Monday, June 11, 2007

Worst night out ever!

Well I figured we'd sat on the sofa for far too long so decreed that "we are going out". As I've mentioned before there is in each major city regular lesbian dance nights held at different venues. Auckland manages to hold two regular events a month, Wellington struggles to have one. These events are usually "fundraisers" for something and for the last few months in Wellers it's been for Reclaim the Night, and No Diet Day etc, HOWEVER this particular Saturday night it was again a fundraiser for the Amazon softball team. Now after the last Amazon event I attended I swore Never Again, and in hindsight should have stayed with that sweeping statement, but instead I thought well it's a different venue, there's 2 DJ's, I haven't been out dancing for so long, lets give it a go. Should have just stayed on the sofa! We arrived at the venue and duly paid our cover charge to get in. It was all very quiet on the lower level so went up to check the dance space. I saw they had hired in a good sized sound system, full stop, all good finishes there.

I now have a few vital tips should anyone wish to hold a dance night or attempt to DJ:

SOUNDCHECK:
This is something that is done during the day, before the punters arrive. The mixing desk with your sound system has lots of dials and faders so you can fiddle round with the eq at all different frequencies and tune the amp and speakers to the room you are in. You should also play through a few different tunes and get a good sound across all mediums ie. vinyl and cd, so that one only needs a mere tweak on the decks controls at showtime. Soundcheck at no point should be done when the punters are there and on the dancefloor. It is very irritating to dancers to have the mix suddenly lose all bass, then rattle out loud around the 2 - 3 k frequencies, then disappear to an mere echo because someone has found the phase dial. Dancers usually like a bit of kick arse bass in the mix, it stirs the nether regions to the task at hand.Soundcheck is also usually better done by one person and not a committee of 3 or more.

BPM:
Also known as "beats per minute". A BPM of around 120 is what usually gets the punters hips and knees jiggling, so if you want people to dance it's a fairly good idea to play music around that tempo. Likewise the aim of a DJ is to keep the punters on the floor once they've finally started dancing. Playing one cool tune then following up with a bad one so you can watch the dancers leave the floor is not usually in a DJ's job description.

CUEING UP AND DROPPING IN:
This is what you do between each song, that is what the headphones are for. The idea is that you cue up the next song, and when the one you are playing is winding down you drop the next tune in on the beat OR you mix it under and fade up on the new, and down on the old. That is why direct drive turntables and hand control cd decks were invented so you can seamlessly blend from one tune to another. You do not wait until the current playing tune is finished then count to 5 and start the next one. Please see above, the idea is to KEEP the punters on the dancefloor.

So, needless to say we moved on and went to another venue. It was of course still too early in the evening to have many punters, but it had a solid wall of dancefloor sound, the beats were up and the tunes were mixed smoothly so finally had a wee dance.

If any of you dear readers feel like sending this link to either the Amazons or Our Bar please feel free. I've just checked my outbox and I see I sent a complaint email to the Amazons organisor on 4 October 2006, I'm still waiting for a response.

5 comments:

Sandy said...

That's it! We're all going to move to Auckland!

Have you ever considered DJ-consulting as a career? Wellington needs you :-)

unPC lesbian said...

But in this day and age one shouldn't have to moan about this sort of stuff. Bloody 'ell you can create a full nights playlist on your PC, push one button and have the groove on all night. It's about dancing, it doesn't need the usual Lesbian deep and meaningful bullshit

ex-expat said...

actually you could just download it all on to your ipod and hey presto - party.

Anonymous said...

Have read all the information above. Mental note for me on Saturday pre-punter checks:

Sound...including volume, trebble, and learning all about the fiddley knob bits on the mixer.

Lighting...check that all the lasers, smoke machines and spot lights actually WORK!

Entertainment ... mental note: just because you are gay does not make you good at playing the guitar, singing, dancing or entertaining. In actually fact people won't like you just because you are gay ... they will like you if you are GOOD.

DJ concept ... yes, dancing ... I must keep people dancing on the dance floor, I must keep people dancing on the dance floor, I must keep people dancing on the dance floor (repetative positive reminder process used by vietnam fighters to ensure their safe return "I will return safely after the war...").

Right - that's about it.

I look forward - with some anticipation - your feedback on our ICE party this Saturday. Which means of course that you have to turn up (1 Dec 2007 from 8pm).

C U there!

unPC lesbian said...

No worries chook, I'll be there. I've sent the invite out to the person I know with the BIGGEST address book and the MOST Facebook friends ever...so hoping for a good turnout!!

 
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