So what does a typical modern DJ (or DJ tutor) have in their gig bag?
We turfed one of ours out and here’s what we found…
Backpack – tough, with lots of pockets
Headphones + spare mini jack to 6.3mm adaptors (essential for most mixers + spares as DJs often unplug and forget their adaptors when they leave!)
Laptops x 2 – in this case MacBooks (with duplicated DJ software and music as a backup, so important if a laptop is your central working tool)
Laptop chargers x 2 – one is a backup (imagine playing with a faulty charger and only 10% battery left!)
External hard drive – bootable backups of the laptops (we recommend Carbon Copy Cloner software for Macs) plus drive spare USB cable, for the really paranoid DJ!
Keyboard covers (because spilt drinks and keyboards don’t mix!)
USB cables x 3 (two for multiple devices (CDJs/mixers/soundcards/controllers/FX controllers) + one spare)
USB hub (because Macs only have 2 ports, DJs sometimes need 3+. We suggest quality powered hubs for certain high-load gear)
For Pioneer CDJs – 2 x LAN cables (for Pro DJ link), various power leads and phono leads (if the venue has lost/broken theirs)
USB drives full of awesome music – various, large capacity, duplicated, pre-analysed MP3s through Rekordbox software)
Some backup music on CDs
Timecode CDs – for older non-USB CDJs or when the turntables can’t be used
Timecode ‘DVS’ vinyl and slipmats – for turntable gigs working with DJ software (x 4, two are spares as they get scratched/lost/worn out/warped)
Stylus/needles – Ortofon Concorde Pro S x 2 (+ 3 various spares)
Student headphones and headphone splitters (so student and tutor can both cue tracks together)
Printed diagrams to explain beatmatching/phrasing/track structure
Itty bitty carry cases
Our business cards/flyers and ones we pickup
Backstage/VIP/performer passes (because that’s how we roll)
Mints – no one likes a DJ with bad breath!
Laptop/gear Kensington lock cables (and keys!)
Mars Bars – for a late night sugar boost
Pens (inc a Sharpie for CDs and signing autographs of course!)
Earphones – for travel
Mobile sync/charger lead – for long nights and using Rekordbox apps
Copy of our DJ and public liability insurance
Phono to jack adaptors – always handy for some mixers
Accumulated receipts and rubbish
Jack to phono lead – if you ever need to resort to playing music off your iPhone!
International power adaptors
Various laptop/iPad controllers, iPad, Technics turntables with Novation Dicers and Pioneer DJM-T1 mixer, in flight cases/flight bags – for certain gigs and teaching
LAN hubs/switches for multiple CDJ/mixer or Rekordbox (on laptop) setups
Ear protection plugs, for certain gigs – reducing volume but not muffling sound (gotta look after your ears)
This kit covers various gigs and setups; vinyl (DVS), CDJs and controllers as we regularly use all of them!
Spares are a big theme here, always be prepared!
Of course DJs can risk turning up with just a pair of headphones and their music collection on USB drives/records/CDs, and as you can see laptop and controller DJs need a bit more, but we literally cover it all!
What’s in your bag?