Temecula’s Best DJ Tutorials
NOTE: Persons intending to use a microphone for presentations, toasts, etc. at an upcoming event are contractually required (through our mutual client) to read paragraphs “A” through “G” upon this webpage and to subsequently address any questions regarding its content to DJ Service at least two weeks prior to the performance.
NOTE: WEDDING COORDINATORS, WEDDING CEREMONY OFFICIANTS, WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS and VIDEOGRAPHERS are contractually required (through our mutual client) to read this page in its entirety and to subsequently address any questions regarding its content to DJ Service at least two weeks prior to the performance.
Remember that “live” sound is a completely different and more difficult challenge than sound recorded for future broadcast.
A) Addressing a microphone: Speak directly and “straight-on” into microphones as illustrated at right and “Image X” below. The recommended distance from your mouth to the tip of the microphone is within 6 inches of it. This is important to maximize the efficiency of the microphone and to make your voice sound better. Sounds can bounce off of surrounding walls, surfaces and especially from the voices of guests and environmental noises.
Please instruct your guests who will use the microphone to do the same. Remember, that it is human nature to not like the sound of your own voice through a sound system so many people who are not accustomed to using microphones usually pull them away from their mouth (increasing the distance between the microphone and your mouth is the wrong thing to do). Let your sound-man regulate the volume. Please follow these guidelines to avoid audio problems.
(“Image X”) The correct way to address a microphone:
(Image “Z”) The wrong way to address a microphone (off-axis):
B) Avoiding speakers: Try to keep the microphone away from the speakers of the sound system. A problem known as “feedback” (a loud “squeal” or “woof”) is irritating to most guests and this happens when someone is too close to the speakers. The sound system is attempting to replicate itself infinitely and your guests will not like this effect. When coming up to the front of the room to make announcements, speeches, toasts, etc. avoid standing directly in front of speakers.
C) Lapel/Lavalier Microphones: Wedding officiants are required to arrive at least 60 minutes in advance of start time of wedding ceremonies to allow for a fitting of a lavalier (lapel) microphone, sound check, discussing of timing cues for music, ceremony dialog and proceedings. After this sound check is performed, DJ Service bears no liability or responsibility for the use or misuse of the lavalier microphone by the wedding officiant during the wedding ceremony. (All requests for microphones must be made at time of booking.)
D) Removing a hand held microphone from its microphone clip: Wedding officiants, persons giving toasts, persons making announcements and public speakers must be acquainted with the proper removal of a microphone from its clip. Remember: touching, bumping or re-positioning a “live” microphone creates a large amount of unwanted and irritating noise to the audience. This unwanted noise has the ability to cause hearing loss to members of an audience. Creating this unwanted noise gives the impression of an inexperienced wedding officiant, vocalist or microphone user.
DJ Service is not liable for losses resulting from sound anomalies, EMI or RFI interference. In addition, DJ Service is not liable for physical injuries due to any party’s misuse or lack of working knowledge of the use of microphones. If you intend to remove or re-position a “microphone” or “microphone connected to a microphone-stand” at any time, it is imperative that you notify your sound man in advance to allow sound man to minimize and/or avoid unwanted noise.
The image at right shows a microphone with a microphone clip (microphone and clip will be attached to a microphone stand). To remove a microphone grasp the stand in one hand while sliding the microphone out of the microphone clip as indicated by the arrows. To replace the microphone into the clip, reverse the action by sliding the microphone back into the microphone clip as shown.
E) NEVER tap on a microphone, remove microphone from its mounting clip or attempt to readjust the microphone height or angle during a live event. (This is the importance of arriving early to get a sound check performed and to have the microphone adjusted for you) It may be funny or quirky in the movies but the truth is it can cause hearing damage to your guests, create uncomfortable and unwanted sounds and damage to the speakers of the sound system. Keep all contact with microphones and adjustments to an absolute minimum as contact and/or adjustment creates unwanted noise. Remember, the person who contracted DJ Services is contractually and financially responsible for equipment failures due to misuse by you or your/their guests. Failure to comply with these guidelines can cause hearing damage or loss to members of the audience.
