Join 3,430 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


It Was A Teenaged Wedding And The Old Folks Wished them Well
January 8, 2009 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Getting married soon? Consider having an iPod wedding. Some things can go wrong. DJ's fight back.
posted by Xurando (118 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yet another tech/nerd-related thing people will look at ten years from now and say "what dopes we were".
posted by Zambrano at 10:29 AM on January 8, 2009


An iPod wedding is much better than a Zune wedding.
posted by birdherder at 10:32 AM on January 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hire a live band, you friggin' cheapskate.
posted by schoolgirl report at 10:32 AM on January 8, 2009


Your job is to arrange the music? Brilliant.
You are doing it yourself ? How so?
Your iPod! You’re kidding, right?


I know! Everyone knows an iPod cannot natively handle a lossless codec. That's a recipe for compressed disaster!
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:34 AM on January 8, 2009


-shrugs- It's what we did, and seems to have been the norm for every wedding we've been to lately. I'm not entirely sure why this would need to make a fuss out of it or need complicated instructions or anything. you basically need: (1) Cable for connecting iPod to PA, (2) Person with fingers near the iPod (3) Decent (and broad) taste in music.
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on January 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


Back in the days of vinyl LPs and no internet, the value of a good DJ was indisputable. They had access to a lot of music and the skill and experience necessary to put together a good set that was tailored to the wedding party.

These days, though, the bride and groom can just plug their favorite tunes into Last.fm, Pandora, iTunes, or Amazon and get both a great set of recommendations and easy access to the music itself. For a budget-conscious wedding party it's getting hard to argue that the extra cost of a DJ is really going to be worth it, especially at the low end of the spectrum.

Heck, I've been to weddings where the DJ showed up with a portable music player (though not an iPod) and a PA system. At those receptions, the DJ basically hit play on the playlist, paused it for the occasional toast or announcement, and that that was that. Was his playlist better than what the bride and groom could put together with help from the Internet? Maybe. Was it $200-$300 better? I doubt it.
posted by jedicus at 10:35 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hire a live band, you friggin' cheapskate.

As a near-broke 20something who knows a whole lot of cash-strapped 20somethings paying for their own weddings, you can take your 'cheapskate' and shove it up your $5 membership. iPods are far from perfect, and I'd vastly prefer a really good DJ - I actually know several, so if I were getting married myself I'd probably have an easy time getting one for cheap - but as a way to keep costs sane, it's one of the first things I'd look to. Debt is a crappy way to start a marriage.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:36 AM on January 8, 2009 [18 favorites]


Hire a live band, you friggin' cheapskate.

You offering to pay, moneybags?
posted by rocket88 at 10:37 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Manhattan's new marriage bureau sounds lovely, I desperately want to see pictures of the space. It sounds like a lot of thought and care went into building it, and I think that's so nice, particularly it's totally unnecessary.

My sister got married two weeks ago, and they played music on CDs at their reception. For the crowd of 85 people, mostly older family, it was perfect. Spending more on a DJ wouldn't have been worth it for a crowd that only wanted to dance for 2-3 songs.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:37 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


The person who creates the trip hazard that breaks Grandma's hip or starts an electrical fire that burns the reception hall to the ground is liable, and in your iPod wedding, that's you.

Using an iPod for your wedding will KILL YOUR GRANDMA!
posted by almostmanda at 10:38 AM on January 8, 2009 [7 favorites]


iPod*.

* Other MP3 players are available.
posted by Artw at 10:39 AM on January 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


I love my iPods, but I'm not going to marry them!

And, so the point of the ADJ video is that weddings are boring as fuck? I'm 2 minutes in and there's been no FAIL so far. Even failblog.org wouldn't post that!

One of the local bars here used to have an "iPod Monday" night where people got to have a song or two played over the system. Apple shut them down. Dumb of them to do so. They should have sponsored the event with free iPod give aways and such. Trendy bar. Not sure what they call it now, but hey, it's open to any media player at this point.

And I've seen plenty of really shitty DJs in my life. My dad does weddings. A DJ can make the evening something worthy of suing over.

The moral of this story is test you equipment folks. Learn it, know it, use it.

And I think too many of you are watching that video. Loading super slow. So far I am left wondering why she'd marry him, but still no FAIL! I know, I know, if I want to live blog this GYOB!

Finally, the first fail. Oh, tragedy. A misque. A live DJ has never done that!

"Where's my dad?" Giving up there. Let me know if something truly spectacular happens.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:41 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wish I could legally get married, iPod or no.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:41 AM on January 8, 2009 [30 favorites]


That's pretty much what I thought when I just blogged about this, almostmanda. And, judging from old eps of Judge Judy, I highly doubt wedding DJs carry too much liability insurance unless the state requires them to, so it's a dumb argument.

Or, as I said about the one article:

“What you are about to see is real”? What is this, Dateline NBC?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:42 AM on January 8, 2009



"Where's my dad?" Giving up there. Let me know if something truly spectacular happens.


The iPod becomes sentient and throttles a grandma.
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:43 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Today, the trendy topic is DIY receptions by using an ipod and a rented sound system instead of a professional wedding entertainer, the DJ

1. OHNOES TRENDY IS BAD!!@!@

2. If I wanted to be entertained, I'd go to the fucking movies. If more "professional" DJs stopped thinking about themselves as entertainers, and actually tried to play music the couple is interested in having played, maybe more folks (especially DIY-ers) would be interested.
posted by god hates math at 10:43 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know those TV commercials for some stupid jar opening gizmo that start with "Why go through THIS?" and a video of a woman tearing off her own arm trying to open a jar? That's what the DJ responses remind me of.

Most wedding DJs are overpriced and try to take over the whole event. My sister spend a couple of grand on a DJ who basically ignored her song list and did what he wanted to do. We hired a kid with a Macbook and a PA for $300 and were very happy.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:44 AM on January 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


On one hand, an iPod wedding may not feature the sound quality you get with a DJ.
On the other, an iPod wedding does not feature a DJ.
Pretty open and shut.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:45 AM on January 8, 2009 [7 favorites]


A misque.

A what now?
posted by Aquaman at 10:45 AM on January 8, 2009


I did this three years ago... small wedding at the Club.. I spent an hour putting together the music... worked great!

And, I still have the play list....
posted by HuronBob at 10:46 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


In other news, wedding photographers think personal digital cameras are bad, bridal shops think non-traditional dresses are tacky, and the earth takes 365 days to complete its orbit around the sun.
posted by zippy at 10:47 AM on January 8, 2009 [13 favorites]


We did this at our wedding reception. It meant playing the music we genuinely loved, as opposed to someone else's idea of what we should play. Plus it was free, which was an upside.
posted by EarBucket at 10:48 AM on January 8, 2009


2009: Budget-conscious people make playlists and play their wedding music from an iPod. Professional DJs are appalled.

