Smart DJ Tips: Easy Tips to Shorten Break-Down Time

June 14, 2017 by Jason Rubio

Most mobile DJs will agree that setting up and breaking down your DJ equipment are the parts of the event that we like the least; however, there’s no way around it, unless you charge enough that you can hire a setup/breakdown crew. For the most part, most mobile DJs don’t have that luxury. So here are some easy tips to help you shorten your breakdown and loading back up, time.

  • Use an RCA to 1/8″ Adapter – For the last song of the night, use this adapter to play the last song on your computer or even your phone (if you have the headphone jack on your phone – newer iPhones don’t have this). This works if you have a controller or mixer that is a stand alone mixer, or if you use an analog mixer. This gives you the last 3-5 minutes to start breaking down your controller or turntables, and if you use your phone, even your computer!
  • Break-down Lighting – During the last 10-15 minutes of the event, we usually just leave one dance floor light on. We start to break-down the other lights and put them away. You can even just use on light on your table, if you don’t have a facade. This way, you can breakdown light stands or truss, too! Most people know the end time of the event, so vendors and guests usually start to clean up around this time, if not before. If they forgot the event end time, you doing this will remind them. 🙂
  • Break-down Other Lighting – If your client added uplighting or a monogram, you can start breaking down the monogram light and gather uplights, about 10-15 minutes before the end time, as well. This is where it helps to have 2 people at your event. One person can breakdown the DJ lighting, and the other can breakdown the other lighting around the venue. Again, for most private events, vendors and guests are already cleaning and breaking down, too, so it won’t be out of the ordinary.
  • Put Away All Other Non-Essential Equipment – About 20 minutes before the end of the night, or whenever works best for you, you can begin putting away any other non-essential equipment, such as a fog or haze machine, wireless microphone or lapel, etc.

The above tips are essentially just breaking down your equipment early, while still playing music. We never do this earlier than 30 minutes before any event time. The best part about doing all of the above, is that by the time the last song is finished, much of your breaking down is done! We do this at every event and it takes 10-15 minutes to load back up and leave, when there is two people. If it’s just one person, it can take about 15 – 20 minutes to load everything and leave. Either way, it’s so much easier to do this, than to wait to break-down when the last song is finished. This is what we do and it saves time!

Jason Rubio Jason Rubio (86 Posts)

Jason Rubio is the co-owner and founder of Austin’s Best DJs, a professional DJ & photo booth company that provides music and entertainment for hundreds of weddings and events in the Austin and central Texas area. Jason started his DJ career as a mobile DJ, at age 13, and has since DJ’ed thousands of events, providing music and entertainment for clubs, bars, radio, concerts, festivals and various other events. In addition to writing for Mobile Beat, Jason also writes “The DJ Insider,” and has been featured in Canadian Special Events Magazine, Wedding Planner Magazine, and numerous other sites and publications. Jason is also a graduate of Texas State University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education, as well as a Master’s of Public Administration, from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Contact Jason Rubio at

Filed Under: Mobile DJ Business