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Speaker Best Practices

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Greetings Fellow Djs. We are all professionals or strive to be so that said. I can’t stress enough the following: ALL SPEAKERS SHOULD BE ON SPEAKER STANDS.We dj weddings and private parties, close to 90% of these parties are indoors. There is NO NEED to put your speakers on the floor, to put your speakers on your table (even if you are on a stage), or to put your speakers on chairs. There is also NO NEED to bring extremely large floor speakers that are TOO HEAVY to be put on stands. These floor speakers are for clubs, concerts, and outside events. There is also no need to stack your speakers (Those that bring 4 speakers). The only exception is for sub woofers.


When You elevate your speakers, the highs from your tweeter will not broadcast properly (bouncing off your dancing crowds mid section) nor will it be at ear level (irritating most guests). Your woofer, that produces bass and most of the mid range will also be elevated above the crowds heads (causing less irritation). One of the best reasons for putting your speakers on stands (up High) is so that the back of the dancefloor & room can also hear the music.
The appearance of your speakers and stands should also be in tip top shape. No one at a party wants to see carpet or parts dangling off your speakers, nor do they want to see scratched up speakers or those with the vinyl covering ripped off. Also your stands, if used in conjunction with light clamps can be scratched up very easily. Since most stands are black as well as speakers. Simple cheap black spray paint or a black sharpie can sometimes bring your speakers and speaker grills back looking better than before and can also make speaker stands LOOK LIKE NEW. ONE NOTE if the equipment is not yoursDO NOT do anything to it unless you consult the owners.
It is also a great idea to MAKE SURE your tweeters an woofers are working correctly at each gig. Because we stand behind our equipment for most of the night we might not notice a blown tweeter. Be sure to make a quick check at each gig. You should be doing this anyway at each gig during your MICROPHONE & MUSIC CHECK, but that is going to be a later article.
Finally, PLEASE make sure your cords are wrapped around your speaker stands 4 or 5 times. An alternative is to use zip ties or velcro to keep the cables hidden behind the speaker poles. A hanging speaker cord not only looks bad but gives the appearance that the dj was rushed or even a rookie. If you use these tips you will be on your way to being a more professional DJ resulting hopefully in a better DJ.

Back Ups

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I have said it before and i will say it again. BACK UP YOUR MUSIC EVERY MONTH if possible and while you are at it defragment your music drive and check it for errors. You can use the built in disc utility that comes with your computer. Just go to My Computer select your music drive (hopefully it is on an External Hard drive) and RIGHT Click it and select properties, now select the TOOLS Tab and there you will find error check and the defragmenter.
If you cannot get into the defragmenter that way you will have to go to the Control Panel, click The Administrative Tools Icon, then click The Computer Management Icon. This will bring up a new window called Computer Management. Click on Disk Defragmenter in the Left hand side Box and you will then be able to select the drive to defragment (it is usually NOT C – that is your computer’s main hard drive).
A really cool piece of backup software is called Always Sync. You can find it HERE. This software lets you select what drive is the main and what drive is the back up. It will also allow what files go to what drive so you can only sync the files to one if you wish. Allway Sync uses innovative synchronization algorithms to synchronize your data between desktop PCs, laptops, USB drives, remote FTP/SFTP and WebDAV servers, various online data storages and more. Data compression and encryption are supported. It combines bulletproof reliability with extremely easy-to-use interface. Allway Sync also can synchronize your PC data with a Mac via Sync Gateway.

Removing fear out of sales and relaxing the client

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Our main goal, when first meeting a client or Prospect, is to remove fear and allow them to relax. We all have a natural fear of being sold. For this reason, it is important, in your original contact, to create confidence — not fear. Below are the four steps involved in meeting a client or prospect:

  1. Smile almost to the point of grinning. Some people have forgotten how to smile because they don’t do it much. The ability to smile pleasantly – – whenever you feel like it or not – – is an important sales skill.
  2. Look in their eyes. Shifty-eyed people cause us to question the honesty in their hearts.
  3. Greet your client / prospect properly. Study the person you are greeting for a split second and greet them uniquely. This is a great way to focus your attention on their individuality, and to get them to remember you.
  4. To shake, or not to shake, that is the question. Many people don’t want to be touched by strangers. Don’t expect to shake hands unless your client extends their hand. A simple rule is let your client determine if you shake or not. The important thing is to get rid of the idea that you must touch them.

Back To Life, Back To Reality

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Photo Courtesy CTG Photography.

