The Moving Line in the Sand

August 15, 2016 by Ben Stowe, CTS

We all have a line in the sand, and sometimes we move it around to suit our given position. I’ve noticed a lot of this within the DJ industry lately. On one hand, a DJ might post a picture of a competitor’s set-up on an industry forum, and do so for the purpose of mocking the inferiority of it. Then, in the next post he will take offense when someone recommends doing something superior to what he’s doing with his own setup.172-2627

It’s caused me to think a bit about the qualifier, “just fine.” They say, “I do this and it’ s just fine.” Just fine for whom? Just fine for you? Just fine for your clients? What if what the “inferior” DJ is doing is “just fine” for their clients? Or is “just fine” for them? How does one qualify what is “just fine”? Why is it OK to lower the bar, but not OK for someone to lower it further? Or, put another way, why do we resist raising the bar if it is higher than where we have it set?

George Carlin said, “Have you ever noticed that anyone driving slower than you is an idiot and anyone driving faster than you is a maniac?”

Right about now, I’m betting some people reading this are noticing a temperature rise. Their blood might be starting to boil. If that’s you, I would urge you to ask yourself why that’s the case. If it’s hitting pretty close to home, then you should definitely read on. Growth comes from leaving our comfort zone.

Now, while “just fine” is a very subjective term I’m going to try to provide a little scientific contrast. Recently, I saw a post where a DJ said that a $10 25-foot XLR cable was “just fine.” I noted that I, personally, wouldn’t use that cable. I know what is in a $10 cable, and I have my reasons for not using it. Not the least of which being it’s vulnerability to noise, and more importantly failure. I didn’t comment in the thread though, because his “just fine” and my “just fine” are “just different.”

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Ben Stowe, CTS Ben Stowe, CTS (25 Posts)

Ben’s love of electronics and technology led to years of schooling in Electricity, Electronics, Robotics and Lasers. Ben supported himself through school by building and selling strobe lights and other electronic devices. He built his first DJ show largely from scratch and scrap, often repairing broken items others had thrown away because he could not afford to buy new equipment. He holds a Minnesota electrical license, and his AV installs have been featured in almost every major industry trade magazine. His relentless passion for education has led to a number of other certifications and accreditations, including the most widely recognized one in the AV industry, the InfoComm CTS. His love for education inspired him to begin the ProAcademy educational sessions, focused on increasing understanding of AV technologies within the industry. Ben has been involved in a number of technical writings, lectures, presentations, as well as research and development assistance with a number of manufacturers for products, industry wide. He is also a regular contributing author to industry magazines in the United States and Europe. Ben’s presentations have been featured across the world both as a part of industry leading trade shows, and as a presenter for various groups and functions. Some of these events include BPM in the United Kingdom, Mobile Beat, the ADJA National Convention, Wedding MBA, and a national tour as a headlining presenter for an industry magazine. The United States Armed Forces branches have also called upon Ben to provide engineering and training assistance. His highly informational, slightly nerdy and always funny presentation style have made him a favorite at events, while his sincere desire to help people with their application of technology have made him a favorite with them after the event. Ben serves the industry as the President of NLFX Professional, an industry leading supplier of sound, lighting and video systems, a role he has maintained since founding the company in 1993.

Filed Under: 2016, Sound Engineering for Mobile DJs