Each and every time we arrive at a DJ gig, we take a look at our workstation, a.k.a. the booth, and we begin setting up. When DJing in clubs or bars, you might come across instances where there is a lot of bad DJ booth etiquette. This could include damaged equipment, missing wires, left-back chargers, and a slew of other things that make it hard for the next DJ to set up for a gig.
I’m reminded of the saying “treat those as you wish to be treated.” This scenario is the perfect example of that. You want the DJ booth to be left the same way you’d leave it, right?
So let’s go over a few tips on how we can improve our DJ booth etiquette and spread it amongst the DJ community. But first, I would like to explain the importance of this etiquette.
The Pros of Good DJ Booth Etiquette
Ah, there is nothing like walking into a DJ booth, setting up, and being able to properly utilize the space you have. When the booth is well-maintained, you don’t have to take time to organize it and can move on to setting up your things right away. Afterall, a clean and organized booth leaves you to do the thing you came to do at the venue, which is rock the crowd!
Having all wires present doesn’t leave you to either go through your bag looking for your own or worse, running to the nearest Guitar Center to purchase what you need. I am speaking from personal experience, spending your own money to replace a venue’s wires can be annoying! So even if the DJ before you leaves a mess, we are still responsible for looking out for the next DJ after us.
Here are some tips to make sure you have proper DJ booth etiquette:
If you are the opening DJ:
– Use Lysol or other antibacterial wipes to gently clean the area. – Make sure no wires are missing and that they work with the equipment. – Check the equipment and make sure the faders as well as the knobs work properly. – Check the laptop stand and make sure it’s working properly. – Check the monitors and mic. Make sure all the levels are good. – Be prepared to switch over with the next DJ. – Use the equipment with care. – Don’t slam faders or twist caps too hard. Put the stop brake back at zero as well.
NOTE: If any equipment is not working or wires are missing, alert the venue contact or owner as soon as possible. You can also try to reach out to the next DJ going on to let them know or tell them when they arrive.
If you are the closing DJ:
– Make sure all knobs and faders on the controller or mixer are turned back to the proper positions. – Make sure all the equipment is connected properly. – Throw away all of your trash in the area. – Close the laptop stand and place it to the side. Make sure it works and keep it in the same place it was when you arrived at the booth. – If you have Lysol or antibacterial wipes, gently wipe down the area and make sure it’s clean.
NOTE: For any damage or missing wires, be sure to let management or your venue contact know before you leave!
Now that we’ve covered all of the technical things when it comes to DJ booth etiquette, let’s talk about some of the more personal things you can do to make the booth experience better.
– Be kind and respectful to other DJs in the booth area. – Do not bring a lot of friends in the booth with you while DJing a set. It makes it hard for another DJ to be comfortable. If you have a friend or two just ask the other DJ if it’s ok that they are in there with you. – Also, be kind to your in-house sound techs who assist us on many occasions during gigs. They are there to make us sound better! – DO NOT STEAL another DJ’s stuff or use their own property without permission.
At the end of the day, DJ booth etiquette comes down to respecting the space, the equipment, and most of all, respecting our fellow DJs and those who keep us in business by employing us! We hope these tips serve you well and lead you to many more DJ booths!
About the Writer
Brooklyn native Cory Giles has a ten-year history in the music industry, working with companies such as Def Jam Recordings and Hot 97. A graduate of Jam Master Jay’s Scratch DJ Academy in NYC, Giles has worked with brands like Louis Vuitton, Mohegan Sun, The W, T-Mobile, and the WWE. In 2018, Giles joined Dash Radio’s Taste Radio Channel as a weekly host and DJ on “The Corner.” He is also the official DJ for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.