There’s an entire industry surrounding protective cases for musical equipment gear. Specialized hard and soft road cases exist for almost every piece of equipment. But instead of spending hundreds of dollars, what could you make from $30 and a trip to Goodwill? Take a look at DJ Cannon’s DIY project in this article.
From Suitcase To DDJ-SB Case
Shared with DJ Techtools over the weekend was a quick, fun way to make a quality case for DJ controllers. The mind behind the unique case is DJ Cannon, an Alabama-based mobile DJ – which makes sense, because mobile DJs are always having to move their gear around and want to keep it well protected while doing so.
“Road cases for DJ controller and laptops run $300 or more. I wanted something cool and rugged. Vintage Samsonite suitcases are both.
The suitcase was $7 at Goodwill, and is on the older Samsonite Silhouette with metal sides, so I know it’s more than rugged enough to use as a road case. It smell like old lady’s dirty underwear, so I decided to rip out the interior and replace it. It’s still ‘just a suitcase’, but I then made padding to fit my controller and laptop and headphones in..”
Keep reading to see the steps of how DJ Cannon made this unique case:
Step 1: Gut and Paint
To start the project off, he first ripped out the old internal material inside of the case, sanding the inside of the lid and painting it black.
Step 2: Padding!
As with all good gear cases, it’s important to make sure there’s enough shock-absorbing material around your gear to reduce any impact damage should the case be dropped. DJ Cannon lined both the top and bottom of the case with 1/4″ foam padding.
This padding is known as “foam stabilizer”, and is sold in fabric stores. It’s essentially just 1/4″ foam with a thin mesh cloth on each side of the foam.
Step 3: Upholstery!
For a unique design and a soft interior to the case, Cannon cut pieces of plush fleece with a Día de los Muertos pattern to fit each side. The suitcase already has a retainer to hold the edges in place – he just cut the cloth to match the size while it was laid inside.
To get the fabric to stay in place, a bit of spray-on automotive headliner adhesive does the trick.
Step 4: Add A Plywood Divider
Instead of the original cloth divider in the suitcase, he decided to cut a piece of plywood to the shape of the suitcase. Eventually it will have egg crate foam added to it for extra padding. This divider allows him to keep the controller on one side and other gear on the other – and it latches securely to the top side.
Step 4: More Padding + Flourish
On the controller side of the suitcase, Cannon added more foam (HDPE foam insulation for pipes, in this case) to make his DDJ-SB controller fit snugly inside of the case.
On the top side, behind the divider, there’s room for “a laptop, power supply, headphones, and cables. The laptop will be in a padded sleeve and the divider will get egg crate foam attached.”
Older Samsonite suitcases seem to have a great reputation – DJ Cannon shared a final thought on future projects:
“[…] the larger old hard sided Samsonites are great for lights and cables. My next project is an led par case that will hold 8 LED pars. It will just be carpet lined.”
Other Creative DIY DJ Gear Cases?
Have you made your own unique DJ gear cases, or have photos of another unique project like this? Share them in the comments on this article and we’ll feature the coolest ones.
DIY music room, made of plyboard 🙂
[…] Via: DJTechTools, Check the original post here. […]
They’re very good for mobile lighting too. I bought this one for 10 bucks. Doesnt look as neat as Cannon’s though #takingnotes
Made this for my DDJ SX when I wanted something protective but more attractive than a typical roadcase. Space for the graphic EQ underneath, which I use for bars without great sound systems. Has a lid made out of the same wood that fits flush and keeps things secure. decorative brass corner protectors and a leather trunk handle.
Considering putting them into production and designing models for other popular controllers/gear. Also thinking about cutting a veneer to match the wood, that can go over controllers to make the whole thing look like a wooden box with buttons and knobs popping out of it!
Cables all tucked away underneath the hinged door in back. Significantly cuts down on my setup/breakdown time will cleaning everything up for a more presentable setup.
YO! Cool beans! Nice work Cannon.
Cool ? anyone know of a suitcase large enough for a ns73 ????
[…] project to r/djs on reddit. Dan from DJ Tech Tools saw my post and asked if he could feature it on DJ Tech Tools! […]
toll boxes aluminium are great for controller cases, I had one for my vci-100 back in the days…
exactly what I was looking for. awesome article Dan!
[…] post DIY: Make A DJ Controller Case From A Suitcase appeared first on DJ […]
I wanted to do something similar for my Aira gear. Could possibly repurpose luggage for this purpose. Could even pre-wire it to make setup quick.
Smart thinking – you can even put a power strip inside of it to quickly power everything up – if there’s space!
Giuseppe Ottaviani does this for his live 2.0 concept.
awesome Trance DJ and producer.
Back in 2003 I turned an old Bass Guitar case into a live rig case. I fitted 3 Korg Electribes, Korg Kaoss Pad 1 & a Yamaha MG mixer into it. All cables up ready to go, just had to rock up to gig, plug in power and house mixer and jam!
Nice! do you have any photos? Used guitar cases are pretty commonly found in thrift shops and music stores for a decent price.