Sounds To Go voted in Top 3 Wedding DJs by Readers of STYLE Magazine!

That’s right!

Readers of the Roseville / Granite Bay / Rocklin edition of STYLE magazine voted One of the best sacramento Wedding DJs!Sounds To Go in the Top 3 for Wedding DJs!

I actually tied for 3rd place, alongside some very good friends of mine.

So, if you’re looking for one of the best Sacramento Wedding DJs around, you can rest assured that with Sounds To Go, you’ll be in good hands!

Click here for the OCTOBER 2015 Digital Edition to view the results!

If that link doesn’t work, access the editions here.

We have musicians for our ceremony. Do we still need a DJ?

It’s very common for couples to tell me they are considering hiring live musicians for part or all of their wedding ceremony music, or have a friend or relative that might be performing.

I LOVE IT when I hear this!  While I as a DJ can play literally anything you could possibly dream of for every part of your ceremony, there’s no denying that live performance adds that special something.  And if you can have a friend or relative perform?  Well, that just pushes it over the top!

So if you’re having, or considering live musicians for your ceremony, do you still need a DJ to be present, providing coverage as well?

The short, and obvious answer (obvious because, well, I’m the DJ… DUH!) is:  YES!

For the longer answer, and to learn why, read on!

Music is only one aspect of your wedding ceremony.  Your officiant’s service, and more importantly, your vows to each other, are SO important, and should be heard and experience by all who are present.

Once you get past a couple rows, it becomes exponentially more difficult to hear what is being said at the alter.  This is compounded once we take nerves into the equation.  Generally speaking, people tend to speak softer than they otherwise would when finding themselves in the emotions of the moment.

Your DJ should be providing sound support with multiple microphones for you or your fiance, and your officiant.  This coverage will ensure that everyone, all the way to the back and off to the sides can hear everything clearly.  This is more crucial when your ceremony is outside, and is subject to background noise, be it wind, nearby or passing traffic or other sounds, etc.

In addition to vocal support, what about additional sound support for your musicians?  If you’re hiring a professional musician, duo, or ensemble who is used to performing for weddings, chances are they have their own sound support, but even they might benefit from being plugged into and amplified partially by the DJs high quality sound system, designed for covering larger audiences in larger areas.

Contact me today to talk about the pros and cons of using a DJ for your ceremony.  Of course I’m going to tell you “yes, you NEED your DJ there too!” but after reading this, you’ll understand why!  :)

Courtney & Jeff had Courtney’s two brothers play guitar next to the altar during her ceremony, and it was WONDERFUL!  Looking down from the back of the aisle in this photo tough, do you think you’d be able to hear everything they’re saying down front?

Wedding ceremony with musicians and DJ

Photo by, and courtesy of, Eric Asistin Photography. www.ericasistinphoto.com

 

Subwoofers. To Woof, or Not to Woof?

Hint:  It’s never REALLY a question!

One of the biggest misconceptions among DJs is that you “only need” subwoofers for larger crowds or bigger rooms.

That’s just not true. At all.Sacramento Wedding DJ.  Sounds To Go DJ Service.

Music is recorded on a spectrum of frequencies. From high to low. Everyone knows this.

Every speaker cabinet has both an upper, and lower limit to the frequencies they can reproduce. The “tops,” or speakers DJs use are no different.

Without subwoofers, specifically designed to reproduce the lower frequencies in the program material, the resulting sound is weak, thin, and hollow. Of course, modern day speaker cabinets sound great, and many do a respectable job of reproducing a limited amount of low end, but they can still only go so far.

DJs who try to run modern dance music without the benefit of dedicated subwoofers are often the ones you hear so many complaints about when it comes to sound. Because their sound lacks low end extension, and has no real body, they’re forced to crank the volume a lot higher than they should have to to fill the area they are in. The result is simply LOOUUUUDD, shrieky, distorted, and still WEAK sound. In addition to sounding terrible, and causing ear fatigue for everyone around them, they’re also placing a ton of unneeded strain on their speakers and amps. When the sound starts to get distorted, they even run the risk of damaging or blowing their speakers and amps!

Having the low-end extension offered by dedicated subwoofer enclosures becomes especially critical at events outdoors, which an ever-increasing number of wedding receptions here in Northern California generally are.  The sound disperses way faster in these outdoor settings, and higher levels are generally required to cover the same amount of people in the same amount of space because of this rapid dispersion.

