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Old Soundman: Beware Of The Evil DJ Invasion!
Helping a young buck deal with some local talent that just doesn't get it...
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Hello Old Soundman:

Greetings from the shore, where the clams and oysters are fresh but the local celebrity DJ’s gear is not.

Then throw it out like you would do with bad seafood! But I guess that would get you in trouble. You probably want to keep your job – it sounds pretty swinging by the ocean.

I normally don’t have a problem with visiting DJs when I put them on stage to spin tunes. I set my channel EQ flat, give them enough juice to power their mixer, and then sit back, thankful I have an easy night ahead of me.

This was the norm for me for quite awhile – until recently.

What happened recently? I sense that it wasn’t nothin’ nice, as they say in the pen.

The club recently booked a well-known local DJ to bring in some extra paying customers to help pay the bills on slower nights.

Did they ever consider half-nekkid young ladies prancing around? That has proven to be quite profitable in some establishments in my neck of the woods.

This particular DJ is famous for drinking, blowing out speakers, drinking, insane fader and gain maneuvers, drinking, and last but not least, his mixer was state of the art 15 years ago.

Then put him in the way-back machine! He needs to do his drinking somewhere in the past and not bother you any more!

I put this guy on a limiter, he freaks; I play the house EQ game, he freaks; I refuse to turn up my mains, he freaks; I stand there and shake my head no, he freaks.

You are an excellent torturer – I’m very proud of you!

I actually get enjoyment out of doing all of this, but I’ve been told to help him out because, once again, he is “the guy” that people come to see. He also has a sidekick who “helps” him (setting up his gear, booze and lights).

That is the problem. You need to eliminate that guy. And then the DJ will be helpless.
Like the Lone Ranger without Tonto.
Like Batman without Robin.
Like Conan without Max Weinber… Well, you get the point…

I know you’ve dealt with this in the past and would appreciate any advice. I’ve tried every trick I know to appease this guy, and he doesn’t realize that job security is a two-way street when it comes to performer (sorry, DJ!) and the house sound tech.

Thanks for letting me vent,
Greg

I find that a compressor with a brickwall limiter allows you to resume your relaxation.

Also if you happen to have an ex-con friend who is about as big as a house, with tattoos on his neck, he can be really helpful in dealing with guys like this DJ and his buddy.

Luv -
The Old Soundman


Comment (1)
Posted by Mike Young  on  08/03/11  at  07:04 AM
I was a DJ at one time, But I was a sound tech first.Knowing the lay of the land I have had sucess working with DJs by letting set up all their gear (good or bad) and giving them a stereo input to my mixer. I only ask for 1 thing a clean feed from them. I don't try to micro manage their levels. I tell them this is as loud as I can gets, and that's it. It works well. I do make sure there is more bass than usal, and that people don't suffer ear damage. MIKE Y
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