1989: Budget-conscious people make mix tapes and play their wedding music from a boombox. Professional DJs are appalled.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:50 AM on January 8, 2009


All right, who the hell put the Chicken Polka on my On-The-Go playlist?
posted by Spatch at 10:51 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


An iPod on shuffle would have been better than the lame DJ we hired for our wedding. He totally stank.
posted by GuyZero at 10:52 AM on January 8, 2009


I would have loved to do this, but the technology wasn't quite there when we got married.

That being said, I gave my DJ several warnings:
- After you introduce the wedding party, do not speak. Play music. That is all.
- No Hokey Pokey. No limbo. No Chicken Dance. No stupid games. No stupid music.
- Absolutely positively no "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang.

The idiot actually started playing "Celebration" 10 minutes into the reception. I walked across the room and told him to stop.

The guests applauded. :)

If I were to get married today, I would skip the DJ altogether.
posted by DWRoelands at 10:52 AM on January 8, 2009 [12 favorites]


Having been a guest at many weddings, here is my heartfelt advice: If it's between cheaping out on the band/DJ and cheaping out on the open bar, pick the former.
posted by box at 10:52 AM on January 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


DJ or no DJ. Crappy music is crappy music. Make out a music play list. Have a mental image of your party. Get the music together with a nice system. Play the music. If it sucks, fast forward it or take the crap off. You can't please everybody. Sit down, listen, or dance. Have a nice time.
Uh-oh, here comes Uncle Ernie and his accordion.
posted by doctorschlock at 10:55 AM on January 8, 2009


Uh-oh, here comes Uncle Ernie and his accordion.

Hey man, don't knock it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:58 AM on January 8, 2009


schoolgirl report: Hire a live band, you friggin' cheapskate.

Do you have any idea how much wedding bands cost? Think in the thousands, easy.
posted by mkultra at 10:58 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes 1adam12! I love those commercials, especially one I saw for a pancake flipper where the person using a regular flipper was vigorously stabbing a pancake with it.
posted by Sargas at 10:59 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like the title a lot, BTW.
posted by Artw at 10:59 AM on January 8, 2009


What is a deejay, after all, but an ipod who sneers at your musical taste?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:00 AM on January 8, 2009 [9 favorites]


I was best man at a friend's wedding recently, and they used a laptop. They had an ipod and another laptop (mine) as backups, but they weren't needed. The laptop's not bad because you can let people use it as a jukebox for part of the night, while having playlists for the moments when they are need. You just need a friend to start said playlists at the appropriate times.

Oh, and I know you're snarking Dr-Baa, but most ipods do support a lossless codec: Apple lossless. I should know, I've just redone my entire CD library in it!
posted by sfred at 11:00 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, good to know. An uninformed snark is a toothless snark.
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:08 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Look, I like the idea here of bringing your own music to your own wedding, but for the love of all that's good and holy can we *please* not call this an "iPod Wedding"? Would you call them Microphone Weddings or Candle Weddings or Flower Weddings?

If you're going to call it an iPod wedding, the bride and groom should be dressed as a set of white and black ipods. The bridesmaids are all pink iPod nanos. The cake should be shaped like an iPod, with an edible photo of the bride and groom covering the screen area.
posted by JDHarper at 11:09 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


The bridesmaids are all pink iPod nanos.

YES! YESSSSS! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:10 AM on January 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


We did the ipod thing back in August. The venue (upstairs at a brewery) told us at the first meeting that they had a line-in jack, and a microphone for the other stuff. No fancy stupid fuckin' lights.

What can go wrong? One of the links mentions losing the ipod or it dying. We had my ipod loaded up, plus two backups, all with different people. My best man changed the music where appropriate - we had specific songs (Rock and Roll Part I for our entrance, Benny Hill Theme for cutting the cake, etc) on one playlist, a primary and secondary list for the dinner (who knows how long it'll go, plans notwithstanding?) and primary and secondary lists for the dancing. What can go right? IF you don't want rump shaker, you don't have to be prepared to shiv a DJ that plays it anyway.

During dinner, as we walked around and greeted each table, I can't count how many uncles shook my hand for having the balls to play "the good, the bad, and the ugly" theme.

(on second thoughts, tho, I may have put too much Calexico and Sigur Ros as background during dinner.)
posted by notsnot at 11:11 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've been to an iPod wedding. It was much better than the Guitar Hero wedding.
posted by mullacc at 11:12 AM on January 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


ms lester did this a few years ago at our wedding. no ipod, though--it was on 4 cds, played on a boombox over a hired pa system. totally rocked.
posted by lester at 11:12 AM on January 8, 2009


Around 9 years ago, as the best man, my gift to the bride and groom was to rip all of their CDs into MP3s and to set up a kiosk-like music jukebox system for the after-reception party (a very nice live ensemble played the reception proper). This was still exotic at the time -- these were the days before iPods and iTunes. The terminal went up at the bar with a trackball and keyboard, and the couple and guests could search for and add music to the playlist.

It was a huge hit. People chose the songs that were meaningful to them and the couple; drunken singalongs ensued, and the dancing and excitement was literally non-stop. Much is said about DJs being able to "work the crowd," but in this case, the crowd really understood how to work itself. I've looked askance at live DJs at weddings ever since.

These days, any laptop with iTunes can do the same thing. It's a wonderful thing that people can set this kind of thing up on their own.
posted by eschatfische at 11:15 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Having been a guest at many weddings, here is my heartfelt advice: If it's between cheaping out on the band/DJ and cheaping out on the open bar, pick the former.

I just wanted you to know that I favorited it once here, and a thousand times in my heart.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:20 AM on January 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


We did the same thing as lester 5 years ago, with a 5-disc CD changer and a remote. I still have the CDs, and I cue up the "Music for Mingling" CD occasionally in the car.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 11:22 AM on January 8, 2009


Debt is a crappy way to start a marriage.

Debt is a crappy way to start a life, period. Most of my generation is starting thousands in the hole, we live in a red tinted world of nagging debt. I think the least prudent thing I could do is pay a couple grand, or even a couple hundred on a DJ/live band.

And on the live band note, can they play my favorite song by my favorite artist and sound just like the actual favorite song? No? But they're butcher it for me? Where do I sign up?