These outdoor receptions and events are often attended by sound restrictions or ordinances because the location is in either a residential area, an uneven, mountainous setting where sound will echo, or is out in the middle of a large, flat area, where the sound simply travels farther.  In these cases, the initial gut instinct says that having “more bass” would be undesirable.  Here again though, the truth of the matter is counter-intuitive.  We have to remember what we said before.  Providing warmer, fuller sound, concentrated right when and where you need it means you don’t have to turn up your sound system AS A WHOLE as loud as you otherwise would!

The result?  Less echo, less sound travel, fewer grumpy neighbors, no 10:55 PM visits from local law enforcement, and so on.

Ask your potential DJs how many subs they typically bring to events. If they say “none,” that their tops “don’t need them,” or that your event or room “isn’t big enough to need them,” keep looking.

Having subwoofers at your small to medium event ISN’T “overkill,” and doesn’t mean it’s going to be “too loud” or have “too much bass.”  On the contrary, it simply means warmer, fuller sound at more reasonable volume levels all night.  If your event has music, even for background, there is a TON of benefit to having a nice, full sounding sound spectrum, and no downside whatsoever.

And yes… It also means the ability to THUMP when the time is right!

For your truly professional DJ service provider, the question is never “do we need subs?” but is rather “how many do we need?”

Davis CA Wedding – Brian & Carly’s Ranch Style Wedding

Sacramento Davis CA Wedding DJ.  Photo by, and courtesy of, Kay Kroshus Photography. www.kaykroshus.com

Photo by & courtesy of, Kay Kroshus Photography

So much fun to be had at Brian & Carly’s wedding reception at Putah Creek Stables in Davis, CA!

Their ceremony was held at a local church, the same one Carly’s parents were married in over 30 years ago!  Though I didn’t work with them on their ceremony at the church, I knew they’d have a wonderful service, because I have worked with their officiant Rev. Jeri Murphy many times before.  I knew she’d send them off, and over to me at the reception in high style!

As guests arrived, we enjoyed a lot of classic rock, soul/R&B, and just the right mix of contemporary music for their cocktail hour, which carried over into dinner time as well.

Not so much for traditions for their own sake, Brian & Carly opted out of some of the more traditional wedding elements in favor of a more laid-back, party-type vibe that saw us dancing full-tilt and non-stop for almost 4 hours!

We knew going into the wedding that they really enjoyed older musics, and they really wanted a lot of throwback to 90’s through early 2000’s, and we had such an awesome time taking a stroll through all those fav’s while still mixing it up with just the right amount of contemporary hits and classic floor fillers.

If you’d enjoy more of a throwback vibe for your wedding or special event, we should DEFINITELY talk!

 

 

Get The Group Shot!

Wedding Guest Group Shot.  Photo by, and courtesy of, Emily Heizer Photography

Wedding Guest Group Shot. Photo by, and courtesy of, Emily Heizer Photography

 

A group shot with all of your wedding guests is a great keepsake, and can be one of the most memorable photographs your photographer captures on your wedding day.

The trick is…

When to do it.  Just like everything else at a wedding, there are tons of variables at play that go into determining the best time for your group shot.  Things like time of day, venue type and layout, and other factors all come into play.

The main consideration is that, if possible, you do it at a time when all of your guests are still present (i.e. don’t wait until later in the reception!) and they are all still in the same general area already so gathering everyone together isn’t like herding cats.  :)

There are a few times during the course of a typical wedding that lend themselves nicely to this shot.

Do it at the wrong time, or at some random time during the night, and just getting everyone together and setting up the shot can take a good half-an hour out of your already precious and limited dancing and visiting time.

Let’s do it right!

Since your DJ/MC is most likely the person you’re looking to to help you come up with a nice, smooth-flowing reception timeline, look to them to help determine (with your photographer!) the time and place that makes the most sense for this shot, and for any other shot (think Sunset Shots) that could potentially take time away from your celebration or grind it to a halt if not thoughtfully planned.

Experience, communication, and a team-player attitude are all essential to the success of your wedding day!

New Music: How do we know what’s HOT?

