Where to set up?

Albatross

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Sep 7, 2016
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Comparing a main stream touring act who does concerts in large pavillions or arenas for 10,000+ in attendance to a mobile DJ who does events for 300 or less, and often 50 to 125 guests is irrelevant.

Also, While Subs are probably used for concerts (I am no sound guru with a high level of knowledge on the standards on this) ...I have often not seen any subs in plain sight when I attended a large concert. What I saw were large array systems suspended in air. I could not make out any subs being used in plain sight.

Going back afew years to the old DJ Expo days where the Promo Only Concert series was taking place at the House of Blues...The sound was output through a large array speaker system to maybe 400 to 500 DJs in the crowd, and it sounded abolutely terrible, and overbearing, LOL. I figured sound quality would be horrible at a DJ Expo, LOL.
I was in a total dive bar in Odenton, Maryland (The Place, was actually the name of it) this past weekend listening to a band play that was using two subs. And there couldn't have been more than 25 people in there. The band sounded great, and it was a shame they didn't have a bigger audience.

If you're watching line array rigs being flown, there are definitely subs on those systems. Sometimes the subs are being flown, sometimes they're essentially built into the stage. But I think it would be hard to find a real line array system that doesn't have subs in it somewhere.

This has totally de-railed this thread, which I apologize for.

At the end of the day... you're going to keep doing what you are comfortable doing. I think they make a difference, so I use them. And the clients I want... are the kind of clients that care if I take an extra step to make sure its done properly.
 
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djtaso

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FYI Ricky... keep in mind the no sub argument also depends on your system. My tops produce no lows whatsoever. I think they only have 4 or 6” woofers and sound disgusting without any low end support... so one subs is ALWAYS a must for me. Also I personally agree with the perspective of Ross where I’d rather bring one extra price and provide a more “fuller” sound than the “bare minimum”.
 

djcrazychris

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Jun 12, 2018
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Thanks for all the input everyone!!

Im certainly for a richer sound ...and lug my sub every chance i get... my only reservation with this particular venue is that if i do end up along that window wall... i will allready be pushed out into the crowd...the sub will extend me 3 or so more feet....and as we all know...in a cocktail party with no tables....my sub will suddenly become a drink table...

given the size of the room and the rough load in... i think a couple hearty 15 inch speakers will work perfectly... but who knows...i may end up adding the sub...maybe try and hide it under the table...tho i detest the vibration that close to my workspace

cc
 

ittigger

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Feb 1, 2011
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Sub(s) are with me at almost all events as well. I enjoy being able to provide more spectrum coverage.

As for local bands, I've seen many, many bands that do indeed use subs. Dean Crawford (and others) uses subs as well - I'm not sure if they're his or not but I'm willing to bet that Dean (and others) does know that there is a sound difference. Think about this for a minute - if you play without subs all the time, when you add subs, things all of a sudden sound funny (added low end). If this is not the sound he wants or likes, then they would never use subs (his or not) - and he would specifically ask that they be turned off. Compared to most other popular (major and minor) artists that do use subs, this would not be a pleasant sound. Dean covers alot of Country, which is generally big on bass.

Additionally, without subs, you're kinda missing the purpose of a bass guitar, bass drum - and others in that low spectrum.

Take a look at 39:12. These may or may not be his speakers - but that top cabinet is at alot of events he does. Considering they are the same mfr, I'm willing to bet the subs are his too.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oDGGXX1bDo

If he is indeed 'Maryland's #1 country music artist', then he certainly is using subs. You don't get to number 1 using the minimums.

Throughout this clip, you will see various systems to include line arrays and subs.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szMpcwLje3o


Look at 8:19 - looks like tops on subs to me.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvGBdkHOhTo

Big speakers (tops and subs)
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfqQ0O8fsv4
 
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Hank Davidson

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You've consistently shown a preference for doing as little work as possible.
Not sure if that was something specific to you and Ricky, but personally I don't think it's fair to equate proficiency with laziness. One size does not fit all and sometimes working too hard can just be wasted energy. I am a complete audiophile in my personal life, but I'm setting up to play for 4 hours, not move in.

People will notice if your sound is absolute crap, but most don't care otherwise. I'm a minimalist when it comes to this job, but I do it very well and work hard at it.
I attract clients and venues that want a professional music and hosting service, done simply and efficiently. I am impressed with the thought and artfulness that goes into these big skrim/facade rigs with big sound and lights, but that's just another option, not a standard.
 

steve149

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I think subs are practical. To get any significant bass otherwise, one would generally need to use a pair of 15" speakers (unless a very small room or for non-dancing use). Personally, I find 15s on a stick very unattractive (and I had 3 pairs) and while clients might not hear a difference, they certainly SEE one. So if you go to a smaller top, the sub becomes a needed component.
 