I would like to say I am actually considering a DJ, but not just any DJ, a KJ! I love karaoke, and Little Dick and Annie Jo, for anyone in the St. Louis, Mo area, has the best selection (10,000 songs!). I've always seen Little Dick at Greiners in St. Charles on Friday and Saturday nights. He is adorable, and has like a six inch binder for songs sorted by title and another for songs sorted by artist! I've not been to a karaoke bar with that good of a selection, ever. So, screw the DJ, go KJ. Warning: If you go to Greiners the theater kids from Lindenwood come in, and you know theater kids and their Rent... Or Chicago...
posted by metricfan at 11:22 AM on January 8, 2009


From the article: She will no doubt be doting on things like flowers, seating arrangements, and other boring, albeit necessary, topics.

Stereotypes, much?
posted by signal at 11:25 AM on January 8, 2009


We hired a DJ for our wedding (ca. 2000, pre iPod days) and I would never do it again. Total waste of money.

He sold himself as a personal, get to know you, play what you want to hear guy, not an "Electric Slide" hack. Fine. We went over all that with him.

He ended up being OK, but barely played what we wanted him to. He ended up playing tons of big band stuff, which was OK. But really, it was just OK. Not what was advertised.

$800, I believe. Never again. I'll program an iPod and bring a laptop as backup. Hell, I'll bring a spare iPod with the same list too. It'll still cost less than some angry hipster musician wannabe.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:35 AM on January 8, 2009


too much Calexico

No such thing.

That being said, my parents paid for a full band for my brother's reception. It was... not quite impressive, and I know my mother was less than entirely happy with the situation.

Should there ever be any kind of wedding for me, I plan to do it on the MacBook Pro, sync to the iPod, and just have what I want. My mother's friend the church organist will probably weep at my terrible refusal of her assistance, but she'll survive. I and whatever bride there is will get the music we want for procession and recess, and for the reception. It will be under our control, we'll enjoy it, and no DJ or band will die at our married hands.
posted by mephron at 11:40 AM on January 8, 2009


Someone should tell one of those designers who're always griping about small businesses doing their own logos with crappy logo-making software instead of hiring a pro to go gripe at the American DJ Association.
posted by mph at 11:46 AM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


You kids are just catching up. My wife and I had an iPod wedding in 2001, in the summer sunshine in the courtyard of the place where we lived. There was much drink and much informality. It was great.

Also, get off my lawn.
posted by athenian at 11:46 AM on January 8, 2009


The haters are making things way too hard. Make sure you have the music you want and the PA system you need, and put a responsible person in charge of executing the music. Plug in, press play, pause optional. No reason for a "professional DJ," unless you need someone to bring the corny and yell, "Snowball!" (As a pro bono unprofessional dj, I'm biased).
posted by *s at 11:47 AM on January 8, 2009


I photographed something like 25 weddings last year. Maybe 5 of them had live bands, most of which were pretty cheese-tastic. There are good bands out there (think New Orleans-style jazz bands or Mariachis) but any band is better than most DJs. I witnessed exactly one DJ performance that warranted a respectful nod of approval. He was a professional club DJ who knew how to transition, played non-cliches and spoke very little.
The difference between your ipod playlist and an $800 DJ ain't much and your ipod is likely superior. If you're willing to start shelling out the big bucks for great bands or a really, really good DJ, that's a different story.

Spend an hour making your own playlist and borrow or rent speakers. Spend your money on food (unless you rock it potluck-style, which I think is rad), drinks, and photography.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 11:48 AM on January 8, 2009


I was the MC at my sister's wedding this fall, and the DJ they hired was pretty good, as wedding DJ's go (in my limited experience).

For some reason he lugged out a desktop, instead of a laptop, but otherwise he did what anyone could have done. Queue up playlists in Winamp or some such with a cross fading plug in.

To me, this is not a DJ. This is a human jukebox. Anyone could have done it, so what we were really paying for was a dedicated person to manage it as well as access to their music collection (entirely mp3). It's a convenience so you or a friend doesnt have to deal with it, but that's all it was. If I was planning on a cheap ass wedding, it would be the first luxury to go.

Personally, I am anti-big-weddings anyways though. I attended one other wedding this year at a fancy pants country club. Probably ended up costing them $200 a head, all said and done. My sisters was nowhere near this, and I thought it was a much better wedding, though it was still a bit fancier than what I would want for my own.

To his credit, he totally rocked the mic for an announcement while I was outside the tent in line for an emergency urination and I thanked him for that.
posted by utsutsu at 11:53 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


As the night progressed, it was obvious that our DJ was judging how well she was doing strictly by the number of people on the dance floor. She began veering away from our playlist (seeded with some songs we hadn't all heard ten thousand times) and moving to "Dance Party '97", longer medleys, etc.

We could have easily used CD changer with custom CDs (predated iPod), and had a family member step in to announce the various stages of the reception.

Having said that, would that really have been realistic? Most people involved in the wedding industry are pretty skilled at appealing to tradition, vanity, reputation, reluctance to look like a cheapskate, etc. to dissuade you from removing their particular line item from Your Special Day. A wedding is like boot camp for misers: set up to break them down and rebuild them as more profligate persons.
posted by kurumi at 11:59 AM on January 8, 2009


"DJ is fight back"?
posted by Evilspork at 11:59 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


We hired a DJ for our wedding in 2006. The guy went over a big list of music, what we really wanted played, what we really didn't want played, etc. etc. etc. And then he didn't actually show up at our wedding. He sent a replacement instead -- a local small-town middle-aged radio station weatherman who DJ'd in his spare time -- claiming that he had booked two weddings on the same night (WTF?!?!?!). To say the least, the music was disasterous. Everything we didn't want played? Played. Everything we wanted played? Well, the only reason we got our first dance etc. songs is because they were obscure enough that we provided them on a CD ourseleves. The rest of it was whatever outdated top-forty shit the weatherman liked. He didn't play any requests from the guests, and actually turned up the volume when my father-in-law asked him to turn it down.

The only saving grace was the free-flowing alcohol.

We did not get a refund. Fuck hiring a DJ. The worst that can happen with doing it yourseelf is a technical snafu, and that is what backups are for.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:59 AM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


So... why doesn't the ipod have a jukebox mode?

This drives me nuts. I want to be able to play a song and then go and select further songs and have them queued rather than play immediately. This is what I want 100% of the time, e.g., when I'm a passenger in the car driving the ipod.