Have you ever wondered (okay, probably not, but I’m going to tell you anyway!) WHERE and HOW DJs get all their awesome music, and keep up with what’s hot?

How do professional DJs get all the hits BEFORE they’re hits, and before YOU want to hear them at your party, wedding, or special event?

Sacramento wedding DJ music

Professional music subscriptions for DJs help us stay current!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With all the different genres and charts, keeping up on it all sure does seem like an impossible task.  Heck, to do it right would be a full-time job all on its own!

Luckily for us DJs – AND OUR CLIENTS – there are folks who’s job is just that!

While DJs will get the occasional odd request or random new track from the same types of legal music purchasing outlets you would (iTunes, Amazon.com, etc.), once we have a solid physical library built, we keep ourselves current across all the major genres and radio formats by subscribing to weekly and monthly music services like Prime Cuts music, shown in the picture here.

Each week, I get access to the newest downloads, and then I get the discs as well!

Why is it better?

Using these subscription services is more efficient, and economical that trying to pay per-song for all of the songs you might need to get to keep up.

That’s one benefit for us that works its way down to you, but what does it mean for you and your event?

  • We have access to new music QUICKER.  We get the songs from the same services that release them to radio, so we don’t wait for a song to chart to realize “oooh, may I should get this!”  At that point, it’s too late, and you, your friends, and family already know and want the song, and we’d have to lose time at your event to download it online, or worse, tell you “sorry, I don’t have that one!” (L.A.M.E.!)
  • Clean edits!  We get the edits that are released to radio, so they’re already pre-screened.  In addition to the radio edits, some services, like one I belong to, edits songs even further to make them even more friendly to the types of functions (schools, family functions, etc.) that mobile DJ’s tend to do.  You have to be careful with consumer outlets like iTunes, Amazon, etc.  Many songs are tagged wrong, and you may think you’re getting a clean version, and you’re not.  Or, you may get a version that says “clean,” but still has objectionable content because they only took out some of the potentially questionable content.
  • Backup!  Because I get discs with all of the new music each month in addition to weekly downloads, I have physical copies of all my new music, and music going back many years.  If something were ever to happen to one of my computers or hard drives before an event (I have backups anyway), I wouldn’t LOSE any of my library or have to scramble to find my music.  Having the physical copies means I always have my complete library at my disposal.  iTunes and Amazon DJs who strictly download can’t say that.
  • Faster than “The Cloud.”  In the age where we can back everything up to the cloud, one might wonder why a DJ doesn’t just back their library up on the cloud. Many do.  There are many great reasons to do this, but this is for archival purposes, and with the access times and bandwidth limitations involved in downloading music files, the cloud and cloud-based services are not an answer, or a solution, for quick recovery from a disaster.  Besides, you certainly should not/would not want your DJ to be streaming the music for your event anyway.  Regardless of the strength of the signal, we all know how wireless and data connections go.  DJs should always play from local, physical (meaning physically-stored digital) libraries, and they should only download the occasional on-the-spot request at an event.  They should never be streaming the song you’re dancing to RIGHT NOW.  It’s not a matter of if, only when that goes bad.  And when it does, it will be embarrassing and frustrating for everyone involved.

There are many such services available to professional DJs, not just the one I use.  Some are highly specific, catering more to club and remix DJs.  Others, like the service I use, focus on providing content to the mobile DJ who plays the songs people want to hear, the way they expect to her them, at all types of events.  Don’t worry though – we still get enough remixes, dance-edits, and alternate versions to keep things interesting!

See more about my music library, learn more about the great care I take in helping you program your event, and see the latest charts on my website.  If it’s listed in the weekly charts there, I have it for your special event, guaranteed!

 

The Bouquet Toss – History, Song Suggestions & Alternatives

Jacob & Rebekah Macias, 9.2.12, Flower Farm, Loomis, CA. Photo by, and courtesy of, Chris Shepard Photography (www.shepard-photography.com)  Videography by Phillip Alan Films (phillipalanfilms.com)

Jacob & Rebekah Macias, 9.2.12, Flower Farm, Loomis, CA. Photo by, and courtesy of, Chris Shepard Photography (www.shepard-photography.com) Videography by Phillip Alan Films (phillipalanfilms.com) Custom Monogram option shown – Ask for details!