Featured Image Courtesy CTG Photography

            This past Monday I was up way past 2:00am. Sleepless baby? No. Binging Netflix on a series I can’t turn away from? Nope, not that. Out at the bar? Yeah, right, maybe ten years ago. Sort of stressed and way overwhelmed about the back to back 14 hour days of insanely involved weddings I have coming up? BOOM. There is it.

            For most of us, it’s the moment we’ve been waiting for; venue restrictions are being lifted or lessened and we are headed back to in person events that resemble (slightly) life before COVID. There are some states that never really…..let’s just say, had restrictions as strict as others. For those DJs- things got back to “normal”earlier. I reached out and asked some of the nation’s Top DJs what their advice would be for those of us staring it in the face.

“The storm is coming,” was the first thing Nate Nelson, Director of Talent and Development, Headliner MC and Mixmaster at Dallas based Le Force DJs, said to me.   Well, Nate, I need my storm gear STAT.  He continued, “Have a plan, and system in play. Be ready to work harder than you have.”.

Great. So what’s the plan? I had no idea and conducted more research, AKA asking in a DJ group who’s been back to work and what their advice is .

Troy Miller, the right hand man of DJ Sound Solution in Indiana, went back in June 2020. Really, Troy? Because that’s when my world became even more ripped upside down.. But yes, he’s telling the truth. Indiana never really “shut down”.

“Around March of this year, corporate gigs started coming in. Coming back to work with things easing up…thats a two part answer. First, what is the couple’s stance or company that hired you. Do they have a policy, or a preferred way to do things? Secondly, what are you comfortable doing? Im all about having this conversation with my clients. If they say we prefer to not wear a mask, I could still take precautions if I felt necessary. 95% of my weddings…I’m starting out making all of the proper announcements and measures are in place. After 9:pm when the drinks are flowing all bets are off. Dance floors have been packed!”

Jimmy Enoloe, of Enloe Entertainment in Texas, has noticed that weddings are are in full force and people are ready to party.

“We started experiencing  the reschedules during the months of March through June.  That was exactly 3 months of no weddings and not going to lie, it sucked!  I was so used to getting ready on Wednesday or Thursday for the upcoming weekend and then staying home during that time was mentally tough.  We started picking up bookings again pretty heavy in about August or September of 2020, but our weddings for the rest of the year still had some social distancing protocols (ie signs about social distancing, colored bracelets to let people know among other items).  Moving into 2021…people are taking to weddings as if nothing has happened!  All of our receptions/parties have been A LOT of dancing and having fun!  So that has been refreshing for sure on my end.  The advice I would give to all of the DJ’s as the nation is starting to open up and don’t sell yourself short!  Meaning, you have to take into count all of the reschedules to the new year of 2021 or next year of 2022.  You have already moved those paid in funds to the new wedding, so don’t try and undercut your own business to get bookings.  People are booking and weddings are coming back to normal.  As far as price raising or changing pricing, a lot of companies here in the Houston market have actually increased their pricing to make up for the pandemic and they know that they will book it out regardless of pricing.”

            We can conclude that some companies and venues have policies in place- so talk to your couples and vendors. It’s crazy busy, and people are ready to dance their faces off..

            I mentioned earlier that I have an intense weekend ahead of me. I acknowledged the stress that related to going back to work. Here’s the plan that I made-

  • BRAIN DUMP BRAIN DUMP and then dump some more. I start a fresh list if I start to feel. overwhelmed .
  • Take those lists and put them into my planner. Day by day, see what my goals are.
  • Prioritize. What is time sensitive with respect to other people? What needs to be done before something else can get done?
  • BALANCE of life and work. Working 24/7 to get these tasks done would crush my spirit. It would burn me out. I just can’t with that. So every day at 2pm I “stop”. I put that in quotes because I’ll still check my email, but I’m getting better.  Anything I don’t have done I move to the next day, and wake up a little bit earlier to get it done.
  • I garden. Yes, it’s my therapy, and when stress hits, you have to crank up the volume on what you love.
  • I put my phone away at 9pm. I failed at this last night, but I’ll get back  to it tonight.
  • Important tasks that I’ve done to prep myself for having off for so long:
    • Gear organization and test
    • Writing out my timing for MC work. Not an actual script, but when I speak.
    • Music organization- AKA saying hello to my wedding folders and re structuring them. Much love to Crate Hackers for help with this!
    • Creating a fresh check list for day of prep
    • Nurturing and adding to my workflow for coupes and clients; I’ve since invested in a new CRM and Vibo, so my workflow has changed.

