having spent many years of being a wedding and party DJ in Manchester, and working at most of Manchester’s different venues, I have developed a fantastic sense of what can only be described as ‘venue feng shui’ From a clients prospective some venues have a striking visual aesthetics which certainly contributes towards the overall feel and the decision to actually booking the venue. However, there are other aspects of a venue that can only be gained by the wisdom, insight and experience from playing at so many venues. Acoustics, room layout and sound limiters are three important considerations that probably wouldn’t even cross the clients mind when viewing venues, but these important considerations can help make or even quash the evening celebrations and party atmosphere.
The ideal room layout would contain all the guest in one main space as opposed to a few separate rooms. It’s very difficult for DJ’s to create a party atmosphere when guest are distributed between two or more rooms. In order for a DJ to know they are playing right kind of music and build a rapport with the audience, it’s essential the DJ can see most of the audience. (Awkward shaped rooms can sometimes be a challenge, but this can be overcome by adding extra wireless speakers)
The acoustics are extremely important, sound bouncing and echoing around a room most certainly is not pleasant experience for your guest. As the Tesco catch phrase states, every little helps, and good acoustics means an enjoyable musical experience for everyone. Bad acoustics can also make it difficult to gain guests full attention when making important announcements, for example, the announcement of the first dance at a wedding or guests not being able to hear clearly when the speeches are in progress. It can be difficult to decipher what room has good acoustics without actually testing it with a PA system, but as a rule of thumb, if it’s a large hall, stone walls, or very high ceiling and not much soft furnishing, the chances are the room may suffer from bad acoustics. However, some of these issues can be improved slightly by distributing extra speakers around the venue.
These pesky nuisances are often installed where venues have residential neighbours. Some venues have them set extremely low and as people absorb sound, the more guest you have, the quieter the music will sound. Most venues will not be forth coming in volunteering the fact that they have a sound limiter installed. It’s always a good idea to ask the venues co-ordinator if they have one before making your decision to book. For those who are not sure what a sound limiter does……if the volume goes beyond the set limit, the mains power is cut to the DJ or band!
I hope the above is helpful, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
DJ Dave Jones