F) Volume: Do not attempt to estimate or govern the sound of your microphone as the amount of volume that you are experiencing will differ greatly from the volume that your audience perceives. Try to maintain the absolute loudest volume that you can achieve and allow your soundman to regulate the volume to the audience. •••► NEVER tap on a microphone, remove microphone from its mounting clip or attempt to readjust the microphone height or angle during a live event. (This is the importance of arriving early to get a sound check performed and to have the microphone adjusted for you) It may be funny or quirky in the movies but the truth is it can cause hearing damage to your guests, create uncomfortable and unwanted sounds and damage to the speakers of the sound system. Keep all contact with microphones and adjustments to an absolute minimum as contact and/or adjustment creates unwanted noise. Remember, the person who contracted DJ Services is contractually and financially responsible for equipment failures due to misuse by you or your/their guests.
G) “Mic Drop”: Never drop a microphone to the floor. Doing so not only will result in the destruction of the microphone but more importantly can cause hearing loss to guests and severe damage to sound systems. Person who have contracted for services are liable for all damages to persons and/or equipment.
H) “Music Integration”: Be prepared for music to be played at any and all levels before, during and after you speak. Wedding Ceremony Officiants: To create a more professional and “Hollywood caliber” performance, be prepared to start speaking and beginning your officiant services as the music is fading. Your DJ will slowly fade the music and it is much more dramatic if you speak as the music is fading. Remember: silence is awkward!
In addition, if the customers have any additional activities contracted with you such as a “wine ceremony/activity,” “candle ceremony/activity,” “sand ceremony/activity,” “blessing,” “reading,” “communion,” etc., please do not get thrown off by soft and low-volume music being played in the background. Again, this creates a more “Hollywood-caliber” performance and calms-down the bride, groom and audience as it creates a very moving and dramatic effect.
Prior to a ceremony be prepared to inform your DJ of exactly how and with what words you will use to the release the newlyweds and end the ceremony. Many times the music will cue them off-stage with a “bang” (instantaneous loud sound levels) while other times the music will start early and play at a low volume at first before it is raised to higher levels just prior to the couple leaving the ceremony.
Make sure you tell the DJ IN ADVANCE if you want to say something else through the microphone as the newlyweds make their way back down the aisle as he will be happy to lower the volume as you speak and re-raise the volume once you complete your script.
I) Wedding Officiants: If your wedding officiant would like a sound check they must arrive 60 minutes prior to scheduled ceremony start time. Regardless, officiant must see your DJ for fitting and adjusting of microphone and to discuss miscellaneous details and cues prior to the start of ceremony. Temecula’s Best DJ recommends a large-diaphragm, hand-held, wireless microphone placed upon a tri-pod boom stand for wedding ceremonies (see image at right). This setup has proven to be optimum for many reasons:
• Large diaphragm microphones sound much better than small, lapel (lavalier) microphones
• Multiple microphones equate to multiple wind and ambient noise
• With the tri-pod in this location it does not interfere with the bride’s wedding gown
• Although primarily pointed towards the wedding officiant, it will still pickup the bride & groom
• Wind-screens for these microphones reject wind noise much better than lapel microphones
• No battery packs or wires to deal with as opposed to lapel mics
• No need for your officiant to hold the microphone
• Hiding lavalier mics under lapels muffles and defeats the purpose of a microphone
J) Documentation: Complete your planning documentation and return it to us at least two weeks prior to your event. There is a lot of planning involved and you want your event to run smoothly.
