Virgin Burner DJ -- what gear/how to protect?

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reload
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Virgin Burner DJ -- what gear/how to protect?

Post by reload » Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:27 pm

Howdy,

I am a virgin burner, though not a virgin DJ, and will be the sound-ji at The Sacred Cow Grille (7:30 & Athens serving Indian food nightly). Thus, in charge of our sound equipment, DJing nightly, etc.

Our main organizer has been before and has some thoughts on sound equipment, but I thought it would be wise to get some veteran advice before investing anything. I'll break down my questions:

1. DJ Set-Up -- I intend to use Serato with 2 CD-Js and a mixer. The CD-Js and mixer both have lots of moving parts that I am sure playa dust can wreak havoc with. I have heard of people enclosing their gear in large ziploc bags where they can manipulate the knobs and faders and jog wheels. What do you recommend? We are on a tight budget so may not be able to afford back-up gear, but I figure a cheap back-up mixer would not be a bad investment. I will be bringing a backup laptop.

2. Cords -- Obviously I'll bring back-up RCAs and XLRs, but any particular issues with cords and playa dust that I should be aware?

3. Speakers/PA -- I have also heard of covering speakers with trash bags to prevent playa dust invasion. Thoughts?

BadData
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Post by BadData » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:13 pm

I'm glad someone started a thread on this, because it's something I was wondering about as well... I'd really like to bring my laptop and MIDI gear to see if I can make some noise out there, but I just bought my new laptop and I'm kind of terrified that the dust will destroy it (I don't have money for a backup laptop or a spare... unless there's some super cheap option I haven't considered.)

My gear consists of a Laptop, MIDI mixer, a Trigger Finger, and a Firebox audio interface. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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Token
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Post by Token » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:37 pm

The bottom line:

Don't bring anything that you cant afford to lose to the elements.

It might not happen right away, but odds are good the life expectancy of your equipment will be significantly reduced.

There is no way to mitigate the dust. You are either all in or you leave your gear at home.

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some seeing eye
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Post by some seeing eye » Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:46 am

If you are committed to Serrato, I would look at an ITCH controller you can afford to have live an unpredictably short life. CDJs, turntables and media get destroyed by the playa.

Aviax
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Post by Aviax » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:22 am

I've broguht CDJs to the playa. They still work.... kinda.

I've switched to using Midi gear and a laptop, as it's usually cheaper than me destroying a pair of cdjs...

The ziploc bag thing is a good idea, but mostly just for storage.

Try getting a keyboard cover for the laptop, as it'll help keep some dust out..

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Post by Pink Daddy » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:22 am

I'm taking my gear to the playa and I'm using a combination of some suggestions I've received, plus a few of my own.

The mixer has way too many moving parts to really protect it. The most prone to damage are the sliders. You can purchase dials that you can install yourself, which will prolong the life. Pots are more protected from the dust than the sliders. But, instead of going through the hassle of finding these and praying that they get here in time for the Burn, I'm just going to take my cheap Behringer mixer. I don't care if that gets tossed after the Burn.

I have 2 Pioneer CDJ-400s. What I'm doing to protect these is taping the CD slot closed with blue paint trim tape (to prevent having a sticky residue when removed) and using the USB connection exclusively. I have two USB extensions that I'm connecting, then bagging the entire CDJ. The only concern you have when bagging them is accidentally tearing the bag and heat. Hopefully, this will prevent the CDJs from getting beat up too much. I highly recommend taking them to a authorized Pioneer shop to have them professionally cleaned after the Burn.

For my speakers, I'm removing the metal grills on the front and scotch-guarding the cones. This helps prevent them from drying out and cracking from the playa dust.

Next year, I'm going to build a Burning Man DJ case. Basically, it's going to look like a 'clean box' or baby incubator. It will attach to the flight case and be a plexiglass cover. There will be arm holds that contain dust-proof gloves that you'll use to manipulate the gear. There will be lights, cooling fans, etc. I didn't have enough time to build it this year.

