In case you’ve seen me mention ‘Record Pools’, well, these are organizations who are ‘recognized’ by the Artists’ Record Labels as either club or studio or mobile DJ professionals. And the ‘labels’ send me, weekly, hundreds of fresh cuts, re-releases & especially ‘remixes’ you might never be able to purchase.
Back in ‘vinyl’ days, the records would be stamped (on the label or jacket) with a warning: ‘For Professional Promotional Use Only’. No kidding, I’d visit my ‘pool’, pickup a weekly box of ‘vinyl’; take it home and ‘preview’ all the records. And back then, I’d have a ‘Feedback Card’ (written, yes) that I HAD, WAS REQUIRED to fill out once I played the record/cut/etc. in a club. You might chuckle, but back then if I wrote ‘needs remix/intro/outro’ or ‘scratch version’ or ‘instrumental version’, the next week I might get that requested vinyl in my box. And then I’d have 2-3 versions to spin on 2-3 tables (yep) for ‘transition mixing’ (yes, yes, yes….’disco’ mixes). Like in the picture to left.
What does this matter? Few reasons. First, you should know, I won’t be using any turntables or vinyl at your event. I use a ‘controller’ (newspeak for ‘mixer’ that uses ‘files’) For over 15 years, it’s been all ‘Mp3 files. So plenty of DJ’s don’t ‘pay’ for their music. They ‘scrape’ it from YouTube or Vimeo & the quality: not the same. On purpose, by the labels. I’ll leave it there. So when you make ‘requests’, that’s where they source. It’s crap, simply. Me? If it was published by an artist in the last 20-30 years & right up until last Friday, I own it. And ‘oldies’, classics, ‘old school’: same there. I have libraries of music files. I carry over 50,000 songs, BESIDES THE ONES YOU REQUEST AHEAD OF TIME, with me.
Second: if a DJ won’t commit to paying artists for music, imagine what the rest of his/her attitude is about ‘audio’; or lighting; or whatever. It’s like ordering ‘beef’ for your wedding dinner without knowing that ‘sliced roast beef’ from the deli is ‘beef’, vs a filet mignon or NY Strip. It’s just not right.
So, having begun my career in dance clubs, with the best sound systems designed by world famous audio techies….I’ve never wanted to offer ‘second best’, even in my ‘mobile DJ’ career. And there’s no need to. Now, I will admit, playing a lot of tents & pavilions & barns lacks one thing: ‘acoustics’. Just is what it is. Sound either escapes the tent or hits the soft wood of barn walls & ‘thuds’. So, what do to?
First, ‘over power’. You have no choice, because not only are bad ‘acoustics’ thieves of power, in case you didn’t know it, the ‘dancers’ absorb sound pressure levels (SPL, trust me, ‘watts’ don’t matter as much as SPL) too. And if you’ve ever heard crappy speakers turned up ‘too high’, they begin to ‘clip’, which means, the electronic hardware meant to ‘protect’ the speakers from ‘blowing’, automatically shut down the speakers. And sooner or later, if you play a system too ‘high’ & it’s not meant to bear it: you blow speakers. But worse yet, you don’t blow ’em but the speakers get damaged & begin to, well, sound like shit. And if you’re underfunded: you continue to play them & your audience continues to wince when you turn them up! So…if you’re over-powered, you never have to ‘turn your speakers to ’10’.
Second, buy the best. My speakers, manufactured by Electro-Voice (ETX-18SP & ETX-15P) are the finest available in the world (as far a ‘mobile DJ/event’ speakers go that you can ‘wheel’). The techie at EV who designed my system for me also designed the entire audio system at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. No kidding. I know him for over 30 years & he said to me: ‘These speakers are hard to move around, heavy to lift, but you’ll have the best mobile DJ system available.” And so it is: I have ‘ramps’ to move the subbies (sub-woofers) in/out of truck & help hoisting the ‘mains’ onto ‘flyer poles’. So be it.
If you like, you can click on the speakers to left to learn about them.
Mics (microphones). Do I need one? If you wish me to ‘introduce’ y’all, incl. wedding party, you/partner as newlyweds or any other announcements: Yes, I do. I use both a wireless handheld (it transmits up to 150 ‘, so you can use at tables, etc) + I have backup ‘wired’ mic connected to my DJ console. Your besties can roam & embarrass you at will!
And if you’d like ‘lapel mics’ for your ceremony, your officiant, even your fiance’/partner & yourself: I got the best. You don’t even need to ‘wire up’ they work fine clipped on collar!
So, often no one at weddings ‘sees’ the lighting until after dinner & we’re jammin’ on the dance floor. Which is ok…but earlier in the reception, it’s often nice to put on something ‘simple’ like during cocktail hour or before we start jammin’. Especially if there’s little kids attending…they just go nuts for a simple ‘wildflower’ light show, chasing them around the floor. Click on pics.
But there’s also ‘UpLighting’ and ‘eMirror Balls’ (no they don’t go on ceiling) that can enhance the outside or perimeter of your tent/pavilion/etc. & just add a nice festive ambiance to things. I will consult with you on these choices. Click on pics for demo.