DJing from a balcony...

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,995
37
As stated above they are having both ceremony and reception downstairs...on stage.. they are also trying to keep the stage free of ugly stuff like speakers and lights... the area im set up in the above picture is where the tables and chairs will come out of in a fury between ceremony and reception. There is essentially zero space for set up downstairs according to their floorplan.



I use wireless dmx at all times.... my worry was wireless audio

but all the downstairs stuff is moot now because i spoke to her this afternoon and the floorplan simply will not allow any room for any equipment downstairs...they are optimizing every inch for tables

cc
Are they using the stage area for pictures during the reception? If they are not putting the sweet heart table up there, OR using it for group pictures during the reception, then they would certainly be the best place for the DJ to be.

I have done quite a few weddings where I was up stairs in the past. ...Basically, when that happens, I am essentially not setting up any lights. All of those weddings I just had 2 speakers on stands down on the main floor with a cable flown to them. Honestly, in this scenario, having a passive sound system is much better than using powered speakers. Only need to run one cable, and not have to worry about power downstairs.

The main pros to it are that you are kind of in your own world, and away from people running up with requests. The down side is that you wil probably find yourself going downstairs a number of times for various reasons through out the night.

Also, carrying your equipment up stairs is a drag, unless there is a Elevator. ...This is one reason why I keep everything in bags, and no piece of gear more than 40 to 45 lbs now.
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
3,900
46
Are they using the stage area for pictures during the reception? If they are not putting the sweet heart table up there, OR using it for group pictures during the reception, then they would certainly be the best place for the DJ to be.
Obviously that would be the optimum choice...but...Both the ceremony and sweetheart/bridal party table are on the stage.... and as stated... they do not want equipment of any kind clogging up downstairs...or taking away from the beauty of the decorations i guess... best case scenario right now is a set of 15 tops aiming down... as well as some wash lights and a couple moving heads coming down from the balcony.... they will regret this choice when they hear the sound... but i have explained the issue to them twice now and am content abiding by their wishes.

cc
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,995
37
Obviously that would be the optimum choice...but...Both the ceremony and sweetheart/bridal party table are on the stage.... and as stated... they do not want equipment of any kind clogging up downstairs...or taking away from the beauty of the decorations i guess... best case scenario right now is a set of 15 tops aiming down... as well as some wash lights and a couple moving heads coming down from the balcony.... they will regret this choice when they hear the sound... but i have explained the issue to them twice now and am content abiding by their wishes.

cc
It will probably work out okay as long as the venue does not have a echo!

Years ago we had an account at a place called the "Willow Tree Inn" in Montgomery Village, MD. The place is all closed up now, but it use to be a popular place for events and weddings in the area. Well, they had 3 Community 15 inch speakers positioned about 15 feet high. One in the corner, one in the middle, and one on far end of the room. Problem was that the system was pointed straight and each speaker was on it's side. The ceiling also was only about 9 feet high through most of the room where dining took place. It was poorly set up for audible speech. Now, where the dance floor was, the ceiling was much higher so on the dance floor it worked okay.

When clients did not want speakers down below near the dance floor, the house system was the only option, and the DJ performed from a balcony above.

Sometimes, for smaller functions where the entire dance floor was not needed, the DJ could set up on the dance floor in the corner, but for bigger weddings DJs had to make due with the house system. Sound could get loud, but it was certainly not optimum. ...However, the events seemed to go over fine with the exception of guests at tables in the far side of the dining area complaining they can't hear the speech maker. We would have to really crank the sound system up, and it just didn't sound good when we did that.

I bet it works out fine in the end for you even though it's not how you prefer to do it.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
1,206
61
You said they don't want ugly speakers on the stage. Are your speakers ugly? So what happened is they picked a place or a room that was really only good for a certain amount of people and tables. So they are forcing things to be tight. My best friend and his wife had their 30th anniversary in a hall where they invited too many people. It was so tight in there that you could barely walk through the tables.

I wasn't the DJ for this one because I was in the original wedding. I was the best man. I almost wasn't. My best friend was going to pick another guy till he found out he was trying to have sex with his future wife.

I just wish they would have talked to me about finding a place to have the event. The DJ was in the middle of the room. Just make the best of it if they are not willing to budge.
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
3,900
46
You said they don't want ugly speakers on the stage. Are your speakers ugly? So what happened is they picked a place or a room that was really only good for a certain amount of people and tables. So they are forcing things to be tight. My best friend and his wife had their 30th anniversary in a hall where they invited too many people. It was so tight in there that you could barely walk through the tables.

I wasn't the DJ for this one because I was in the original wedding. I was the best man. I almost wasn't. My best friend was going to pick another guy till he found out he was trying to have sex with his future wife.

