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Size Matters: To Scale Up Or Pare Down?

August 25, 2017 by Stu Chisholm
My long-time readers will recall the story of my first DJ system, a huge monstrosity built around a DJ “coffin” with two turntables, a full-sized mixer, two racks with cassette decks, dual CD player, two Sony Minidisc decks, a drum machine, and a wired and wireless mic. A stretch of box truss held a massive light show, with eight “intelligent” fixtures and several standard lights, topped-off by a 16” glass mirror ball. Why did I build such a rig? Well, back in the 1980s and early ‘90s, one frequent client was a local singles club that had dances in a school gym. It had a full-sized stage. When I first spoke to their organizers, I heard many complaints about their previous entertainer, who had one last scheduled engagement. I decided to be a proverbial “fly on the wall.” I slipped-in near th... [read more]
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Managing Cyber Security Risks

August 24, 2017 by Mark Battersby
Today, with just about every DJ business involved with some form of online storage of data such as customer lists, employee information, receipts, tax documents, accounting info and, of course, credit cards, mobile entertainment businesses are increasingly vulnerable to cybercrimes like online identity theft, hacking or phishing. Surprisingly, nearly 83 percent of small businesses do not have a contingency plan outlining procedures for responding to and reporting data breach losses despite the fact that, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance, a nonprofit cyber security educational organization, one in three small businesses is a victim of cybercrime each year—with 60 percent of those victimized going out of business within 6 months. A data breach or hacking incident can not only harm... [read more]
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Multifaceted Multifaceted Music Man

August 23, 2017 by Michael Cordeiro
At some point a prospective client has asked you this question: "What makes you different from the other guys?" It's all about personality, right? Do clients really book you based on blinky lights and big speakers? To really define who is different and unique in our industry there have to be benchmarks; those entertainers who set standards and keep raising the bar. Curtis Whipple knows all about that. I first met Curtis at a convention about five years ago. He was quiet, but moved with swagger and had a big smile. Curtis has one of those magnetic personalities and styles that make you want to hang out with him. He just exudes old school cool. His approa... [read more]
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How to Avoid Overkill

August 22, 2017 by Trevor West
Imagine standing next to a jet airplane with the engine running and trying to have a conversation with someone. Now imagine that’s how your clients and their guests feel when your music is too loud. Now imagine that you have to set up that plane by yourself, run the engines for a 100 people, then tear it all down and pack it away afterwards. If that’s how it feels at the end of the night once you’re done DJing a wedding, then it might be time to rethink your setup. Think of this scenario, you’re at a wedding and there are two tables three feet from your system. Who is going to complain the most that it’s too loud all night long? And worse, who do they always seem to put at those two tables? That’s right, grandma and grandpa. Don’t you think they’re going to feel that its like sitting nex... [read more]
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Over the Top!

August 21, 2017 by Arnoldo Offermann
You want big money? Seriously. Do you want to make big money as a DJ? You need big gear! So buy buy buy! Ok, I gotta be honest with you; that sounded like the worst sales pitch ever, but it's also the worst advice ever.. Kinda. Buying gear nonstop is a bad idea, especially without a business plan. However, gear really can be a big key to making more money. Sure, everyone's case is different, so I'll tell you my story and hopefully you can apply these principles to your business. When 4SchoolsOnly first started, we barely had any gear compared to now. Three 10' sticks of truss, some ADJ Pocket Scans, the ADJ Color Pod 250s and we had a badass show. We added two 5x7 video screens and we had a whole new market. Sure, there were other companies in Florida hitting schools with similar gear, but we h... [read more]
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The Element of Surprise

August 20, 2017 by Mobile Beat Staff Writer
The “unknowns” at the events are terrifying. From a microphone suddenly failing, to the one drunk interrupting guest at an event, these unexpected situations can cause a nightmare for even the most seasoned professional DJ. But the question is, what can you do as a DJ to better prepare for these unknown circumstances and what can you do to turn each circumstance into a powerful and positive situation or what I call a “tool?” In this next part of my series, I will discuss the three steps in taking a problem, any problem and turning it into a valuable tool that will enhance your event. Before we get into the steps of this process, it is imperative that you understand a critical component of this discus- sion, NONE of the circumstances that surprise you are genuine surprises. That’s right, your m... [read more]
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Mega Sound & Lighting – Over The Top with Mobile Beat – Free Issue Online Now

August 17, 2017 by Mobile Beat
This issue hits popular subject from a bunch of angles: How much is too much? Be over-prepared or lean and mean? We look at how to scale your offerings and your productions to the right spot for you and your clients. Enjoy, Ryan Burger Publisher - Mobile Beat In this Issue   The Element of Surprise - Todd Mitchem Over the Top! - Arnoldo Offermann How to Avoid Overkill - Trevor West Multifaceted Music Man: Curtis Whipple - Michael Cordeiro Managing Cyber Security Risks - Mark Battersby Size Matters: To Scale Up or Pare Down? - Stu Chisholm Networking: All About Giving - Matt Martindale On-the-Spot Networking Skill... [read more]
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Are You Easy?

August 2, 2017 by Jason Weldon
Are you easy? We always talk about how easy we want to make things for prospects and customers. But do you ever look at how easy you make things for your own team? How easy is it for your team to handle the day to day things that shouldn’t require you or the help from someone else? If your team was asked about the way you do business, would they rave about how easy it is or grumble about how damn difficult you make it? A growing company is always going to incur some new red tape as it matures, that’s part of business growth. However, making things time consuming because you think it is “stream- lining,” might not be the best bet. ... [read more]
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Great Gobos Made Simple

August 1, 2017 by Mobile Beat
DJs are always on the lookout for new ways to raise the average dollar amount of their event contracts, while providing services that enhance their clients’ overall experiences. Along with uplighting, photo booths and other services, another great add-on is gobo projection, which has become a lucrative up-sell item, especially for wedding receptions, over the last ten years. However, one aspect of providing this service may keep some DJs from diving in: The toughest part of doing gobo projection has been simply getting the gobo properly designed. Well, this is really not an obstacle, with the debut of the latest Gobo Creator from StageSpot ... [read more]
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What to Do with Those Screens

July 31, 2017 by Steve Sharp
I find it sad that the heyday of music video (creatively and in popularity) happened LONG before it was relatively easy and practical to manipulate or even simply MIX music videos, as DJs do with music. Now that it IS possible, it's now RARE that music videos seem to generate the kind of excitement they once did. COMPUTERS HAVE CHANGED EVERYTHING The major software packages today for DJs using music video are: Serato, Virtual DJ, and Mix Emergency (which piggybacks off Serato). Each have their pluses and minuses. My advice: Find a combination of controls, computer, and software that you're most comfortable with. Get something good, learn to ... [read more]