We hear questions from people all the time about Laptop DJs and I thought I’d set the record straight about the pros and cons of hiring a “Laptop” versus “normal” DJ.
There are 4 main formats to DJ on:

– Turntables (records)
– Laptop (with turntables/CDs)
– Laptop (Controller)
– CDJ (CDs)

As far as Griffin Alliance is concerned, whatever allows you to rock a party is great. The only thing that we do require is a Backup.

What is a backup and why is it important?

Most DJ companies these days use cheap laptops and cheap equipment. They do this because it requires very little training or skill on behalf of the DJ, which means they can get people with no DJ experience and send them out to a gig with a 10 minute lesson on how to use the laptop. Most clients don’t know the difference between expensive speakers, mixers, laptops etc, until they hear the sound quality, the music skips or if the laptop breaks down.

The reason that we require all our DJs to have a backup is that if anything goes wrong then there is a way to keep the music going. Most companies dont have this because it cost us a lot more money to use good equipment and have a backup.

Even using professional equipment you will have a 0.1 to 1% failure rate, if you use cheap gear it may be a 10% failure rate. Some DJ companies rely on giving refunds if the DJ cant get the equipment to work, that means no music or the music cutting out half way through the gig. To us that is unacceptable, but they find it makes them more money even with some refunds when customers complain. Unfortunately it can ruin someone’s event if their DJ doesn’t perform, but if they primarily care about money, the best way is to use cheap equipment and cheap labour.

How do you get around these potential problems? Ask the prospective DJ companies what equipment their DJ uses? Ask them what backup they supply their DJs in case of equipment failure. If they say that they have secondary equipment be very wary if your event is a long way from their depot as it may take an hour or two for them to get to your event.

Daniel Toop

Griffin Alliance Victoria