Albatross

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Sep 7, 2016
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Not sure if that was something specific to you and Ricky, but personally I don't think it's fair to equate proficiency with laziness. One size does not fit all and sometimes working too hard can just be wasted energy. I am a complete audiophile in my personal life, but I'm setting up to play for 4 hours, not move in.

People will notice if your sound is absolute crap, but most don't care otherwise. I'm a minimalist when it comes to this job, but I do it very well and work hard at it.
I attract clients and venues that want a professional music and hosting service, done simply and efficiently. I am impressed with the thought and artfulness that goes into these big skrim/facade rigs with big sound and lights, but that's just another option, not a standard.
Hank - my issue with Ricky's approach is certainly not rooted only in this thread. That comment came from years of interactions on this board and previous ones.

I'm certainly aware that not every gig needs the same solution. I have venues I work with that simply don't allow subs. Others have sound constraints so strict that it would be completely impractical to use them there. My standard practice is a system that has decent low end on it - not room shaking heart pounding bass.

I don't take issue with how anyone chooses to do their work, especially if they are happy with how their business is performing. But Ricky's sentiment in a lot of threads is a very doom and gloom scenario for the mobile DJ world. That just isn't my experience - and I bet we don't live more than 60 miles from each other.

Ricky's business has been around much longer than mine. And it reads like he still gets the majority of his work through an agency, GigMasters, and ads on Google. The longer you do this type of work, the more of the work should be coming from referrals. And if that isn't the case... I think there is a product problem.

Is that problem not using subs? Probably not. Is it not beat mixing through sets? Not likely. It's likely not any one specific thing, but the collection of all of the things being provided.

The more times we say to ourselves, "It's not necessary..." or "Nobody cares about..." or "I can get by doing..." There is probably some truth. But we also make our service increasingly ordinary.
 

wifedj

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Mar 20, 2008
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Lol... I thought you were talking about touring acts.
...and I though you were talking about acts that anyone outside of Ballimore might have heard of...LOL

In a related matter, I could list hundreds of bands in New Orleans that also use substandard gear and perform somewhat regulalrly...I never aim that low, too much chance for ricochet!
 

TwinSpinDJ

Up-lighting
Never played events without a subwoofer, except when the room dictated otherwise. Before selling off my Yorkville system, I would use the NX750P (750 w) by themselves. Plenty of low end on those speakers. Before I purchased a single Yorkville LS801P, I would use my RCF ART 800P (400watt) subwoofers and 12" tops. Both the Yorkville and RCF ART systems were sold prior to re-locating from North Carolina to Florida and were replaced by RCF Evox 8 system. I don't do large venues and sweet 16's any more. Heavy low end is no longer needed. I do a number of 55+ older community events and small to medium size weddings, parties.
 

DJ Ricky B

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We all do this differently.

I am just stating that Subs are not "needed". Some believe that because they always choose to lug a sub or 2 into every event, that those who do not bring subs out are "doing the bare minimum". I disagree with that. Those who choose to not use Subs on various events do so because it is a prudent choice, and let's them work more efficiently.

I know DJs who only use 10 inch speakers on all of their events with no subs. They get comments of how great of a job they did as well as the same sized tips that others who do use subs earn when they are tipped as well. Loud Speakers by themselves will provide adequete sound in most situations that Mobile DJs find themselves in.

Unless you own and use a line array system that requires the Sub in order to produce low end sound, then there is little reason on the Upside to use a Sub or 2 for a wedding for 100 or less guests.

Also, today's 12 inch powered speakers generally output more bass and low end frequency than the 15 inch speakers from 20+ years ago. 15 inch speakers by thsemselves 20+ years ago were adequete without subs as well.

The use of subs on a conventional loud speaker system is simply a preference decision by the DJ themselves.

Sometimes I really want to use my subs as well, and bring them out. I usually make that decision when it's a larger event, or a party where the client wants to make it sound more like a club. Outside of that, many events don't need a Sub, and the clients and their guests will be just as happy without a sub being used.

Some venues do not even allow Subs to be used at all, and that goes for both DJs and bands. Weddings in those venues have just as much dancing, and clients are just as happy with the outcome.
 

Hank Davidson

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The more times we say to ourselves, "It's not necessary..." or "Nobody cares about..." or "I can get by doing..." There is probably some truth. But we also make our service increasingly ordinary.
I figured it was something between the two of you. Thanks for the reply and great points.
Just be aware that being on a higher level of ordinary, isn't the same as being extraordinary. ;)

Our service has been increasingly ordina....uh, challenging since we no longer are the only ones holding all of the songs and gear. We're pushed to offer more, stand out more and justify more. The kicker is that all of this "more" may be the thing that's going to hurt us the most. It takes big checks to cover all that and the clients that can support it or want it just aren't there for everybody.