OTG playlists are not this.
posted by Wood at 12:02 PM on January 8, 2009 [7 favorites]


So... why doesn't the ipod have a jukebox mode

That's why I would go for laptop+winamp if I were to do it again. A friend of mine did that at his wedding -- worked great.
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:04 PM on January 8, 2009


That's why I would go for laptop+winamp if I were to do it again. A friend of mine did that at his wedding -- worked great.

Actually, I believe you can do this just fine with iTunes, too. Just not an actual iPod. Which, yes, does seem really weird at this point, given how often we use our iPods as party jukeboxes.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:08 PM on January 8, 2009


iPod wedding cake!
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 12:10 PM on January 8, 2009


My husband and I went to a wedding shortly before our own at which the "DJ" sang "Mambo #5" over a recording of himself singing "Mambo #5".

It was then that we decided to have an iPod wedding. It went well.
posted by alpha_betty at 12:11 PM on January 8, 2009 [8 favorites]


Or you could hike to the top of a mountain and drag half of your aging family up it like my brother who, instead of music-- DJ, iPod, or otherwise-- got a serenade of whistling marmots. The sound quality was surprisingly good, but there wasn't much variety. I think I still prefer it to a DJ.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 12:12 PM on January 8, 2009


Unless we're talking DJ in the true turntable sense... which should cost thousands... no. Just no.

I photographed a wedding with a DJ. It reminded me of that AskMe question about the term for the sinking, horrible feeling you get on behalf of someone embarrassing themselves so completely, so entirely.

And you pay them!
posted by odinsdream at 12:15 PM on January 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Did it in August, it worked swimmingly, and haters can suck it. I put together the setlist myself, it was almost exactly like John Cusack told it in High Fidelty. Some people can afford to always hire the expert: in my new family, we have a little thing we call a budget. We are experts on that.

That said, I respect that a DJ is a professional, with a professional's experience and insight. As such, a DJ deserves to be well remunerated for his or her hard work, and I could see why he or she might complain when technology makes amateurs able to mimic that experience and insight for a fraction of the price. Nobody likes being underbid by a piece of electronics.
posted by anotherpanacea at 12:16 PM on January 8, 2009


We're going to hire a dozen kindergartners with squeaky balloons. Much cheaper than a DJ, but just about as annoying.
(and I can pay them in candy!)
posted by idiotfactory at 12:17 PM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


For anyone planning to DIY with a laptop, you can still take it to a higher level than just playlists:

virtual dj
mixxx
traktor

One could even theoretically record the set, and later burn cd's to send out to all the guests.
posted by mannequito at 12:23 PM on January 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


Someone should tell one of those designers who're always griping about small businesses doing their own logos with crappy logo-making software instead of hiring a pro to go gripe at the American DJ Association.

Professional Xers warn public about the dangers of not hiring professional Xers.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 12:25 PM on January 8, 2009


So... why doesn't the ipod have a jukebox mode?

This drives me nuts. I want to be able to play a song and then go and select further songs and have them queued rather than play immediately. This is what I want 100% of the time, e.g., when I'm a passenger in the car driving the ipod.


You can do this. Highlight a song and hold down the center button. This adds the song to the "On-The-Go" playlist on the iPod. Go start the playlist and then go back, queuing up songs to your heart's content. Great for on the fly DJing in the car or at a party.
posted by EarBucket at 12:30 PM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


So... why doesn't the ipod have a jukebox mode?

This drives me nuts. I want to be able to play a song and then go and select further songs and have them queued rather than play immediately. This is what I want 100% of the time, e.g., when I'm a passenger in the car driving the ipod.

OTG playlists are not this.
posted by Wood


Not trying to pick a fight, but I'm confused. I use OTG playlists for that exact purpose in that exact situation. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent in passenger seats lining up songs as somebody hauls me through northern Minnesota.
posted by COBRA! at 12:31 PM on January 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I honestly do not understand the people that think an iPod is superior to actual person choosing the songs for the moment. I understand that it works for some people's situations/tastes/budgets, but seriously - a playlist does not equal a human.

The main thing that an iPod can never do is respond to the mood of the crowd. Is everyone up and excited and dancing? The DJ is there to make sure a hype party song comes on next. Is the crowd dwindling for the moment and headed to the bar? Maybe now is a good time for a couple slow songs. Reading the crowd and responding to their energy and momentum is what keeps the party flowing smoothly.

I know there are super-cheesy wedding/bar mitzvah supastar DJs that have a schlocky routine and corny jokes and they should be 100% avoided. We had a great dj for our wedding. He played ONLY songs/genres we asked him to, and refused requests for songs/genres we specifically prohibited. He helped move the reception through intros, first dance, speeches, cake cutting etc. He was chill and respectful. It is possible.
posted by gnutron at 12:32 PM on January 8, 2009


I think part of the problem is that other than word of mouth, it's clearly very difficult to hire a good DJ. This very thread is rife with anecdotes of people who hired a DJ who insisted he'd do what they wanted, and then he hared off and did what he wanted.

I mean, I know a decent amount about wedding photography, from the perspective of a serious-amateur photographer who wanted to find out whether the wedding path made sense (for me: hell no.) Sure, wedding photographers will say "We cannot be substituted for by a pile of disposable cameras!" but that's because almost nobody at your wedding will have the equipment or skill to capture really good shots. By contrast, any reasonably music-savvy couple can assemble a set of playlists that'll work well, and "reading the crowd" can be substituted for to a certain amount by a complicated system known to laymen as "the best man sometimes runs over to the iPod to put on The Thong Song."

Is a great DJ better than an iPod? Yes. But there are so many bad DJs out there that it's hard to find them; they're pretty damn expensive when you do, and (now granted, I'm a photographer, so my bias is pretty huge here) unlike pro-photographer-vs-uncle-mike's-crappy-handheld, the difference between a well-constructed iPod playlist with occasional live tweaking, and a good pro DJ, is not as extreme as the difference between giving everyone disposable cameras and having a good pro photographer. Or, for that matter, crappy catering vs really good food, though DIY food is obviously a much more common skill than DJing; one wedding I was at had for dessert a gigantic cookie table all baked by the bride and her family, all of which were stupefyingly tasty, even if one of the cookie types looked disturbingly like a pair of buttocks, complete with a tiny sprinkle anus.

(Also, I've never seen a pro photog argue that you should hire her because amateurs will blind people with their flashes thus leading to lawsuits.)
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:43 PM on January 8, 2009


Is this something I would have had to not elope to know anything about?

Debt is a crappy way to start a marriage.

A traditional wedding, with tens of thousands of dollars down the hole, is a good start on that debt.
posted by maxwelton at 12:45 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


So... why doesn't the ipod have a jukebox mode?

