Starting A Mobile DJ Business


The Mobile Dj Business is a great way to let your inter showman out. You are the party, the key to making just about any event memorable. Besides, you can make a pretty good income doing it.

What equipment will I Need?

First, let me say that your client does not care if you have the latest and the excellent equipment or if you don’t know how to get your audience involved; it just does not matter. I have seen DJs with a beginner system rock the crowd. 

So, let us get into the equipment.

Beginner: There are several components to your system. Some DJs will say vinyl is the only way to go, and others will tell you that digital is it. The thing is, both camps are correct. I use digital for my shows because it’s all on your laptop; you no longer have to lug around 200 pounds of LPs.

We will need the following pieces of equipment. I will cover this in some detail later on this site.

You will need a dedicated Laptop i5 or higher, a minimum of 16 gigs of ram, and a 512 gig hard drive. A PA or powered speaker system with enough power to cover a room of 20 to 40 people. The lighting “Basic” system adds drama to your evet and cables and patch cords to hook everything together. Also, you will need a software controller.

You can expect to budget around $3,000. The cool thing is you don’t have to buy everything a once.

Intermediate: I went to high school in South Dakota at a residential campus in a small town called Canton. One of my friends asked if I would come home with him over the weekend. Sure, why not? What else was I doing in a town of fewer than 2500 people over the weekend? Nothing. So it was about an hour and a half away, and on the way, we passed a brand new Mercedes Benz out in a cornfield sitting there, and I thought to myself, that’s strange. So I asked, “why was that car sitting in the field”? And friend looked at me and said, “Oh, that’s Reed’s field car.” First of all, I didn’t know what a field car was but having Benz as one didn’t seem right. More Later

Are you asking yourself right about what this story has to do with me being a DJ? Well, it.s about selecting the right equipment for the right job. Then, of course, as your skills improve, you will want to upgrade your equipment. But before you do that, you have to ask yourself a question: “what type of DJ do you want to be.?” 

One of the many questions you need to ask yourself. What style of music are you going to be playing? I do “Old School R and B, Soul, some Classic Rock, and Jazz.” I don’t plan on doing much scratching, playing country and Hip Hop. So people book me because they know what type of music they will hear.

Some DJs do more weddings than others, so they play crowd favorites to dance to and spend a fair amount of time working with the wedding party to figure out what they want to hear.

For the most part, this one question will determine what type of music you will want to download on your laptop. More discussion about music platforms later.

If you are to be doing many weddings, you will be spending a fair amount of money on things like uplighting, a photo booth, and a secondary sound system for the ceremony.

You can plan on spending around $9,000.00

Advanced: Here is where most DJs aspire to become. You can plan on spending more money at this level. Lighting systems cost $10,000 to $15,000, and Sound systems cost the same. A four-channel, four-deck flagship DJ controller alone will be $6,000 to $10,000. Add another $5,000 if you are using turntables. You plan $40,000.00 plus for lighting and special effects. WOW

Pro: These Ladies and Gentlemen have the right to swagger. They have their systems but just for practice. These are the people who play EDC, Life is Beautiful, Coachella, and the big clubs worldwide. They show up and perform. These are the NFL, NBA, and World Cup of DJs. Oh, if you are wondering, these DJs can demand seven-figure annual salaries.

What software to use?

There are free and paid-for mixing tools and DJ software for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS. There are also business apps that you use with clients for what type of performance they are looking for and business tracking.

Let us start with the controller software. 

Native Instruments Traktor Pro 3 

Ableton Live

Serato DJ Pro

Pioneer DJ Rekordbox DJ

Native Instruments Traktor DJ



Atomix VirtualDJ Pro

Mixvibes Cross

Algoriddim djay Pro

DJ Player Pro

Focus on these top four software apps.

They are: Tracktor, Rekordbox, Serato, and Vitrual DJ.

Serato DJ Pro is the app I use with my controller. However, bear in mind that not all software works with all controllers.


