Newbie question - or do I just need more hands?

To many ads? Support ODJT and see no ads!

DJ Forbes

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 30, 2021
276
654
46
So I've been working on my emcee'ing a little and I'm sort of having an issue, and could use some advice.
Here's the issue: I'm making an announcement (or let's say announcing the entrances at the reception). They want one song for bridesmaids and one for the bride and groom. (fortunately, I haven't had a huge number of couples all wanting a different song.... yet). So I'm playing cocktail music, and make the announcement for the bridal party coming in. Mic in one hand, other hand on the controller queueing up the next song. It's a lot going on and I'm having trouble with a "smooth" transition whether it just be fading to the next song during my speaking or not. Part of me thinks a 4ch controller would be easier (currently using an ddj-sr2, 2ch). I use the "prepare" list and have special crates for all the 'special' songs for the evening, so they are readily available. But then again, I see guys using just a laptop, no controller, and they do fine. Is this something that just comes with time? I feel like overthinking it causes me more stress and makes it worse, lol. Any tricks here?
 
  • Like
Reactions: ittigger

B-Sharp

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Feb 9, 2008
2,541
4,053
49
Taunton MA
www.southcoastdj.com
First, buy a boom stand for your microphone.

For the songs:
Use any audio editing program... Audacity is free and works fine, but I use Acid Music Studio and Adobe Audition. Line up all of the songs you need in the editing program and then save it as one mp3 file. Once you've done that, load the file into your DJ program and set cue points at the start of each song in the file. That way, as you're reading names, you can jump right to the next song via the cue pads on your controller, without having to load anything or create a special crate.

Because you'll have two hands free, you can use one to press the cue pads and the other on the volume fader, to make those transitions nice and smooth.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,647
9,680
36
NJ
www.djtaso.com
Take your time, set up cue points, pace yourself. A boom mic helps... personally, when I have to do that, I still prefer to hold a mic. I sed to do what Brendan says, but had a few times where they literally changed a song as I was lining them up and caused a headache. So I just manual mix/load one at a time. Granted, rarely do I get clients that want so many song changes.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Dec 9, 2009
18,726
16,269
58
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
It just takes practice. I agree, having different songs for each couple in the wedding party is a PITA. I'll do it (without complaint) but I've never liked it. Like the others said, you need something to free up both hands. Either a mic boom or a headset mic.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ittigger

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
21,311
20,251
52
Sydney, Nova Scotia
So I've been working on my emcee'ing a little and I'm sort of having an issue, and could use some advice.
Here's the issue: I'm making an announcement (or let's say announcing the entrances at the reception). They want one song for bridesmaids and one for the bride and groom. (fortunately, I haven't had a huge number of couples all wanting a different song.... yet). So I'm playing cocktail music, and make the announcement for the bridal party coming in. Mic in one hand, other hand on the controller queueing up the next song. It's a lot going on and I'm having trouble with a "smooth" transition whether it just be fading to the next song during my speaking or not. Part of me thinks a 4ch controller would be easier (currently using an ddj-sr2, 2ch). I use the "prepare" list and have special crates for all the 'special' songs for the evening, so they are readily available. But then again, I see guys using just a laptop, no controller, and they do fine. Is this something that just comes with time? I feel like overthinking it causes me more stress and makes it worse, lol. Any tricks here?

It takes practice. I just use a laptop with Mixmeister Pro. There is a feature to mix to the next song immediately that's what I use. The big trick is control the flow they don't go until you say so so why rush it? Start the music announce the first couple and find your beat to start the next song if it's a second or two it just gives couple number one that much more time o get where they are going and a couple of seconds spotlight
 
  • Like
Reactions: ittigger

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Sep 7, 2016
2,984
7,915
You may be rushing through it a little bit if you're having trouble making those transitions. When each group walks through the entryway, give the song a little bit of time to breathe and the couple or group to walk/dance/etc. into the room. You don't have to transition super quickly even thought it feels fast.

I generally have time to make those song switches in that moment, and I have my cue points set to immediately cut to where I want to be in the song.

I find I prefer having the mic in my hand like Taso does, but a boom stand may help if you are needing your hands free.
 
Last edited:

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Oct 25, 2006
8,298
12,597
56
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
My advice would be to not buy any additional equipment to solve this at first. Practice doing it with what you have. Once you understand how to do it smoothly, you’ll then discover if a free hand is what you need most(so a new mic solution), or new controller or software.….or nothing.

Too many times early on I bought something to try to solve an issue only to find out the issue it was solving wasn’t what was really important.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
21,311
20,251
52
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Too many times early on I bought something to try to solve an issue only to find out the issue it was solving wasn’t what was really important.

