I'm always on the hunt for the best DJ bag. When I first started (1998?), the standard Northface backpack was my go-to for most of my gigs but when I realized i needed to bring more things with me, I went a little crazy trying to find the best backpack. Out of the 7 different ones I have, the current bag I use now is a Magma Riot XL. This thing is a fucking beast. One of the main reasons why I bought this thing was for travel. I picked up a gig for Royal Caribbean and I was going to be away for a whole month on a cruise ship down in the Caribbean. So I figured i'd get something that can hold my mixer plus all the other nonsense I bring around with me. The Magma Riot XL seemed to be the best option. It was just big enough to fit in the overhead compartment in a plane fully loaded (not extended).
Lets start off with the basics.
- Laptop - 2015 Macbook Pro 15" i7/ 16GB Ram/ 1 TB SSD internal / 2GB Graphics it's pretty beastly.
- Needles - Shure M-447s on stanton headshells (i was too cheap to spring for the technics)
- Headphones - V-Moda Crossfade LP2. I was a huge fan of my technic headphones until they broke.
- Serato Vinyl - just your standard control vinyl. Currently using yellow but i carry at least 2 pairs just incase
The next set of items are my laptop stands. While I know most places I spin at have some sort of makeshift laptop stand, I like to bring two (yes, two) everywhere I go just incase one stand won't fit, the other definitely should. Again, I'm a freak when it comes to being prepared so I plan for the shittiest scenario in the DJ booth.
- Crane Hardware Stand - this is pretty much my number one stand as far as stability. I like that it's easy to setup, super secure and folds flat. It has it's downsides of sometimes not being able to fit in most tight places but I try my be to make it work.
- Stanton Uber Stand - everyone knows this little guy all too well. Probably the thinnest stand i've seen and very versatile. My only complaint is that you have to use the velcro to keep the laptop from falling back and even still i don't feel all too comfortable with it unless I gaff tape everything down.
Backups and Backups! I bring two 1 terabyte external hard drives just incase shit hits the fan. One also acts as a bootable drive just incase my internal drive fails. I back these up regularly so I'm always up to date on my music just incase anything goes wrong. Now, why do I have this with me? Simple, I do weddings, clubs, retail and corporate events. The last thing i'd want is to look like an asshole.
- Western Digital Passport 1 TB external - So I carry two of these with me. One of them has my music backed up along with some other backups i have from my phone or GoPro etc.. and the other Is a carbon copy of my current internal drive from my laptop. If you don't know how to boot from an external, i'll probably post instructions up or just link you off to a solid tutorial. This method (for me) rarely is needed but I just like knowing that if I ever needed to I could.
- USB Sticks - I have 3 - 4 different sized USB stick just incase I need to transfer media to anyone or steal some music (kidding go support your artists!)
Backup cables are MAJOR KEY! Not for nothing but how many times have you run into a scenario where you needed a xlr - 1/4 adapter and radioshack was closed? right?!
- 2 sets of RCA to RCA cables
- 2 sets of A-B USB cables
- 1 RCA to 1/8 jack for those times you need to play from an external source.
- Extra external HDD cables
Like I said, i'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to my gear but I run into so many random things where they come in handy. The next items i have aren't necessarily DJ related but just good to have in general.
- Chanel cologne - theres no crime against smelling good
- Toothbrush & toothpaste - usually before a set, i like to freshen up. got a problem with that?
- Pens & markers - you never know when you're gonna need a good pen.
- Business Cards! - I know a lot of people these days don't give out cards, but it's just one of those things where it won't hurt to have a stack.
- Phone Charger - Power is life! and even still with this i have extra cables just incase the one i normally use goes bad.
So there you have it! That's pretty much everything I carry around with me everywhere I go. Let me tell you, it's pretty damn heavy. I'd like to estimate it around 25-30lbs. I know, it's crazy to do all that and yes I agree, sometimes I never even open certain compartments but i'm the type of person to show up an hour early for no reason. I like to be prepared. I like to know that I did my part. I've learned most of this the hard way and that's why it's grown to this but on occasion i'll prep a lighter version if I know for sure I won't need any of these things. OCD much? Anyway, that's all I got. Let me know if you guys have any questions, I'd be glad to answer them!