Give Your DJ Equipment a Proper Home
Earlier this year I received a message from Tim Burnett (aka Tropical Disco Records, boss man, Moodena), regarding a new DJ booth. After some good convo back and forth, I realised the booth was actually for Dave Lee (aka Joey Negro, owner of Z Records London, all round music legend, weekly regular at super club Hi Ibiza for Glitterbox and Defected Records as well as a regular at Newcastle’s favourite disco joint Hoochie Coochie).
Dave has a weekly YouTube mix session, hosted from his infamous record room, where he plays funk, house, disco and soul grooves to the masses that tune in to the show. Tim was looking for a new booth for Dave to host his shows from, as his old DJ desk was starting to tire and was being outshone by the sexy new Z Records sign that they’d had made.
Being a DJ for many moons and being a huge musical follower of the formerly known Joey Negro, I jumped straight in and started to design the funky new booth. The brief was ‘sexy’ and I think I delivered.
I have been a furniture maker for some time and I’ve made pretty much everything you could imagine in that time. From a hanging gallows for a TV show, to a huge 4 metre outdoor table, fitted with BBQ pits and a log burner. Being the music obsessive that I am though, it’s always special when a furniture brief involves music. One of my favourite builds was a collaboration project with Newcastle’s super high end, cool cats, Novocastrian on a DJ booth for non other than The Chemical Brothers!
Dave’s equipment list included x3 Pioneer XDJ 1000 MK2, a Pioneer DJM 900 Nexus 2 and an original Technics 1200 MK2. All of the equipment was to be sunken flush within the booth. I have done similar builds but never sunken decks, can’t be too hard right? I spoke to Pioneer to get the full product specs to work from but strangely they don’t give this info out and couldn’t even explain why. This is where a DJ building a DJ booth comes in handy. I was able to nip to work (The Lofts, Newcastle) and grab all the of the equipment I needed to measure and make sure everything would fit perfectly.
We nailed down the design through a series of tweaked 3D drawings and then pressed play on the custom booth for the house music legend. We went for a 19mm baltic birch plywood for it’s strength, stability and it’s beautiful grain. This booth needed to be super sturdy and hold tonnes of records. I didn’t want any screws or fixings on show so I lapped all of the joints and used pocket screws. I saved the glue up for once it was assembled on site as this was going to be too big to move in one piece.
To ensure the accuracy of the rebates and radiuses I used a CNC machine and after a few late nights and a few alterations it was all prepared and ready for a dry fit! To my surprise, everything fit like a glove. Not that I don’t have faith in my work but because woodwork very rarely comes together first time. The black finish is a USA based product called Rubio Monocoat. It’s a wicked product, but don’t get it on your arms or face as it doesn’t come off!
You just want to know how to order yours now right? Read on and I’ll tell you how.
I’d arranged to deliver the booth to Z records HQ, London. There was no way I was missing out on a chance to visit Dave Lee’s music studio and label distribution management offices.
I convinced the Mrs that driving down, assembling and getting back in the same day would be too much so I booked a hotel and headed down to the big smoke.
After a dodgy nights sleep in the murder hotel, I headed down for breakfast as I needed a good meal inside me for my fan boy day at big Dave’s.The plate of food I was served, was definitely not that! So I headed to Starbucks and filled myself with caffeine instead.
Arriving at the destination in Crouch End, I was met by a very happy Tim, who seemed to be much more pumped and visibly excited than Dave, who I later learned has a dryer sense of humour than me and was actually really excited inside. We had some great banter as I was invited to take a look in Dave’s studio where the magic had been happening for so many years.
Still full of caffeine and adrenaline I took a minute to realise I was actually here to do a job and it was time to unload the C51 van and get building. After a couple of hours of assembly the booth was up and ready for the DJ gear to be fitted. We unboxed all of the shiny new Pioneer Pro DJ gear and installed it into the booth, all fitting perfectly. Phew!
Next it was time to test it out and guess who had a USB stick in his pocket full of his own edits and remixes. Me of course! Within a minute of Tim asking if I had a stick on me, it was plugged in and my Teddy Pendergrass edit ‘You Can’t Hide’ was blaring! Grab a copy here, it’s free and you might like it! I had hoped Dave would come running in asking to sign it but 1, I think he’s too cool to run and 2, without checking I’m sure he’s got his own remix, because what hasn’t he remixed?
Dave checked over the booth, shaking, yes shaking with enthusiasm! He was buzzing in his own way and it was time for him to get the tunes out and do some dancing for the camera, being the good sport that he is, he was straight in for the poses.
We had a mooch through the record collection and Tim handed me an arm full of vinyl and cd’s. I was now ready to go home but not before banging a picture of me and big Dave on the decks on Facebook.
Back in the van heading up north with a grin from ear to ear, until I hit rush hour London traffic! It was an honour to build a booth for Joey Negro and I look forward to watching his YouTube streams featuring a booth made with my very own hands.
There is a core design running through the booths with flexibility to be adapted. The booths can be altered to accommodate different equipment and serve the needs of the DJ and their space.
The booths can accommodate all types of DJ equipment and controllers. From the smallest set up like the DDJ 400 up to the beastly CDJ 3000's we can make it work.
If you’re interested in a booth of your own, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief outline of what you have in mind. Send me your number too, as it’s best to chat these thing through to get a good understanding of your equipment and how you intend to use the booth and where. I love to chat all things music, believe it or not! Look forward to chatting, put the kettle on.