Me too except I usually found out the problem was the guy holding the mic ;)
 

ittigger

Hundred Acre Industry Icon
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Feb 1, 2011
19,416
18,103
Hundred Acre Wood
Like everyone else, I also do this manually. Practice should help make this easier. A good app on your phone / tablet that can help with this would be DJAY. It has an automix function - you add songs to the list, hit the start button and when you're ready for the next song, hit the next button - automagically mixes in the next song.
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Oct 25, 2006
8,298
12,597
56
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
Me too except I usually found out the problem was the guy holding the mic ;)
Exactly. I thought some new gear would help, when it really was me😁
 

sonic-vision

Alive & kickin
ODJT Supporter
Feb 6, 2007
2,329
4,240
central Ohio
Back in the CD days , I copied in order and loaded each deck in rotation. With Serato I build a crate and load each deck and cross fade to each deck and song.
There is plenty of time to fade and load each song with very little air time. I miss cross fader start! This also gives you the proper song length and timing . Some maids & groomsmen take a little more or less time with their enterance. Practice !
 

JP_HTX

DJ Extraordinaire
Aug 17, 2022
46
122
40
Create a folder/crate in your DJ software with all intro/presentation songs. Set cue points. Then you can load the songs faster. Have fun with the transitions too. Echo out, brake the song, slam mix, fade in and out etc. Pace yourself. It helps to practice at home a couple of times. Next thing you know, you won't stress out about it.
 
Last edited:

DJ Forbes

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 30, 2021
276
654
46
Create a folder/crate in your DJ software with all intro/presentation songs. Set cue points. Then you can load the songs faster. Have fun with the transitions too. Echo out, brake the song, slam mix, fade in and out etc. Pace yourself. It helps to practice at home a couple of times. Next thing you know, you won't stress out about it.
Had another this past weekend and did exactly this... or part of it. Created a seperate crate with just the entrance songs. That, along with just taking my time and telling the folks not to start walking until they heard the music they were coming into helped. Only had 3 songs this time, so it wasn't bad at all. I think being new, knowing Emcee'ing isn't my strong point, and nerves are what may be my biggest problem.

I noticed a few times during the night I felt myself trying to rush something that I didn't really need to... It was good though. I thought to write those moments down on a little tablet and now I can focus on certain things to "practice" at home. Thank you all for the advice and suggestions!
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Sep 7, 2016
2,984
7,915
I noticed a few times during the night I felt myself trying to rush something that I didn't really need to... It was good though. I thought to write those moments down on a little tablet and now I can focus on certain things to "practice" at home. Thank you all for the advice and suggestions!

I literally used to drive around in the car making announcements for stuff. Just all of the moments you might need to inform guests about from grand entrances to the first shuttle arriving to take guests back to the hotel if they want. The more you get comfortable with the language itself, the more you can focus on what is going on around you as you're MCing.
 

Ausumm

Gold Plated Productions
Oct 21, 2008
11,977
14,794
59
Bethlehem PA
The more you get comfortable with the language itself, the more you can focus on what is going on around you as you're MCing.
Fortunately, I was always an "attention hound" and never had a problem speaking in front of a crowd. But Ross makes a great point. Always think about what you're gonna say before you speak. My mother called it putting your mind in gear before you put your mouth in motion.
When you get comfortable , think about new and different and creative ways to say what you need to say.
 

dunlopj

DJ Extraordinaire
Aug 14, 2008
6,076
7,187
64
Belair MD
I was taught while being an or air radio jock, if you have to think twice about anything you plan to say, don't say it,

A few suggestions: record yourself making announcements and listen to them, always use the B + G's name to make their announcements more intimate and personal (never use just "the B + G"), never use the over-used phrase "at this time", talk slower and emphasize diction, and join a local Toastmaster class if they still exist.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
21,311
20,251
52
Sydney, Nova Scotia
I was taught while being an or air radio jock, if you have to think twice about anything you plan to say, don't say it,

A few suggestions: record yourself making announcements and listen to them, always use the B + G's name to make their announcements more intimate and personal (never use just "the B + G"), never use the over-used phrase "at this time", talk slower and emphasize diction, and join a local Toastmaster class if they still exist.

I agree never blurt anything out especially in a live environment. When i first started in radio I sometimes had trouble holding thoughts and expressing them I learned to write everything down like a script and follow it it saves a lot of ums and ahs. Avoid crutch words and phrases like at this time, Ladies and Gentleman or right now. It's OK to say once don't repeat it the next time at the same event.

If you want to record yourself and send me the MP3 let me know I'll be glad to "air check" you