Hopefully this helps you. You must plan for the worst and hope for the best. Anticipate all your gear being blasted by a dust storm.
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zorro sings
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Re: Virgin Burner DJ -- what gear/how to protect?

Post by zorro sings » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:47 pm

reload wrote: I have also heard of covering speakers with trash bags to prevent playa dust invasion.
Yes but make sure the trash bags are"construction grade".Regular bags aren't nearly as good.
Be careful. You can spend all your money in there..............................Oriental Visitor

reload
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Post by reload » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:52 am

Best advice so far, thank you! The DJ case sounds rad; good luck with it.

[quote="Pink Daddy"]I'm taking my gear to the playa and I'm using a combination of some suggestions I've received, plus a few of my own.

The mixer has way too many moving parts to really protect it. The most prone to damage are the sliders. You can purchase dials that you can install yourself, which will prolong the life. Pots are more protected from the dust than the sliders. But, instead of going through the hassle of finding these and praying that they get here in time for the Burn, I'm just going to take my cheap Behringer mixer. I don't care if that gets tossed after the Burn.

I have 2 Pioneer CDJ-400s. What I'm doing to protect these is taping the CD slot closed with blue paint trim tape (to prevent having a sticky residue when removed) and using the USB connection exclusively. I have two USB extensions that I'm connecting, then bagging the entire CDJ. The only concern you have when bagging them is accidentally tearing the bag and heat. Hopefully, this will prevent the CDJs from getting beat up too much. I highly recommend taking them to a authorized Pioneer shop to have them professionally cleaned after the Burn.

For my speakers, I'm removing the metal grills on the front and scotch-guarding the cones. This helps prevent them from drying out and cracking from the playa dust.

Next year, I'm going to build a Burning Man DJ case. Basically, it's going to look like a 'clean box' or baby incubator. It will attach to the flight case and be a plexiglass cover. There will be arm holds that contain dust-proof gloves that you'll use to manipulate the gear. There will be lights, cooling fans, etc. I didn't have enough time to build it this year.

Hopefully this helps you. You must plan for the worst and hope for the best. Anticipate all your gear being blasted by a dust storm.[/quote]

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Re: Virgin Burner DJ -- what gear/how to protect?

Post by DJ LUV-le » Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:24 pm

Hey there...

Here's a good article: http://djtechtools.com/2013/08/19/djing ... -beyond-2/

I brought my old laptop and a crappy controller last year and both got completely destroyed, not usable ever again. Granted the dust storms last year were (so I have been told) a bit mightier than they have been in years past, and I often kept playing tunes while the storms were going which, in hindsight, was a terrible idea! But seriously, unless you are going to get your laptop completely and professionally cleaned RIGHT AFTER the burn, don't do it. The alkaline dust eats away at electronics way more quickly than you might think. This year I am bringing a fairly cheap all-in-one and will clean it every day after use. If you are bringing speakers and don't need anything super giant or REALLY thumping bass, I highly recommend these: http://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=1 ... 1&format=2 They're like Mackie SRM450s with a cheaper case. They sound good and filled up our camp zone just fine. I play bass, tech house, and breaks and they produced more than enough bass for my needs. They survived all the storms (uncovered) and still work great! I will be covering them with garbage bags when not in use this year though.

Good luck! Bring the beats!

maladroit
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Re: Virgin Burner DJ -- what gear/how to protect?

Post by maladroit » Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:19 pm

Controls like sliders and pots are what get destroyed out there.

I've brought the same Macbook 4 years running, and used it in the middle of dust storms. It's still my main work laptop. Granted, I'm not a DJ and I'm mostly using it to reprogram art or vehicle control systems or whatever, so it's not sitting out 8 hours every night. But my friend does have a Macbook that DOES sit out 8 hours every night for DJ purposes and it's still going strong. It's on a mutant vehicle so likely gets more than the average share of dust too.

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