First, some history

Why do we do it, and where did it come from?  The tossing of the bridal bouquet is a custom with roots in England.  It was believed to be a way for the bride to pass along her good fortune to others.  Bridal guests would try to tear away pieces of the bride’s clothing and flowers in order to obtain this fortune.  In an attempt to get away from this tearing of her gown, the bride would toss her bouquet into the crowd.  As tradition has it, the single lady who catches the bouquet has received the bride’s fortune and will be next in line to marry.

To toss, or not to toss?

For many modern brides, this is the question.  No wedding tradition needs to be adhered to steadfastly, and you should never feel pressured to include anything you aren’t excited about in your wedding day.  If a certain tradition has significance for you, or you just like it because it’s FUN, then include it in your celebration!

The bouquet toss is one of the traditional elements that is familiar to most of us.

Many contemporary brides love this tradition, and it’s almost always a high-energy focal-point when it is included.  It’s becoming quite common though, for brides to either choose an alternative to the traditional bouquet toss, or to opt out of it altogether.

What else can we do?

Many things can be done instead of the traditional tossing of the bouquet.  Here are just a few fun ideas:

  • Presentation.  Present the bouquet to someone special.  Work with your MC to include a short message letting folks know who you’re presenting your bouquet to, and why.
    • Your mom, mother-in-law, grandmother
    • Recently engaged friend
    • Someone celebrating a recent or near birthday, anniversary, etc.
    • Longest married couple
    • Your sister(s).  Use multiple bouquets as-needed
    • Anyone, for any reason you like!
  • Alternatives.  Instead of tossing a bouquet, you can toss other fun items instead.
    • Teddy Toss.  If there are a good number of young children present, you can do a “Teddy Toss” instead. Have the children gather together in the usual formation, and toss a small-to-medium sized stuffed animal.  This is a huge crowd favorite, and is a great way to include children in the celebration.  Can be done in addition to the traditional bouquet toss as well!
    • Glow Sticks.  Toss a home-made “bouquet” of glow sticks to be passed out by whoever catches it.  Great way to get the party started on the dancefloor once the lights go down!

Song Suggestions

Want some fun song ideas for your bouquet toss?  Here are the Top 50 most popular choices from the last year!

1   Beyonce   Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
2   Lauper, Cyndi   Girls Just Want To Have Fun
3   Guetta, David Feat. Flo Rida & Nicki Minaj   Where Them Girls At
4   Weather Girls   It’s Raining Men
5   Benatar, Pat   Hit Me With Your Best Shot
6   Twain, Shania   Man! I Feel Like A Woman!
7   Little Big Town   Little White Church
8   Ludacris Feat. Mystikal   Move B***H
9   Spice Girls   Wannabe
10   Beyonce   Run The World (Girls)
11   Furtado, Nelly   Maneater
12   Buble, Michael   Haven’t Met You Yet
13   Kool & The Gang   Ladies Night
14   No Doubt   Just A Girl
15   Blondie   One Way Or Another
16   Kelis   Milkshake
17   Jepsen, Carly Rae   Call Me Maybe
18   Beastie Boys   Girls
19   Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya & Pink, Christina   Lady Marmalade
20   Jackson, Michael   P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
21   Queen   Another One Bites The Dust
22   Orbison, Roy   Oh, Pretty Woman
23   Rihanna   Only Girl (In The World)
24   Bryan, Luke   Country Girl (Shake It For Me)
25   Mcbride, Martina   This One’s For The Girls
26   Survivor   Eye Of The Tiger
27   Beastie Boys   Hey Ladies
28   Stefani, Gwen   Hollaback Girl
29   Destiny’s Child   Independent Women Part 1
30   West, Kanye Feat. Jamie Foxx   Gold Digger
31   Fergie   Clumsy
32   Hilson, Keri   Pretty Girl Rock
33   Valentine, Brooke Feat. Big Boi & Lil’ Jon   Girlfight
34   Jones, Tom   She’s A Lady
35   Motley Crue   Girls, Girls, Girls
36   Springfield, Dusty   Wishin’ And Hopin’
37   Hendrix, Jimi   Foxey Lady
38   Mars, Bruno   Marry You
39   Ross, Diana & The Supremes   You Can’t Hurry Love
40   Benatar, Pat   Love Is A Battlefield
41   Keys, Alicia   Girl On Fire
42   Perry, Katy   California Gurls
43   702   Where My Girls At?
44   Beyonce   Diva
45   Beyonce   Love On Top
46   Fergie Feat. Ludacris   Glamorous
47   Gomez, Selena   Come & Get It
48   Def Leppard   Pour Some Sugar On Me
49   Dixie Cups   Chapel Of Love
50   Kravitz, Lenny   American Woman

 

Does size really matter?

As a wedding vendor, I often run into the perception that the size (guest count) of a wedding should matter, or make a difference, in the base rate a DJ would charge for a wedding.

While it’s definitely the case that pricing can and should reasonably go up with significantly larger crowd sizes, the fact of the matter is that size on the lower end of the scale really doesn’t matter, and isn’t really a factor in pricing at all.

To understand why, we need to look at different types of vendors and services that are usually used for weddings, we need to understand what makes them fundamentally different.

There are things that go into your wedding whose final price does depends almost entirely on how many guests you have, and hence “how much stuff” you need to rent or purchase.

Obvious examples of this are the total cost for meal service, costs for flowers, chair cover and linen rentals, etc.  All of these are things that are based on a quantity of hard goods rented or purchased, or are consumable/disposable items that cost to produce, and that are gone once they are delivered or provided.  These types of items that vary based on the “size” of your wedding are not at all analogous to DJ services, because we aren’t renting you “things,” and you aren’t purchasing single-serving-sized portion-packs of good times and fun.

What ARE we providing then, and what ARE you getting?  Most accurately and succinctly, you’re hiring a talent-based creative and consultative service that culminates in a talent-based (hopefully, right?!) performance.  Someone who consults with you to design and create a wedding day timeline and a flow that has several specific goals (“FUN” being among them) in mind.  The time, talents, and experience required to do this, as well as executing the plan the day-of, do not vary based on the number of people who will be there having said fun.

Let’s look at it this way…  Would your hairstylist or makeup artist charge differently if there are going to be 50 people looking at their work on your wedding day, versus 500? Chances are they won’t.  And they shouldn’t!  Why?  Because you want to look just as fabulous for a small crowd of 40 friends and family as you would for a larger crowd of 200!

It’s all about the results, and we should be thinking of our DJ along these same lines.

As always, take the time to compare apples-to-apples in considering your services.  Sure, some services will likely offer discounts or lower pricing for smaller-sized weddings, but these providers aren’t focused on giving you the time and attention your wedding day deserves, and are instead offering a bare-bones minimum of in just about every aspect of their service (“just music and some announcements”).  Anyone offering more, and bringing more to the table to ensure the overall success of your wedding day for you and your guests, is going to have a minimum service rate that doesn’t drop once your guest count dips below a certain number.

Do you really want to sacrifice quality of service and the experience you want all your guests to have simply because there are fewer of them?   That’s not a choice or reasonable compromise at all, really, but that’s what you’re going to end up with if you hire a service that drastically lowers their rate because you have “a smaller crowd.”

Of course, there are different sound and lighting options, etc. that will change based on guest count, how big your room or space is, what you would like for your event, etc., but we’re not talking about those types of “extras” here.  Those things, understandably, make rates go up.

We’re talking about “FUN,” and until they find a way to vacuum seal that in handy, individual plastic pouches that we can hand out as favors at your wedding, we shouldn’t expect our professional DJ to charge any differently for 50 people than they do for 150.  Because regardless of how many people you’re sharing your day with, every one of them should have the same great, uncompromising experience!

Fun Wedding Pro Tip – Be a Part of the Action!

Understandably, you’ll want to spend time mingling, talking, and catching up with your guests in addition to dancing.

Keep in mind though that guests, and your wedding party, will tend to congregate around you during your reception.  That’s not a bad thing.  After all, it IS about YOU!

Just remember though…  If the groom spends all night at the cigar bar (or just the BAR bar), where will all the guys be?  And, wherever the bride goes, an entourage is sure to follow!

Staying in the action during your reception will keep the majority of your guests involved too! Of course that doesn’t mean you have to dance all night, but staying in the general area of the dance-floor will help make sure no one (especially you) misses all those great highlights and special moments on the floor!

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