In the early years of the history of DJ equipment we would have to use heavy DJ equipment but thankfully it has become smaller, neater and louder. Early Mobile Disco gear was big and bulky with cumbersome speakers delivering low volume and muddy sound by today's comparisons. DJ disco consoles were big and bulky and only played vinyl records.....no CD's or MP3s,... consoles were made with or without amplifiers built-in.
Back then DJ units were lowly powered typically about 100 watts per channel of stereo amplification and most believed this was 'state of the art'. Looking back some DJ consoles had a built in cassette tape recorder for the playing of jingles or recording our sets plus adding an external amplifier would give extra power to the speakers.
As the Mobile Disco industry grew, it captured the public's imagination and thanks to music in the charts and movies such as 'Saturday Night Fever' and 'Grease' doing the rounds, it found popularity with an abundance of bookings mainly taking over from bands and singers. Mobile Discos became 'roadshows' as light shows got bigger & better The mobile DJ's used more speakers with greater volume for the bigger venues.
Various DJ shops opened up for the budding Mobile DJs selling new & second hand equipment. Big names from back then were Discosound, Cloud, FAL and Citronic, with Citronic still going strong today. Physically the Wedding DJ disco consoles were massive compared to the present kit was very basic with belt drive record turntables from BSR and Garrard.
The early 1980s saw innovations with the Wedding DJs disco console with the better ones incorporating the legendary Technics SL1200 direct drive turntable into their audio setup . The high torque of this unit allowed true mixing of records. Citronic did actually make a 'self queuing' turntable that could dispense of the need for headphones, although most 'Pro' Wedding DJs would always check that cue as technology could not be trusted back then. When audio CDs arrived in the mid 80s so we moved into CD Players, however traditional mobile wedding DJs played both media for a while.
The 1990s from Wedding DJ to superstar DJ
Throughout the 90s we saw many DJ's become famous for their work, the likes of Norman Cook ('Fatboy Slim') and Pete Tong to name just two. Who knows, a few probably started as a Wedding DJs
Bringing us up to date, we now have many choices of ways to play those favourite Wedding DJ unes, along with many different choices to play the music. Smaller and neater equipment, along with wonderful innovations in lighting. The current mobile DJ system can occupy the rear seats of my car with ease and easily fill up a mid size venue with plenty of sound.
Long live the Mobile DJ