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Find the Right Live Band for Your Event

Find the Right Live Band for Your Event

Whether you’re organizing a private party or a company event, you know the right band could elevate your event from ordinary to extraordinary. However, with so many bands out there it could easily get confusing. What genre should I go for? Should I hire a solo musician or an acoustic duo? Or perhaps a full band for hire, with all the bells & whistles? Getting the full scope of information you need in advance of the booking, could mean a make-or-break for the success of your event.

  1. Musical Genre

Being that there are many types of bands out there, playing many different types of music from different eras, it is important to match the musical genre to your expected crowd. Live Jazz bands and Blues bands market well to corporate events and or black attire events, while Live 60’s and 70’s bands work well for the 50+ age group crowd. Solo classical musicians or a classical duo singing known arias are senior crowd favourites, but a classical ensemble or a string quartet could work really well for wedding receptions or upscale events. If you have a more laid-back event for 30-40 age group, you could definitely opt for a folk band or a country band if you’re looking for an afternoon hoedown. If most of your guests are not a day older than 29, your best bet may be to go with a cool Pop & Rock band playing contemporary tunes, or even hiring a Live DJ for a party vibe, with a guest performer.

  1. Visuals

So you’ve focused on the specific genre you want. Now it is extremely important to choose the right live band for your event according to their visual materials (i.e live videos). Don’t let SoundCloud fool you! A band with nice photos and great audio tracks is a common thing. A great look won’t guarantee you a great sound. But even a great audio sound will not guarantee you a brilliant performance. With today’s gear it is fairly easy to fiddle with audio tracks and make everything sound professional, when recorded using several takes behind closed doors and then hammered with EQs and effects. What you need however, is seeing visual proof of what it looks and sounds like when your live function band actually plays live!

  1. Budget

Obviously you want to make sure the price is right. After narrowing your bands down to several favourites, make initial contact and find out their best quote. To save you some valuable time, here’s a list of things you should mention regarding your event when you contact the organizer for a quote:

  • Date and time
  • Venue location
  • Venue size
  • Stage area size
  • Length of service
  • Event type and theme
  • Musical preferences
  • PA requirements (sound system)
  • Lighting requirements
  • Rough budget
  1. Insurance and cover

After you’ve come to an agreement, it is crucial to find out whether the band is fully insured and whether or not they regularly PAT test their electrical gear. Every professional function band performing at live events, whether it be corporate functions or private functions, should have full public liability insurance covering all members of the band. In addition, the DJ, and the sound engineer should be fully covered with their own specific PL insurance, as well as have proof that their gear has been PAT tested and certified to avoid technical hazards. You should never be shy about asking to see copies of the above before hiring a band, a live audio engineer or DJ services for your event.

  1. Go See a Live Show

After you’ve found the right function band for your event, which both offers you a sweet deal and have great live videos to back it up, the best recommendation one could give you before you seal the deal is definitely to go and see the band perform live. Nothing will tell you more about whether a live band is the right one for you, than seeing them in action. Many bands will invite you to come down to one of their other events, otherwise upon request, most will guarantee you concert tickets or guestlist you at an upcoming event. Even if the repertoire on gig night varies from your own event’s genre specifications, it would still give you a strong idea of the bands charisma, crowd appeal and sense of professionalism.

Whatever it is you’re after, we hope this has helped clear some of the mystery revolving the process of finding a live function band for hire. We hope your event as successful as it can be, and if you need any further assistance or are interested in any of our services, don’t be shy to Sound With Us!

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Hiring Live DJ Services A-Z

Hiring Live DJ Services A-Z

We all know what a DJ or Disk Jockey is. That’s the person who plays background music to which crowds or guests will either dance, mingle, say their vows or simply listen and vibe with. Music is a powerful tool which can set the tone of an event and control its environment as well as the emotions of the crowd. Music sends messages to the subconscious mind. Happy music can encourage joy, laughter and have a ‘good-vibes’ effect on people. EDM (Electronic Dance Music) funk, R&B and Latin music are all beat and groove based genres which have an immediate and almost uncontrollable dance-effect on people, making it hard even for the self-proclaimed non-dancer to avoid moving to.  Soft, thoughtful and melodic music has a way of connecting people with their deeper emotions, making them more vulnerable and sensitive.

The most important element of a DJ’s job is what they call ‘reading the room’. A good DJ will be able to connect with the audience while in action and choose the next song to be played based on the existing vibe set by the audience. If they sense that the energy levels are low, they may choose a slightly different direction to bring those levels up, while also considering choosing a softer direction in order to put an overly-hyped audience into a more subtle state.

It is important to remember that there are many different kinds of DJ’s, catering for different type events. Fact of the matter is, in order to cater to a large variety of events, you need to own a ridiculous amount of music. Some DJ’s are collectors in nature and therefore can adapt and serve to a larger clientele. However, most DJ’s have a specialty which defines their area of musical interest, passion and expertise.

