Mobile/Party DJ dealing with requests you don't have. Solutions?
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor DJ Abide's Avatar
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    Default Mobile/Party DJ dealing with requests you don't have. Solutions?

    Unfortunately for me dealing with patrons is a reality that is unavoidable. I've now expanded into the wedding market and try my hardest to do well to build rapport and gain referrals. I know several ways to solve my problems but just seeing what you guys do to see if I'm overlooking an easier solution.

    Solution A, which I hate and do not want to do under any circumstances. YouTube it! Actually had a wedding guest make a "suggestion" to my set-up. I responded with the fact that I run a script (Smitten's works like a top every time, many thanks) and have all unnecessary background tasks turned off to improve stability. The second part of the same solution would to YouTube it on my iPhone (routed in via Asio4All sent to a Live Input or Aux. since the S2 has no Line-In support :/). It's not a very good idea as there is no way to avoid receiving a call. You can't put the phone in Airplane mode as it would lose data connection.

    Solution B, bring two computers to the gig. One for Traktor and the other for fulfilling on-the-fly downloads for song requests that you don't have. I would love to do this as I already have my HP TouchSmart600 set-up and running Traktor, Maschine, and Ableton (all at the same time smoothly at the house, would never consider all three in a live setting). I do have question(s) regarding this though as I have all network connectivity off so I would need to set-up a LAN connections correct? Is there any potential for drop-outs or interference through this type of connection?


    I believe I'm going to end up going with the latter, but I'm going to charge for it. It's that much more equipment and capability I'm bringing to the table and feel additional compensation is in order, I may justify this by setting up the secondary computer to supply visuals to the in-house monitors/television(s). I think with offering both of those I should be able to nearly double my rates.
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  2. #2
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    I think it's a bad idea to charge for playing suggestions... Word would get round FAST.
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  3. #3
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    I just make sure I have a good size library. I always ask the client for a list of songs they want to hear and let them know thats so I have those songs with me at the event. I also ask them while I'm setting up who I can take request from. I also ask is it ok to take request. If your doing weddings it about what the bride and groom wants to hear, not crazy drunk uncle Joe who wants to hear some Skynyrd. The times I've gotten far out request that I did not have the ppl were understanding and cool about.

    Oh, and I do have a second laptop with me and also a mobile hotspot fired up on the side at gigs.

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor funke's Avatar
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    Not sure what kind of phone you have, but on my galaxy s vibrant I'm running a ex4 filing system otherwise known as "voodoo". There is a free app called voodoo sound that can be set to prevent any other audio from interupting the music. Also has some other nice features that can allow you to turn the volume up higher past the factory settings for better sound quality.
    Toshiba Satellite Windows 8.1, TSP2, Audio 10, Audio 2, 2x Technics 1200 MKII, Pioneer DJM-707, Midi Fighter Spectra, Kontrol X1, Behringer CMD PL-1

  5. #5
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    Well, like you said, it is unavoidable when doing mobile gigs to not take requests. Now, just because we have the internet and wifi and youtube doesn't mean that you have to now stop everything to get online because some old guy who listened to the dead milkmen in high school decided he now wants to hear it again at this wedding. There are always factors to consider. The old rules still apply. First, is it appropriate? Hardcore anything whether it be hip hop, dance, punk, whatever is not going to be appropriate for the average run of the mill wedding. Second, what will the bride and groom think? I always have a play list and a DO NOT play list. If someone requests something on the DO NOT playlist then I simply tell them, Mary and John requested that I do not play that song, you can ask them if its OK but they gave me specific instructions not to play it. When I first speak with the bride and groom way before their wedding, when I go over music I always tell them that I play requests but I use my discretion and if someone asks me for something really crazy I will just tell them that you said not to play it. I have never had a couple have a problem with that, they are usually very grateful, because they know that cousin Jethro is going to request Anthrax, keeping the bride and groom happy is key. Never commit to playing anything. If someone asks you for something even when you have it, say, I'll try to fit it in but Mary and John have a lot of songs they really want played. When you do play their song they feel you went out of your way for them...score 1 for the DJ.

    The wedding guests suggestion is because the wedding guest doesn't realize what you REALLY need to be worrying about when DJing a wedding and is only concerned with hearing whatever song it is that you can't play because you don't have it. In reality, playing a guests request is at the very very very bottom of the list. It will never cease to amaze me that people still think that every DJ has every song ever recorded in their collection and how they absolutely must hear this song right here right now at this wedding. You can't please everyone, don't feel obligated too.

