It’s not the 90s anymore.

Too many of New York’s top nightclubs have shut down, and competition is fierce for the ones still in existence. In nightclubs, bars and restaurants across New York, audio visual systems design is changing to keep up with changing trends.

We’ve even heard faint whisperings that the “DJ is dead.” But that’s just not true. Not at wedding receptions, clubs, bars or ultra-lounges.

DJs today offer more options than ever before, including adding video elements to the show, playing top tunes in their original format or elevating the art form of mixing, and entertaining the crowd as an emcee.

Growing numbers of people, however, do enjoy live entertainment, whether it’s a local band performing original tunes, a cover band singing favorites from the 70s or 80s, or even well-known performers making a comeback in smaller venues.

Being a bar, nightclub or restaurant owner is all about giving your customers what they want. And that also means having the sound systems that fit today’s trends.

If you’re upgrading your hospitality venue audio systems, should you have your audiovisual integrator design the ultimate DJ booth, or outfit your club’s stage with a sound system for a live band, including mics, monitors, and a popular digital mixer?

Here’s the truth: You can have it all (and give it all to your customers, too).

Building a DJ Booth
Most top club DJs like to bring their own gear, right down to the microphone, so all you’ll need is an actual booth and connection points to your sound system so the DJ can plug in and go. But if you own a sports bar or local bar and want to offer a DJ to change it up, a good DJ mixer can help draw names to your venue.

Ultimately, look at where your (probably limited) audiovisual budget dollars are better spent. If people are coming to see the big game, put more money into the screens but provide a decent DJ rig to get people dancing on other nights.

Another thing to consider is a video screen and projector that the DJ can use for eye candy, crowd shots, or anything else that will get your customers excited. More and more, a good DJ is an emcee who uses all the media at his disposal to enhance the party experience for your customers.

Setting the Stage for a Band
A good system for live music will include plenty of the right kinds of microphones, stage monitors, and a digital mixer that fits most musicians’ riders. Consoles from Yamaha, Digico, and Allen & Health all may fit the bill to attract good performing acts to your New York venue.

The main benefit of a digital console is that a band’s sound engineer can insert a flash drive with their own presets and be ready to go in about 20 minutes.

Tying It All Together
Fortunately, many of the components to a live sound system or one for a club D.J. are the same, and it begins with a high quality audio system. In addition to the speakers surrounding the stage for a dance venue, you’ll also want reinforced sound through wall or ceiling speakers in other areas.

In most cases, this means a zoned audio system with some way to control the sound levels and EQ in the various zones. The pay off, though, when you can switch from live music to a DJ or even your own iTunes collection, is worth it when it comes to giving your customers what’s in demand, right now.

A professional audio consultant can help you decide which is best for your venue, or help you design a system that will let you, and your customers, have a sound system optimized for live sound and a DJ when you want it.