Mix on Wheels Transforms Motor Vehicles into DJ Booths
Orlando, Fla.—A major soft-drink company inspired Charles Miles to start his DJ outfit. Well, not exactly—a central Florida theme park had something to do with it as well. “A tour with them,” Miles asserts, “was a game changer for my career.”
To be more specific—which is important because Miles’ mobile-DJ business is very mobile-specific—during this tour, Miles traveled with a DJ setup that was contained in a trailer pulled by a vehicle. An idea was born.
“The idea for a mobile machine was there, but it needed to be streamlined and contained in one unit,” he says, describing the inspiration for Mix on Wheels. “There were these two components of this great idea that needed to become one and be taken to the next level.”
The vision for Mix on Wheels was to offer a truly mobile, self-contained, indoor/outdoor DJ experience which could add a “wow factor” unlike any other. “We wanted to give event planners and clients an ‘out-of-the-box’ alternative to a 6-foot table set-up, something they could make a true showcase piece for their events,” says Miles. “Because the exterior of the vehicles can be branded with vehicle wraps/magnets and custom media can be displayed on the vehicle screens, this is achievable in a very unconventional way.”
It helped that Miles’ earliest Mix on Wheels gigs were not that hard to generate. “Initially, we were very fortunate in the fact that the same central Florida theme park company, which helped inspire the company’s creation, hired us for special events and continue to do so to this date,” he says. “This allowed us to stay busy while expanding the company, designing new vehicles and introducing them to other markets.”
This all began back in 2008, and Miles’ first investment was a Hummer H3, because of its ability to contain DJ products. The initial gear placed in the Hummer was a B-52 Prodigy FX, Shure wireless mic system, and RCF ART 725 active speakers. He has since transitioned to Pioneer Pro DJ gear.
Currently, Mix on Wheels consists of three vehicles: the Hummer H3 (H3X,) the Honda Element (E2X,) and the MINI Cooper Xtreme Clubman (MCX.) All vehicles are self-contained and can produce their own power. They feature built-in DJ systems, LCD video screens for custom media playback, LED light effects, Lamborghini doors and Shure wireless mic systems for MC purposes. All vehicles can also be utilized indoors and can send an audio feed to a master sound system for larger events, such as full tradeshows and sporting events.
Within the past few years, Miles joined organizations such as MPI, ISES, NACE, Visit Orlando and he began attending tradeshows such as BizBash. All these experiences helped introduce his product to meeting planners, professional-sports teams, talent-booking agencies and destination-management companies.
But for such a unique business model, challenges do abound. “The biggest challenge for us is to get prospective clients to realize the full capability of the vehicles and what they can do for their events and entertainment budgets,” says Miles. “Not only do our vehicles save the cost of dropping power, especially in remote locations, they are also media presentation and LED light-effect machines. Also, they serve as custom showcase pieces due to the ability to wrap them and display company logos. All vehicles can also double as karaoke machines, video DJs and so much more.”
But the biggest challenge is the fact that Miles must sometimes decline out-of-state events, due to scheduling conflicts in shipping the vehicles. The solution? Miles plans to franchise his company by partnering with a motor-vehicle company to create one turnkey Mix on Wheels vehicle, for franchising, making his concept and technology available to DJs nationwide.
“We are inspired every day by all the innovative ideas and technology in the DJ industry,” he says. “From the DJ/entertainment act combinations to the touch-screen DJ systems to the DJs that are now using MIDI to trigger lasers to produce sound, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy and that really speaks to them. We would like to consider ourselves a niche piece of this industry during this exciting time of innovation and ‘anything goes.’ We’ve received so much support and excitement from other DJs.”
Within the next year, Miles plans to open an office in South Florida and place the E2X vehicle at this location. “We also have plans for the vehicles to be utilized by nationally and internationally recognized brands as a traveling mobile DJ during nationwide campaigns. All the vehicles are a great fit for such opportunities because of all the customizable options they provide.”
It’s hard to find a DJ that’s differentiated himself like Miles has, but he does share something that all DJ entrepreneurs share—a philosophy. “You can always change the songs on your playlist,” he says. “Any situation that is going on in your life or business, you have the power to change it and make it better, make it what you want it to be.”