“What’s your basic ‘gig bag’ consist of? Your records, needles (what type?), slipmats etc.? Are you the ‘sound man’ or do you have to work with someone else at the controls. I’m basically only a full scale Mobile-DJ with amps and speakers and turntables etc, but would love to do a club and be able to walk in and out with just a bag of my goods!” Thanks! N from California
Depending on the gig, the contents of my bag change. First of all you need a good bag. I’ve had every DJ bag out there: Technics, Caffeine, Gravis, Odyssey, and more. There was always the same conclusion: They stink. Eventually, they all broke, ripped, or hurt your shoulder because of no padding on the shoulder strap, abrasive material, etc. My last bag I was introduced to and use quite a bit is the Tucker & Bloom North to South Messenger Bag. This is the best DJ bag I have ever owned. Made by DJs for DJs (and also quite versatile, this bag is a workhorse), it’s a great bag to start with. For certain gigs, depending on the club, I just bring my laptop and my Serato box if the club doesn’t have it. Most places do, but if they don’t the box and control vinyl (2 sets) and RCA/ USB cables, and DC plug, fit nicely. I also pack my headphones (Nixon Master Blaster Version 2), my needles (Technics head shells with Shure M44 7 Turntablist Record Needles and Shure N44 7 Styli) in a Shure airtight case (holds 4), a set of Cali-Tex slipmats, a small mag light, business cards, pen, and probably some FMF stickers. I usually bring a box of 45s (50 or so) as well depending on the gig. I don’t shun technology, but I do like to spin 45s, so for gigs that are 45 specific, it’s usually a double Odyssey flight case or two vintage 45 cases I’ve had for years. The Case & Bloom bag will hold an ample amount of 12″s or Lps as well, so if I fill one with vinyl I have a Soul Jazz flight bag that will hold headphones, needles, etc.
As far as the sound man question, if I’m bringing my coffin (Marathon battle style with wheels) and my Technics 1200 turntables with a Rane TTM 56 mixer) to a gig (quite honestly I don’t like to have to bring my equipment much anymore, 20 years of carrying crates of records and equipment does a number on your back), I am my own sound guy. Gigs vary having a sound guy or not. Most of the time though if there isn’t, I’m on my own to set up, etc. If there is one, that’s great, you just plug in, sound check and go. Usually these guys just set up and then you see them at the end of the gig, but if it’s high profile you will have a guy at the controls throughout your whole set. I definitely appreciate the sound guy, but am prepared if there isn’t. Sometimes you know more than them as far as setting up the turntables, Serato, etc. You should definitely know your equipment and be prepared either way. Remember, technology fails sometimes, and records may skip, but if you’re prepared at the gig, you’ll be able to get through any challenges. Great question, thank you for asking. Keep Diggin’!
DJ Prestige runs the site Flea Market Funk, digs for records, chases his kids around, and preserves the music and artists of Funk, Soul, Jazz, Reggae and Hip Hop one record at a time.
Good stuff, thanks for the time and knowledge, I can use all the help I can get! Rock on.