Microphone Technique – By Guest Blogger: Steven Nicholls
If you're new to DJing you might think that your ability to mix music with DJ Mixing Software should say it all, and that everyone should recognize your magical ability behind the digital decks…I’m sad to say that there is something just as important to your client and your success as a DJ.
In my 40 years as a DJ I’ve seen Mobile DJs that couldn't even match a beat using sync with their DJ Mixing Software become the most popular jocks with loads of gigs because they are great on a microphone. The audience simply doesn't notice the lack of qualitymusic and/or mixing if the DJ on the mic let’s his personality shine though and sticks to some basic techniques. Of course, there is the opposite side of the coin too; a motor mouth can ruin a great evening by waffling too much!
Practice your microphone technique with your full DJ mixing software rig in a rehearsal (think size of a typical hall) room and really listen to yourself through your system and speakers. Even some of the best singers neglect to truly project their voice when announcing songs, so ensure that you are speaking loudly and clearly, control your voice volume from your mixer — bump the volume up if you struggle with being more quietly spoken.
There is also atempo and rhythm you want to get into — Too fast and garbled, and nothing comes across and you'll seem like a nervous amateur. Too slow and pronounced can slow a night right down and be a drag on the dance floor energy. If you are not a natural thinker on your feet, work out a few script ideas pre-gig so that you remember certain 'links' to songs. However, try not to stick to the script, just use it as a prompt to help your remember key announcements or the like. If your event is a wedding and reception, make a list of all the important members of the wedding party for your announcements. Remember, even if you’ve got nothing witty to offer up, a little bit of research on the background of a song and your clients with give you something to say and everybody will feel you're a seasoned DJ with vast knowledge about your music (even if you're not!)
Practicing as with anything is key – it will help you improve your voice technique and it needs to be through your system (as they are not all created equal!) so that you become used to hearing your own voice and aren’t frightened by it. If you sound confident, well-paced and know a bit about your music and your clients — than other faults or lacks of skills can be overlooked.
DJ Steven Nicholls
(Steven is a UK based Mobile DJ with 40 years of experience, and PCDJ DJ Software customer)
– Use an EQ to remove some of the low end. Vocals have a way of getting boomy at gigs. This will also help the bass in your tunes come through clearer. On a mixer, a cut of a few dB on the low knob should do the trick.
– Use an EQ to reign in any piercing frequencies. When it comes to piercing vocals, the offending frequencies tend to live in the 2-3.5 KHz range. Try tweaking the mid and high knobs on the mixer’s mic strip
– For better clarity, use the mixer’s talkover function. When you talk, the sound is ducked. This is great if you’re hyping the crowd or having an MC rock over your set. If the mixer doesn’t have a talkover button, you can try manually tweaking the master volume, turning it down slightly and then turning it back up when the vocal part is finished.
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Feel free to leave your comments below. Additional Mic Technique suggestions are welcome!