Digital Shows Outdoors

Many DJ's are "switching up" to computers as the new way to DJ. They provide near-instant access to large song lists and can be integrated to control video and DMX lighting.

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Digital Shows Outdoors

Postby Don Niles DJ » Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:27 am

The experts say that Heat is hard on computers..So how do you Digital Jocks deal with summertime outdoor events?..Do you still use computers,either rackmount or laptop or do you play CD's instead?
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Postby dokai » Sat Jul 09, 2005 1:40 pm

Work under a tent or umbrella. As long as you're not in direct sunlight, you should be ok.
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Re: Digital Shows Outdoors

Postby Professor Jam » Sat Jul 09, 2005 2:34 pm

I spin many times in the heat of the day on floats during parades and I add turbo fans forcing airflow.
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Postby Dave Miller » Sat Jul 09, 2005 8:22 pm

You gotta remember that even in a nice air conditioned room, the computers get hot. I add a fan to help it dissipate the heat and it doesn't get much hotter than when indoors.
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Postby CJ Greiner » Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:47 pm

If I can, I always set up under a shaded area or under a tent. I have my own 10'x10' tent in case the location doesn't have anything better.

I've never had any heat-related problems. It costs very little to add a couple of extra fans to the computer case (rack-mount), and it could save you LOTS of grief later on.
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Re: Digital Shows Outdoors

Postby Michigan DJ » Tue Jul 12, 2005 2:08 am

get some cheap clip fans from wal-mart and clip them on the edge of the table.

Also shade is your best friend!
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Re: Digital Shows Outdoors

Postby jwg » Tue Jul 12, 2005 2:55 am

I did a backyard reception on Sunday. They placed a huge umbrella over my table which kept me out of direct sunlight. I also was against the one wall of the garage which gave me some shading from the roof. Everything ran flawlessly.
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Re: Digital Shows Outdoors

Postby jonnyrockcom » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:27 am

Don,
I have outdoor show every Sunday In July & August. Also under a pop tent, and a laptop fan under the computer. Never had a problem. My biggest issue with outdoor events is rain.

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Postby DJ Iron Mike » Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:53 am

Airflow is important and even more so if you use AMD chips. Use fans.

But on the flip side in the winter if it starts getting below 50 degrees, your CD's will start to fog up and your computer will start to skip.
Always be under a covering. You don't need some kamikaze bird dive bombing on you or your gear.
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Postby djdonny » Sat Jan 14, 2006 1:47 pm

I won't do outdoor events. Not worth the extra hassle. I will work in fully-enclosed tents. Here's the wording from my contract:

Shelter: The main DJ setup location (for dining and dancing) must be indoors and completely protected from the sun, rain, wind, and any other elements of the weather. We will not perform under a tent unless the tent fully encloses the DJ setup, dancefloor, and dining area on all sides, is climate controlled, and includes adequate electrical outlets accessible from within the tent. We can, however, provide supplementary DJ setups for outdoor ceremonies and cocktail hours, contingent upon weather conditions.
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Postby Dan Zynda, Mobile Music » Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:59 am

DJ Iron Mike wrote:You don't need some kamikaze bird dive bombing on you or your gear.


Mike, the first time we took the digital piano for a wedding (that's weeding for all you scammers!) ceremony, I put the soft case under a tree where it wouldn't be seen.

I had to wipe the doo-doo off within a few minutes. I must have put it under someone's favorite branch!
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Postby DJPete » Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:31 am

We do several outdoor shows each year -- we set-up under our own 10 x 10 'easy-up' tent. I put a 6" fan on my Mackie and a 20" shop fan on us -- I've had amps do strange things in the heat, but never lost a piece of equipment (Yet) due to this --

Worse -- we got caught in a rain storm last year -- that one I was more worried about -- had to dry everything out before I used it again, nothing hurt in it -- (we did put the laptop/amp/electonics inside prior to rain, speaker cabinets got wet, not the cones, mainly my snake/other cables had to endure the water -- 3" in 30 minutes came out of nowhere -- (and we were doing this for a TV station that came to rural cities complete w/ weather man) -- loads of fun!
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Postby CJ Greiner » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:44 am

We've learned the hard way:

Speakers work just fine inside plastic bags. Get black or clear plastic bags that are big enough to cover your speakers, and cinch them at the bottom around the pole.
If you're using powered speakers, you'll want to make sure the plastic is set away from the heatsink. (Never done it personally with powered speakers.)
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Postby TheBartman47 » Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:55 pm

CJ Greiner wrote:We've learned the hard way:

Speakers work just fine inside plastic bags. Get black or clear plastic bags that are big enough to cover your speakers, and cinch them at the bottom around the pole.
If you're using powered speakers, you'll want to make sure the plastic is set away from the heatsink. (Never done it personally with powered speakers.)


Are you saying you've operated your speakers in the rain with plastic bags over them?
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Postby CJ Greiner » Sun Jan 15, 2006 6:18 pm

Yes.... but not powered ones.

Passive 15", 1000W program/2000W peak -- they worked great.

It wasn't a hurricane by any means -- but the event had to go on!
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Re: Digital Shows Outdoors

Postby jbrown157 » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:01 pm

I've done the plastic bag thing too and it works great. I think that when I have an outdoor gig with the possibility of rain, the powered speakers will stay home! I always bring a supply of bags and tarps to all outdoor events just in case. I also have fitted sides for my 10 x 10 pop-up that installs in minutes with ball bungees. I've used it a few times and it has kept everything dry.
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Postby SteveCie » Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:26 am

Fans on the equipment are an absolute must for outdoor gigs. I learned the hard way last summer when my lap top overheated and shut down. Even under my 10 X 10 Tent the PC simply baked! Since then, I have used a couple of fans, one on the amp, and the other on the Laptop, and have had no problem whatsoever. The plastic bag on the speaker cabinet is also a winner! The heavy duty clear bags look fine.
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