While DJing for a wedding or in a club, DJs need a minimum of accessories to face every situation. Below is a list of the best accessories I came up with.
Many of them come from problems I had to face when I was a mobile DJ. But most of them are also very useful when playing in clubs. I had myself some problems in shady clubs with faulty CDJs. Others are things that are very useful even in normal situations. Some are obvious, but I wanted this list as the most comprehensive as possible.
List of best DJ accessories:
1. Flight Case
A flight case is a perfect way to move your DJ equipment easily without having to worry about its protection. It fits perfectly in a car, even small. Connect all the cables once in the case. Then, when you go somewhere, you just need to connect the master output and the power supply. Everything else is ready to operate. Really convenient, a real-time savior and relieves many worries. All of them come with handles and sometimes they come with wheels. Thus they are easy to carry, even is they are sometimes quite heavy.
I recommend the Etymotic ER20, they have a 20 dB attenuation on a rather flat frequency range. That means your perception of the sound will not be much altered. The low and high frequencies will be lowered by almost the same amount. That’s really great for the price. The links to buy them are just below.
If you have enough money, go for molded ones, made unique for your ears. The frequency attenuation is perfectly flat, which can be only achieved by custom made earplugs. But that comes at another price…
3. RCA to 3.5mm male adapter
But in fact, it can also be very useful for club DJs. Indeed, in case one the player ceases to function, you can quickly plug your phone with a pre-mixed set. During this time you can come up with a solution, notice the staff, etc. That’s not a myth, I already encountered malfunctioning CDJs!
Personally I prefer to have a female RCA so that I can plug it on a regular male RCA cable. But you can also go for a male RCA to 3.5mm male cable of a longer length.
4. RCA to 3.5mm female adapter
In that case, I believe a male RCA is more convenient. Indeed, from an output point of view, the cable you will put afterward will probably be long enough. Thus I prefer to have the adapter directly plug to the mixer with no other cable in between.
5. Tape or Gaffer
One of the most important accessories, yet often underestimated. Gaffer is really useful to hold any cable in place. I particularly use it a lot to secure the cables on the floor so that people do not trip over. Gaffer is a strong tape, so it can also be used for many different usages. I handled many different kinds of problems with it. A must-have!
6. A Portable Light
Having a portable light is handy for several reasons. First for having a bit of light in the DJ booth which is sometimes quite dark. I personally like to direct it to the mixer.
But it also comes handy when it comes to connecting cables to the backs of the units. A simple flashlight may do the trick as well, but I prefer a portable flashlight with pliers.
7. Portable Audio Recorder
A portable audio recorder is a great way to record your set on the go. This way you can easily share your live sets on social media. Some audio recorder allows you to record both a line in and a microphone at the same time. That allows you to have a record of both your set and the crowd reaction. What is really cool is that many of these recorders come with built-in microphones designed for that use. The Zoom H4n is a great recorder that does all the things I have described above. Please have a look at my links.
8. USB Flash Drives
Indeed, it happens that some clubs do not connect their players together with an ethernet cable. In that case, one player cannot share its music with the other player. Moreover, some faulty players may have difficulties with UBS keys formatted by the proprietary software. In that case, you will need regular MP3s. I encountered both problems, so I highly recommend to have 4 flash drives!
Check prices: Amazon
9. Flash Drive Bag
As you will need many USB flash drives to carry with you, I recommend a bag for a better organization. That will prevent you from losing them and will also protect them. They come in many sizes and are sometimes made to store other things like SD cards. I recommend however to take a simple one so that it stays compact. The one I recommend in the link below seems a good compromise.
Check prices: Amazon
10. Ethernet Cable
Some players in clubs, such as CDJs, are not always connected together. Thus, If you use the sync or other advanced functions, they will not work. Therefore, bringing an Ethernet cable to connect them if needed is a good practice. Having an ethernet cable will also allow you to share the songs of the same flash drive or SSD.