K) Setup: It is recommended that the sound system and speakers be setup directly adjacent to the dance floor (See example “A”). Temecula’s Best DJ recommends this setup since projecting sound across rooms, walkways, open spaces and areas where attendees are seated, walking or lingering requires higher volume levels to reach the dance floor area and therefore may expose guests to extreme sound levels. These high levels can produce uncomfortable and sometimes hazardous conditions. Do not assume that your event facility, wait staff or event coordinator already know this. (Examples of the “WRONG WAY” to setup a DJ station and speakers are noted in the pictures labeled “example B” and “example C”) • (►Note that like “wireless microphones,” “wireless speaker connections” are absolutely not feasible. According to the FCC (U.S. Federal Communications Commission) the use of wireless microphones and all other wireless systems work upon radio frequencies that are “granted” by the FCC. The FCC reserves the right to rescind any such grant at any time. Since many modern tech devices use random and diverse frequencies, the use of “wireless speakers” (or “Bluetooth” wireless speakers) are not used since any and all electronic devices can cause permanent hearing damage and/or loss due to interference.
• Example “A” (Recommended) shows the DJ and speakers (green arrows) directly adjacent to the dance floor. Also note the tables in red that require consideration since these tables will experience higher sound levels.
• Example “B” shows a bad way to setup the DJ since speakers must project high sound levels through seated guests. (Unsightly wiring must be run to place speakers next to dance floor)
• Example “C” shows another example of the wrong way to position your DJ. (Note that wiring run through guest areas can be a trip-and-fall hazard)
L) Accessibility: Your DJ should be allowed to set-up, operate equipment and otherwise perform in an area that allows full eye-contact with guests of honor and in full site of all activities. Also have an event coordinator or designated person give verbal and/or visual cues for the DJ to announce guests. This is the only way to assure that you receive professional Emcee services.
M) Space Allocation: Your DJ should be allowed at least a minimum 8-foot by 8-foot area for setup, space for setting up speakers (and lighting stands if applicable). Your DJ requires a minimum of one 15-20-amp circuit outlet from a reliable power source within 50 feet (along a wall) of the setup area (longer runs can
damage power amplifiers due to a lack of amperes). This circuit must be free of all other connected loads. Additional outlets on separate circuits for lighting (if contracted for) are required. The total output wattage(s) shall be determined by DJ Service (size of the sound system) depending upon event, number of guests and venue.
N) Lapel Microphones Versus Hand Held Microphones: This paragraph is especially for wedding coordinators, photographers, videographers and wedding officiants. For some reason many inexperienced wedding vendors DEMAND the use of lavalier (lapel) microphones citing that they are less obtrusive. To make matters worse, they brainwash the bride and groom into thinking that anything other than lavaliern (lapel) microphones will ruin or lessen the results of photography, videography or that officiants need their hands free to read their words (Officiants: be prepared and bring a music stand or portable podium). I find this to be completely ridiculous! Here’s why:
Many of these vendors see movies and TV shows (especially reality TV shows like “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette”) and think that there should be no microphones seen and that things cannot be conducted in any other manner. RIDICULOUS! Why?…
• Many of these weddings are performed on closed sets and do not have to worry about wind noise
• Many of these weddings are performed on closed sets and do not have to worry about ambient noise (audience, wind noise, nature, autos/traffic, etc.)
• Many of these weddings are performed on closed sets and the sound is later mixed in a sound engineering/production room for use in the final footage
• In reality, 99% of weddings performed for my customers represent “live audio events” that present many more demands and obstacles as opposed to closed sets or pre-recorded material
• If a “live” wedding is being produced, they are using some $5,000+ in audio equipment and personnel to attain ultra-professional results (usually out of the “budget reach” for most couples) that requires scores of additional equipment, higher power demands, etc.
• It should be noted that 2 microphones means twice the ambient noise, 3 mics means 3x, 4 mics means 4x, ad infinitum (You DO NOT just mic everyone and it sounds great)
• Yes, the same audio tools can be used (see photos below) these include booms, mechanical booms, operators, grips, high-powered amplifiers, compressors, limiters, gates, feedback eliminators, live sound engineers, larger and more complex mixing boards, etc. In other words: it is possible but means more equipment, more power demands, more personnel and much greater expenditures. (If you <the vendor> would like to absorb these costs, I would be happy to accommodate you at additional prices of anywhere from $200 to $200,000 in additional charges and this will create an environment with pristine sound with microphones that will never be seen in the pictures/videos, etc. but the romantic setting will then turn into what looks like a movie production set.)
