When describing the nature of some of our services, there is often a quizzical look in response to the term “Program DJ”. Let’s see if we can make sense of it.
Everybody knows what a DJ is and does, right? Maybe. Those two letters, or the words disc jockey, can take in a lot of different roles and jobs. At the core is sound reinforcement, the playing of music and providing microphones and management for presenters. From these roots, a multitude of DJ styles grow.
A “Program DJ” works with the client in advance of an event to identify the style, genre, or even specific tracks that become the entertainment for the evening. The program DJs forte’ is events where the music is used to enhance the experience of attending, where the purpose of the event is other than dancing the night away. Program DJs can still add excitement to the dance floor, too!
More often, program DJs provide the tone and background for the event that could be networking, fundraising, exercise, dinner, or another event where the focus is on the people in attendance, not the entertainer. These DJs use musical knowledge, research and skill to select the best music in advance of the event, spending many hours screening and rehearsing to make the event wonderful.
Program DJs often have a broad musical library, and familiarity with a variety of musical styles preparing them to meet the needs of different events, social groups and desires. They’ll have a large variety of instrumental music as well as songs with lyrics. A dinner party on the green will usually call for music different for that for the corporate awards banquet. Just as different radio stations play music for different audiences, a program DJ is able to play the right music for a variety of events.
Another area that sets professional Program DJs apart is with special events. Fundraisers, races, runs, exercise events, issue rallies, parades and similar events require multiple skill sets on the part of the sound reinforcement provider. Often, there are multiple musics styles required as well as the management of the output of presenters. Playing music loud is pretty easy. People will figure out the beat and the song, even if the sound is distorted by poor management. Not so with the spoken word.
When the guests at your event need directions, your audio provider should make those announcements as clear sounding as if you were talking them at close range. Whether leading an worm-up exercise session, or providing sign-up and staging directions, if your audience can’t understand the announcements, your event can devolve into a garbled, disorganized mass. The program DJ brings the best equipment, not necessarily the biggest equipment to this event. The program DJ brings the skills to manage the voice frequencies being reinforced so the sound is intelligible.
Club DJs provide the music that keeps you drinking and dancing into the night. Within the subset Club DJ there are variations. Some “mash” original music for you, blending multiple songs into an original version. Some of these can be published as DJ Mixes and get radio play in addition to being played by other DJs who respect the originator’s work.
Some Club DJs “scratch”, alter the sound of a song through physical or electronic manipulation of the track, making the music unique for that event. Club DJs work long hours in the rehearsal studio refining their techniques and creating the music that their audience wants.
Wedding DJ’s make or break the impression of the wedding, the most important day in the life in two people and their guests. Research has shown that hours will be dedicated to the selection of the rings, the cake, the menu and the facility, but in the end, no one will remember anything but the party that follows the formalities. (I left out big accidents like falls and the garbling of names during the introductions. Those will be remembered, too.)
Brides and Grooms should focus on selecting the Wedding DJ that gains their trust through performance during the selection process. Wedding DJs should have the flexibility to work with the principles, the planner and the families. They should be selected on the basis of their ability to provide the experience wanted by the Bride and Groom. They will present the organizational tools needed to nail down the smallest of details and to get tasks completed in the right order and on time. Select the voice you want to hear making your introductions. This is your one opportunity to make this day perfect. Don’t scrimp and compromise on your entertainment. Get a Wedding DJ.
Party DJs will often have the music variety to meet the needs of a broad population. Pool parties, house parties, birthday parties, anniversary parties, retirement parties, going away parties, coming home parties, whatever you want to celebrate with friends, require special attention from your DJ. Although the DJ may have party pricing packages, each event is unique and your Party DJ should provide you with the flexibility and skills to make your party exactly what it should be.
The foregoing is not a exhaustive list of the variety of DJ services in the marketplace. It as overview intended to differentiate between common forms in the art and how Program DJs fit into the marketplace.
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