Ahead of the Curve by Michael Edwards

September 6, 2010 by Mobile Beat


You Just Have to Ask…


Starting with this issue, our newest series, “Ahead of the Curve” will examine new ideas and “outside the box” approaches to being a more successful mobile DJ. This wide ranging effort will include discussions of new gear we’d like to see and ground-breaking technologies we wish were available to us. It will also critique advantages and limitations of DJ gear, examine new trends, and offer innovative business tips to help you stay at the top of your game and ahead of the competition.

“Ahead of the Curve” will also give you the opportunity to email us your own ground-breaking ideas, wish lists for DJ equipment (technology and features that you WISH were available to you, but currently are not), and other innovations you’d like to share with your peers. Most DJs have something they want for their DJ rig, but either nobody makes it, you can’t afford it as it’s currently offered, or you simply haven’t been able to find it. When you think about it, often many DJs may share a common need for something that the manufacturers haven’t caught onto yet. Perhaps it involves something they need to modify so that it better fits the needs of more DJs. By voicing your combined opinions and comments in “Ahead of the Curve” every issue, under the watchful eye of the companies who design and produce the gear we buy, you’ll become a powerful factor in dictating what new products come out and what new features are added or removed from the products we’ll all be buying. So put on your thinking caps and come up with some great ideas for stuff you haven’t been able to find anywhere… no matter how weird you think it may be. We’ll discuss the best ones in every issue.


To kick off the series, let’s discuss something that’s really taken off in recent years: the on-site wedding ceremony. This requires the DJ to set up another sound system in a separate location from the main reception. Have you ever lugged all your gear onto a beach across the sand for an ocean-side ceremony? Did you have to bring 200 yards of AC extension cords? How about an outdoor wedding deep in the woods, on a mountain, or in a large gazebo down by the lake? Wouldn’t those ceremonies be a lot easier if you had a light-weight, optionally battery powered, one-piece 300-watt sound system with everything you need built in? I mean a built-in mixer, flexible line inputs on separate channels for your computer, MP3 player, a musical instrument or a CD player, and multiple balanced microphone channels with separate EQ and volume. Also, it would have built-in wireless receivers for wireless lavs on the officiant and the groom, plus hard-wired handheld mics for the DJ and for any readings. I’m not talking about a large rack of heavy gear here…I mean ONE PIECE that contains everything including the power.

A wedding ceremony is never a high-volume situation. If Bose can make the L1 Compact system sound great at 28 pounds, I’m betting that if such a small, flexible, but high-quality “turn-key” PA system existed, many of us would make the investment. It would also be a great emergency back-up system waiting in the van for power failures. Email the features you’d like to see added to it or the ones you feel are unnecessary. How much would you pay for it?


To start the thought process, let’s examine some gear that currently exists. Roland (www.rolandus.com) already has a nice little battery-powered PA, the BA-330 (at about $599), which can play for up to 10 hours, depending on the type of batteries used. It can also be mounted on a speaker stand. Nice size and a good place to start our idea.

Carvin (www.carvin.com) makes an 8-channel, 500-watt powered mixer (model XP-800L, $895 list) available with dual built-in/removable wireless receivers and folding antennas that pop up out of the top; very cool idea. But you still need to lug at least one passive speaker. I’d want it to be true diversity for each channel, but the idea is a solid step forward.

Combine the best features of both these two products and we’d be very close to having our fantasy ceremony system, right? Now you get the idea of this new series: If something doesn’t exist, let’s bat around design ideas and features we need and get a lot of input from the very DJs who’d be the ones buying it. And then we’ll see which manufacturer picks up the ball and runs with it.

But it all starts with you, our loyal MB readers. Send us your opinion of this ceremony system idea and please feel free to add your own innovative ideas on other DJ gear, music subscription services, software, new accessories you’d like to see, or anything else you think might help build a better mousetrap for all mobile DJs.

We’ll try to compile the best ideas and concepts we receive into articles that state what we need as an industry and then let the manufacturers act on them. We may even get some inside info on upcoming products that are still in the design phase. And dare I say, we might get to test and evaluate the prototypes here before they go into full production.

Do you feel powerful yet? Because you only have to think it up and ask for it… as long as it’s something the manufacturers can see is needed by many, and worthy of producing. Drop me an email soon!

Michael Edwards is the owner of AllStar Entertainment & UpLighting, a licensed and bonded musical entertainment agency located in Andover, MA. Full-time since 1979, Mike and his 20 AllStar DJs specialize in Boston-area weddings. He can be contacted at 978-470-4700 or emailed at [ SET UP NEW MB EMAIL FOR MIKE ]. His websites are www.getadj.com and www.getuplights.com and both feature a few “ahead of the curve” ideas of their own.

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This is the general editors account for Mobile Beat Magazine and Website. Who reads Mobile Beat online and in print and attends Mobile Beat events? DJs, VJs and KJs to start with, especially those who own and operate mobile entertainment services. They provide music, video, lighting and a myriad other entertainment choices for corporate events, wedding receptions, dances and innumerable other gatherings.

Filed Under: 2010