Stu Chisholm


Stu Chisholm

Stu Chisholm had been collecting music since he was about eight years old and began his DJ career in 1979. After much hard work, trial-and-error, and a stint at the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, he studied the DJ arts with famous Michigan broadcaster, Bill Henning, at a local college. Stu interned at Detroit's rock powerhouse, WRIF. To his radio and mobile work Stu later added club gigs at Detroit's best venues, and voiceover work. He has shared his extensive DJ experience through his Mobile Beat columns, as a seminar speaker and through his book, “The Complete Disc Jockey: A Comprehensive Manual for the Professional DJ,” released in 2008.




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From the Ground Up: A Finale (of Sorts)

July 30, 2017 by Stu Chisholm
It has been quite a while since the previous installment of my blog and mag series about the total overhaul of my DJ business, Stu & His Crew. One of the reasons I’ve put off any more writing is because things slowed down to such a crawl, there wasn’t anything new to report! I had completely upgraded my playback systems, using HP Omen laptops and the (then) brand new Numark NV. I had completely refurbished my old 1996 Ford box truck, restoring its looks and operation to like new condition. I’ve overhauled my business plan, redone my logo (keeping only my name, albeit changing over to an LLC) and have been taking some steps to improve... [read more]
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Branding vs. Booking?

July 14, 2017 by Stu Chisholm
On these pages back in August of 2009, Jeffrey Gitomer made an analogy between our entertainment services and various high-end products and venues at a Charlotte shopping mall. The bottom line seems to be that the guys running sales had empty stores, while high-end stores like Starbuck’s, Louis Vuitton and Apple had tons of customers lining up to hand over their hard-earned money. I’ve seen variations of this theme in social media recently, so let’s take a moment to unpack this idea a bit more fully. To begin with, my very first thought was that Apple, Louis Vuitton and Starbuck’s have MASSIVE advertising budgets that dwarf anything that even... [read more]
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Ready to Play, Come Rain or Come Shine

June 17, 2017 by Stu Chisholm
So, this happened: A banquet facility here in Michigan built a gorgeous, landscaped outdoor pavilion specifically for wedding ceremonies. When my helper and I arrived to provide PA, I was impressed by the thought that went into it. There was a bar-like area that served as a DJ booth for weddings, or an actual bar for, say, an evening outdoor patio party for the golfers at the club. With a pergola overhead and a two- circuit outdoor electrical box close by, it seemed like an ideal situation. But then the dark clouds rolled in. HERE COMES THE RAIN AGAIN...AND AGAIN Sett... [read more]
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Your Speakers: Your Voice

June 2, 2017 by Stu Chisholm
If you attended MBLV in 2015, you might recall my article, “Good Sound Doesn’t Happen By Magic,” being included in the special expo issue of Mobile Beat. In it, I wrote about the differences between active and passive speakers (powered vs. unpowered) and all of the various signal processors that are designed to help make them sound better. Since then, I have become concerned about the attitudes among some of my peers and colleagues, especially the entry-level DJs, about speakers. All too often, a DJ will research and pay a ton of money for the computer they use, their controller, their lighting, etc. and leave the remaining crumbs of their budget ... [read more]
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Are You Summerized?

May 18, 2017 by Stu Chisholm
It might seem silly, with the snowflakes still dancing outside the window for many of us, to be thinking about summer. Just as a smart DJ starts contacting Christmas clients in July, he or she will also be planning ahead for those warm summer months just weeks away. On the business end, most of us have companies, businesses and groups that have summer picnics and fairs to contact, not to mention planning the second phase of our wedding advertising; the bridal show season has yet to peak! Right now is not too early. There are also those other, less obvious things we should be thinking about. Sunshine on his shoulders might’ve made John Denver happy, bu... [read more]
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Increasing Complexity: Help or Hindrance?

December 4, 2016 by Stu Chisholm
W hen I began my DJ career in 1979, things were much harder. In the realm of media, vinyl records were heavy and bulky, and both records and cassette tapes presented many technical problems. Those included: how one could cue a particular song on a tape; keeping dust and dirt off of the grooves of a record; mechanical shocks from bouncy dance floors that could cause the record to skip; cue burn (the damage to vinyl caused by back-cueing); and so on.175-16-17 Even when CDs became the norm, eliminating most of those issues, they had a few of their own. Early CD players didn’t have pitch controls, and they, too, could skip if mechanically jostled. Error correction ... [read more]
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Million Dollar DJs

August 13, 2016 by Stu Chisholm
Someone caused quite a ruckus on the DJ forums when they posted about Texas DJ Louis Grell of LG Entertainment. Seems he broke the million-dollar mark for a gig. DJs pounced on the author in disbelief, while a handful of others defended him. Grell, meanwhile, was caught in the middle; one day he’s talking to a guy doing a podcast, and the next thing he knows, he’s got guys dragging his name through the muck.172-3233 But yes, he did cash that big paycheck. It’s just didn’t happen like guys on the forum thought. Unlike the vast majority of “weekend warriors” headed off to a wedding reception, LG Entertainment does huge mega-events, sometimes spanning a w... [read more]
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Branding – The Case for Signage at Events

July 10, 2016 by Stu Chisholm
True confession: If you’re a regular reader of mine, you might already know that my articles are often sparked by an online discussion. This one is a prime example. At DJ seminars and conventions, workshops, in the pages of Mobile Beat and other trade publications, and in those online forums, a familiar topic is branding. Branding is to marketing what the periodic table is to chemistry; establishing your brand brings an instant image of you and your company into the minds of your potential clients. Or at least it SHOULD, if you have been marketing that brand correctly. (Or even 171-openair-stu1incorrectly, but over a long enough period of time.) So in th... [read more]
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Meet the MRS – Multiple Revenue Streams

June 25, 2016 by Stu Chisholm
When I wrote my book, The Complete Disc Jockey, back in 2008, the economy was in a shambles. nlfx-stuEconomic recovery was slow, and hadn’t even begun in most areas, and a good many DJ companies simply flickered out of business. Those who remained were barely holding on. Things looked dire. I had originally started my project to write about all of the different jobs a DJ could do beyond the “big three” of mobile, club and radio. Including those, I detailed over a dozen fields open to a professional disc jockey, along with some things that an existing entertainment company ... [read more]
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What’s Old Is New Again

November 6, 2015 by Stu Chisholm
Basic RGBBLENDING ERAS AND GENRES TO MOVE DIVERSE CROWDS It started last March when I arrived at the Mobile Beat show in Las Vegas. That night, the Riviera’s notorious bar, Wicked Vicky’s, was the scene of the “DJ Takeover,” a mix-fest by DJs showing off their skills to friends, colleagues and a lot of stunned-looking tourists and regulars. The mixing, of course, was top-notch. What struck me as a bit odd, though, was the music they chose. These days, most of the DJs – perhaps all of them – are much younger than I, yet I couldn’t help bu... [read more]