10 Tips on How to Protect Your DJ Equipment


Laptop case and Record vinyl carry box

Protecting your DJ equipment is really important, especially if you start to upgrade your equipment. There’s no point neglecting your newly invested DJ equipment, there’s more chance that it will last longer and you’ll have more of a chance to sell it on in the future.

How to Protect Your DJ Equipment?

  1. Carry Bags & Hard Shell Carry Cases
  2. Elevate Your Gear From Water Spillages
  3. Keep a Checklist of Your DJ Equipment
  4. Lock Up Your DJ Equipment from Thieves
  5. Plastic Protective Covers for Dust Protection
  6. Clean Your Gear After Each DJ Set
  7. Get Insurance to Cover Damage
  8. Use a Laptop Protector
  9. Backup External Hard Drive/USB Stick
  10. Control Your Space

I’ve upgraded my gear to a more expensive Pioneer DJ controller not so long ago. I have been quite reluctant to take it to small gigs or even a friends house for a party. I’ve since sorted my life out and got together a few pointers that I adopt to protect my DJ controller and related DJ gear.

1) Carry Bags & Hard Shell Carry Cases

This is the most important and essential part of my advice for protecting your DJ gear. There are some great carry cases and sleeves out there on the market. When you’re travelling to any gig, local or abroad you will really benefit from having your gear protected.

Here are some examples of carry cases and other protective

  • DJ Equipment Back Packs
  • DJ Controller Carry Case
  • Record Vinyl Carry Case
  • Headphones Carry Case

Some of the top brands that offer carry cases include:

  • Pioneer
  • Magma
  • UDG
  • Audio-Technica
  • Odyssey
  • Native Instruments

A lot of the cases cost around £40 for DJ controller cases and for travel bags carrying more DJ equipment cost around £100. Well worth the investment to protect your DJ gear for longevity of use.

2) Elevate Your Gear From Water Spillages

There are some great stands that you can buy for your home studio to elevate your laptop, mixer, beatpad etc. Almost anything DJ equipment related to be fair. This is a great feature to have in your own personal setup to protect your DJ equipment from water or drink spillages.

If you’re DJing at a house party or small gig for a long time, having stands that can elevate your gear will really help from any surface water appearing on the mixing desk table. If you’re going to play out in a club it’s worth checking to see if the manager of the club has this already.

If you’re DJing still with record vinyl turntables, I’ve seen in the past there are turntable risers that you can buy. These can help to raise the turntable from the desk but also help the needles to not skip from loud music vibrations too, potentially protecting the record vinyl and needles.

Another tip is that if you’re DJing in a hot climate with a lot of humidity, then a simple hack is to fold together some hand towels. You can use a normal towel too or something similar to wrap around the surfaces of the equipment. The point is to help soak up any moisture that’s near the equipment you’re DJing on and help protect against water damage.

3) Keep a Checklist of Your DJ Equipment

You might play gigs at different venues and in different settings, for example a festival or a small club in a city. Each place has a different setup therefore requiring you to bring varying equipment along with you to DJ with.

So my advice here is to write a checklist of all your DJ equipment for each individual event. There’s a double benefit here, by that I mean you’re less likely to forget something going to the DJ gig you’re playing at. But also you will also have the chance to use the checklist to make sure you’re not leaving the venue without anything.

The amount of times I’ve heard other DJs chat about leaving their headphones behind at a club is very high. My personal experience is losing cables at a venue and also USB pens that I plug into the CDJs or mixer. Hence why the list comes in handy if you want to keep your costs down. It will be worth having a checklist in the long run.

Example Checklist – for DVS Setup

  • Headphones
  • Headphone jack adapter
  • Laptop & case
  • Serato Audio Interface
  • Phono Cables x 2
  • External Hard Drive
  • USB pen x 2
  • Apple USB-C to USB Adaptor x 2

4) Lock Up Your DJ Equipment from Thieves

Unfortunately we live in a world where items may go missing. Don’t let your DJ equipment and gear go missing when you’re DJing at a venue. Make friends with the club manager and seek to secure your DJ equipment in a locked and secure place.

There’s a hidden benefit to this point too as some insurance companies won’t cover you unless your equipment is securely locked somewhere out of harms way. It just shows to the insurance company that you did all you could to keep your DJ equipment out of risk of being stolen or even damaged.

Put the effort in to secure your DJ equipment and it will certainly remove the risk of high costs incurred of buying new equipment. Also there’s another benefit too of lost music and music production (if you’re a producer also).

5) Plastic Protective Covers for Dust Protection

There are a great plastic protective covers that you can buy to cover your CDJs or Controllers for example. This will massively help keep the dust out of the insides of the equipment making it harder to clean.

If you’ve got a home DJ setup then this is particularly important as I’ve seen first hand that the amount of dust can build up beyond belief if you’ve not used your equipment for a while.

