Analog/USB Digital||No||Optional||Not Specified||USB Only||Not Specified|
|Rane MP 2S||2||Analog Only||No||Built In||N/A||AC Only||4 lb
|Denon DN-MC6000||4||Analog/USB Digital||Yes||Included||16-bit/
|AC Only||10.1 lb (4.6 kg)|
|Denon DN-MC3000||2||Analog/USB Digital||Yes||Optional||16-bit/
|AC Only||6.9 lb
One of the main qualities that all talented DJs share is the ability to read the audience and anticipate their needs. This trait is indispensible when they’re working in the DJ booth, but it’s also key when they’re interacting with clients for the first time, trying to determine what they want their event to be like, and how the DJ can help make it a reality. One element that should be discussed is the visual presence of the DJ equipment itself.
Couples invest a great amount of energy, thought and money into how their celebration will look. Colors and materials are painstakingly chosen, arranged and presented. That’s why it’s important for a DJ to communicate what their DJ equipment rig will look like. Some couples may prefer a big DJ rig with stacks of subwoofers and tops, but other couples may prefer a less visually impactful DJ system (to preserve the mood they worked so hard to create).
At 36.3 inches tall (92 cm), the JBL PRX635 packs three separate 500-watt Crown power amplifiers and features a wooden cabinet for a warm and punchy sound. It’s a three-way speaker with a 15” woofer, a 6.5” horn-loaded midrange driver, and a 1” compression tweeter, which provides a full, big sound even without a subwoofer. However, if you really want the wedding participants to feel the energy of the music, subwoofers are a must. A pair of the PRX635’s stacked on PRX618S-XLF powered subwoofers will make for a formidable sound system for weddings and events. It’s a good candidate for looking big and sounding huge.
While it’s a good idea to have a powerful sound system at your disposal for larger events with hundreds of people, it’s also wise to have a minimal setup as well. One of the least visually impactful sound systems around is the Bose L1. This system provides a powered stack of speakers that are so narrow and low-profile that many of the wedding guests won’t even realize they’re there. However, the wedding participants will surely appreciate the excellent sound quality they’ll hear. Each L1 tower provides wide dispersion, which can cover a broad listening area evenly. It also doesn’t hurt that people recognize the Bose brand and hold it in high regard, and another big plus is that this system is really easy to set up, break down and carry around for a lone wedding DJ. For events that feature up to 100 guests, the L1 Compact System is a good starting point, and for bigger receptions (up to 500 guests) the L1 Model 1 Single Bass Package would fill the bill.
If you’re mainly doing weddings in medium-sized rooms and halls, QSC offers an amazing sounding powered speaker system with a compact footprint. The K Series of speakers features the K8 (the smallest top with a wide 105° dispersion pattern), the K10 (featuring a 10” woofer with 90° dispersion) and the K12 (which features the most focused dispersion at 75°). There’s a lot to like about this system. Premium sound quality, minimal yet professional appearance, amazing throw of the highs and mid frequencies, and the ability to tilt downward on stands so the tops are focused on the dance floor. Pair them with a couple of the excellent KSUB powered subwoofers, and your clients will rave about the sound quality. The KSUB has integrated casters which help you load in and out, and it fits under a table, out of sight. B&H offers preconfigured kits for the K Series that include a speaker stand and XLR cable, available for the K8, K10 and K12. It’s a great system with a low profile and big sound.
A wedding DJ can never be too prepared, so should you encounter a celebration where the color white is a mandatory theme, you should be aware that there’s a good amount of white pro audio equipment available. Brides love little details, and they’ll be tickled pink to see you went the extra mile to reinforce their vision.
While wireless microphones are indispensible for passing around for speeches and toasts at weddings, the DJ can certainly get away with using a foolproof wired mic to make announcements from the booth. Do so in pure wedding style with the MXL LSC-1 handheld condenser microphone, which features pristine sound and a pure white finish. Connect it to your system with a white Canare XLR cable to drive home just how dedicated you are.
No DJ is complete without a good set of headphones, but on occasions where you’re asked to wear a white suit, you can cap off your appearance with a wedding-white set of DJ headphones. Various models are available, such as the Reloop RHP-10, the Pioneer HDJ-500K and the Panasonic RP-DJS-400.
|JBL PRX635||3-Way Loudspeaker||15", 6.5", 1"||3 x 500 Watt||40 Hz -
|135 dB||36.3 x 16.7 x 16.3" (921 x 424 x 413mm)||60 lb (27.2 kg)|
|JBL PRX618S-XLF||Subwoofer||18"||2 x 500 Watt||30 Hz -
|133 dB||27 x 20.9 x 28.2" (686 x 531 x 716mm)||81.5 lb (37 kg)|
|Bose L1 Compact||2 -Way Loudspeaker||6 x "small", 1 x 8"||N/A||N/A||N/A||78.5 x 13.25 x 16.75" (200 x 34 x 43 cm)||29.2 lb (13.3 kg)|
|Bose L1 Model I||2 -Way Loudspeaker||24 x "small", 1 x 5.25"||N/A||N/A||N/A||91 x 26 x 26" (231 x 66 x
|90.6 lb (41.1 kg)|
|Bose L1 Model II||2 -Way Loudspeaker||24 x "small", 1 x 5.25"||N/A||N/A||N/A||91 x 26 x 26" (231 x 66 x
|115.7 lb 52.5 kg)|
|QSC K8||2 -Way Loudspeaker||8", 1.75"||1,000 Watt||61 Hz -
|127 dB||17.7 x 11 x 10.6" (450 x 280 x 269mm)||27 lb (12.2 kg)|
|QSC K10||2 -Way Loudspeaker||10", 1.75"||1,000 Watt||56 Hz -
|129 dB||20.4 x 12.6 x 11.8" (519 x 320 x 300mm)||32 lb (14.5 kg)|
|QSC K12||2 -Way Loudspeaker||12", 1.75"||1,000 Watt||48 Hz -
|131 dB||23.7 x 14 x 14" (603 x 356 x 356mm)||41 lb (18.6 kg)|
|QSC KSUB||Subwoofer||2 x 12"||1,000 Watt||44 Hz -
|130 dB||26 x 14 x 28.1 (665 x 356 x 714mm)||74 lb (33.6 kg)|