FIRST MOBILE DJ SYSTEM

How to build a mobile DJ system without breaking the bank.

So you want to become a Mobile DJ huh? If so, you've come to the right place. This guide will provide recommendations on equipment to help you build your first mobile DJ system without breaking the bank.

For the purpose of this guide, we'll keep our budget right around $3000.00 (including computer). I know DJ Barr built a beginner mobile DJ system for only $1550.00 but his system didn't include a laptop and I believe The gear I'm recommending is of higher quality and will provide more bang for your beginner DJ buck.  


This is a beginner system in name only, the truth of the matter is even experienced DJs can use these recommendations to put together a portable system that rocks or perhaps you're a multi-op company that needs more than one event rig.


Our system will consist of:

  • A two channel DJ controller

  • One set of powered PA speakers

  • Wireless Microphone

  • Pair of speaker Stands

  • A four or six foot folding table

  • A five panel facade

  • Windows based laptop computer

  • RCA to XLR & 1/4 inch cables

  • Basic lighting & lighting software

 

BEGINNER DJ CONTROLLERS

Your DJ controller is the interface between you and the music! It's easy to confuse what you need in a controller with what you want in a controller.  Also, keep in mind the more channels and features you have, the higher the cost. So for this build we're going to stick with two channel controllers.

 

Best Bang for the Buck

HERCULES INPULSE 500 BUNDLE

PROS:

Great value at $339.00

Professional quarter inch outputs

DJuced, Serato DJ Lite software, Serato DJ Pro compatible

Microphone and auxiliary inputs

CONS:

Short pitch faders

 

Great value and good performer

NUMARK MIXTRACK FX

PROS:

Good value at $279.00.

Serato DJ Lite software

Microphone input

Compact & portable

FX paddles

Long pitch faders

CONS:

RCA outputs only

No auxiliary inputs

 

A Solid Beginner DJ controller

PIONEER DJ SB3

PROS:

Good value at $249.00.

Serato DJ Lite software

Microphone input

Built in scratch effects

CONS:

RCA only outputs 

Short pitch faders

No auxiliary inputs

 
 

A great performer

MIXARS PRIMO

PROS:

Microphone input

XLR outputs

Auxiliary input

CONS:

Price

No software provided

No auxiliary inputs

POWERED  SPEAKERS

NOTHING has a bigger impact on the quality of product you provide than your speakers. In my humble opinion, this is where the lion share of your system budget should go.


Lots of things to consider when selecting the brand and size of your speakers such as:

  • Average room/venue size of your events

  • Number of people who usually attend

  • Music genre you usually play

  • Your ability to load/lift speakers


There are way too brands for me to cover all of them.  However, here are a few recommendations to get you started.

NOTE: The 4th recommended type of speaker is a budget buster. However, I wanted to list them due to their popularity within the mobile DJ community.

 

Best bang for the buck

ELECTRO-VOICE ZLX 15P

PROS:

Fantastic value

Combination jack inputs

Integrated DSP

Great sound quality

CONS:

No external cooling

 

Great Performers

QSC CP12

PROS:

Fantastic value at $424.00 each

1000 watt class D amp

Light & Compact

Combination jack inputs

1/8th inch auxiliary input

Preset sound modes

CONS:

No DSP

 

Superior sound qaulity

RCF HD12 MK4

PROS:

Good value at $499.00 each

Unbalanced XLR inputs

Superior sound quality

CONS:

No DSP or processing

No auxiliary inputs

No Combo jack inputs

 

The hot speaker trend

HK AUDIO POLAR 10

PROS:

Portability

Combination Jack inputs

Integrated DSP

Price

CONS:

Can produce muddy mid bass 

 

The hot speaker trend

ELECTRO-VOICE EVOLVE 50

PROS:

Portability

Combination Jack inputs

Integrated DSP

CONS:

Price

Weight (sort of heavy)

Can produce muddy mid bass

 

MICROPHONES

Microphones are another highly debated subject within the DJ community. Do you need an expensive Sennheiser or Shure microphone? Or can you get by with a more budget friendly offering? Do you even need a wireless mic? Or will a corded microphone work?


The answer to all of these questions is yes! You can get away with using a simple corded mic but In my experience customers prefer using cordless mics for their toasts and speeches. My advice is use whats available until you can upgrade. 

Of course what you spend depends on your budget.  I've heard cheap microphones as well as expensive  microphones produce feedback. My suggestion is to look for a cardioid microphone as opposed to an omni directional mic.