Whether we're operating at a handball court or a super sweet sixteen, we're doing something we love and hopefully earning something for it.
 

DJ Ricky B

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Mar 9, 2015
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Sub(s) are with me at almost all events as well. I enjoy being able to provide more spectrum coverage.

As for local bands, I've seen many, many bands that do indeed use subs. Dean Crawford (and others) uses subs as well - I'm not sure if they're his or not but I'm willing to bet that Dean (and others) does know that there is a sound difference. Think about this for a minute - if you play without subs all the time, when you add subs, things all of a sudden sound funny (added low end). If this is not the sound he wants or likes, then they would never use subs (his or not) - and he would specifically ask that they be turned off. Compared to most other popular (major and minor) artists that do use subs, this would not be a pleasant sound. Dean covers alot of Country, which is generally big on bass.

Additionally, without subs, you're kinda missing the purpose of a bass guitar, bass drum - and others in that low spectrum.

Take a look at 39:12. These may or may not be his speakers - but that top cabinet is at alot of events he does. Considering they are the same mfr, I'm willing to bet the subs are his too.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oDGGXX1bDo

If he is indeed 'Maryland's #1 country music artist', then he certainly is using subs. You don't get to number 1 using the minimums.

Throughout this clip, you will see various systems to include line arrays and subs.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szMpcwLje3o


Look at 8:19 - looks like tops on subs to me.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvGBdkHOhTo
Each of those bands also do events where no subs are being used. I worked with Night Life twice in the past. Once no subs were used. The other time a single sub was used. I have seen Dean Crawford twice. No subs either time. They were not big outdoor concerts. Edjacated Phools. Saw them once. Less than 150 attendees. They did not have a sub...Maybe a bass cabinet was used for the bass guitar in the background, but not a large sub along with their loud speakers.
 

ittigger

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Feb 1, 2011
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Every DJ can also use subs or no subs. As for the bands, I've shown you public evidence that they do indeed use subs in both small and large areas. Why would they even bother if they felt they didn't 'need' it?
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
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Sep 26, 2011
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Prospect, CT
We all do this differently.

I am just stating that Subs are not "needed". Some believe that because they always choose to lug a sub or 2 into every event, that those who do not bring subs out are "doing the bare minimum". I disagree with that. Those who choose to not use Subs on various events do so because it is a prudent choice, and let's them work more efficiently.

I know DJs who only use 10 inch speakers on all of their events with no subs. They get comments of how great of a job they did as well as the same sized tips that others who do use subs earn when they are tipped as well. Loud Speakers by themselves will provide adequete sound in most situations that Mobile DJs find themselves in.

Unless you own and use a line array system that requires the Sub in order to produce low end sound, then there is little reason on the Upside to use a Sub or 2 for a wedding for 100 or less guests.

Also, today's 12 inch powered speakers generally output more bass and low end frequency than the 15 inch speakers from 20+ years ago. 15 inch speakers by thsemselves 20+ years ago were adequete without subs as well.

The use of subs on a conventional loud speaker system is simply a preference decision by the DJ themselves.

Sometimes I really want to use my subs as well, and bring them out. I usually make that decision when it's a larger event, or a party where the client wants to make it sound more like a club. Outside of that, many events don't need a Sub, and the clients and their guests will be just as happy without a sub being used.

Some venues do not even allow Subs to be used at all, and that goes for both DJs and bands. Weddings in those venues have just as much dancing, and clients are just as happy with the outcome.
Almost any piece of gear "isn't needed", but they have their purpose and their place.

If you don't run a sub, then you are putting the burden on the main cabinet's woofer to not only handle lower mid-range duty, but to handle 2+ octaves of music (20-40Hz, 40-80Hz, 80-160Hz) below what they would need to do with a sub. Those lowest 3 octaves require substantial excursion effort or large surface areas to reproduce the notes and if the same driver is ALSO trying to reproduce some of the more import lower voice registers, you get unwanted artifacts (cone breakup mostly) and non-optimal sound. If you're talking about background music or speech applications (or even bar karaoke with limited dancing), then you can probably get away without one. I do a number of events with my JBL PRX612 speakers .. but they aren't dancing events.

I agree everyone needs to decide how they support their business.
 

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
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I love The Incredibles and advancing on your reference, I submit that when your motives are less than incredible, and akin to parity, monotony, and minimal equivalency, those that are Incredible will exceed, surpass and destroy you.






"If you are not actively improving, you are effectively depreciating." R. Bourg 6.25.19
 
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