            Congrats, United States DJ Fam- we made it to the next, less restrictive phase. And now it’s time to shine brighter than we ever have.

Tell me in the comments- what work do you have coming up, and how are you feeling about it?

Tip or No Tip?

Recently in an online forum, a fellow DJ asked this question.

“If you don’t get a tip when the bride’s parents pay you, do you wonder if they were satisfied or disappointed?”

This question isn’t as straightforward as it seems. If you are using a tip or lack of tip as a metric of judging your customer’s satisfaction, this is a flawed way of evaluating your performance at a wedding. Please consider the following as why.

  1. People who feel compelled to tip, especially for a wedding, tend to set aside your tip well before you ever play your first song. Your tip is most likely coming regardless if they are over the moon thrilled, or you merely provided them some cheap thrills.
  2. Some will never think the DJ is someone they are supposed to tip. Tip culture depends on the family and your geographical location.

Instead, use these points to judge if you had a successful night.

  1. Did the couple, as they were leaving, thank you, fist bump, high five, or say you rocked it as they left?
  2. Did you bring to fruition the couples’ wedding day/event goals?
  3. Did you deliver and exceed your promises to the client?
  4. Did you see people smiling on the dance floor and genuinely having fun?
  5. Did other guests, before they left, stop by and say I had fun thanks or something along these lines?
  6. Did they send you a thank you card in the mail?
  7. Finally, this one won’t come to light right away: Is this client singing your praises online? To their friends, coworkers, etc.? (are they sending you referrals)

Final note: If you rely on a tip to get to the rate you want and deserve, consider raising your rates to the point that you no longer need that tip. Don’t get me wrong, I do get tipped often; I am incredibly grateful for the tip. However, a tip is never something I count on or expect from a client or the payee. #7 is far more valuable to me than a few hundred in an envelope.

Phenyx Pro PTU-52 Dual Wireless Microphone System

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We as mobile DJs have a lot of time using microphones in events.  Often, we are not only the DJ entertainment for the event, but we are also the Master of Ceremonies.  Having a quality wireless microphone system is essential for this to be a success for mobile DJs.  I had the pleasure of testing the Phenyx Pro PTU-52 Dual Wireless Microphone System over the past few months.  This article will be outlining my experience and thoughts of this microphone system.

       Build Quality

                The build quality is very high.  I was actually surprised with how well built these microphones and the receiver was built because of the price.  Priced at a shocking $99 USD on Amazon, this microphone is crazy tough.  Also unlike a lot of wireless systems Phenyx Pro sends this system in a plastic carrying case with foam cut out to hold the items within it.  This is an AMAZING level of protection without having to purchase additional cases or protection.  The microphones themselves are metal shelled and can take a beating without any damage whatsoever.  The receiver is built with two omni directional antennas and gets great reception! 

          Use at Events

                I was able to use this at a couple of weddings this year.  The ease of tuning the frequencies is a lifesaver.  You can easily change the frequency which helped find the best frequency without much work.  It also has a high range of gain on the receiver.  This also helps eliminating outside interference by finding a frequency that does not have other things using it.  Having the multiple microphones was great to have one for myself and one for guests.  In this age of COVID we need to be protective over our equipment that could possibly transmit the virus such as microphones.  I always use a sanitizing spray as well.  These microphones were well suited to be sanitized with their metal construction and ease to wipe down. 

          Setup

                Setup was a snap with its Balanced and unbalanced outputs.  It has balanced individual XLR outputs for each microphone or a single ¼ inch unbalanced output that carries both channels at once.  The microphones do not consume much power at all and did not need new batteries after two events unlike others I’ve used where you would need to change batteries after any event.  The XLR outputs were a snap to use. 

Quality of Use

                These microphones were clear and crisp right out of the box.  I only had to fine tune eq for them to eliminate feedback when right in front of the speaker box.  The frequency displays are easy to read and bright.  The microphones have a good feel and weight to them.  With all the features I personally believe this system well exceeds expectations for quality and ease of use.

          Conclusion

                I was thoroughly impressed with how well built and how great this system sounds.  For the price it is one of the most budget friendly high-quality purchases a DJ can make.  I will recommend these systems to any DJ looking for quality wireless system on a budget.  As with any of my reviews don’t take my word for it.  Try these for yourself.  I am certain you will be