When building the perfect DJ booth at a venue, attention is usually paid to buying the fun stuff like mixers and turntables. But there are also a few basic items you should stock to make sure every DJ loves playing at your space.
Here’s a list of seven lifesavers—aka overlooked essentials—that are worth their weight in gold.
Connecting audio gear can be an absolute mess. It gets even trickier in a dark booth with wires running all over the place. A small flashlight or gooseneck lamp is perfect for dealing with this problem. Why risk having your DJs unplug the wrong cord because they can’t see? Spend a few bucks on a penlight or set up dedicated lighting for the gear.
2. Extra Power / Phone Chargers
You need a ton of outlets in your DJ booth just for the in-house equipment. But make sure you have an extra power strip with surge protection to handle the controllers, laptops, and cameras that DJs might bring along. I also suggest keeping a few phone chargers available. Have a set for the booth itself, and if possible a set for the public that’s in eyesight of the booth. That way patrons don’t have to bug the DJ to charge their phone mid mix.
3. Adjustable Monitors
Monitors are speakers that are kept in the booth so that DJs can hear what the crowd hears. It makes it much easier to mix properly and to control the sound of the room. I’m baffled by how many tiny venues have a billion speakers on the dancefloor and none in the booth for the one person who needs them the most. In these situations, the DJ usually has to turn up the floor speakers way too loud just to hear what’s going on. Give DJs an adjustable booth monitor so they can hear without having to blow out your patron’s ears.
Freddie Gibbs, Saweetie & Earl Sweatshirt: Best of the Week
Freddie Gibbs, Saweetie, and Earl Sweatshirt, among others, had the best new songs on Audiomack this week.
Be sure to check out our speaker reviews if you need help in deciding a set of booth monitors
4. Space for Drinks
A DJ needs to stay hydrated during their set, and so a dedicated stand or shelf for beverages makes a lot of sense. Otherwise, you can expect your expensive equipment to become a coffee table. Place the drink shelf somewhere away from the gear, and within a safe reaching distance of staff so that someone can remove empty glasses without interrupting the mix.
5. Paper Towels or Rags
When alcohol is near, accidents happen. Be sure to place a roll of paper towels or a few rags in the booth so spills can be wiped up quickly. Sometimes you only have a few seconds before a manageable spill becomes a big, messy problem. Eliminate the need to run to venue staff just to get a towel.
6. Extra Space for Gear
Often, space in the DJ booth is very tight. If possible, it’s beneficial to keep some clear space next to the venue’s built-in setup. With DJs bringing in controllers or other pieces of gear, if there’s only room for what’s already set up, the DJ will have to move your gear to make room. Instead of leaving it up to guest DJs to carefully disconnect and reconnect house items, leave space to the side for their equipment. Now your CDJs or turntables can stay untouched, and the DJ can plug straight into the mixer.
7. A Microphone
Sooner or later your venue is going to host a private event—weddings, birthdays, cryptocurrency launch parties, whatever—and a microphone will be needed. Inevitable, the organizers will forget to bring one. Keep a rugged vocal mic and mic cable in the booth, preferably locked up so you can monitor usage.
If your Dbooth is missing any of the items above, it might be time to invest a bit further in your space. Fortunately, most of these items can be picked up for a few bucks, and will hopefully become an invaluable addition to your setup.