    List of reasons to give why you can't play a request.

    1. I don't have it, not a lot of demand at a wedding for Slayer.
    2. John and Mary said not to play that.
    3. Something is wrong with the file, it won't play.
    4. I will try to play it if we have time.
    5. I thought I had it but I can't find it.
    6. Internet is disabled.

    Again, don't feel obligated to have to play every request, but always be polite.

  6. #6
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    All has been said. Get a list of must plays from your client and increase your library size. If the request is from a wedding guest and you don't have politely apologise and dont play it.

    Do not attempt solution A! The sound quality will be awful..streaming issues etc.

    Matt has beaten me to the punch with a more extensive post as i'm too lazy to say much more but all is correct.
    Last edited by D-Kem; 07-09-2012 at 01:08 PM.
    A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians.

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  7. #7
    Tech Guru sobi's Avatar
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    Here is a good utility...
    http://www.djintelligence.com/pages/mobilebeatprint.asp

    I think there might be a few others that are equal or better. For things like weddings, I would make sure that you have your internet enabled, and have the ability to hit up itunes store, Amazon, or whatever online service you get your music from. If that isn't an option (I'd really suggest getting a computer that can handle multiple apps with Traktor running, or moving to Serato for more stability), I've used my iphone to DL songs in sticky situations for requests. Then, I just transfer to my computer, and done. Not ideal, but it works great where requests are a reality, and there is no wireless internet.
    Keep in mind, you don't have to do requests, but in scenarios like weddings, being able to accommodate (as long as it makes sense with the flow) is a huge thing. If your playing poppy stuff, and someone asks for a chart song you don't have, but can get it on the spot, that definitely makes you look good, and goes a long way for word of mouth promotion. "DJ so and so who DJ'd your wedding didn't have a song I asked for, but he was able to buy it on the spot and play it for me!" versus "your wedding DJ didn't even have ______ by ______, and it's such a big song right now!"
    Last edited by sobi; 07-09-2012 at 01:58 PM.

  8. #8
    Tech Mentor DJ Abide's Avatar
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    Thanks for the "constructive" input. I am familiar/understand most of the things you've mentioned. The wedding I did Saturday really went well, except not having two clutch song's (Cupid Shuffle!!! and Cotton Eyed Joe). I have to admit fault because those are almost no brainer's, but in my defense they had requested Country as their main genre, Country is like poison to me, but I sucked it up and rifled through a few hundred tracks in preparation the night before (hired DJ landed himself in jail, I was a last minute hire). I also overcame my fear of a Mic by simply being myself and organizing all of the information (name's of bridal party, parents, etc.)

    I'm confident future gigs will be even easier as I will likely have more than 1 days notice! haha
    Technics MK2 + Maschine MK1 + Kontrol F1 + Kontrol S4 + Kontrol F1 + Mikro MK1 + Technics MK2
    Ortofon Digitrack/Scratch S/Nightclub S/DJ S + Slow Roasted SuperSeal + EV 112P x 2 w/ ZXA1-Sub
    *PLEASE CONTACT ME ABOUT PURCHASING QSC, YAMAHA, or EV LOUDSPEAKERS*

  9. #9
    Tech Guru jakeintox's Avatar
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    I simply tell the person I don't have it, then suggest they come up with another request to take their mind off that one.

    If it's a "must have" ie request from the bride, or a no-brainer like cupid shuffle or footloose, I'll use the internet if available. I have the audio out on my laptop routed to a spare channel on my mixer to play things independently from my dj software. The netsearch function is your friend if you use VDJ!

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  10. #10
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    I actually cam across the same thing with Cotton Eyed Joe, I was positive that I had it.....and I did...the original original version which is seriouesly like the good ole country bumpkin version, not the rednexx version people want to hear. SO now ya know to get it for next time, thats all you can do. Must haves are just that, gotta gotta gotta have it. If you don't have the wedding "standards", get them. The DJ intelligence list is a pretty good 1 to go by. New music is a must, especially in this day and age where digital pools are all over the place, its easy to get the new stuff. I bascially will go to a top 40 radio station website, look at the playlist and make sure I have every song on it.

    Mic control will come in time, you will get more and more comfortable....don't feel bad, my first wedding I ever did, I announced the bridal party, changed the music to the "rocky theme" (thats what we used for the bride and groom intro back in the 90s lol) and started my announcement "For the first time in public the new Mr. and Mrs."......and standing there was the best man and the maid of honor...DOH!!!!

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