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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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]
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From The Ground Up: September Supplement

September 4, 2015 by Stu Chisholm
The past few days have been about as hectic as they can get!  Naturally, this time of year is reunion season, and my first “official” gig with my new DJ rig turned out to be one for a good friend of mine: the Dondero High School Class of 1985.  A cool bunch of people, some of the coolest music EVER, and this time flying without a net!  The system performed flawlessly, after a hasty reboot when Serato belched some odd sound, but the biggest drawback is in hooking everything up.  Carrying around uncased components reminded me of the days when I assembled my turntables, mixer and mics on banquet tables when I first started out.  This time hog has GOT to go.  Unfortunately, the gigs wait for no one.   The weekend af... [read more]
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From The Ground Up: The 2015 Summer Edition

August 11, 2015 by Stu Chisholm
Greetings, my much-neglected readers!  SO sorry for the long absence.  With further delays and a mountain of things needing attention, I’m ashamed to say that writing about it all has taken a back seat to getting things done.  But things have been getting done, and if you’ve been following along, there has been steady progress, a few setback or two, some big-time surprises and even a major gaffe along the way!  So, to catch you up from last January, things have gone a little like this… WINTER TO SPRING As February dawned, my focus remained on getting my new DJ system operational.  I headed over to my beloved computer geek megastore, Micro-Center, to pick up a read more]