The Sound System (Part 3)

In this 3-part course, your trainer will guide you through the basics of the standard DJ sound system. Upon completion, you should feel confident in setting up a full sound system independently and in "event ready" condition. 

Part 3 - Event Ready Set-Up and Wireless Mics (copy)

Event Ready Set-Up

Scout Before You Set Up

Always check in before setting up and scan the room or area for the ideal placement. Your trainer will share tips for where/how to set up based on:

  • Power source availability and distance
  • Ideal speaker placement
  • Cable runs
  • Optimal view of key moments

Hiding Cables and Using Gaff Tape

The idea is to make the set up look clean and "wireless."  Appearances matter and appearing professional is paramount. Your trainer will discuss how to use the following:

  • Velcro for stands and wrapping cables
  • Gaff tape for looks and safety
  • Facades and/or the environment around you

Wireless Mics

Wireless vs. Wired

Instead of plugging your sound cable from your mixer board directly into a wired microphone, you will be plugging in from your mixer board to the wireless base (receiver). The actual microphone (transmitter) will send a wireless signal to the base so long as both are on the same broadcasting frequency. 

The wireless microphone system also needs its own power supply. You have the option of plugging in either a 1/4" cable or a XLR. The XLR is preferred as the primary microphone connection.  

Setting Up a Wireless Microphone

You will most likely be using a SHURE brand microphone. It is important to understand the ways your microphone can plug into your mixer and/or directly into a speaker. When setting up a microphone, there are some good habits that can help you avoid potential issues. 

Your trainer will demonstrate proper set-up and have you 

Always Practice the 4 S's

  • Scan for an open channel
  • Sync the microphone to the base
  • Sound check all areas needing coverage
  • Speak clearly and confidently

EQ (Highs, Mids, Lows)

  • It is important to know how to EQ yourself. Your trainer will help you with this. 
  • Keep in mind potential adjustments as other people use your microphone during an event. 

Volume

In addition to controlling volume through master volume, channel trim/gain, channel volume and speaker volume, your wireless microphone has 2 additional ways to adjust volume (one on the back of the base, one inside the stick). You shouldn't need to adjust these, but it is important to know they are there.

Walk The Room

Make sure you do multiple sound checks prior to the start of the event as well as once people begin to fill the space. Several factors can affect volume and sound quality including:

  • Size of the Room and/or Number of People
  • Material of Room (e.g. Caves tend to have a problematic echo)
  • Other frequencies being used nearby (e.g. Hotels with their own wireless mics)

Multiple Microphones

If using multiple wireless microphones, be sure that you follow all procedure (the 4 S's) listed above for a wireless microphone, leave the first microphone ON, and then repeat the 4 S's for the second microphone. Leaving the first microphone ON will ensure that you scan for a new channel as two microphones on the same channel will cause the other to cut in and out. 

You will also want to make sure you have the right sound cable (also referred to as "patch" cable) for your secondary mic input on your mixer board. The Pioneer DDJ-SX2s have one XLR input and one 1/4" input. 

Multiple Microphone Madness

Final Thoughts

You should now feel confident and comfortable with setting up a full sound system in "Event Ready" condition. We encourage you to continue practicing the good habits you have learned so that they become part of your DNA. 

The next steps are mastering the DJAY Pro software and starting to learn about music programming for your event. You'll be rocking your own gigs in no time!