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a private event audio, DJ, and MC services company.


Software? More like Softwhy?

Jonathan Damiani

See what I did there? With the title? No? Neither do I, honestly. 

ANYWAY… Today’s blog is about DJ software. Wait! Before you click away from the blog, let me say that I’m not trying to write some technical post about the best software to use, comparing the ins and outs of the major DJ software brands. Other, more intelligent and entertaining people than me have already done that. 

I do, however, want to give you a little bit of a glimpse into our process at J&J Events. For each of our events, we run two computers, each with a different DJ software program. Why do we do this? Well for a couple reasons. 

First, there are two of us! Jon and Jon Mark (otherwise known and J and, you guessed it, J). Second, we want to make sure we have contingencies in case there’s a software malfunction with either computer. This has never happened, but it’s always good to be prepared!

But more than all of this, running two computers and two sets of software allows us to be pretty dang flexible as DJs. To explain, I’m going to get a TINY bit technical. 

There are two main programs that most DJs use. The industry standard, by a huge margin, is Serato. It’s incredibly stable software, and it allows a ton of flexibility and functionality so DJs can manipulate digital music. The second most popular program is Traktor, another really solid piece of software that a lot of DJs swear by. 

Among a ton of other software competitors, a program called DJay (by Algoriddim) has emerged. DJay is a decent piece of semi-pro software that is also quite affordable for beginning DJs. Now, DJay has one awesome function that makes it pretty attractive - it can integrate with Spotify! So DJs can pull any song available on Spotify, bring it into the DJay software, and manipulate it like any other piece of digital music. Pretty cool!

OK, back to why we use two laptops. I (Jon) run Serato, and I DJ most of every event using this program. Jon Mark runs DJay off of the backup laptop which allows him to take over when need be, and it’s especially helpful for taking requests! So Jon Mark will take requests from guests, and with the Spotify integration available through DJay, no request is too obscure!  

What does all this mean for your event? A few things. First, we’re prepared for anything - especially if (God forbid) a piece of software malfunctions. We have a backup! But more importantly, we’re prepared to play virtually any song you can think of! If I don’t have the song in my huge digital catalog, Jon Mark can pull it up through Spotify and run it through some really cool DJay software within seconds. 

Pretty cool, huh? 

Memorable Events: The Epic Aquino Wedding

Jonathan Damiani

Every once in a while, we’ll be writing a short blog about some interesting and unique events that we’ve helped plan and execute. Today is one of those blogs! 

In April of 2016, we were part of one of the more unique wedding experiences to date! It may seem like I’m overstating it, but I’ll let you be the judge. 

It was the wedding of our good friends Alex and Emily. They got married at the Stone House at Temecula Creek Inn - a stunning venue nestled in the back of a golf course. It’s so private that the guests have to access the venue via golf cart. How cool is that?! 

Alex and Emily had a vision for their event. They wanted the whole event to feel like a well produced video - like something you'd see on Vimeo or Buzzfeed. To help create that particular feel, they wanted a music bed to be playing through the entire event. Alex, Emily, Jon Mark, and I collaborated with another good friend, Ryan, to create some long form music beds that centered around the theme of "Beethoven’s Five Secrets" by The Piano Guys

Now, when I say that Alex and Emily wanted a constant music bed for the entire event, I mean it! Various versions of Beethoven’s Five Secrets played beneath all aspects of the ceremony - while the guests arrived, while the officiant spoke, while the readers read poems and scripture. Interspersed throughout the ceremony were other special songs for the bride to process, for the couple to recess, and while friends performed. 

Alex and Emily also wanted to personally introduce each member of the bridal party to the reception. And let me tell you, they had a BIG bridal party! The also introduced each pairing and group of people in the bridal party while a music bed of Michael Jackson’s "Will You Be There" (Yeah Free Willy!). 

We ended the night with one of our most EPIC dance parties yet! Two and a half hours of a jam packed dance floor. We hit all the crowd favorites, and they even gave us the musical capital to remind them of a few songs they forgot how much they love (insert an Ace of Base song here). 

When we met with Alex and Emily to talk through their plan, we were... let's say "cautiously optimistic." Could this really work? Well let me tell you something: IT DID! It was a magical night that we’ll never forget. 

What makes a great wedding DJ?

Jonathan Damiani

Weddings are interesting events, if you think about it. It's a time when all of your friends, family, and general loved ones get together in one place, at one time, all hoping to celebrate your love and marriage and to have a little bit of fun. 

Think about the guest list! Grandma and grandpa are there, and so is your 16 year old nephew. And your new spouse's aunts and uncles. And your coworkers. Your college friends. Your high school friends. Your great aunt's best friend that she insisted you invite. Maybe even your dad's law school buddies are there. Weddings are such a huge demographic of people all in one place for one purpose!

Now how do you entertain all these people? You hire a DJ of course! A good DJ will play the songs you want to hear, and maybe a few others that he likes. But a great DJ will read the diverse crowd of people you gathered to get a sense of what they want to hear and what will really make them move. 

Grandpa is going to want to hear some Elvis. Your 16 year old nephew is begging you to let him Whip and also potentially Nae Nae. Your coworkers just need to hear that one Michael Jackson song that will get them hyped. Your college friends will want to hear that one jam you used to blast in the dorms. Your great aunt's best friend is hogging the photobooth, so let's not worry about her. 

All of that is to say that you are best served by hiring a great DJ who really knows how to read a crowd and play the kind of music that will keep the dance floor full! He'll keep the flow going, keep the beat pumping, let the good songs settle in, and let the transition songs move the crowd to a new level of excitement. By the end of the night, he'll make friends of the whole crowd, and all of your loved ones will not stop telling you how much fun they had!

Am I overstating it? Maybe a tiny bit, but I will say that the number 1 comment we get after weddings is some version of this: "Wow! I've never been to a wedding where the dance floor was full the whole time!" We love what we do, and we're pretty good at it too! 

Do yourself a favor and hire a great DJ! You and your guests will NOT be disappointed!