• I’ve said it before: Large diaphragm microphones sound far better than small diaphragm lavalier (lapel) microphones
• The wind screens and/or “dead-cats” used on large diaphragm microphones resist wind noise tremendously better than anything available for lavalier (lapel) microphones
• In essence: photographers, videographers and officiants please be prepared, learn to know your profession and to not require the DJ to accommodate your shortcomings
O) Tonal Characteristics and Sound Levels: Temecula’s Best DJ shall make every attempt to reproduce pre-recorded material as acoustically accurate, linear or “true-to-life” as is technologically possible. However, you must recognize that (according to our agreement) the DJ Service’s performance shall primarily be governed according to the direction of the “event facility management” and/or the direction of local authorities (including law enforcement agencies) or ordinance in regards to equipment placement, volume (in decibel or sound pressure levels), dynamic and tonal characteristics of music.
P) Lighting: When you are contracting for “intelligent dance floor lighting” please remember that even though you may be proud of those flood lights that you have installed on your property, your guests are more uninhibited and more likely to remain dancing and stay all night if you allow most of the illumination to come from the DJ’s lighting.
Q) †Musicians: If you have musicians, vocalists and/or speakers that are performing at your event and you are receiving “sound reinforcement” services (amplification of live music acts) it is very important that they arrive at least 120 minutes prior to the start of the event if they wish to have a sound check.
R) Guest Seating: It is recommended that you take into consideration where you seat your guests in relation to the sound system. Many older guests do not like the higher volume levels associated with being close to the sound system.
S) Hearing Aids: If your guests are wearing “hearing aids” it is important to note that these devices are a mechanical replacement for the extremely sophisticated human auditory system made up of the ears and human brain. Since it is very costly to duplicate the extensive processing accomplished by the ears and brain, hearing aid manufacturers will exaggerate certain frequencies in order to allow the listener to hear under normal wearing situations. However, modern sound systems can be uncomfortable in certain frequencies to these patients since these appliances are made to be cost effective. These persons should also be seated with consideration of proximity to the sound system.
T) Videographers: It is becoming increasingly popular for videographers to ask for an “audio output” so that they can record music audio and announcements made by the DJ. Temecula’s Best DJ is happy to assist your videographer with this endeavor at no additional charge. Videographer will need to make arrangements (depending upon sound sytems used) to “patch” into any of the following:
• (2) 1/4″ TRS (tip-ring-sleeve) female connectors (one for left channel, one for right channel).
• (2) RCA female connectors (one for left channel, one for right channel).
• (2) XLR female connectors (one for left channel, one for right channel).
However, because DJ performances are “live music events,” it is important that your videographer understands that the signal(s) that will be available will vary in strength, modulation, dynamics, compression and tone depending upon volume requirements (again due to the fact that it is a live presentation) for the given venue and audience. It is recommended that your videographer be knowledgeable in the use of “compressors,” “limiters,” “gates” and “equalizers” to optimize these audio signals to create “consumer-ready” audio tracks. Although the signal output (strength/volume) may be adjustable by the videographer, Temecula’s Best DJ is not responsible for lost or poor audio due to videographer’s misuse of equipment or lack of knowledge of it’s use.
U) Slideshows/Video Montage: Temecula’s Best DJ is happy to broadcast audio from slideshows for your event at no additional charge. However, this can only be done if projector and/or computer audio output is within 20 feet of DJ’s mixing board. DJ can patch the sound using 1/8″, 1/4″ or RCA connections.
Last Words: Remember that as part of our planning we ask that you help us determine the types of music you do and do not want to hear. Please let us know if you would like us to avoid specific songs, music of certain genres, recording artists or with questionable or explicit content.
The bottom line is to keep your guests comfortable, dancing, eating, drinking and remaining at your event all night long. This is the best insurance to maximize your overall investment in your event.
This site, its contents and performances pertaining to it © Temecula’s Best DJ. All original music © BMI by Dennis J. Barela