DJ and sound equipment for small events

What Sound Equipment do you need for hosting a small event?

If you’ve ever dreamed of throwing the best party, we’re sure you have considered what kind of music to play, and once you start thinking of music, it’s a small leap to start considering Dj-ing. The playlist for any event is a vital part of hosting, it sets the mood and the music will most likely be responsible for whether your guests have a memorable evening. But if you have never DJed a party before, you probably don’t know where to begin or what you need. What kind of DJ equipment do you need for a small event? Whether you just want to plug in and play a list of tunes, or whether you need a little more for your event, consider starting with a PA system


Each event is different! As any event planner will tell you, make a list! Once you start narrowing down the logistics, the equipment you require will become apparent. Here are few things to keep in mind when throwing a party or hosting a small event:


Location, location, location!

How big is the venue? Is it indoors or outdoors? If you are hosting a small event at home, in an apartment, you probably don’t need too much equipment, or very powerful equipment, to play music, and keep your guests happy. However if you have a larger space, thinking about getting speakers to boost your sound is something to consider. Remember not to overdo it in small spaces, as you want your guests to be comfortable. Think about who they are and what kind of music they would enjoy. Don’t forget the weather, try to arrange to be flexible with your sound equipment, and organize an area where it won’t be affected by rain or other issues. 


Practice makes perfect!

Before playing music for any party, you need to practice your set, or prepare your playlist. Once you have listened to it through you can tweak it, and edit. Being prepared with the correct sound gear that works is also vital, so practice on your sound equipment and make sure everything fits together. If you are hosting a party, but not DJ-ing make sure that all the gear you have is in good working condition prior to the event, and do a sound check. Arrange to have a sound technician to combat any issues that may arise and have enough time prior to your event to iron out any problems. It’s always worthwhile to have a few extra cables or amps and mics, in case something is faulty or stops working during the event.


DOs and Don’ts

Know your audience, but be flexible, learn to read your crowd, and play music that they respond to. Interact with your audience. Take requests for songs. Start slow and build up the tempo and vibe over time. Throw in some party hits. Play a variety of music, and don’t forget to have fun and experiment. Having great sound equipment that doesn’t let you down during your event or DJ set goes a long way to helping make the perfect party. 

Once you know where your event will be, take this sound equipment  checklist and see which items you may need depending on the location or needs of your DJ.

Your DJ Setup should include:

Laptop: You’ll need a laptop with enough power to run your chosen DJ software. If you are hosting an event and have a DJ coming ask them if they will be bringing their own along, or what their requirements are. If you are hosting at home, you can probably make do with playing a pre-prepared playlist on your own laptop or tv with a program like Spotify or Youtube.

DJ Controller: DJ controllers are a piece of hardware that allows you to control your DJ software. You can find a multitude of different one, be sure to ask your DJ which one is required for your party. If you are just starting out, do some online research. You can rent controllers to try, but remember practice makes perfect. It’s a good idea to rent your equipment before your party if you have never DJed before.

Headphones: A good pair of headphones is essential for any DJ. Your DJ may bring his own, but you may want to have a spare set just in case. You can rent headphones with great sound quality. Make sure they work with the rest of your sound equipment or come with correct cables. 

Speakers:  For any party or small event, speakers are the most important item, as you need them to project your sound. Even if you are planning a small party in your backyard, you will still want quality speakers, but often a small portable speaker with bluetooth or wireless connectivity will do. These days you can find speakers for every budget. Look for PA systems that have everything your DJ may need in one pack. A Public Announcement system comprises of microphones, mixers, amplifiers and loudspeakers and most likely includes 2 speakers, a mixing board, and mics. The speakers you use will have a big impact, and are vital to larger locations, so choose with care. 

Cables: You’ll need a few different cables to connect your DJ equipment to the sound system. Make sure you have the right ones for your specific setup. If you are renting DJ equipment for your event, ask your provider to make sure you have all the relevant connections and cables, as well as spare ones.

Power cords: Make sure you have the right power cables  and multiplugs for your equipment. Check that you have the correct adapters, especially if you are traveling. It’s always a good idea to have a few extra extension cords with you too, especially if you need to move your set up further from a power source.

Microphone: If you want to be able to talk to your guests or make announcements over the music, of course you’ll need a microphone. You may even have a singer or mc who is performing with you, and they will need to be connected to your DJ system. You can get handheld mics, or mics on stands, often wireless mics work well in a party situation, as it allows for free movement. 

The above list will get you started, whether you want to throw your own party and be the DJ or if you are hosting an event and need sound or DJ equipment for your musicians. Renting DJ equipment makes a huge difference for once off events. It’s the most cost effective way to host an event or party, and often the least stressful. Most rental companies offer insurance so you don’t have to worry about things breaking, and some rental companies like Shine Music Rental send a team to set up and sound check your equipment for you. If you are a DJ just starting to play or learning to DJ, renting DJ equipment is ideal, as you can practice before you invest in your own equipment. Get to know the tools of your trade, and what you need first. Speak to one of our rental experts and ask them what you may require for your event. 


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