This drives me nuts. I want to be able to play a song and then go and select further songs and have them queued rather than play immediately. This is what I want 100% of the time, e.g., when I'm a passenger in the car driving the ipod.

OTG playlists are not this.


If you put a song in an On-The-Go playlist, and press play, you can continue to add songs to the On-The-Go playlist and queue them up exactly as you're describing, while the first song is playing. Just tried it on my iPhone.
posted by designbot at 12:47 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I honestly do not understand the people that think an iPod is superior to actual person choosing the songs for the moment. I understand that it works for some people's situations/tastes/budgets, but seriously - a playlist does not equal a human.

I don't think anyone's been making that argument - just that it's an overrated thing, especially given that, at least anecdotally, really good DJs are apparently very rare, and it's really not that hard for, say, a bridal party member to notice that folks are slowing down, and pop over to the iPod to skip ahead to the Mortal Kombat theme because it's a huge in-joke for this crowd.

Something I didn't make explicit in my above comment that goes into this - you can assess photographers by looking at their portfolios, and avoid the ones you don't like - or who at least are overpriced for their results. You can assess caterers by sampling their food. And bands can at least provide recordings. But I don't think there's any reasonable way to judge a DJ without actually being at an event they're responsible for. That makes it very hard to find good DJs, and if you have a choice between "unknown quality for a good bit of money" and "known acceptability for free," you'll almost certainly choose the latter.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:48 PM on January 8, 2009


The real question is, why isn't there some way to preview comments before you submit them on Metafilter?

kidding…
posted by designbot at 12:50 PM on January 8, 2009


I have some friends who are DJs. Not wedding DJs, mind you, but real DJs who work in actual clubs. They all gave up vinyl a few years back in favor of laptops with basic mixing software.

Honestly, any DJ who still lugs around turntables AND a mixer AND a decent selection of requestable records is a total fucking idiot. But I guess if some sucker is paying you $2000 for two hours of "work," you'd have to look like a "real DJ" with "real equipment" rather than just some dude doing the simplest of tasks for outrageously exorbitant sums of cash.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:55 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Honestly, any DJ who still lugs around turntables AND a mixer AND a decent selection of requestable records is a total fucking idiot.

Can you still major in turntables at Berklee? They added it to the curriculum a couple years back. Sucks for those people, I guess.

Anyway, thanks so much for this post. I'm getting married frighteningly soon and I was kind of stressed about my decision to not waste my money on a DJ. I didn't want to have to threaten to stab someone for playing the Chicken Dance.

Based on this and Gluten-Free Girl's wedding recap, I'm going to get wasted with my best friends and make a playlist that is way too long for my event. Now I just need to bribe someone to hustle on over and make sure the theme to The Price Is Right plays as the ceremony finishes.

Admittedly, I do have an aversion to DJs: my soon-to-be-ex brother-in-law is a DJ that mostly does weddings and he has the worst taste in music.

So uh, can someone make a FPP to convince me that I don't need a florist?
posted by giraffe at 12:57 PM on January 8, 2009


Can you still major in turntables at Berklee?

I don't know, but DJ != turntablist.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:59 PM on January 8, 2009


The last wedding we went to had a DJ and he was horrible. It was quite obvious he had a set script with set pieces and did not waver from this, no matter what the crowd was responding to. I mean, if you have a floor full of people dancing along to a bangin' groove, you go with it. You don't suddenly drop them into the fucking Chicken Dance.

And...whyyyyyyyy do people insist on the Chicken Dance at receptions????? Please tell me that this is merely a localized, midwestern cancer, and not pandemic nationwide.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:00 PM on January 8, 2009


In defense of the Chicken Dance, it's good when there's lots of kids getting antsy. Otherwise, yeah, capital offense.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:04 PM on January 8, 2009


Most wedding DJs are overpriced and try to take over the whole event.

Wait...I thought that was the photograher/videographer's job.
posted by MrGuilt at 1:12 PM on January 8, 2009


We did the iPod thing at our wedding. We wanted to have control over what was being played, avoid the Chicken Dance, and save some cash. My wife's little brother was on DJ duty and he had a blast. Outside of a caterer-blown fuse cutting a song off, it was great.

On the other hand, picking the music for the wedding playlist was a nightmare. It lead to the biggest fight my wife and I have ever had. We're talking shouting, crying, locking doors, me throwing my engagement ring at her*, and us not talking to each other for a day or two.

The song in question was Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Grievances by Daniel Johnston. I wanted it because it was a nice sentiment, basically, "let's not go to be angry at each other" (Ha, irony!) and Banjo did not want it because, well, it's a very sad man playing a sad accordion. Sadly.

Anyways, we go through this huge fight. Eventually the wounds heal and Banjo wins, not by preventing the play of the song, but by allowing it, thus claiming the moral high ground for the rest of our marriage. We agree to play it early so as not to bring people down or interrupt any dancing vibe or anything.

Of course, I bet you can guess which song the caterer-caused blown fuse interrupted.

Sigh. Although, on the plus side, my wife now kind of likes the song, so win-win all around.

* To be fair, I had just seen Nate do this on Six Feet Under**.
** Also, wine was involved.

posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:22 PM on January 8, 2009 [8 favorites]


We had a two part wedding -- wedding+reception for close friends and family, then after-party for a wider group of friends (and minus parents and so on, so we could get drunk and relax without the more awkward parts of the families). For the "formal" reception, I decided I was going to use my laptop. Well, this would have been fine had I tested it at the venue ahead of time. It turns out the way their system and my laptop interacted, there was hideous feedback if I had the power adapter plugged into my laptop. And, of course, I took it to the wedding with like 20% charge. So we had music for a very, very brief time.

We didn't really want dancing at that reception anyways, so it wasn't a huge deal.

The after-party we had DJ friends of ours from local clubs, we paid them (but not a huge amount) and they got free drinks -- I think similar compensation to what they'd get as one of the DJ's for a night at a club (in other words, wayyy less than a "Wedding DJ" would charge). Of course, they weren't doing reception-y things, they were just playing good music (we gave them a list of must-plays, and then let them improvise the rest, since part of the reason we chose them was we liked their taste in music).
posted by wildcrdj at 1:24 PM on January 8, 2009


Or you can just do what we did, and not have any sort of music/dancing at your reception at all....
posted by Lucinda at 1:26 PM on January 8, 2009


Just to add another anecdote, we also chose to use an iPod instead of hiring some loud doofus with a smoke machine.

My best man did a fine job of announcing, organizing the speeches, and passing around a microphone. Truly, it's not that hard.

