As autumn starts to descend upon us, I once again find myself fondly looking back on this years events. Another year will be over soon and it reminds me of how time passes by so quickly. I often refer to my favourite saying ‘A good life is made of good memories’ and this saying is so true! Creating those magical moments at an event need a few factors to fall into place, good friends and family, alcohol, a venue with great acoustics and music specifically designed to suit the event. Perhaps many people overlook the importance of the music selection, but there’s so much thought and effort that goes into this from my prospective. From keeping up with the latest releases, to making sure I can cater for all taste, genres and decades to being able to use my vast experience into what to play next to keep people on the dance floor is just the tip of the iceberg. I carry over 140,000 high quality music files and there’s even some basic psychology goes into each selection of the tracks. For example, when it’s early evening at a wedding when the happy couple are still meeting and greeting evening guests, the music is naturally kept fairly low at this point. Most of the younger people during this period tend to be too busy socialising to pay too much attention to what songs are playing, however, the much older guests tend to listen to what's being played. Therefore, I often cater for the older generation at this particulate point in the night. This is all about retaining the older guest, if I was to play music that was too new, too soon and too loud, older guest tend not to enjoy the listening experience and as a result may even make their excuses and leave early. On the flip side, if they have enjoyed the music, they are more likely to stay and pretty much dance to all styles of music later on. People watching is part of my job, looking around the room to see who is tapping their feet or singing along to the music is a typical observational tool I use. Having said all of this, not all events are the same, the example I used above suggest a chilled meet and greet section of the evening, but sometimes, especially if people have got married early in the day, by the time 7.00pm comes around everyone is ready to party, or indeed there may not even be any more guests arriving. Extracting all the finer details from my clients makes a massive difference as to how I choose music. Another important factor is inviting guests to requests songs, I may have years of experience and intuition of knowing what to play, but the best judge is the guests, they know what they like and what they want to dance too. I love all sorts of music, from the 50’s right through to the latest dance music, so it’s always a pleasure to take request and sometimes drift away from the usual tracks that get the hell played out of them. Perhaps my personal favorite decade is the 80’s and this is the decade where I perfected my mixing the skills the hard way, I.e on vinyl. It’s all digital nowadays, but the digital turntable replaces that replaces the old analogue format still rains as king when mixing techniques are required. Incidentally, I still have turntables and all my old records! If you would like to discuss booking me for your event, please feel free to email or call anytime, I would love to hear from you. I am so lucky to work in a job where I get to meet so many amazing people and play music for a living, peace out!
Brockholes nature reserve is a bit of a work out for wedding DJ’s! Who needs the Gym when you have a the task of carrying heavy equipment across the Brockholes complex, this workout should be part of the SAS selection hahaha…..putting the difficult load and the moaning of DJ life to one side, the venue us pretty unique for a weddings. You are surrounded by nature in all it’s forms, the acoustics are great and for those choosing to sit outside on the summer nights, the music can still be heard. Its also pretty unique in the sense that it’s Lancashire's only floating wedding venue!
Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa in Blackburn has two function rooms, one fairly small and one very large. The largest is called the Pendle Suite and upon first seeing this room my immediate concern was how to distribute sound and indeed how much power I would need to fill such a large room with decent volume. Good distribution of the audio and creating a fantastic sound plays is an essential part to the success of any event and being adaptable played a key roll in this particular room. My heart would have sank if I simply had one pair of average speakers for this room, it’s always a worry when trying to push a PA system beyond it’s capability and only filling one side of the room with sound can have such a negative effect on the atmosphere, or even being heard clearly when making important announcements. To resolve the issue, I used wireless technology to send an audio signal to 2 x 18inch Bass bins and mid-range top speakers placed towards the back of the room, and 2 FBT line array speakers which I placed on the stage. The wireless system allowed me to adjust the volume on the speakers at the back of the room independently to get that perfect balance. Using numerous speakers spread out around the room enables a crystal clear sound with good head room for serious volume if required, but this configuration also retains the ability for people to have conversations comfortably without being overpowered by the music. If you are reading this and considering hiring a DJ or a band, I would highly recommend speaking to them about their sound system and if possible, using a similar configuration to what I used. However, I did notice the venue has it’s own PA system installed, and although I never asked the venue, it might be well worth asking if the use of their system in an option for your DJ or band if you have not booked me. The in-house system lacks bass bins, but it does have numerous midrange speakers throughout the room and it sounds pretty good too. Whether you are another DJ, band or a client who has booked the Pendle Suite, I hope this little write-up has helped in the planning of your event/gig. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Apart from being one of the worse places to load equipment into, the Stannylands Hotel in Wilmslow is a wonderful place to hold your event. Professional and friendly staff, lovely hotel, great food and a fantastic events room with a small balcony. Fantastic room for the acoustics too, anyone who reads my various blogs will know my thoughts on this particular subject. Rooms with great acoustics really do make a massive difference to the party atmosphere and peoples enjoyment of the music. However, due to the difficulty in loading into this venue, I am currently considering charging slightly more for this hotel. Who needs the gym when you have heavy equipment, stairs and a venue room far away from the main door!
The West tower country house hotel in Ormskirk is another one of those venues that requires some extra help with the acoustics. Typically, the DJ is expected to setup in the centre of the room with the seating areas to each side. This means that the sound from the main speakers is projected mainly onto the dance floor area, but the seating areas tend to have the less pleasing sound frequencies projecting from the side of the main speakers. As you may already know, I’m a great advocate in the importantence of good acoustics, and a great sound certainly makes a massive difference to the party atmosphere and ultimately the enjoyment of the music. In order to resolve this issue in this particular venue I used my favourite go to tool, a pair a wireless speakers facing in a more appropriate direction in a different part of the function room. The wedding planner was initially skeptical of this idea due to seating being directly under the speakers, However, I did offer the reassurance that the audio volume to these speakers can be independently controlled from the main system and having extra speakers meant better sound distribution, therefore less overall volume would be needed to individual speakers. The result was fantastic, it sounded great! You can just make out the wireless speakers on each side of the stairs.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about any of the venues in my blog, or indeed if you are looking for a wedding DJ in the North West. I would be happy to answer any of your questions.
Didsbury House Hotel has to be one of my favourite hotels and small wedding venues. It’s extremely well kept, the staff are friendly and very professional, and apart from working at this wonderful venue as a wedding DJ, I have also had the pleasure of staying here once, loved it! By the way, my FBT line array speakers sound awesome in the front room and this adds to whole experience of the party atmosphere.
Fairfield Golf and Sailing Club is a great venue for any celebration, friendly and professional staff, well kept venue and it has great acoustics. In the picture above I am using 4 podiums at the request of the client, it’s a good job I have a big van! From my point of view, the only downside is that the function room is on the first floor, but it does has a lift.
Are you looking to book a wedding venue in Manchester for your event? Well, I have some advice for your consideration.
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
The The White Hart Inn at Lydgate Weddings
The The White Hart Inn at Lydgate is one of my favourite wedding venues, However, with all the dense wooden beams it certainly needs a decent sound system. It's surprising how the sound gets absorbed in this particular venue by the thick wooden beams. In this particular picture there are six speakers around the DJ booth, but if it's a full house I resort to distributing the speakers around the room to give a more balanced audio. I achieve this using a wireless system, so no long cables to worry about. The LOVE letters are my 5ft tall versions with a dimmer attached so I can turn the brightness down once the party is in full swing, If you are looking for a wedding DJ in Saddleworth, or indeed a wedding DJ for any venue in the North West of England, I would be more than happy to answer any of your questions in relation to my services.
Dave Jones (DJ)
I often take the time
to blog about venues and experiences relating to the many functions I attend,
some of the post may prove useful or interesting if you are considering booking
certain venues or simply seeking information on any of the subject matter that
may be covered in my many posts. Please feel free to contact me if you have any
questions. Happy reading!