 

Great Value

INNOWPOW WIRELESS MICROPHONE

PROS:

Price

Cardioid design

Metal body

 

A Solid Performer

SHURE BLX24

PROS:

Cardioid design

Sound quality

CONS:

Price

Plastic body

 

A Top Performer

SENNHEISER XSW

PROS:

Sound quality

CONS:

Semi expensive

Plastic body

 

Industry Standard

SHURE SM58-LC

PROS:

Sound quality

Durable

Metal body

Price

CONS:

Wired

 

LAPTOP

A laptop will more than likely be the 2nd most expensive equipment buy for your system. In order to keep cost down, we will need to compromise just a bit. In my humble opinion, I'll compromise on hard drive size because computer storage is ultra cheap, and you can bolster your music storage capacity by simply storing some of your MP3's on a 256GB memory stick, or even purchase 500GB SSD external hard drive.


A Note about AMD processors: I personally will not recommend any computer with a AMD CPU. This is based off of owning an AMD computer that wouldn't run Serato or Rekord Box Dj softwares. I'm not saying AMD processors won't work for you, but I won't use them and I only recommend items I have or would use.

 

Solid Performer

LENOVO IDEAPAD 3

PROS:
SSD hard drive
12GB of RAM
Intel i5 Processor
CONS:
Hard drive size

 

Great Value

14" HP LAPTOP, 10TH GEN INTEL CORE 

PROS:
Price
SSD hard drive
12GB of RAM
Intel i5 Processor
CONS:
Hard drive size

 

Great Value

DELL LATITUDE E7480

PROS:
Price
SSD hard drive
12GB of RAM
Intel i5 Processor
CONS:
Small hard drive

 

SIX FOOT TABLE AND FACADE

For the majority of mobile events, you'll  provide audio/visual entertainment (to include MC services) and dance floor lighting. This simply means YOU ARE NOT THE FOCAL POINT OF THE EVENT.  It's easy to go overboard on set up and presentation but you only need to present your set up in a manor that is clean, neat and organized.


No quicker or cheaper way to do that than by using a table (recommend six footer) and a simple DJ facade. Some times a facade isn't needed, but I prefer to use them. 

 

Quick and easy

SIX FOOT FOLDING TABLE

PROS:

Portability

Light weight

Price

 

Quick and easy

ROCKVILLE SPEAKER TRIPODS

PROS:

Portability

Light weight

Price

 

Recommended for four foot tables

FOUR PANEL DJ FACADE

PROS:

Portability

Light weight

Price

 

IMPORTANT CABLES & CONNECTORS

Now that you have all of this fancy DJ equipment, you'll need the right connectors and cables to ensure you get music from your computer/controller to your speakers.


Matter of fact, I'll recommend some connectors & cables needed to provide mobile DJ services in general.

 

XLR CABLES

Excellent value

I've been using these XLR cables for six years without any failures.

 

USB to Printer Cable

USB - A TO USB - B CABLE

Used to connect your controller to your Laptop. It's a good idea to have two or three of these cables.

 

QUARTER INCH CABLES

Not a bad idea to have a couple of these in your cable bag

 

XLR ADAPTORS

XLR Male to RCA Female

A must have if your controller only has RCA outputs.



 

XLR ADAPTOR CABLE

XLR Male to RCA Male

An alternative to XLR adaptors

 

XLR TO 1/4TH ADAPTERS

Female Adapters

Great for turning XLRs into microphone cords.



 

RCA TO 3.5MM CABLE

Must have to connect tablets and phones to your controller or mixer.

 

3.5MM CABLE

Must have for connecting phones and tablets

 

BASIC DANCE FLOOR LIGHTING & UP-LIGHTING

For this build lets keep things towards the cheaper side. For that I'll recommend a simple four par light bar (with stand) and four basic battery powered par par lights to up light our facade or perhaps a head table.

For lighting control I highly recommend SoundSwitch. SoundSwitch is a program that works in conjunction with Serato DJ software to generate automatic light shows. 

 

DANCE FLOOR LIGHTING

An affordable lighting option

 

BATTERY POWERED PAR LIGHTS

Affordable Up-Llighting

 

DMX CABLES

Used to link lighting fixtures

 

TOTAL SYSTEM COST: $2687.00

So there ya have it! a powerful and reliable mobile DJ system with lighting for less than $3000.00. The system consists of:

  • Hercules Inpulse 500 bundle -  $339.00

  • Electro-Voice ZLX 15P - $898.00

  • innopow Microphone - $135.00

  • Dell Latitude E7480 Laptop - $519.00

  • Rockville speaker stands - $50.00

  • Six foot table - $53.00

  • Rockville facade - $149.00

  • XLR cables - $30.00

  • USB A to USB B cable - $9.00

  • 1/4 Inch cables - $19.00

  • XLR to 1/4th adapters - $10.00

  • RCA to 3.5mm cable - $6.00

  • 3.5mm cable - $16.99

  • DragonX 4 Bar lights - $239.00

  • Laluznatz par lights - $200.00

  • DMX cables - $15.00

 
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