With the emergence of the Traktor DJ iPad app and the Kontrol Z1, the definition of a ‘Mobile DJ’ has certainly changed. German writer and DJ Walter Marinelli,from Blogrebellen, directed us to his Battery Powered DJ Setup. Read on to check out the most mobile DJ Set up you’ve seen yet.
The thought of a DJ setup completely independent of the power supply, has fascinated me for a long time. This year Germany will host it’s first 100% renewable energy festival, Solar Festival. Being booked for this festival, along with becoming a media partner for them, really gave me the inspiration for the battery powered Dj Setup.
For starters, I am using Traktor DJ for iOS. This is the first really serious DJ software for tablets. (Sorry, but all the previous attempts to replicate 2 decks and an analog mixer on the mini screen I found rather silly).
The Traktor Kontrol Z1 is the perfect complement because it takes on the exact same functions of Traktor DJ and transfers them into the tactile feedback from the Z1 via the faders or knobs, leaving you a good balance between touchscreen control and the Z1. Furthermore, the soundcard is integrated and the Z1 also supplying the iPad with power.
Lastly: Although the Z1 says that it runs at 15 volts, it manages with only 12 volts. This is the same power supplied via standard 12v batteries, making your battery powered DJ setup possible. Hooray!
Here a picture that shows you what it looks like and how it is connected:
Battery Powered DJ Setup Breakdown
The lead-acid battery. This is a commercially available lead-acid battery, which I intended to only use for the speakers. It does however, supply both the speakers, as well as the Z1 and iPad. For the adapter I used cheap universal power supply and cut the cord. (This is not sustainable and also not the cheapest solution, but I wanted to quickly come to a conclusion and these were parts I had at home.)
The connection between iPad and Z1. The Z1 comes with a 30pin to USB connector. The newer iOS devices are fitted with Lightning port, so I needed use an adaptor to connect the 30 pin to the lightening port. (Important: My tests functioned by using ONLY the original Apple cable).
(Whoever comes up with the idea of trying to use the Camera Connection Kit and a standard USB cable: forget it! Although this does work for the sound card, there is no communication between the Z1 and the iPad. In other words, the mixer will not mix!)
The result is similar to that of using mains power. If you want to be completely independent from the power grid , this is a great DJ setup for garden parties. If more people want to sonicate, or even want to dance, there is now quite a large market of portable active speaker systems with battery supply in many different designs.
Here is a short video showing the equipment in action. I was alone and had only a small tripod, so sorry for the weird angle. It is enough to see that it works.
Thanks so much to Walter Marinelli – for supplying this article, he wrote the original article in German and has many more cool articles on his blog so go and check him out at Blogrebellen. I’m interested to see if any more Traktor Tips readers can come up with even more sustainable ways to integrate their battery powered DJ Set Ups. Let us know in the comments.