I Gotta Have It! A DJ Culture

In February Denon comes out with the newest and hottest DJ control system. In May, Pioneer counters and raises the bar even more. July has RCF introducing a brand new compact speaker system that can set up in 3 minutes and in October a new DJ table knocks the industry to its knees. This is a fictitious scenario but not far off from being accurate. And this current generation of DJs are falling for the “feeding frenzy” hook, line and sinker.

With my introduction statement out of the way I want to highlight the FACT that I encourage professional DJs to operate and own professional equipment that yield professional results! In no way do I want the reader of this article to think I am encouraging holding onto older and antiquated gear in lieu of fresh new offerings. But, is it really necessary to have the latest and greatest piece every 6 months? Let’s explore that concept.

We are currently in a very creative and progressive period in terms of new products for the DJ industry. Industry leading manufacturers¬† are killing it with new systems that make our job easier, more efficient, lighter, faster and just more capable. DJs are also exploiting social media to show off their new toys and set up designs. Whether that be lighting, sound, furniture or controllers the pages of social media are loaded with images and videos of DJs proudly showing off their gear, as if that is some validation of their worth? And here is where the problem begins…….

DJs are investing 90% into their toys and ONLY 10% into their training and professional development!

I see DJ facebook pages all the time as we admit new members into DJ Idea Sharing on Facebook. So many DJs post a image of their control system vs a image of them personally. Does a RANE Performer control system speak louder than a image of your smiling face? Its a problem when a DJ thinks his/her value is based more on their speaker system or light show vs their talent and experience!

Again, BIG props to companies like Rane, Pioneer, Denon, EV, Max Design, Chauvet etc etc… They are making amazing equipment and it is changing our industry. But, are we literally falling for the feeding frenzy and throwing our profits to the wind in order to have the latest and greatest toys. And, are we doing it for the right reasons?

DJs are prone to have a bit of a ego. I know I’m not breaking new ground with that statement but are manufacturers using that to their advantage? If a DJ buys a new control system in February and then has it up for sale in our DJ Idea Sharing Classifieds only 5 months later because a new system is out does that lead to a profitable business plan? And there exists is the root cause of the problem. It’s not a business for many DJs. Its FUN and a way to show off or play around as a novice that can still profit.

Did you know there are more novice DJs than ever before? Many play live on TikTok or stream live on the internet. These would-be DJs they have made a huge infusion into the DJ gear industry and the manufacturers are responding accordingly to their thirst for new toys. And many mobile jocks are also stuck in the endless cycle of buying and selling so they can “keep up with the Jones”. This is the DJ equivalent to buying a new car every 6 months and selling your old car with 7000 miles.

At what point are we satisfied with what we have and establish a business plan to be profitable and put money away for things other than DJ gear? Things like home improvement, college, debt payment or even retirement? If you have the top sound system in your region and the greatest light show that certainly is impressive. But less impressive when you show up for your event in a rusted, beat up 1988 van with no muffler system. If you’re driving around with bad tires but have the newest DJ controller your priorities are backwards!!

So, ask yourself at what point will you be satisfied with your equipment and move forward to be a profitable professional? Decide what gear fits you and your client base so you can settle down for a few years at least. And for those who are using antiquated equipment from 10+ years ago maybe its time to take a look at the amazing stuff that is coming out now? You see?….¬† It goes both ways. But, at some point you need to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.

Mike Fernino – Founder * DJ Idea Sharing

DJ Idea Sharing Network

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