“Pioneer Electronics just released a sneak peek of a new DJ deck,” says Ray Ford of Ford Management systems, a beverage, promotions and entertainment consultant.“Traktor Pro is the industry DJ software of choice. Couple that with a sleek new dual player with a ton of slick bells and whistles and the Pioneer DDJ-T1 is the new ‘must have’ deck system for any bar or club,” says Ford. At around $1,300, Pioneer’s latest is affordable for every venue, and the plug-and-play capability with any computer means even novices can get it running quickly. Furthermore, the controller places the laptop’s keyboard directly beneath the board, meaning the monitor is closer to the DJ — a feature many spinners will tell you is a serious bonus.
“Ashly Audio makes a digital matrix, called the Protea 24.24 model, which I absolutely love,” Jack Kelly, from Charlotte, N.C.’s, Eye Dialogue Lighting and Sound says. “For less than $2,000, you get 20 outputs, which is perfect for either a simple or a complicated set up.” Say you have a main dance floor with subwoofers. That’s one input per side and three subwoofer inputs. But you also have a VIP room, which you want in stereo. “That’s two more inputs,” says Kelly. “Add in your bar, and your bathrooms and more and, with the Protea, you’d still have leftover outputs. One unit will easily handle all of this.”
“Most places are trying to move away from hanging light fixtures,” Jed Bataille, technical director of Disco Sushi explains. “We use Shogun moving heads at Hudson Terrace [in New York] and two of them will light the entire space on their own. Apartment buildings four blocks away have complained about these lights shining in their windows at night,” he laughs. While they may be more than capable of solely supplying your lighting needs, a duo of Shogun units will set you back close to $50,000.
Shogun also makes a series of cheaper moving head lasers and LED devices, such as the Mini Max LED series, which can cost less than $1,000 per piece. “The beauty about LED is you can wash the room in any color, which is great for corporate events,” says Bataille. “We did an event for General Electric and used the lights to bathe the room in white and blue to match their logo.” During regular nights, use the movement and ability to change the colors on a whim to frantically build the energy in the room. “You can make an LED light do everything from a blacklight effect to strobe,” says Bataille. “And the room always instantly responds.”