Developed initially by Pioneer DJ for French developer MixVibes, Rekordbox existed in the past as a track preparation tool and music librarian designed for use with Pioneer’s range of CDJs and digital music players. Rekordbox received a significant upgrade for Rekordbox DJ – and expanded ‘performance’ version of the software, complete with sampling and mixing, effect, and abilities. There is excellent track control with four decks, a track recommendation system with a library browser and with master effects per track- each with multiple slots – and a looper, beat slicer, and eight-slot sampler. More recently, it expanded with an Auto-Mix feature. This automated tool will do a lot of your work, an excellent option for beginners on a more professional level who can sync and control light shows and stage effects. In addition, Rekordbox DJ is expandable with add-on packs for digital vinyl, video mixing, and lyric functionality, ideal for karaoke and events DJs. Unsurprisingly, Rekordbox DJ is best with Pioneer’s controller hardware. However, its most significant appeal is probably cross-platform compatibility—the shared workflow between the track library and Pioneer’s industry-standard CDJs and mixers. Rekordbox DJ is downloadable as a free 30-day trial. After that, it’s available in various purchase options, including monthly subscription plans.

Serato Pro

Serato has remained one of the major players in digital DJing and was at the forefront with digital vinyl systems back in the early ’00s. It offers a range of software applications that have gone through many iterations and name changes. Still, since being unified and refreshed under the banner of Serato DJ in 2013, the application feels tighter and more refined than ever. In recent times, Serato has put much work into making its software reliable and low-latency, and it’s these factors make it a popular choice with club DJs. The app also offers solid digital vinyl capabilities and plug ‘n’ play support for various controllers. Beyond this, all the creative elements you’d expect from a top-quality DJ application include analysis tools, sampling capabilities, effects, four-deck mixing, sync, and much more. Mobile DJs can get to grips with Serato for free via the cut-down but still well-equipped Serato DJ Lite version.

Atomix VirtualDJ Pro

A full licenseVirtualDJ Pro can get pricey – you’ll have to pay $299. However, it offers some tremendous flexible ‘pro’ features.

 ReWire compatibility means it can be run in conjunction with various DAWs, opening up a whole world of performance possibilities.

VirtualDJ 2018 focuses mainly on visuals. Video Skins offers a way to project your DJing skills live onto a big screen, while new visualization tools provide automated methods to generate a mix with video. 

The deal-breaker is VirtualDJ 21, which adds real-time stem separation, allowing for mash-ups, remixes, and transitions.

Native Instruments Traktor Pro 3 

Much of Traktor’s appeal lies in its well-designed interface being easy to use enough for newbies to get to grips without hassle. However, it still packs much depth, allowing advanced users to do some creative things.

It is more than capable with quality Effects, Remix Decks, Loop Recorder, and excellent Sample Decks with key analysis algorithms and solid beats. Traktor has pretty much everything a modern DJ is likely to need. In addition, a digital vinyl system is also available in the form of the Traktor Scratch upgrade. 

There’s a real innovation in here, too, in the shape of NI’s Stems format. Traktor offers up commercial releases broken down into four competent ‘Stems’ to be played back and manipulated separately by Traktor’s Stem Decks.

Traktor is well supported by the hardware, too, from NI’s extensive range of controllers and interfaces and numerous third-party options. You can also map it to any controller you wish, which makes it extra flexible.

Understanding how much time is required.

If you are doing a three-hour gig, you can spend double that if preparing for that date. You meet with clients, select music, create a playlist, and verify that all your equipment is ready for the big day.

How much money can I make?

If you are starting, I will use a four-letter word here, “FREE” Yes, Free; because you do not have any experience, you do not expect to get much compensation. Plan to work every weekend and just about every night. However, you can make between $1,000 to $5,000 per gig when you have established a good reputation.

Over the years, I can’t think of a better way to make a living and have fun at the same time.

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