Also if you’re playing a gig, for example a wedding, party or small bar or something, at least you can protect your gear in the interim when you’re not playing. Especially if drunk people are around the equipment, it’s worth protecting the equipment that’s setup. Removing any issues such as not being able to play if someone did drop a drink on a CDJ for example.

6) Clean Your Gear After Each DJ Set

If you don’t want sticky or smelly DJ equipment arriving back at your home after a DJ set, then clean your gear after each DJ set. Clubs and festivals are sweaty humid places to DJ and the amount of dirt and moisture can accumulate in abundance onto DJ equipment.

This is not great if you want your DJ controller, audio interface, CDJs etc to stand the test of time, not to mention be hygienic to touch next time you use your equipment.

Make sure you wipe down your gear first with a soft absorbable cloth. This will help get away any grime on the surfaces. Be careful to not scratch the plastic sections of equipment, such as on your CDJ jog wheel. You can achieve this by using a microfibre cloth. Especially important to use a microfibre cloth on the screen display of CDJs or DJ Controllers.

Lastly if you have left your DJ mixer or DJ controller to gather dust, then there’s another extra option to consider. Electronics compressed air dusters!

It’s likely there’s dust accumulated in the small cracks of the channel volume, crossfader and underneath the gain/FX controls. Using compressed air with the straw nozzle can really be quick hack to help you get rid of dust, particularly helpful with cleaning your laptop keyboard too.

7) Get Insurance to Cover Damage

Get your DJ equipment covered. If you’re a DJ that travels a lot to different venues with your gear then it’s highly advisable to do so.

The detail of the insurance cover is worth going through with a fine tooth comb to make sure you’re aware of the situations in which you’re covered. For example, locked in a secure place when at a venue.

There are insurance companies that can support you with getting insurance cover. However a lot of basic insurers won’t cover you, so you will need to be sure to get specialist cover.

On the flip side, there’s insurance to protect yourself for DJing live in public venues. This is called Public Liability insurance. It will cover you for legal liability especially if something happens to a member of the public related to you.

Here are some insurance websites that offer DJ related insurance. I’ve not got any experience of any of these companies, but worth exploring for yourself.

8) Use a Laptop Protector

If you’re a digital DJ, then you will without a doubt use a laptop. I use a laptop now in a Digital Vinyl System setup. The benefit is that you don’t have to haul around lots of vinyls in a box or lots of CDs in a massive CD case.

Point being here is that your laptop is so important for you to perform live as a DJ. The cost of not having a laptop could be high, especially if you are a DJ making money for a living.

Laptops aren’t cheap, especially if you want a decent one, I have a Macbook Pro so I use a hard shell case to protect the outside. An amazing extra bonus is getting a gel keyword cover, this protects the keyboard from any dirt getting behind the keys or water damage. For such a low cost, it’s well worth the time buying one. There are some great designs available too.

There are some more comprehensive laptop carry cases if you want to step up your game a bit more, quite useful for storing your USB pens and other accessories in too.

Finally, for transporting your laptop I advise using a carry case that’s made out of similar material as wetsuits. The brand I have is called Targus, but there are lots of brands out there. The soft outer layer is hard wearing and can really reduce the impact of surface damage to the laptop.

9) Backup External Hard Drive/USB Stick

Things go missing, it’s a fact of life. Be proactive and get your life together by backing up your music onto the cloud and also onto another external hard drive/USB pen.

I use DropBox, it’s sync’d up to my Macbook Pro and I love it. I use it to back up all my music but I also use an external hard drive to save my music. The USB pens I have are 1TB and are double backups just incase something goes wrong.

The added benefit of having USB pens is that if your laptop is not working and there are CDJs or mixers in the club, then you’re still DJing. So no dramas will happen if you have backups of your music.

10) Control Your Space

Don’t make too many friends and invite them all into the DJ booth with you. People are at the club to get drunk, dance and have fun. Inhibitions fly out of the window and drinks get spilt or people become almost instantly accident prone.

It’s better to keep your distance and protect your space in the DJ booth, that way you’ll know your DJ gear will be safe from harms way, and also from getting stolen.

Related Questions

How to Clean a DJ Controller?

Start with a soft absorbable cloth to wipe around a DJ controller to remove any dirt or residue. Focus on wiping down the leads, cables, metal parts around knobs and switches. For plastic surfaces and screens use a microfibre cloth to gently clean those areas. Post DJ session, allow for your DJ controller to air out for any moisture and smells to evaporate.

Are CDJs Waterproof?

CDJs and DJ equipment are generally not waterproof. It is advised by many DJ equipment manufacturers to “not use DJ apparatus near water“. In order to protect CDJs from water it is advisable to use injection molded cases with foam inserts to protect from water and dust, IP 67 Certification is advised.

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