DJ or not, there is no worse sound than the sound of someone else's music - so why not save a few dollars?
posted by device55 at 1:32 PM on January 8, 2009


Anything that falls short of this is utterly rubbish and a waste of money. (Actually ... uh ... the movie had it both ways, with the ridiculously good wedding singer and choir[pricing], AND the crappy reception DJ for Mark and Sarah to complain about.)
posted by dhartung at 1:35 PM on January 8, 2009


I honestly do not understand the people that think an iPod is superior to actual person choosing the songs for the moment.

A DJ can respond well to a crowd...maybe.

But a good mix-CD can create the crowd - and the people getting married know the taste of themselves, and their friends and families far better than any DJ.

I created the mix-CDs for our wedding - and it went off perfectly. People got to hear songs rarely played on the radio even when they were new (and most were about 10 years old, since most of us were in our late 20s), and they were all put together to be uplifting and dancingish in just our eclectic folk/rock with an occasional Muppet song taste. I don't think there are any professional DJs I would trust to mix music for me.

Now a live band could be totally worth it if you are doing something like a ceilidh (you'll need a caller too, of course). Ceilidhs are awesome, and wonderful at weddings. Before our own music, we had a short ceilidh and everyone loved it - from age 6 to age 60 (we have the photos to prove it).
posted by jb at 1:38 PM on January 8, 2009


>> Hire a live band, you friggin' cheapskate.

We hired a live band at our wedding and it was a total disaster. The lead singer was pissed off about something, and he proceeded to ridicule my family while performing a horrible rendition of "Love Stinks" by the J. Geils Band. It all came to a crescendo when he and my father-in-law got into a fist-fight. So do I like live bands at weddings? No.
posted by JibberJabber at 1:47 PM on January 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm surprised at the DJ-hate. I got married 3 months ago and our DJ was worth every freakin' penny. We talked extensively beforehand and gave him a list of must-play and must-not-play songs. He filled in the gaps with songs appropriate to the mood and audience. There was no cheesiness or schlock. The dancefloor was full or nearly full for EVERY. SINGLE. SONG.

I can listen to my own music on my own iPod any time I like. Our wedding was not about my (or my husband's) taste in music. It was about gathering with our family and friends and celebrating.
posted by desjardins at 1:57 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or you can just do what we did, and not have any sort of music/dancing at your reception at all....

Have you ever seen the movie "Wedding Crashers", the dance is critical to single guys.
posted by Deep Dish at 2:26 PM on January 8, 2009


Honestly, any DJ who still lugs around turntables AND a mixer AND a decent selection of requestable records is a total fucking idiot.

For Real DJs(TM), what do you suggest using as a control surface? Sure, the laptop holds the music and can do mixing, but using vinyl as a control surface still blows away anything you can do with a mouse and keyboard. CDJs are halfway kinda okay, but nothing comes close to 1200s for control.

Imagining trying to keep a 2 minute mix with alternating basslines and drum patterns going without a proper crossfader and two wheels and pitch sliders to nudge makes my brain hurt. Half of being pro is dealing with shit equipment, but still...

Even the auto-beatmatching (boo, hiss, if you can't beat match stay home until you can. It's not hard) stuff doesn't work THAT well.
posted by flaterik at 2:29 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I stand corrected. OTG playlists are not this. I'm going to have to try it for a while and see how that goes because it's a little fiddly on the iphone but you can add whole playlists and albums. Wonder if it supports shuffle.

Thank you ipoderati. Heh, sorry about that word.
posted by Wood at 2:32 PM on January 8, 2009


I honestly do not understand the people that think an iPod is superior to actual person choosing the songs for the moment.

It all depends on the person doing the choosing and the choices they make at that moment, dunnit?

All people are saying is that in their experiences, the people doing the choosing tend to be doofuses and their choices tend to be bad.

The main thing that an iPod can never do is respond to the mood of the crowd. Is everyone up and excited and dancing? The DJ is there to make sure a hype party song comes on next.

(a) Which doesn't mean the DJ will do that.
(b) Which doesn't mean the DJ will avoid choosing a song you hate.
(c) Which doesn't mean the DJ will avoid choosing a song that makes Grandma blush with shame.
(d) Which doesn't mean that you want a hype party song to come on next.
(e) Which doesn't mean the DJ won't keep playing awful too-loud N-GSH-N-GSH-N-GSH way the fuck too long because that's what he likes.

We had to have our reception-oid before the wedding ceremony for immigration porpoises, but we solved the problem by having it in a pub where the only possible activities were drinking, eating, talking, and playing pool, and emphatically not dancing. I can't remember if there was any music or not; if there was it was drowned out by, of all things, people talking to each other.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:44 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well we didn't have any dancing at our wedding because my husband DOES NOT DANCE and we were trying to keep it low-key and low-cost. It was an ceremony and afternoon tea-like atmosphere. I used to DJ as a semi-amateur (meaning I paid more for equipment than I ever made), and for our wedding I made mix cds to play over the PA for the length of the event. Therefore the flow of the music worked flawlessly (seriously, it took me a week to put the sequencing together), it was all our favorite music, no one was offended by anything, and we didn't have to deal with a random DJ that might have been terrible. Based on the quality of wedding DJs I've seen, I would sooner trust my ipod on shuffle than someone I didn't know. But my husband and I are known to our friends as "the music snobs" so YMMV.
posted by threeturtles at 2:45 PM on January 8, 2009


When I got married in September, my experience was very similar to that of desjardins. We interviewed about six DJs and hired the one we liked the best, and he was worth every penny.
posted by Kwine at 2:46 PM on January 8, 2009


giraffe: So uh, can someone make a FPP to convince me that I don't need a florist?

Probably lots of people will try to convince you that you don't need a florist. And you don't HAVE to have one to get married. I went through so much trying to find one that seemed decent but a price that wasn't astronomical. Finally I ended up spending way more than I had planned or wanted to (but less than I had been quoted other places) because I liked the florist. It was worth every penny. The flowers were one of the things that I remember the most from my wedding and I was so blown away to see what she had done. My florist really went above and beyond to make things gorgeous and it made a huge difference. So my advice, is yes, you need a florist and if you pick a good one you won't regret it.
posted by threeturtles at 2:55 PM on January 8, 2009


Did a similar thing a few years back for our company's Xmas party at a swank hotel downtown, no iPod though, I was running the music on my Palm instead. A half gig SD card loaded with Christmas music, a playlist, and a line in jack to the hotel's sound system and that's all we needed.
posted by barc0001 at 3:04 PM on January 8, 2009


giraffe - you don't need a florist for much, esp if you (like me) don't particularly like places draped in flowers.