Check prices: Amazon
11. External SSD
For beginners, I do not recommend going with an External SSD or Hard Drive. Indeed I believe it is better to start with a small library and focusing on your skills. You will have plenty of time to play with a bigger library later.
Check prices: Amazon
12. RCA to 1/4″ Adapters
An RCA to 1/4″ adapter can be useful to plug into a booth output. Indeed, they usually have 1/4″ output on most controllers and mixers. Personally, I use a lot of them for an external soundcard which comes with 1/4″ inputs. Buy them in pairs. I believe 4 adapters is a great number to have.
13. An RCA to RCA Male Cable
Always handy in case a cable of the club starts to fail. If you bought some of the adapters I mentioned above, you can plug additional inputs or outputs. This is probably one of the most useful cables to have as a DJ. I recommend having several of them. Just don’t buy 10m+ long cables, RCAs are not balanced and not meant for long-distance. If you need long-distance, please look for XLRs instead. RCA cables are great for anything below that. Therefore, they are the cable to go for DJs.
14. A Spare 1/8″ to 1/4″ Headphone Adapter
A spare 1/8″ to 1/4″ headphone adapter is handy when you broke the one you use every day. And they do broke! Me and two of my friends experienced it. One of them even broke it in its mixer! A spare one will save you some struggle.
15. Spare Laptop Charger
Having a spare laptop charger always in your bag is a good practice. Indeed, by using the regular one, there is a good chance you will forget it one day. Of course, that’s useful for the laptop DJs only.
Check prices: Macbook Pro Charger
16. A Microphone
A microphone is always handy: thanking people who came to see you, presenting your social pages, giving it to the best man, etc.
I recommend buying an XLR to 1/4″ cable with it. Indeed most of the mixers have a 1/4″ input. Some do have an XLR input, but it is less common.
Be careful when selecting a microphone, they come in many different types and technologies. Some are great for instruments, other for voices. Some may create more Larsen than others, etc. The Shure SM48-LC seems a cool price point from the best microphone manufacturer.
I personally own a Sennheiser HD 25. I have it since many years, at least 8. It’s a very durable piece of equipment. Moreover, it has a great advantage, having many spare parts available online. You can replace each part instead of buying new headphones each time. One of the capsules can rotate for single-ear monitoring. That’s an important function for DJs!
18. Business Cards
Having business cards is something often neglected. However, it is something that can have an impact. Indeed DJs are not always announced in clubs. Some people may like what you did without knowing who you are!
A good business card with your social pages is a good way to share your name. Give it directly to people who come to thank you, they will appreciate the gesture. Lay some around the DJ booth or on the bar. People who you have already convinced by your talent can be great followers for your social pages!
19. A Backup CD
In case a CDJ is faulty and its USB port is not working, having a backup CD is always great. Not many people use CDs nowadays and thus it’s a function that works well, because not overused. You can burn MP3s on a CD to have 50+ MP3s. You can even burn a pre-recorded set as a backup plan. That will let you time to figure out the issue, replace the player by another one, or notice the staff.
20. A Laptop Stand
This one is self-explanatory, so I won’t enter into details. Of course, that’s useful only if you are a laptop DJ. Many options available online, the one I linked seems compact. Moreover, you can stretch the legs to fit many configurations, which is pretty cool.
Check prices: Amazon
21. A Portable Speaker
22. A DJ App
Mix everywhere you go with a nice DJ app. A DJ app may even become a backup plan in case your DJ equipment fail, so why not try one? The most famous are probably “djay” by Algoriddim and “edjing” by MWM. You can even combine it with a very compact DJ controller that can fit in a small bag, like the reloop mixtour.
23. A Backpack
A nice backpack to put all your DJ accessories in. Decorate it with your DJ name!
This may seem like a long list of DJ accessories, but many of them are really small and can fit in a bag. They can come handy one day, so make sure you have them in your bag every time. What you can do is note this list on a piece of paper and put it in your bag. This way you can check each time if you have all the accessories you need!