I just wish they would have talked to me about finding a place to have the event. The DJ was in the middle of the room. Just make the best of it if they are not willing to budge.
You certainly have a way with a story...lol....and my speakers are fine... they just dont want speakers and lighting fixtures in all their wedding photos... i get it..

cc
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,508
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Obviously that would be the optimum choice...but...Both the ceremony and sweetheart/bridal party table are on the stage.... and as stated... they do not want equipment of any kind clogging up downstairs...or taking away from the beauty of the decorations i guess... best case scenario right now is a set of 15 tops aiming down... as well as some wash lights and a couple moving heads coming down from the balcony.... they will regret this choice when they hear the sound... but i have explained the issue to them twice now and am content abiding by their wishes.

cc
Get over yourself (wink wink) and put the tops upstairs, pointing down. Not taking a dig at you but I think your situation underlines how an awful lot of us get very uncomfortable when we have to do things a little different than normal. First time I had to do a balcony setup I was fretting (in my mind, never said anything to anybody) about it but once the gig got started it really was very enjoyable. Just look at it this way, you can sit up there and scratch your butt all night long and nobody will notice.
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
4,208
Not taking a dig at you but I think your situation underlines how an awful lot of us get very uncomfortable when we have to do things a little different than normal.
I think there is a big difference between getting out of a comfort zone, and a predictably poor outcome. Having speakers close to a dance floor isn't just a diva request. It means that volume can be appropriate for dancing while the rest of the room is still comfortable to talk. If he has to hit that dance floor from a balcony... he's either going to have to scorch the entire room with sound, or it'll be soft in the middle where the dancing is happening.

The client clearly doesn't care enough to avoid this outcome, but I also don't think it's purely a comfort zone concern.
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
35,091
Prospect, CT
The issue with aiming them down is support. Standard tripods maybe get you 7-8 degrees of tilt. If you angle them the 45 degrees you might need for coverage, going to have to get creative with how you suspend them.
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
3,900
46
Get over yourself (wink wink) and put the tops upstairs, pointing down. Not taking a dig at you but I think your situation underlines how an awful lot of us get very uncomfortable when we have to do things a little different than normal. First time I had to do a balcony setup I was fretting (in my mind, never said anything to anybody) about it but once the gig got started it really was very enjoyable. Just look at it this way, you can sit up there and scratch your butt all night long and nobody will notice.
I think there is a big difference between getting out of a comfort zone, and a predictably poor outcome. Having speakers close to a dance floor isn't just a diva request. It means that volume can be appropriate for dancing while the rest of the room is still comfortable to talk. If he has to hit that dance floor from a balcony... he's either going to have to scorch the entire room with sound, or it'll be soft in the middle where the dancing is happening.

The client clearly doesn't care enough to avoid this outcome, but I also don't think it's purely a comfort zone concern.
Yeah in all honesty...my actual comfort zone is as far away from people as possible...lolol...however i dont want my product to suffer

cc
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
3,900
46
The issue with aiming them down is support. Standard tripods maybe get you 7-8 degrees of tilt. If you angle them the 45 degrees you might need for coverage, going to have to get creative with how you suspend them.
Im not shooting for 45 degrees... just want a lil tilt so im not up in the stratosphere

I may sandbag the pods tho just incase

cc
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
12,508
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
The client clearly doesn't care enough to avoid this outcome, but I also don't think it's purely a comfort zone concern.
I don't think it's fair to say the client doesn't care, they just have a difference of opinion. I've seen several events done with speakers up in the air, either flown from the ceiling or up on a balcony. The sound was perfectly fine, IMHO. It all boils down to customer service. Are you willing to stretch and provide the service in the manner in which they've requested it or do you want to be a diva DJ? Don't take me wrong, I really don't mean to be inflammatory here. Yea, requests like this usually make all of us tilt our heads and grumble under our breath but it's nothing to get twisted about. On the bright side, it's often an easier setup and you'll never have a bridesmaid sticking their iphone in your face and wanting you to plug them in. Enjoy the evening, cash the check and move on to the next one.
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
357
33
So I run wireless speakers at almost every gig, and sometimes run subs wirelessly. I will admit they are mainly used for fill, but a few times a year, usually from balconies or really awkward setups, I run the main speakers fully wirelessly.

There is no reason you should be afraid inside with a good wireless system. It looks like all you would need is about 60 feet. I am sure the system you are using can suppport that- if not, time to upgrade :)

Go for it!

*I ran speakers one time from the balcony, and it was awful. The ammount of complaints I got!!!!
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
35,091
Prospect, CT
So I run wireless speakers at almost every gig, and sometimes run subs wirelessly. I will admit they are mainly used for fill, but a few times a year, usually from balconies or really awkward setups, I run the main speakers fully wirelessly.

There is no reason you should be afraid inside with a good wireless system. It looks like all you would need is about 60 feet. I am sure the system you are using can suppport that- if not, time to upgrade :)

Go for it!

*I ran speakers one time from the balcony, and it was awful. The ammount of complaints I got!!!!
Wouldn't matter here as he was told everything was going upstairs.