If you (or your partner) want a bouquet, that is good to get done - not just for the arrangement, but especially for the binding and structural integrity. Most from big florists are expensive, and I don't particularly like the contemporary "wedding" look. But I lucked out because my mother-in-law's local green grocer sold flowers and the lady did a great simple bouquet for me and one of the bridesmaids (other one had a flute - she played the processional). She was even willing to include the shasta daisies we brought from our garden, though she warned me they wouldn't last as long as typical bouquet flowers - many other florists might have not have been willing to use such flowers. (My mother-in-law had to decorate the cake for a similar reason - no decorator was willing to use our marzipan, but my mother-in-law hates the fake stuff they use because she was an organic chemist and to her fake marzipan smells like cyanide.)

We got the 2 bouquets, and some boutineers done by the florist (both mothers having nixed wearing corsages), but the only other flowers we had for the wedding were two lovely pot plants with red flowers, $8 each from the same green grocer, that went on the table at the front of the chapel. They looked great, and stayed living after the wedding (and are still going 3 years later).

I know I sound like some kind of indie-bride advertisement, but really not everyone is comfortable with the whole wedding industry. Money wasn't really the issue in our case (his parents paid, as our budget stretched only as far as a liscence and we would have had to courthouse it if we had been left on our own - but they wanted a big party) - it was about what really fit with who we are and what we like. It happened that often we couldn't buy or rent what we wanted - so we ended up with a lot of homemade things (the invitations, part of his suit, my dress (including headdress), our cake, part of my bouquet, the mix CD for the post ceilidh dancing, etc).
posted by jb at 3:57 PM on January 8, 2009


Note on the structural integrity of bouquets - this is very important, and I swear mine was better constructed than most cars. Certainly it survived being swung around by klutzy me all day - and during the toss I accidentally threw it into the light fixture, and then I carried it home on the subway, and it was still looking great (daisies and all) three days later.

So yeah, I'm pro-professional bouquets - but you don't have to go upmarket. Cheap florists have all the necessary pins and binding tape. We selected out the flowers and greenery, and she arranged it nicely - and it looked great (and more traditional bouquetish than anything else I'd seen).
posted by jb at 4:03 PM on January 8, 2009


For Real DJs(TM), what do you suggest using as a control surface?

Laptop + Final Scratch + turntables.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:11 PM on January 8, 2009


Third comment - and then really I'll shut up.

With the whole "should I pay for X in my wedding?" question, the answer is always the same: how important is it to you?

If good pictures are important to you, get a professional photographer. If you don't care if you lose some ceremony photographs to blurriness because you still got some great candid photos done by your brother-in-law (like I did), then don't.

If you like flowers, get a florist. If you don't like flowers, or if you love them so much you grow them and you want to arrange them yourselves, don't.

If you like dj'd music, get a dj. If you would rather control your own music or you don't care, then don't.

And so forth. If you have a seriously limited budget, then you prioritise. Some people pay for an expensive photographer, and don't rent a fancy car or have a low-key reception. Our parents really wanted to have a catered dinner and we wanted a ceilidh, so we did that, but cut back by not having a professional photographer or florist (other than aforesaid bouquets), or having hair or makeup done, and had take-out for the rehursal dinner.

But no matter what happens, it will be wonderful. Because it's not about what you have, or what you do - it's about the vows you are taking and the people who love you who are witnessing those vows. Watching that video which showed the ipod "failure" at a wedding, all I thought was that it looked like a lovely wedding, and that the couple looked deliriously happy.
posted by jb at 4:16 PM on January 8, 2009


Blazecock, I read sysreq as saying you needed ONLY a laptop, which is fine if you're just playing music and Crazy Talk if you're actually trying to be a DJ.

I still say you need laptop, mixer, and decks. I like my vinyl, but if I had digital version of my tracks carting it around would be stupid.

Anyone have the entire siesta and doubledown catalogs as mp3s? That's a decent swath of my rekkids, and I could probably play off of just that
posted by flaterik at 4:36 PM on January 8, 2009


And...whyyyyyyyy do people insist on the Chicken Dance at receptions????? Please tell me that this is merely a localized, midwestern cancer, and not pandemic nationwide.

It's a worldwide pandemic! The last wedding I went to had that monstrosity played twice. In fact, every 'traditional' wedding and reception I've been to has had that played. I hate it almost as much as 'Running Bear'. The whole thought of music at wedding receptions just makes me cringe.

It could just be wedding receptions.
posted by h00py at 5:21 PM on January 8, 2009


"If it's between cheaping out on the band/DJ and cheaping out on the open bar, pick the former."

No DJ, no iPods, and no liquor at my wedding. You have been warned!

Laptop and mp3s, baybeee!

Also, how many people took the band comment literally? I count at least three who not only missed the joke but felt the need to open their mouths and let the rest of us know they missed it.
posted by Eideteker at 5:33 PM on January 8, 2009


Wood: "So... why doesn't the ipod have a jukebox mode?"

The Zune does this. :)
posted by MrBobaFett at 5:36 PM on January 8, 2009


So having DJ'd and been to weddings and parties with DJs, the answer is meh. Maybe you want one, maybe not. There are lots of craptacular DJs. You probably would not want me DJing at your next wedding because I'm damn picky about my music and really don't care what you thing is good music. Which is fine at some of the parties I DJ'd in college, but would not fly at a wedding. I know that but lots of DJs don't pick up on that and will still force their crap into your playlist.

If I can find a way to seamlessly control the music from a discrete little wirelss control surface strapped to my wrist, then I am totally DJing my own wedding.
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:01 PM on January 8, 2009


You probably would not want me DJing at your next wedding because I'm damn picky about my music and really don't care what you think is good music.

Golly gee, who can I make the check out to?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:47 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hire a live band, you friggin' cheapskate.

My wife and I got married in a public park, where the park rules did not allow live performances. I'm sure other people may be in the same boat.
posted by jonp72 at 7:13 PM on January 8, 2009


But no matter what happens, it will be wonderful.