Goal

If you want people to dance no matter what, it is recommended to hire a party DJ or a club DJ which has experienced in making people happy on the dance floor. If your event is a corporate event intended for mingling then you need a DJ for a cocktail party or DJ for a business reception, one with a top-notch professional demeanor, who could play a variety of loungy genres ranging from Jazz and blues to ambiance and contemporary. Are you throwing a kids’ birthday? Then definitely go with a DJ that has experience catering to children of a certain age group, and can play anything from entertaining children tunes for toddlers to the most up-to-date popular teeny-bop hits for a sweet 16. Being that weddings tend to bring together an especially diverse crowd, if you are looking for a DJ for a wedding, it’s best to go with an experienced wedding DJ with some proven track record, as he will know how to consider the musical preferences of the happy couple, while still pleasing the vast majority of the crowd by picking the best tracks from different eras and genres to match different age groups and ethnicity.

Theme

If you went to a certain length to design your event to a specific theme, it would be wise to hire a DJ who can stretch themselves to your theme. For instance a DJ with interest in Country music will fit well if you’re planning a country hoe-down party, and would pair well with a line dancing instructor for children or adults. When you think of a DJ today, in most cases the old-school image of turn tables and sexy vinyl no longer applies. However, if you are looking to give your event that unique vintage feel, why not go for a vinyl Party and find a vinyl DJ specializing in 40’s, 50’s, 60’s or 70’s music and ask your guests to dress accordingly. Vinyl is also quite common in the R&B (rhythm & blues) world, so if you’re looking to bump-n-grind and have the right audience hooked to their baggies and bling – That might be your way to go.

Collaborations

Some DJ’s like take their services to the next level by offering different collab-combos such as having a guest singer exit in the middle of the night singing some of the tunes live, much to the delight of the crowd. Similarly, you could intertwine unique rhythm drumming alongside the DJ stand, or a live sax player belting out some magnificent instrumental solo parts. A live beat-boxer can be a great addition to hype-up the vibe of an R&B party, or maybe a manic break-dancing duo. Another brilliant combo is allowing for a led hoola-hoop dancer to suddenly take over the floor and grab everyone’s attention. When it comes to combining a live DJ with live entertainers – let your imagination run wild, and you’ll be one step closer to creating that epic moment your guests will keep on buzzing about for a while.

Whatever party you’re planning – We’re sure it’s going to be great with the right DJ on board. We are here to offer any advice to lead you in the right direction. If you need any further information on choosing the right kind of DJ service for your corporate party or private party, don’t hesitate to use the contact form below and contact us directly.

The art of Sound Engineering

The art of Sound Engineering

Sound engineering (or, the job of making musicians sound great) looks and sounds all hi-techy and digital, but is in fact an art form. People tend to overlook the importance of a quality sound system and an experienced, trustworthy sound engineer. It is essentially the make-or-break of the quality of your event from the entertainment perspective. A wonderful performer, function band or orchestra can literally sound awful if the overall sound output quality and setup are poor. A lot of thought, calculations and preparations go into each concert or show played. Different engineers will have different work methods, ideas and ways of doing things, still, there are some key points to look at when searching for the best overall sound setup and personnel:

 

Gear

Getting the right equipment is important. Microphones, cables, mixers, speakers, monitors – The list goes on and on, and as you can imagine all of the above can cost some big money. There will forever be as many opinions about which brands to use as there are engineers, but either way, it is vital to test-out quality before buying. There are bargains out there, but cut corners in the wrong place and your overall mix output may suffer the consequences. In the same way, you may own a system of £20,000 worth but without the knowledge it may still sound noisy, buzzy and over-modulated in which case ears would bleed and if a £20,000 worth sound system could cry in pain, it would!

 

Ear

An engineer’s natural ear is something money cannot buy. You are either born with it or you’re not. If you go to an event and the band sounds not only exquisite but also delightful to your ears, you are probably facing the art form of masterful sound engineering. Find an engineer with a sensitive musical ear, developed by the right amount of education and field experience – And you’ve got yourself a winner.

 

Experience

Never underestimate the experience of a sound engineer. Most amateurs would find their way around two speakers connected to a basic mixing desk. If you really want your event to sound amazing and your guests to be blown away? Our best advice would be – Don’t settle. Field experience with a wide range of equipment, facing real-time challenges, overcoming power drops and setup malfunctions are all part of the craft. An experienced sound engineer will know the ins and outs of field operations and will have a deep understanding of acoustics, EQing and equipment limits.

 

Lighting

Some sound engineers will expand their expertise to provide lighting solutions. If you find an engineer that can put some lights up to enhance the performance area then you’ve got yourself a lovely deal. However, being that lighting and visuals is an entirely separate entity to the world of sound and a different artform altogether, it is important to work with engineers that have prior experience in lighting. As you would regarding your sound, you’d want to hire someone who knows which gear to use and has both made significant efforts in learning the craft and hopefully had experience in lighting larger-scale events and dealing with real-time lighting.

 

Health & Safety

The level of responsibility expected of an engineer while dealing with heavy gear and messing with electricity is not to be undermined. It is vital your engineer is trustworthy, fully insured and hopefully comes with a set of referrals from previous clients and/or former employers. The ever so important goal of reaching the perfect sound setup is not to come on the expense of the audiences’ safety. Engineers must adhere to level-control guidelines in order to protect the audience’s hearing, as well as keeping their workspace and the venue tidy and safe, with speakers and light stands positioned out of harm’s way and cables either tucked away or properly taped to the floor outside of main paths and walkways.

 

Whichever way you choose to go with your sound setup, never hesitate to contact an expert. We are here for whatever consultation or advice you may need. Keep us in the loop!