Mobile DJs Seek Out New Products at PLASA London
Over the past four days, mobile DJs have joined other industry professionals in attending the annual PLASA London show at the ExCel exhibition centre in East London. We were there too, dropping by to see what was on display for DJs at this year’s show.
While the days of PLASA being a must attend event for mobile DJs are long since passed – with the majority of exhibitors now targeting the theatre and large scale concert touring markets - if you looked hard enough, a few DJ gems could be unearthed.
Despite the audio area seeming a little discreet upon entry to the exhibition, there were still a few names to attract the attention of mobile DJs. d&b audio technik saw plenty of stand interaction, giving mobile DJs a look at its Y Series, which, though featuring some large systems, also offers up some neat compact audio solutions for DJs in search of a high quality setup. Around the corner, the FBT team were also present to take questions on the new Archon series; though more appealing to DJs were the J Series and the X-LITE series, both of which include portable, compact enclosures suitable for the needs of the DJ on the move.
Opposite the VIP area, the NADJ stand provided a place for DJs to congregate and chat throughout the show. Chairman Alan Marshall along with a host of the usual NADJ suspects were out in force, declaring “I am not just a membership number” and showing mobile DJs how they too could benefit from joining the association.
At the lighting end, the exhibition consisted largely of expensive high-end manufacturers, such as Robe and Clay Paky, but mobile DJs did find solace in the company of CHAUVET DJ and Elation Professional.
The CHAUVET DJ stand gave DJs a number of new products to test out, with staff greeting visitors, answering queries and giving advice on what products were best for their needs. The company’s new Intimidator fixtures – the Spot 355Z and Wave – were eye-catching, looking impressive in the low-lit space at the back of the stand. An intense spot fixture with motorized zoom, a brighter 90-watt LED source and IR control, the Intimidator Spot 355Z IRC is a powerful unit ideal for the needs of the professional mobile DJ. The Intimidator Wave IRC, meanwhile, combines five independently-controlled moving heads, with very tight beam angles, into one compact fixture. What’s more, it also allows the user to run four fixtures in Master/Slave configuration and run the same in-built programs across all of them – creating very impress wave effects running across a total of 20 heads! Chauvet DJ’s innovative wireless pin spotting solution – the EZpin IRC – was also on display as well as the latest addition to the range – the EZ Gobo. Finally, offering DJs something refreshingly different, CHAUVET’s MotionOrb could be seen dangling from their stand. Consisting of four rows of glowing LED orbs, with in-built patterns and pixel-mapping, it makes for a fun, creative lighting alternative – ideal as a stage backdrop for mobile DJs.
Arguably stealing the show, where mobile DJs were concerned, was the much talked about Sniper 2R from Elation Professional. Though it made its debut appearance at PRO last month, visitors were given a second chance to see the Sniper 2R’s incredible, frenetic laser effects during regular displays on Elation’s ever-impressive stand. While sitting outside of the budget of many DJs, those running the biggest mobile shows are likely to be interested in the unique mid-air effects offered by this compact and powerful LED fixture.
A real hidden gem of a stand was Nicolaudie, which had its unique SUSHI-DS DMX lighting control package on display. An incredibly affordable – less than £30 – and simple way of getting into DMX programming, the package includes a Nicolaudie SUSHI USB-DMX interface, as well as Sunlite Suite 2004, Daslight Virtual Controller 1 and Easy Stand Alone 1, allowing DJs to connect their DMX fixtures to their computer for comprehensive control. Staff were present to explain just how the package can help DJs with even the most basic knowledge of DMX get into enhancing their lightshow using DMX programming.
Select stand out products (like the SUSHI-DS), alongside lighting staples such as Elation and CHAUVET DJ, and sound advocates like FBT, definitely meant that the few mobile DJs who visited PLASA London 2014 had something to see. However, inevitably, with the show increasingly focused on high-end lighting, companies like Robe and Clay Paky drew attention to their products in a series of impressive lightshows – marveled at by the masses, but not exactly suitable for your next all-day wedding!