Even if a band of Reavers show up and rape everyone to death, eat their flesh, and make clothing out of their skin? And not necessarily in that order?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:36 PM on January 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


For a couple of my friends who recently got married, we did playlist on my laptop + borrowed speakers + an ipod as back-up. Later in the evening we took requests, it was a really fun reception. Much better than any event involving the Electric Slide.
As for the florist, they ended up using one for the bride's and bridesmaids' bouquets, but we did the table arrangements ourselves. Roses in bulk from Sam's Club in simple vases, half an hour of work by the bridesmaids the morning of the wedding, and it turned out great. I can see using a florist for the bouquets, but as far as the other decorations go, there are many ways to do it yourself for much less, with really beautiful results.
posted by little e at 7:59 PM on January 8, 2009


My wife and I used a playlist we created for our wedding reception. It's one of the very few things I regret about the whole day. It just ended up moving the reception along to quickly, and creating the playlist just adds another thing to worry about getting done.
posted by drezdn at 8:09 PM on January 8, 2009


With the whole "should I pay for X in my wedding?" question, the answer is always the same: how important is it to you?

So true. We spent all our money on food and wine and photography. Which left us with no money for anything else, so we used iTunes for our music, made bead bouquets instead of buying flowers, got friends to drive us to the ceremony in their own cars, my husband wore a suit he already owned, etc.

It was a great celebration and the only reason I wouldn't recommend it to everyone is that your tastes, and your guests' tastes, will be different. Work out what's important to you and do it, and skip the rest.
posted by harriet vane at 10:37 PM on January 8, 2009


Every wedding that my wife and I had been to had an atrocious DJ so when we were planning our own wedding this year we went with the iPod. Our invitations included a "Please select two songs for the reception" form and with a few executive editorial decisions came up with a tremendous playlist that went over well and accommodated all the parents, relatives, friends, coworkers, and drone rockers in the audience ranging from age 14 to 92. We also had a separate dance-heavy playlist in case that's the way the flow of events went.

The final playlist is here in case you're interested.
posted by quartzcity at 1:56 AM on January 9, 2009


For Real DJs(TM), what do you suggest using as a control surface?

Depends on your style. Most DJs I know use Serato (or Traktor) and turntables with timecode vinyl on them. I just use a simple MIDI controller with some knobs, sliders and a small number of buttons on it, and am not alone in that regard, even if I'm outnumbered.

It's more like working with an old school rotary mixer than not, I think. My style of mixing doesn't involve scratching, back-spinning, or some of the other things that you can only do with turntables, so I don't miss those things and doubt I'd do them even given the ability. It works for me.

Other people should do what works for them, of course. Some other DJs I know have switched from turntables-as-control to MIDI controllers. One or two have gone the other way. I think this is mostly from a desire to change things up every now and then more than any real dissatisfaction with either way of doing things.

I don't see any reason to get snobby about it (not that you're doing that, really). It's what you do with your preferred tools, not what your tools are themselves, that determines whether you're good at what you're doing.

To the main topic of the thread... I don't blame people for going with iPods. I don't even know that I'd ever agree to DJ at a wedding except maybe for close friends, and even then it'd only be for the dance-y part of the evening, not for the whole time and... Blah. I don't think I'd enjoy wedding DJing the way I do playing at house parties and things. They are very different things. One's getting to be a chef who decides the menu, picks the ingredients, etc. The other's being a caterer. And there's nothing wrong with that, and I'm glad people who are good at it can make some money that way, but... Not for me.

I have the same reaction to being a wedding band as opposed to making my own songs, etc.
posted by sparkletone at 3:40 AM on January 9, 2009


I went to two weddings held very close to one another.
One, for friends, had a DJ. He was horrible. He kept calling the bride Angie, which is not her name (its Andrea). He did not play songs that were requested, and played songs that he was specifically told not to. Hardly any one danced. The only decent music the whole night was when the Godfather theme was played as the Matriach of the groom's family (the Grandmother) walked in with the bridal procession. But the DJ didn't play that...it was queued & played by friends of the bride & groom.

My brother's wedding, on the other hand, featured an iTunes playlist he and my sister-in-law picked out, played over somewhat decent sound equipment borrowed from a friend, with said friend as the dedicated 'sound guy'. He took requests, if it was on the playlist, and made sure things ran smooth. I have not been to a wedding in lwhere so many people were up and dancing for the entire night, in so very long. The dancefloor was never empty. Nobody complained about the music.

I'd take my brother's playlist over a DJ any time.
posted by sandraregina at 6:38 AM on January 9, 2009


I just use a simple MIDI controller with some knobs, sliders and a small number of buttons on it, and am not alone in that regard, even if I'm outnumbered. It's more like working with an old school rotary mixer than not, I think.

That'd be interesting to try; I do love me some rotary mixers. I"m not sure I've seen anyone do that - turntables with timecode vinyl or CDJs are pretty dominant, with actual music vinyl still coming up from time to time.

The weddings of friends I've been to have been DJd by friends, but most of my friends know each other via "the electronic music scene" so I know we're weird outliers....
posted by flaterik at 9:36 AM on January 9, 2009


That'd be interesting to try; I do love me some rotary mixers. I"m not sure I've seen anyone do that - turntables with timecode vinyl or CDJs are pretty dominant, with actual music vinyl still coming up from time to time

For a while, one of the sliders was mapped to the crossfader in Ableton, but then one day just for fun, I tried mixing with the crossfader open and discovered I liked that far more, given that I was never doing anything particularly cool or fast with the crossfader anyway.

I wish I could get away from having to touch the computer as often as I do, but not everything is mappable in Ableton. Hopefully in the future I'll be able to get it to the point where the only time I need to touch my computer is when I'm dragging songs out of the file browser into the live set.
posted by sparkletone at 9:48 AM on January 9, 2009


I don't think I'd enjoy wedding DJing the way I do playing at house parties and things. They are very different things. One's getting to be a chef who decides the menu, picks the ingredients, etc. The other's being a caterer.

QF mother effin' T.

Not that there's anything wrong with being a caterer. But you damn well better know the difference before you take the gig.
posted by Aquaman at 10:22 AM on January 9, 2009


ThePinkSuperhero: "You probably would not want me DJing at your next wedding because I'm damn picky about my music and really don't care what you think is good music.

Golly gee, who can I make the check out to?
"

:-p I told you, you wouldn't want me DJing your wedding. I will play good music (what I think is good music), if you request stuff that I think is crap I won't play it. I'll consider it and let it influence my playlist. Like when I had this demand at one place that I play Britney Spears - Toxic. No fucking way. But I looked at the liners and saw who actually worked on it and produced it, so I played Rishi Rich instead. People liked it and in the end I don't think anyone died because I didn't play that song. But yeah even if they said it was their favoritest sog evar, and they fell in love to it, I wouldn't play it.

:) That's why I stick more with sound design now instead of DJing. Because I do get to be that picky.
posted by MrBobaFett at 6:23 PM on January 9, 2009


« Older Today Boeing completed the first test flight of a ...  |  "Did you hear a stalk of celer... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments